Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Filipino and American Relationships

It's been a long long time. I used to have over 300 hits a day during my active days of blogging, and that was only when I first started blogging several months ago. I probably have one or two visitors a day now. Consequences, right? What happened to my blogging enthusiasm? It's called work. When work consumes you, you just forget some of the things in life. I intended for this blog to express my thoughts about the Filipino life, so that my head won't explode. It's still a constant battle, but I'm winning most of them.

One of my blog readers, Jesse, asked about writing more Filipino-American relationships. I know that there are great Filipino-American relationships out there. My cousin is married to a white guy. My aunt is married to another one. Great relationships. But then again, my sister's BF needs to go. My other cousin was dumped after eight years. Me, I dated Americans here and there. Columbians too. I never dated a Filipino. Even if I am a Filipino, there was just some cultural differences between me and other Pinays. For some odd reason, I never see eye to eye with them. Instead, I got along well with non-Filipinos. This will take volumes and pages to explain. Better leave it here.

Here in the Philippines, though, I've never seen so much white worship. Yikes! Everywhere I go, I see a Filipino or a Filipina kiss a white man's ass. So insulting. So degrading. So kawawa. I know it's about this colonial mentality this and colonial mentality that. Yes, it's historical. But there is a time when we need to rise up and let it go. It's time to hold our heads up high and know that we are all equals, regardless of color.

When I go to Havana, or any other establishments in Greenbelt, I see the poor Pinoys scrambling to ensure that the white customers are taken care of. Then I see the same poor Pinoys mistreating their "kapwa" pinoys. What a sorry sight.

CAUTION: If you're in customer service, you better treat me right. I will treat you as I want to be treated. That is, customer satisfaction. I am paying for it, and I only demand good to great service. No less. That is the same thing I would give you if you were to come to my business establishment. If I am not treated well, I will inform the manager how lousy the service is, and how I will never come back again, and how I will tell everyone else not to patron the place...unless they change their ways. Pinoys deserve good treatment too. All Pinoys.

I do not bow down to the white man. I respect them for who they are as human beings. But I do not bow down to them. I am a proud Filipino, and I need to be respected not by my color or my creed, but by the very fact that I am a decent human being.


NursyE said...

I think it is of human nature to have some degree of racism.Some people have it in lesser degree than the others. Some are just downright racist with superiority complex, now that is a dangerous combination.

I agree that Filipinos do have this so called racist attitude. I am sure you have noticed how we, Filipinos, look down upon those Filipinas who are married to the African Americans and yet we praise to high heavens the unions between the Caucasians and Pinays.

And we are even prejudice among our kababayans. I came to the US in 1982 and did not have a chance to visit back home until 4 years ago. It was in May and I was miserably hot and uncomfortable with the humidity. To be comfortable, I had my long hair up, wore those house dresses (dusters) and slip-ons most of the time even going to fancy places such as the malls, fancy restaurants, fancy beauty salons. In all instances, I was look down upon because of what I was wearing. I was doubted to be in the wrong place and one that was not capable of paying the expense of being in high class business establishments such as those mentioned.

To prove them wrong and to demand for a decent service, I would speak in my "Americanized" English and ask for the manager. Only then that my family and I were treated with decency.

In the malls, nobody would come to us and ask if we needed help. Only when I speak in my "Americanized" English would I get the attention and would get the appropriate treatment.

Hay buhay!!!

Anonymous said...

BagUboy is prowling the net and boom! found your quite elaborate site. Yes, everything you said about incidents in the Philippines is the real thing! Bad customer service, the thugs, the cops, corrupt politicos, women turning white, and Holy Molly, even men are into it. Even here in Baguio is no different. But I have an affinity for great restaurants here(maybe expensive to filipino standards) so, the service is always great, even I'm not dressed well. During my travels though, if they ask me where I'm from, I'd just say Baguio, I'm an Igorot. I rarely say filipino, was used to it that way, even Manila, which I don't really visit unless exiting the country. Great site and quite interesting topics you got. Cheers and goodhealth....


AL said...

I must agree with you at some level that some establishments give more service to Caucasians. This mentality that all white people have a lot of money , hopefully, would change one day.

I am married to a european and whenever I am in Manila, in one of the department stores, I feel that they would rather give their services to my husband than to me. They would say their greetings to my husband but not to me. When this happens, I leave the establishment. I do not need to prove that I can pay too. I go to where I am treated well as a paying customer.

