Sad habits

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 April, 1996, 12:00am

As someone who lived in the Philippines for some time, I have always found it interesting that Filipinos like to trot out a largely unknown name whenever they make extravagant claims to fame.

The fellow on the NASA team which produced the moon buggy was most certainly an immigrant from the Philippines who became a US citizen. For Susan Morales (South China Morning Post, April 13) to say he is Filipino is tantamount to saying Francis Fukuyama is Japanese, Mel Gibson is Australian and I.M. Pei is Chinese.

It goes without saying that immigrants to the US who make names for themselves obviously would not have achieved success had they stayed on in their countries of origin.

I find it sad that Filipinos so desperately need to publicise their few success stories to compensate for the bad image their country has abroad.

What is sadder is that they create a worse image by not learning from the past and allowing such appalling characters as Imelda Marcos to uphold the country's tawdry reputation.