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March 07, 2005


carlos celdran

Ya. Art is married to a Pinay. Ive linked you. I hope you dont mind.


I am a Filipina expatriate in Germany. My short expat stint became a lifelong commitment when I married a local, a year after I loved here.

Thank you for what you have written. :)

6 years here and I think I have experienced a lot. I have been discriminated against and was dismissed as a mail-order bride; BUt, I have also been praised for the kind of immigrant I am. Pinoys adapt and assimilate unlike some of the hated foreigners who insist on making the locals adjust to their foreign culture.


Thanks for the comment, which reminded me to re-visit your excellent blog. That’s true, the mail-order stereotype is one that female Filipinos have to combat. Not just Pinays either, if they have foreign partners they are to a certain extent tainted with the same brush. My partner is from the Philippines—not surprising since I have lived here for eight years—and, no, she wasn’t sliding down a pole when I met her. In fact she is a lot classier than most of the Western women I’ve known. Still, when I tell people my partner is from the Philippines, there is often that slight metaphorical rise of the eyebrows, diba? Not that I give a toss, but I sometimes have to check myself from explaining that we met as neighbours and not because we were on next door bar stools in some Burgos bar. I’ve always wanted to tell people that I fell in love with her because of things I saw her do with ping-pong balls, but I’m not sure how crazy she would be about that …


Thanks! :)

Oh well... we, Pinoys, are also guilty of putting labels on people from different places.

As I said before, the world is bombarded (by media, maybe?) with simplistic images full of stereotypes. Judgment based on insufficient facts. The sad fact is that people keep on perpetuating these inaccuracies. Myself, included. Sad, but true.


I agree Filipinos are their very own worst critics. Especially Filipinos who've migrated abroad and come home every once in a while for vacation. I hate it when my truckload of relatives from Canada do this.

Unlike your explanation, I think it has more to do with having a culture of inferiority, where certain cultures are juxtaposed over ours and are deemed...better. It's funny because its a doomed cycle of self-pity, a casting off of Filipino identity and then just apathy. Is it because a strong "Filipino-ness" was never there from the very start?


AnP — that’s true and the British image of Germans is one of the worst stereotypes of all. It reached its nadir in 1996 when England played Germany in the European Championships. That day the Daily Mirror—a paper with a respectable pedigree and allied with the Labour party—devoted its entire front page to the word “Achtung” and a photograph of a German helmet. Following a storm of protest the newspaper’s editor passed it off as “a joke”. Tremendously amusing. That night (after Germany won the match) two Russian students in my home town were beaten up by morons who thought they were Germans. Britain’s inability to get over the second world war (which ended 60 years ago!) is one of the most embarrassing aspects of the national psyche (a bit like a middle-aged man blaming his failings on being bullied at school). Many decent Brits feel humiliated by the jingoistic side of British nationalism.

No doubt the German view of the Brits—tea drinkers and pop singers—is also way off the mark, but at least it is not as nasty as British anti-German feeling

The problem is that, to understand anything, we have to generalize. We cannot see the world as made up of discrete objects. The grouping together of, say, people from one culture or animals from a particular species, lies at the heart of human knowledge, yet the very act of classification (this is X and not Y) immediately sets in chain a whole process that can result in stereotypes and prejudice. All we can do is to acknowledge the differences in the world and yet try not to judge them. Some countries find it easier to do that others.


Hi Sparks -- I can't argue with anything you say, I think you put it very well. Yet, that absence of a strong "Filipino-ness" is also a source of strength, allowing Filipinos to adapt easily to other countries and cultures. And to understand them perhaps, since the chameleonlike quality of Filipinos means that they are not imprisoned within one fixed world view in the way that some nationalities are.


I strongly agree with the opinion that Filipinos have a strong inferiority complex. I actually believe that the country's inability to progress and improve itself is deeply rooted in inferiority. The defeatist voices inside the Filipino's head prevents him from moving on and getting on with making himself, umm, "richer", for lack of a better word.

If only someone could put every Pinoy under a "confidence-improvement therapy" or something.


