Racism in the Philippines

For those few keeping up with my Deep series, please don’t worry, I’m working on Chapter 5 as I write this. However, I’m afraid this issue to be discussed can’t wait because of its utmost importance. I’m afraid that, all things considered, this is a topic that needs to be heard by all Filipinos because of how deep it has infected us as a people.

Anyway, racism is a touchy subject for a lot of people. For Filipinos, when the idea of racism is ever mentioned, they will probably think one of two things: One, they will think of the black vs. whites issues going on in the West, more specifically the United States. Second, they will probably think of the foreigners who have had something to say against the Philippines like Alec Baldwin or Clair Danes. However, I strongly doubt that they will ever even think of themselves as blatantly racist even when it’s so clear that we are every bit as racist or even more so than those they accuse of it.

So, do I believe that most Pinoys are racist? Honestly, yes and magnitudes worse than some out there I might add. Here are my points if you want to hear them:

multiculturalism

Standards of Beauty

One of the mildest ways we show our racism is in our standards of “beauty”. Of course, this is changing with some people as they come to recognize that brazen skin or an ebony complexion is attractive in its own right. However, no one can deny that majority of Pinoys still consider light skin is the go-to for the idea of beauty. Many of our celebrities like Marian Rivera, Heart Evangelista and Anne Curtis are widely lauded for being white and looking nothing like your average Filipina. In fact some of my foreign friends go on to comment that majority of the celebrities the masses worship do not look us at all and it looks as if they’re watching a European (specifically Spanish or Italian) show. It pains me to admit that in some circles, dark skin is still considered a mark of ugliness. In some schools, I still hear a lot of issues of bullying wherein students are being ostracized for having dark skin and being called “itang gala”. Also, in many teleseryes, how do they present a lead character as “ugly”? Simple! Darken her skin with cosmetics.

Racist Remarks 

Pinoys have always been sore winners and losers. When Pacquiao or any Filipino who wins a prestigious international award, many Pinoys clamor “Pinoy Pride” everywhere like there’s no tomorrow. However, when they lose, they resort to using below-the-belt tactics in degrading the foreign winner and calling them all kinds of mean things. Take note how so many Pinoys called Iranians “smelly” when they beat our soccer team, remember how so many attacked the recent Ms. Angola when our representative lost that competition and I know that remarks against Floyd Mayweather’s physiognomy continue to pour in as I write this because some people just can’t accept the defeat of their idol. In the end, people resort to slurs and worse just because they can’t accept the reality of Pinoy inferiority.

Social Bias Against Natives

Sadly, this is a grim reality that I find difficult to accept especially because we like to claim that we are a “modern” people. To this day, people view Negritos and other tribes like the Bajao and Igorots as inferior and backward despite the fact that common Pinoys also hold a lot of outdated beliefs like the superiority of race, for example. This kind of thinking was once prevalent in the West but has now faded into obscurity in developed countries with Native Americans becoming more mainstream and the Ainu of Japan becoming a respected part of Japanese culture. I can only pray and hope that these tribes will one day be seen as equals by our fellows and be accepted as a people who are as beautiful and smart as our common countrymen.

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Post Author: Grimwald

I came that you may know PAIN and have it in abundance...

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34 Comments on "Racism in the Philippines"

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Angelica Hopes
Guest
Yes, I agree that many Filipinos are quite of a racist too. They can discriminate in many areas like your darker skin, your intelligence, your petite stature, your size, your appearance, the region you came from, your profession, your religion and even from which school you came from. Even living in abroad (Europe) now for the last 20 years, some would approached me, “Gusto niyo bang gumanda, para mas pumuti kayo?…” Another one told me, “Are you tired of your dark skin?” A batch mate in high school told me, “Sayang saimo, nasa harong ka lang” (you’re wasted, you’re JUST… Read more »
Angelica Hopes
Guest
In addition to what I shared: p.s. If you happen to be married to a foreigner you are also discriminated by envious, judgmental pinay women. If you happen to be legally separated or a divorcee you are still discriminated and even if you have moved on in life from a divorcee state you carry that stigma most especially with fellow kababayan. If you happen to be gay or lesbian that too is discriminated by others. If you happen to be very intelligent but you didn’t come from the top school of the country, that one too you can be pinched… Read more »
Sick Amore
Guest

It seems the racist Pinoys are fired up by what concerns them the most -> desirable public image.

