A letter posted by a disgruntled Singaporean frustrated over being unable to get a bit of peace and quiet in a public bus singled out Filipinos in a post on the site The Real Singapore. The author of the letter who signed off as “H” described the “nightmare” of finding himself in a bus full of “Pinoy maids” on his way home after a tiring day…
To my horror, 90% of the passengers in bus 106 were Pinoy maids. I do welcome them to take our public transport as it helps to contribute to our GDP and SMRT’s revenue. Unfortunately, this Pinoy maids were talking so loud in the bus.They joked and burst out laughing loudly. Its nothing wrong to joke and chit chat in the bus as Sunday is only their off day, however, they should be a little bit more considerate by caring for other passengers too. What I could heard in the bus was Phillipino language and I felt like I am taking a bus in Manila. Their voice were just as loud as thunderstorm (I believe many Singaporeans experience this before. Once a group of Phillipinos boarded a bus or train, your resting time on your journey back home is gone).I observed throughout my bus journey to Orchard. The maids will push to board the bus, and the Singaporeans will always have to take another bus as either bus is full or if Singaporean manage to board the bus, they will have to stand near the bus door.
‘H’ went further and proposed this controversial solution to the problem:
I would like to suggest to Public Transport Council to provide private buses to cater to Pinoy maids islandwide for them to go Orchard Road as the current situation is extremely bad (too crowded in buses and trains along Orchard road even on Sunday morning and evening!)
This has not been the first observation made about instances of Filipinos talking loudly in a public place. But for some reason, this obscure post made waves. No less than deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte weighed Malacanang in on the matter…
“I’ve been to other places as well and we do tend to observe proper comportment and behavior,” she said.
Could there be something about Tagalog and other Philippine dialects and the way these are spoken that tends to get under peoples’ skins?
Back in 2010 a case was filed by 69 immigrant Filipino nurses over harassment and discrimination allegedly perpetrated by their employer Delano Regional Medical Center in Central California. The nurses accused the hospital management of singling out Filipinos in a directive prohibiting them from speaking in Tagalog or any other Philippine dialect.
She said the hospital’s former chief executive vowed that “he would install surveillance cameras in nursing stations. Whoever is caught, they were threatened with suspension or termination,” Lamug said. “Sometimes, we were speaking English, but due to our accent and diction, they thought we were speaking something else.”Although the hospital, near Bakersfield, employed a mix of bilingual employees speaking Spanish, Hindi, Bengali and other languages, managers targeted only the Filipinos and encouraged supervisors and other staffers to “act as vigilantes.”
The Filipino nurses won a $975,000 settlement in what was described as “the largest language discrimination settlement in the U.S. healthcare industry.” The hospital management remained unapologetic and its officials stated that “they did nothing wrong and settled only because it made financial sense.”
[Photo courtesy The Real Singapore.]