I never thought about being a third class citizen in The United States. I always think of myself of being different from other Asians. Because We Filipinos are Americanize, speak english and can easily adapt to other culture. We are hard working and can understand diversity. I work for the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston. The VNAB hired a lot of Filipino PT and Nurses.

Because they are very educated and are Real hard workers and committed to their jobs. There are negative things to say about Filipinos but every race has always have something to say about other race. That are very commom all over the world. Why do Filipinos think that they are being bad mouth all over the world? Because our history had a corrupt and violent past. The Marcoses were the one who contributed to the Filipinos' cultural demise. But the 1986 People Power Revolution changed everything. We were again heads up and proud to be a Filipino. We demonstrated to the world that We can be one and can change the structure of our country without any violence to overthrow a corrupt,tyrant conjugal dictatorship. I AM PROUD TO BE A FILIPINO


Hey torn,

just wanted to commend you on your blog. it was good when you started, its terrific now.

Interesting views on the filipino psyche. Your ideas do add to our understanding of ourselves and why we think the way we do. The first step to solving a problem is understanding its root/s. Thanks. you've nearly inspired me to start up my own blog. Then again, yours is so good its a disincentive to getting mine going. (and how do you sort out the technical side of it? -- like links to other articles and posting large chunks of other people's text)

i have a few theories myself on the pinoy inferiority complex that i'd like to get out there. oh well, maybe one day when i have some time


Dear Gonzo -- Thanks for your nice message, always nice to hear from someone with taste and discernment. Believe me, if I can handle the tech side of it, anyone can. As you can see, I use typepad (which I pay a small monthly fee for) and they have a template which is very easy to use. I started on blogger, which is free but didn't have as many features (at least when I was using it). You might want to look at the sassy lawyer -- I think she uses a Manila-based company. Don't worry about comparisons with other blogs--they are as different as the people that write them. Before I started, I read the "weblog handbook" by Rebecca Blood (actually a pretty good book, though perhaps it is rather out of date now). Anyway, Rebecca's best piece of advice was--write for one person, yourself. If you can string a sentence together and you're not a complete asshole people will read you. I think you should do it, you sound like you'd enjoy it and be good at it. Let us know when it us up there. Cheers -- torn


I lived in manila for most of last year and am back in the UK now. I heard two women about my age (mid twenties) speaking Tagalog on a local train (and believe me, I live in the back of beyond and wouldn't expect even the adventurous Pinoys to have made it to my home town) and I couldn't resist saying hi. They were really happy to meet someone who know the Philippines. They were working as caregivers in a local nursing home and they said there are many Pinays here in Bradford. Since then I've met a couple of people who are managers in care homes and asked them about their view of Filipino staff. They have both been effusive in their appreciation of the hard working, caring and cheerful attitude of their Filipino staff. This for shows up not only how proud of their culture and national character Filipinos should be, but also the sad decline in willingness to work hard in caring professions which we have seen among the British. If it were not for Filipinos our health system would collapse and I feel guilty because I know that the healthcare arrangements back home are so poor. Pinoys have a lot to be proud of and if I could arrange a national confidence-improvement scheme I would!


This email was obviously written be an Asian tha has a problem with pillipinos. White people could care less, same with black folks.

Yes the flips try to connect to asian culture, yes its ridiculous considering they are more mexican than anything. yes the Japanese are the most racist people on the planet. Anyone whos travelled outside their own gated subdivision would recognize this hate letter as a fake...

Which is no suprise to see the liberals all over it...like it's gospel.



"flips try to connect to asian culture"

we are an asian culture. in case u didn't know, asia is more than northeast asia (japan, korea, china, taiwan). there's also southeast asia (the ten countries of the asean), south asia (india, pakistan, all the other -stans, sri lanka), even the middle east is "officially" asian.

"yes its ridiculous considering they are more mexican than anything."

if u've ever been to the philippines (and it seems obvious u haven't), u woulnd't say that. if anything, i think we're more like italians.


