27 November 2002

Your web site has confirmed what I have observed all along: Filipinos are embarassed about being Filipino. I have never met so many people who try SO HARD to be American. I've met filipinos who can't belive that I don't embrace American pop culture like it's the Bible. They find it unthinkable that I loathe Britney and Backstreet, and have never even heard of Boyzone. And I call myself an American? Don't Americans supposed to love that stuff? Uh, no (well maybe if you're 12). I can think for myself, thank you very much.

The funny paradox is that when faced with something that is even more "American" than n*sync, say, Harley Davidson, Filipinos tend to scoff at it. One hardly ever sees Filipinos attending sporting events, and they would NEVER be seen tailgating at a college football game. You WILL see them, however, at discount clothing stores, trying to scoop up as much name brand clothing that they can to prove that since they wear Levi's, that they're American.

An even bigger paradox is how qualities associated with Americans, such as independence, outspokeness, and being loud in general, are frowned upon by many Filipinos. Yet look at any Filipino beauty pagent or celeb website and it's immediately appearant that the majority of the "stars" are half-white. Hey, maybe I should've gone to Manila to model? Nah, they would've put me on the first plane back to the States once I opened my big complain that they're playing too much Britney on the radio.

What I don't understand is why Filipinos are so ashamed of who they are. Are they embarrassed of where they came from? I'm actually embarassed for these poor people's attempts to be so American!

It breaks my heart to see people who have such a rich culture, who are so beautiful, and hail from some of the most beautiful islands in the world, try so hard to be something different.

So maybe I'm wrong. You know what? I hope I'm wrong...for the sake of all of the Filipinos I know!

oh, and don't post this. The holidays are here, and the thought of hanging out with my Filipino relatives makes me need someplace to vent. [NB: The writer has since given Get Real! permission to publish this letter]

20 November 2002

Hi, there:

First, I want to thank you for the gargantuan effort you put in on this site.

I find the detractors of your site quite interesting, and their comments understandable, although I think they miss the point. Most of the comments and analysis are insightful and valid, although maybe having them all in one site is a bit much for them.

For myself, let me say that I have lived in Canada for almost 30 years, and today I love the Philippines and being Filipino quite intensely, with a passion definitely not of my youth. Today, I am aware of how much conventional accounts of history is fiction, but I also do know about the great things about the Philippines. I think loving one's country is not about not knowing why we are what we are. For me, it is understanding where we came from, accepting that as part of the fabric of why we behave the way we do.

This is not to say that we should not fix the things that need fixing; if the lot of Filipinos at home and abroad is to improve, we have to evolve into a more aware society - not carry on on autopilot practicing "rituals" that we know don't work. And perhaps, having done that, contribute in whatever way we can to bring about those changes. Even in small, simple and personal ways.

Again, thank you, and rest assured that you'll be on my regular reading list.

xxx xxx
Calgary, Alberta

08 October 2002

i'm a united states marine stationed in okinawa japan. it's good to read something like this. i fully agree with what your site is all about. it's sad to see my motherland suffer like this. I'm an immigrant but i still love my country. it's sad to see filipino's wihtout patriotism. nobody wants to be a filipino anymore.

i'll tell you a story; i was at our px buying some stuff with my micronesian friend. we were at the cash register and my friend asked the cashier if she was filipino she said no when i very well know that she is. she said she was japanese. i heard her talk in filipino over the phone so i knew. i was embarrased. how the hell can you be embarrased of your race. i told her you are a shame then took i took off. i'm filipino and proud of it. mahal ko ang bayan ko.

20 September 2002

I could not agree with you more on what is written here in your website. I don't think what you are doing is called "colonial mentality" as what a 'Proud Pinoy from Ontario" wrote. You are not just pointing out our nation�s problem but you present solutions to these problems.

In my opinion, Filipinos should start acting upon the predicament we are in and stop being too sensitive to these issues. More Filipinos are still denying that there are a lot of things we need to change in our system. Couldn�t we just forget our pride and stop being sensitive to these issues, instead, accept things as they really are, and start working out possible solutions, for the betterment of our fellow countrymen? Sensitivity and pride will get us nowhere.

09 September 2002

magandang araw..binabasa ko lang yung mga letters dun sa letters section nyo at marami akong nakita na mga umaangal, sumasangayon.. at kung anu-ano pa na siyang nagpapahayag ng kanilang nasyonalismo. Pero napansin ko lang(maaaring hindi ko nabasa lahat ng sulat), bakit kahit isa sa kanila walang nagsulat sa wikang Filipino? Bakit hindi tayo nag-uusap sa wika natin, di ba pare-pareho naman tayong pinoy?

09 September 2002

Dear Mr. Peter Wallace

I agree with you on those points that you've said is the cause of why the Philippines is behind compared to its neighboring countries, but I disagree with your suggested solution. Nine years of continuity? I hope this has nothing to do with Mrs. Arroyo. In anyway, I do beleive that the reason why the Philippines is suffereing right now is because we Filipinos do not have the discipline to follow the law. We do things as we want and never bother to look back or examine if what we did the right thing. We have our constitution and that should always be upheld in everything, above all thing i would say next to God. What the country needs now is a strong disciplinary leader. One who knows exactly what he/she wants not what their advisers wants. But before we look for our leader we should look at ourself first. We need to examine ourself and realized that change rely on individuals and not on the leader that we put into power. We should rememeber that our leaders is just a reflection of our society. Change should start from us not from the leaders.

09 September 2002

I enjoyed reading what you had to say on this site. It's very enlightening. I'm a Filipino American, and as a child I've sat through many discussions between my manongs and manangs regarding the state of the Philippines. A lot of them would agree with you. One good example my Tito gave was that of the Black Americans. He compared Filipinos in the Philippines to the Blacks here in America. Not to say that the two are exactly the same, that would be erroneous, but he did make the point that both need to bring themselves out of their current state. They can't expect others to do it for them.

It may be harder for Filipinos because the Philippines is an underdeveloped country. If the government were willing to help its people, that would be a great start. Marcos' rule didn't help the country prosper as a democracy. As my lola said, his rule was "baluktot." (Did I spell that right?)

A lot of the Filipino elites are too absorbed in self-agrandizement. Remove that mentality, and we'd have something. That's just a piece of my mind. I think your Web site emanates Filipino pride, and I think that's wonderful. Although I am an American, I'd love to see the Philippines bring itself out of the state it's in. It'd make me even more proud of my heritage and culture. Thanks for giving me the chance to contribute my thoughts.

06 September 2002

WireHanger.Net is correct. Do not let the people who tell you that you have no sense of patriotism nor respect for its people demoralize you in your endeavor to speak the truth. You need to remember that many of these people will never understand your point of view and will always misinterpret your words as self-loathing of one's own culture. It was said that if you spared the rod, you spoil the child. And that is exactly what the Philippines need, which is a slap in the face. They need this because most cannot possibly understand what it takes to build a strong and prosperous nation.

Loving oneself is not enough. Proud to be a Filipino? Well, first one has to prove his worth in order to be proud of himself. You have to make sacrifices and an abrupt change in Philippine culture. Discipline is also lacking in most people and it seems that the citizenry seems to embrace and love corruption even more than practicing the right ethics.

I am not an elitist nor am I a foreigner. I was born in the Philippines and am raised here. I have had high hopes for this country but seeing how the values and ethics of the citizenry are misplaced, it just burdens my heart some more. It could've been a wonderful country if the majority of the citizenry weren't bent on destroying it or indulging in useless activities just waste one's time.

So the webmaster of this site, Godspeed on your journey to provide good insights and solutions to this country's problems.

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