Remember Jocelyn?

Hear ye! Hear ye! Remember Consul General Jocelyn Garcia, wife of the former Philippine embassy Sphinx, DCM Garcia? Well, the Philippines Commission on Appointments is now on the verge of confirming her appointment as ambassador to Venezuela, a country that is not in good terms with the US, and Trinidad Tobago. Now, the question is, will the Sphinx return to Washington or elsewhere in the US so he can be close to Jocelyn?

There is a reprise of the “Desperate Housewives” in London. This was revealed by Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros recently who urged the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs to file a complaint and demand an apology from the British-government owned British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for racist remarks and portrayal of Filipinas abroad, particularly domestic helpers, as ready for mating.
She says that in the BBC skit Sept. 26 on the popular “Harry and Paul” comedy show, comedian Harry Enfield told a postman that he was “shouting at his Filipino maid” to get her “to do her job and get his friend Paul Whitehouse to mate with her.” The young Filipina househelp was portrayed wearing a grey uniform and an apron, ‘gyrating and dancing lasciviously.” ‘He kept ordering the girl to gyrate and dance in front of Paul and even instructed her to hump him,” related Hontiveros. “When an indifferent Paul stood up to go inside the house,
Harry scolded the Filipina girl, telling her to get out and just go. The scene closed with the postman sidling up to the Filipina, whispering to her as they walked off together.”

“It was revolting. It was a disgusting and an insensitive and racist
attempt to satirize a scene of exploitation. By making it a joke, it
encourages a consciousness that promotes human trafficking,” the
party-list congresswoman complained.

The Philippine embassy recently issued the following announcement:
“The Embassy will be Closed on the Following Dates: Wednesday, 1 October 2008 – Eid’l Fitr (Feast of Ramadhan) Per Proc. No. 1625
“Monday, 13 October 2008 – Columbus Day ( US Holiday )
“In case of emergency, please contact – (202) 368 2767”
Filipinos who got this announcement are perplexed. Why make a feast of Ramadan a national holiday? And why observe Columbus Day when this noted explorer never set foot on Philippine soil!
Businessmen in the Philippines have been constantly complaining about numerous holidays, so why add some more?
Wonder why the Philippines occupies the lowest rung when it comes to doing business. The Philippine embassy in Washington D.C. is one example. Take the $70 advertisement which the Philippine embassy inserted in the Manila Mail several months ago. The Manila Mail emailed an invoice – similar to all invoices that it issues to advertisers – to the embassy for that ad several months ago. There was no response. After a follow up with an embassy staffer, the Manila Mail was informed that the invoice must be original (not emailed or faxed) and typewritten!

Ever tried calling your charge card to complain about extra charges or high interest rates? Chances are that the person who will answer your call will be a Filipina at a call center in the Philippines. “One can easily identify the Filipino accent,” says a Pinoy in DC. “After complaining about charges in my Master Card that were excessive, the girl tells me to wait. After a while she returns and explains how these all came about. Noting her accent, I ask: ‘Are you Filipina?’ She says yes. Where are you located? In Ayala Alabang. Then I ask for her name, physical characteristics, etc. She clams up. It’s against our rules,” she says.”
These are the result of outsourcing. If one calls a bank or other US companies to complain, chances are that a Filipino or Indian 10,000 miles away will answer.
The recent sex charge against a Filipino American doctor in Alexandria, Virginia – Dr. Antonio Ramada- is raising some eyebrows in the community, particularly among staid senior citizens. They say their minds are still fresh over the case of Dr. A. Chua in Georgia who was convicted for the drug overdose of a boyfriend – patient. While Dr. Ramada is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the mere fact that it is getting media attention is very disconcerting to many.
A Reuters report from Manila says many young Filipino men and women are now flocking to culinary arts school. Well, after exporting thousands of doctors, nurses, teachers and seamen to scores of countries around the world, the new craze is culinary arts. And many schools have sprouted out in Manila and Cebu to produce expert cooks. Cristeta Comerford, a Filipino American who was appointed by President George W. Bush as Executive Chef, is making many Filipinos dream of becoming another Cristeta.
There is intense infighting among Filipino veterans and their supporters over the demise of the Filipino Veterans Equity bill. When the intrigues and animosities recently got out of hand, the Philippine embassy had to appeal to them to keep their cool. There is a lot of blame game being passed around among the veterans and their supporters. There are reports that even Rep. Bob Filner of California had to dress down one lobbyist for trying to tell him what to do!
NaFFAA (National Federation of Filipino American Associations) has elected Greg Macabenta, a multi-titled man as the new chairman, many are asking whether he will make the organization actively involved in energizing the Filipino American community toward exercising their right of suffrage. Has it launched a campaign to get eligible voters to register and vote in November? “They keep on harping about empowerment but I still have to see any move in that direction,” says one observer. “Now is the time for NaFFAA to flex its muscle and prove to both Republicans and Democrats that we indeed have the votes.”
Have you noticed that many of those who are backing John McCain are professionals who are very concerned about taxes?
Republicans want less government and less regulations. Without regulations and enforcement, the law of the jungle prevails. What happened in Wall Street is the result of this philosophy. Without government intervention and regulation, the market becomes an arena for the survival of the fittest. One can use any means to make a fast buck. Under this kind of atmosphere, only the fittest can survive.
The reason why regulations are needed is that these are the things that differentiate us from the animals in the jungle.

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