detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Tuesday, October 15, 2002

: . Your People, My People:

Dear Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,

How uncharacteristically Filipino of you to blame what should otherwise be a personal and national embarassment on someone else. In fact, you've taken "our" legendary denial skills and kicked it up another notch. You are the victim now, the falsely accused, the truly wronged. We are the perpetrators of a hoax, the ones who are too quick to point fingers, the ones who spread malicious rumors. And the girl? Well, who really cares about her anyway. Your national pride is at stake.
There's something vaguely fascist in that absolute reversal -- your personal touch, I presume -- and with that you have outdone us. Could it be that the proximity of "our" two nations has given rise to some illicit cultural exchange? Or maybe you should get yourself genetically tested. You know too well that when it comes to nationality, one can never tell by appearances alone. One can be at the wrong place at the wrong time and, well, you know the rest. But shouldn't you be the one apologizing to your own people for the the rape and deportation of one of them? Just curious.


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