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Close Encounters with Discrimination
Did you experience this?
Race hate among Filipinos is a foreign word. It’s unheard of. Being a citizen of a very hospitable nation, we treat our guests as part of our families. Even it will mean stealing our wealth (naturals resources, etc.) and even our lives.
But when you work in many parts of the world, it is the start of the challenges that we must face: close encounters with discrimination.
In October 2003, our container ship was discharging cargoes in Ilyichevski, Ukraine when we decided to go ashore (eight Filipinos who were off duty after six in the evening). Due to the cold weather, we were looking for a bar to have a drink of vodka or two. We were walking down the main streets when one of Ukrainian youths shouted that “Filipinos are monkeys”. I felt irritated and I answered back “Have you seen an actual monkey?” But they just ran down the alleys, laughing after they shouted such insult.
Some blatant forms of discrimination were broadcasted worldwide.
1) In 2006, a Filipino immigrant’s seven-year-old-son in Montreal, Canada was punished in school for eating his lunch with a spoon and a fork. “Your son eats like a pig,” the reports quoted the principal as telling the child’s mother, who runs a day care center. Moral damages have been sought by the mother with the help of Canadian NGO that defends victims of racial discrimination.
2) The Filipina wife of Sichit Simon, a British citizen of Indian descent, returned to the Philippines in mid-2005 with their infant son fearing for their lives because of the attacks by racist thugs, the BBC news reported. The couple, who worked together as nurses in Liverpool, had suffered four attacks by the gang.
3)“No Dogs or Filipinas” signs were used to be posted in a posh condominium tower’s elevator in 1994. This very insulting (discriminating) signs were complained by a Filipina maid in Hong Kong that caused diplomatic protests and upheavals among the workers there. The signs have long been taken down but acrimony prevails to this day over the treatment of Filipinas who work as domestic helpers in the Chinese territory.
This kind of discrimination is still apparent nowadays. Well, people who feel they are powerful above others can inflict emotional wounds among us, but they will never prevail. There's always an end to this kind of treatment and it will always be a punishment from an unseen hands.