Prince Philip has created a bit of a storm today by cracking a joke about Filipinos to a nurse from the Phillippines. The 91-year-old Duke of Edinburgh was on a hospital visit to open a £5.5 million cardiac centre at Luton and Dunstable Hospital when, upon finding out one of the nurses was from the Philippines he said “”The Philippines must be half-empty – you’re all here running the NHS.”
Of course, the usual self-righteous and indignant got themselves in a snit over the comment. I found it hilarious.
Let’s face it, Prince Philip, who is well known for saying exactly what he thinks whenever he feels like it, has made various comments over the years some people haven’t liked (see video below for a few of them).
As he himself has said, though, numerous times, he doesn’t mean to sound racist or offensive “it just comes out that way”.
What Prince Philip says, however, is often nothing more than the truth, if slightly exaggerated, and in many cases is exactly what the rest of us are thinking.
Today’s comment by Prince Philip about the Philippines is spot on as well, as the country has been known for several decades to have a severe ‘brain drain’ problem, with so many Filipinos deliberately training in particular jobs so they can leave and work elsewhere.
After all, for most it’s the only way they can make a decent salary.
In fact, Filipinos who do this even have a name in the Philippines — Overseas Filipinos.
According to statistics, there are currently more than 12.5 million Overseas Filipinos living and working overseas — that’s from a country that has a population of about 92.5 million people, so around 11 percent of the population. Not the “half the
country” Prince Phillip joked about, but pretty darned high.
What I think is funny about many of the comments Prince Philip makes, however, is it’s obvious they’re not meant to be offensive or rude.
He’s just trying to make people feel comfortable in many situations or to make light in other more serious situations. After all, we know millions of Filipinos leave the Philippines to work overseas as does every Filipino I know (and I know a lot), so why not joke about it?
Meanwhile, watch the video showing some of Prince Phillip’s other ‘gaffes’. Some of them are screamingly funny.