Photo: Rachata Teyparsit/Shutterstock

How to Piss Off Filipinos

by Elizabeth Ong Jan 7, 2015
1. Insult our food

Never say anything derogatory about our food as one travel blogger did when she said she’d rather go hungry than eat our food again. That sparked a protest and a lot of insult-hurling from the Filipino community.

Also, never ever turn down food offered to you for whatever reason. You need not finish the entire thing but not having a single bite is an affront.

2. Insult Manila

In 1998, Hollywood actress Claire Danes described Manila as a “ghastly and weird city,” and complained that it “smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over, and that there is no sewerage system, and the people do not have anything — no arms, no legs, no eyes.” That got her declared a persona non grata.

On a more recent note, author Dan Brown described our capital as the “gates of hell” in his book, Inferno, and received an open letter from a government official.

3. Assume we are all maids

A Hong Kong columnist called us a “nation of servants” earning him a country-wide ban, which was subsequently lifted after his apology.

A Singapore-based Facebook user called the win of the Philippine bet in last year’s Miss World competition as a joke and called our representative a maid. That earned her a hate page.

A Hong Kong textbook depicted a Filipino as a domestic helper in the pursuit of racial harmony.

A Hong Kong (again) insurance ad showed a Chinese actor comically portraying a Filipino maid.

4. Insult our heritage

Before the turn of the 21st century, a cookie that was dark on the outside but white on the inside was named Filipino which got the government filing a diplomatic protest in Europe.

A few years back, Filipinos in Greece took offense at how a politician likened his country’s debt woes to a Filipino woman’s servitude. (In Greece, the word Filipineza means maid.) Yes, there was an uproar but the Philippine Department of Education secretary back then lamented how true it is when it comes to the Greek context.

5. Insult Manny Pacquaio

When Canadian pop singer, Justin Bieber, posted a photo ridiculing Pacquaio after his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez two years ago, he was threatened with a ban.

6. Disrespect the sacred for the sake of a selfie

Every Good Friday, the city of Pampanga re-enacts the crucifixion, with some men literally nailed to the cross. This is understandably a spectacle for tourists, but there were a few who thought it a good idea to pose like a model on the cross. One even tried to mimic Christ by stretching out her arms.

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