I was channel surfing last Sunday when an episode of National Geographic's Locked-up Abroad caught my interest. I saw a lady being interviewed who I felt looked (and spoke) like a Filipino... and I was right and the episode titled "Prisoners of Love" was set here in the Philippines. The story was that a British man went to jail here because he had an affair (and impregnated) with a married woman. I wasn't able to catch the first parts of the episode but after doing some online research about the story, the woman apparently was already separated with his husband when she had a relationship with the British man whom she met online. To be quite honest while I feel sorry for the couple with all the awful stuff they went through when the estranged husband had them arrested but it was really hard for me to fully sympathize with them. I'm not saying that they don't deserve to love each other but I wish they settled the complications of their relationship first even before she got pregnant. But I know it really happens and perhaps the estranged husband must've been really that horrible. But one thing that gave me mixed feelings while watching episode was the way the woman also spoke during the interviews. Her statements rubbed me the wrong way. I don't want to be judgmental because I don't know them personally but I just want to express what I felt. There was just something wrong.
I was also disturbed with culture of violence depicted in the docu-drama. The estranged husband probably came from a political family or a drug lord or some local mafia because of his control with the police and his access to guns. The woman also had connections as well as the relative who protected them have an an armory with lots of guns. It was quite disturbing because you know that in some corners in the country this is true, there are strong clans or groups of people who have private armies and other violent stuff.
Speaking of horrible things about the country that was depicted on this episode is corruption. When the woman gave birth there's a law apparently that says that her child is legally the son of her estranged husband since their marriage has not been annulled yet so with that the British man can not bring her child to the UK. But of course money talks and he was able to bribe some people to make things happen. We know this happen A LOT but it still sucks.
Ultimately, it made me sad not really because our country's image has been tarnished by that show (all countries have their issues and negative sides anyway) but because there's a level of frustration to see a of something horrible we knew about our country and it's people.