The Misplaced Pinoy Pride...

And then there's this article on getrealphilippines.com, a website that is probably not popular with your regular group of pinoys and pinays.

ChinoF the author, makes a few brow-raising, "clutch-my-pearls", statements on how Pinoy Pride does nothing to empower or better the Philippines, Filipino people, and is in fact a waste of everyone's time. He mentions the accomplishments of several well-known Filipinos and how Filipinos tend to piggyback on their accomplishments as a source of their pride.

"I also see a connection between Pinoy Pride and the tendency of our culture to be effete and boisterous when it comes to self-promotion. This self-promotion often comes as efforts to claim that being Pinoy is special and is the secret behind the success of some people. Pinoys will snag the chance to ride on names, such as as Charice Pempengco, Arnel Pineda, Manny Pacquiao and Lea Salonga."

And I'm going to make you all clutch your pearls for a second time- he's not far from the truth. And while he is speaking to the Filipinos in the Philippines, I am speaking about and to the Fil-Ams in the grand old U.S. of A.

I make it no secret that my Father is full-blooded Filipino and my mother is Spaniard and Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiian). I also make it no secret that I was treated as second class Filipino among many Filipino circles I was involved and ran with. I never fit in with the rest of the Filipinos, and it was always made known to me that I didn't- either straightforward "You don't get it, RJ. You're only half Filipino." or in a underhanded way "Oh, we're talking about our trips to the Philippines. Sorry you can't join in the group."

So if you ask me, I developed my Pinoy Pride later on in life, actually within the last two years when I decided to move back to New York and take employment at an agency with a bunch of Queer Filipinos who did not downplay my "Filipino-ness" my "Brown-ness" and my right to relate to, and laugh at- a joke about Filipino culture. Also to fully disclose- against all odds, I found myself in a relationship with a wonderful man who happens to be Filipino.

Meh. But my Pinoy Pride has nothing to do with the accomplishments of Manny Pacquiao (in the ring or in politics) or Rob Schneider, or Lea Salonga or anyone else that's on that Buzzfeed list. (and may I just remind everyone about the micro-aggressive post that appeared not two weeks before the "top 27 Filipinos to make you Proud to be Pinoy" post?)

My Pinoy Pride comes from myself, for the stuff that I choose to do for my fellow Pinoys. And I think that is what ChinoF is trying to say. As a people do we really base our pride on the accomplishments of others? Or o we need to get the hell off our asses, stop following the next Filipino on American Idol, and start addressing the issues that affect our communities- in the United States and Philippines, and elsewhere??

Let's take pride in doing something that addresses the rampant political corruption, and harmful politics that are part of the systemic problem that faces the Philippines. That means, being critical of the the Great Pinoy Hope- yes, I'm taking about Manny himself and look at his punches that he throws in the government. Or questioning why Imelda Marcos who shopped while her country got more and more poor is sitting in Congress? And can someone besides me and a few others please question the logic of how Joseph Estrada, an impeached former President is somehow the Mayor of Manila?

How about working towards a better system and standard of living in the Philippines, so that many people are not trafficked out of the country based on lies that promise a better life- and are working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for a whopping $0.75 and hour? (Yeah, you read that right, some of your kabayan are being exported not as nurses like we all like to joke about, but as domestic servants, for the rich and richer.) Or maybe addressing the constantly rising rate of new HIV infections in the Philippines? Are we that proud of being Pinoy because of Manny's record in the ring, Lea's history on Broadway and have nothing to say while our kabayan are being exported like robots and infected with a disease that leads to death if not treated?

PInoy Pride will not save the Philippines. Pinoys taking action for the betterment of other Pinoys will. And when a community, a people, a nation thrives- that is something to be proud of.

Okay, this soapbox needs to be fixed. I'll get off it now.

(and to fully disclose- my boyfriend is on that BuzzFeed list of 27 Filipinos to blah blah blah..... and his accomplishments don't make me proud to be Pinoy, they make me proud to be his man.)