Worried about racial discrimination when travelling overseas? Try to evaluate your current standing in your own country. Just by virtue of your regional accent, skin tone, alma mater, and even height, you are discriminated against in your own country.

In the presence of foreigners, we Filipinos are often reduced to sheepishly-smiling and highly-accommodating buffoons. No wonder we are touted as a friendly and hospitable people. With the proper attitude and flair, most foreigners can make their way into any Philippine society clique, gain access through any security measure, and secure limelight space in Philippine showbiz � generally schmooze their way into the hearts of the political and social elite of the country. For us, mere association with one of them is a validation of our place in our own society. Imelda Marcos was the most famous embodiment of this trait.

With the amount of preferential treatment that is given to foreigners in this country, we are lucky that we haven�t yet found ourselves hosts to a new generation of foreign carpetbaggers and opportunists. Yet foreigners get better service at restaurants and banks and are given serious consideration when they raise a stink about anything. Among ourselves, however, complaining about bad service, raising relevant issues, or even standing up for certain principles in a serious manner goes against every principle of our �pakikisama� mentality and general apathetic disposition.

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