The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bawal ang Bata!

Sa Madaling Salita

Bawal ang Bata!
(On Hypocrisy, Rudeness, Insensitivity, and Legality)

Para sa mga nag-oorganisa ng mga pagtitipon at pagdiriwang, kung ayaw niyo ng may batang dadalo e dapat ilagay n’yo sa imbitasyon o tiket para malinaw sa mga magulang na bawal ang bata. At pag sinabing hindi puwede ang bata—dapat maging pantay—talagang walang bata—kahit pa ang batang ito ay anak ni mayor o ng miyembro ng komite. At sa mga dadalo, pag malinaw na walang bata, e wag nang ipilit na magsama ng batang anak. 

(The legal definition of ‘child’ generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority; in Canada, the age of majority is 18; therefore, anyone who is 17 years old or under is legally considered a minor [Wikipedia].)

n June 14, we attended the celebration in Winnipeg of Philippine Independence at Marlborough Hotel as part of the Filipino Journal family.

Funny and annoying detail was, the event's theme was "Celebrating Families," and then one of the organizers upon seeing that Inna and I were with our four-year-old son Evawwen as we entered the hall, she gave us a condescending look of disapproval. And then it did not stop there. When we were requesting for a high chair, we heard the same organizer’s saying that they could not give us an extra chair and commented whisperingly that we should not have brought a child with us in the first place.

This was the second time it happened with the same event and with the same organizer.

For one, Evawwen was as always manageable and relatively behaved and did not stray far from our table and never cried or put a tantrum, ever. Second, as usual, there was no indication on the ticket nor in the event program that children were not allowed; third, we were there not as gatecrashers nor hangers-on so we deserved recognition, and last, there were also another family who came with a child.

Because I am an understanding, well-mannered, and intelligent person, I didn't react untowardly to that person’s disrespectful, discourteous, unethical, and socially unacceptable behavior. Her faults were 1) if the organizers didn’t like children at the event, then they should have indicated that detail clearly on the forty-dollar ticket, 2) if the said organizer didn’t approve of our bringing our kid with us, then she should have  called me in private and expressed her disapproval and gave me her reasons so at least I could have explained my side and been able to tell her that they should have indicated that detail on the ticket if that was very important to them, and 3) uttering unsavory remarks against someone especially in public and at the person’s earshot is plainly rude, unethical, and unbecoming.

Being a well-adjusted and socially and multiculturally oriented person, I knew very well that to react publicly in a confrontational, similarly rude and unethical way would have made me nothing different from her. This was the reason we just ignored her bad behavior and simply went on our business of being there—that was, to enjoy the dinner, socialize with some people we know, and listen to the speakers and watch the performers amidst the noise of some of the attendees who couldn’t care less except for the delicious crème brûlée.

However, the next time I encounter a similar incident with this same person, I will no longer ignore her; I will ensure that I stand up to defend my principles: I will not confront and call her attention in front of the people around, but rather I will ask her if I can talk to her in private, and there shall I discuss with her my issue about her action. I will also write her a formal letter to document the incident, making all the members of the committee copyees so they can discuss about putting the rule “No children allowed” on the tickets for their next event to be fair with the invitees and attendees if having children at such events really bothers them.

Sa Madaling Salita
Ang isyu rito e hindi yung pagdadala ng bata sa mga pagtitipon na ganoon kundi ang pagiging malinaw sa rules and guidelines” na nais ipatupad ng organizers. Kung ayaw nila ng bata e di linawin nila sa tiket—“Bawal ang bata!” Pangalawa, ang pagpaparinig o pagpapasaring e isang napakasamang kaugalian. Kung may hindi ka nagustuhan sa sinabi o ikinilos o ginawa ng isang tao e tawagin mo sila at sabihan sa pribadong pamamaraan. Kungi di mo ito kayang gawin e tumahimik ka na lang. Huli, wag kang maging ipokrito—kapag nagsalita ka e punung-puno ng ideals at values ang namumutawi sa iyong bibig, subalit hindi mo naman ito isinasakilos.

Final Note
I, Charina, and Evawwen with (1) Chiwee (an RN coworker of mine at Riverview Health Centre who is the president of a community association), (2) Gem Anis (fellow Filipino Journal columnist), (3) Philip S. Lee (24th and current Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba), and Larry Vickar (CEO of Vickar Automotive Group)--all photos taken at the Philippine Independence celebration in Winnipeg, held on June 14, at Marlborough Hotel in Downtown Winnipeg

The person in question was one of the speakers. How I cringed in disbelief and disgust as she peppered her speech with idealistic and rhetorical statements about the importance of ‘family’ and ‘values’ in the Filipino culture and yet had the temerity to express her rudeness and distasteful action to a family who had done nothing wrong in a legal or technical perspective.

But, the question that might be in the minds of many observers: Why did we need to bring our child/ren with us to some social gatherings like that?

So long as an event does not bear the rule "No children allowed," we have the legal right to take him with us--as long also as we are able to manage our child's behavior and take responsibility for his actions. Social events are opportunities for educational experience for the child in the aspect of socialization, enabling him to develop further his social skills.


Post a Comment

<< Home