Thursday, April 2, 2009

Questions for the Chip Tsao Firing Squad Part 1

"Any dummy can know the answers , its the smart ones that know the questions. " Harry Lovett to his class.

"Question me an answer bright and clear.
I will answer with a question clear and bright.
Even though your answer may be wrong my question will be right.
Question me an answer.
Answer with a question."

- Lyrics from Question Me an Answer.

Both from Lost Horizon (1973) A movie so bad that its not even out on video.

Questions for the Chip Tsao Firing Squad

Sometimes, if asked the proper questions, you will get all the answers you need.

All of you who are judge, jury , executioner:

  • Did you read his piece? or did you base your wrath solely on the "nation of servants" phrase? (Its in green below)
  • What kind of writer is he? I mean niche (what audience does he serve? example Dan Wetzel writes about U.S. Sports) not whatever vile adjective you may have for him.
  • If the phrase nations of servants is offensive to the point that you feel it's untrue would you rather all Pinoy domestic workers in Hong Kong quit and come back to the Philippines and find work with more dignity in our own shores??
  • Would you wish for the sudden lack of income going into the Philippines if all the pinay maids there quit?
  • You ever hear the phrase "The Dog Wags his tail" ?? The tail does not wag the dog.
  • Let's say he really believes The Philippines is a servant to mainland China. Go ahead, refute him. What nation is the servant of the Philippines?
  • Are you his intended audience??? Do our local writers write with Hong Kong/ Mainland Chinese perspective in mind?
  • Does your household employ servants? What nationality are they? Are they Chinese ?
  • What was the tone of the WHOLE article he wrote? Is it worth sharpening your bolo ?
  • It is very well put by the writer for filipino voices below. ( Do you know what the phrase tongue in cheek means? Do you always tongue in cheek narrative so seriously?

  • Are you aware of the concept of satire? Can you point to local satire writers who have wit superior to Mr. Tsao?

I did not do any knee jerk reaction because I have seen the Pinoy wounded national spirit many times before. As the song above says "They say Knowledge makes you free". Well learn a bit about perspective before putting someone in front of the firing squad.


Related Links and text


The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen on board. We can live with that—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That’s no big problem—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke.

But hold on—even the Filipinos? Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: there are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as $3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.

As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell every one of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.

Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day. With that money, she would pay taxes to her government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings.

Oh yes. The government of the Philippines would certainly be wrong if they think we Chinese are prepared to swallow their insult and sit back and lose a Falkland Islands War in the Far East. They may have Barack Obama and the hawkish American military behind them, but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher. Some of my friends told me they have already declared a state of emergency at home. Their maids have been made to shout "China, Madam/Sir" loudly whenever they hear the word "Spratly." They say the indoctrination is working as wonderfully as when we used to shout, "Long live Chairman Mao!" at the sight of a portrait of our Great Leader during the Cultural Revolution. I’m not sure if that’s going a bit too far, at least for the time being.


In Praise of Chip Tsao

March 31st, 2009 at 11:54 pm by DJB

I don’t see why my good friend Manolo Quezon should find himself apologizing to Reyna Elena for correctly appreciating the literary and journalistic nature of Chip Tsao to begin with. (He apologizes for something else but it’s actually beside the point.) The recent satirical piece on the Spratley Islands brouhaha between China and the Philippines by Chip Tsao in his Politically Incorrect column for Hong Kong Magazine, has "sparked outrage" according to one broadsheet’s headline in part for labelling the Filipinos "a nation of servants." Strangely enough most of those calling for Chip Tsao’s head on a platter, don’t seem to mind it very much when one of their countrymen calls their OFWs "Toilet Bowl Cleaners of the World." At least Chip Tsao has an outrageous sense of humor that is so in one’s face quite a number seem clueless as to its presence…

Manolo also points to Ms. Connie Veneracion’s "lack of affection" for Mr. Chip Tsao:

The Spratly article is not the first time he’s taken a swipe at Filipino women either — see this. Now, I don’t like dignifying bad taste with indignation. Writings like his probably generate enough controversy to sell newspapers and books, it ain’t my style but I don’t have to do what so many others have done in similar cases (Malu Fernandez, Desperate Housewives and Henry Enfield). My interest in Chip Tsao, his style and his article is to point out that low class and tacky journalism is not peculiar to the Philippines. It’s everywhere.

This got me really curious about what the hubbub is all about with Chip Tsao. So I followed Connie’s link. I’m glad I did. Here is an excerpt from the piece in which Connie Veneracion says that Chip Tsao takes a swipe at Filipina women, from last October, which is actually about the very serious melamine contamination crisis in Chinese milk products last year.

Inspired by the poisoned milk powder scandal, a friend of mine is planning to import a wet nurse from the Philippines. His wife has just given birth to a baby, and he is, most justifiably, extremely worried about anything made in China…But why from the Philippines? Why not recruit a wet nurse from China? I asked my friend who until recently had whole-heartedly loved his motherland. "No," he explained, "How can you be sure that a Chinese wet nurse is not going to be fake, with something like a Bangkok ladyboy-style plastic bag filled with artificial milk made from poisoned powder?"

So allowing Hong Kong families to import Filipina wet nurses would be an innovation. And not only for babies. What else would be as impressive as a status symbol than when you are visiting a billionaire for lunch and you and dozens of other refined guests are offered a glass of fresh milk to toast everybody’s health, instead of a glass of Chateau Rotschild Lafitte? You would be told that the troop of in-house wet nurses all hail from remote villages in Luzon or Mindanao, instead of the polluted city of Manila, transported to Hong Kong only minutes after they gave birth to their babies, jetfresh, to guarantee the best vintage. So, loosen whatever restrictions and bring them in, Sir Donald—just a thought for your policy speech as I look forward to the milk-tasting party hosted by my friend, whom I warned it would be better for legal reasons, if his wife, the madam—instead of himself, the sir—supervises the job on the spot.

Politically incorrect indeed, figuratively speaking, and full of delicious innuendo, but I think Mr. Chip Tsao is a Master at the genre called Tongue-in-Cheek, or in this case Lips-on-Teats, as he manages to make a pointed criticism of China’s food safety policies whilst delivering fulsome praise for the purity and reliability of Filipino Nurse Maid Service.

I am linking to Chip Tsao’s Politically Incorrect at Philippine Commentary. He’s a an entertaining read…


"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!"--I will take this literally not proverbially for the article below.

Filipinos are getting more and more equipped in using the internet. There is a necessity obviously, as millions of Filipinos are working abroad as professionals or skilled workers. Internet, aside from a more popular gadget, the mobile phone, has become a cheap medium in communicating with family members abroad. You can view your relative who's on the other side of the world in real time through webcam, and of course, it feels like you're together and the feeling of loneliness or home-sickeness if not gone is greatly diminished. This is the reason why we get news as fast as it happens though thousands of miles away. This is also the reason why when Mr. Chip Tsao published his article entitled, "The War at Home" on ( on May 27, 2009, it was pulled out on the same day because it only took a couple of hours to enrage a whole nation, the nation which he called "the nation of servants", Philippines no less.

So what did he say that sparked indignation from my fellow Filipinos, migrant workers or not; in Hong Kong, in the Philippines, or in other parts of the world? Since the editor and the publisher of the online magazine withdrew the article; I researched some more to get the article. I was so sure a Filipino would post it somewhere. I was right, so here it is. Here's what Mr. Chip Tsao wrote. I ask, "is he really just being satirical?" You tell me cos this nation of servants may have misunderstood his use of a literary device. in case the youtube video does not work. In half a week they seemed to remove it . The class quotient in youtube seems to have gone down in that span.

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