Friday, August 24, 2007

The Malu Fernandez apology

Here's GMANews.TV's report on Malu Fernandez's alleged statement. At this point, it seems the statement indeed came from Fernandez.

Manila Standard columnist quits after getting OFWs' ire
Source: GMANews.TV

Malu Fernandez, lifestyle columnist of Manila Standard, resigned from the paper and the travel magazine she used to write for after getting the ire of readers, particularly Filipino overseas workers in Dubai, a statement posted on blogsites and sent to the GMANews.TV email said.

“I take full responsibility for my actions and my friends and family have nothing to do with this. To date I have submitted my resignation letters to both the Manila Standard and People Asia, on that note may this matter be laid to rest," Fernandez said in the statement forwarded to GMANews.TV Thursday evening.

Fernandez's resignation came after readers reacted to an article she wrote for the newspaper and the magazine that apparently made fun of OFWs travel style.

Read more here. Got the tip from Ederic.


sephulturero said...

sir for more of the context, you can also link my news article on this:

Si Mark Ubalde to. :P

bryant said...

hey mark!

haha. sa iyo pala ito. hehe. thanks!

Anonymous said...


Jerick said...

“Responses to an OFW-Basher”
By Jerick T Aguilar

After shamelessly writing about her summer trip to Boracay and Greece in the June 2007 issue of People Asia magazine, this columnist was found guilty of character assassination of our overseas Filipino domestic helpers regardless of the fact that they have never wronged her, except – in her opinion – for being on the same economy flight that everyone is entitled to. As a writer and traveler myself, please find below my notes on some of the things she wrote. I may also be guilty of character assassination but at least mine is not baseless and I think of this more as defending our fellow “kababayans” working abroad.

“But I was too ashamed to ditch my friends and forego the huge amount I already paid for my share of the villa.” – Outright pretentious! People rent and share villas in Boracay to save on expensive hotel charges per night so writing that she paid a “huge amount” is plainly preposterous!

“Meanwhile, when all of this was going on, I was on the cell phone …” – Proper English writing uses the conjunction “while” when it is followed by the progressive (this case in the past) and interrupted by the simple tense – so “while all of this was going on, I was …” – I thought a columnist for a magazine (and newspaper) would have a knowledge of English much better than a domestic helper’s!

“Ron is my travel buddy … so between his schedule and mine, the logistics are a nightmare.” – “Logistics” is a non-countable noun and, hence, is always followed by a singular verb – so “… logistics is a nightmare.” Ditto!

“Emirates had won best economy class and some award.” – “Award”, on the other hand, is a countable noun (i.e. it has singular and plural forms) and the modifier “some” means more than one – so “… some awards.” – My, oh my! Our housemaid even knows better English than her!

“I forgot that the hub was in Dubai and the majority of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) were stationed there.” – Duh?!? Majority of OFWs are in Saudi Arabia, unless she doesn’t know what the word “majority” means. And another duh! To be “stationed” means to stay in one place – it’s obvious that our OFWs don’t just stay there, she was with them while traveling back to the Philippines.

“Meanwhile, I wanted to slash my wrist at the thought of being trapped in a plane with all of them.” – Okay, a plane is a form of public transportation so the preposition “on” instead of “in” is used (e.g. on a bus, on a train, etc.) so “… trapped on a plane …” Yeah, she should’ve slashed her wrist in order to prevent writing more grammatical mistakes! (I hope her readers do not know that she is Filipino! Nakakahiya kung ganoon! – Sorry but the English translation does not suffice!)

“… I would never risk losing if my luggage ended up in the middle of the Sahara desert.” – Her plane took off from Dubai then landed in Athens where the flight plan is northeast of the Sahara desert, unless there was a stopover in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Now is she really a traveler or was it just her first time to travel?…

“… the seats were so small I had bruises …” – Okay, didn’t she mention that Emirates had won best economy class? So I wonder if the seats were so small or she was simply so big?

“Domestic helper ka rin ba?” – She wrote this question as if she overheard it while dozing off. I bet she was actually asked this question. I mean, I would whether or not I were a domestic helper given her fashion sense in the pictures (not at all to demean the clothing style of our domestic helpers but one cannot really differentiate hers from theirs).

“… the weather report on CNN … was wrong because it was still winter.” – Hold on, summer in the Philippines from April to June is already spring in Europe. And even if the European winter in March extended till April, Greece is in the Mediterranean so it would’ve already been warm by then. So was it really a cold winter while she was there or she just wanted to impress her readers by mentioning the word “throw” as a noun and not as the usual verb (and by wearing it to look less fat in the picture)?

“I adamantly wanted to go to Santorini … but due to time constraints, we were unable to go.” – Talk about being pretentious again! She intentionally forgot to mention “money” as another constraint! Didn’t she just write that she had to fly economy?

“I guess God was watching out for us.” – And now she thinks God was after writing that God had sent her to her own private hell being on a plane with “those domestics”. One of the rules of journalism is to be consistent (aside from having perfect English, of course!) so I guess she is the exception.

“This time I had already resigned myself to being trapped like a sardine in a sardine can …” – Another cardinal rule of journalism is to avoid redundancy so a “fish” in a sardine can sounds much better. I don’t think she’s a traveler, I don’t think she’s a journalist either… What is she then? An abomination?

“… with all these OFWs smelling of AXE and Charlie cologne while my Jo Malone evaporated into thin air.” – Interesting how she made reference to Jo Malone in which a perfume wardrobe costs more than $1,000 yet she had to take the economy flight to Athens and back…

“But for a couple of weeks, I had the great escape …” – What was that again? A “couple of weeks” when she wrote beforehand of her “time constraints”? Greece is not China so a visit to Santorini from Athens can be squeezed even within a week of staying there. And before that, she wrote “Pick a country!” as if she can go anywhere she wants to. But she ended up saving on her plane ticket only to be “trapped” with OFWs and “smelling like air freshener”. She is the height of pretension indeed!

Three things to my “supposed” fellow writer and traveler – first off, if you have to write something in English, do not forget the simple rules of grammar so you do not cause intellectual harm to the people reading your article. Secondly, if you do not have money to pay for a business class fare, then don’t complain if you are surrounded by OFWs who can only afford an economy flight. As a final note, I suggest you thank these OFWs instead of demeaning them! If it weren’t for the billions of foreign currency remittances that our country regularly receives from them, the instability and depreciation of the peso-dollar exchange rate would’ve prohibited you from traveling to Greece in the first place (and buying that Jo Malone, assuming you already did)!

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