I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Tracy replies

When I posted the transcript of Tracy Borres’s post and then published my take on it, I didn’t realize that it was one of those wilfd-fire type things that convulse the interwebs from time to time. Since then, many replies have been posted on those two …er, posts. One commenter – ReezenTOT – actually messaged Tracy herself and got a reply. And the girl who inspired many many strong reactions finally gets a word in edgewise.

Yes I am fully aware of the gravity and extent of what is happening right now, but thank you still. =)

Someone stole it from my CONTACTS only account. Sigh sigh. Thing is i know how rude and offensive it sounded but that was because I was expecting it to be read by my friends only who understood a kind of dark quirky humor of mine that really would make other people mad. It was a post meant to be comical (exaggerated rudeness and ditzy-ness, although still not with some truth to it of course) for my friends to laugh at… then of course it leaked. Sigh sigh.

I am just waiting for this to blow over (as typical ‘internet sensations’ usually do), because seriously. People, focus on real issues not on some spoiled sheltered girl. Haha. Again, your note was much appreciated. =)

Let’s deconstruct that because – seriously? – it’s pretty disappointing.

First, she knew that she was being offensive – i know how rude and offensive it sounded

Second, and that she thought only her friends would hear – but that was because I was expecting it to be read by my friends only

Third, but now she knows that the world knows – Yes I am fully aware of the gravity and extent of what is happening right now

Fourth, so what she does is … wait for it to blow over? – I am just waiting for this to blow over as typical ‘internet sensations’ usually do

Whatever you say to a select group of friends is your business and you don’t have to apologize for that – but only if what you say stays within that group. If however – for any reason – that offensive thing you said ever goes beyond that circle of friends and becomes part of the public domain, you lose that excuse that it was said in private.

Your right to swing your elbow ends where my nose begins. 

Within your clique, what you say runs little risk of offending anyone – save for the sensibilities of squeamish friends – like the one who exposed Tracy. In fact, it won’t even offend the very people you were being offensive and crude about. So it’s pretty much a no-harm-no-foul situation. But since Tracy has been exposed, the crudity of her language – the sheer insensitivity of what she considers herr ‘dark quirky humor’ – ceases to be harmless. 

In fact, having her post shared all the over the web – in the process offending not just the Aetas but also the people who have gone through the same immersion hell as her … not to mention nearly everyone and his dog – creates a responsibility for her to at the very least apologize to the people she’s hurt. 

The worst thing Tracy can do is what she’s doing: acting like this tidal wave of reactions is irrelevant or insignificant. She can’t – she shouldn’t – wait for this to just ‘blow over,’ much less use the fact that she’s a self-confessed ‘spoiled sheltered girl’ as an excuse. I know it’s been considered cute or maybe adorable to refer to oneself as a brat or as a spoiled child, but only in good self-deprecating fun. It is not something to be proud of. And if Tracy’s smart enough to admit that that’s what she is, then I expect that she’s also smart enough to know that that is not a good thing, and that the next step after acknowledging the problem is to start fixing it, not embracing it and using it as an excuse for awful behavior. 

People should at least have the grace to act embarassed when they put their foot in their mouths.


Filed under: education, society, , , ,

26 Responses

  1. brianbro says:

    You mean have her do a Mel Gibson?

  2. rom says:

    brianbro: at the very least, man.

  3. Marocharim says:

    I am SO blogging this.

  4. pippi says:

    It’s people like you who are propagating the hurt. You’re the ones smearing her shit all over the Internet when she never meant for her post to be made public in the first place. If you people hadn’t done that, the Aetas (who do not have access to this brouhaha, in case you didn’t know), her immersion-mates (who aren’t as affected as you would’ve hoped, fyi), self-righteous prudes, hypocritical activists, etc. wouldn’t have been “offended” by her words. Did you ever think about that?

    Also, don’t you think your words are hurting the girl as well? You act as if she doesn’t deserve to be respected just because of that ill-fated post. As if you’re so much better than her. Please. You people need to get off your pedagogic bull and make sure you’ve never sinned in your life before you cast the first stone.

