January 30, 2017


By Arturo P. Garcia

It began with a faux pas and ended with a disaster for Miss Philippines candidate Maxine Medina for Miss Universe 2017 in Manila.

But it was the biggest missed opportunity for Miss. Medina. She had the opportunity to use the Filipino language by speaking it and use the interpreter for the first time.

The Philippines was the only country in the world, where it’s people does not use their own language in official functions. It should have been the first time; our language could have been used in an international event. But Medina shunned even our own language in this international event.

Days before the finals, Maxine Medina made the error of saying, “the terno was actually invented by our former first lady Imelda Marcos. She invented these butterfly sleeves and the use of it to cover their faces.” She said it in a video shot during the ancillary event in Vigan where the Miss Universe candidates paraded in terno.

Even if Medina apologized for her error and even Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach covered up for her, her misinformed error haunted her to the finals. A lot of Filipinos cannot forgive her for that historical error that gives tribute to the “steel butterfly” that damaged the country for decades.

In the finals, she called for an interpreter but in the end she spoke in English after the interpreter called the question in Filipino. But in the end, her answer was not only academic but also an elementary answer that even Sherlock Holmes will not appreciate.

What makes matters worse; she admitted candidly “ I used the interpreter to buy time so I can formulate my answer.” Did it made her smart? No, it only added to her lack-luster performance as the representative of the Philippines.

Miss Universe 1973, Margie Moran Florendo said, “She should answered in Filipino. There’s no problem about it. She could have done it better.”

The acerbic actress who was a former beauty queen from Cebu Annabelle Rama- Gutierrez was more frank and unforgiving, “”Kasi Mali siya eh. Nag-interpreter tapos hindi naman niya ginamit. Nag-Ingles-Ingles siya mali-mali pa,” said Rama, the mother of former Miss Philippines-World Ruffa Gutierrez.

“Kung ako nakasali dyan, Bisayain ko lahat sila,” she added.

I cannot help but to laugh for Annabelle Rama was right. Why not speak your own language in your own land? But I think Medina is afflicted with the identity crisis of all subjugated and colonized people. They play for the colonial masters and the colonized crowd, thus they fear to speak their own language.

They hold the view, that if they speak flawless English, they are better than other candidates they hold in low regard because they cannot speak English well.

As if the English language is an edge in the Miss Universe Contest which is not even a factor.

And look at the winner Miss France who spoke elegantly in her own language and speaks poor English. What a revelation to hear and see how our own Miss Philippines behave the despite the call for her to speak her own language.

Dr, Jose Rizal pointed out, “ ang hindi magmahal sa kanyang salita, ay higit sa hayop at malansang isda.”

I saw a smelly fish at the Miss Universe 2017 in Manila.

I saw that smelly fish in a terrible Filipina beauty in that contest.


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