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Jul 12th
Hi Jess, Thank you for asking for m PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 13 November 2009 14:24
Hi Jess, Thank you for asking for my opinion. I had to go back and read what you wrote a few more times. With all due respect, I feel that there are 3 kinds of Pinoys in America and I am referring to the older Pinoys who were not born here, and not the Generation Xers or the young 'uns. First kind are Pinoys who are here but still cling to their Pinoy ways by imposing what they grew up with and how they grew up in an American setting. The second kind are those who came and decided to forget everything about their being a Pinoy, aka "their roots, from the get-go. This kind will go out of steam after a while. They can only try so much but without much "there", nothing is going to stick. The 3rd kind are those who try to get the best of both worlds and live their lives every day as a fusion of two cultures. The 3rd kind will realize that as time goes by in the most natural progression of things, one culture will have the tendency to reign over the other, in most cases - the American culture - but this can only be seamless if one gets to realize that he or she is not a pedigreed American but a Filipino American and that's really okay to take risks, be bold and veer away from the mold from time to time. The first kind brings all sorts of problems especially when it comes to raising kids. The second kind is just plain obnoxious to me. The first kind has the tendency to remain inside the box and have opinions that stay inside the box. The second kind will definitely go for whatever mainstream America thinks and feels but in reality, one, he or she does not really totally agree and just don't want to admit it or two, the desire to be mainstream is so intense that it does not matter whether he or she understands the issue at hand or not. In short, these people like to think that they're cool to simplify the concept. I hope I am making sense. The 3rd kind are people like you who dare say what they feel and think without worrying that they will offend the monkeys, the dogs, the cats, the know what I mean. I have always questioned the agenda of former actors and actresses and even media people who now occupy a seat in Philippine politics. I am a believer that what prompted them to run in the first place is knowing that they have their fan base (and in the case of the Philippines, the grassroots) to back them up. The desire to serve is a smokescreen and a really nice tag line to win votes during campaign season. I am with you. Manny Pacquiao is a boxer first and foremost. He can sing and so could 33 million folks in the Philippines who flock to karaoke bars. He can act, sure, he has the money to produce his own movie and can pretty much ask Gloria Arroyo to star with him and she'll most likely say after 2010. He pretty much can do whatever he wants because of who he is and the line to what makes the most sense and what doesn't tends to be blurred and definitely ignored. In short, money talks. What a novel concept! Sad to say, the Philippines and her people do not have an identity in the eyes of mainstream America. You are absolutely right - we are great copiers, mimickers and followers of American pop culture. By being labeled, "The Best Imitators of the World" and to actual embrace such monicker, lies the intrinsic cause of why the first kind of Pinoys in America react to things the way they do. They have a tendency to be emotional and stick to what is comfortable to them. I don't think that they intended to do that but I feel that it stems from fear, of not wanting to be the one to break from the pack and from a place where one feels the need to really back his or her own. To think like an American, in all sense of the word, is looked upon by the first kind of Pinoys as a sellout, traitorous and even un-Filipino like. Taking it down to a more intimate example....look around you the next time you go to a Filipino party, you will be surprised to see that a lot of folks who have been here for a very long time have remained inside the box and do not even think twice about staying there for good. In the Philippines, I feel that instead of elevating the bar so people can better their thinking and be more defiant to the status quo, those who are in the position to raise that bar subconsciously yield to "the way things are" because they give up too easily thus the worsening social maladies. Boy, now my head hurts. I hope I am making sense. Oh, I have to mention too that it usually takes so much energy to convince people to change their opinions especially if they belong to the first kind of Noy-Pis (hehehe) so why even bother? Sure it makes for nice discussion or even really rambunctious debate but in the end, you still yield your own power via your column that has a big follower. The decision to change or not, to move forward or stay put, to embrace just one culture or allow oneself to enjoy the beauty of two cultures is really relative. There Jess...again, please keep this to yourself as I don't have the energy to thwart off hate-mongers...:0)...let me know what you think too. A Reader from the MidWest

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