Is Manny Pacquiao implying that Filipino-Americans are ‘not real’ Americans?

Apparently, Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao does not think too highly of immigrants. In an interview he implied that naturalised citizens cannot claim to be considered to be a true national of their adopted country

In a press conference after his return to General Santos City, Pacquiao fired back when the press asked him about his less-than-stellar performance. He quipped: “‘Yung isyu na ‘yan ay nagsimula kay Ronnie Nathanielsz. (That issue started with Ronnie Nathanielsz.) We know naman Ronnie Nathanielsz is not a real Filipino, adopted lang siya (We know Ronnie Nathanielsz is not a real Filipino, he’s just adopted.”

Pacquiao was referring to the fact that Nathanielsz was born in Sri Lanka and is a naturalized Filipino. Pacquiao added, “Wala siyang dugong Pilipino, hindi natin masisisi siya kung anong paniniwala niya (He has no Filipino blood, so we can’t blame him for thinking that way).”

I wonder then what he would think of the millions of Filipinos who call the United States their home. Would Pacquiao consider them to be “not real” Americans?

Perhaps he is right, as many Filipino Americans seem to harbour a sense of “binary nationalism” despite many of them being born and growing up in the United States…

An example of this “binary nationalism” was on display on July 8 when hundreds of Filipino-Americans – members of US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) – demonstrated in front of the six China consulates in the US to protest China’s incursion in the Philippine-owned islands of the Spratlys where China seeks to extract $50 billion worth of oil annually.

Even Filipino Americans who were born in the US ardently participated in the protest actions as they identified with their parents’ homeland, joining the chants of “Our soil! Our oil!” as they waved US and Philippine flags. They too are part of the Filipino diaspora.

Maybe someone should ask Ronnie Nathanielsz what he thinks.

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7 Comments on “Is Manny Pacquiao implying that Filipino-Americans are ‘not real’ Americans?”

  1. I hadn’t read Ronnie Nathanielsz’ comments until just now (because this ‘issue’ is not something I actually care about), but they’re the same as what I’ve heard from at least 3 or 4 dugong pilipinos. I wonder what Rep. Pacquiao has to say about them.

  2. Is the sudden wealth that Pacquiao now posses start to make him look like a swellhead? How about the Chinese in our midst who were naturalized and their descendants? Does he also think of them as “walang dugong pilipino”? If he says “laban para sa bayan”, does that “bayan” excludes naturalized foregners? Is he now a racist convert of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.?

    1. A lot of “Chinese” people have ancestors that are not naturalized and that have been in the Philippines for thousands of years – even before the Spanish and the Americans arrived. Most of them don’t speak any Chinese language and yet we still see them as outsiders by labeling them “Chinese”, instead of what they truly are — Filipino. ‘Filipino’ isn’t a race anyway, just a nationality. People forget because most Filipinos are from the Austronesian race.

      1. Exactly. Filipino is not a race. Manny is stupid. If a white guy in the same position as Manny said the same thing, the execrable media in this country would tear him apart for racism. Manny says it and people just nod in agreement. Either that or they are missing half of their brains and the nodding is just an attempt to keep their heads steady.

  3. Is the sudden wealth that Pacquiao now posses start to make him look like a swellhead? How about the Chinese in our midst who were naturalized and their descendants? Does he also think of them as “walang dugong pilipino”? If he says “laban para sa bayan”, does that “bayan” excludes naturalized foreigners? Is he now a racist convert of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.?

    1. Actually, your comment is probably the most accurate piece of analysis about this issue. And it’s succinct.

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