Held to ransom by misguided dreams of utopia

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 April, 1996, 12:00am

Why do you publish mostly letters criticising Filipinos? Some of my friends have sent letters commenting on correspondence by Joanna Tung, but these were never published. She says her claims about Filipino domestic workers are 'accurate and plain'. This is a fallacy - she simply did not bother to get the facts.

Ms Tung said Chinese hire Filipino maids because they come cheap, but is she aware that maids from mainland China can come cheaper? How accurate is her knowledge about kidnappings of Chinese in the Philippines? Has she ever attended public hearings or made inquiries about these investigations? Isn't it true that in some cases the culprits are ethnic Chinese, determined to eliminate business rivals? My Chinese neighbour in Manila was kidnapped and held for ransom by her own kin. They did not report the incident to authorities because it was too embarrassing.

In one letter, Ms Tung quoted an American writer who labeled our culture as 'damaged'. But has that writer ever bothered to look in his own backyard? The Philippines is not the only country in the world immersed in an economic and political crisis. The deterioration of family and moral values is evident everywhere.

Our culture has produced the likes of Eduardo San Juan, who designed the moon buggy used by Apollo astronauts; Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson, after whom an asteroid orbiting the sun was named; and Lea Salonga, an international artist.

If Ms Tung and others like her really find the Filipino domestic helpers despicable and deplorable, they can eliminate the problem by not hiring them. After all, the employer has the power to choose, so why choose people that you think can never be of help? Finally, I must say that her 'requirements' of the ideal country in which to live are more than a tall order - they only exist in utopia.

Obviously, Hong Kong falls short of her 'requirements' since she is seeking another home.