Over the past few days, the Filipino community has been brewing a storm over Episode 4 of the ‘Harry and Paul’ show. It contained a short sketch featuring a Filipina maid which some people found offensive enough to start a petition.
I don’t watch the show but caught the clip via the BBC iPlayer service. Personally, I think that the those complaining missed the real butt of the joke and that the issue was being blown out of proportion.
It was not the Filipina maid who was being mocked. The target was the British class system and culture. The skit ridicules stereotypes of the dim-witted Northerner and the pompous upper middle-class Englishman. What you see in the ‘Harry and Paul’ comedy series are typical examples of British self-deprecating and satirical humour.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines satire as:
“the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”
You will find that this explains the comedy series perfectly. The same episode similarly pokes fun at Americans, South Africans and Russians, but above all, it mocks the latent stupidity within British culture.
Folks, this show is about British people laughing at themselves, not Filipinos.
As a community, we cannot overreact at every hint of perceived offence to our culture. We have more important things to be concerned about, such as the foreign national ID card. The National ID card and National Identity Register are serious intrusions into our right to privacy and freedom. For more information, please see no2id.
Edit:I’d just like to point out that these are my views. I’m not speaking on behalf of the Filipino community or anyone who is or has been associated with Phil-UK.
A Chiswick based production company is currently filming a medical-based documentary in the Philippines and requires translators beginning the 22nd of August. They need 4-5 people to be able to translate from Tagalog and possibly Hiligaynon.
They will provide successful candidates with timecoded DVD’s from the 22nd of August and will need to have translated word for word onto a formatted word document as soon as possible.
This job is paid and will be negotiated on query.
Please get in touch ASAP if you’re interested and I’ll send you contact information.
While UK-born second-generation Filipinos share some of these traits, I notice that they’re also the cause of conflicts between us and our ‘first-gen’ parents, friends and relatives. I’m specifically referring to his point about Filipinos being reactive and unwilling to openly settle problems.
What do you think?
It is safe to assume that Filipinos, as a people, are among the ‘easily pleased’, as compared to the other nationalities of the world. This notwithstanding, they also get hurt very easily, very onion-skinned in a manner of speaking. Little things make Filipinos in general happy but even the slightest incident could also trigger their disappointments.
The Philippine Centre confirms the new date for Barrio Fiesta sa London 2008:
The meeting [of the Health and Safety Working group] agreed to offer Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September as an alternative date for the Philippine Centre to hold the 24th annual Barrio Fiesta sa London in Lampton park Hounslow, Middlesex.
Lots of people have asked if the rumours are true that this year’s Barrio Fiesta has been cancelled. The Philippine Centre, organisers of the Barrio Fiesta released a statement giving their answer and background:
Barrio Fiesta not going ahead
Due to concerns regarding the health and safety of the Fiesta attendees, the London Borough of Hounslow (as represented by John Laing Integrated Services) has declined to issue a licence for the Barrio Fiesta…
A London-based TV production company wants two fluent Filipino speakers to transcribe footage filmed in the Philippines. The position is available immediately until mid June. This is an unpaid work experience placement but they’ll cover travel expenses.
You’ll see the editing process within a small production company and get the chance to explore other departments. This should be great for your CV if you’d like to break into the industry.
Get in touch ASAP if you’re interested and I’ll send you more information.
The BBC’s ‘Meet the Immigrants’ episode featuring Filipino domestic workers seemed to generate lots if interest. I thought it would be a good time to follow it up buy uploading ‘Between Two Cultures’, a short video documentary filmed by two members of Phil-UK back in 2000.
It’s a 12 minute video documentary about two Filipinas: a student who grew up in the UK, and a nanny working to support her family in the Philippines.