GMA's $3000 DRESS: OSTENTATION IN THE MIDST OF HUNGER

On July 8, Philippine national dailies published on their front pages a picture of The Queen regal in a whopping $3,000 dress.

That same day, I wrote a letter to one of the dailies expressing my disgust. I do not know if it was published. I am reproducing it here in the hope The Dress will arouse a national discourse and spark concrete actions against hunger.

The picture of Pres. Gloria Arroyo wearing a $3000 (P140,000) dress on (your July 8) issue's front page trivializes the crises weighing down her "queendom."

Two weeks ago, (your paper) showed a picture of Ruffa Gutierrez carrying a P100,000 bag. I thought it should inspire national outrage. Ostentation when poverty is at its worst and there are long queues to buy (National Food Authority) rice leaves a bad taste in the mouth. But when the President is the one who vaunts luxury, she commits a social crime beyond acquittal, beyond forgiveness. Amidst the rice and oil crises and the haze of ineffable grief over the tragedy wrought by Typhoon Frank, how can she be brazenly insensitive? The cost of her dress is nowhere near what most poor families make in a year!

But then, this is the same President who was chasing Barack Obama's attention while the orphaned nation, under the heavy weight of various catastrophes, was struggling for breath.

A few days later, I am still outraged. The Queen wore the dress to prove that the Philippines can produce "high tech" dresses from pineapple fibers. What was her message? That we convert all our rice fields into pineapple plantations so that the rich and famous all over the world can feed their vanity by wearing Philippine-made dresses that cost much, much more than what the average Filipino family makes in a year? Scientists already spoke: our rice shortage is due to the land conversion schemes to meet the dictates of neoliberalism. What used to be ricefields for domestic consumption are now lands for the production of the export market's demand. Sounds like a really sick joke. Satisfy the vanity of the few, ignore the hunger of the multitude.

Where does The Queendom's neoliberal obsession lead us, citizens of a country that hosts the International Rice Research Institute? Where else but to those long queues for a kilo of NFA rice? That is if we get lucky at all.

18 comments:

Perry Diaz said...

If her dad Cong Dadong was alive today, he would have disowned her. Aptl, she should be renamed Gloria Macapal Arroyo like in "callous."

Perry

Chyt said...

Perry, in law school, I used to prepare examination questions involving an evil character named Goria Makapal-Arayko. You are right- callous is the word that best describes her, but only because there is no worse word that sufficiently describes how and who she is.

Thanks for visiting. I added your very involved blog in the blogroll. I will encourage my students to visit it.

Chyt said...

I am uploading human rights activist Jude Baggo's comment to this post, received in another site.

Here is what Juday has to say:

"gosh... truli? walang hiya naman talagang babaeng yan...

Droomvla said...

Goodness gracious, what are these people thinking? Parading their 3k dollars dress and 100k pesos bag, while the other 60 million people starve? They should be thrown to jail!!!!!

Chyt said...

Droomvla Marissa,

I am not for the death penalty. But when I think of people like The Queen, I think of rethinking my anti-death penalty posture.

Thanks for dropping by, friend.

Ajie C. said...

Ma'am, the problem when you used the character Goria Makapal-Arayko was we could not concentrate on our examinations. We would giggle a lot. One time the proctor thought two people who were giggling were cheating and approached them. They were embarassed. I also remember your character Abu Sabali who was killed by the Military thinking he was Abu Sabaya.
Nice and insightful thoughts as usual. I do not know how come some people have the conscience to show off their riches while many people are joining long lines to buy cheap rice.

Chyt said...

Ajie, keep dropping by. Thanks.

GMA distracts our concentration- either as unelected President or as a character in law examination problem.

TruBlue said...

Senator Kiko P's wife (an actress I think), bragged at one time her daughter's bday gift was a Gucci bag worth $1,200.00. So disdainful.
A US atlethe was robbed and almost got killed for partying too much while drinking and showing off a bottle of champagne which costs $15,000.00!!
We would think these people would have a changed of heart, but most likely they won't. They have to feed their rotten evilish egos.

Welcome back, hang in there, and cheers and goodhealth to you. Always keep in mind, walking above ground is a reminder to enjoy life.

lovelyn said...

'Ala na lang syang ginawang tama', worst leads to another! I think that's a part of living up with her name, "The Evil Gloria", WITH OUT reservation anymore. "Garapalan na to" - if that dress could talk!

Chyt said...

TruBlue, thanks. You are very right there. How can they stand showing off their wealth when so many people are hungry?

Lovelyn, I like what you said- if only that dress could talk. Hahahaha. And what tales it may tell.

sHeena said...

It is so devastating that a person like her, who should be a model or a symbol of encouragement to "her" people would just flaunt her "very special" $3K dress while millions of people join long lines for just a 3-kilo rice. Was she expecting that we'll thank her for "giving" the idea of converting rice fields to pineapple plantations?!! What a shame! Her name should not have been Gloria but "Dillema" instead

Chyt said...

Sheena,

As Perry Diaz said,she is so callous.

Thanks for visiting. Keep dropping by.

Chyt said...

Sheena,

As Perry Diaz said,she is so callous.

Thanks for visiting. Keep dropping by.

Bill Bilig said...

I agree with Perry that Cong Dadong would disown her.

Hehe. That chasing Obama thing is really embarrassing for the country, ano? Kulang na kulang talaga sa pansin ang ating queen so nagpumilit na makipagmeeting kay Obama. Buti inisnab siya.

Chyt said...

Bill, hahaha. Ang guapo naman kasi ni Obama. Can't blame her.

Seriously, this unelected President does not know her priorities.

Anonymous said...

what a pity for myself, i haven´t got any idea how rotten our president was until i´ve encounter this website , i am learning a lot in here by reading your posts and the like. thanks!

oh my dear Philippines, what would become of you tommorow with that kind of leader you have. she´s a real shame, self-centered person. GLORIA MACAPAL ANG MUKHA, NAKAKASUKA KA! NAPAKAWALANG HIYA MO!!!HUH...
talaga bang malakas ang kapit niyan at di oobra ang PEOPLE POWER O KAYA IMPEACHMENT like what they´d done to Mr. Estrada? GLORIA is not deserving to stay inside the palace . baka kahit ipakain siya sa mga isda sa ilog Pasig hindi siya gagalawin dahil sa lubhang lansa niya...

SHAME ON YOU MRS. PRESIDENT!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your negative critique on ms. arroyo's ostentation is very much empathized with. I would, however, like to request that all of you do not forget the faults of the publications that featured this crime. Please keep in mind the deteriorating quality of, not only the language with which they present their stories, but the news articles being featured as well.

Anonymous said...

I am reading this article second time today, you have to be more careful with content leakers. If I will fount it again I will send you a link