Sunday, August 27, 2006

My Love (and Hate) Relationship with Filipinos and the Philippines

Okay, okay. Before you start spewing off and telling me all I do is whine, whine, whine about Filipinos, being Filipino, and the Philippines, it's time to write about my Pinoy Pride. Yes, I do find the Filipino Culture and the Philippines to be a very backward thing sometimes. With all the corruption, traffic, dirtiness, bad customer service, and I mean really bad, especially in Manila (in the province, it's much better). Yet, there are so many great things about being Filipino and awesome things about my beloved, country, the Philippines.

The Filipino is one of the most hardworking, if not the most hardworking in the world. I've seen it, with my grandparents, who all did their best planting rice, tomatoes, corn, and other veggies in the ricefields of Ilocos, so that they will one day, have enough money to bring us to the US. I've seen in my parents, despite their lack of education, provide for their five children. I've seen it in cousins, and friends, and family friends, in the news, in the media, wherever you go, Filipinos are there. Granted, the Filipinos in the US have yet to increase their presence in the professional world, they are toiling and sweating in hotels, tourism, restaurants, and other service industries.

The Filipino barangay is comforting. When I went back to my barrio/barangay 15 years later, people were quite welcoming. Everyone helped each other, and they knew each other. I could go down to the little tindahan or tiange, or sari sari store, and everyone knew each other. Whether they were gossiping or not, it was nice to see that there is a sense of community. They all talked to me, very friendly. Here in the US, we have lost that sense of community. You stay in your own home, and you mind your own business.

Yes, it's the friendly, hardworking Filipino that amazes me the most. I'm proud to be a Filipino. Yes, I'm Ilocano. But I prefer to say I'm Filipino. I'm Filipino. I'm not ashamed of being Ilocano or anything. I prefer to stay away from the "tribal mentality." So there, you see, I'm not just a whiner. There is indeed beauty in the Philippines, and in Filipinos.


jhay said...

There's nothing wrong with spitting and whining, I call it complaining or to be precise, criticizing the Filipino culture or attitude.

I remember a lesson I learned back in highschool; "walang magbabago kung walang magrereklamo"

It says everything I want to say about your posts. After all, let us remember that no culture is perfect, it would only be improved by interacting with other culture to pick up the strong points and incorporate it into ours and discard whatever makes our culture weak.

But we must also remember to protect our culture from imperialists and hegemons, for we are all human.

Anonymous said...

too negative

schumey said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. The problem with Filipinos is we are too regionalized. This the reason why the Philippines has a difficult time uniting. We would consider ourselves Visayan, or Ilocano or whatever/whereever one comes from. We need to find our national identity. We all should think Filipino instead of thinking provincial.

Anonymous said...

Yes its alot different in there, a lot of people in the streets, i still rememeber in Pritil , Tondo on my way to school , I saw a man laughing with his gums shown no teeth at all.What a laugh, i thought back then that this scene will really make me homesick... It seems that he is carefree of all the worries, that is the filipino culture,when all things go wrong we can still afford to laugh... thats the filipino spirit and im proud of it.... mary