Imperial Manila’s Minority Discrimination and Regionalism

Is Minority a Disease?

We have stayed in Metro Manila countless of times but it’s mostly just a “hello-goodbye” type. We would stay a day or two to catch up with friends and relatives coming from an international trip. Come to process something or do conferences. And it’s mostly a pampered trip where we go out of the airport, into a nice hotel, do the purpose of our stay, back to the hotel and then fly back home to Davao. If there are little side trips, it’s a simple meet up or a meal at the malls, or a few hours to see places like Tagaytay. And most of these we are shuttled by our nice hosts, friends or relatives.

This last trip was the trip time we stayed longer and really immersed with the Capital’s culture. Did our own taxi rides, booked an average hotel, checked out food sights and places… on our own. And it was a disheartening to experience.

First, I personally felt unsafe. I feel more at home in Hongkong, safer in Singapore, enjoyed Thailand (Malaysia was another story) than my own nation’s Metro Manila. Not to0 many were that friendly and helpful. Taxi drivers would ask you first where you’re going before they decide whether they’re up for it or not and not all use the meter, there were a few instances when we paid a fixed rate. These weren’t that bad. We’re seen all these in TV and social media. Nonetheless, we weren’t warned of the minority discrimination and regionalism we experienced.

Each time people hear us talking in Bisaya, whether we’re in the taxi, malls, hospitals, establishments or streets, there was an immediate look of discrimination. Others were fine with us, but most have judging eyes that one can ask itself, “Is there something wrong? Should I not speak Bisaya to my Husband? Should I speak Tagalog or English to be accepted and to feel belonged?” 

Of course, I would speak Bisaya to my Husband, why would I need to change? Why should I act different and do something that we’re not?

I might be wrong but I observed that Imperial Manila has minority discrimination. I personally think that they see themselves as the superior culture and the rest of the nation are of lower class. It felt like being a Mindanaon in the center of  these elites is a disease. It was an instant verdict despite your educational attainment, socio-economic status, values and beliefs. And many of these people even came from provinces themselves but being in the Metro for so long may have gotten them plagued with the mental virus they themselves are not even aware of.

Regionalism has to stop!

Metro Manila has been the prime of power for years. The countryside dreams of being in the Metro to be able to be a part of its glory. This resulted to a lot of “Dodong” and “Inday” working for the rich Manila neighborhoods as drivers and maids. And Manila’s mindset of those living in the provinces esp. in Mindanao may still be a discriminating.

  • That all people in the provinces are inferior
  • That Mindanao is a war zone

Is this the reason why it’s so hard to accept Duterte as this nation’s leader today? Do minority discrimination and regionalism play a big factor in his quest to unite this nation and bring our people to our zenith? Is this the reason for all the negative reactions and disgust?

This has to stop… We are one nation and one people. It’s time to move on our individual differences and interests. We are of one blood. Wealth, power and location should not be the basis of our judgments, it should be the motives of the heart.

Away with the corrupt and deceitful. Yes to genuine patriotism and nationalism. Being one is our only chance to move forward faster. These discriminations and regionalism have to stop.

We should start treating each region’s as equally important as Metro Manila. All provinces have something to offer to the Capital. Each ethnic group is special and a treasure. We should start living as ONE…

Each one can start…

I don’t want to give a Philippines that’s still divided to my children. I want them growing up being looked down when they’re in the Metro just because they’re Mindanaons. I don’t want them judging those they meet from Metro Manila as well. I desire that they will grow up in a Philippines that love God, their nation and it’s people.

I will start treating my fellowman with good intent and godliness… Can you do the same as well?

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