The results of the recent Bar Exam have been released and it's been talked about a lot on social media because, for the first time in years, no student from a Luzon-based school made it to the top 10. (via ABS-CBN.com)
TBH, we don't know why it even matters because we believe excellence isn't because of one's school alone. But it seems like Bisayas, who made it to the top 10, got some flak online after the results came out and Rachel Amestoso, a graduate of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, won't have any of it anymore. Instead of talking about the results of the licensure examination alone in her viral Facebook post, she touched on the issue of discrimination on Bisayas, which we've been dealing with "all our lives," she wrote.
"People say the results of the recent bar exam smell fishy. People say it's impossible that no one from those who placed in the top 10 came from a Luzon-based university," she began. "People say that it has something to do with the president being Bisaya. People say Bisaya people passed because the questions were in Bisaya. People say that we must expect a breed of low quality lawyers from now on."
Rachel then talked about how this all stemmed from the way Bisayas have been portrayed in media.
"People from the Visayas were always portrayed in television as dumb and ridiculous and can do nothing more than being a mere house helper. People made fun of our language; people made fun of our speech. Radio stations use words from our language only when the intention is to make a joke or say something dirty at least."
There were even times, she wrote, when she overheard people "commodifying" Bisayas, especially when it came to looking for household help.
She then went on and wrote something from her own experience when she got in a Luzon-based university. "I got laughed at for my weak Tagalog communication skills. No worries, I told myself, at least I can understand what's going on. Still, I got questioned for being there when I could've been back home, as if I did not deserve to study there."
What's heartbreaking is when Rachel wrote some of the things Bisayas have been told, which may sound funny to some people but is actually offensive when you're on the receiving end of these statements. Some of them are the following: "Bisaya ka, ba't ang puti mo?"or "May kuryente sa inyo?" or "Bisaya ka? Paano ka nakapag-aral dito?" or "Pag Bisaya 'di ba Jejemon?” or "Jologs no'n, e. Bisaya kasi." The list goes on.
At the center of it all, Rachel just wants to understand why it's even an issue that no Luzon-based university made it to the top 10.
"I don't get it. Pag topnotchers from a Visayas-based university, smells fishy agad. Pero pag topnotchers na Bisaya from a Luzon-based university, okay lang?" she wrote. "So you're saying universities from Luzon are automatically of higher quality and universities from the Visayas are always less? FYI, there are so many universities from the Visayas who breed excellent and competitive students. You're so complacent with the thought that you're superior you actually overlooked the fact that you're not. You try so hard to appear bigger you ended up inhaling too much air inside."
"You're so complacent with the thought that you're superior you actually overlooked the fact that you're not. You try so hard to appear bigger you ended up inhaling too much air inside."
Rachel even wrote that the fact that students from other parts of the country made it to the top 10 should make all of us happy because it only means that we have a good education system.
She ends her message with a note that she doesn't really want us to fight over this, which is right because it's pointless and we're all part of one country. She just found the need to write about it because this discrimination's been going on for years…and it really needs to stop ASAP.
Read Rachel's entire post below: