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Sunday, March 31, 2013

On Being Filipino: The Things I Don't Understand

Why There's Such Thing as "Pinoy Pride"?

I'm a proud Filipino. Take me anywhere but you can't take away the fact that I'm Pinoy. I was blessed to be morena (brown skinned or 'black beauty' as my teachers in grade school fondly called me). I'm Filipino in all aspects. Put me in an international crowd and people would easily spot me as a Filipino. Why? When I moved to Singapore, I was the only one in the office who wore jeans. My office mates were all wearing dresses, but this didn't bother me. 

What bothers me now is the widespread sense of "Pinoy Pride". Don't get me wrong. I, myself, am guilty of this but I don't understand why such thing exists in the first place. 

Pinoy Pride is when a Filipino (even 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10) would accomplish something at an international level and almost every Filipino would consider the success as their own. 

I think it's a noble thing. We all gang up and unite in celebrating a fellow Filipino's success. 

Yet, it really puzzles me why such mindset would exist. 

I bet every Filipino who've seen that in their Facebook Newsfeed would have been tempted to read the article just because a product by Filipinos is getting some international traction. The same is true when a Filipino singer is part of an American film, a Filipina actress has become a lead in a band or a dancer at an international arena, or a poet, or a scientist. It doesn't matter how big the accomplishments are as long as it's at international level, all Filipinos would be proud of the person. 

Again, in a way this is good.

However, it makes me wonder why would we make of a big deal of the accomplishment as if it's something we can't just normally do. We don't call Facebook an American company and I bet they don't make headlines such as American Harvard Undergrad Founded the Largest Social Networking Site, To Date.  

It feels like we've unconsciously placed ourselves at the lower rank when compared to other nationalities that every time a Filipino accomplishes something big and at international level we'd climb one step higher in the rank. It feels like we've unconsciously  taught every Filipino to strive higher just because we have to compete and prove our worth to the world. While it's good to be proud of the accomplishments of other Filipinos, I hope we'd continue to do great things and not compare ourselves to other nationalities. 

We can naturally do what others are capable of. Period. 


  1. I agree with you. It's nice to have our fellow countrymen be recognized, and I guess it pushes us to better ourselves whenever we see our own do well, but Pinoy pride shouldn't be made such a big deal. Though I can't blame the ones who do. I think it's because we are part of the minority. It's like when Obama first got elected and African-Americans rejoiced at making history. Minorities feel like they have to constantly prove themselves because even in the face of the constantly changing world, white privilege still exists. Until this privilege stops existing, I don't think we'll ever get out of the mentality that being white or American or whatnot is better.