On our family message board the other day, my cousin Luj linked to a travel site at which one Elizabeth V. Reyes—in a section titled "Meet the Filipinos"—described her countrymen/women like this:
Filipinos live in a modern world without being thoroughly modern. The majority are people still in the bosom of Mother Nature—noble savages, both charming and exasperating...They are natural musicians and Westernized Asians—a combination of dusky Malay and fiery Spanish with a touch of Chinese and a generous topping of hip, savvy America.
*moment of silence*
And so I wondered how it is that Filipinos so often end up being described as the ill-begotten spawn of Milli Vanilli, an oompa loompa, and the mayor of the Munchkin City. Sometimes I think I write stories just so I can create characters who negate that image. Considering how small the readership is for any given story (um, especially mine), I suppose I'm really only doing it for myself.
In related news (really, if you think about it for a second, it's related!) the SU and I will be at the Commonwealth Club on Monday evening (thanks to Ms. BJ's reminder e-mail) to hear Major General Antonio Taguba (ret.) talk about how all the total dickheads in power knew exactly what was going on at Abu Ghraib. If you haven't read the New Yorker article yet, it's right here.