Are Filipino Celebrations in Singapore going too far?

It’s no wonder Filipinos were again the subject of controversy in Singapore. There was some recent furor on Filipino celebrations of independence in the country. A group of Filipinos ran an ad where they announced a celebration of the June 12 Philippine Independence day happening on Orchard Road. This angered many Singaporeans, who expressed their opposition and said Filipinos had no right to hold this celebration.

Singapore PM Lee put in a word to help out Filipinos (photo courtesy of EPA/Nicolas Bouvy)
Singapore PM Lee put in a word to help out Filipinos (photo courtesy of EPA/Nicolas Bouvy)

Luckily some other Singaporeans are more level-headed, criticizing the way fellow Singaporeans vented their anger against Filipinos. Singaporean Prime minister Lee Hsein Loong himself came to the defense of Filipinos, saying the Singaporeans who harassed Filipinos were “a disgrace.” However, it still led to the Filipino group’s ad being pulled out.

Many Singaporeans still felt outraged by the idea. One article on the issue says Lee’s defense of Filipinos is only for gaining Filipino votes for the PAP (knowing that some Filipinos opted to change their citizenship to Singaporean). Someone may liken this to Filipino politicians pandering to squatters (oh, I’m sorry… “informal settlers”) to gain votes. This also demonstrated another facet about Singaporean society – that Singaporeans may be just as dissatisfied with their government as we Filipinos are with ours.

Anyone remember Steph Micayle’s little rant on Youtube about why she’s not proud to be Singaporean? She complained of skyrocketing prices and nicer benefits being given to foreign workers, and the needs of the local people being left out. It seems that the root of this anger is some Singaporeans have long been against the influx of planeloads of foreign workers, because they feel this has contributed to life in Singapore becoming more difficult. Once a foreign group decided to make a “pride binge,” it broke the last straw.

Even some Filipinos in Singapore are in disagreement on the celebration. At least one of them criticized their own countrymen for “going too far” in how they conduct their independence day celebrations. The writer of the article called for more discretion in the activity.

Perhaps the problem is not whether or not Filipinos should celebrate independence in Singapore: I’m fine with it. The problem is the way they wanted to celebrate it. Running an ad and holding it on Orchard Road was doing it the noisy way. It may have been a demonstration of another fault of Filipinos – being improperly noisy.

Yes, noise applies to more than talking unnecessarily loud on the phone while in a public place or vehicle (why can’t people just hold the microphone part of the phone nearer their mouths instead of shouting?). Filipinos tend to be too noisy in their activities. That includes even the manner of holding celebrations and even – wait for it – proclaiming their “Pinoy Pride.” Another thing is doing it in Orchard Road – some may compare it to commandeering EDSA for one’s little village parade.

Perhaps Filipinos are still seeing foreigners as their oppressors, and are doing this celebration to recover a sense of identity, or as a feel-good activity to get out of the depression of being OFWs (which has a tremendous social cost). But being loud about it sends the wrong message.

Here’s how Singaporeans my see Filipinos being loud about their independence day – that it is an act of defiance as well as a sign of disrespect for their host.

Photo courtesy of French Toast Mafia
Photo courtesy of French Toast Mafia

And from the reactions of Singaporeans, it seems that this is the first time any foreign group decided to have a loud celebration of their independence. And of course, that would raise the eyebrows of the host.

While I agree some Singaporeans did go overboard on their raging against Filipinos, perhaps there’s still a lesson for us. I will repeat the message I earlier stated for Filipinos in Singapore (or anywhere) – we should not be a noisy people. Some Filipinos would say that being noisy is a sign of happiness. But this I contend against. Noise can actually be “pretend happiness” to cover up for their actual depression. That would make Filipinos dishonest in a sense.

Perhaps Filipinos also need to change their values on this – that even if discreet and quiet, they can still be happy. And being rudely noisy should not be accepted as a part of Filipino culture.

Some Filipinos would also say, what about the US? They allow us to do loud parades! Why can’t Singapore do that? The answer is that the guest should be the one to comply with the host, not the other way around. If your host allows such celebrations, fine. If your host forbids them, comply; a bitchfit means you are a bad guest worthy of throwing out. Imagine, if you had a guest that demanded that he do something you very much dislike in your own household, how would you feel?

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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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133 Comments on "Are Filipino Celebrations in Singapore going too far?"

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Carmichael
Guest

Kinda odd that they’re celebrating Philippine independence, and announcing it way too early, in a foreign land when it isn’t as much celebrated over here (just some day off from work/school)

and wow, sense of identity? they aren’t proud of their local language and this is how they do this? Take a hint from your neighboring countries about getting a sense of national identity and doing it right.

jarvis
Guest

Singaporeans seem to hate filipinos more than any other nationalities, not sure why. Maybe because of the luneta bus fiasco or something.

