There's an unverified rumor that Precious Lara Quigaman, the Miss Philippines who took home the 2005 Miss International crown, was asked during the final round the following question:
What do you say to the people of the world who have typecasted filipinos as nannies?
Precious Lara was claimed to have replied, "I take no offense on being typecasted as a nanny. But i do take offense that the educated people of the world have somehow denegrated the true sense and meaning of what a nanny is."
Quigaman was further quoted as saying: "Let me tell you what she is. She is someone who gives more than she takes. She is someone you trust to look after the very people most precious to you - your child, the elderly, yourself. She is the one who has made a living out of caring and loving other people."
Precious was said to have closed the nanny speech with, "So to those who have typecasted us as nannies, thank you. It is a testament to the loving and caring culture of the Filipino people. And for that, I am forever proud and grateful of my roots and culture."
Apparently, there is no interview portion in Miss International, so this seems to be a hoax. Regardless, that is a winning answer for anyone who tries to downplay the Filipino! The Precious Quigaman answer is bound to be an urban legend for years to come.
Update: A poster named Latina Mulata has chastised me in my Comments section. saying:
"Well, well, well. HOAX it may be, but I am not into people who easily conclude about what has actually transpired during the pageant.
Taking into consideration that there is no interview portion, but the fact that she was asked with the question you have posted on your blog and have answered truthfully is something to hold on as an evidence of the pageant.
And to think that your site is what you called a "christian site," you could have addressed a sincere JOB WELL DONE to a fellow Christian. Instead, you have doubts about the pageant and what this young Filipina Christian can do to glorify the Lord."
Latina says, "I am not into people who easily conclude about what has actually transpired during the pageant."
Fact #1. Neither am I, because I am not a person driven to quick judgment. I read Crispina Belen of the Manila Bulletin's article as well as the post on Buhay Korea, and the Filipino.ca thread on the subject. You'll find a lot of sites that say she wasn't asked a question about nannies, just about children and education. Furthermore, when I posted my blog entry, I explicitly made disclaimers that the nanny question could have been a rumor.
If Precious comes out and says she was asked it, I will more than gladly revise the post and point it out as truthful. But I don't make quick conclusions, and neither should you. If you search my blog (search box on the right), you'll find at least two more posts showing how proud I am of Precious Lara Quigaman's accomplishment.
Latina says, "... the fact that she was asked with the question you have posted on your blog and have answered truthfully is something to hold on as an evidence of the pageant."
Fact #2. Like I said, Precious was never asked that question. I quote from Crispina Belen of the Manila Bulletin: "There was no Question & Answer portion at the 45th Miss International beauty pageant in Tokyo but the finalists were asked to write an essay about their advocacies and plans to help the less fortunate. Precious Lara concerns the streetchildren. She has said in the past that she would like to be a missionary doctor to be able to help the poor and the needy."
There was a pageant. I don't have proof that she was asked that question; I do seem to have proof however that she wasn't asked that question, through Beltran.
Latina says: "And to think that your site is what you called a "christian site," you could have addressed a sincere JOB WELL DONE to a fellow Christian. Instead, you have doubts about the pageant and what this young Filipina Christian can do to glorify the Lord."
I did congratulate her (use the search and find the posts). I don't have doubts about the pageant. I know that Precious (and her God-fearing aunt, to whom she is donating some of her prize money to renovate her house) dedicated her victory to God.
I am one of Precious' very first fans on the Internet. The whole point of my post is that Precious' legacy is being tarnished by people who are spreading this apparently untruthful rumor using the Internet and email, and that I am saddened by the rumor.
I hope this explanation clarifies my thoughts about this nanny speech, which, until proven otherwise, is still, to me, a hoax.
Update 2: MuseumofHoaxes.com lists the Precious nanny speech in its annals as "probably a hoax," but that's not what I find surprising. What I find surprising is that the webmaster lifted a lot of the content from my blog and didn't credit me for it! He even quoted verbatim from my original post (that Arnold copy-pasted on his blog with my permission), and visited the same resources I did (the Manila Bulletin's Belen and the Filipino.ca thread). Tsk tsk - come on, man, throw a puppy a bone and give a tiny Pinoy his link dues.