Jerry Lynch
Guest

As a western man who admires Filipina beauty, I always say, “If I wanted a white woman I would have stayed home. I came here for a petite (tiny) very dark skinned woman and no other will do.”

BING BONG
Guest

@ J.L., W-W-W-WHAT? who are you kidding? your statement assumes that there are no petite dark skinned women in the states, HA! and that is just bullshit dude.There are plenty of them ,they are all over the place. FACE IT: You went to the Failippines because that is the one place where you could find one like that whose circumstances are desperate enough that they are are wiling to be with your ugly ass. LOL, I mean really, who do you think your kidding, besides yourself, with that bullshit?

JustineD
Guest

A Pacquiao victory would have doomed Pinoys. It’d be like giving the Arkenstone to Thorin Oakenshield while under dragon sickness. It would’ve lulled every Pinoy on the street into thinking that they too have all sorts of superiority over other nationalities.

Back to reality, Filipinos.

Love my Brown Skin Beauty
Guest
Love my Brown Skin Beauty

Well said Grimwald…. I was married to a city girl who along with her sister and friend’s seemed to buy into the white skin theory….Well, sh ewas all about the money, control and nastiness….I’m rid of her for the better…I’ll take my sweet, dark skinned Filipina Farm girl beauty any day over any white skinned city girl! If I wanted to marry a white Asian, I would have married a Korean girl !

29Toro0007Hayden
Guest
People are people, no matter what color, appearances, ethnicity and culture, they came from in our Planet. I find the “white skin beauty” mindset; not only in the Philippines; but in Mexico, and other Spanish colonized countries in South America. It is because the Spanish Colonizers, degraded us natives, of our appearances; our cultures and our beliefs. We have to tell ourselves: “Brown is Beautiful…” My dark skin, has nothing to do with my humanity, my intellect and my intelligence. It is that way, I am created. I see no difference between a brown cat and a white cat. If… Read more »
Irineo B. R. Salazar
Guest

Even within Spain, they still unconsciously divide people by their color. The whiter and blonder the better, the word “blue blooded” came from Spain and referred to the first kings there who were Germanic Visigoths who were so white that their veins showed up blue.

Darker people are referred to as “morenos” meaning Moorish-looking, a legacy of the Reconquista against the Arab occupiers.

Auric
Guest

so moreno has actually a bad meaning.. but i really love morena…. i think i will not call my crush morena, but “natural beauty”

DR
Guest

Is it just me or do they say “Foreigner” with lots of jealously and contempt. The locals love to use the word “Foreigner” and we always get the question is the babies dad a “Foreigner” then of course then ask the mother if she is the yaya.

Dave
Guest

Is the word only used for western people too? (With the expectation you’re talking about a white man unless proved otherwise). In two years here I’ve never heard that very welcoming ‘foreigner’ label applied to anyone else, they’ll usually specify Asian and Middle East nationalities.

But if the alternative is ‘kano’ or ‘Joe,’ I’ll take foreigner. Even if I live here the next 50 years, I’ll be foreigner.

joe
Guest

Just like people in the states say black for a african-american person, white for a Caucasian person.

Nothing else, nothing more.

BING BONG
Guest

I give you five years ,if your lucky (MAYBE slightly longer,MAYBE)!!!! and when you leave and go back to wherever it was you were from you will wonder how you were ever able to put up with the shit you put up with as long as you did. GUARANTEED.if you do not live on the beach in a secluded region, I give you even less than that.

