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Oct 21st
User Rating: / 2
Sections - MiscellaNEWS
Thursday, 18 October 2007 11:11


 theMAGAZINE Fourth Edition

SOME of the estimated 22,000 Filipino doctors who are caring for Americans and other nationals in the United States felt alluded to in the Disney/ABC 7 TV premiere of Desperate Housewives aired Sunday, Sept 30 2007 (Saturday, Sept 29 in Manila) when actor Teri Hatcher as Susan in a scene with her obstetrician-gynecologist who told her she was hitting menopause retorted, “… Before we go any further, can I check these diplomas? Just to make sure they aren’t like from some med(ical) schools in the Philippines.”

To theMAGAZINE that is an advocate in The Philippines and Asia of freedom of expression but with responsibility and responsiveness to the call of the times, the Desperate dialogue and scene are tantamount to an utterly irresponsible creative writing practice by socalled creative professionals of an influential network like Disney/ABC in a powerful medium, such as television. The Desperate scriptwriter (Marc Cherry) irresponsibly wrote that line when, he could have done better, by scribbling in his script a neutral line like this: “…Just to make sure they aren’t like from some med schools;” period. What’s Mr Cherry’s grudge against Filipino doctors in the United States? Is there an ongoing well-oiled black propaganda game by kingmakers of the US medical system versus Filipino physicians to which Mr Cherry, described by Wikipedia as a gay Republican, plays a willing pawn?

The irresponsibly racist, chauvinistic, bigoted and xenophobic dialogue by Mr Cherry can be equated with a series of cartoons in a small Danish community newspaper by a Christian artist that blasphemed Allah (the Islamic Jesus Christ) to the wrath of Muslim faithful worldwide. Filipino doctors are also “in rage” with the Desperate and many other slurs here, there and everywhere – individually and in rag tag, yes, but collectively as strong organizations if not as a Filipino nation, not yet. Why and how come? We will go into that…

Had the writer been sophomoric in the crafting of the script, the Desperate directors (Larry Shaw, David Grossman et al) and the Desperate producers (creator Cherry, George Perkins, Bob Daily, John Pardee, Joey Murphy and Kevin Murphy, co-executive producer; there are other producers for other seasons) should have had exercised their discretionary good taste by editing, rewording if not deleting the offensive line from the script. Ms Hatcher, as a thinking reader of the script, could have discerned that the insulting and provocative dialogue may put her in a bad light because she will utter the line on camera (as seen by millions worldwide), and that bad line may put her entire acting career on the line. Lest, of course, the Desperate actor herself also subscribed to the unenlightened idea of the writer?

The Desperate slur against Filipino doctors, good or bad, appears to be, to say the least, a desperate attempt by Disney/ABC production management to stay competitive, stir debate, get noticed, rate high on the TV charts, and earn millions of dollars in advertising – all to the detriment of an essential ethnic group in the US, if not an entire race that American leaders have always been referring to, since the 19th century, as special friends in their diplomatic rhetoric. Circa-21, Mark Twain could be right, you know!

of Ms Hatcher, Mr Shaw, Mr Grossman, Mr Perkins, Mr Daily, Mr Murphy, Mr Cherry, and the officers and staff of Disney Media Network and the ABC TV Network, two Filipino doctors, one practising in the Philippine homeland and one practising in the US, had ventured to express their viewpoints regarding the Desperate slur by and through theMAGAZINE.

Dr Juan F Torres Jr, a Filipino Nuclear Medicine physician, a professor of Medicine and practising specialist with local and international patients, reported to theMAGAZINE that “in the 2002 Kiwanis International Convention in New Orleans, delegates from all over the world elected me International President of Kiwanis International, and I served in 2002-2003.” Dr Torres took great pride in his being the “first Filipino and Asian to be so elected and elevated in the 92-year history of Kiwanis.”

Kiwanis International based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Torres described, is a global organization of volunteers “dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.” It has over 700,000 members worldwide who “perform countless meaningful service projects” in local and international communities.


DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES’s infamous scene, with the Disney/ABC public apology, related to ABS-CBN US Bureau.
Incidentally, Torres admitted, he obtained his medical education and diploma “from some med school in the Philippines,” that is, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Santos Tomas (UST) of Manila, The Philippines, where great international Filipino heroes, notably, Dr Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda, the “great Malayan,” and others, also studied with sobrasaliente honors.  

Four hundred-year old UST is the only Royal and Pontifical Catholic university of the Philippines, a world renowned and  recognized university founded in 1611, with its medical school  established in 1871. UST in The Philippines is older than  Harvard and Yale in the US.

Manila’s 400-year old UST is older than Harvard and Yale in the US’
A Filipino American heart surgeon who practises in the  US offered another point of view. “Before (the 22,000 Filipino  physicians in the US) are licensed to practise in whichever  State they may be,” Dr Philip S Chua, FACS, FPCS, vice president for the Far East of the Cardiovascular Hospitals of America (CHA) based in Wichita, Kansas, and chairman of  the Filipino United Network (USA), told theMAGAZINE,  these Filipino doctors had to pass stringent competency exams, medical board exams, and go thru internship and residency training in the US, some of them, for a total of seven to eight years. Then, they had to take two more rigid exams for their specialty and subspecialty. The Filipino graduates of Medicine are perceived to “take more exams than American graduates do” before they are licensed in the US.

