Monday, November 10, 2008

This is precisely why the cool kids won't let us join their posse

An article on the front page of today's Philippine Daily Inquirer left me sputtering in a mixture of disbelief, disgust and disgrace. Amando Doronila's piece titled "Snubs show Obama is no RP friend" is the journalistic equivalent of a prima donna's hissy fit: Doronila fumes that because US President-Elect Barack Obama hasn't returned Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's congratulatory phone call last week, instead choosing to return the calls of other world leaders, the Philippines is being treated like "a leper outside looking in". How can Obama find the time to talk to Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown, Stephen Harper, and 6 other Presidents/Prime Ministers of the world's most powerful nations and not spare a few minutes to place a call to Malacanang? Doronila takes offense that Obama even acknowledged a letter from Iran's oft-vilified President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, yet totally ignored GMA's 2AM phone call to the White House.

Pare, ang feeling mo naman.

I love my country as much as the next Filipino, but let's face reality: we ARE "a speck on the map". We're no France or Britain or Canada or Australia or Germany or China or Japan or South Korea. We're not even on the same level as Israel or Mexico, and we're certainly no Russia or Poland or Spain. So what the hell gives us the conceit to be miffed when the newly elected President of the United States-- who's just a wee bit preoccupied appointing Cabinet members and mapping out a plan to save their country's sinking economy-- can't be bothered to pick up the phone and chat with our kiss-ass President? A President whom, I might remind Mr. Doronila, the Inquirer loves to bash on a daily basis-- I should think they'd be having a field day making fun of GMA's usual shameless display of self-importance (which is vastly different from yet frequently misrepresented as self-respect).

You don't hear Presidents or Prime Ministers of other countries bitching about Obama not returning their calls (and I'm sure GMA wasn't the only one who called, although she makes it sound like it was a revolutionary idea she came up with all by herself). You don't hear others griping about not being part of the "charmed circle". And you don't read about other government officials falling all over themselves to set up a meeting with Obama first chance they get (and then later bitching about it when the meeting can't be arranged). What GMA is doing is embarrassing, and what Mr. Doronila wrote even more so. To interpret Obama's so-called "snub" as a sign that he is "not our friend" is pathetically petty and as mature as a kindergartner sulking because his daddy who's busy working can't play with him.

I don't know if Obama really doesn't give a damn about the Philippines, or if it "stands on the outer perimeter of US concerns in world affairs." But even if that were true, so what? Are we an oil-rich nation? Is our government developing nuclear weapons? Do we have billions of citizens working in factories producing Nike sneakers, or billions of citizens buying Nike sneakers? Have we declared war on a neighboring state recently? Is Osama Bin Laden hiding out in a cave in Mindanao? In short, why do we deserve Obama's attention when a thousand other matters from hundreds of other countries are clamoring for it? Why are we so effing full of ourselves anyway?

The belle of the ball can dance with anyone she wants. The fawning loser who doesn't get on her dance card, makes a scene then stomps out in a huff and goes home to cry to his mommy loses whatever precious few pogi points he may have. And you can bet your britches he won't get invited to the next ball.


At Wednesday, November 12, 2008, Anonymous Lawrence Pascua said...

I believe Ailee has the right perspective with regard to Doronila's piece. I live on Maui, in Hawaii; the U.S.' 50th State. I know what it feels like to not be noticed. In one of Obama's speeches, he mentioned the range of States from Maine to California, but left out the State he was born in--hello! However, the 50th State is proud to have it's Hawaiian sons become the most powerful leader in our world--we, as a State, do not crave his notice. I believe that our home nation of the Philippines will get notice during the term of Obama's presidency--just be patient.

At Saturday, November 15, 2008, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Thanks for your comment. I agree that just because Obama failed to mention Hawaii or return GMA's call, it doesn't mean he doesn't care about his native state or the Philippines. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to simple oversight as a result of having too many things on his mind. He IS about to run the world's most powerful nation, after all.


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