Congratulations for trying to respond rationally to metro's incoherent ravings. My girlfriend's sister lived in Milan for many years and that's exactly what she says -- the Italians are the Pinoys of Europe.

the wily filipino

Hey, thought I'd post a response:



I realize any kind of answer to this depends on so many factors: where you live, what you do, what your reality is like. Also, I suppose it would depend on how you would define or describe the premise that Filipinos are looked down upon.

So I can only speak for myself. When I'm watching the news and they show the accused being led away by the cops -- if he looks even slightly Filipino I start praying in my head: I hope he's not Pinoy, shit I hope he's not Pinoy. Also: one time at my old job an employee, a Filipina, was fired (deservedly so). When my manager was discussing why she was terminated, I muttered unconsciously, "I'm so sorry." She overheard me and was puzzled why I felt that way. It was difficult to explain why I felt the need to apologize on behalf of all my kababayans for this Pinay's bad behavior.

Everywhere I've worked, I've always been recognized and commended/rewarded for my work ethic, honesty, etc. I will admit now that not only do I feel compelled to work as hard and well as I do because of my personal ethics but also because I feel a certain need to portray Filipinos in the best possible light. Obviously, this is self-inflicted; no one put the burden on my shoulders. Question: is that something you feel while working in the Philippines as a UK national? I wonder if this thinking is peculiar to Filipinos who live and work abroad (or just me being nuts :) ).

Perhaps one day I'll blog about the reasons for my irrational thoughts and behavior; so complicated to explain in a comment box. However, the one thing I will say is that here, in Los Angeles, we Filipinos are our own worst enemy. We have no political power as a group because of all our in-fighting, etc. -- so when a radio DJ calls Filipinos "dog-eating cowards" (as I actually heard Bill Handel say when the Phils. pulled out from Iraq), we can protest and write letters all we want, but it really doesn't matter. Despite our numbers, we're not a force to be reckoned with.

And lastly here's something else to ponder. I've heard so many of my friends who live in countries like Australia or Hong Kong complain people always assume they are domestic workers (instead of professionals or students) simply because they are Filipino. I can hear the outrage in their voices, how insulted they feel. When folks assume we're domestic workers because we're Filipino, are they looking down on us? Or is it just an easy conclusion to make because that's what they see? Same here -- for instance, my sister's friend, a doctor at Cedars Sinai, asked why Asian doctors at the (prestigious) hospital were usually Korean or Chinese, but Filipinos were "only" techs and parking lot attendants. Different question, same mindset. But no simple answers.


why do some filipinos want to be Hispanic? you are not hispanic... and sadly, hispanics do not claim filipinos in any way.


What do you mean “why do some filipinos want to be Hispanic?” That’s a very odd thing to say, as if Filipinos “want” to be Hispanic in the same way as some people “want” to be rich. Philippine culture IS heavily Hispanicized, which is not surprising after three centuries of colonialism. Catholicism is the most obvious element of Spanish culture that Filipinos share with people from Latin America, but there are many others. It’s not an aspirational thing—Filipinos in America, and I assume you are talking about America, have an affinity with American Hispanics because they share many cultural reference points. There is nothing surprising in that.

Filipino solidly

i have only one thing to say: Im proud to be FILIPINO and ASIAN.

people can only push us if we allow them.

very simply said. and no were not dog eating cowards. the americans wouldnt have stood a chance without the filipinos in the second world war. Kali one of the World's Deadliest Street fighting art is FILIPINO. and is widely practiced in the US. the navy seals train in it. War and Violence isn't new to Filipinos so for some idiot announcer in L.A. to call us cowards is not only a display of his stupidity but more of a desperate call for people to listen to his show. i'd like to see him say what he says infront of a filipino. and let's see.

filipino's pulling out of iraq is a show that we dont support invasions of other countries. and that we arent puppets of the bush admin. as a Filipino Muslim i think it was the right thing to do and GOD bless us for it.

and no, were ASIAN not mexican, go check your history or go back to school.

Lyn M. Gregg

It's no longer a surprised to me,each time
These assholes all over the world treat
The Filipinos as a lowest class citizen of
the world,but i am very proud that i am a
Filipino and will remain as pinoy in my
heart and soul.

