Are Filipino-Americans a ‘marginalised’ and ‘invisible’ people?


According to the article The marginalization of Brown Asians published recently on the Seattle Globalist, this is a perception begging serious consideration. The following excerpt from this article captures the all-too-familiar lament with regard to how “under-represented” Filipinos think they are as Asian-Americans…

We are tired of the fact that when people think of Asian Americans, they seem to always think of East Asians — Chinese, Koreans, or Japanese. We’re tired of the fact that when people think of getting the Asian American perspective, Brown Asian experiences are not included or if even considered, disregarded. We are tired of being forgotten and being treated as if we are invisible!

The author then conducted “a simple research” across several major media outlets to test this perception. According to her findings, “Brown Asian stories are not covered enough” in the media and, on that basis concludes:

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[…] our hunch — the feeling that we are often treated as if we are second-class, perhaps even third-class, Asian Americans — seems to be correct.

On the back of that comes the author’s rather predictable call to action:

We want to be represented in media so that our realities and experiences, struggles and victories, pains and joys — a more complete and nuanced portrait of us — can be shared with society.

Now here’s the confronting question I’d like to ask:

Are “Brown Asians” interesting enough to be given the media mileage they believe they are entitled to?

The thing with media distribution as a business is that the content the industry produces and disseminates reflect the character of the free market. In short, when prioritising investment in the production of media products — television, cinema, online content — business managers will, of course, place importance first in what will attract the biggest audience.

To get a better chance of being in that priority list, therefore, the call to action to “Brown Asians” should be this:

Compete for public attention.

Again, attracting public attention involves making one’s self interesting to a general audience. This can be done in a number of ways:

(1) Do something that can’t be done by the average schmoe.

(2) Rack up a portfolio of categorical achievements.

(3) Differentiate yourself.

Filipinos need to ask themselves:

Have we, as a people, anything to collectively show along the above lines?

Dancing the tinikling, for example, makes for quaint “cultural awareness” exercises fit for a small patronising audience. But such cultural delights cannot compete with the awesomeness of rocketing men to space, catapulting Gangnam Style to the Viral Videos Hall of Fame, inventing a longer-lasting lightbulb, telling mind-bending stories using big-eyed girls in short sailor suits, or creating an entire fictional universe of humanoid robots.

Filipinos may express how much they “want” to be proportionately represented in pop media ’til the cows come home. But in the reality of a free market where everyone competes for the same finite set of ears and eyeballs, simply wanting something does not deliver results.

This is a lesson Filipinos need to learn — that fame, fortune, and everything that makes life awesome is earned on the back of being clever, creative, and, well, awesome.

So are Filipinos awesome enough to compete in a world that loves anime, Hollywood, Bollywood, K-Pop, and Medieval magic, gore and debauchery?

Let the collective soul-searching begin.

37 Replies to “Are Filipino-Americans a ‘marginalised’ and ‘invisible’ people?”

  1. I think Filipino-Americans expect preferential treatment just because they think they can ape the White American better than other Asians.
    But that is exactly why they are unable to differentiate.

    Why the hell would people notice you if you act the way they do, even if you’re a different color of skin?

    Apparently, certain Filipino-Americans still don’t understand what it truly means to thrive and grow in an American/Western setting.

  2. Personally, it’s tiring to be lumped into a larger race/ethnic group against my will. Then we have this idiot from the Seattle Globalist acting like he’s speaking for all “brown Asians” (brasians?).

    Hey, what if some of us don’t want that kind of attention? What if some of us don’t want a society/media approved idea of what a “brown Asian” to exist and then have to constantly be measured according to this idea?

    But it’s never really about the culture is it? Nobody gives two shits about a Filipino’s opinion (and they shouldn’t feel compelled to, really, as if it had intrinsic merit due to it being Filipino). Racial identity nowadays, is just something people wear like an accessory. It’s a brand and brands have to sell.

    I’m thankful the Filipino brand is still a bit obscure and foreigners don’t know what to make of me. Maybe then they might actually have to see me as a person and not as their Brasian friend.

    I don’t like these games people play.

