Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Filipinos Worship the White Skinned, Degrade the Dark Skinned

I got a nice tan, a golden brown colored tan this weekend. My skin has actually been on the lighter side since I haven't gone to the beach in a long time. The only time I got my full body exposed to the sun in the last year or so is two weekends ago playing volleyball at the park. It's kinda nice to just be able to take off the shirt and play sandbox volleyball.

But this weekend, I bathed in the sun. I went to Phoenix, and my friend and I went water tubing at the Salt River. We got our sunscreen and we trekked the river for about three hours on a huge tube. I was expecting a lot of Mexicans there, but all I saw were Caucasian Americans and a few minorities here and there. It was a huge party up and down the river as people were drinking, eating, and just having a plain good old time.

I gotta admit, I did think about me becoming dark again. After all, my Pinoys love the light skinned ones. And what if they see me again, and they will say What the Frick Happened to You? What if they will not like me anymore? What if they think I will be ugly now? Hmmm. Who are we kidding here? I wanted to get a tan again. I wanted to get a healthier looking skin color. I was beginning to look pale, especially my body and my thighs. So we lathered our SPF 50 sunscreen and joined the thousands of pale white skinned Americans.

My beloved Pinoys love the light skinned ones. They worship the white Americans. They adore light skinned Filipinos. They admire the pale. In fact, they love the albino so much, they are willing to put down their own fellow Filipino if he's dark. What a shame! What an embarassment. I feel so insulted and disappointed to be a part of a culture that can put down their own fellow Pinoy because of the color of their skin. Thank God I live in a country like the US who prefer tan skin. In fact, most Americans are envious of the Filipino tan.

Americans worship the sun; if not, the tanning salon. Ironically, Filipinos use an umbrella not to protect themselves from harmful UV rays, but to protect themselves from being degraded; for if they do not use an umbrella, they will get darker, and thus will be called second class citizens.

Me, it really doesn't matter anymore. I must admit, I did go through a phase where I wanted to be of lighter skin. I wish my skin had the propensity to be naturally light; but my genetics decided that if I stayed too long under the sun, I would be cursed as a Pinoy in the Philippines; fortunately, I'm blessed in the US. But I do not wish to remain in the shade forever; I love outdoor sports and activities. So yes, I will take off my shirt, put on some sunscreen, and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

In the end, it's not about the color of your skin, but rather, the content of your character. Yes, I echo one of my heroes sentiments, Martin Luther King. I hope that Pinoys will begin to understand this.


Talamasca said...

Thus the increasing number of whitening thingamajigs and whatchamacallits that have been emerging lately in this country. Tsk tsk.

Like being copper-skinned is a curse, huh? So sad.

Anyhoo, thanks for leaving your insightful comment on one of my posts. Come back anytime. :-)

schumey said...

I'm proud of my eternal brown skin. Still, the loss of national identity is the culprit. I say loss because nobody really bothers to find for themselves the true meaning of being Filipino. We did not lose it, it was always there waiting to be discovered. But sad to say, most would rather embrace a culture so foreign to us. You're lucky, you never forgot who and what you really are.

Mia said...

I don't know if you've heard this, but there's a Filipino folktale about the origin of skin colors. Supposedly Bathala was making man by shaping clay and then baking it in his oven. The first man Bathala made was under-baked, and so this first man emerged from the oven pale-skinned: the first Caucasian. The second time, Bathala overestimated the baking time -- he probably didn't want to repeat his mistake -- and so the second man was very dark-skinned, like the Africans. The last time Bathala finally got the baking time right and the third man emerged beautifully golden-brown -- kayumanggi -- and he became the first Malay.

It's odd to compare that folktale with people's mindsets and standards of beauty today. I think pale skin is beautiful but so can dark skin, though of course my favorite skin tone is golden-brown. Finding one skin color more beautiful than another is just as silly as preferring blond to black or brown when it comes to hair.

Mia said...

"but so can..." = "but so is..."

Sorry about that ^^;

Anonymous said...

good for you, filipinos with dark and golden brown skin. i, on the other hand, must put in so much effort to get darker only to last for a week or two, And be mistaken for for other asian ethnicity.