NOTE: Ugh. I thought I scheduled this properly for the A-to-Z Challenge. Sorry…
Lately, the Philippines has been getting positive attention, what with Filipinas currently dominating international beauty pageants. Several artists of Filipino blood, especially YouTube sensations that Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey got to have as guests in their shows, have somehow let the world know (well, those who got to watch, at least) that we are a race of generally good singers. Our white-sand beach, Boracay, has been consistently considered as one of the top beaches in the world. (See vids. First is singer Charice‘s as introduced to the world in “The Ellen Degeneres Show.” Second is a show featuring Boracay called “Ang Pinaka” [“The Most]”. You’ll understand most of it due to the visuals and alternating Filipino-English dialogues/narration)
And then just last year, the world witnessed how a tragedy that hit the country brought out the best in my fellowmen/women, with the spirit of what we call bayanihan (read as “buy-uh-nee-hun”) or communal unity alive and our propensity to still be able to smile despite the circumstances. I’d like to think that aside from or instead of the word coming from bayan, which means town or community, the root word is actually bayani, meaning hero.
Still, these are not enough to erase the various stigmas that have been associated with our race. However, I would rather not think of the negatives, but of the positives. Much of the negatives have been borne out of racism, stereotyping and, in the recent case of people who claimed to be well-informed food bloggers (yet they seemed too uninformed, misinformed and unprofessional-slash-unethical writers), utter clueless-ness.
I believe that I live in a GREAT nation that has the capacity to become GREATER, to rise from the ashes when Life has beaten us down time and again.
I want you to know more about my country. No, it is not to sugar-coat the negatives, rather to emphasize the positives. So let me share to you my article The Great Philippine Experience (to get there, please click on the title). I will hope that after reading, you’ll at least have a better impression of my country and my people. 🙂
Did you like what you read and/or saw? If yes, then I’m happy. Thank you for reading! Feel free to comment below.
This post is a part of the …
This is somewhere definitely on my list to go to – sounds like my kind of a place! Thanks for the info!
The pleasure is mine! 🙂
Thanks for posting, and I also liked the article you linked to– maybe I will have to visit someday with those things in mind (although I am vegetarian and some of the foods mentioned would be out of the question for me)!
Very understandable about the food. We really have delicious food but they tend to be fattening and sweet. So since you know what to expect, you’ll know what to avoid 🙂
This is not exactly what happened to a couple (at least I assume they are a couple) who like to claim to be food bloggers. They basically lambasted the food here and almost all throughout their writeup, they kept complaining of how sweet things were and of feeling bloated because of the fats. They said they always do research before they go to a country and try out the food (they “specialize” in trying out street food using very low budget to see how people with little money can get by with those), so I was left wondering why for Pete’s sake they were complaining when they should have expected it in the first place?
They said all the vendors they bought from sold low quality food, but as some of those who commented pointed out, they should not have just stayed in one place (I forgot where they were) and that of course, the food they tasted weren’t yummy because the target were not foreigners like them but people who could only afford that much in their daily lives (there were lots of poor people where they were). Of course they were aware we are a third-world country, what did they expect? They said they were disappointed because the famous international chefs on TV kept praising the food here, so I am also left wondering if they think they know better than experienced and professional chefs. Did they think those chefs would stake their reputation by claiming something is good when it really isn’t?
I’m not saying they should not have an opinion, and certainly, I am not one to always just buy street food myself even if I happen to be in some other country, but as bloggers, they were irresponsible and unethical. Imagine saying that they’d rather die than eat the food here when they had not even really eaten much of what we — or any country — has to offer? Then they had the nerve to compare with other countries. First, you don’t do that. You don’t compare. You review. Second, they should really make sure that what they got to sample in those other countries were really that healthy and safe (we know a lot of them are not and are even much more unhealthy, it just so happened they were unaware of it). The funny thing was they did like a least one or two of the stuff they ate so what was that about rather dying of hunger? Second, maybe they inquired from the wrong person to show where they could buy something we call here as longganisa because apparently, it was just some hotdog. It’s laughable because based on the sauce and mayo packets included in the shot they took of the hotdog, they bought it at 7-11! Surely they knew what 7-11 was! Didn’t they even wonder why they were pointed to that place?
Sorry for this rant. Some Filipinos have said that we should not be too sensitive since some of what they said were true. But I take offense in the sensationalism because it was irresponsible and downright rude. I welcome negative reviews, but the one reviewing should also make sure s/he knows what s/he’s talking about. just because you can type, it doesn’t mean you can write. Learn the proper way to do it first!
Maybe you could try this one: HALO-HALO 🙂
Sorry for my rant. I didn’t even notice you mentioned being vegetarian. Yes, we have lots of meaty dishes here. We do have delicious veggie dishes, too, that you can try.
Oh man the Halo-Halo looks/sounds amazing! Just a guess– you mentioned some Spanish words creep into the vocabulary. Anything to do with the word helado?
PS I am from Chicago and I certainly wouldn’t like if someone insulted the food from there based on an irresponsibly small sample. So i hear you! 🙂
I am not sure about the terms being related but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are. After all, we were under Spanish rule for almost 400 years.
As for the food bloggers, another foreign blogger has come out, this time, in our defense. I like him not because he defended us but because he wrote more fairly. He could say he doesn’t like much of our food and I still wouldn’t hold it against him. There is a difference between being constructive criticism and destructive criticism. If you’re interested, here is Nathan Allen’s Response The editor linked to the other blog so in the spirit of fairness to them also, I am letting you know, in case you miss it. I leave it to you if you’d like to check it out.