Coming Out

I’m not gay.  I think.

But I’m still coming out from a different angle. Something like my father is a Filipino. My mother is a Filipino. I was born and currently live in the Philippines. So what does that make me? [Insert highly obnoxious Filipino joke here]

Oh, hee hee, because we're all that and more...oh, much more!
Hee hee, because we’re all that and more…oh, much, much more!

So I guess that makes it official: I am a Filipino. And why am I telling you this? I decided it’s about time the world (yeah…because I’m so popular) have a good inkling of what’s going on in some 7,107 islands (that’s during low tide) near the Pacific. Maybe make it a regular feature?

You may wonder why it’s taken me so long. You see, I don’t want to be dead yet.

Allow me to explain: I tend to write with teeny doses of, uh, I think you call it sarcasm. And I like to point out the good things as well (if not more) as faults. And I love to have my fun at other people’s expense as much as mine. So why would that kill me?

Other than some deity might struck his lightning bolts at me for violating the universal Good/Nice Girl Law, it’s more because of the fact that FILIPINOS ARE A TOUCHY BUNCH. Stereotyping? Pfft. Well of course I didn’t mean everyone–just the majority of like 90%.

Perhaps that should be Filipino Fact (FF) #1. But let’s make it official and turn it into a heading before I expand.

FF #1: Filipinos don’t take criticisms (in all its forms) well.

Sure, those with liberal minds, a good sense of humor, and those who lived and were exposed to western culture for a time have developed a thicker hide (and not even all). But the rest, especially those who lived here all their lives are really onions. Specifically, onions that bite.

Yes, I used a meme. I'm that shameless.
Yes, I used a meme. I’m that shameless.


Let’s start with the mild. Suppose you say something like, “Filipinos hurt my eye–I wonder how they pass as humans?” Or maybe not. Suppose you’re a non-Filipino and say,

“Filipinos are all talk and no walk. Perhaps they could achieve some real progress if they start to act things out.” (If you are a Filipino, uhm, it would be a different story. Fact.)

Instead of acting out, oh, you’ll get more talk. You’ll hear how they’re really doing something to back on their words (instead of the more effective way of just letting you see it) and say how near they are in achieving success in whatever their goal is. And if that’s not enough, they’ll point out why you’re the one who’s all talk–in great detail–and will demand some proof that you are not. Show us your life’s work, perhaps? They’ll go into such lengths until they’re satisfied and finally convince themselves and anyone listening why you have no right to say that single line (instead of refuting the real issue).

If that’s not enough drama, try making fun of a Filipino who’s renowned in the international scene.

Say it’s Charice (if you even heard of her).

"That filipino girl can sing well. But she's ugly as hell."
“That Filipino girl can sing well. But she’s ugly as hell.”

Say it’s Manny Pacquiao.

Isn't this just romantic?
Isn’t this just romantic?

It would suffice to say that they wouldn’t rest until you are dead.

That’s if you are NOT Filipino. (Again, if you are a Filipino it would be a different story. Because then it would be okay. Hilarious even. Because that’s how much we love bashing our own. Isn’t it ironic? Alanis got it so right…)

Perhaps it is all rooted to Pinoy Pride (Pinoy is a local term for Filipinos, has a variant Pinay referring to Filipinas–the females. But you can just use Pinoy, really. Or stick to calling us Filipinos. Or Asian Monkeys if you feel your life is too peaceful).

Filipinos have this real strong sense of pride But for most, this is really a faux pride (that’s for another post).

One way you could see that is if anything related to our nationality had its turn in the international 15 minutes of fame. Say some Filipino artist/athlete was acclaimed internationally; or won an international beauty pageant; or even those who only have part-Filipino blood in their veins (think Jessica Sanchez , Vanessa Hudgens, Bruno Mars, Enrique Iglesias, Coach Eric Spoelstra…right, I think you get it); or when some international newspaper praised a Filipino product, professional, or praised something that was made in China and became popular in China but has really started in some Filipino’s mind (oh trust me, we can get farther than that!)–it would eventually end up in National TV and Filipinos would start feeling good about themselves once again. As if some good has finally happened to the world. Like they were the ones getting their 15 minutes of fame. (There’s a psychological term for this “associative sense of fame” that I can’t remember because I’m an idiot, sorry.)

And there’s really nothing wrong about that. Why not allow people to feel, at least once, glad that they’re alive? But sometimes, some people could just take it way too far, too personally (i.e. sending hell’s angels to anyone who dissents, threatens, criticize said object of pride, such as what happened to Mr. Baby-baby-Oh here.)

"Please, good sir, please don't CASTRATE me!"
“Please, good sir, please don’t CASTRATE me!”

Uh, wrong link. HERE.

That’s the core of the issue: majority of the Filipinos take everything TOO personally.


Err…let’s take it some notches down and focus on the Filipino individual.

Criticize something about a Filipino, say you told him off for being too late too often and he’ll think you have some personal grudge against him other than just his work ethics. Or say you praise him for handling things effectively, he’ll interpret that as some form of personal affection. And that’s just on a small scale. Filipinos have a difficulty in extracting their emotions from seeing things objectively. It’s ingrained on them at a young age and next to impossible to remove from their psyches.

But that’s not always a bad thing.

Because of this real strong sense of self-attachment, they have the most admirable traits of empathy. That is why you can see many Filipinos going out of their way to be polite. They don’t want to offend anyone for anything as long as they can help it. Most Filipino comedians would rather play with slapstick than blurt out crude jokes one after the other (except the more “modern” ones). They’re really nice people at heart. And they have no qualms on showing it, too. That’s why they easily hurt if this niceness is not shown back. Or shown with antipathy, criticism and their cousins.


Or maybe I’m just an idiot who doesn’t get out of the house much and got every single thing wrong. And I have to worry now of people hacking me down as soon as I get out of the front door. Why do we make all these problems for ourselves anyway?

Wouldn’t be much of an idiot if I know.


15 thoughts on “Coming Out

  1. Remind me never go to the Philippines. It seems like a place I would not last.

    I never realized Filipinos were known for being ugly. That’s a stereotype? I don’t see it. I’ve seen enough attractive Filipinos. Then again, one of the ugliest people I know is Filipino so maybe he balances things out the other way.

    Maybe it’s something about being more secluded than a few other cultures. A lot of island nations are pretty stubborn about things. Maybe not. I’m trying to sound smart and hope someone agrees.


    1. Tim, do not come here in the Philippines. YOU would be castrated in an hour.

      It is probably a stereotype. Google knows all. But I’m pretty sure we have the same view on that specific thing–remember the chin guy?

      I’m not really sure it’s the seclusion. I mean transportation is not as difficult as 18th century. And there’s satellite TV and the Internet. A lot of Filipinos dress like those puppets in hollywoodland and talk with the American twang. But it’s a total mystery, even to me, why we’re so particularly good at making fun of other cultures and each other but lose our cool when other nations take the mickey. It’s a total joke in itself. Crazy people, huh?


    1. It is indeed liberating. So far I haven’t received hate comments yet so maybe I’m really wrong and Filipinos have changed. Or maybe I just don’t get hits from my country. I’m still confused how I feel about that, haha!


    1. Gee whiz–you mean some Filipino used our Tagalog curses on you? Don’t take it personally. Spain colonized us for more than three centuries so no wonder we’re relatively the same sort of porcupines.

      [Spaniard insults, I now gladly await you.]


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