Reflecting on ChinoF’s blockbuster, “Why Pinoy Pride Will Never Save The Philippines”, I can see where “Pinoy Pride” can go right and actually help people make something of themselves.
A conversation with one of my oldest friends made it clear to me that sometimes declaring some association with Manny Pacquiao, Erick Spoelstra, or some other Filipino that made it big on the global stage on account of nationality does some good.
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In that conversation, my friend talked about the situation of an OFW he knows. Being one of the few Filipinos in a large company in a country known for a lot of OFW horror stories, not many of the OFW’s co-workers knew where the Philippines was and what a Filipino is. The most that they knew about the Philippines was that it was the OFW’s country of origin and that the OFW was one of the many “servants” in the company.
So while the OFW was serving out a contract, the Quirino Grandstand fiasco happened and then everybody in the company was suddenly aware of what the Philippines was. Now, can you imagine what it would be like to be one of a few Filipinos around after a CNN News report delivers the gory details of such a report?
I’d probably make myself scarce.
Right now, thinking of the case of yet another Filipino who was executed for drug trafficking is making me cringe, and that drug trafficker adds yet another name to a long list of infamous Filipinos.
ChinoF makes a great point here:
Pinoys love to imagine that they are “oppressed” people in the world. But when they do things like post pictures of themselves wearing their employer’s clothes without permission (the maid in Singapore), slap a helpless Alzheimer’s patient (Jonathan Aquino case), steal from a US children’s cancer fund (Rene Ballenas pleaded guilty to larceny), make a loan in the U.S. then run home to avoid paying it, murder a famous fashion designer (Andrew Cunanan killing Gianni Versace), complain about someone else’s name (the Filipino complaining about someone being named Kiki in Australia) or be on the defensive after the botched Manila Hostage Crisis, you know they are far from “oppressed” or “deserving pride.” It’s more like they need therapy. If only there was a psychiatric treatment called Ego Therapy.
So, imagine yourself being asked, “So, you’re a Filipino, like (insert name of infamous Filipino here)?”
Without Lea Salonga, Manny Pacquiao, Spoelsta, Charice Pempengco, or whoever, a Filipino overseas would probably have to just shrug and humbly admit you don’t have a retort.
Of course, some would point out that OFWs ought to be known more for the quality of their work rather than the associations they make with the accomplishments of others. Of course, that would be the right thing, but then again, it isn’t always the case that employers look on work performance alone — like I always say, there’s hardly any justice or fairness at when you’re an employee.
Beyond being a snappy retort to “So, you’re a Filipino, like (insert name of infamous Filipino here)?”, being proud of being a Filipino because of Manny Pacquiao et al can be a good thing… Only if one lives up to their example.
Be proud of Spoelstra, and be the same kind of strategic thinker that he is… Be proud of Manny Pacquiao at his best, and devote yourself to preparing yourself well for every challenge… You get the drift, right?
Be proud to be a Filipino by being like your Filipino Idol.
As for the put-downs on Filipinos, just think… Social media is about reaction and interaction. With so many Pinoys around the world and online, either insulting a Pinoy or conferring some kind of distinction on one immediately creates a buzz/gets ratings/sells books.
If you haven’t figured that out by now… well… tough.