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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Faking Miss Universe, Miss Gloria Diaz: Among The Many Dividing Forces in the Philippines

Gloria Diaz is "the first Filipino to bring home the Miss Universe crown".  In an interview that was aired on TV, she was trying to give an 'expert' opinion on the way 2010 Miss Universe finalist Venus Raj answered in the question and answer portion of the pageant recently held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Miss Diaz had good intentions in stating that it is about time that contestants from the Philippines should have a translator in international pageants due to the limitations in expressing thoughts by "thinking in Tagalog and speaking in English", which can be nerve wracking during such situations.

But Diaz was not that much of an expert at all.  Her derogatory statement indicating that "when you think about a Cebuana...can hardly speak in English", stirred much of a controversy among Cebuanos, mostly the locals of Cebu, which was even aired in local radio stations in the province. 

Up to the present time, many Filipinos still do not know that there is a difference between "Cebuano" and "Bisaya", much so between "Filipino" and "Tagalog".  To the native speakers of Tagalog, anyone who speaks their language with a thick "Cebuano" or "Bisaya" accent is deemed inferior, notwithstanding the fact that linguists agree that due to the nature of Cebuano spoken as a language, a native Cebuano speaker can actually speak English with a better enunciation than the native Tagalog speaker.

It is considered such a shame for a high figure like Gloria Diaz to say something which is, to the Cebuanos, is not only "elitist" and "discriminating", but is also very derogatory representing her for a number of Tagalog or "Manilenyos" who still consider anyone who came from the south, more particularly someone who speaks 'Bisaya' or 'Cebuano', to be someone inferior and less intelligent to be able to speak English well.

On a larger scale, it is precisely this kind of mentality, which traces back to the long years of colonization in the Philippines, that has marred the minds of the Filipinos to have a 'Colonial Mentality' or a 'Regionalistic' attitude, where one region, particularly the capital Manila, feels superior above the rest.

Perhaps, Miss Gloria Diaz needs to go back to school to refresh her history, or go back to charm school to refresh her etiquette.  The same goes to all the public figures who get their chance to speak in front of media, as anything that they say could reflect their own idiosyncracy on one hand, and their shameful ignorance on the other.

The bottomline is, as mass media has revolutionized in a very rapid rate, people deserve to hear more intelligent remarks than the same ignorance expressed by Mis Gloria Diaz.  In another light, does she really deserve the glittering crown?  For now, it seems she does not, unless she refuses to remain to wear the dark crown of ignorance on top of her skull.


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