We found your heart-wrenching video about your unbelievably cruel experience in El Nido, Palawan, and how you were fat-shamed and judged for being dark-skinned. There is no excuse for what those people did, but sadly, they probably did not know they hurt you to your very core. For this, we want to apologize. You had first-hand experience of our twisted sense of humor and ignorance, and we are deeply sorry for the emotional damage we’ve caused you.
There are moments when we manage to fool ourselves into thinking that we have progressed as a culture and stuff like this don’t happen anymore, but your story woke us up to the reality that we have a lot of work to do. For this, we also want to thank you.
It’s pretty ironic, actually. All the hateful words said to you are the exact things we secretly detest about ourselves, and this deep-rooted insecurity comes out as racist puns we loosely broadcast in Philippine media, share with our friends, and pass on to our kids. It’s a flawed, vicious cycle, and your story made us look at ourselves, too, in the same way it probably tested your sense of identity.
Please do not let your experience taint what you think of yourself. You mentioned you just wanted someone to tell you you were beautiful during your ordeal. Well, on behalf of the Filipino people, we at Cosmo Philippines want to tell you, YOU ARE! Girl, you wanna know another thing about you? You’re all about ~*cLaSs!*~ If it were us who got bullied like that, we probably would’ve lost it. You kept it together and aired your concerns in a respectful manner, which the people who maltreated you do not deserve. Beautiful AND classy. Elayne, you are fiiiine!!!
Never let the hateful words you heard define you, or diminish what you think of yourself, as a woman and as a human being. We also hope that one day, we can make it up to you—that you can give this amazing country another chance, because despite what you went through, everything they say about Pinoys being hospitable and warm is also true. And if you choose to retract your decision to never visit the Philippines again, please give us a heads up on social media. If the hundreds of apologies from Filipinos under your video are any indication, we have a feeling you’re going to have “more fun in the Philippines” the second time around.
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