Have you seen this meme spread around social media lately?
The story behind this actually draws from a scene from reality TV show “90 Day Fiancé“, aired on TLC Channel. The woman is named Jenny, seen conversing with her American fiancé Larry. She calls him out for not eating the meal her family prepared for him in the Philippines, calling him out “rude”. Her Filipino accent makes “rude” sound like “road”, thus, created a debate and numerous memes amongst netizens on social media criticizing and calling out her pronunciation.
Writer and literary editor Mark Angeles took it to his Facebook account his two cents about the issue, along with a photo of Jenny.
“Here is my two cents. Jenny, the Filipina whose “You’re road.” went viral last week, hails from Urdaneta City, Pangasinan. I saw a YouTube video where she spoke Ilocano to a relative of hers. We laugh at her accent we laugh at how most of the Ilocanos (and other Filipinos) struggle to speak English, especially those who are impoverished and undereducated.
Even BPOs conduct soft skills training for days and weeks so the voice agents they hired could speak with a neutral English accent. Why don’t we talk about how 90 Day Fiancé, a US reality TV show, cash in on “green card marriages”? Why don’t we talk about how the government respond to the proliferation of mail-order brides? Are they different from the rest of our youth who fall victim to the government’s labor export policy?
We easily judge Jenny because she has an account on a dating site called Filipino Cupid. Her damaged dreams of reaching the land of milk and honey (which many capitalist countries like the US still peddle today) lead her to such sites. We easily dismiss her as a gold digger and a slut. Why do we make fun of Jenny’s pronunciation, without considering that her American fiancé did not even bother to learn how to speak proper Ilocano or Filipino before he left his country? Pinaghanda pa siya ng lechon.
The joke is on us. We laugh because we think Jenny is a good-for-nothing. But she takes offense. And she speaks her mind. She fights back. We hear her say, “You’re rude! You’re acting like a kid!” Her mind shouts it in her mother tongue before she could even translate it to the language of the tyrant gods.
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