SA IBAYONG BAYAN NAKIKIPAGSAPALARAN
MGA MAHAL SA BUHAY AY IYONG INIWAN
UPANG MAGANDANG BUKAS AY MAKAMTAN
ANG PAHINANG ITO AY PARA SAYO….
PAUWI NA handog ni NOEL CABANGON
Ang pahinang ito ay para sa lahat ng mga Overseas Filipinos at ang kanilang mga pamilya. Sa pahinang ito ay maaari tayong magpalitan ng mga kuro-kuro, mga pangarap, mga karanasan at mga problema at kahit ano pang saloobin natin… Nawa’y ang pahinang ito ay makatulong na kahit bahagya at sa kahit anong paraan sa pagpapagaan ng inyong ma nararamdaman
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A group of Filipinos in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, cheers the Filipino community in Dubai for undertaking a campaign that forced a columnist who maligned overseas Filipino workers to make a public apology and to resign from work, the Arab News reported Saturday.
Ronnie Abeto, a senior leader of the Riyadh-based V-Team for Advocacy and community Service, said the successful campaign against columnist Malu Fernandez shows the power of OFWs (speaking as one) to effect change in Philippine politics.
Fernandez announced her resignation from People Asia magazine and Manila Standard Today on August 24, after reaping outrage sparked by an article she wrote in June that offended OFWs.
Her article, “From Boracay to Greece,” published by People Asia in June, has been drawing a slew of heated words from all over the blogosphere, particularly from a group of Filipino journalists in Dubai, who demanded public apology and her resignation.
The incident Fernandez recounted in her flight via Dubai to Manila in which she insulted OFWs on board an Emirates flight for wearing “cheap” perfumes had no bearing to her story, the journalists said.
They added that Fernandez not only mocked the cheap perfumes of OFWs that diluted her expensive Jo Malone but also showed contempt on Filipinos working at Dubai’s duty-free shop.
“I forgot that the hub (of Emirates Airlines) was in Dubai and the majority of OFWs were stationed there. The duty-free shop was overrun with Filipino workers selling cell phones and perfume. I wanted to slash my wrist at the thought of being trapped in a plane with all of them,” Fernandez wrote in her column.
In a subsequent column in the Manila Standard Today, she said she was not being rude but only being true to herself.
In an unprecedented outburst, overseas Filipinos from all corners of the world joined hands in “attacking” the columnist.
Fernandez in her statement said she was “humbled” by the “vehement and heated” response to her article. She said the article was not meant to malign, hurt or express prejudice against OFWs.
“I am deeply apologetic for my insensitivity and the offensive manner in which this article was written, I hear you all and I am properly rebuked. It was truly not my intention to malign hurt or express prejudice against OFWs,” her satement said.
Fernandez claimed that because of the article she became a subject of hate blogs, a target of death threats and personal insults.
“Our society is bound together by human chains of kindness and decency. I have failed to observe this and I am now reaping the consequences of my actions.” Fernandez said.
Fernandez said she now truly understands the “insidiousness of discrimination and prejudice disguised as humor.”
“It is my fervent hope that the lessons that I’ve learned are not lost on all those who through anonymous blogs, engaged in bigotry, discrimination, and hatred,” she said.
Unite one more time
Realizing the strength of OFWs when united, Abeto enjoined all overseas Filipinos all over the world to show the same support for the V-Teams’ petition for a special foreign exchange rate.
The special forex rate pegged at P50:$1 will cushion OFWs and their families from the effects of the declining value of dollar remittance amid the rising value of the peso.
Referring to the petition, Abeto said, “With the same effort and support, I enjoin all OFWs to extend the same support to our campaign and let the government hear our voice. I request all of you to join us in our second wave of campaign that will be communicated to all of you in the next few days.”
He urged those who have not yet signed the petition to log on to http://petition.patnubay.com and sign up so that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her advisers would take heed. – GMANews.TV