  5. rom says:

    pippi:what you say is true. her rant should never have been made public. blame one of her friends for that then, because – as Tracy said – it was a contacts only account.

    but since it’s out in the public, then it will offend, and it will be seen by many many more people than she originally intended. It’s like toothpaste, pippi. You can’t un-squeeze it out of the tube.

    but your train of thought is genuinely disturbing. i imagine you’re one of those people who rant at government and rail against things like the NBN-ZTE deal, or *gasp* the Hello Garci scandal. Well, those things, pippi, came to y0ur knowledge because someone spread the shit around.

    So, following your logic, if those things hadn’t been exposed – just as Tracy’s rant was exposed – then we would have all been the better for it. Sorta like ignorance is bliss, right? if you believe that, then my friend your are ten different kinds of blissful.

    Also, the Aetas don’t have to have access to the internet for them to know about this hate-lit. All it takes is for one person to tell them that the little girl they tried to take care of – the little girl who made them feel ashamed about living their lives in abject poverty – had nothing but contempt for them.

    And if her immersion-mates weren’t bothered by her response to the experience, well then, I’m sorry for them as well – for being jaded enough not to care. But I tell you this. There are those who came away from immersion exercises who are not as numb as you might think.

    As for hurting the girl, well … tough. She was big enough to write hurtful words, shouldn’t she be big enough to survive them as well? And maybe you didn’t read all the related posts, but I think I’m the last one you can accuse of gratuitously skewering tracy.

    You can bitch all you want about how posts like this prevent the hubbub from dying down. But don’t you see that it needs to be addressed, not swept into forgetfulness? Tracy opened up a shitload of worms, pippi, and she hasn’t even had the grace to apologize. I’m not calling for her to be lynched – I’m calling for her to face the problem she caused and to address it. And I’m calling for her mentors to shepherd her into the realization that this is something she should not trivialize.

  6. BrianB says:

    Come on, people. RACISM is bad. Racists should be exposed or… aired out. Why is this country in denial about being racist when it’s so obvious. You’re scared, aren’t you, because you are surrounded by brown people?

  7. UP n grad says:

    Does one really say that brown Filipinos (and as far as the world is concerned, practically all Filipinos are brown though some may be black : [translation : not-Caucasian; not-Chinese; not-Japanese] )…. how does one say that brown Filipinos are “… scared of brown”?

  8. chris says:

    rom: bravo!

    fyi, tracy’s infamous FB entry has been read by some members of the ateneo faculty. by the way, tracy is still in school – a senior PSYCHOLOGY student. how ironic is that?

    and…. since someone brought up the big R, i remmber another tracy…. tracy turnblad of hairspray. now THAT tracy stood against racism. but THIS one…… i don’t know.


  9. BrianB says:

    UP n, problem is when one speaks of racism Filipino immediately refer to the American and the Nazi kind.

  10. rom says:

    UP n: the fear of being surrounded by brown people – as brian put it – may also refer to what cvj might call elitism.

  11. UP n grad says:

    BrianB: it is your language; you chose the wrong word — scared. Filipinos are not scared of browns, and Filipinos are not scared of black-skinned Aetas.

    What happens in the Philppines is what happens in India or Egypt : a preference for fair-skinned and people with sharp-angled European features. Evidence most of the idols of Philippine music and cinema are fair-skinned with sharp, European features.

  12. UP n grad says:

    “look down on/ hold in lower esteem/ discriminate against” is not the same as “scared”.

  13. UP n grad says:

    I just saw a blogpost written by a non-Filipina woman speaking of racism and color-preference in the Philippines and why Filipinos when in water will drown.

    …modern Filipino society.. remains very conscious of color, promoting the lighter skin above all. Virtually every product in the country contains skin-whitening ingredients. Women walk around on sunny days huddled under an umbrella afraid to tan. They go to the beach in long pants and shirts for the same reason. This also explains the fact that natives of tropical islands do not know how to swim!

