An individual asked: “bukod sa pagsusulat, ano namang ginagawa mo para sa mga pilipino?” (meaning: apart from writing, what do you do for the Filipinos?)
I replied to her in a sincere tone which organisations and foundations and barrio schools I support and reach out. Whether she was happy on my answer or not I didn’t really mind but I was bombarded next by unexpected query by another judgmental Filipino.
Replying sincerely even erupted to reaction like:
“Now, she has fire.”
Being honest, frank and direct to the point while maintaining diplomatic reply even if a dormant Mt. Isarog is ready to explode, I realised, people who do not know how to listen to others’ honest view points and perspective are too clouded to accept their negative stereotyping on what a writer or a novelist is or a journalist or a creative artist is. Most especially if you do not share a boastful attitude like how they act but you maintain a sincere, honest tone.
That was the catch phrase that made me do a swift Facebook Sunday late Spring cleaning.
A writer, novelist, poet or any creative artist is not obliged to enumerate charity works to any intrusive, offensive tone coming from a Filipino who was breathing with oxygen of nosy, prejudice, malice and a Filipino who was exhaling a carbon dioxide of negative assumptions.
At the back of my mind, I forgot to tell those individuals yesterday that even if one does not have means to help financially any Filipino foundations or organisations, each Filipino or each person contributes for a better society when they raise their children, responsibly, with good values from home.
Each Filipino working abroad I know, they all help back home the way they could. Taking care well of one’s family, supporting and letting their growing children finish their studies and get degree, and moreover, having serenity and peace within the family is already a big contribution for positive changes in any declining society.
After all, values start from home not from awards, not from titles, not from speeches and certainly not from “regionalism pride,” topped with envy and crab mentality which truly divide many Filipinos (even expats) from working out together as united towards fruitful humanitarian goals.
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Another instance during the Independence day celebration yesterday (June 6):
Another Individual Asked: “You support Mindanao?”
I replied: “I support school children of various schools.”
Another Individual Asked: “You support Muslims. I don’t support you.”
These incidents reminded me of a British editor in 1999 who mistook my “Abaya” family name for a Muslim name.
How come people are full of wrong prejudice?
Whether you do good or help to reach out, people do find a way to kick you to the curb.
Their ignorant, intrusive, offensive queries simply show the darker shadows lurking on how they quickly misjudged others.
If one does a charity work, who are you to judge them or misjudge them?
For Filipino compatriots: Do not unfairly discriminate others who are positively helping Mindanao. Especially also in abroad as a Filipino expat, compatriots should not be discriminating on the ones who support positive changes for Mindanao. When people help, it does not mean they are connected to any political or religious agenda.
NOTE: Do remember that in a real charity work – there is no religious nor political denominations involved on it. When you help others, you do not tag nor stereotype others according to other’s political or religious agenda!
Angelica Hopes, author of the books:
Photo Credit: Leech by A.C. Tatarinov
Incident happened during the Kalayaan Fiesta – Philippine Independence Day Celebration 2015 in Spaarnwoude, The Netherlands, June 6, 2015