Monday, April 21, 2008


We Filipinos are unique in so many ways. Take for instance our sense of humor that always puzzles non- Pinoys. They shiver in complete horror whenever they hear or experience one of our patented not so politically- correct sense of humor.

Who can forget the late Secretary Raul Manglapus when he quipped, “relax and enjoy it” when asked about what the Filipinas working in the Middle East should do if they found themselves being raped by their Arab masters?

Most Filipinos are exposed to all kinds of sick jokes from the day he/ she was born until he/ she literally finds himself six feet under the ground. In fact, everything is fair game to us and our jokes can be considered as the wickedest of them all.

This is again highlighted by the recent controversy involving the conduct of medical workers at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center wherein a patient was operated upon by a team of government doctors and nurses because a body spray canister was lodged in his rectal vault courtesy of a guy he picked up the night before for casual sex that obviously didn’t turn out well for him.

The said incident happened in January 2008 but one of the persons involved recently uploaded the video on YouTube and thus revealed the circus- like scenario inside the OR and once again showed the world how wicked or sick Pinoy jokes can be--

In the video, after the doctor finally extracted the body spray canister from the patient’s rectum, he shouted “Baby, OUT! “ (pronounced in a thick Visayan accent) in obvious parody to a person giving birth amid the cheers and jeers by the OR spectators.

But the joke did not end there for the doctor uncapped the canister and started spraying around the OR amid howls of laughter. The man with the video camera, not to be outdone, in turn asked the one holding the canister to show him the brand of the body spray so he can also take a video of it.

Because of their behavior in the OR, the medical personnel involved are now facing charges that will merit the suspension or revocation of their license. In my opinion, I don’t really think that they’re actually laughing at the patient; I think it is more on the absurdity of the situation.

But I tell you, that unfortunate incident in the OR in Cebu is not the first nor will it be the last since it is inherent in our culture to crack jokes at the most awkward times. Still, they should have been more sensitive and exercised proper decorum in that situation more suited for their position.

Anyway, when I was in first year college, an accident occurred in our town in Albay wherein two cars driven by drunken persons went at it and race each other on the deserted National Highway in nighttime. I remember seeing the two cars speeding towards the direction of the nearby town of Malinao.

About 10 minutes or so later we saw the town’s Police Patrol Car speeding towards the same direction as my friends and I decided to follow them on our BMX bikes.

We arrived at the scene where a lot of uziseros are now trickling in. The place was very dark and we can only saw a glimpse of the two cars in the middle of the rice fields and miraculously the drivers and passengers survived unscathed.

Bur there was one casualty, an old man who was answering the call of nature behind the small concrete bridge, the same bridge where the two cars hit before they flew into the rice fields. You can only wonder how unlucky he was since that place was so deserted and they did not even see him since he was way down the banks when he was struck by one of the flying cars.

To this day, my memory of that tragic night is still very vivid but the thing that stuck to my mind is when one of the uziseros blurted out in the local dialect,

“Di#@%4, delikadohon na ang panahon ngonian, para ma-odo ka sa gilid kan sapa, maligis ka pa tapos magadan!!” which is loosely translated to “F#$&, times are really dangerous nowadays, imagine you’re only trying to poop in the nearby creek and the next thing you know you’re run over by a car and end up dead. “

You can only imagine the booming laughter that followed from both the policemen and uziseros alike. But to set the record straight, it was a spur of the moment joke and really not meant to disrespect a dead man.

Again, it just shows you the Filipinos knack of cracking jokes even at the most awkward moments and difficult times.

Here’s another story--

A high school classmate of mine died in an ambush by the New People’s Army. No, he is not a member of the military or the police. He was just an ordinary citizen who has relatives that live in a far- flung barrio where transportation is scarce.

One day, the police force in our town were task to arrest a murder suspect in that remote barrio and since my classmate work as a utility man in the municipal government, he got wind of the plan and decided to hitch a ride with the police in their van so he can visit his relatives whom he had not seen in a long, long time.

But when he got to the police station, he found out that he missed the police van just by a few seconds. Knowing the layout of the town, he immediately dashed in full throttle so he can catch the van in one of the town’s intersection. He finally did it near the jeepney terminal where a lot of people saw him accomplish the feat.

Unfortunately, the van was ambushed by the NPAs on their way back and he ended up as one of the fatalities. The story did not end there though, for he was now immortalized in the town’s lore (read: drinking sessions) as the person who chased the Grim Reaper or in the vernacular “Hinabol si Kamatayan!”

I have a lot of other unique Pinoy stories and jokes that are even more outrageous than the two stories that I have just told you. The point is, most often than not, a majority of these jokes are really not meant to disrespect a particular person or cast aspersion to anybody but just an expression of that unique Pinoy spirit rarely seen with other races.

Anyway, in an ideal world, jokes are supposed to be funny but not at the expense of others but in our culture it is not always the case. What I usually do if I find myself in the center of it is I just take it on the chin and roll with the punches and sneak a right hook in return.

How about you?

Read my take on
The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center Scandal


Salve said...

Agree ako saimo, mitsuru. Nakakainis, nakakagalit minsan but that's how we are. It's one way of coping up with difficult situations, thinking we all need a laugh para gumian an sitwasyon.

haze said...

I think it's cultural talaga! We have the tendency to laugh whatever problems we have to avoid thinking, worrying and having wrinkles! Kaya naman talagang bilib ako sa Pinoy nakukuha pang tumawa kahit gabundok na problema ;) !

mitsuru said...

salve & haze,

I agree. :) iba talaga ang pinoy. haha

Steffi said...

Axe is not just a body spray. :P
Things like this are supposed to be confidential. The doctors and nurses involved should have known better.

Steffi said...

But I have to admit, as a genuine Pinay, I found that story about the old man beside the creek very funny. You're right, we do have a weird sense of humor.

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