Miss Philippines Ariella "Ara" Arida is now on her way to Moscow, Russia to compete in the Miss Universe 2013 pageant. But as she leaves, she has also left a controversy here in the Philippines because of what she said during her ANC interview, which for some is considered as an offensive comment.
In the said interview for ANC's "Headstart" hosted by Karen Davila, Ara defended herself against people who have been criticizing her poor communication skills using the English language. She was actually caught off guard there after Karen read a tweet about her having a hard time speaking in English.
Karen: "You don't mind if I ask you...some questions that may not be for you, but you're okay because I don't want to..to, I mean, make you feel bad before you leave? Okay. But some people are asking, 'Karen, is this our Miss Universe? She's live on Headstart. I think she's having a hard time speaking in English.' Can you respond to that? You have Dhawell M. who's asking, Elibeth Solano asking. And I might as well ask you because it's all over."
Ariella: "Yes, I'm aware of it actually. And you know, I've got lot of readings, especially on my communication skill and I'm doing my best to really express myself, to convey my message to the people. Like what I've told my trainors while we, that I will do my best in the competition. 'Coz you know when you get there...ahmm..."
Karen: "It's not really how you speak English. It's.."
Ariella: "Ya, it's how you express yourself...especially, you know, Latinas cannot even...ahmm..ahmm...speak a sentence, right?"
Karen (laughs): "Hindi, hahahaha, not sentence. No, in English. You mean."
Ariella: "I mean, complete sentence....in English. Ya, you know, I think it's the Filipino who are very critical about this."
Karen: "In fact, other candidates have a translator. Okay, go ahead."
Ariella: "Yes, ahmm, there's, oh yeah, many of the candidates have a translator. Many will suggest that I should have a translator."
Karen: "Was that suggested?"
Ariella: "I mean, ahmm, the one I've read in my comments in Twitter, with my Instagram."
Karen: "Sabi nila?"
Ariella: "Ya, they want me to have a translator. Like what I've told them, you know, in the competition, it's gonna be different. I know I can deliver."
There was, I guess, really something wrong in what she said. I'm not a Latina (haha) but I think Ara should not have mentioned Latinas in her statement if she wants to make a point about her English skills.
She actually made two general statements there: that Latinas can't speak a complete sentence in English and that Filipinos are critical.
But I got her point actually. What she meant probably was, SOME candidates, not just Latinas, can't speak English very well, but they were able to win the Miss Universe crown.
Some people as well already noticed something wrong in her comment and found it offensive. Some even went overboard and are now accusing her of being racist.
Shockingly, these people aren't Latinas (ones who should be offended by her statement) or from a foreign ethnicity, but they're also Filipinos. One of them is even a famous celebrity who's strongly reacting to Ariella Arida's alleged racist remark.
DJ Mo Twister (who in the past also caused an uproar over an offensive comment) posted his reaction via Instagram and according to him, what Miss Philippines Ariella Arida said was offensive toward Latinas and would definitely piss him off if he were of Latin descent.
djmotwister: "I don't intend to bash on our Ms Philippines here but how the f-ck is this not considered offensive toward Latinas? I mean, we ALWAYS get so sensitive when someone says anything about us Filipinos (see Dan Brown, Alec Baldwin, and every other time we screamed murder) yet our girl representing our country, in a legit interview regarding the competition, says Latinas can't put a sentence together in English. That would royally piss me off if I were of Latin descent. I'm pretty sure we would lose our minds if we heard an interview of a contestant saying "Filipinos can't string a sentence together" and our Senator/Congressman would persona non grata that b-tch immediately. I'm also quite certain that a few of the Latina contestants can cook up a few intelligible lines in English that would leave Ariella here dizzy in her heels. Best of luck to her in the competition. Now back to my NBA Fantasy Team."
Ariella Arida on her part was quick to apologize via her Twitter account (@araarida) for any offensive statement that she made.
Okay. We understand you Ara. Maybe, you just have to be extra cautious the next time, especially now that you will be representing the Philippines against the Latinas and any other races in the world.
I am very strongly hoping that the issue will be left behind here and won't stir up further controversies during her stay in Russia.