How many times have you seen these types of responses on any Youtube videos that showcase someone, who happens to be Filipino, doing something rather amusing?
Through my years of education and interaction with such diverse population here in the U.S., I can safely say that the strength of nationalism that Filipinos have is unbreakable. I do not have a strong Philippine Studies background so anyone is welcome to educate me on this. But based on what I’ve learned from books and articles; nationalism is strongly influenced by its history of colonialism. And this type of nationalism we see among Filipinos today is, in a sense, a form of retaliation from colonialism. For Filipinos (in my own analysis) being known to the whole world is a way for them to express this anti-colonialism mentality. That it is time for the Philippines to be known for something other than being a property of another country.
This could explain why many Filipinos are into Pageants. They often hype their representatives and rejoice if they make it all the way. We all saw how they celebrated when Miss Philippines was called in the Miss Universe stage. I would not be surprised if Filipinos know who Gloria Diaz is and what she did the same way Americans remember President Richard Nixon. Beauty pageant is probably one of the few easiest ways to place the Philippines’ name on the world map. Unlike other domains, It doesn’t require spending a fair chunk of its national budget on building sports facilities like what other countries do to prepare their athletes for the Olympics. Fortunately, the Philippines does not seem prioritize doing well in the Olympics because it already has Manny Pacquiao, Boxing’s Third World Emperor and the Philippine’s modern day national hero.
But something has been bothering me lately. Are Filipinos becoming too thirsty for any world recognition that they are now trying to own American Idol runner up, Jessica Sanchez the same way they own Manny Pacquiao? I can still remember how one of the sport announcers questioned whether or not it is already too much that the Philippines has been riding on Manny’s back before his fight with Bradley? Is it always about being Filipino before anything else?
It baffles me when I see something like this:
Does she think Jessica owes the Philippines something? Are people forgetting the fact that she’s American?
and then we have this video:
How many times does Jessica Sanchez have to answer that she doesn’t know if she’s going to visit the Philippines? What do these Filipino reporters want to hear her say?
Even an American swimmer and eleven-time Olympic medalists, Natalie Coughlin has been criticized before for choosing to represent the U.S. instead of the Philippines despite the fact that she’s only 25% Filipino.
And in the case of a Miss Universe Canada finalist, Kesiah Papasin who plagiarized her answer to an interview:
Do you think being Filipino is enough of an excuse for this act I personally consider to be shameful? Should we celebrate instead?
Is it always going to be about being Filipino? Or is it just an act of ignorance? What do you think?