Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eh-hum # 227

Two San Miguels are getting much media attention nowadays. One is the Opposition's newest witness in the ZTE-NBN Broadband deal scandal, Leo San Miguel, and the other is Bb. Pilipinas-Ms. World winner, Janina San Miguel. This post, unfortunately, is about the latter. My views on the scandal will come in after the unfolding of events in the next few days.

I really don't want to do this because I am also a Filipina and we are now celebrating Women's Month. But I believe that we can learn something from this little brouhaha/incident, such as beauty isn't everything and it pays to be smart and quick-witted.

Its obvious that this young lady made a fool of herself in national television and her winning second place, or being the country's representative to the Ms. World 2008 pageant, added insult to injury. Its also ironic that she is a Communication Arts student. Did she deserve to win after doing poorly in the Bb. Pilipinas 2008's question and answer portion? Will this tarnish the reputation of the Bb. Pilipinas organizers? Would this have an effect on younger women, how they would see themselves and their priorities in life? Do beauty contests even have a role in women empowerment?

Three points I would like to share:

1) Had she answered the question in Filipino, I would've admired her. There is nothing wrong in answering in your native tongue. I mean, in international beauty contests, you see representatives from Venezuela among others speaking in their own languages. The pageant organizers provides them with interpreters, so I don't think its a problem;

2) Speaking in Filipino may have allowed her to answer the question correctly. People who sympathize with her were saying that we shouldn't make a big deal about her broken English. Fine, but they forgot to note that she did not even answered the question in the first place! And truth be told, it was such an easy question; and

3) We are taking our knowledge in English for granted. I myself am not fond of grammar and I do make mistakes. But its still important, and Ms. San Miguel wouldn't know proper grammar even if she was ran over by it (ouch!).

Fine, I'll cut her some slack, since Ms. World 2008 is several months away. Lovely and confident as she is, she still needs work on her comprehension skills. Whoever is training her has her/his hands full. And us, her fellow Filipinas, can only do but pray. I am not expecting her to win (Where are the Gloria Diazes and the Margie Morans when you need them?), but rather just make us proud by being a shining example of Filipino beauty and, God-willing, BRAINS.

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