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Dec 03rd
Home Sections Humor & Satire Did Senator Obama Plagiarize Bobby Reyes' Article?
Did Senator Obama Plagiarize Bobby Reyes' Article? PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Humor & Satire
Monday, 28 July 2008 13:28

The Filipinos are simply giving back to the world what the universe has given them. For after all, Filipinos, who are said to be the first true 'children of the universe' and citizens of the world, say that at Christmas time it is always better to give than to receive.—Bobby Reyes, December 1998


The above-quoted lines are the last two sentences of my long essay entitled How Filipinos Reinvented Christmas  It was first printed in December 1998 in the now-defunct online magazine. The same article was reprinted in the of New York City on Dec. 7, 2003, after the PhilippineTime magazine of Chicago published it in its hardcopy edition also in December 2003.


The reprinted the How Filipinos Reinvented Christmas on Dec. 24, 2007, after we learned that the archive of the no longer carried the entire article, except for the lead paragraph and readers’ comments that can still be accessed at the website.

On July 24, 2008, Sen. Barack Obama delivered a speech, in which he proudly proclaimed he was in Germany as “a fellow citizen of the world.”

Was it possible that Senator Obama, who lives in Chicago, and/or his speechwriter got hold of a copy of the PhilippineTime magazine and were able to read How Filipinos Reinvented Christmas ? Or perhaps they were able to access this website?


Filipinos are the “first true children of the universe and citizens of the world” because so many different countries and civilizations contributed to the making of the Filipino heritage.

This is not the first time that Senator Obama has been accused of plagiarism. In fact, our columnist Jesse Jose wrote about Mr. Obama’s supposed fondness for copying phrases and whole sentences, without attributing the material to the author. You can read Mr. Jose’s piece, Barack Obama . . . a Plagiarist?, and decide for yourself.

This writer described Filipinos as the “first true 'children of the universe' and citizens of the world” because so many different countries contributed to the making of the Filipino heritage. Not only Asians such as the Chinese, Siamese (Thais), Vietnamese, Malaysians, Indonesians, Indians and Arabians settled in the Philippines even before it became a Spanish colony in the late 16th century and then was ruled by the Spanish viceroy in Mexico City. And Acapulco, Mexico, was actually Manila’s sister city, being the other port of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade that existed for 250 years. The British invaded and occupied the archipelago’s capital of Manila from 1762-1764.  Then the United States occupied the Philippine Islands in 1899. The Japanese conquered the country during World War II. And Philippine schools and universities became the learning institutions for many foreigners – from Koreans to Thais, Americans and Africans.

From the viewpoint of religion, the Chinese Muslims introduced the Islamic faith in the 12th century in Sulu, Southern Philippines. The Spaniards introduced Catholicism and the Americans allowed Protestant missionaries to spread Christianity further in the islands. Even the Czechs contributed to the spread of the Christian faith, as the Spaniards brought with them images of the Child Jesus of Prague. Even Puerto Ricans settled in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War, as some of them were exiled to the Filipino homeland. More-than 6,000 Buffalo soldiers were sent to the Philippines from 1899-1901 and approximately 1,200 of them settled in the islands after marrying Filipino brides. Some White Russians came to the Philippines after the Bolshevik revolution of 1918 and Russian Jews settled in the Philippines in the late 1930s.

Perhaps Senator Obama claims to be like a Filipino and be called also a “citizen of the world.” After all, his Muslim father hailed from Kenya, his mother was a Caucasian American and he spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

Yes, there is the Black-American blood in the Filipino but there is no Filipino DNA in Senator Obama. Mr. Obama can count also the on the Hawaiian culture, where he was born in America’s 50th state. But Hawaii  is now 16-percent Filipino. The Hawaiian islands and the  nearby Micronesia – from Guam to Saipan -- have hundreds of thousands of Filipino immigrants and contract workers.

Overseas Filipinos now work and live in more-than 120 countries in the world. They toil from the sands of Arabia to the sands of Nevada. Senator Obama has not even visited one-fourth of the number of countries where Filipinos live and work. And surely, there are Filipino workers and immigrants in the countries that Senator Obama has visited in his young life.

So, unless Senator Obama was named after the Filipino coffee, Kapeng Barako, then he may not have any real basis in claiming to be a “citizen of the world.” To read a humorous account of Senator Obama’s connection to the Batangas, Philippines-grown coffee, please click on this link Top Ten Reasons Why Senator Obama Is a Foreign-Relations Expert  # # #


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Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2008 15:57

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