I am selfish. But only for today because it is my first article, and generally I want you guys to know me, so you can better understand my next articles.
Somehow I am speechless! I stared at the keyboard for a number of times. Why is it that when you need to say something, you can’t think of anything? It’s kinda like when you are in a real hurry but the traffic is terrible or when you’re trying to remember this one song, but you can’t. Then the next day, or something, it mysteriously pops in your head. I am really terrible at remembering things … really terrible. I know for a fact that when I was a kid, I was quite forgetful. It was a pain because I always found myself trying to remember where my snoopy dog stuffed toy was …
Okay, so let’s stray away for a bit here. I am from the Philippines, for those of you who don’t know where it is, it is in Asia. Southeast Asia to be exact. It’s a small country, but with a lot of people (too many people if you ask me). My mother is a Spanish-Chinese mestiza, and my father is Irish American. A part of me sometimes wishes I grew up in the States, but as I grow up, that feeling disappears and I appreciate this tiny country more and more! Well for westerners, the Philippines would be described as “gross, dirty, noisy, weird, third world-esque.” True. It is kinda gross because of open canals and stuff, it is dirty but it’s not like the US is clean right? It is noisy but only because the culture is so vibrant. Weird? Sure, if you are not Asian, third world? Uh huh, but it’s not that bad.
We have a huge foreign population here, (Europeans and Americans, and lately, Koreans!). They stay because (I’d like to think it is because) they saw the beauty of this country. It is truly beautiful, but a couple of years ago, I noticed that 85 percent of them are male! And well in their prime … So I concluded that they stay here because it is cheap, you get to have maids (again, cheap) and the hookers! Oh the hookers! They marry them, I see them everywhere! And they produce babies, like me. When I’m with my family, we speak English, so naturally people around us think I don’t know how to understand Tagalog (the Philippines language), but I do. They would say “Oh I bet her Mom’s hooker.” Uh, No. On more than one occasion, I would go up to them and give them the verbal slashing they deserve.
Filipinos in general are happy go lucky, they like food, have very, very close family ties, and give so much respect to their elders. Fine. But sometimes, I hate it sooo much. Because whether they admit it or not, they are racist fuckers. They are racist against each other, and against every foreigner that comes here. It’s the sad truth. They talk behind people’s back, but ironically, they talk about you, in front of you. In another dialect or something they think you wouldn’t understand. They automatically think that anyone who is white is rich. Every sexy looking girl with a white guy is a hooker (usually true). They sometimes think they are God’s gift to Earth. (Why? because I went to school here and I’ve heard my instructors telling me that a Filipino man created the fluorescent light bulb, the moon buggy, and the yoyo). Neither is true though … I like Filipino pride, they have a sense of pride among themselves. it is wonderful, seeing a country come together and say that they are beautiful!
I love the culture here, it’s so lively and open and different. The culture here is a mix of Indian, Malay, Chinese, and most importantly, Spanish. Spanish influence here is really strong, from the food, to the religion, practices, and the names. Almost all Filipino names are Spanish. But that doesn’t mean every Filipino has Spanish blood. (but they’d like to think so) The food here is very well flavored, well rounded. They take pride in their cooking. It is absolutely amazing!
But with everything beautiful about this country and the people, there is one thing that truly bugs me. This really, really gets me. It’s the common attitude of most Filipinos when they live in the States or some other country … This is a classic example:
1. Women develop blonde streaks on their hair and heavy make up.
2. Men suddenly become “gangsta,” and trying to speak like a black man.
3. They come back, and act like they forgot to speak Tagalog. Meaning, you talk to them in Tagalog, they reply in English. (Funny!)
4. They start to develop a little hate for their own kind, they start to feel ashamed being Filipino. (The saddest of all.)
5. They are so ashamed they start calling them selves “Pacific Islanders”. Uh, NO. Pacific Islanders are Hawaiians, etc. They live In the Pacific. We live partly in the PAcific, but more on the China Sea. So, don’t say that.
6. They get all big headed about living in the States, because they are “richer.”
But these don’t apply to everyone, just a huge number. It’s a tricky race. The Philippines is beautiful! Right smack in the middle of the ocean, beaches all over, lush wildlife, caves and all. And that is three hours away from one of the biggest cities in Asia, MANILA. I live right next to the beach, I wake up everyday seeing fishermen catching fish, seeing the locals surf, and an occasional foreigner walking. I live in an area, where almost all the inhabitants next to the beach are foreigners. So we have this little group. :) I’d like to call it “the sausage strip”, since most are from Europe and the US.
I am proud to be living here. even if I am not pure Filipino, even if i have more foreign blood in me. I am proud to be “FILIPINO.” I am prod to have such culture and magnificence around me. I am Filipino.
Please let me know what you think of my first piece!