She slid the mouse across the table and clicked on the button labelled search. A grimace crossed her face when she saw how being a Filipina had meant being something in Yahoo! Singapore's Auctions. Or something on eBay. How the other suggested searches (which reflected other common search combinations) showed Pinay Celebs, Pinay Scandals, Private Pinay, Pinay Celebrity Scandals, Pinay Manyak, Pinay Kantutan...
She released the growing frustration and sense of irritation out as a focused yell that captured the anger she felt. According to the internet, she was a commodity. She was some product. Some sexual source of entertainment. And she didn't know what she could do to change it.
Would writing in blogs help? Would sending e-mail petitions? Would creating an even more popular non-mail-order-bride oriented Pinay site work? How about starting a movement and getting some local celebrities to help out?
She wasn't sure. She did not know if acting would only give those who abused and misused her label even more attention. She did not know if others would even care; the crab-mentality Filipinos are said to be deeply engaged in was more real than not, after all.
But she couldn't stand idly by. She couldn't pretend this wasn't important to her. Or that this did not matter. It was just a label, that was true. Just as the word Christ is just a word. Or the word Freedom is just something that means something. There were some things that are actually far more sacred than others realise. And for her, it was the label of being Pinay. Sure, the country was in dire straits. Ali Baba and his 40 theives seem to have found at least three wives each to populate the government. And the many corporations that could a the difference have all been raised to suckle on nothing but the bottom line. But she was still proud of her heritage, as mixed as Filipino heritage was. She was proud that she was raised with Filipino sensibilities. She was proud to have been born a member of a country that has adapted and embraced all these moments in history and varying cultures in the world.
She was proud she was Pinay.
She just wished the internet didn't so easily tarnish that pride.
Andre Mischa Cleofe
Cathy delos Santos
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
VIGNETTE: TYPE IN P-I-N-A-Y