I would like to commend the sales ladies at Robinson's and Rustan's the last time I was there. I was not well dressed. I was not with my husband but they gave me really good service. All I did was tell them what I needed to buy and they got everything for me and all I had to do was choose.

I was in the customer service business for a long time (travel business) and I can assure you that the customer service agents in all the companies I worked for were fair. They treated the customers the same - colored or white.

Like I said, I agree with you but not completely. There are a lot of establishments in the Philippines where filipinos are treated well.

Everything boils down to education, I suppose and how they are trained to take care of the clients.

Cyberpunk said...

i used to work as a purchaser. i regularly handled rush orders but one time a salesman in the mall branch called me up for a rush order. at the end of the call the guy emphasized "The customer is a foreigner!"

everything was going ok but that remark got me mad and i replied "So what?"

i really hate it when pinoys bend over backwards to please caucasians. every one deserves the best service possible but to put the needs/wants of foreigners over pinoys is terrible.

i also hate the fact that many resorts here in the philippines are owned by foreigners.

Miss F said...

I would also bend over backwards to please a foreigner if I thought that I could get a very important favor/help from him. It won't be because of any intrinsic good or superiority in him.

Filipinos favor Caucasians more cuz they seem richer. also, more aesthetically pleasing- no offense to the darker-skinned brothers out there.

here's an insight into how a Filipina's mind works: (I am a Filipina, lived her all my life) when I was 21,a fresh college graduate and earning $250 a month, I dated many foreigners and was always dreaming of marrying a foreigner. but as I earned more money and got more INdependent, I realized that I'm beginning to have higher standards. and that I could actually find a financially stable, okay-looking intelligent guy WITH THE SAME culture after all. the more I find my strength the more I realized my preference for foreigners was mere romanticism.

no girl dreams of marrying a fat, balding man thirty years her senior. but i believe that most Filipinas do it out of love for their FAMILY- and their future family (with the man). so I don't pity them their choices and poverty- i think they're just doing what they had to do given the circumstances (yeah when the alternative is to sell streetfood or be a prostitute all your life or work in some crummy factory living on minimum wage with no savings at all in case your family gets hospitalized).

the Philippines is in a desperate situation except that everyone's in denial. I think Westernization and globalization is the biggest enemy now. The more we become materialistic and individualistic and throw away our traditions and values the deeper we sink in this "quagmire of despair".

however, I'd like to be realistic. I don't think the enemy can be confronted nor can anything be done about it. yes we can alleviate the suffering somehow but there will never be a revolution. nor can people change their habits (nature?) overnight. i think the Filipinos will have to suffer MANY MANY MANY indignities first before they realize that they have to be united and actually do something to protect their country.

Miss F said...

regarding my previous comment about Filipinas marrying foreigners, I'd like to stress that there Filipinas aren't just marrying "for money"- as though it's a business transaction or a marriage for convenience. they usually see the inner beauty of the man and they learn to LOVE him and won't leave him. thats why they say Filipinas are loyal and sweet. what's unfortunate is that many Filipinas are also abused by their husbands.

ofcourse many Filipinas are also becoming materialistic and make a living off duping gullible Caucasians.

yes whites are lording it here. I think that's unfair, but I also don't blame Filipinos who are slaving away for them. THis is part of the Filipino psyche and this mentality goes back many many years long before we were colonized. its not that we are masochistic slaves.oops but im getting off on a tangent here. thanks for reading and may you know more about our culture~

Anonymous said...

My wife is Filipinos, I am Caucasian and when in the Philippines I always stayed in line like everyone else.

At home, I always look after myself and refused to have the maid to do extra work or else.

If there is some inferiority complex among Filipinos, I think it is time to change mentality. Ethnicity, gender or nationality are not reasons to make discriminaton between us.

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Anonymous said...

I'm black from South Africa and have been in the Philippines for two months and its been a shock to the system. From skin whiteners being advertised on billboards and tv to the attitudes of the locals who invariably mistake me for an African-American.

The colonial mentality can also be laid at the door of politicians and their behavior. How does one explain a several dozen politicians accompanying GMA on a state visit to the US except to say that they're there to kiss the feet of their "white" masters.

Looking at the overall picture a foreigner, like myself, would be forgiven for thinking that this country never went through a liberation struggle- one in which Jose Rizal and many others paid for with their blood.