Naomi Osaka has now won two Grand Slam ( major) tournaments. She is now the #1 ranked woman’s tennis player in the world. This incredible athletic achievement has served to divide Japan like a Wall along Mexico. I ran across this interesting article in the Australian ( speaking of racially divided) website Nine.
Despite flying the Japanese flag, the reaction to her recent success has been mixed. Naomi Osaka is very proud to be a product of a Haitian father and a Japanese mother. It is possible though that moving to the US at age 3 from Japan that she does not fully comprehend that she represent “ one of the world’s most racially homogeneous nations. ” according to the Nine.com article. The same article cites as evidence that many label her as ” ‘Hāfu'” . The denotation of Hāfu’ is one thing. The connotation is another .
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Nao Hibino, the world No.115 ( women’s tennis ) told New York Times Magazine that a fair cross section of Japanese cite her non Japanese looks, her limited Japanese speech and her US upbringing as reasons not to embrace her as a representative of the country. Even the spoils of her victories come with some blow back. Instant ramen maker Nissin depicts Osaka as being light skinned. Maybe in their rush to cash in on her fame they did not notice her skin color.
Filipino culture craves attention so much that the concept of a ringer is as familiar to the typical Ms. Universe, Gilas, Azkal fan as the concept of bimolecular reactions . A few years ago I asked if Andre Blatche was not born here, doesn’t live here, has zero pinoy heritage , doesn’t work here then what joy do people get when they see him wearing the jersey of the country? Just because he makes a lousy team a little better then we should forget real national pride? Brazil devotes themselves to football and every World Cup they are contenders. Philippines devotes itself to basketball and they still resort to naturalizing NBA bench players with no connection to the country and they call it pride. Shouldn’t national pride be about something or somebody we had a hand in forging?
Filipino culture craves attention so much that the concept of organic growth is totally not part of the equation. Look at the Azkals roster. Lots of Fil- Danish, Fil -Ams, Fil- Spaniards, Fil – Germans. There is a reason why there is no significant player who is Fil-Fil. Simpy because we suck as football players. Like anything else in life you will suck if you don’t care. We don’t care so much that we have to resort to hyphen Filipinos. Guys who I guarantee you did not take the jeepney going to school growing up. Yet the Pinoy identifies with them.
Let me let you into a little secret. FIBA and FIFA have loose nationality rules for a simple reason. The wider the net you cast, the easier it is to get a relatively (compared to pinoy team athletes who the world shuns) standout player. One standout player gives a whole country of sub standard players hope. A country with hope but lousy players produced locally will never upset the balance of power yet provide more revenue to FIBA and FIFA. More hope = more interest. More interest = more money.
Filipino culture craves attention so much that they love to make the excuse that beauty pageants are also about brains. Sorry the quiz shows that highlight brains do not have facial beauty and Coke bottle figures as prerequisites. A lot of pinoys snarl at anybody who doesn’t genuflect to beauty pageants. You want proof the process is flawed? The Philippines apparently won Miss Universe back in December. The only person standing on that stage wearing the name Philippines yet she was born in Australia and lived there for the bulk of two decades and was educated in Australia and the US. She found time in the summer to model in the Philippines so that makes her pinoy.
You want proof that beauty pageants are shallow? Miss Universe is supposed to be of interest to the world but the first page of a Google search for ” Catriona Gray biography” in January of 2019 lists only pinoy sites that worshiped Noynoy ( ABS CBN / Rappler) and Wiki sites. There was one site that was in English that originates from Abu Dhabi. You know what kind of publication it is when they actually have a story titled “Pinoy Pride“. There is one site called Gossip Gist that I never heard of. I was not exactly expecting the Economist to cover it but goes to show you only in this country do those result matter. One tabloid out of all the media outlets in Australia tries to claim ownership of Miss Universe and of course Filipino culture is so butthurt that a lot of pinoy media picked up on the story.
Thank you Jessica Sanchez! You did not spend one second in the Philippines pre American Idol yet you captivated this country and gave birth to my first GRP post. So blame her not me. Even ABS ( yaya help beat Michael Phelps ) CBN considers your hometown Chula Vista in California. If you had the exact same skills but your mother was from Thailand then we would not care. The point about competition is the pinoys make American Idol about race and not about merit. Spare me with the “she is good” . She may well be but you are rallying behind her perceived nationality. You are not rallying behind her skill. Which makes your framework a racial one and not a meritocracy. You co-opted what I believe is the intended goal of the show which is come up with a “singing star”. You instead made it about someone whose ethnicity you believe matches yours. Pinoys do it all the time because they have what I perceive as an attention deficit disorder. Pinoys are so proud to be pinoy that they do not check how pinoy their idols are.
The irony of Filipino culture is they don’t care about the lack of Filipino culture in an individual as long as they can slap a Filipinas sash or jersey on them in some event or show where other countries are watching. Nobody cares about pinoy TV shows, pinoy awards or pinoy team sports so you make do with what you have. The Japanese already have an athlete that won two major ( not major major) tennis tournaments yet there is some discretion about their identity. Tennis does not care about your looks or your figure or your lava walk or a judge’s bias but if you can beat the person on the other side mano a mano. They even brought up her Japanese is not up to their standards. Contrast that with the Azkals who are mute during the national anthem. Pinoys don’t care if they didn’t educate you or entertain you or employ you. They only understand cold , hard pansin. KSP is the root of all evil and the root of all pinoy cheering. At least the Japanese are showing some reservations of their identity. The Japanese identity does not come cheap. That is real pride. Pinoys really believe a bunch of gaijins are their peers and worthy of their flag. They even believe they have a hand in whatever success they have. If you do not make and develop something yet treat their “success ” and fame as your own , doesn’t that make you a “pansin whore” ?
Putting a very sharp needle into the balloon known as Pinoy Pride since 2012.