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Much Ado About Nothing

Filipinos are chocolate covered cookies that is doughnut-shaped and its filling is a white-creamy-vanilla-flavored-concoction. It comes in white chocolate flavor etc. It caused quite a controversy in the 1990s because as Senator Alvarez pointed out that it disrespects the people of the Philippines. The Philippine government filed a diplomatic protest against the government of Spain. Then, Former President Estrada regarded it as an ‘insult’ to the people of the Philippines.

However, Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon’s initial response was there was absolutely nothing wrong with the brand. He is fine with “Filipinos” utilized as a name for the biscuits. Moreover, he made an example about the small sausages branded as ‘Vienna Sausage’-- the Austrians are not complaining about it.

Lumpiang Shaghai is a pork-meat wrapped in lumpia wrapper. It comes in numerous variations. Shanghai is a place in China. The people who live in Shanghai are not offended by it.

Papel de hapon is a thin paper that is used as the tails of the Christmas Parols. It comes in all colors. The Japanese people are okay about it.

French fries is a popular side-dish or snack in fast-food-restaurants. It is a potato cut into rectangular shapes and dipped into ketchup. Potato is yellow. The French people even celebrate this gastronomic treat.

Belgian chocolate is usually a dark chocolate. It is one of the most loved chocolates in the entire world. The Belgian Malinois is a large-breed dog. The Belgians are absolutely agreeable to that situation.

German Shepherds are large-breed dogs as well used for Police work. The Germans are not angry with that at all. There is the Boston Terrier, Japanese Spitz, Siberian Husky, French Poodle, etc. People from these countries are not complaining about it too.

Danish cookies, Swiss cheese, Japanese ramen, Brussels sprouts, etc. The list is endless.

On the home-front, we use the Barong Tagalog, the Camisa Chino: the Tagalog people and the Filipino-Chinese are not protesting about that too. How about the Bikol Express, the iconic Bicolano dish? Or the Pancit Bato?

From science classes in high school, we were taught about the Philippine Eagle and so on. In Webster’s dictionary the wood imported from the Philippines are listed and branded as Philippine hard wood. Narra for instance is called Philippine hard wood.

It gets more superfluous, we are all familiar with Jollibee Filipino-Style Spaghetti, if you cook there is Filipino-Style Spaghetti sauce from Del Monte as opposed to the Italian Style.

Now, talking about Italians the only thing they complain about something endearing is they never put pineapple in their pizza. It is a serious offense for their Culinary Arts.

So, let us discuss Spain. Spain has Chorizo de Bilbao, Paella Valenciana etc. All over the globe people are inspired by people and places. There is a province in Spain called Valencia just to finally drive the point home.

Do the Spaniards know that we have the Spanish bread? It is a bread purely invented by Filipinos. It is a variation of ensaymada. Hmmm… It is also known as Pan de Kastila. Should they file a diplomatic protest against the Filipinos?

In the final analysis, we need to consult an expert. So, I explained the controversy to my older brother who is a Lawyer. After, enumerating the salient points; the pros and cons. Simply put the two sides of the coin were put under the microscope. To conclude, after an exhaustive debate, I asked him what is his informed opinion about it? He said, “Nothing…” Indeed, much ado about nothing. Enough said.


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