Wednesday, July 16, 2008
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Of all the insensitive... as it seems

Browsing through a post in a friend's blog about the rising gas prices, I could not help but notice the post/reaction that stated:

what i can't understand is why pinoys insist on using cars that drink up a lot of gasoline, like fords!

gas prices here go up, too, but the traffic is so light and the city is so small and a trip from one point to any point in the city will cost $2 max.

while we don't have our driver's licenses and a car, we're going around walking or by bus or cab (cheaper than a cab when all 5 of us are travelling). we've also bought bikes. it's fun ... until winter comes.

My first reaction was "Of all the insensitive..."

Well, you know what I mean. This Fil-Am, who supposedly worked for NGOs here, is now obviously living a sheltered life in Canada, insensitive to the present plight of Filipinos here. First of all, we don't all own Fords. I personally think owning a Ford (Expedition, or any other gas-guzzling SUV) in the Philippines today is already a mortal sin. Some of us don't even use our cars anymore. Second, she has obviously not been to the Philippines recently and attempted to commute here with all the traffic, dust, heat and smoke. She obviously has not tried our public transportation, either. And people here are actually walking (and biking) already despite the dust, heat and smoke because of lack of money.

This was my first reaction... and an understandable reaction at that even if it was my last.

But then again, I could not blame her. She has probably lived a sheltered life in a first-world country. Technically, she's a foreigner already, whose idea of poverty is not having enough vacations. And their idea of charity work is merely writing the occasional check or volunteering an hour or two (which is already "precious" and "valuable" to them) to her favorite charity.

She doesn't understand what it's like here today. Hence that seemingly insensitive remark.

I can't blame her. Her world, her first world, is truly and verily detached to ours already. She can only judge from her present world view which is a sheltered one.

(But then again, she apparently lived, studied and worked here eons ago. So WTF? The only explanation I can think of at this point is she likewise lived a sheltered life here or the Philippines she knew then is completely different from the Philippines now. Or has she been living in a virtual paradise where she is right now? If she is, I better set my sights in migrating there.)

Just to be clear, I have nothing personal against the one that made the reaction. I do wish, though, that people like her be a little more circumspect in their reactions.

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