Robert Haighton
Member
I find this all to be a bit funny. Most Dutch people will start to enjoy the first rays of sunshine by wearing thinner fabric of clothes. Then when full summer starts they wil go to the beach, swimming pool and/or parks to get a tan by wearing less and less clothes (shorts, short sleeved T-shirts, trunks, bikinis). We want to get a darker skin. And while we do that we will avoid skin cancer by using sunblock (protecting from UV). If you go to European beaches and parks, you can see this almost everywhere I am sure most white… Read more »
BING BONG
Guest

@ Robert, Uh NO WAY.Filipina’s whitening their skin, black chics in the states doin the same thing PLUS wearing wigs and straightening their hair. Sorry bro, WHITE is were its at, THIN is in and Brown is a bit,WELL, TBH….. like MUD !!!

I did not make this up either, just stating the obvious facts, and I could have gone on for a while longer too. BUT you get the picture,I’m sure.

d_forsaken
Guest

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.

And Failipinos in the Failippines are so goddamn good and making a career out of it.

nozall
Guest
a lot of filipinos who are married to the same race along with their parents put you down if you are married to a white or black American especially if you are a woman. they automatically assume that you were a hooker, they’re so ignorant yet they claimed themselves as highly educated people. now some of their children are married or living together with white or black Americans. also on some of the functions my husband and i attended to, they specified that these seats are for mixed marriages and these seats are for solid marriages (filipino to filipino). in… Read more »
Neoren
Guest

Where was that? At what functions?

Cossack_25A-1
Guest

The most disturbing thing about racism here in the Philippines is that many casually speak of racism without any repercussions and regrets, and if one complains, the typical reply of a Pinoy is that “it is a joke.”

And there is this thing about Pinoys raging over something they perceive as “racist” when on the receiving end despite that they talk racist stuff casually and simply say it is a joke.

Zemino
Guest

A little off topic but wanted to share:

It’s not just with racism, while still in college, I’d find groups making jokes at ,supposedly, their group’s butt monkey. When they feel he/she is getting offended, They’d just say something along the lines of “wag ka naman magalit” (C’mon, don’t get angry) or “joke lang yun” (It’s just a joke) as you said.

It’s like passing something as a joke was some sort of “great loophole” for them to make fun of others

Auric
Guest
this really makes me angry, like those people who will say something like it is a fact but then if you ask “really” they will laugh and you will be the “patola” the f*** is with that logic? that is why i really say it to them in this really serious tone, “so lagi ko bang i-aasume na sinungaling kang tao at hindi papaniwalaan ang sinasabi mo” then they will react defensively and say that i’m too serious, oh yes i’m serious when a joke doesn’t make any sense. There is always a person in the group that is the… Read more »
Mumbay
Guest

Filipinos ( and Latinos) tend to be more racist as you move up the social scale. Thus, so-called educated Filipinos and rich Filipinos tend to be the most racist. The lower you go down the social ladder, the friendlier and more accepting.

In America ( and Europe, and Russia) it’s the opposite. The poor and uneducated people are the most racist, the ones who are richer and better educated accept other races and mingle with them.

This is why you see most interracial marriages with people of the so called low classes. But in the US, it is with the higher classes.

Marvin
Guest

Not true, Republicans are well known for having and loving money and tend to be in a higher income bracket, but more of them are also the most disgustingly racist people on the planet.

Neoren
Guest

Some Filipinos get mad if you are white and speak Tagalog to them. They pointedly reply in English. But then, they get mad at a Filipino who speaks English and pointedly reply in Tagalog.
But it’s OK for Filipinos to speak Italian and Arabic and what not.

Marvin
Guest

I still see Filipino shows using black face make up on light skinned actors instead of hiring dark skinned actors. Local parades often have colorful kids in customary costumes but also paint their skin black, so totally racist.

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[…] skin the greater the level of success is available to you.” Another article posted by Grimwald, Racism in the Philippines, he stated three points of racism happening in the country: 1) Standard of Beauty; 2) Racist […]

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