The Folly of Brown Pride


It already irks me to keep hearing Filipinos complain about other Filipinos using skin whitening products or liking foreign shows and products, saying it’s a sign that Filipinos are ashamed of themselves. I disagree with that view. I think loving white skin has nothing to do with shame.

It’s just common sense. When something is color white, it is usually perceived as clean. When you do laundry, how do you describe clean laudry? White. “Ang puti ng labada.” And what’s usually the color of dirt? Black or brown (kulay tae)! When you look at underarms, what would you prefer? A brighter or darker color? Besides, even white people are looking for skin whitening products.

I also earlier junked the idea of colonial mentality as a problem of our country. A researcher from UP already debunked the idea that Filipinos use whitening products as an effect of colonial mentality. The researcher makes the point that desiring whiter skin is prevalent even in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and other Malay-descended countries. Quoting Wikipedia’s summary then of that research in its Colonial Mentality entry:

Many Filipinos believe that the idealization of fair skin had its roots during the Spanish colonization. Actually, fairness of complexion was attested as a characteristic of the upper class women and appears as the standard of beauty among the Austronesian peoples of the pre-Hispanic Philippines. The desire for white skin is definitely not a result of colonial mentality during the Spanish rule. Besides, the Philippines was a colony of the Majapahit Empire (1293–1527) based in Indonesia prior to Spanish colonization (1565-1898)

If you want to discourage skin whitening products, the health reasons are much better to use. They’re found in the same Wikipedia article. Also, I agree the money is better used elsewhere.

Another issue bothering me is the slamming of half-Filipinos, half-foreigners like the Azkals’ Younghusband brothers. It seems they want to the Younghusbands to stop calling themselves Filipino just because the lads keep their British accents.

Wait a minute! Aren’t you supposed to be glad these lads chose to be Filipino? Where’s the appreciation for their loyalty to our country? Isn’t it hypocrisy to be hitting the Azkals like this? Maybe it’s because the Azkals lost, the critics slam the Azkals. So now that the Azkals won, they’ll bootlick the Azkals? Hypocrisy indeed.

And brown? Indians are also brown. In fact, they’re browner than us! Brown is definitely not exclusive to Filipinos!

I think the real reason people want to raise brown and put down other colors is that they’re just ego-tripping. They probably think it looks cool. Unfortunately, it isn’t cool at all. It’s just as stupid as saying “I’m proud to be Filipino” after the Manila Bus Hostage Crisis.

Why should anyone claim that Filipinos should only be brown? “Brown is great,” “Brown is superior” and similar slogans comprise another collection of great folly. Welcome to the brown version of Nazi Germany.

So what if some brown people want to use skin whiteners? So what if some white people want to get a tan? Or what if the Azkals want to call themselves Filipino? Let them! And mind you, when white people get a tan, they’re color tan, not brown, so they’re not trying to be Filipinos (or anyone brown).

Brown pride is yet another manifestation of Da Pinoy’s hubris. It’s time to drop it.


About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

Post Author: ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

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40 Comments on "The Folly of Brown Pride"

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Hi, Chino! Haven’t read anything new from you for a while. Here’s a thought: Maybe someone should invent a tablet that can turn our skin orange. That way we can have a color exclusive to us. 😛 Seriously, I love what you said about the Azkals. Hey, at least these guys try. I guess people misunderstand these Fil-Foreigners because they can’t seem to embrace everything “Filipino,” including the barok English. However, there are those full-blooded Filipinos who have been in country for so long but still can’t get it straight. That’s a different case altogether I think. I mean, people… Read more »
Markus U.

I Agree with Chino 9000>% for the most obvious reasons.

And guess who are the entities and companies who are promoting that kind of pride? Obviously the entities and companies that thrive under the protectionist constitution created under the first Brown-Yellow regime.

I hate to put ourselves down, but we are a piece of “bovine oudure” compared to the rest of Asia. To paraphrase Adam Carolla, we should get fix our act, and have more common sense when dealing with various situations and scenarios.


