In my “personal” dictionary, next to the definition of “LADY”, is picture of Olga Lucia A. Uy. This is not because of her gender but because she is a living example of the classic meaning of the word. She is a devoted wife and loving mother. She is a passionate hard working member of our community. She not only writes a column for the Metro Post; but when there is a community need she is one of the first to step to the front and try to help. You can understand my shock to read her column “Move On, A--- le!”
For those who missed it, she tells of an encounter with a rude and crude foreigner. Mrs. Uy was turning her car to pick up her daughter at school. This hulking guest in the Philippines, screamed obscenities at her in front of children, for what he felt were her poor driving skills. She goes on to describe her justified rage and frustration at this breech of common courtesy and guest etiquette.
I have personal credo I try to live by: “Never do or say something negative, unless there is a chance for a positive result.” What did the crude American hope to accomplish with his ugly behavior? What would he have done if some guest in America had treated his wife and child that way? His answers to these questions will probably remain a mystery. There is no mystery, however, about what he had done. He has widened the gulf between host and guest. He has verified every ugly false thing ever said about a foreigner. He has not improved life here and in fact he has made it even more difficult for all of us.
The other day a foreigner was passing around a long list of things he felt were wrong here in the Philippines. I won’t mention the gall and breech of good guest behavior this constitutes but just ask; What did he hope to accomplish with this little negative exercise? How will this slap in the face of our host and friends improve anything? More important, why did the other foreigners tolerate this boorish act? By ignoring or allowing it to go unchallenged your de fact approve it and encourage it. It is time for foreigners to stand up for what is right. Time for us, the majority, to no longer tolerate the few ugly foreigners among us. If you would not tolerate this boorish behavior in your own country; why should you condone it here? The next time some foreigner starts to call his host vile names or spout some ugly rant, tell him to “shut up” and sit his butt down. If he does not know how to behave as a good guest, maybe he should just go home.
Be an Everyday Hero. Be part of the solution, not a part of the problem.