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Friday, May 30, 2014

Pinoy (Over)Reactions

As someone who was born and raised in the Philippines, I have seen firsthand the overreaction of most Filipinos to foreign comments.

When jokes are made about Jews, Mexicans, Canadians, Asians, Whites or Blacks, everything's alright. Everyone laughs. Make one freagin' joke about Filipinos, and all hell breaks loose. So yes, you can't make a negative Filipino reference (no matter how realistic or true) in any foreign show or movie without getting either sued, or bashed on by the entire Filipino community.

In fact, Filipinos' overreaction to things aren't limited to negative jokes or comments. They also celebrate everything Filipino. And I mean everything. Sure, it's a good thing most of the time. We're the country that's known for smiling even during calamities. It's optimistic and lovely, really. For a country that's a constant victim of all-things-nature-can-ever-conjure, we are pretty happy as people. There is this odd concept of Filipino pride though. Anyone and anything remotely related to being Filipino gets celebrated by the Philippines. If you got your name outside the country known, and you've got Filipino blood, you're pretty much the headline of the news for about a week. Never mind the fact that you've never been to the Philippines, or even the fact that you don't know shit about the language, meh, you're celebrated. There's also a strange camaraderie between us Pinoys. There's a notion that we will always stick together no matter what happens. I won't mention any specific examples anymore, because trust me, this post will be long if I go there.

Of course, mostly it's a good thing - knowing that your countrymen will have your back no matter what happens, just for being born. At the same time though, it sometimes gets ridiculous. We become over-sensitive to jokes. Sure, jokes are half-meant, but all nations and countries have those types of jokes told about them. We are not perfect, and the better thing to do when that's pointed out, especially as a joke, is to laugh it off. (Cause really, if that's not the main purpose, what is?)

Also, celebrating every little thing that is Filipino is sometimes too over-the-top. Mentioning another lively people, the Mexicans, I don't see them shouting that a certain celebrity's Mexican at the top of their lungs. I mean sure, they're proud, but not batshit-crazy proud. I remember seeing a video where a Filipino person/thing was receiving negative attention, but all the comments just said "That's a Filipino!" or "Proud to be Pinoy!" and all the other countries were shaking their heads at us - and honestly, I sided with those other people. I don't remember the video anymore though, so don't ask.

I understand all these, but the main point of this really long article was this:



Like, dude. Really? Can I kill the person who did this? This is too much. Really. Even for my standards.


Because maybe, I don't know, Filipinos can be students too, and other types of workers? (Note sarcasm.)

I'm not saying I don't get the reference. If there was a joke about Filipino domestic workers with a witty enough punchline, I'm not saying I won't laugh. But for God's sakes, this is obviously a children's book. Are you really teaching children to identify Filipinos as domestic workers, or vice versa?



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