Hold the Presses. The latest bribery scandal is off the front pages, the next typhoon is still a day away, so the local TV News and all the radio talk shows here are upset about another major issue:

 Desperate Housewives made a joke about Philippine doctors, and the whole country is upset about it.

In one scene Mayer asks for the credentials of the gynecologist who examined her and told her that she was approaching menopause.

Mayer said, “Can I check those diplomas ‘coz I just want to make sure that they’re not from some med school in the Philippines.” The premiere episode, which has been posted on YouTube.com, drew criticisms from the Filipino community on the Internet.

This is a major ethnic slur, and given the fact that being a doctor or nurse here is seen as a way to earn a living overseas there is a lot pride in our medical community.

Apparantly, it’s okay to slur certain ethnic groups on TV, such as Filipinos, but not other “protected” groups, such as Blacks or Muslims.

On the other hand, most Filipinos have a sense of humor, so if the show issues a quick apology, all will be forgiven.

And besides, by tomorrow there is another typhoon coming, so the news will go on to more important things.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines. Her husband and several other relatives are graduates from Philippine Medical Schools. She blogs at Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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