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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On Booboos And Butthurt

More to the point, a Malaysian company's booboo, and (some) Filipinos who feel the (requisite?) "butthurt" at the perceived attack on our country, yet again.

(Courtesy of YouTube/News Graph)

I'm not sure which ad agency was it that produced this "not for public consumption yet" advertisement, that - there's no two ways about it - clearly targeted the Philippines as a less than desirable place to invest one's business in, raising four key points: unfriendly climate, safety concerns, less government support and poor infrastructure. (In case you doubt this, take a look at the video, that clearly states this, and also highlights why Malaysia is a better alternative.)

Someone put it this way in an online comment (I'm paraphrasing): it would be akin to Philippine Airlines making an ad that, given recent events, would portray Malaysian Airlines as your gateway to the afterlife, or the one airline not needing a return flight ticket. 

Even though this is a "war" between businesses, it hit a nerve that some Filipinos would probably say reeks of personalan - but I have to say, every issue that paints an unflattering picture of the country is always deemed as below-the-belt, anyway: basketball, beauty contests, treatment of our Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW), say anything not-positive, and be prepared to be accused of the R word, racism. (Even when none was intended or implied. It's immaterial to some citizens.)

However bad a taste the ad left in one's mouth, I cannot help but ask: why do we get so riled up when someone from another country makes mention of the ills we have, when we make no bones about how unhappy we are with the same points, and we criticize our own government for those exact same things, every frigging hour?

Take the ad's point about (our) poor infrastructure, and juxtapose this with countless (local) videos and news reports about the horrendous lines for our trains. We roundly hurl invective after insult against the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), for our never ending pasakit (suffering) just to get in the station, which could take hours, all because many train cars have broken down, are poorly maintained, and if you're horribly unfortunate, you could get a ride off-track. I'm sure Secretary Abaya feels our collective loathing, but a Malaysian company says this, suddenly it's supposed to be all out war?

Just a week ago, we all expressed disgust and fear when a roadside "incident" revealed that cops were trying to extort money from supposed drug dealers, making us unsure if we can even approach our law enforcement agents. But all hell breaks lose when Aegis Malaysia (or at least the company doing their ads) says just about the same thing? (And in a more general sense, even)

Our independent film makers always lament how the government does not given any support, to the point that they have to showcase their films in other countries (some even reaping awards). How is this different from an ad - albeit done in another country - that essentially repeats this?

(I won't even touch the weather angle, for the obvious absurd reason.)

So let me see if I got this right: we can complain about how our government and public services suck rain boots, but as long as it's just us. Outside/foreign observers should never dare say the same things, things we gnash our teeth over.



  1. *hahahahaha* The absurdity and irony are unbelievable, right? Indeed, things are funnier in the Philippines.

  2. I think the reasons behind the actions spell the BIG difference. We Filipinos complain because we love our country and we want to see change for the better. The Aegis ad is a totally different story. They are putting the same country that we love in a negative light for selfish reasons. As citizens of our beloved country, we have a right to complain because we want to see our country rise up and be able to stand proud beside other Asian countries. Does Aegis, or whoever made that ad, have any right to put our country down? How can you even compare the two?

  3. Joey Ramirez has an immature analogy who dared to compare the slur committed by an ad agency for aegis malaysia and the shortcomings committed by the Philippine government. First of all, Joey "the unbelievable" Ramirez, we reacted because of the slur intended, which by the way, is very unethical in business perspective. They were promoting theirs at the expense of ours so it's totally wrong. You can't compare it with the situation in mrt and the freak show of our local police. To make it simple for your "immature" mind, we don't care if malaysia would criticize our issues, SO LONG AS THEY DON'T PROMOTE THEIR OWN THINGAMABOBS AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR MISERY - just as we, the FILIPINO PEOPLE, criticize our government BUT WE DON'T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT FOR SOMEONE'S BENEFIT. YOU GET IT NOW, JOEY "THE UNBELIEVABLE" RAMIREZ?