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Dec 04th
Home Columns Parables A Parable of the Filipino Ph.D. in Beverly Hills
A Parable of the Filipino Ph.D. in Beverly Hills PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Parables
Thursday, 14 June 2007 09:29

Once upon a time there was a Filipino-American woman who always rented a one-bedroom apartment in Beverly Hills. Even if the rent is high, she does so because she loves the zip code (that is the title of a television show). She assumed also that people think that residents of Beverly Hills are that rich. (But she never invites friends to her flat because people would get to know how small it is.)

She likes to be called "Doctor" even if she earned her Ph.D. from a correspondence school. She carries the Ph.D. title in her check, in all stationery, business cards and even in the church-collection envelope. (There is a story that she returned once the collection envelopes to the church because it did not carry "Ph.D." after her name.) Even at the press club where she became its president, she refused to recognize members if they would not address her as "Doctor." The title, "Mrs. President," was not acceptable to her.

She always wears the same 5-carat diamond pendant to all occasions, especially at functions at the Philippine Consulate General. But in reality her wardrobe and jewelry pieces are very limited, as she keeps on wearing the same red dresses and pendant to almost all functions. In fact people make a small bet on whether she would wear the same red dress at community functions. (Why she prefers red dresses? Remember that movie, "Lady in Red" that was shot in Beverly Hills? But she forgets that the lady character-in-red played the role of a woman of the night.)

She drives a Mercedes Benz but it's an old car, vintage 1970s. People say that she and her husband, being retirees, do not really earn that much from a financial nest egg. So, she keeps on organizing fundraisers supposedly for Filipino-American causes but she does not submit financial reports about the events. She loves to be called the "Number-One Public Figure" in the Filipino-American community not only in Southern California but also in the entire United States. And this woman has guts to publicize her activities. Like when she and her husband attended a function at a private reception thrown by another couple for a visiting Filipino senator and his wife. The woman-in-red and her husband posed with the visiting dignitary and did not even invite the party hosts to join them. Then she publicized the photo in many Filipino-American newspapers with the following caption, "Mr. and Dr. XWY pose with Filipino Senator and Mrs. ABC at a recent reception they hosted for the visiting Filipino official."

Yes, this Ph.D. lady-in-red has the guts to upstage the bride in a wedding reception and even take the attention away from the deceased during wakes and funerals.

Pundits called her also as "The Countess of Tehachapi." Why the title? She loves to count donations that her group and she keep without accounting the proceeds to the donors and to the public. Like their project to build a $2-million religious shrine at a mountain in Tehachapi, California. The shrine was not built at all. No refund was made to the donors.

She likes to eat pizza, which she usually orders by phone from the nearest pizzeria. One day she noticed that when the pizza came, it was not brought by her favorite delivery man, who always called her "Doctor." (Because she told the young man that he would not get a tip if he did not address her as "Doctor," since she had the Ph.D.) The lady-in-red noticed that the man who delivered the pizza was a middle-age guy and of all people, he was a Filipino. So, the Countess of Tehachapi advised the guy that he should not be content with a lowly job with a pizzeria. He should emulate her and become also a Ph.D.

The middle-aged Filipino said that he was also a PHD guy. The Countess of Tehachapi exclaimed, "What, you have a doctorate and you merely deliver pizzas?" The guy said, "Yes, my work is PHD, as in Pizza Hut Delivery."


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Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2007 04:33
Comments (1)
1 Sunday, 11 April 2010 09:59
delusion of grandeur :) nice parable :)

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If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626