Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?

Written By bryanboy

Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?

Just wondering.

I’m quite stumped as to why my recent call-to-action post about helping Haiti would ruffle a few feathers. 

Bryanboy at D&G Showroom Milan
Me at the D&G showroom in Milan, September 2009

A few Filipino (who else) readers emailed to express their disappointment how I blogged about helping Haiti (whose death toll, according to Reuters, may hit 200,000) and I didn’t blog about the time when the Philippines went through two major storms in September of last year, especially typhoon Ondoy (whose death toll reached 337 based on a report dated October 9, 2009).

Click click click!

The passive-aggressive insinuation that I didn’t care about the disaster that happened in the Philippines (based on the simple fact that I didn’t blog about it) is, not only unwarranted, but also highly offensive.

When the big storm in the Philippines happened, I was in Milan for the Spring 2010 womenswear shows. I can’t remember exactly when I first heard of the news about the flooding and the devastation but I do remember being on the 2nd row at Roberto Cavalli, behind Carine and Emmanuelle, and sitting beside the talented stylist Patti Wilson. At that time, all I had was internet access and 1 euro left on my prepaid Italian cellphone. A friend from Australia told me the news on twitter and as much as I want to call my family back home, I couldn’t. Not only the show was going on, I also didn’t have enough credit on my phone. I had to ask the said friend in Australia to check on my family to see if they are ok or not. Thankfully, my family and loved ones were ok.

Can you imagine the head fuck I was going through? There I was, in Milan for fashion week, chasing my childhood dreams AND trying to make a living… then I hear terrible news about what’s going on at home.

In light of the said tragedy in the homeland, I participated in generating awareness on Twitter for a few days — sep 26 (here), sep 27 (here), sep 28 (here), nov 12 (here), amongst others. I also donated online the most that I can with whatever little that I have. But do I need to make the world aware of it? No, of course not. I’m only bringing it up now as part of conversation.

Was I supposed to literally drop everything that I worked VERY HARD (and continue to work VERY HARD) for? The most sensible option, to me at least, is to acknowledge what was going on and contribute to the best of my ability. Now I didn’t blog about the situation back then because, at that time, I wanted to stick to my blog’s DNA of being a fun, easy, light-read. Other web sites already provide excellent coverage of not just news from home but also world events.  

Bah. I find nitpicking the past as truly, utterly IRRELEVANT so let’s move to the present.

So why did I blog about Haiti? What makes it different considering it’s another disaster somewhere in the world that’s far from home? Well, I’ve spent most part of this week bed-ridden because I was sick so I ended up tuning in to CNN. I’ve been following all these horrifying reports in Haiti. Case in point, the story of this 11-year old girl who was trapped under rubble for two days, freed and rushed into a first aid station, but died within hours because the first aid clinic couldn’t handle her.

Being exposed to this, and many other tragic stories, made my heart bleed. It’s depressing.

And here I am, in spite of its imperfections, but in an extremely lucky and safe position, wanting to help even more. Hence, I went against the grain and decided to blog about it.

Now. Should one write off my feelings of compassion for Haiti because I have time in the world now compared to when I was in Milan? Last I checked, no matter how big or small it is, compassion is compassion. It comes from the heart and soul.

I digress.

Because my compassion is being challenged here, the $64 million question is: Haiti and Philippines aside, would it be any different if I were to go against my personal attitude towards giving and instead, I chronicle and of course, deliberately publicize every time I get affected by a natural disaster or every single unselfish and charitable deed I make, only for the sole purpose of looking good in the eyes of others and to appease the naysayers?

Maybe someday when I become very famous or very infamous, I’ll figure out a way to cash in and turn my colourful life into books *and* blockbuster billion-euro (the dollar is a joke these days) movies. When that happens, I guarantee you I’ll pull a Gisele and send a press release that I generously donated $1,500,000 to go to relief efforts. Because, you know, like, oh my god, like, that’s how I roll, and like, oh my gosh, I like it when everyone knows I do good.

Oh dear.

Mirror mirror on the wall, what do you think is fair to me and to all?

As always, answers on a postcard.

photo credit: paolo z


  1. People these days will use any excuse to say shit about other people they don’t even know about…

  2. AdhiPuTaw

    BB, of all the things that you say in this post, the title of the post makes the strongest statement. This is what the title means: “what have YOU actually done about the Philippine tragedy, dear fellow Filipinos, if you are so disappointed by my, apparently, doing nothing about it?”

