Thursday, November 19, 2015

As A Filipino, I'm Not Proud Of The Way We Treated The APEC Proceedings

I've been closely observing the APEC meetings which the Philippines hosted this year. And I have to say that how Filipinos and the Philippine media treated the proceedings is beyond pathetic.

Once again, we focused on the most trivial aspects of the meetings. It's embarrassing, to say the least. Our social media sites are flooded by stories and comments on how good-looking and hot some of the attendees are. There are news stories about the physical attributes of the wives of the attendees. Guwapo this, maganda that.

And then there are these self-proclaimed activists burning effigies of the Bald Eagle (the bird of prey that symbolizes America), wrecking open the Mendiola gate of the Malacanang Palace, and carrying placards that exclaim "JUNK APEC". It's a damn circus. I'm not saying protests are bad and that they don't generate positive results. My problem lies in how tasteless and uncivilized we are in our protest tactics. And then of course, there's the undeniable FACT that a lot of these protesters are clueless about what they are fighting for. I'm willing to bet many of them don't even know what APEC stands for. They have just been brainwashed into believing that APEC is one of the many ways that Imperialist America (their words, not mine) enslaves poor and pitiful Filipinos.

The APEC is a huge opportunity for the country. An opportunity for us to educate ourselves. An opportunity for us to learn the ropes, so to speak. Unfortunately, yet again, we got stuck in shallow and brain-dead discussions. Our infamous crab mentality is in full display. We showed yet again how good we are in criticizing things that we don't understand. We drooled and swooned on the good looks of Mexican Enrique Nieto, completely unaware that Nieto is probably one of the most corrupt leaders to ever rule Mexico.

The APEC has come and gone. There's so much that we could've gotten and learned from it. But that is not the case because we failed to look at the big picture. Instead, we busied ourselves with the most trivial aspects of the meetings. The APEC is not perfect, of course. It has its own evils. But that's how the APEC and the world in general works. You can't expect everything that comes out of it to be good. The problem with us many Filipinos is that we prefer to look at things in black and white.

So here we are hosting a very important global event. And our most popular hashtag is ‪#‎APEChottie‬. Mexicans from across the Pacific are fuming mad that we are swooning over their corrupt President. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has to speak out urging Filipinos to not focus on his looks but to build their perceptions of him by looking into his advocacy and brand of politics.

I'm not proud to be Pinoy.