The impression for the fair skinned race
like us was just a sign that the other
race in the planet cannot surpassed the
talents,skills and other extra gifts that
the Lord above was only given to every
God fearing filipinos,our dignity and
of course being a smiling people in the

Naiingit lang sila,at pinag-iinitan ang
Pinoy,kasi lahat ng talent ay nasa atin
at naging mapalad pa rin tayo,dahil na-
ishare natin ang talent na ito sa iba't-
ibang bahagi ng mundo,hindi lamang sa
mukha ng greenbucks at other monetaries,
Kundi tayo ang nagiging modelo ng buong
mundo,kung paano ang maging totoong
tao at responsable sa lahat ng bagay,
tayo ang maid ng mundo,driver,teachers,
Nurses,Doctors,Entertainers etc.

In other words,according to Shakespeare,
Life for us was like a stage,Wherein each
and every Filipinos in the Planet Play our

I am not surprised either,if Why the
Famous Designer Mr.Versace was murdered by
The Fil-Am?

Just Guess?and then smile:)


A few have mentioned that Filipinos and the country is heavily hispanic/latino. It's true, and you can't deny it. We are living it so we don't notice it. We are asian, but really in geography, and we're even a bit off the mark on that one too. And technically, we are close in relations to Mexico because of the overlooked Mexico-Filipinas relations, a result of the important Manila-Acapulco galleon trade during the Spanish colonial empire. We traded and introduced foods and items to the Mexicans just as they did with us, while delivering to Spain. A lot of our fruits (like mango) were brought to Mexico, meanwhile a lot of their native crops were brought here. And foods/dishes, words, architecture, supplies as well. Spain was a big cause and influence, but remember that the distance was great and Mexico was their gateway to the Philippines. It wasn't just about Spain. There's also more about mexican spaniards and natives and philippine natives doing some land shifting during the trade as well. Very interesting stuff to look at.
Also, it's a fact that Italians have similar characteristics as Filipinos (mediterranean in general), but it would easily always have to be Spaniards as the Filipinos of Europe. Very simple. There's nothing to think about on that one!


Italians are the Filipinos of Europe, no wonder we assimilated so well. My father spent 11 years working in Italy, along with thousands of other Cavitenos. I was in a suburb outside Venice when I was astounded as to how similar it looked in comparison to Cavita. The behavior of it people are also so similar.

BTW, I wrote a post in response to this.


I am also proud to be Filipino, but I will admit that the Filipinos themselves brought the downfall of the Philippines. Imagine back in the 17th-18th centuries non-Spanish colonizers feared Manila to be a European city. After the second world war, the Philippines had one of the strongest economies in Asia (1USD=2PHP). I still wonder where the Philippines would be today had they not pleaded for independence from the Americans...


sorry folks,hope to catch up with the main issue here..got this fwded email last april and i tried to surf the internet ( before my blood boils down to 0 degree) to research the validity of this stupid hate letter. of course, i was pissed off when i read it and when i did some researching i stumbled on this website radio pinoy usa..i thought aha ! pinoy he too will defend my countrymen..surprised, lino celle was defending dumb bell, i mean art bell and calling all pinoys who believe the said letter..IDIOTS & STUPIDS...so i emailed him in reply to his article not to add insult to injury ..and his reply to me? HE'S GOING TO SEND MY EMAIL TO THE FBI AND I AM SUBJECT FOR INTERROGATION BY THE FBI's & INTERPOLS...my reply to him ..IS THIS A THREAT? GO AHEAD COZ GOD'S WITH ME..then he replied to me with filthy words and degrading me as a domestic helper...i suggested to change his station name as radio AMOY and his aka matanglawin to MATANG AHAS..told him too that he reminds me of him as judas betraying JESUS..i told him what's the prize per pinoys head? a nickle, dime or gold? take note that they are both in business as radio talk show ..sino sa kanila ang judas ? you decide kababayans...
just be vigilant ..kapwa mo mag betray sa yo ..recalling what aguinnaldo did to bonifacio and the pinoys ..dunno about rizal , who betrayed him > GOD KNOWS...



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