An illustration of Negrense Prejudice

One day, my two Belgian guests and I were preparing for our friend’s wedding. We had planned to have our hair done at an inexpensive salon after their noon-day swim at the Chalet. Since we were pressed for time, we decided to change into our wedding clothes — just laid back white dresses, thank goodness — at the Chalet. The salon where we had reservations was a good three blocks away from the hotel, so I asked them, “Would you prefer to take a cab or walk to the salon?”

Clotilde, my Belgian friend who knows Bacolod like the palm of her hand, replied, “We walk, we can’t afford to wait.”
“Yes, I prefer to walk, too, because it’s like, only forty steps away, so let’s go,” I said. But my small, shrill Negrense voice, screamed “uhm, hello, Mormon elders in white? Lacson street at noon? Social Faux Pas!”
So I asked again, victim of a sudden shift from simplicity school student, to insecure Bank striver: “You don’t mind walking? I mean, us three, in white…along the main street?”
Gaetane, Clotilde’s mother, a woman of noble, colonial roots, wondered, “Why, is there a problem with that?”
A day after this promenade to the salon, I got a call from another friend: “Why were you walking down Lacson in your white uniforms? You looked funny! I was honking at you. You should have asked me to drive you to where you were going!”
I would have wanted to do the Gaetane on her –why, what’s the problem — but, ahhh, there goes my Negrense friend. 🙂

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