You could have heard a pin drop

I found something in my mailbox this morning that I thought might help provide a few folks who are in the business of noisily proclaiming what amounts to no more than a hollow pride in “Being Filipino” with a bit of perspective.

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”

The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”

“Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!”

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ‘Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchman to show a passport to.

You could have heard a pin drop.

d-day_normandySince time immemorial, stories abound about how this and that Filipino was subject to incidents of being talked down to in a condescending manner. Whether our susceptibility as a people to this kind of treatment is fair or unfair is beside the point. The more interesting question is this:

Do we have some kind of achievement to speak of that we can draw upon to respond to such condescension (whether unfair or not OR perceived or real) in a dignified and understated manner?

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Note again how (as always) I choose the words I use insightfully. We need not look hard to see instances of Filipinos going off on silly warpaths at the first sign of a perceived slight against our cherished “national pride”. It’s all over the news, in our politicians’ hollowheaded sloganeering activities, and infests the Filipino blogosphere. Indeed, this onion-skinnedness of Filipinos is so very well-observed and cannot be denied. Unfortunately this cultural condition of ours is so rarely documented. The last treatise of consequence on the subject is Clarence Henderson’s seminal work, A Savage Journey to the Heart of the Pinoy Dream written waaaay back in August of 2002.

The solution is quite obvious.

When we reflect on what it means to be “proud to be Filipino” we only need to ask ourselves a simple child-like question:

What specifically about “being Filipino” should we be “proud” about?

Only when we can answer the above question with quiet understated dignity can we truly consider ours to be a great society.

14 Replies to “You could have heard a pin drop”

  1. Exactly. I had an argument about the same topic with a friend’s friend. Instead of giving an argument she gave a racist comment about me being part-Chinese and that I wouldn’t know pinoy pride because of me being so. Filipino pride based on celebrity status (singers, Manny Pacquiao, etc.) is fake nationality.

  2. You know, I thought of this possible retort from the Frenchman: “Sir, we thank you for what you did in the war. Thanks to that, we now have the capacity to ask for passports now. We hope you yours, but enjoy your re-visit to France.”

    In a way, that’s sort of condescending behavior from the American guest. Although he made a good case of what he did, rather than what he is. Unlike our own guys, like a senator who said, “don’t you know who I am?”

    1. Wasn’t that some city-mayor whose father is an epal vice-president and his sister an OJT-senator?

  3. “Proud to be a Filipino?” Why is most of the people, are in hurry to get out of the country, to become OFW?

    It is one of those catch phrases of the Aquinos to delude people. They wear Yellow Shirts; then continue chanting the slogan: “Proud to be a Filipino?” It is like those “Brownshirts” and “Blackshirts” of Hitler and Mussollini, to further their Fascist agendas…only these are YellowTards…retarded Zombie people of Aquino…

    1. the ‘BROWNSHIRTS’ had a definite ‘END GAME’ in mind. it was called ‘THE FINAL SOLUTION” and I’d have to venture a guess that the Aquino’s have no such deviant plan, nor could they possibly pull it off.
      They just could not do it, BUT take a look at the KHMER ROUGE in Cambodia, IDK WTF their problem was but they did pretty much the same thing as the ‘BROWNSHIRTS’, using a different method of ‘cleansing’, to eradicate those they deemed to be the enemy.
      In this regard and in light of what the country is doing at the moment: The Aquino’s aren’t capable of doing anything even close to what the above mentioned groups did as they are ‘lightweights’ and possess no real power.
      Think about that, they just don’t.

  4. Oh my gosh Benign0 the D word. Like anything very Pinoy screams that. Pinoys are embarrassing and racist when in the context of other nationalities . Of course someone will write in and claim it’s homesickness .

    1. Be proud of the fact that pre-colonialism, you have an amazing culture.

      Pre-colonial Philippine people knew everything there was to know about agriculture, herbal medicine, irrigation, and cloth-making.
      They had extensive, and impressive knowledge of ducks.

      Your pre-colonial art of war is fascinating…and deadly effective. Your warrior spirit is impeccable, and unshakeable.

      Your ability to learn languages and communicate with other cultures is outstanding. Pre-Colonial times shows that you knew about Sanskrit, Malay, Javanese, and many others.

      Your natural abilities to navigate direction could rival anyone in the world, and your people were among the very first to travel on the ocean to trade with other people.

      There are many, many reasons to be proud of being a Filipino. Cut your colonial and american ties, go back to the roots….if you forget your roots…..your branches will rot.

      1. The big bone of contention there is that, before Spain arrived, there was no such thing as “The Philippines.” All these pre-colonial achievements, though impressive, were made by independent city-states often at war with each other.

        1. Then what needs to happen is a re-naming of our country, re-establishment of our states or provinces, and holding on to the modern-forged ties of friendship between our countrymen.

          We need to become a cohesive country instead of a spoon-fed lump of potential OFW.

  5. The Philippines is not a great society, BUT IT SHOULD BE!

    Corruption and Nepotism have seen to it that anything capable of undermining the un-talented who, by being in the right place at the right time and choosing the right side correctly, have dominated pinoy society since 1948.
    A truer than true tragedy, it is getting worse by the minute. With every successive generation comes the imagined ‘legacy of greatness’ that quite simply doesn’t exist.
    “START ALL OVER AGAIN” …from “WRONG ‘EM BOYO”, 1979.

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