Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature (i.e. which harms particular groups of people), and which is often justified by recourse to racial stereotyping or pseudo-science.
"Racism" and "racial discrimination" are often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of their somatic (i.e. "racial") differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnicity discrimination.
But have you ever felt how it’s like to be discriminated, have you ever felt how it’s like to be the last priority, where in you have to watch every step that you make because one might got offended by your act or somebody is watching over you and patiently waiting that you will make any mistake so that they can laugh at you and you have to do your best just to fit in?
2001, the year I graduated from college in AMACLC, it’s natural for every student to look for a job after graduation, every student will dream to find a job, a job that would put him/her to the top of his chosen career, everyone is busy with their own moves, apply dito, apply doon, and I was one of those who stand in line in the Job Fair, I was one of those thousands of newly graduated student or million if we included the whole wide world who is hoping to land a job in any of the vacancies in the Job Fair.
Job Fair. I submitted my resume to this lady who really looks nice and pretty, she’s seems to be harmless.
Lady: “Yoru name is?”
Me: “Aldisher Diwallay”
Lady: “You graduated in?”
Me: “AMA CLC”
Lady: “No experience yet?”
Me: “I just graduated ma’am”
Lady: “You are a Muslim?”
Me: “YES (So proud)”
Lady: “We will just call you back.”
She folded my resume and kept it inside her drawer, how is that? Every resume she receive she put it in an active files while mine she keep it inside her drawer? What’s that supposed to mean.
Shopper’s Central. One of the leading supermarket in Zamboanga City, every six months they open their door to all the aspiring programmer who can work on Visual Basic, Visual C++, Oracle and everything that they using in their system. When I learned that they have hiring again, without hesitate I submitted my resume to them. The guard is talking to me in Chavacano (our local dialect in Zamboanga)
Guard: “Cosa tu nombre?” (Your name is)
Me: “Aldisher Diwallay”
Guard: “Onde tu ya gradua?” (You graduated in).
Me: “AMA CLC”
Guard: “Tiene ya tu ekspireyasa? (No experience yet)
Me: “Ara pa lang yo ya gradua (I just graduated)”
Guard: “Cosa tu?, Muslim tu? (What are you, a Mulsim?)”
Me: “Si (so proud)”
Guard: “Llama lang kame contigo ole, espera lang tu di amum llamada. (We’ll just call you back, just wait for our call)”
The guard kept my resume in his drawer and the secretary never called back, how is that, every applicant who applied in their company they let them in, but me!!! NEVER DID.
Taxi, one of the most common public utility vehicles in the Philippines, I take a cab from my dorm to the air port, the driver is so entertaining, he was asking me too many question and I am also answering every question he asked to me. UNTIL...
Driver: “Boss saan ang probinsya mo?” (where is your province).
Me: “Bakit po?” (Why).
Driver: “Kasi may punto ka eh” (You have an accent).
Me: “Ahhhh!!! Zamboanga City po”.
Driver: “Bisaya?” (Bisaya is one of the native in the Philippines).
Me: “Tausug po” (My Native Races).
Me: “YES” (Very Proud)”
The driver started to shut his mouth and never say a thing until we arrived to the air port. Oh Yeah!!! In the Philippines once somebody will say you have an accent means you are not a native Tagalog speaker, it could be your tagalong is too hard, or too soft, a real manileñeo accent is very straight and when they speak they speak fast. That’s why the driver noticed that I am not originally from Manila. Because I have an accent, my tagalog is very hard.
Most of the time people from Manila, if they heard that I am a Muslim they immediately change their approach to me, or somehow put a barrier in between, they somehow change the way they treat me, weather it is for good or bad, still they put barrier in front of me.
But somehow through the years, I have overcome the fear of mingling with other people, I have learned how to deal with it, learning to manage yourself in front of other people is a must if you belong to some indigenous ethnics, because surely you will feel that there is somehow a racism going on, but of course I am not saying all the time and all the people from Manila or Luzon, because I think right now, people from Luzon are now becoming used with other ethnics group.
But did you know that people who grew up in the city also experience discriminations when they visit a province, for example a Manileñia is having a nice vacation in Zamboanga, did you know that almost all the people from province thought that all Manileñias are liberated and somehow easy to get, you know what I mean, madaling maikama, well that is already racism (at least for me)….
"The only difference between man and man all the world over is one of degree, and not of kind, even as there is between trees of the same species. Where in is the cause for anger, envy or discrimination?" - Mahatma Gandhi
About the Blogger:
Al Diwallay works as a Junior IT Specialist at SABIC K.S.A. (Saudi Basic Industries Co.). He lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia but he Hails from Zamboanga City, Philippines. He knows Filipino, English Malay and Arabic. He loves writing and also enjoys doing magic.
Blog: Mga Sulat ni Al Diwallay