Friday, April 10, 2009
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is to be read with a grain of salt. Please don’t accuse me of causing trouble. Huwag po. I’m just reporting events as I see them.
I was checking my blog referral stats when I saw an increase of visits to a May 2008 blog post titled “Igorot Slur on a Filipino blog”. I decided to investigate and was amused to find an animated discussion at a Friendster Group forum. The topic is in the form of a question – “Anu feeling niyo kung kapwa mo pilipino insultuhin ng kapwa niya pilipino?” (How would you feel if a Filipino insults a fellow Filipino?) The original topic post put a link to a Filipina maid’s blog called “Francesca in France”. In a post on May 2008, the blogger wrote on how difficult it is to work with the BIR Tax Registration in the Philippines, and out of nowhere, she vented her frustrations on the Igorot people in a totally uncivilized manner. “Is he an Igorot, that’s why he doesn’t understand the importance of paper works and time?” And later in her post, she wrote, “… baka nga Igorot eto? I don’t have any goat or hen to pay him...”
It was almost a year ago when I found out about this. I immediately wrote the blogger (whom I shall call, Francesca in France) and kindly requested that she change her remarks because it was offensive. I did that to prevent any heated debates on her blog. She didn’t heed my suggestion. So, I wrote a blog post as a reaction. (Read my reaction to Francesca in France posted on May 2008). I just recently visited her blog and was astonished at the outpouring of protests to her derogatory remarks, both from Igorots and non-Igorots from around the world.
Back to the Friendster Topic – a lady from Abra posted a link to Francesca in France’s offending blogpost at the Friendster Group Forum for “Filipino Spouses/Fiancee of Foreigner”. The first initial reactions in the topic slammed Francesca in France as being “idiotic”, “arrogant”, “ignorant”, “disrespectful”, and “stupid”. One poster even noted that after Francesca in France wrote the post and was ridiculed by a lot of visitors, she had a bunch of unfortunate events happening to her in real-life – a breast operation, being fired as a maid, and her daughter was denied a French visa. It was also noted that Francesca in France was apparently trying to bribe the BIR staff who rightfully declined.
Things heated up furthermore when Francesca in France enlisted the help of her daughter to sign up for a Friendster account and join the group. After all, she may have felt entitled to do so as she is married to a French national. It was clear that her main intention was to join the discussion forum. And discuss she did - like the way she insulted the Igorot people, she started barking around like a madwoman. Her first sentence was “sikat pala ako dito”. And she further ranted about the topic (her error) being “close to stop” and doing what you like in your own website, and finally at the end of her first post, shamelessly promoting her blog.
That got some respectable members of the group to denounce her “stubborn”, “indiscrete”, “self-absorbed” and “haughty” soul. I never saw so many superlatives as this group of women tried to help Francesca in France see the error of what she has written. But she would have none of it; instead, she accused a member of the group she just joined of being a trouble maker. She said “to open a topic about the igorots linking my site to this site, is looking for trouble. You should know better. People were hurt already about the past. Your motivation is to pin me down. But the igorots are in the middle of it.” As a challenge, she retorted, “you girls try to make a blog, you will understand me... if you got brains to do it, of course.”
That started another round from the other Filipina ladies. A lady pointed out that her roommate at a college dorm was an Igorota who was a Magna Cum Laude Math major. Francesca in France was declared to be suffering from dementia, along with being a “maldita”. Though feisty may Francesca in France be, the other posters simply articulated better, argued intellectually, and were a class better in being humorous, sly, and witty. If it were a boxing match, Francesca in France was knocked out senseless at the opening bell.
An interesting twist happened when a member of the group started defending Francesca in France. It turns out that her defender had a history of being kicked out from Friendster (don’t ask what she did), and she was already on her eighth account just to be able to post. (Now, that’s what I would call pathetic). Furthermore, this lady referred to those opposing Francesca in France as “futha”, a play on the Tagalog word meaning prostitute.
She too, joined Francesca in France sprawling on the canvass as she got hit by a barrage of adjectives worthy of an English major’s textbook. Both were branded as “loathsome”, “despicable”, “fool”, “thoughtless”, “imbecile”, “illiterate”, having “teeny-weeny brains”, “supporting discrimination” and employing “futile, unintelligent antics”. Even Francesca in France’s real name didn’t escape the Filipina group’s ire. Amalia, was rebranded as a-MALI-a, with “mali” being the Tagalog word for “mistake”. That got some of the ladies giggling.
Right now, the topic stands to be the most discussed in recent group topics with 245+ responses. As of this writing, Francesca in France and her friend are furiously backpedalling with posts that are awkwardly reconciliatory. They sound like two beaten mongrels, with their tails behind their legs, licking their wounded egos, and waving little white flags. “Tama na pooooooooo!”, they silently wail.
Related Link: The forum discussion at Friendster
Next Post: Life Lessons on the “Francesca in France” Blunder