  3. East Asians, as in the Chi-Kor-Jap, are more of the successful, “smarter”, superior among the entire Asian countries. I think so many Filipinos have some insecurity issues and they like to be associated with those positive Asian perceptions. Filipinos like taking credit for other people’s success, but not the hard work to earn it themselves. Hahaha

  4. Perhaps it’s because Filipino want to be white so bad. I have seen a Filipina married to a white guy argue with nurse and other hospital admin staff about her child’s birth certificate. Apparently, her being listed as Asian was fine but her child being listed as Asian as unacceptable. Her argue was simply look at the child’s skin and the father. Fucking idiot.

    1. Filipinas want to be white because of hypergamy. They have an innate desire to move up in status. Whites represent that higher status. So when given the opportunity they will always choose a white man over a Pinoy.

      What they don’t know is that they are doing a disservice to their offspring. These children – or their children -will eventually lose any sense of identity other than the identity of a “free” consumer. They’ll look at Manny Pacquiao and scream “Hey! I am half-pinoy!” But will they ever really care about the plight of the Philippines? I think it’s fair to say the chances of that are slim to none.

  5. I personally love anonymity and the fact I can come off as ethnically/racially ambiguous to a lot of people. It also helps to keep me from getting more objectified and stereotyped (like the fact that every Filipina wants a white/Kano man for a mate, has already seeped into some oustiders’ minds, sadly).

  6. What we see here is a key pillar of what has been called the “underbelly of the Pinoy psyche” — this flawed thinking lodged into the very DNA of Pinoys’ sense of identity that we are entitled to greatness without the prerequesite work and achievement that should precede it.

    This single mindset alone probably accounts for the bulk of what contributes to the inability of Filipinos to progress as a collective.

    1. sense of identity that we are entitled to greatness without the prerequesite work and achievement that should precede it”

      It’s called having a “high time preference“. Something about the West and it’s surrender to Cultural Marxism enhances this tendency in Fil-Ams.

      Fil-Ams seem to model their “struggle” on that of the Black or Latino.

      Fil-Ams in the US are one of the most deracinated ethnic groups in America. Their only sense of identity is Manny Pacquiao and emulating Black urban/pop culture.

      I think it’s too late for soul-searching. Perhaps an exorcism?


        1. Half true. That’s what happens when you abandon God and country for a land of cheap consumer goods and mindless entertainment.

        2. The world has always been sinful. Filipinos are a young race compared to the ethnic groups that formed Western Civilization. Unfortunately, filipinos have been caught up in the revolutionary spirit of the 20th century and ceased to mature as those Western kingdoms/nations had.

  7. What I have observed on Filipinos, who were born in the Philippines; and are working here in the U.S. is : they brought their “Crab Mentalities” , to the U.S.

    The Filipino Americans, who were born here have American mindsets.

    I rarely go to Filipino gatherings; because, it is “pasikatan”…some wears large diamonds and other expensive jewelries, mink coats, etc… Some drive expensive cars. Some tells other guests; they have a big house, worth millions. I was tired of listening to this “pataasan ng ihi”…we are all earning a living here. We migrated to escape the poverty in our country ! No jobs, no future !

    However, there are many Filipinos, working as nurses; physical therapists. Some are good medical doctors, who graduated in our country, but pursued further studies in the U.S.

    There are Filipinos, who graduated in good U.S. universities, and are holders of graduate school degrees. Some of these Filipinos own small companies, especially in the Silicon Valley, California, U.S.A.

    It is different on the Koreans. Korea is selling to the U.S.; SAMSUMG electronic products; HYUNDAI automobiles; etc…

    The Japanese has SONY electronics products; and other brands of electronics products. They have many brands of automotive products, like: TOYOTA, HONDA, SUBARU, SUZUKI, etc…Japanese cuisine in the form of ” Japanese Susi” has invaded the culinary tastes of the Americans.

    The Chinese are known for their restaurants, and “take out food courts”…in almost every state in the U.S.; you can find a Chinese Restaurant…they are also good entrepreneurs. They own small groceries…Low cost products, “Made in China” are flooding the U.S. markets.

    There are many Chinese Americans, who excel in the field of Science and Technology…one even became a Nobel Prize winner in the field of Science.

    In a foreign land, the enemy of the Filipino is himself; and other Filipinos.

