The Philippines is the most emotional country in the world. No, this is not merely based on my own blissful, painful experience.
It has been proved by Gallup researchers who, no doubt, dedicated themselves fully to the local nuances of exalted love and frayed tempers.
The latest to feel the severe winds of the latter is Justin Bieber. Yes, the rapidly baritoning Canadian singer has attracted the gaping wrath of the Philippines. High-falutin' dignitaries want him banned from the country.
No, it is not for some racy song that mentions fondling, nor for gratuitous crotch-grabbing. It is for trying to be funny on Instagram. Did he post a doctored image of a Filipino dignitary in a compromising position? Well, yes. Sort of.
You see, last weekend national hero (and member of Congress) Manny Pacquiao was unexpectedly knocked deep into Cambodia by a punch from Juan Manuel Marquez.
Bieber, who is rather enthusiastic about Pacquiao's arch-enemy Floyd Mayweather, inserted an image of the prostrate Filipino onto his Instagram account. However, because he justly prefers to be original, he doctored the picture to feature a little Simbathetic butt-prodding.
Who can be surprised that, as the Atlantic reports, Filipina politician Carol Jane Lopez now wants Bieber prevented from ever again stepping on Filipino soil? Indeed, the local ABS-CBN News is reporting that Lopez doesn't merely want Bieber banished. Oh, no.
She wants every last young thing in the Philippines to stop listening to his music or going to his concerts.
One would imagine that banning him from the country might be reasonably effective in preventing any concert attendance.
Of course, Pacquiao is a quintessential Filipino hero. He's never supposed to lose. He's never supposed to be seen prone, his face buried into the floor like an inebriated office worker after an especially dainty party. But boxing is all about a little gentle ribbing before -- and, indeed, after -- the severe punches in the ribs.
More Technically Incorrect
Surely, Lopez could channel her inner Chumbawamba.
She could go to the next session of Congress, and demand that everyone join with her in a karaoke rendition of "I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again." (The official title of the song is "Tubthumping," and I have embedded it below for anyone who has taken one punch too many to remember it.)
That is a more positive example for the youth of the Philippines.
Indeed, she could take this idea one step further. It is well known that Pacquiao is almost as good a singer as he is a boxer. He has sung "Sometimes When We Touch" on Jimmy Kimmel's show. (Evidence also embedded below.)
He and Bieber could do a Chumbawamba duet together.
At the end of it, Pacquiao would -- unexpectedly, of course -- tubthump Bieber into the following week, quickly take a picture and post it to Instagram.
Then everyone's pride will be satisfied.
Next, I shall be presenting my proposals for Arab-Israeli peace.