A Cup O’ Kapeng Barako
By Jesse Jose
This story is a redux.
I wrote it many years ago when I began writing my Kapeng Barako column. Through the years, readers of my column have increased, multiplied really, if I may humbly say so. For these new readers of mine, who have not read this piece yet, here it is. For my loyal and long-time readers, well, you may read it again and smile, or smirk, as you wish. I believe this story has and will become more relevant, timely and truer as ever, as I write more stories that come my way and inspire me to get off my butt … and write on.
Here it is, Dear Readers. Enjoy:
For my views, many people hate me. I’ve been called “OJ,” as in Obnoxious Jesse … and A Filipino daw,with a “crab mentality” and who, instead of shooting at the enemy, I turn my rifle around and shoot at fellow Filipinos.
I’ve been called a “narrow-minded bigot.”
I’ve been called a “foul-mouthed SOB.”
And I’ve been called a “little brown American.”
A few had even threatened me with physical harm. Some want to sanction and ban me from writing and muzzle my pen from expressing my views.
I am “too dangerous” daw. Someone, a friend, who used to be a friend, that is, but who became a foe because of my views, even wished me “grave illness and death.” Kind of scary. Kind of sad.
But, I think, it’s more of a scream, like a yikes scream. Y’all know what I mean? Yes, funneeeee and laughable. As in LMFAO!
The most laughable and the most STUPID comment, I think, was when I was called “a little brown American.” Of course, I am an American … and proud of it. Of course, I am brown. Tan, golden and brown … and proud of it.
But I am not little though, like many “leetel” Filipinos.
I am tall, dark and handsome, like the way Leopoldo Salcedo (the famous Pinoy movie actor of the 50′s) used to look. And, with my bigote and perfumed hair pomade, you could also say I am also an Erap look-alike in in his heydays as an actor portraying “kanto boy” roles.
Yes, I kid you not, I have movie actor looks. Eat your hearts out, hehehe.
Well, I am kind of old now, and I keep my stash of Viagra handy on the side table of my bed. But you know what they say about men getting on with age; they truly know how to get it on. OLDER, BOLDER, SEXIER, women say. And surely, quality is better than quantity, ‘di ba?
Yes, make no mistake, mga pare. I am NOT what-you-ma-call a “little Brown American.” I am an American, period! You and I are now in America. This is now our country.
So, let’s think like an American. Let’s talk like an American. Let’s walk like an American, and show our complete and total LOYALTY to America … like a good American!
I am not saying that we should forget our ethnicity and do away with our cultural heritage. Let’s keep it in our hearts and practice it. But let’s don’t be consumed with our Filipino-ness. I think that is wrong! Let’s be an American first, and second only as a Filipino.
Let’s stop saying: “I am a Filipino.” Because, really, who cares if you say that in America?
Let’s stop singing that stupid song: “Ang Pilipino angat sa mundo” And its new version: “Da best ang Pilipino saan man sa mundo.” Because that song projects to the world our sense of inferiority complex and our inadequacies. You won’t hear any other ethnic minorities in America singing a song that they are best in the world. Let’s prove first that the Filipino is the best saan man sa mundo, then let’s sing about it!
Let’s toil for this country as an American. This great and benevolent country that takes good care of us. In this country, our accomplishments as a person and as an American, should be what we should sing about!
As that great American president, John F. Kennedy, once said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
To me, that means, let’s don’t be a BURDEN or a PALAMUNIN of this country, Let’s don’t take advantage of the WELFARE system of this generous country. If you’re one of them who do, shame on you! Go get a job, pal! And get a life!
I didn’t mean to give a lecture here. Got carried away with that ”little brown American” remark. I am getting off my soap box now. But remember, I am not LITTLE. Brown, yes. American, yes. And, Filipino, yes, but “beri leetel” only … y’all get my drift?
In other words, my heart and soul is Filipino, I cannot change that. Nor do I want to change it. But my mind is American and my loyalty is to America.
As to those descriptions, curses and kulams heaped on me, hey, what can I say? This is America. The land of the free. Your land and my land. The land of free speech. The land of many different kinds of Americans, black, white, yellow, giants and midgets, as well as those … “little-minded brown Americans” within its midst.
Yes, I am hated for my views, but now and then, a comment from readers would come my way and warm my heart. This one came from someone in California, named Allan. I am not making this up. I’ll quote him en toto:
“Hi Jesse … Love your post. Light, funny, yet deeply profound. It’s almost poetic … keep up the good work.” (Signed) Allan.
For my views, some people love me, too. Okey ngarud, that’s all. JJ