Hesitation to use the I may be a tell-tale sign that the I does not know itself fully. Or maybe the I doesn’t know which I, of the many different Is, to use. In any case, there is an I. And there is a You. The You is validated by the I. There couldn’t be a You without the I. But the I also becomes a You through the validation of I through You. And so, the I also exists thanks to You. And so to You who is reading this confused speech of I, THANK YOU. I's existence has become meaningful because of You.______________________________
This blog won't pretend to be hilariously funny or witty or beautiful or profound. But it is an indulgence of all sorts of things that appeal to my senses. Anything I find funny, witty, beautiful, meaningful and worth noticing is found here._______________________________
My Lakbayan grade is C!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!Created by Eugene Villar.
What links Scots and Filipinos?
By EU Ambassador to the Philippines Alistair MacDonald
Editors’s Note: “Address by the Honorary Patron of the Manila St. Andrews Society, Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, on the occasion of the annual St. Andrews Ball, Manila Polo Club, 21 November 2009” is what the ambassador wanted for this blog’s title.
Our Chieftain asked me to say a few words tonight, before we move on to more important things. I asked him if he wanted a 20-minute speech, a 30-minute speech, or something more substantial. He told me that about 2 minutes would be closer to the mark, because the haggis would be getting cold.
Nevertheless, within these constraints, I would like to say a word about the links between the Philippines, our host country, and Scotland, our native land. A couple of years back, Peter Beckingham* spoke at length (and for rather longer than 2 minutes) about Scots in the Philippines. I’d like to look at the other side of the coin—the growing number of Filipinos who have chosen to study or work in Scotland.
I did a quick Google on Scotland and the Philippines, Scotland and Filipinos, Scotlandand Filipinas. And there were two main themes that I found there.
One was about fishermen—I hadn’t realised myself that there were perhaps 500 Filipinos working on Scottish fishing vessels—enjoying the sun in Fraserburgh or Ullapool, and learning to send text-messages like “Fit like, mun?” I thought at first that this was a question of relative cost—and I was confirmed in that view by comments that the Filipino fishermen were earning the glorious sums of between £250 and £600 a month—not a lot, particularly if you think what the conditions are like on fishing-boats, out in the North Sea or the Minch. But I also found an article which suggested that salaries were a secondary consideration, and that the main attraction of employing Filipino fishermen was that they are simply good guys—they work hard, are easy to get on with, and as one skipper said, “They’re great workers, but most of all ye can trust them. They dinna come home drunk or off their faces on drugs.” Maybe this says more about Fraserburgh than it does about OFWs, but it was clear that the Filipino fishermen were generally very much welcomed by their hosts in the North-East.
The second main theme that I found in Google was about the desire of the growing number of Filipinos in Scotland to integrate with their host community. For example, I saw that the United Filipino Communities of Scotland, in Pollokshaws, was carrying out a search for Mrs. Philippines Scotland 2009. Perhaps more interestingly (particularly if one imagines all those beauties bundled up in their anoraks, scarves, and hot-water bottles), I also found an explanation for why the Filipinos prefer Scotland toEngland.
This was also from the United Filipino Communities of Scotland, where on their website I found a paper explaining that the first members of the Filipino community in the UK arrived in London in the late 1940’s and early 50’s and discovered the exotic pleasures of a ride on a double-decker bus, or a night of Latin rhythms with Edmundo Ros. But something was missing. And it wasn’t until they went on to visit Scotland that they realised just what it was. London, they said, was missing any signs of ethnicity or roots. And in Scotland, we’ve got more ethnicity than you can shake a stick at.
There was even a suggestion that Filipinos and Scots must in fact, centuries or millenia back, share a common ancestry. The proof? Consider the strange similarity between Hoy, Ay Nako, and Och Aye the Noo. Consider also our joint preference, and I quote, “for strange songs and dances involving animal sounds and the possibility of severe personal injury.” Not to mention our joint preference for truly appetising if unusual foodstuffs—balut, or haggis.
And with that mention of haggis (and of course of balut, though I don’t think that this is on the menu tonight), I will leave you with the thought that Filipinos truly appreciate Scotland—just as Scots, and particularly those of us here tonight, very much appreciate our cheerful and generous hosts.
* Former British Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Beckingham.
(original article found here)