I rarely talk about current events these days. First because I’ve become out of the loop ever since cutting down my Facebook time. And second, I just don’t want to be bothered by the goings-on in the world for the time being.
Not that I don’t give an iota about what’s happening but it just came to a point where all the crap has gone extremely migraine-inducing that I just could not give it so much as 2 seconds out of my 24-hour day.
Believe me, I still care. Because no matter how hard I try to change myself, I’d still be that person who cares way too much about things that most people in my generation don’t. And it sucks when you’re surrounded by these people who make it seem like you’re at fault for having an opinion about certain stuff.
So last weekend, I got extremely bored that I decided to open my Facebook app to see what’s up. I stumbled upon this post going viral — photos from the supposed pre-nuptial shoot of local celebrities Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia.
They were beautiful photos and the couple looked stunning. But when I read the caption, I knew there was some sort of uproar about one or two of the photos because the poster edited his caption to say that he took down the photos in question.
The curiosity got the better of me so I decided to look for those deleted pictures and here they are.
The photoshoot took place in Ethiopia (a country in Africa) and the locals situated in the background of the celebrities caused so much debate from the local Filipino community (not sure if it has reached the international scene) that I was like, “what the fuck is going on here?”
Once again, I had to search for the cause of commotion since I obviously did not see anything wrong in the photos that they were all claiming to be racist.
First of all, I honest-to-goodness don’t think both Billy and Coleen are racist; neither are the photographer and crew behind the shoot. I seriously don’t think that their intention by putting these locals in the background and making them seem like “accessories” or “backdrops” are nothing less than wanting to be creative and simply showing off the beautiful people of Ethiopia.
But we all know how people perceive things differently. And I, for one, know very well the Filipino superiority culture. And while I don’t think that the celebrity couple are being racist and I do think that their main intention was to show off the culture and people of the country they were at, I can’t help but feel the superiority seeping off of their skins.
Let me tell you some things about the Filipinos and how we do things around this part of the world.
Bosses usually (more often than not, really) require their subordinates to call them boss, ma’am, and/or sir.
As in Boss Victoria; Ma’am Victoria; Sir Victor, lol). If you don’t, you come off as disrespectful because to these people, you’re supposed to act beneath them and not verbally referring to them as such means that you’re blatantly disregarding the fact that they’re above you.
Celebrities get a free pass at almost anything.
This is one of the things that irks me the most. In the USA, you hear about celebrities getting DUI tickets or going to jail for doing this or that and yet here in the PH, celebrities are treated like gods. So of course, they can’t help but get in their own heads and think that they really are above us “regular people”.
Of course, the same goes for politicians – they get a free pass, too.
I remember this one news about an enforcer who gave Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista a traffic ticket (not sure if it was for beating a red light or speeding) and when the enforcer got called in to the Mayor’s office the next day, he was fucking terrified. Because yes, we all know that giving violation tickets to politicians is a big NO-NO.
Well, the meeting turned out to be positive as the enforcer was rewarded. But still, the fact that he was terrified in the first place should tell you something.
Blue collar¹ and red collar² jobs are often looked down upon.
Usually, when a middle-class or upper-class person hires a carpenter to do some house work, the hired help is seen as exactly that – a hired person which means that s/he’s inferior beyond all means.
And there’s also the fact the house helps are sometimes seen as slaves (ha! Let’s not get into the fact that some rich people require their house helps and nannies to dress in a uniform to separate them from the rich family.)
Feeling superior in the Filipino culture is not at all surprising. When you’re someone who’s at a certain level in life, you can’t help but feel that there are people beneath you.
So going back to the issue at hand, while I don’t think that Billy and Coleen are racist, they did come off with this “look at me; look at us; we’re fabulous and we’re the shit and we’re better than y’all” aura.
The photos were distasteful, yes. But I don’t think the intention was to be racist.
And sure, I cannot fault them for the bad taste of the photos, as people who are able to reach a grave majority of Filipinos with the “celebrity voice” that they have, they could have done a better job. If all they wanted in the first place was to show off the culture and people of Ethiopia, they could have taken the photos to a different light and a whole new level.
But they didn’t. And that’s where their fault comes in. Most Filipinos of stature already have this superiority complex as it is and this couple could have steered the boat to voice out some very important issues but ugh, I guess we have to live in this fucked-up world for a few more years.
No, the image above does not feature Filipino people but features Ethiopian people.
¹construction workers, carpenters, factory workers, etc.
²farmers, fishermen (let’s include here market sellers and house helps)
Pinoy Pride is something that I intend to continue working on to highlight the Toxic Filipino Cultures that have been plaguing this country and its people for years. Of course, it’s not something that we should be proud of and the title of this series is very sarcastic.