This item – by an unknown Filipino author -was published in my column several years ago.
How and where Letterman picked up this joke circulating in the Internet is not known. Maybe, its time for the unknown Filipino American author to surface and ask Letterman for payment. This show was seen by millions who regularly watch his show that is taped in New York.
But many Filipino Americans were elated by Lettermans use of this joke. They bombarded the Manila Mail with emails expressing pride that Letterman used the item. Now we are on the map! they exclaimed. This certainly shows we are an emerging group. Its an honor in this diverse society to be featured in Daves famous show, said another. It shows the Filipino Americans as a close-knit, religious family who always favor an extended family in contrast to the nuclear family.
But others are not quite sure. Some argue that the top ten puts the Filipino in a bad light. While it may have put the 2 million Filipinos on the map, it may be bad for the Filipino American image. It makes fun of our mores, said one observer. And first and foremost, it erases the possibility of a future Filipino American Barack Obama to run for President of the USA. Majority of the new generation of Americans of Filipino descent no longer follow the traditions of hanging big spoon and fork on the wall or the Last Supper. And why make fun of the balikbayan box? asked an old man.
Top 10 Reasons Why There Couldnt Be a Filipino-American US President.
10. The White House is not big enough for in-laws and extended relatives.
9. There are not enough parking spaces at the White House for 2 Honda Civics, 2 Toyota Land Cruisers, 3 Toyota Corollas, a Mercedes Benz, a BMW , and an MPV (My Pinoy Van).
8. Dignitaries generally are intimidated by eating with their fingers at State dinners.
7. There are too many dining rooms in the White House -where will they put the picture of the Last Supper?
6. The White House walls are not big enough to hold a pair of giant wooden spoon and fork
5. Secret Service staff wont respond to psst… psst or hoy….hoy…hoy…
4. Secret Service staff will not be comfortable driving the presidential car with a Holy Rosary hanging on the rear view mirror, or the statue of the Santo Nino on the dashboard.
3. No budget allocation to purchase a Karaoke music-machine for every room in the White House.
2. State dinners do not allow Take Home.
AND THE NUMBER 1 REASON WHY THERE COULDNT BE A FILIPINO-AMERICAN U.S. PRESIDENT IS…
1. Air Force One does not allow overweight Balikbayan boxes!!!
And now, heres the top Ten story of the month! President Gloria Hello Garci Macapagal Arroyo is due in New York to address the UN general assembly, not on the issue of the top ten corruption issues in the Philippines but to meet former President Bill Clinton, her classmate! Susmariaosep, may pagasa pa ba? observed one Tsismoso.
What is curious is that in the press release issued by the Philippine consulate in New York, Mrs. Arroyo was to address a womens forum at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel upon the invitation of US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and probably to have a one-on-one with her. But on the eve of her departure from Manila, no mention was made of the womens forum or Secretary Rice. In New York she is scheduled to meet with businessmen and the Filipino community in Teaneck, New Jersey. But not GABRIELA, the New York-based womens activist group whose leaders were detained in Manila last month because they were on the secret government watchlist.
There is also no mention of her going to the Crawford ranch of President George W. Bush. The US President invited all leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) during the Sydney Apec summit to visit him in Texas at their own convenience. When the invitation was extended, Gloria immediately said, great because this would give her the opportunity to visit the headquarters of Texas Instruments which has invested $1-billion in the Philippines and probably provided the military with the equipment for the Hello Garci drama. Oops, joke only.
Its a pity she has no time to visit George W. in the White House or to address the National Press Club or the US-Asean Business Council which will be observing its 30th anniversary. Or call on Nonoy Mendoza for hosting The Twenty Outstanding Filipinos Abroad (TOFA). And the Filipino veterans are just dying to welcome her to witness the signing of the Filipino Veterans Equity bills by President Bush. Dont ask me when, please.
Filams are feasting their eyes on the decision of the Sandiganbayan to sentence Erap to life imprisonment for plunder. They are absorbing the blow-by-blow account in court of Gov. Chavit Singson on how Estrada got money from the jueteng lords, kickbacks, etc. Many want to know if the Arroyos will also face the same Sandiganbayan in the future.
But for those used to the ways of corruption in the Philippines, Erap was stupid, pardon my word. These observers are asking: If Erap was wise enough, he should not have left a paper trail…meaning the jueteng money checks he got from Chavit. Na Chavit siya,” exclaimed another.
Wow. Many Filams are impressed by the work of the low-key, soft spoken, hard-working, cane-bearing Ambassador Willy (or is it Willie) C. Gaa. Despite his using a cane because of an attack of the gout, he has been traveling a lot these days, lobbying in Congress and attending the usual induction or whatever balls there are in town.
When informed by some Tsismosos and Tsismosas about the ambassadors temporary handicap, hindi golf, gago, many Filams who suffer from this royal malady (yes, gout is considered the ailment of royalty in the past) are elated. Just between you and me, the editor, and once-in-a-while, the associate editor of the Manila Mail are also cane-bearing seniors!