  14. UP n grad says:

    The non-Filipina does not propose a solution to racism in the Philippines, just this observation:
    Yes, the Philippines has racism. However, they will never solve the problem until they first acknowledge the problem. Unfortunately, one of the traits of Spanish Catholic cultures is to deny any faults and to become angry and defensive if somebody points them out. That perhaps is the biggest difference between American and Filipino cultures. We face our faults and act to eliminate them.

    So Brian’s rant against Philippines-style racism is correct.

  15. BrianB says:

    Elitism, racism are hand in hand in MAINTAINING OLD POWER STRUCTURES. Sometimes one can’t tell one from the other. Our racism is not the patholical kind like with the Nazis. It’s really just a vestige from the past. Unfortunately, many powerful people truly rely on the convenience that is racism to keep them living in a manner to which they are accustomed. That we do not talk about it keeps us from progressing and even keeps us from doing what is right. Take CARP, for example.

  16. BrianB says:

    Not going to discuss whether they are really scared but notice how Chinese hacienderos are so brutal to the reformists among their laborers. They are a little paranoid, let me tell you, when their browner equivalent would’ve shown more tolerance.

    Biggest problem is that the majority believe in this racist mentality. They believe they are inferior. That’s why injustices for the most part are tolerated. Self-reliance, independent thinking, courage, innovation… virtues that will not see fruition because of our racist mentality.

  17. anon says:

    @UP n grad
    please stop generaliing…
    read a month worth of news at yahoo news and you’ll see how dark america is like here in the philippines…
    you guys are just simplifying things with all your fancy words you learned from polsci , sociology, and other courses! this is a complex world! the closest thing you can do is to take an ever-changing statistical survey of people…

    why just single out chinese hacienderos you racist!?!?!?! take note that many old spanish style filthy rich filipinos lived better and more evil than the rich evil chinese you happen to hear more from than the poor chinese who even lost their identity here… i even have chinese friends who live in squatter areas! so please! stop the rich chinese stereotypes! all i can say is that the rich filipinos are just more discreet in their ways, and so avoid problems, while chinese people were generally targeted all over since spanish times!!! if not for ferdinand marcos, there wouldn’t be lucio tan or henry sy at all…
    going back, from my experience, the tolerance the poor has is somewhat universal, not just shown to some of the evil rich chinese but also to some of the rich evil filipinos… and the main point is, its hard to generalize, since there’s no accurate statistical data, just perceptions, rumors, and experience!

    and talking about nazis, i think what overseas chinese experienced here, and elsewhere, especially indonesia, is the same what hitler did to the jews, yet, people don’t care for the chinese! i’ve never heard of a filipino historian seriously studying the important roles of chinese like during our fight for independence and etc…

  18. Shing says:

    Some Reflective Thoughts

    1. Paradigms are not comparable. Even within the body of corporations, there are branches that use different terms or language use. Even among religious groups, they have different choice of words. Among friend also is the same: language use is different. Therefore, it is true that we can not use her words within a circle of friend to justify who she is.

    2. I think, Immersion program can only be meant for fostering awareness. Action is always individuals’ choice. Look at some religious formation, for instance, it takes over ten years with MANY immersions. But, still… the total transformation of a human person is not easy. Therefore, if she said that she is not fully immersed” (within limited 3 days), she is right. We can appreciate her humble openness here.

    3. If then, what use is immersion program, except bringing some awareness? I think, it is mainly for the sake of “experience”. Once we have an experience, it becomes a guide in our life as we often re-call and re-reflect. Even painful experiences can become some light if carefully reflected.

    4. Judgment with harshness is an expression of immaturity. Mature person is a wise man. A wise man will judge using the head, not the emotions. Emotions can be deceiving because they are intertwined with biases from our standpoints. (For example, just hearing the word a “UP-student or Ateneo-student”, the faces of some people already changed…either from hatred or …).

