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Thoughts for the Thursday Thread

Background: Vera Files published a report on how a new group of models and photographers,  calling itself  Mongoloid na Pogi Productions or Monggi Productions,  received flak from groups such as the Down Syndrome Association.

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Commentary Written by Pseudonym One
“On “Monggi”: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/blogs/the-inbox/monggi-group-asked-change-offensive-name-224319403.html#ugccmt-container
“ While reading the title of the report, I did not quite understand what the fuss was about, since “monggi”, at first sight, seemed to be a harmless word. However, as I read through the report, “monggi” of the production group Monggi Productions actually stood for “mongoloid na pogi”. Upon reading that definition, I began to question the reasons behind the naming of the group. What is a “pogi” or handsome mongoloid? Is there a “pangit” or ugly mongoloid? What does that mean? Why did they have to include the term “mongoloid”, a politically incorrect term to refer to people with Down syndrome?

“In my opinion, the name of the group is offensive. Firstly, the production group and its output falls under the media, since it has its own Facebook group and photographs that are published for the public to see. Also, stating that “monggi” meant “mongoloid na pogi”, the group should have known better and could have been more sensitive to the public, which includes people with these disabilities. What added to this problem were the photos of the group with celebrities’ faces that mimicked the “features associated with people with down syndrome”. The article was clear to state the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities, which indicates that public ridicule and vilification of these persons as a crime. Based on the interview, it seems like they did not mean to offend this sector but the mere fact that their use of the term created a stir among members of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, the act must be evaluated. According to The Philippine Journalist’s Code of ethics, “I shall not, in any manner, ridicule, cast aspersions on, or degrade any person by reason of sex, creed, religion, religious belief, political conviction, cultural and ethnic origin”. Even though it is not explicitly indicated in the code of ethics, as a subject of attack to the person, this may also go for persons with disabilities. I, personally, would not use that word in public, let alone make it a name for my company seen by many online. It is a good that the group agreed to think about modifying the name of their brand, which gives us hope that this problem will soon be resolved. From this, I can say that one can show his or her artistry (in the form of writing or photography, and the like) without trying to clearly offend and violate a sector of society, in this case, people with Down syndrome.” Written by Pseudonym One

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