This latest TV commercial of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton toppings created a stir among the disabled group in the Philippines. Some quarters believe that this commercial is insulting to the deaf community because it mocks their disability. There is even a new discussion thread talking about this. They also chat about whether it’s offensive to the elderly as well or not.
The TV ad presents a family gathering on the table where the mother cooked a pancit canton with various toppings. The grandfather, appears to be unable to hear some Tagalog words, mishear some of them and translated it to another which more or less rhymes with the original words as he responds to other members of the family. His “mali mali” or unintentional errors become funny and amusing.
Mr. Manny Batac, President of Kilusan ng Makabagong Pilipinong Maykapansanan (KMPKI), Inc. shared to us a letter of apology from Gen C. Aquino, Media and Public Relations Specialist of Monde Nissin Corporation, makers of the pancit noodle. Mr. Batac apparently sent a complaint letter addressed to the company. Through the letter, Aquino stated that:
We sincerely apologize for anny inconveniences that this may have caused. Rest assured that we did not intend the commercial to be offensive in any way, especially to persons with disabilities. .. and that we have already taken steps in editing the commercial to address your concern.
This letter was also published at Bandera tabloid last November 16. The amended Magna Carta for the Disabled Persons or Republic Act 9442 explicitly defines PUBLIC RIDICULE as “an act of making fun or contemptuous imitating or making mockery of persons with disability whether in writing, or in words, or in action due to their impairment/s.” Violators of this provision would receive a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand pesos (P50,000.00) but not exceeding One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than two years, or both at the discretion of the court.
Here is that 30-second YouTube video commercial uploaded by Mr. Jaylu12. You be the judge. By the way, the language used here is Tagalog and there is no sub-title in this video. I can’t put captions here because this is not mine. Sa mga kababayan kong Filipino sa buong mundo, ano sa palagay ninyo? Nakakainsulto ba ito o mukhang sobra lang tayo magreact? (To my Filipino countrymen worldwide, what do you think? Is this commercial insulting or are we just overreacting?) 🙂