I started writing this column with a specific purpose in mind. I wanted not just to entertain and inform but to spotlight the good Foreigners and good Filipinos who are so often forgotten by the media. I wanted to bring host and guest together with mutual respect and build a better community. I failed.
I created the “Filipino-Foreigner Friendship Foundation” hoping we could work together to create a better Dumaguete City. The Foundation sponsored a “Youth Summer Chess Tournament” with the winner getting a year tuition at a local University. The motto was a “Hand-up; Not a hand-out”. The Oriental Negros’ best and brightest young people now had a chance to earn an education and change their destiny. Again I failed.
In almost a year of writing a column for the Negros Chronicle what have I accomplished? After repeatedly asking my readers to contribute names of people worthy of recognition, I have gotten none. People still want me to use the column to vent their anti-Foreigner or anti-Filipino complaints. Not one Filipino or Foreigner has joined the Filipino-Foreigner Friendship Foundation. Not even my close friends or co-workers. No one has donated one peso to the Chess Tournament. Several Foreigners have turned their back on me labeling me “Anti-American”. My HONEST attempts to bring balance or a fresh look to the way things are viewed has been called “pandering to the Pinoy readers”. If anything I have made things worse not better.
I refuse to let the young men and women competing in the Youth Chess Tournament down. I will personally fund the tournament costs and the prizes myself. You will get your years tuition with books. All I ask of you is when you have succeeded in life; reach back and help someone else.
To my critics out there, sorry you will soon have to get something else to get your blood boiling on Sunday morning. I am going back to writing articles for Penthouse and other international magazines. I am going to finish writing my book and take care of my family.
To my few fans who have supported me. Thank you. Our friendship means more to me than any of those false friends I lost.
As they say in the newspaper business, there are several of my columns on the “spike”. For the next few months you will still have to endure my misguided mumblings but this will be the last column I will write. I apologize for failing ; but I do not apologize for trying.