Lessons for me are:
1. it is definitely alright to celebrate one’s national day in a foreign country in a dignified and relative quiet manner. I had attended many National Day functions while stationed in Beijing and Shanghai with no issue from the locals. They were all held in a hotel setting and in enclosed space;
2. I am not sure what the Philippines Independence Day celebration being talked about is at what scale and how it will be organized. If it is in the quiet and dignified way like what overseas Singaporeans had been celebrating Singapore National Day, it should not be an issue;
3. having said that, it is logical to consider the, rightly or wrongly, ‘hurt’ feeling of some Singaporeans who felt their nation had been taken over by foreigners on how foreigners celebrate their national day in Singapore. Also, there is a need to distinguish those ‘spurt of the moment insensitive commentary’ to those expounded by known and persistent ‘bigots’ of Singapore. To resolve any STRONG disagreement between any two parties, it is important to calm the emotional nerve first before engaging in rational discourse about what is what and how any gap can be narrowed or closed.
There is NO ROOM for bigotry for sure. Still, if there are a lot more people than one expected voiced the same strong opinion, it is essential to investigate the root causes instead of just ‘telling those who said such unhelpful comments and ‘hatred’ to just stop.’
Bigotry is appalling and we don’t condone it. Yet, there is a need to understand WHY, if it is indeed a national issue it even exists in the first place. Beware.