    Final remark: She does not AT ALL deserve any condemnation (strong remarks) because of her journal!!! Before judging, ask yourself who you are and how sincere you are. Are you taking your chance to attack other people this event?

    Tip for those who will go to emersion: If you are thinking about psychological aids or other similar aids to prepare you to be fully immersed, you are wasting your time thinking about doing psycho-counseling before riding bicycles. To know how to ride bicycles, you just have to climb on the bike and experience the feel of it. Sometimes, there can be pains from training.

    Just remember that…. emersion program is not a magical-power-for-transforming-a-person to be good in 3 days. You have your whole life to worry about!

  19. BrianB says:


    The most murderous warlords are of Chinese ancestry. Hope you don’t ask me to name names. Kayumanggi warlords only kill clear and imminent threats. Chinese warlords here will have you killed if you look at them the wrong way.

    Racist? Is it racist to be aware of acts of racism? Well, if you do not see racism when it happens that is between you and your conscience.

    And I am generalizing to the defense of the Filipinos. Why wait for statistics. If you see people getting massacred sometimes the best thing you can do is sput out general accusations in the hopes that it will stop or that the population will do something about it.

    EVERYONE GENERALIZES, not just philosophers.

  20. BrianB says:

    UP n

    About that non-Filipina blogger.Isn’t it odd about her observation… how far from reality it is. Actually, Filipinos are very OPEN to criticism, especially criticism from foreigners.

    But racism, still not being talked about. Btw. ANON I am not a racist. read back on the comments. Fear breeds these atrocities we talk about. Fear coming from being a minority… i.e. being a rich minority.

  21. wanderer says:

    cmon- we all think hateful thoughts. i’d commend tracy for speaking truthfully. we’re in a culture that tries its best to not offend others- and by not offending others, intellectual discourse does not flourish.

    ideas HAVE to collide. only then will we see which ideas are valid and will be accepted by the society.

  22. patty says:

    Ateneo should send Tracy Borres back for another immersion, for her to have a better understanding of the whole situation 😀

  23. AdmuAlumnus05 says:

    I agree with the posts above. So ok, it was meant for private viewing. It was meant to be disgustingly humorous. Fine.

    But it got smeared, people read it, and yes, people got “offended”.

    It’s not being on a high horse like her, like some people might think. It’s not like people are casting stones at her, though most are subconsciously doing so just because, well, she’s really annoying at this point.

    But think of it this way. What she did is akin to a cop having a private party in his home, shooting his gun in the air for “private amusement”. If the bullets hit people a few kilometers away, does that still absolve the cop from the “crime” simply because he didnt intend it to hit other people?

    It’s the same here. I can’t speak for other people, but the reason why I’m so riled up about this is because it adds tremendous crap to our already tarnished reputation. Hard as it is to swallow, this is the internet. The action of one Atenean reflects on all, and as hard as we’d like to deny that, it just happens. No matter what good the majority of the Ateneans do, it’s the dirt that attracts the haters and defines what we are to the rest of the people. This person added fuel to the fire regardless whether she meant to or not.

    Fuck that we have SPEED, and Kaingin, and all the various organizations that actually DO GOOD. One bitching from a bitch sends the crosshairs our way once again. THAT’S why I’m riled up.

  24. duh says:

    weeeee…. try this one !@#$%!

  25. […] I suggest you read Smoke’s transcript of the Tracy Borres post, Smoke’s reply, and her take on Tracy’s reply.  More required reading comes from ReynaElena.  Which means you don’t have to read this.  […]

  26. AdmuAlumnus08 says:

    Great job, AdmuAlumnus05. I like the way you’ve made this an issue regarding our school’s reputation. Cogent, persuasive stuff you have there.

    And I also like the way you pointed out SPEED and Kaingin to hammer down your point. Doesn’t make it seem defensive at all.

    I also like your analogous comparison of a blog entry to a gun. Everything looks bad when compared to a gun, kind of like when you compare something/someone to Hitler. Atta boy/girl! You made an airtight analogy there.

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