Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest Post: Racial Discrimination

Racial Discrimination

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.

Scenario One.
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?”
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.

Scenario Two.
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).
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.

Fast Forward:
Scenario Three.
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).
Driver: “Muslim?”
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)….

- Al


"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
Twitter: @musingan


  1. Mabuhay ka AL, Good topic.. feeling ko din ganyan, basta marinig nila muslim, natatame sila.. hnd ko nilalahat, alam kong tau dto so far hnd naman, sana tuloy tuloy itong pagkakaibigan natin dto..

    hnd naman masama lahat ng mga muslim ah dba? ang totoong muslim hnd masama ang ugali.. ay haba ng comment ko.. hehe!

  2. It shows that muslims have a big work to do... you can't blame people for looking at muslims differently... we know the history and current stories...

    The common saying "Hindi naman lahat...." is true but whom could we trust? and what are the words we should not be saying? Alam natin na kaunting pitik lang sa tainga ng mga muslims ay halos gusto ay gunawin na ang lahat ng hindi muslim sa mundo, eh...

    So, it is better to not have anything to do with you, and not say a word that might insult para maiwasan ang gulo, di ba...

    Sorry ha, baka magalit ka sa aking mga sinabi ay baka mamaya may biglang sisigay ng "Allahu akbar!".. But that's how I interpret ang iniisip ng mga taong nag-interview sayo, at sa taxi driver na nagtanong.... In fact, ako man ay may halong depensa ang aking pakikipag-usap sa mga muslim na nakakausap ko dahil iniisip ko na hindi ko alam baka biglang makapagsabi ako ng hindi magustuhan, eh, naku mahirap na....

    At kung racism naman ang pag-uusapan, hindi ba..... hwagna baka bigla akong makasabi ng dimo magustuhan o kaya mainsulto kita, eh, alam mo naman na balita sa mga diyaryo, eh, noon hanggang ngayon, kuan....basta ganon na lang muna...ganon siguro yon....

  3. It sucks that happened. There's a fair amount of discrimination around Muslims, and most of it unfair. The majority are quite nice, and the same as everyone else. As with everything though, there is a minority ruining it for everyone.

  4. Great article...its sad to see racial discrimination happening in this era. I deal with it all the time too

  5. I always think that racism is dwindling, but then I see videos like that lady in the Croydon tram recently, and it reminds me that racism is alive and well, and to stay vigilant and discerning.

  6. Great post! Racism and discrimination really disgusts me I cannot believe that still happens but it's true and teh sad fact is that it will probably never disappear.

  7. racism and discrimination happens not just to muslims but also to other lahi.

    for example:

    some americans will call pinoys and some asians as brown monkeys.

    Some pinoys will call chinese kurips and intsik beho.

    Some races will call indians bantot and other terms.

    I don't know if there is really a remedy for this sickness but hopefully we can start by ourselves.

  8. I've always been impartial to our Muslim brothers and sisters. When I was still studying in Cebu, I had Muslim friends but it was never that way in the start. I had to condition myself with the way they speak and with their culture. After that, all things were equal.

    We might not be able to rid of racial discrimination totally. Discrimination is a personal choice and the best thing to make this subside is if parents teach their children the right values and attitude toward other people even if these people differ from us.

    By the way, I've had my fair share of racial discrimination, since I'm from Cebu and people in Manila call me Bisaya. I really don't mind, because I'm smarter than any of them. Hahaha :)

  9. noong nasa manila ako wala akong idea sa mga muslim. pero noong napunta ako dito sa Middle East doon ko lang sila nakilala ng mas malalim at humanga ako sa mga ginagawa nila pagdating sa spiritual na bagay.Tulad ng driver namin na Muslim kailangan niyang huminto alow the way kasi oras ng dasal niya. Di ka ba hahahanga sa mga ganyan.mas lumaki ang respeto ko sa mga ganitong tao. Marami na akong kaibigang muslim lalo na dito sa UAE. totoo pag di mo pa kilala ang isang tao wag mong huhusgahan dahil lamang sa anomang naririnig mo or pinaniniwalaan ng iba.

    Pag may multinational IT company na ako Al. Tangap ka na kaagad wala ng tanong tanong.

  10. Bilang individual na MUSLIM, naks. haha..bilang MUSLIM, never pa ako nakaramdam ng discrimination sa mula mga non-muslims. So far, lahat ng friends ko na non muslim ay malalawak ang isipan...

    Pero hell yeah, tama ka, ang TITIGAS ng TAGALOG KO...LOL!! sabi nga ni KAMILA, kuya bakit parang nagraRAP ka?LOL

  11. Bakit kaya may discrimination pa rin til now? Hello?! You're not the only person living in this world. There will come a time that you'd gonna meet other people way different than you. Kaya dapat aware ka na may taong hindi kaparehas sa ilang aspeto ng buhay mo. Nakakalungkot pa nga yan kasi he's a muslim but he's still a filipino. Part pa rin sila ng filipino race at sa kapwa pinoy pa siya nakaranas ng discrimination. Pfft..

  12. There is still discrimination and inequality among races in many places of the world. Today it's Islam's turn to take the brunt end of the stick. As a wise man once said:

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you

    Hopefully one day we'll be able to live in a just and equal society! Hopefully one day we'll see better days.

  13. Haha! whew, Racists., I hate them, but I guess it can't be help in the society, since it even started when God created whites and blacks.

    War is one of the outcome caused by Racism. agree? hehe!

  14. In some point of my life.. I have encounter a people who love to discriminate Muslims.. but it's ok... I know how to handle those kinds of person... anyway... like what I've said.. discriminations exist not only in muslim races... but also in other religions and tribes... anyway I have a lot of non muslim friends too.. and they are all kind to me... ehehhee...

    Thanks Leah for posting this one... I really appreciate it... keep up the good work...

  15. This is soo sad kasi kahit kapwa pinoy may discrimination din. and i think kasalanan din ng media yan kasi lagi binabanggit ang word na muslim terrorist pero may iba naman terrorist na di muslim or iba nag religion

  16. But oh I remember the song from Avenue Q.
    "Everyone's a little bit racist, it's true. But everyone is just about as racist as you! If we could all just admit, that we are racist a little bit. And everyone stopped being so PC. Maybe we could live in - harmony!"

  17. Its because of fear and ignorance that there is racism in the world.

  18. Late na ang comment ko. hehe.. well, nanakakalungkot na kapwa Pilipino mo na diniscriminate ka pa.

    I have very few real life Muslim friends but they are among the best people I've ever met. They are loyal friends.