The article was featured in People Asia Magazine entitled "From Boracay to Greece" written by Malu Fernandez. I'm copying from the blog my friend linked to, so to the owner of My Cebu Photoblog, thank you.
According to Ms. Fernandez, the article was ‘quite tongue-in-cheek’ and humorous. Pinoys and OFWs, however, think otherwise.
The highlights of her article include:
“The duty-free shop was overrun with Filipino workers selling cell phones and perfume. Meanwhile, I wanted to slash my wrist at the thought of being trapped in a plane with all of them.”
“While I was on the plane (where the seats were so small I had bruises on my legs), my only consolation was the entertainment on the small flat screen in front of me. But it was busted, so I heaved a sigh, popped my sleeping pills and dozed off to the sounds of gum chewing and endless yelling of “HOY! Kumusta ka na? At taga san ka? Domestic helper ka rin ba?” Translation: “Hey there? Where are you from? Are you a domestic helper as well?” I though I had died and God had sent me to my very own private hell.”
“On my way back, I had to bravely take the economy flight once more. This time I had already resigned myself to being trapped like a sardine in a sardine can with all these OFWs smelling of AXE and Charlie cologne while Jo Malone evaporated into thin air.”
A few days after the article was published, the magazine received emails from Pinoys and OFWs.
To defend herself, she wrote an equally (if not a more bigoted) article. She said:
“As I type this, I’d like you to know that it’s not about whining, complaining and bitching but just stating the facts. Just recently, I wrote a funny article in my magazine column and my friends thought it was hilarious. It was humorous and quite tongue-in-cheek, or at least I thought so, until the magazine got a few e-mails from people who didn’t get the meaning of my acerbic wit. The bottom line was just that I had offended the reader’s socioeconomic background. If any of these people actually read anything thicker then a magazine they would find it very funny. Most people don’t get the fact that they need bitches like me to shake up their world, otherwise their lives would be boring and mediocre. I obviously write for the a certain target audience and if what I write offends you, just stop reading.
Although it may sound elitist to you the fact is this country is built on the foundation of haves, have-nots and wannabes. One group will never get the culture of the other. Although I could mention that it is easier to understand someone who has a lower socioeconomic background that would entail a whole other page and frankly I don’t want to be someone to bridge the gap between socioeconomic classes. I leave that to the politicians in my family who believe they can actually help. Now I seriously ask you, am I being a diva or are people around me just lacking in common sense? Perhaps it’s a little of both!”
I can understand the anger my friend felt after reading this article. She's barely a year married with a child on the way and her husband is not here and won't even be here when she gives birth (which is actually any day now!) Why? Because her husband has chosen a difficult career path... that of working outside the country. For one, to help his parents and siblings. And now, to make sure his own little family will have a better future. To read something like this about OFWs is disappointing. For someone so educated this is damn stupid!
Did she ever try to understand the meaning of those three words?! Overseas Filipino Worker.
Oh, and while I was reading the blog I saw an update on this issue. Apparently Malu Fernandez says sorry and resigns from both People Asia Magazine and Manila Standard. Although the blog writer is uncertain of the authenticity of this report. For the whole details read more here. By the way, Ms. Malu, if ever you have another chance of writing something this outrageous, you might want to leave out a photo of yourself in your article.