I was jolted out of my reverie during my two-week vacation (yes, folks, the reason I haven't updated my blog 'til today) by a friend who was ranting about the supposed insulting piece by yet another society columnist wanna-be, Malu Fernandez, on overseas Filipino workers. Malu Fernandez? Wasn't she a columnist of the Manila Standard Today? I have read her once or twice in the past, forgettable columns, or so I thought, until my friend brought up the society gal's take on OFWs. She said Ms. Fernandez's derogatory column appeared in the June edition of People Asia.
As my friend recounted what Ms. Fernandez had written supposedly about how our Bagong Bayanis smelled, especially after being cooped up in an airplane on a long flight from Dubai to Manila, I recalled having read a similar piece by the same columnist in her home paper. I remember the piece about favorite scents of some people breathing the same rarefied air as Ms. Fernandez, but she had taken off from the same dig at OFWs. (Read it here)
Now I didn't think too much of Ms. Fernandez's column then. I thought it was another feeble attempt at wit by yet another untalented hack. And I thought it was sad that for all the chi-chi-ness she tried to project, she flew economy on an international airline...ay pobrecita! I didn't know she had reprised that same train of thought on OFWs in her People Asia column until a few days ago. So I proceeded to read the piece over the weekend. This time around, the insult was more pointed and obscene. She said she was trying to be funny, but obviously she had failed miserably, not due to the lack of sense of humor on the reader's part, but her obvious lack of writing talent. Her piece had bombed, and she was now reaping the consequences of her poor choice of words and her, well, unfunniness (yes, folks there is such a word). She was blogged to death...the OFW community unleashing their vengeance like a tidal wave, calling for a boycott of both People Asia and MST. I can only say, ang tindi talaga ng Filipino bloggers! Wow!
Last I heard, Ms. Fernandez had submitted her resignation to both People Asia and MST editors. I don't know if this has been accepted. I suppose, in their aim for a wider readership, the editors thought the presence of Ms. Fernandez could help bring class to their publications. Too bad, all they got was poor taste. Well, we all make mistakes. Perhaps the editors of these publications can consider the feelings of our OFWs and let her go.
Ms. Fernandez has apologized (rather belatedly after trying to stand her ground during the first backlash), and as fellow human beings, we can only accept and forgive. Let's stop all this name calling and insulting comments about fat people and pigs, etc. because it's unproductive and you are being just as bigoted as Ms. Fernandez. Don't stoop to her level. Her weight is not the issue, it's her insensitivity and dull writing. (Oops!) Okay, tama na 'yan...let's get on with our lives.
P.S. Stay tuned for my vacation photos, guys!