    I think when we’ve reached celebrity status and having more access then regular people to all sorts of things we are, not just expected, but DEMANDED to do good everytime. And, you’ve probably guessed it, what counts as good is solely your being slave to society’s demands.

    Yes, BB, some of your fellow Filipinos are probably demanding that you put the fulfillment of your childhood dream on hold whenever your race, your nation, or whatever collectivity that they consider you belong in calls for your service.

    Now you’ve let them know that you’ve done something about the Philippine tragedy. Even if you haven’t, so what? When the compassion is not there, it is not there. We can’t be forced to be compassionate and care for something that we just don’t care. Just as you didn’t have to let everyone know what you’ve done about the tragedy, you also didn’t have to make them know whether you’re full of compassion or a hollow robot.

    Keep going, BB. I support you and salute you for not listening to the temptation to brag about what you’ve contributed to whatever cause.

  3. muffintop

    Pay no attention to them because you know that you did what you can.
    p.s. I can’t get over the fact you were sitting behind Carine and Emmanuelle. I think I would have attacked Emmanuelle or just watched her instead of the Roberto Cavalli show

  4. Jannette

    It doesn’t matter what you do or do not do because you will always make someone upset. As long as you can go to sleep at night knowing that you have done all that you can for people that is all you have to do.

  5. Tarquin Vasco

    Oh please. Any attempt you make to post anything of significant value
    is automatically erased because of your superficial , braggadocious,
    embarassingly idiotic blogging. You are an embarrasment to not only
    the Phillipines but to all the legit writers out there who actually do
    real work. After your 15 minutes of fame runs out I recommend you
    go to someplace like the streets of Pampanga where there are lots
    of boys that look just like u. Maybe there you can find meaningful
    Beverly Hills,CA
    and walk up and down the strip. You might then find meaningful

  6. those guys who criticize you are a bunch of self-righteous people who I bet most of them didn’t even shell out a single dime more so than you had.
    You don’t owe anybody an explanation. Good deeds don’t have to be proclaimed to the world.

  7. superbovine

    Hay, I’ve grown tired of explaining myself to people. As Sue Sylvester would put it ‘You don’t know the first thing about me.’

  8. Tarquin go fuck yourself. You should’ve been the one trapped under those rubble instead of the Haiti earthquake victims.

    Philippines needed and still needs help. Haiti needs help too. A lot of country needs help. Poverty is everywhere, be it in the US or in Asia. Right now it’s Haiti’s turn… by donating any amount, 50¢, $1, $10,000,000… any amount counts. A small deed creates a big impact. They are our brothers and sisters.

  9. Hej!
    Wow, now that sucks to hear. That you write about Haiti, but not about the Philippines? Where are the differences in that? None, cause both countries got into disasters and both got and/or are getting help and there are already so many people blogging and news sites writing about them.
    It will always be like this that no matter what you do or not do, there will always be someone who is not happy. You don’t owe those people any explanations. You already did what you could back then.
    Keep up the good work and don’t listen to those people who doesn’t have anything else to do in their lives, but complain. I will still support you! =)

  10. Slut4Style

    fuck that shit. p/s. when can we expect to be entertained? you’ve got to start earning that bookmark, dear.

  11. Its always a bit extra meaningful when fashion bloggers blog about things like Haiti, as its so different to fashion, and some people think fashion is inconsequential. I recently had some hate comments – my first ever – and it was just ANNOYING. But it made me determined not to be such a bitch. After all, if you have a problem with a blog, you don’t have to read it.

  12. Meaningless work, eh, Tarquin?
    There is no such thing.
    If bryan wants to help, good for him and those he has helped.
    If he doesn’t, fine, there’s nothing wrong with that.

  13. Darling, you don’t have to explain/justify yourself.. Lots of kudos for your efforts, xoxo
    and please people!! have some respect and keep it down a little!

  14. georgina

    I love how Tarquin dissed you and your loyalty to the Philippines when he can’t even spell the word Philippines correctly. I suggest you get off your high horse there in Beverly Hills and move your ass back here and make a difference before casting stones little boy – oh and remember to get that bat off your ass while you’re at it.

