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Proud Filipinos

Are Filipino's really proud of their heritage? How about the circumstances of the Filipino people? How about the color of the skin, the shape of the face, the length and width of the noses? How about the Language(s)?

For some reason I find a lot of Filipino's patronizing (even using) foreign languages in normal everyday situations. I'm guilty, I am more comfortable (not necessarily better) at writing English than Tagalog (Yes, my language is Tagalog, not the bastardized notion of a single language called Filipino that never was really the only language Filipinos know nor use). Although I admit that I write English a lot, the reason is being that I write more stuff on the Web than in any other medium -- and I want people who read and understand English to be able to read what I write: which is basically Filipino's and any other English speaking nation out there.

But when you meet me in the Philippines, you can talk to me in Tagalog (note again, I really mean Tagalog) and I will engage you in conversation quite gamely. In my work, I need to speak in English because I'm basically holding conversations regularly with people in the United States (and no, I don't work in a call center either... maybe you've heard of a company called Friendster?).

But then I really get irritated when I see lots of Filipino people learning (or trying to use) Japanese and patronizing Japanese art/culture and in the same breath saying "I'm proud to be Filipino". Some people will try to look Italian by dressing Italian then proclaiming to the world that they're proud to be Filipino. Every Filipino seems to never prefer Filipino anything but still say with a straight face that "Pinoy ako pare, ipinagmamalaki ko ito.". Some even go to great lengths arguing about Filipino issues and the plight of the Filipino while sitting on their Levi's Jeans and talking in their west coast twang wearing a Dickies shirt -- you see it everyday on TV, in the streets, even in the office where people wear ties instead of the national habit called a Barong Tagalog.

Are we a culture of hypocrites? Are we so inbred and retarded to think that somehow saying "I'm proud to be Filipino" would be enough to hide our patronization of foreign influence which never seemed to add value to our culture?

I miss the days when people meant it when they said "Ako ay Pilipino." and wore Spartan slippers, Filipino made Company B jeans, Filipino made plain shirts, and maybe Bench (All Filipino) underwear. I miss the tie-dye psychedelic Pidro shirt, the Crispa high quality durable fabric plain shirts, the fashionably trendy katsa shirts, and the Anthony Nocom button down barong tagalog.

I miss the music which was really OPM even if they were in English. Nowadays bands strive to sound like foreign artists that it's very hard now to tell whether a song playing on the radio is still OPM or foreign just in a bad vocal accent. I don't think it's a good thing, because we lose whatever identity we have left.

I miss the schools which taught about how Lapu-Lapu (thanks Anonymous) scared the Spaniards away and didn't back down from a fight -- and not how Rajah Sulayman (I think should be treated as a traitor) sold Manila to the invading Spanish. It makes me sick that the Spanish embassy is still the best looking high-walled building along Salcedo St. granted that they are the reason for the three hundred and more year wipe-out of the Filipino culture.

I guess we really are a culture of hypocrites. While we're at it, why won't we be proud about that? We never really seem to mind what we take pride in, why don't we take pride in something real, like how hypocritical Filipino's are? At least we don't have to pretend to care anymore.



  1. I totally agree with you here.

    You forgot to mention those who make it their life's goal to migrate! Like the Philippines is really that horrid to live in..

    I haven't been abroad, but it only takes a moment to appreciate the little things that we would surely miss when we go off-country: the street food (well, the food in general), the comfort of living within the culture you grew up in and speaking in Tagalog (Tagalog, yey!). Not to mention the relatively low living expenses (according to some). =p

    Or, maybe, I'm just not that out-going and adventurous to enjoy it abroad..


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