Jessica Sanchez, one of the latest symbols of Pinoy Pride, came to the Philippines for the American Idol finalists’ concert last Friday, September 21. Now if you all remember who Charice (Pempengco) is, her manager Courtney Blooding came out with a rather innocent and innocuous tweet where she asked “why do the Philippines claim Jessica Sanchez?” Philippine media and Filipinos, predictable as ever, picked up on it, and even sparked a discussion and hashtag on Twitter #PINOYpride. Some Pinoys even tweeted replies to her rather strongly.
Why don’t we try answering Ms. Blooding’s question calmly and logically, for a change?
Let us get straight to the point: Filipinos claim Jessica Sanchez (as one of their own) because they know how to do little else. Filipino pride (or diminutively, Pinoy pride) is a hollow knee-jerk reaction of Filipinos whenever someone with a semblance of Filipino blood makes it big outside the Philippines. And it this Pinoy pride that makes them react the same way, each and every time.
Let me explain this further by elaborating three (3) characteristics of Pinoy pride:
Filipinos are saddled with a massive inferiority complex
The biggest tell-tale sign of Pinoy pride is that Filipinos need validation from foreigners that they exhibit/possess good qualities. This to me is a sign of a massive inferiority complex. You’ve got to admit though that perhaps almost 400 years of being under foreign influence has had adverse effects on the self-esteem of a nation. The thing is, look at the Japanese. Why did they rebound very quickly after being devastated during the Second World War? How were the Germans able to rebound after being bombed to smithereens? There has to be something else that’s keeping the Filipino from progressing.
Oh yes, Filipinos are not loyal to a higher collective ideal that is a “nation”. They are loyal at best to their clans, at worst, to themselves. There is no collective “Filipino” to speak of, only several indigenous ethnic groups living among and despite each other. If Filipinos refuse to come together how can you expect them to appreciate for themselves what gold lies in them/in front of them?
And to illustrate this point further, one only has to see that a by-product of Ms. Blooding’s tweets is an ongoing comparison among Filipinos of who is better: Jessica or Charice. Isn’t there enough room to like both of them? Why does everything have to be a false dichotomy for Filipinos? Why do individual Filipinos have to insist that their personal choice is better than someone else’s? This, again, to me, is yet another manifestation of that inferiority complex we collectively suffer as a people.
Filipinos have no collective achievement to speak of
As is the case with Jessica, Lea Salonga, Manny Pacquiao, and Charice, to name a few, Filipinos have hailed the individual accomplishments of Filipino artists abroad and trumpeted them as collective accomplishments of the entire Filipino ethnic group. Whether or not you agree with me, I assert that this is a fallacious and utterly ridiculous and stupid thing to do. These people succeeded because they put in the hard work needed to succeed, and not because of their Filipino heritage.
Filipinos do this as an escape to the reality that as an ethnic group they have no collective achievement to speak of. They are predisposed to be lazy, and prone to take the easy way out, which is why they exhibit this behavior. It is much easier to project yourself onto a successful person than it is to make yourself one.
Filipinos do not posses the operational efficiency of the Singaporeans. They do not exhibit the discipline of the Japanese. They have no engineering capability like the Germans. They have no martial tradition to speak of. These are all too hard for them.
Filipinos do not recognize gold that’s staring them in the face
Filipinos have the unenviable position of comprising a society that doesn’t know gold even if it’s hiding in plain sight. On top of that, they are a society renowned for perverting ideas and for turning gold (once they’ve seen it) into utter crap. Where else would you find a street revolution glorifying mob rule trumpeted as “democracy”?
If you’re looking for an example, look no further than the four (4) names I mentioned above. These people would not have become what they are now had they stayed in the Philippines. Filipinos are not the type to invest in developing talents long-term; they want immediate returns, and they want them NOW. After they’ve bled you dry, they dispose of you.
Filipino society is, by default, one that values mediocrity, conformance, and deference to elders above innovation, imagination, and out-of-the-box thinking. The minute Filipinos sense someone or something sticking out, they pull it back down. Filipinos ostracize people and ideas that are different; they are predisposed to judge these instead of trying to understand and learn from them.
Here are several more quotables from Ms. Blooding:
“why do the Philippines claim Jessica Sanchez? Jessica was born an raised in the US. I don’t THINK she speaks tagalog.
“which, to me, makes her true American. How many people in the US come from mixed cultural backgrounds? We r a melting pot.
“AND I just read that this concert is her first ever trip to the Philippines….
“isn’t a Filipino passport kind of a big indication of citizenship and a lack of one a big indication of no citizenship?”
“If only the people of the Philippines would stop looking elsewhere and focus on local things, maybe they could see the value of many of of the great people and resources there. Many great things and people there. It’s just a group mentality that it’s not good enough.
“It’s kind of a turn off to a foreigner such as myself cuz it can come across as ungrateful for the talent and resources god gave.”
“there is room for everyone an people will love or hate no matter what. But I just think it’s kind of wrong to say Jessica is part of Filipino pride when she is American before anything else.
“And the more I think about it, I start to get insulted on many levels. Ph can’t claim something that is made in USA. And they only wanted to claim Charice after people in the USA put value in her. It’s wrong for both singers. Sorry, I’m just feeling a bit indignant about the situation.”
“I mean if she had to mark on a form a particular country or culture, what would be? I assume American,”
“Please don’t condemn me for asking a cultural question,”
Well, sorry to disappoint you, Ms. Blooding. Filipinos condemn themselves routinely for asking cultural questions, what more foreigners? Not to say that it’s right, but they do it just as a scorpion can’t help but sting.
[Photo courtesy OKMagazine.com.]