Dr Chua added, “There are hundreds of Filipino Americans who are high ranking professors in the academe, in training hospitals, teaching and training young American medical graduates.” Proportionately, he said, “there are more Filipino physicians who are specialists and subspecialists in the US, compared to American graduates.” Chua informed theMAGAZINE, at least two former US  Presidents had Filipino physicians providing them medical care: The Filipino anesthesiologist who attended to President Ronald Reagan for his colon and prostate surgeries at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda. Another Filipino, who was chairman of NNMC Bethesda Anesthesia Dept, also gave the anesthesia to President Bill Clinton when he had surgery for his injured knee.

‘Filipino doctors treated US Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton’
There are a million stories to tell about the “compassion, competence, performance, and bedside manner” of the Filipino doctors by millions of American patients some of whom, surprisingly, would prefer to be (and to die) under the care of Filipino American physicians, Dr Chua concluded. Disney/ABC had issued their public apology, as of this editorial’s writing, but many in the medical sector are not satisfied.

SHORT of filing a class suit against Disney and ABC that could cost them millions of dollars in damages in favor of the Filipino medical community, specially if the
services of a battery of de campanilla American and Filipino American lawyers are retained to defend the latter’s causes, and US judges would be more openminded to hear and decide fairly and squarely on the case so as to serve justice better, leaders of various quarters are lining up a few recourse.

MARC CHERRY: What’s his beef?

MARC CHERRY: What’s his beef?

‘Filipino specialists, subspecialists outnumber American grads in the US’

Dr Chua from Kansas, in a letter dated 1 Oct 2007 to Anne Sweeney, chair of Disney Media Network and president of Disney-ABC TV Group, and Mark Pedowitz, president of ABC TV Network, demanded for a production by Disney/ABC of a “historical documentary” about the Filipino physicians in the US, their trials and tribulations, their roles in US medical academe, residency training and hospitals, and their achievements and contributions to American healthcare system, as a gesture of genuine and sincere apology.

“ABC and its Walt Disney owners won’t do any documentary for any ethnic group,” Bobby Reyes of the Media Breakfast Club of Los Angeles (CA) warned Chua.

There are more than 120 nationalities in the US, Reyes pointed out, to do a documentary for the Filipino American community may create a bandwagon of other ethnicities demanding for same privilege. It could prove costly for the producing networks, he surmised.

Creator of Desperate Housewives Marc Cherry was passed on by HBO, FOX, CBS and NBC before he was given a greenlight by ABC to produce the show. If ABC will pass on the opportunity of producing the Filipino doctors’ documentary, perhaps, NBC, CBS, FOX and HBO can take it from there and earn millions in the process?

There are two million Filipinos of some affluence in America, a pretty good market, considering that each and every one of them keep a friend, a lover, a family, a neighbor, an officemate, a schoolmate, a travelmate or an acquaintance of from 10 to over 100 other foreign nationals. These foreign national friends, once they get closer to Filipinos in America, have the great potential of becoming “more Filipino than many US Filipinos.” Only a handful would attend the summit of their socalled national federation. Filipino Americans and Filipinos in America would not normally “protect their own” as would do the Chinese, or the Japanese, or the Indians or the Jewish people. They would not, for instance, be ready to kill just because a cop of their own is killed, as would, perhaps, the LAPD, NYPD, or the Manila’s Finest.

bruised2There will be a rage of bruised egos as a result of the Desperate slur on the Filipino medics, albeit, temporarily, in the Philippine homeland and elsewhere in the world. There will be loose talks, ragtag demos here and there, grandstanding by politicos, some media hyping by the publicity-seekers. But it will not be as massive as the Muslim protestations against the attack on Allah by the Danish cartoons.

Even Muslim Filipinos were busy minding their own business to express dissent regarding issues faraway from Mindanao. Filipino doctors who are making “real good” in the US won’t lift a finger to go by the emerging tide, because they do not feel alluded to. Some of them will be fiery, only in the beginning, but will fade just the same. Others will pay lip service. Many other doctors who had established themselves in The Philippines will still take Nursing courses or licensures to get entrylevel jobs in the US. Some will play it safe, as always, by talking less. A few in both sides of the Coasts would even have the guts to deny that they are Filipinos, inasmuch as they can pass for Latinos, Koreans, Japanese, Indians, Arabs or Caucasians. “Me, mine and myself” will still be the name of the game for many Filipinos in America unless, of course, the constant insults on the dignity of the Filipino, like this Desperate slur, would translate into some meaningful “transformation” of thy self, so that together, the world can be transformed by the Filipino heart & spirit, by the Filipino creativity & compassion – one act of random kindness at a time.

The “First People Power at EDSA” in 1986 is 22 years old; not so many young Filipinos today would know what “miracles” happened there. Fast forward from EDSA, liars, cheaters and stealers are still having a grand time. “Put up, shut up or perish!” We address it to Filipinos in “America, the largest province of The Philippines.” To Desperate Wives, nice try; it was a good reality check. But do not push your luck…

Patnubayan tayo ng Lumikha.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 October 2007 09:26

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