Racist or not, Skin White products have yet to cause alarming racial violence here in Philippines.

Hyden Toro

You simply cannot jump out of your own skin…It’s a crazy world. The Browns want to be white. So, they apply whitening lotions to their skins. The Whites want to be brown. So, they Sun-tan their skins. Or go to Sun-tanning clinics…Why not be content , of who you are…


Skin color doesn’t matter. Peel em off and everyone’s red.


Since people think of skin in terms of black people and white people, I just like to say I’m proud to be gray. XD

Baron Von Cruzer

Filipinos aren’t even all brown. With the various mixtures of Native, Chinese, and European ancestry, Filipinos, in fact, come in all colors. I’m pretty sure all my relatives all the way back to my great-great-grandparents are all Filipino, but most everyone in my family are very light-skinned. I’m about as dark as you can get in my family


One for the ladies. Missed your writings Chino.


Ever wonder if the likes of Anne Curtis, Derek Ramsey and Solenn Heussaff would get all the breaks their way if they had Pinoy-sounding last names like Batungbacal or Dacuycoy? Does anyone feel for those unsung theater-polished character actors who are denied lead roles because they had Pinoy names and thick regional accents?

I’m sorry, what is this? What is wrong with natural brown skin? Are the blacks ugly cause they’re dark? Why shoudl white be the standard for beauty? Hell, even my Liberal Arts teacher here in Australia who has scottish ancestry envies my brown skin. She says about how white people (and she’s in her 50s already) as they age, their skin turns ugly pink and wrinkly. I have seen many plain looking white anglo Aussies, and they envy my skin tone cause it’s the perfect tan. Whites here do the opposite of what you filos use for skin *toning*. Now,… Read more »
My apologies for the rash judgment. I just am angry how filipinos still uphold whiteness. Blame the Enlgihtenment for that. Slavery wasn’t bad and wasn’t because of the colour of skin but then these stupid colonialists bring up the subject of race unheard of before and then this is why we have such distorted attitudes towards each other. I very much want to kill the mass media for promoting overt racism. Oh and those so called *stars* in fil media- they’re nothing compared to the immigrants livin here down under. I’ve seen beautiful, slender looking Sudanese women- I can see… Read more »
Just want to add more comment on this issue. Filos are unmindful (especially in the internet world) when boasting about nation pride.They r proud and yet they post up on websites pics of these mixed-race mongrels (who truly don’t look like your average filipino). I’ve noticed this on most Asian dramas too. This is why I only watch American made shows (though not the rubbish u see these days you know that show The Wire? Great show and cast), cause they keep faces relatable and real to your average American. The other thing I hate about Marcos was how he… Read more »
May binabagayan ang lahat, kahit kaputian ng balat. Unfortunately not everyone can get away with or look better with darker skin tones. I can think of a few, Techie Agbayani (for those who are old enough to know her)…wait…ang hirap mag-isip ah. Well, sa Philippine showbiz, usually mga lalake lang ang pwedeng umitim, tulad nila Cesar Montano, Julio Diaz, Richard Gomez. I know a few girls who are beautifully morena, but are not in showbiz. It’s just coincidence that having fair skin is aesthetically appealing, and we don’t have to look deep inside to question that perception and find out… Read more »
Allen Umali

thank you for straightening out my azkal peeve.

I don’t outrightly agree with the claim that “the desire for white skin is definitely not a result of colonial mentality during the Spanish rule.” Of course, colonial rule still had some influence towards the desire to have lighter skin, but in terms of origin, then yes,the fact that this has been going on for quite some time now is something to chew on. Colonial rule has only amplified it for modern day times. Whether it’s under colonial rule or Asian ancestors, both are under the umbrella of the perception of social class; if you are rich, then you must… Read more »

westerners want to be tanned – asians want to be white!
historically white meant you didnt have to work in the sun and were therefore more prosperous.
the real shame is that the country allows dubious companies to peddle worthless products which the less educated believe will help them – in what way i dont know.
they should spend the hard earned money on education rather than product scams
a beautiful person is just that – irrespective of skin colour


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