"My Filipino-Dar"

by Ninong Len When it comes to Filipinos in Media, I've got great "Filipino-Dar" -- meaning that if a Filipino is in it, I notice right away.


When there's a Filipino person in the media and I know its Filipino, I immediately start asking the question, so what does it mean for us? What does the world think of us now? We get such little air-time that each mention counts. So doesn't it suck when its an underhanded comment on Desperate Housewives?

My Filipino-Dar went off twice recently, like two weeks ago when Renaldo Lapuz was on American Idol and then proceeded to light the blogosphere on fire for at least a few days. My first thought was the same as Simon Cowell's -- this guy is going to be a star.

Renaldo's 15 minutes is undoubtedly over and I guess I was wrong, I don't think his appearance on Idol made any sort of difference other that giving us a new and improved version of William Hung. At least he could sing. Sort of. (If you haven't yet seen this clip of Renaldo, you need to click HERE)

Well, my trusted Filipino-Dar just went off again when I saw THIS article in the latest issue of the women's magazine, Marie Claire (why was I reading Marie Claire you ask? Don't ask).

This article is a much more serious tone than the Idol appearance, no doubt. It's an article about young women joining the New People's Army. What's really interesting is that it's surrounded by makeup tips, spring fashions and a quiz on how to know if "he's a keeper". And what's with that cheese title-- "Lost Girls of the Jungle"??!?! Sounds like a bad B-Movie title. And you've seen the actual print article, it looks like an American Eagle photo shoot, but its brown folks with uzis and everyone is laughing.

What do you think of the article and how it was presented? What do you think motivated the writer to write it? And Marie Claire to print it? Why did I have to find this story here in this magazine? Why don't stories like these appear in our own Filipino Canadian press? Why do we leave it to mainstream press to fuck it up? (That should be OUR job! I mean to NOT fuck it up!)

Finally, what can we do to make sure we're aware of issues like the ones addressed in this story?

Perhaps this blog is a first step to taking back our own awareness. What do you think?