I was born in the Philippines and have 100% Pinoy blood but I know and admit that I’m not 100% happy about being Pinoy
Most people wouldn’t dare write about or admit how much they hate being a Filipino or how much they hate the Philippines. Most articles that I’ve seen which tackle this subject are those Americanized-Filipinos (those who are born Pinoy but lived as an American or those who consider themselves as American already), balikbayans (those who have stayed abroad for quite some time and have now gone back to their home land) or foreigners who had bad ‘Pinoy’ experiences. And most of them say they are ’embarrassed’ to be a Filipino because of our ‘culture.’
In regards to this subject, not much has been written by Pinoys who live in the Philippines (or maybe I’m just not aware of them). Maybe because
they’re we’re afraid we’ll be strangled or beat up by other Pinoys if we bad mouth our own ‘culture.’ And you know how Pinoys don’t like conflict. Or maybe we just don’t want/ like to face the truth.
This was mentioned by one of the producers during the showing of the independent film ‘Lola.’ Indie films, most for that matter, tackle issues and topics that are real life or reality based, those which cannot be shown in the mainstream. Examples of these are LBGT love/ relationships, dirt on the politics and most famous is on poverty. And these actually sell in Western countries like Europe etc.
The reason why most indie films don’t sell in the country, the producer said, is because Pinoys don’t want to see or watch the truth on the big screen. He said, Pinoys don’t like to be reminded of their current situation, of the truth of their lives. That’s why we like watching Hollywood films because these serve as our escape. We like watching fantasy based stories with special effects and films that show the more ‘beautiful side of the world.’ Maybe this is why we don’t talk much about what we dislike about our own culture.
So anyway, I’ll try to share/ talk about some of the the downsides of being a Pinoy, of living in the Philippines and of Philippine culture in general which I feel strongly about (either because I’m always exposed to it or I experienced it before) just to be different. Haha. I’m not saying I’ll share everything ok, just a few. And I know that this is not exclusive to the Philippines.
The reason why I want to share this is for us to somehow change the negative ones. I know I’m guilty of one or more of these but hey, we have to start from somewhere. And I know people will say we have to embrace our own culture, love it etc etc but somehow I think it’s about time we change the not-so-good ones, kahit paano.
I think this is a product of my post-graduate studies. Harhar.
Anyhoo, this is not a generalization since these are only based on some of my personal experiences.
1. Jeepney/ bus drivers who don’t load/unload passengers in the designated areas or don’t drive in the ‘yellow lane’
2. The mosquito net syndrome (flocking together)
3. Spitting/ urinating/ “singa” in public
4. Throwing trash everywhere (then later on blaming the government for floods when in fact they are in part at fault)
5. Blaming other people for their problems (especially the government)
6. Depending too much on the government (or religion) to take them out of ‘poverty’ or obliging ‘rich people’ to help them out
7. Colonial/ crab mentality
8. Irresponsible driving especially for bus drivers
9 Saying they’re poor but have television sets in their homes
10. Lack of discipline in so many ways
11. The ‘taga gobyerno culture’
12. Using ‘public’ spaces for their personal things (eg. auto shops taking up the 2nd lane of the road, mini stores on pedestrian lanes)
13. Filipino time
14. Not respecting ‘personal bubbles’
15. Not saying ‘thank you,’ ‘excuse me,’ ‘sorry’ when it is appropriate to
16. Siksik syndrome (eg in jeepneys) & the upong P10
17. Being too simple & content
18. Being too happy-go-lucky & satisfied with ‘low’ standards
I could go on and on but then again, let’s move on.
Of course, I like a lot of things too about being Pinoy such as being helpful (when I had a flat tire, a total stranger helped me change the tires), being friendly & nurturing, being simple & content (as well) and the concept of siesta & merienda among others. I am somehow [semi] proud of being Pinoy that’s why I even included a part of it on my tattoo in the form of the alibata, our ancient script.
The reason I said I’m not 100% happy of being Pinoy is because of these things. Let’s get real. I’m sure no one can actually honestly, truly say they are totally happy of being Pinoy or any other nationality for that matter because all cultures have their good side and their bad side. Or maybe you can. Then good for you!
All cultures have their upsides and downsides. We can embrace it and we definitely must respect it. I’m Pinoy so I guess that’s that.