Jimmy Sieczka (via Google, I suspect that is his name), the American guy who thinks he knows so much of the Filipinos and the Philippines, should think of leaving the country for good and go back to the U.S.! In a 14-minute video, originally posted in Channelfix website and reposted in YouTube, Jimmy claimed that that he has been living and working in the Philippines for 3 and a half years, and that he has seen all the f*cking bullshits the country has to offer. He shared his reasons why he hated the Philippines through his ethnocentrism [definition: judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one’s own culture]. In the video, he matched-up the Philippines with America — “…in the Philippines, you can do this annoying thing; in America you cannot…”
Filipinos who have watched the video could connect to what Jimmy Sieczka was ranting about. Undeniably, some of what he said were true — facts that most Filipinos already knew. Some rants were supererogatory. The problem is, he forged generalizations based on what he observed in Cebu, one of the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines. Plainly, the guy hasn’t seen 99% of the 7100 islands that the country is consist of.
Below, I listed his observations, which is completely typical to any developing countries in Asia, or even those around the world. I recognized that the video was taken in the uptown area of Cebu, where Mango Square is located.
Truthfully, I do not have any problem with people enunciating their disgust about the Philippines. In fact, I do have my list as well. I even agree with some of Jimmy’s thoughts (IMPORTANT: the video raises awareness on the present situation of the country). However, it isn’t just fair to compare everything in the Philippines to what he experiences in America — and then proceed to blatantly call the Filipinos “f*cking annoying” and the Philippines “f*cking disgusting”. The choice of words is so inappropriate.
If all he wanted was to offer constructive criticisms, which I think Filipinos could handle, he could have given some concrete, unbiased feedback and offer ways for potential improvement. In the video, he was babbling out of control, and everything just sounded selfish. Instead of fully getting a support, he seemed to have started a fight against the people whom he wanted to help in the first place.
Here are his rants in italic. It would have been nice if he contrasted his observations in the Philippines with those in America.
1. Covering drainage holes with garbage cans.
True. You see many of these in Cebu.
Another truth: There are many adults, kids, and even animals falling into open manholes in America!
2. Guys on the streets selling him Cialis, a drug to treat erectile dysfunction.
True. And not just Cialis.
Another truth: There are many Americans who cheat their system by illegally selling drugs on the streets.
3. Food sanitation on food streets.
True, and I have seen the same in other places around the world.
Another truth: According to a 1999 statistics, 1 in 3 Americans suffer food-borne illness each year. The cases of food poisoning are dramatic and startling. As of 2011, between 200,000 and 800,000 adults are hospitalized (1 out of every 6 Americans) daily.
4. MILF as terrorists.
True. The Islamic militant group is located in the Southern part of the country.
Another truth: There are also domestic terrorist cells in the United States. Read “Terrorism in the United States” published by the FBI.
5. Construction sites not safe. Also, he said that it is not required to finish any building construction one has started.
Partly True: Although the Department of Public Works and Highways wants to ensure the safety of workers in the construction industry, the implementation of effective occupational safety on sites still needs improvement.
Not True: Not required? There could be construction delays, but that does not mean the work never gets done. Jimmy is clearly exaggerating.
6. Filipinos use whitening creams.
True. The appeal on skin whitening steams from views on class superiority — you get noticed when you’re light skinned.
Another truth: How will Jimmy react to some white American women who paste themselves with fake tan? Truth is, there are many tanning salons in the U.S. that people patronize to change their skin color from light to dark.
7. Heavy traffic that causes Philippine pollution.
True. The Philippines ranked 42nd in the list of “sovereign states and territories by carbon dioxide emissions”. In a 2010 Business World article, The Philippines’ energy-related carbon dioxide emission is seen as lowest in Southeast Asia.
Another truth: According to the United States Department of Energy 2010 estimates, the U.S. is second to China in the list of biggest polluting countries in the world!
8. Small items bought wrap in plastic bags and thrown on the streets causing litters.
Another truth: If you don’t want your items to be packed, then say it the to bagger. Just like in America, you can opt for your items to be wrapped or not.
9. Shitty drivers. Nobody follows the traffic rules.
Partly True: There may be reckless drivers, but there are others who still obey traffic laws.
Another truth: According to a HealthDay poll from November 10-14, 2011, most American adults who drive admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviors. A large percentage of the people said they know distracted driving is dangerous, but do it anyway. Shitty, don’t you think so, Jimmy?
10. Security guards everywhere — giggling, smoking, sleeping. None of them are ever doing anything. No training whatsoever.
Partly true. Jimmy chose to pick security guards from non-high-risk areas.
Truth: They may not be the best security guards in the world, but they are willing to die to defend the establishments they are guarding. If they smile at you, they are only being friendly, like most Filipinos are. Thus, please treat them nicely Jimmy.
