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Here we go again! Another anti-Filipino blog. I hope my Filipino friends won't take this miserable Singapore hate-blog too personally. To understand what is going on in Singapore, perhaps we need some perspective. Did you know that workers in Singapore are ranked as the most unhappy in the world? Yes, many people are very unhappy there. Do you know what bothers unhappy people more than anything? Happy people.
Do you know who the happiest people in the world are?
Sure, that's just my opinion...but it also happens to be the opinion of many, many other foreigners as well. It's no wonder that the unhappy people of Singapore are frustrated with all the smiley Filipinos roaming their city!
It kills me that Filipino workers are being treated with so much disrespect - even though for decades they have helped Singapore become the economic powerhouse that it is today. Reportedly, even the nationalists who fought for independence and helped build the Singapore we know today were influenced by the national hero of the Philippines - Dr. Jose Rizal.
Many Filipinos in Singapore make very little money (much of which is dutifully sent home to the Philippines), and they work 6 days and 70 hours a week. Am I correct that all this anamosity toward them is because they want to take their ONE day off and celebrate their country's Independence in a public space? Am I missing something here? Please...enlighten me, because from my current perspective, this situation just makes Singapore look really bad.
On the other hand, now that Singapore is officially the most expensive city in the world, people there are probably working themselves to the bone just to be able to afford the high cost of living! There may not be much of a work/life balance for them, and this blogger might not be the only one who's miserable. People in the Philippines may not have a lot of monetary wealth, but in these ways the quality of life in the Philippines is far better than that of Singapore. I hope we can try to have at least a little compassion for these overworked and unhappy people in Singapore.
If I was living in that environment and struggling with the high cost of living, I might be unhappy, too! I mean, I probably wouldn't write a horribly racist blog to let out my frustrations, but that's just me.
The Social Media Power of the Philippines - Are Bloggers Taking Advantage of it?
Whether it's about Filipino food or just bashing Filipinos in general, one thing is clear:
Filipinos are sensitive, and bloggers know it.
Of course it's understandable to be angry when people are ignorant or downright racist. The problem is that when we get worked up into a frenzy online (and certainly when the media gets involved), we end up "promoting our enemies with our anger".
That's right, the old expression "any publicity is good publicity" is really quite true. For example, every single time we write about a Polish food blogger and post a link to her article, even though the attention she is getting is all negative, we are indeed HELPING her. Google counts all those links, and her online reputation is actually boosted because of them. To use another expression, then she is the one "laughing all the way to the bank." (PS...it's not too late to take those links down.)
We Are Sending a Message
When we react in this manner, we send a message to bloggers like this one in Singapore. The message is: "we can be manipulated". Of course, being the foreigner who wrote a response back to the Polish blogger, I am guilty of this also. However, I was careful not to include a link to her page, because that is what is really helping her. Trust me, I know how you feel. I thought what she did was likely intentional, and therefore unethical. The same can be said for this poor excuse for a blogger in Singapore. I generally try to stay positive, but honestly, they have both angered me immensely.
The world of blogging is quickly catching on to the social media power of the Philippines. I don't want to see them take advantage of Filipino pride. If you look at this Singapore blogger's posts, the only one that anybody is really paying attention to is the one about Filipinos.
So yes, this Singapore blogger has really stepped things up. When other bloggers like him see how a "Filipino-basher" has benefited from the traffic in the past, he is tempted to write his own anti-Filipino blog and get a "slice of the pie". Yes, it's disgusting and unethical, but we can choose the best way to respond to it.
Here's What You Can Do To Fight Back
In cases like this, if you're really upset and don't want to promote him, please do NOT share and post links to the original article. As difficult as it might be, the best thing to do is pay it no attention. After all, attention is what the writer wants.
So basically, when writing, it's always good to cite your source with a link, but if you feel the source is unethical or hateful, it's best to AVOID posting any link. That way they are not being rewarded for their bad behavior!
Personally, it's not easy, but I will try to find compassion for these unhappy Singaporeans. I do not envy the life they live.
In closing, I will just say this: It really is a shame that Filipinos abroad are not always treated with the same respect and hospitality that they extend to foreigners in the Philippines.
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