GK founder defends speech describing Pinays as tool to attract ‘best and brightest’ Westerners

(Flickr/ Philip Cotsford)


Updated 5/26/15 14:10

A statement was released by Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto through Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ceres Doyo. In the statement, Meloto strongly rebuffs the sexist and elitist accusations hurled against him by the CPS and many individuals on social media.

This is the first time I’ve been called a “sexist,” “elitist” and (someone with) “colonial mentality,” which definitely I’m not, after hundreds of speeches in the Philippines and abroad, and after caring for the poor everyday, protecting women and children and promoting pride as a Filipino everywhere I go in the last 20 years. It hurts.

Meloto also went on to say that his words were taken out of context by the CPS, and regretted that the organization took to social media before reaching out to him first. You can access the full text of Meloto’s statement here.


Original story continues below


Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto has defended a speech he gave this April at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The speech was part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Center for Philippine Studies (CPS). Meloto’s speech drew criticism after the CPS released a statement saying they disagreed with the contents of Meloto’s speech.

The CPS also went on to highlight specific parts of Meloto’s speech, in particular noting his views towards women:

But what was most disturbing about his speech was his sexism. His belief that the “greatest asset of the Philippines is our beautiful women,” and that the future of the nation can be advanced by using them to attract the “best and brightest” men from the West, and enticing them to invest in the Philippines, was outrageously sexist and deeply offensive to everybody in the audience, as well as patronizing and disrespectful to Filipino women in particular. Equally offensive, Mr. Meloto went on to share his views on the need for Filipino women and their white husbands to produce what Mr. Meloto (apparently humorously) called “cappuccinos,” and appeared to present such a policy of seduction and reproduction as a solution to the problems of economic development in the Philippines.


In a series of tweets, Meloto responded to queries and defended his position:


The full statement released by CPS:

STATEMENT REGARDING THE CENTER FOR PHILIPPINE STUDIES 40TH ANNIVERSARY FIESTA. Please send your comments/notes/thoughts directly to [email protected].

Posted by UH Center for Philippine Studies on Friday, May 22, 2015

Webpsyched Co. - Web and Graphic Design Crafted By Artisans.