A Little Too Busy in Doha: Racism, Culture, Religion

So, it has been months again before I write another blog entry–random thoughts, I guess, brought me here again this time. I just feel like writing now because, ya’know, I feel like writing and I actually miss writing. Feeling ko kinakalawang na ako in terms of grammar and my brain too, well, probably because I don’t get to talk to real English speakers because I mostly converse with Arabic people. I am not a racist though.

I just want to share my thoughts and somehow rants in what I am going through these days. This afternoon while chatting with my workmates in the studio, one mentioned that one of our accountants said bluntly to one of the Filipino workers here that we, Filipinos, “work during the day, and work during the night“. Which literally means…you know it already.

To give you a backstory, it was Sunday last week (my off day) when I and my two other workmates (I’ll name them Ate and Mars) got a little of enjoyment and went to a bar after our food trip in Qatar International Food Festival. Our curfew is at 12pm but Ate’s is 11pm because she did something that made our Madam upset. Anyway, back to the story, Ate decided to stay with us ’til before 12pm, meaning lagpas na siya sa 11pm curfew niya. She said it’s okay because “she doesn’t care anymore” since she’s the apple of the eye of our Madam, which means pinagti-tripan siya.

To continue the story, we reached our accommodation at around 11:50pm, a little tipsy but not drunk, definitely not drunk. Unfortunately, our receptionist, who happened to be our “guard”, saw us three going out from the taxi–Ate was the first to come out running so she didn’t notice the receptionist, so it was me and Mars who saw that the receptionist was there watching us (which she doesn’t usually do). So, there I panicked a little bit because she (receptionist)  saw Ate running late for her curfew.

So that was the issue. However what shocked me the most was that, it wasn’t only the issue. The receptionist told our Madam that I was wearing a very short dress. IT WASN’T! I actually wore it before and that was not an issue! And, hello?! There were other ladies who wear shorter than my dress and my dress is more of a casual-formal dress and not a seductive one. C’mon! Sa totoo lang, kung anu-ano na lang talaga ang ginagawa nilang issue sa amin, and what I mean with “sa amin” is we, Filipino staffs.

To cut the story short, ‘yon ang pinaghuhugutan ni Indianong judgmental accountant. I never thought that I would really encounter such racism in my whole life. Dapat ini-expect ko na nga diba because I am in an Arab and Muslim country pero ang sakit pala, it hurts kasi hindi lang ikaw ang minamaliit nila kundi ang buong lahi mo. Masakit kasi babae ako at bakit kailangan sabihin ng isang walang alam na lalaki ‘yon? Hindi ako nagmamalaki or what, pero that was really foul. Really bad.

I know that this is a Muslim country but this also an OPEN MUSLIM country, which, unlike Saudi Arabia, people here are more open-minded that’s why they allowed hotel bars to open and offer alcoholic drinks. I respect their culture, their religion and their beliefs but somehow there are still other people, whether they are from this country or from other race who also work here, who will try to look some faults in us, Filipinos, because they are happy to see us suffer. In my almost two years here, I shouldn’t rant about this anymore, I should be used to it already, but I still can’t accept it especially when they look down to us, Filipinos, because if they could only just accept the truth…this country’s workforce is not gonna run as it is today if not with the help of Filipinos. Each and every household of this country is not gonna run completely without their Filipino helpers. I am not saying this only for Filipinos but also for those who are being discriminated because of their belief, culture, religion and most especially, because of which race they come from. Nabubuhay ang dugong aktibista ko but I can do nothing but this, write. Because the more you fight, the more they will degrade you because they think they’re greater than me, than Filipinos. If I only had a chance to talk to the Madam and to that accountant I would have said this thing, “I am a Filipino and I am proud to be.”





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