Much has been said about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s onstage kiss with Bea Kim, a married overseas Filipino worker (OFW), during a gathering with the Filipino community in Seoul which happened over the past weekend.
While Kim has said that she found no malice in the now-controversial smooch, another Filipino living in South Korea had a very different view of the same event, one she shared in a Facebook post on Monday.
Cil Borlaza, a Filipino woman studying for her Ph.D. in Korea, called the event “borderline traumatic.”
According to her Facebook post, she volunteered to help out in the event even though she was “not exactly a fan of the current administration” because she wanted to give back to the country, having received a scholarship from the government in the past.
But nothing prepared her for Duterte’s signature obscenity-laden speeches.
“In his speech, our president have (sic) used foul words so many times that I’ve lost count. He pulled perverted jokes several times,” Borlaza wrote.
“He made remarks about pretty ladies who performed and are in the crowd as if bragging about his womanizing skills. He even kissed someone in (sic) the lips.”
As bad as the president’s words were, it wasn’t the most disappointing thing for Borlaza. For her, it was that most in the audience were perfectly fine and, in a way, even encouraging of Duterte’s behavior.
“[I]t was heartbreaking to see my fellow countrymen cheering for it. Every curse, every perverted joke, every ‘papatayin ko talaga sila (I will really kill them)’ remark was received with applause and cheering,”
This cheering audience, which was also recorded on video, was what Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque used to justify Duterte’s actions.
“[If] you were there, the Filipino community appreciated the act. It was an act of endearment intended towards all OFWs,” Roque said in a CNN Philippines interview.
Roque even went as far as saying that the kiss was just a “playful act” that is accepted in Filipino culture.
But based on the uproar the kiss caused in some Filipinos, that obviously isn’t true.
Like Borlaza, netizens who commented on her Facebook post pointed out that just because a lot of people are cheering, does not mean it was right.
Borlaza’s Facebook post, which now has 19,000 reactions and close to 9,000 shares, ended with a wake-up call to her fellow Filipinos.
“Mga kababayan (my countrymen), this is how far we’ve gone. This is how terrible our judgments have become. I’m utterly disappointed and disgusted, really. It’s painful to be represented by him. I wish Filipinos would have some amount of self-worth. This is not the kind of representation we deserve!” she said before posing a challenge to any haters her post might create.
“For those who find this rant distasteful, please feel free to exercise your right to unfollow, unfriend, and/or block me.”
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