Not (necessarily) un-Filipino

I’ve heard a few comments, attributing the Dale Abenojar controversy to a kink in our Filipino-ness. I don’t know what you think about Abenojar’s claim that he had summitted Everest on May 15, from the more difficult China (Tibet) side. For my part, the picture the Star ran yesterday — with first-time Alpine climber Abenojar standing straight, two thumbs up — looked too posed, unlike, say, the unglamorous shot of Romi Garduce slouching on the summit, almost falling back on the clutch of Sherpas sitting beside him. But like many others, I guess, I’m open to contrary evidence.

The question is: Is the controversy typically Filipino? Is it Pinoy in the sense I’ve heard it said? "Pinoy talaga!" Or "Pinoy na Pinoy, ano?" ["This is so Filipino" — close, but not exact.]

The answer, I guess, is: Only if we nationalize numerous other competitors, such as Peary and Cook, who famously disputed the distinction of who was the first man to reach the North Pole. (Today, Peary retains the advantage, but it is only fair to say his claim is still questioned by many.)

The controversy, I wager, is a typically human one: Born of ambition and competition and jealousy and pride, of "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself," to put old William Faulkner to use again.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Not (necessarily) un-Filipino

  1. Just thinking aloud.

    Aside from Tenzing Norgay, how many other Sherpa guides who have summited Everest do we know? Yet, behind every successful conquest of the mountain, almost always there is an unknown Sherpa guide(s) who leads the way to the top.

    Yet, we invest so much fame and renown for most foreign and our own summiteers. Is the Sherpa’s task any easier?

  2. (Sorry, comment above was truncated.)

    In a humorous sort of way, the Sherpa’s lot is very much like that of Ginger Rogers, the other half of the Astaire-Rogers dance tandem. It would seem that people were heaping inordinate praises only to Astaire for his dancing virtuosity.

    Rogers’ remark was like unto this, what’s wrong with people I also make the same moves and steps he does – and worse, I have to do them in reverse.

  3. Jeg

    You know what? Im kind of hoping Abenojar presents incontrovertible proof. Just to stick it to the networks who’re stil trying to make a spectacle out of this. How much weight does his sherpa guide’s testimony have?

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