Megan Young’s Success a Chance for Filipinos to Break Free from Xenocentrism

Photo taken from the official Megan Young Facebook Page

Photo taken from the official Megan Young Facebook Page

Though belated, I want to greet our very own Megan Young a big congratulations for winning the Miss World 2013 crown last September 28, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia! She, by far, is the most successful product of a locally-produced reality show. She started as one of the competitors in season 2 of the celebrity search “Starstruck” on GMA Network. I really thought that she would make it big back then, even if she finished off as an Avenger. Again, CONGRATULATIONS MEGAN YOUNG!

As with anyone who achieves worldwide success, Megan has already earned herself a bunch of critics, including a woman named Devina Dediva, who got attacked by Filipinos in the cyberworld. If you haven’t noticed yet, then I’ve to say that Filipinos don’t take criticism well, be it in the form of a joke, or a serious comment. Rather than ignore or meaningfully engage, many of us choose the low road and react defensively, complete with racist remarks, demands for public apology and calls to the government to declare certain public figures persona non grata. Many have publicly apologized. A personality has been declared persona non grata. And now Dediva has been fired from her job because of comments she had made.

This collective display of oversensitivity seems to be working, but it doesn’t mean it’s right. As the world is becoming more open because of social media, we Filipinos are called to be more mindful of our reactions, and engage when needed. It’s something that we have to learn to do, even if would take time. Megan Young’s success is an opportunity for us to begin doing this. If as a people we view racially-discriminatory remarks as unjust, shouldn’t we be applying it not just to us, but to everyone else?

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