    Unless, we can do away with the , “Crab Mentality”. We will always stagnate, as we are; no matter, where we are !

  8. But I also know a certain Fliipino/a that is VERY BUSINESS oriented. Since living in the Philippines this person has owned his/her own business. Many people were jealous, but NOW? In the USA with all the decent jobs turned into crap jobs due to outsourcing to ‘GOOD FRIEND’ China, this person makes a good living being self-employed.

    1. Like I stated in my reply to BenignO’s comment above. High time preference coupled with Cultural Marxism are the main culprits in this so-called “oppression”.

  9. and just for the record: EVERYONE in the USA is marginalised in one very clear way, that is:IF YOU HAVE MONEY (LOTS OF IT $10Million or more) a different set of rules apllies to you.IF YOU ARE POOR (and do not have ANY money) YOU LIVE LIKE SHIT,EAT SHIT and die young.

    it is the frikkin same everywhere you go. The experiment in Eastern Europ of a century ago tried to make everyone an equal failed,for many reson’s, and the hypicritical society that preaches equality (but doesn’t deliver it) has taken the reins.

    1. Exactly. Cultural Marxism. Communism may have failed. But it lives on in the Cultural Marxism we see throughout the West. Clueless filipinos are busy seeking material pleasures to notice.

  10. Filipinos (in the US and Phils) need to stop trying to be “cool” by imitating black culture. Enough with the “talent” contests. Pick up a book, do some calisthenics, go to Church, learn social skills, learn to budget and save. Start local. Stop drinking. Stop singing for a living. Stop pretending you are Lebron James.Stop watching anime. Stop feeding yourself with crap food. Stop with the always joking mentality. Stop going off to foreign lands thinking you might be rich someday. Start with the community around you. Build something for God’s sake.

        1. Who says it has to be one or the other? Life doesn’t work in extremes. It’s called balancing work and play.

  11. Hi GPR, very-out-of-topic here, but can any GPR writers out there write about the Syrian situation? Gusto ko talaga maintindihan eh, as in yung katotohanan sa pinaggagagawa ng Assad admin, Russia, China, America, ISIS dun sa Syria. I know this is a PH blog, pero uhh, can write about Syria? Who’s side is the right, and who’s side is the wrong? Thanks!

    1. @informed:

      Pres. Bashar Al Assad of Syria, is the sitting President of Syria…however, there was an attempted coup d’ etat, like EDSA, by his military generals…this was inspired by then; U.S. Dept. of State: Secretary Hilary Clinton. The coup d’ etat failed; but the rebels were able to hold parts of territories in Syria.

      Under the order of Pres. Obama and former Sec. Hilary Clinton. They armed opposition groups, against Pres. Assad. They even armed Iraqi Sunnis to overthrow , Assad. Instead of overthrowing Assad; the Iraqi leader: Al Bgagdadhi, formed the ISIS Caliphate ( Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)…

      The U.S. wanted to carpet bomb all territories of Syria; and kill Assad. Putin’s Russia came to Assad’s rescue. They sent Russian fighter planes , Russian warships and Russian troops in Syria.

      Isis Caliphate Capital is in Raqqa, Syria. The ISIS sells oil at discount price to finance their war.

      The war continues. Pres. Assad is still in power. The Syrian opposition is still fighting. Russia’s Putin Army, Navy and Air Force, are there.

      The U.S. , along with NATO, and other Arab countries, support the opposition against Assad.

      Countless of lives are lost. Syria is in ruins. Syrian refugees are fleeing to Turkey, Europe, and other countries.

      It is an insane war…who is right…and who is wrong…is lost in the “fog of war” ! Only history will judge, if this war is good or evil, right or wrong.

      In my opinion: It is a wrong war. You don’t meddle in other countries. However, it is Petro Politics !

        1. Syria and other Arab countries have never known : “Democracy”…they were ruled by centuries, of : monarchies, family dynasties, military dictatorship, theocracy, etc…
          Democracy is unknown to them. It does not fit their mindsets and religion…

          It is futile for the U.S. , or any other country to meddle in their political affairs…

          The U.S. meddle in the Middle East, because of the oil; and the sales of arms, and other war materials…it is evil capitalism, costing lives and sufferings of people !

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