The following is a re-blog of a post I made back in August 2010. It was after a Chinese tourist bus was taken hostage and the “Miss Philippines” incident.
Hey Filipinos, Filipino-Americans, and Filipinos around the world over,
Here’s an idea. Instead of crying, complaining, and being “embarrassed of your nationality” (which some have claimed here on Facebook, or have, excuse me, “indirectly” indicated on Facebook wall posts, comments, and pictures) – why not DO something about your “global” image instead? Have you ever thought about taking a stand for yourselves as a collective body? You can wear the shirts, you can wear those hats – are you going to stop because you are suddenly “embarrassed”?
Nothing huge, nothing extravagant – unless you are that type. As simple as giving a suggestion to the people, social media does wonders these days, doesn’t it? How about learn something more about your culture, learn to become (more) proud of your culture? When was the last time you tried to learn something about it? I try by subscribing to blogs, you would be surprised by how different opinions help, unless you are un-opinionated. Are you? I doubt it. Did you know Filipinos are the second largest Asian-American group in the United States? (Chinese-American being the first)? Are you suddenly proud again?
But please, don’t go on this tangent about your very own significant ethnicity that you are ever reduced or subjected to a lower “rank” of national attention. Are you a quitter? I sure as hell hope you are not. Last time I checked, Filipinos are designed and raised not to quit.
Yeah, okay, I get it. The hostage situation, it was poorly (might I add, awfully) executed and handled by the Philippine National Police, in the capital of our family’s home nation. Yes, I watched the Miss Universe pageant, Miss Philippines obviously made a mistake, she knew she made a mistake, hell, she admitted to the mistake after the pageant in interviews. Her mistake just so happened to be shown on national television. How many times have there been instances of these occurrences with other countries and or nationalities? I can count different times, other, very prominent countries, have had embarrassing moments in their history. You forgot? What makes you think these events will be forgotten, too – and something else will then entertain your mind. Will you still claim “i’m embarrassed to be a Filipino” in a year? You still eat that adobo don’t you? I know I will.
I’m not trying to downplay the situation, if it seems like I am, that is not my intention to do so. But, it is an issue to me, when a person (let’s take Miss Philippines), does a mistake, it is then carried over to the whole entire nation, then the entire world populous of that nation’s nationality, and somehow injected to its blood and thought manifest, that we are so quick to jump on the wagon of “i’m embarrassed of being a Filipino”. How about, learn from the mistake of another, in a whole essence of the word, and try and make a change of that image (in this case, ‘The Filipino’) for the better as a whole? Your response may have been, “the rest of the world thinks we’re stupid now!”
So, do think you’re stupid? I hope not, how about try and collectively show you’re not? Got a talent? Everyone does.
Please don’t sit and criticize your entire ethnic history after an instance that occurred for 2 hours (or 12 hours), in comparison to years of history, dynamic culture, and world adaptation. Are you going to say that was the past? It still happened didn’t it? We’re still here, right? You can try and change your style, look, and presence, but you’re still pretty damn Filipino. I got the sudden burst of Filipino accent here and then.
“Before we do a Pontius Pilate on our country, before we congratulate ourselves for being right about how the Philippines is going to the dogs, before we go about proclaiming that we are not proud to be Filipino, should we, maybe, not take a step back and ask ourselves what we’ve done to make it better? It is us Filipinos, all 90-plus million of us collectively, who ultimately make the Philippines what it is. And I believe with all my heart that if we hope and act together for the Philippines, we can make a better place for ourselves and for our children. Sino pa ba ang magmamahal sa Pilipinas kundi tayong mga Pilipino (Who else will love the Philippines but us Filipinos)? As for me, at this moment, one thing’s for sure: I am Filipino, and I am proud! – Amen Ms. Pena, you took the words from my mouth.
What inspired me to write the preceding?