Hyden Toro
Guest

Sabi ko nga, matagal nang sira ang tuktuk ni Aquino…siguro advance party ni Aquino yung mga yun…para sakupin ang Singapore…Kasambahay invasion…

Hardy
Guest
A sensible and restrained post. Allow me to put things in perspective. The Singapore government strategy to grow the GDP is to attract people from the region and pay them very low wages (but high to foreign workers). This has displaced local workers and depressed wages for them. And once here each community will recruit only their own kind. Singapore is only 700 sq km, smaller than Manila but 40% are foreigners, and they keep to themselves and don’t bother to integrate with the locals. Orchard Road, where the Independence Day celebration may be held, is occupied by Filipino workers… Read more »
kid444
Guest

I dont get it why our Filipino Bro & Sister wants to celebrate our independence in a foreign land Publicly. I would have no problem if the Singaporean government requested for our Indpenedence to be celebrated in Singapore publicly. They should celebrate it privately or in Phil embassy. I hope a Filipino would make a anti group in FB. I would gladly support it.

JT Jerzy
Guest

Celebrating ‘Independence Day’ in a foreign country? WTF?

Are they on drugs? Filipino’s are noisy. Unnecessarily so. One time I was awakened from my sleep at 3AM becuase a MARCHING BAND was going down the street,FULL BLAST!!! I was on the 6th floor of a hotel and they woke me up! I could not believe it!!

Being noisy is disrespectful to begin with and to celebrate the Independence of your own country in someone else’s country is downright arrogant.

Did people throw tomatoes and eggs at them?

JT Jerzy
Guest

****the hotel was in CEBU CITY*******

domo
Guest

You didn’t get the point of the article vincensus ignoramus. It’s all about da pinoys like you being noisy without giving a damn on other people’s disturbance. I bet you always pump-up your karaoke’s volume to the max during at night while your neighbors are sleeping peacefully and quietly.
But what the heck. You’ll not gonna listen anyway because you’re a malakanyakanyang paid hack.

Hardy
Guest
Singapore PM Lee has spoken out in defense of Pinoy over the matter of their Independence Day celebration in one a famous shopping belt in the country. What many Pinoy are not aware of is that PM Lee has an ulterior motive. He hopes to entice Pinoy to become Singapore citizens and then vote for him. As the home to people’s power, I’m not certain if Pinoy who are singapore citizens would vote for an authoritarian party. Pinoy are not fully aware that Singapore is the most repressive country in ASEAN and arguably in Asia. Singapore is a de facto… Read more »
Jim DiGriz
Guest

Filipinos should not be surprised about how they are being treated abroad. They should instead ask themselves, how are we treating foreigners in our own country. The answer is, very bad. Foreigner here are treated like second class citizens. NO equal rights apply. It happens a thousand times a day. Marcos passed an anti-discrimination law with regards to foreigners, but that is long forgotten and never applied. I could write a book about how foreigner are treated here and it would never be published, because no one would believe the outrageous stories.

domo
Guest

Oooh someone is going bananas again. FYI I’ve been to Singapore last year and I admire their discipline and their obedience with the laws and rules that I too follow them and apply it here in the Philippines as well. Oh and I’m a Filipino not a pinoy because the latter is a ghetto version of the likes of you dumb flip.

domo
Guest

Thus the question you dumb flips can’t answer: so what? It doesn’t change the fact that dumb flips like you are undisciplined, dysfunctional human species. Face the fact indiot because you’re obviously in denial of your mediocrity embracing.

Johnny Derp
Guest

@Fake Winter Soldier
Jeez, this style of imitating GRP regulars again?
You malacañang trolls are sooo pathetic to think that we’d be fooled by something like that.

Besides, the GRP admin already knows that you guys are fakes.

Troll Harder

MidwayHaven
Guest

Apparently it hasn’t dawned on many Filipinos yet that noise is considered a form of pollution.

I live in a fairly decent neighborhood, but recently a few new people can’t get it into their head that they shouldn’t sing karaoke at full blast after 8pm. I call the cops on them if they go past curfew; works every time.

cynicjam
Member

Idiot…just because they’re noisy doesn’t mean we have to imitate their attitude as well.

Oh and stop using other people’s names and then telling us we’re the “kupals,” you’re an obvious butthurt and you don;t know it.

Bill Kasi
Guest

The problem with Filipinos is the self centered mentality (Pinoy Pride). They should look at themselves from the international perspective. Their independence celebration were probably viewed by the international as a protest for not having enough independence from the host country.

Inamoka
Guest

Plainly stupid! Stupid. Again, stupid.
All your backward mentality will make your minute city-state decline. And let me tell you more of your arrogance. Singaporeans, although not all of them, are the most arrogant scumbags i ever met!

Lil
Guest

One of my former nannies who lives in Finland once posted about Finnish Independence Day celebrations on FB. I thought that’s nice until I saw one of her Pinoy mates suggesting they can wear their Pinoy native costumes to the Finnish Independence Day party they were going to hold at home.
Idiotic and Inappropriate.