11. Frisking in store entrances.
True. I don’t see anything wrong with this process, except from the lax implementation of the policy.
Truth: Due to security concerns, it is routine for security guards to lightly frisk customers as they enter shopping malls and huge public establishments.
Another truth: I am glad the Philippines does not have something like this: Minorities More Likely to Be Frisked.
12. Vehicles use the horn frequently because the drivers saw you.
Truth: The drivers beep and slow down not because they saw you. They do it to let commuters know that the vehicles are vacant and ready for hire. Beeping is also used to warn jaywalkers of apparent dangers.
13. Napkins cut into small size.
Partly true. Apart from financial benefits on the side of the business owner, it is also paper conservation. Do you really need to use a big sheet to wipe your mouth or hand clean?
14. Beggars everywhere you go.
True, and this has been a problem since. Pointing this over and over again in a sort of mockery does not help alleviate the situation.
Another truth: In the U.S., beggars are everywhere in big cities as well.
15. Top 40s blasting all night long in every direction.
Not True. Top 40s? Maybe in specific hang-out areas, but not everywhere! Also, I don’t understand why Jimmy has to be there in the first place. Filipinos love music and loud karaokes, especially when there are barangay events. If you want serenity, climb to the hills!
16. Lady-boys, prostitutes, drunk Koreans that don’t speak English abound in Mango Square. The red-light district of Cebu on crack. Why is it that every hot girl in the Philippines is a lady-boy?
Partly true: Because there are a lot of hot girls in the Philippines. All Jimmy has to do is be in the right place. It looks like, Jimmy loves to be with what he labelled as lady-boys. Otherwise, he would spend his time somewhere else and be with real women. Oh Jimmy, stop complaining if you still hang-out with your lady-boys!
17. People expects tips even from the tiniest of tasks, like hailing you a cab.
Partly true: Not everyone who offers little help asks for tips. Also, this is left to personal choice. You can always tell these guys on the streets that you don’t need help in backing up your car. However, if you really feel like sharing your loose coins, why not share it to these men?
18. Tons of f*cking Koreans in the Philippines. Koreans hang out in large groups like f*cking wolves. They don’t speak English, they are loud and obnoxious. This is absolutely offensive. Jimmy does not know that Koreans are in the Philippines because of low cost of English-language education and housing. According to the Department of Tourism- Central Visayas, Koreans continue to top the foreign tourists coming to Cebu. This is good for Cebu’s tourism industry.
19. Food isn’t so good. The Philippines is a bit noisy and really dirty. But where are you really spending most of your time at? Go somewhere else in the Philippines. See more of the country and its countryside. Or better yet (and if you continue to verbally attack the very people you are living with), go home to America, Jimmy.
Update 1: The YouTube video has been deleted!
Update 2: Someone uploaded the video on YouTube again.
Here is the original video from Channelfix. (Note: To watch the full video, you have to watch the short ads in between clips.)
I admired Jimmy’s courage for putting the video up for every Filipino to watch. However, his approach to constructive criticisms was done in a poor way that it backfired. As I tried to point out in the beginning, the video has social relevance as it (again) showed the dark side of Philippine local governance. Knowing that Jimmy lives in Cebu, slapping the Cebuanos right into the face is disrespectful or insulting. His choice of words is a proof. Jimmy made the Cebuanos look like idiots. He should have taken some caution and made the video a little lighter, and still gets his points across.
It may be alright to complain and criticize, yet Jimmy did not offer ideas and solutions to the social challenges he’s facing with. This is not the way to effect change, if that is what he intended in making the video. Instead, he verbally abused the Filipinos based on random local observations and without even trying to look at the bigger perspective. Some say Jimmy was being honest. Right. He was brutally honest in the hope of effecting positive change. Too bad, he has overstepped some bounds as well.
Jimmy, if you really want to help the Philippines, get involved in charity works and be a volunteer. Ranting offensive comments won’t get anything done! If you really believe that you are surrounded by f*cking annoying Filipinos, then why stay in the country? Go home to the U.S. where you rightly belong. Why stay?!
What do you think of Jimmy Sieczka’s comments? Do you agree or disagree with his thoughts about the Philippines?
Update 3: Jimmy Sieczka posted this comment on Channelfix.
“For those of you that think that this video was made to show my hate for the Philippines I must say that you are sadly mistaken. Watch urban master class on channelfix.com by Dansk santos as she follows me to get my first Filipino tattoo. A tattoo of the Philippine flag..http://channelfix.com/video/117/ For those that actually get the piece and realize I’m just stating the obvious in an unconventional way in order to spark change, thank and salamat! With this many people watching, it proofs that there needs to be some more positive changes to the Filipino communities. Never once did I use the word hate in the piece. I simply pointed out issues that have been overlooked for quite some time.”