  15. Oh my!! I am shocked to read about how you couldn’t reach your family because you were out of the country at the time Ondoy hit– that is real horrible!!! And that is a nightmare in itself, not knowing whether your own family is ok or not! So I honestly don’t think it was very fair for others to judge you for blogging about haiti and not blogging about Manila.
    I know you do have compassion because when I had asked you for help about the Fabella Hospital fundraiser in the Philippines, I needed not wait forever for your response. You were so fast– lightning speed fast and gave the fundraiser publicity, and it did help raise the funds! (We turned over the total remaining balance from the pledges to Moms for Moms to buy the hospital equipment which will arrive hopefully by February! :D) It really meant a lot that you gave the fundraiser a space on your fashion blog. For that, we are so grateful!
    On another note about not pleasing everybody, I can tell you that I too, feel the same way. I had a post about my foie gras dinner some months ago and it apparently caught the attention of PETA very recently, prompting them to write me a letter expressing their disappointment that I ate foie gras. It wasn’t a letter expressing hate or anger (I’m glad it was a pretty decently written letter)but they sent paraphernalia to try to convert me to stop having foie gras. I respect PETA and their causes, but really at the end of the day, it’s an impossible task to please everyone. I do wish though, that everyone can just co-exist harmoniously without having one irking the other. I guess at the end of the day, it’s all about respect.
    Cheers! Now let’s all have some cake :)

  16. THAT is very Marie Antoinnette! Let them eat cake while Paris is burning. LOL LOL LOL

    Insensitivity at its best. Typical social climbing Manilenos.

  17. excuses excuses. it’s good that you helped your country in whatever way you could but it’s still kind of fucked up that you chose not to write about it. there’s a pattern that i’m starting to notice with you bryan, you’re quite defensive when people point out their distaste in some of the things you choose to write or not write about. perfect examples are this post in particular and one before where you showcased gemma ward and called her “fat”. own up to it. don’t forget where you come from.

  18. i would just ignore those haters. obviously they are jealous and have nothing better to do. you become weak when you try to explain yourself.

  19. Actually, am also into double thoughts as to why you are blogging now ’bout Haiti and yet I didn’t find anything about RP’s own case of doom scenario when we’re at it.
    BUT THEN, i gave the so-called “benefit of the doubt” since everything here in your blog, [together with your tweets and updates in facebook]is FLAT!
    it’s just part of the very intricate YOU that none of your very loyal reader still couldn’t get hold off.
    YOU are judged against that FLATNESS and am sorry to hear you being offended.
    But hey, as Dumbledore said: You cannot campaign for international popularity [am paraphrasing]. You cannot please everybody!

  20. BB I make you right on this one, if we could all start having a bit of love, caring and compassion in our hearts. The world we live in, would be such a better place.
    Come on people it’s 2010, let’s learn to love one another!

  21. …in other words bryan you aren’t proud to be filipino..simpleng pag post lang ata yan..puro ka excuses. kainis.

  22. ann_edano@yahoo.com

    Hi BB! yeah… I notice the Ondoy incident when you didn’t blog about it, I thought at that time maybe you just don’t care but as an avid reader of your blog I know you are. It’s just the circumstances that you can’t avoid and hell whether you don’t care or you care it’s really not your obligation to tell the whole world that you’ve done this or that just to help. If your choice is to keep quite abt it then it’s up to the readers to respect that. If the readers can’t respect that they have absolute issues on their selves which is not healthy at all. You’ve done your part, don’t be too hard on your self.

  23. ” no matter how big or small it is, compassion is compassion. It comes from the heart and soul.” WELL SAID :)

  24. im very new to this site.
    i think letting people know the good things you have done is not at all bragging. angelina jolie sits down with people/reporter talking about children in need and how happy they are with their chosen multicultural family.she uses her STAR POWER to INFLUENCE. I did help haiti and i did help my fellow filipino during their hardtimes. i always say this to foreign people or even my fellow filipinos who ask/talk about how living in the philippines is so hard and all, PHILIPPINES IS A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY BUT WE ARE NOT AFRICA/HAITI. what i mean by this is that we are poor and oppress but not like africa.

  25. karlito

    Hi BryanBoy!! Don’t mind the rude comments of some insecure shits here like Tarquin, John and xing. They are just bunch of insecure whores who keep asking Snow Queen “Why I am not like Brian Boy??”. I bet they are Filipinos. A precise picture of a typical cliche who likes to pull down whoever is on top. Don’t get me wrong. I am Filipino too but I just hate this attitude!! I hate so hate “inggiteras”. So what if your 15 minutes fame will be over?? At least you got there!! and not like Tarquin Vasco who I think until now picks the garbage in Rodeo Drive. Why in hell he’s reading your blog? Anyway, don’t let others dictate you. Continue what your doing and I will be following your blog religously. Viel Spass und Liebe Grusse aus Berlin!!

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