Know the Filipino

Our country has three divisions of main islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These divisions symbolize the separation and distinction of language and culture inherent to the citizens of a collective nation. Amidst the multitude of diversity, we are labeled as one, as Filipinos claiming the race and citizenry of the Philippine islands.

The fragmentation of Filipino culture makes it difficult to establish an explicit definition of the Filipino identity. Other than the local languages and cultures, there are other reasons that complicate the construction of what characterizes the Filipino identity.

The documentation of Philippine history is one of these. The periods are classified by the colonizers who hampered the liberty of the country. It narrates the transition of governments that were built and administered by these foreigners. Filipino students have studied textbooks that show how these colonizers viewed the country and the achievements they have attained for their respective Motherland. It is seldom that the country’s history is said in a manner that highlights the progression made by Filipinos. It is seldom that books, that are widely promulgated in schools, state accounts which were written by the Filipinos who were at the front row of history. It is recurrent to find, though, that Filipino-centered accounts of history marginalized. Left to be silenced and forgotten, long after independence was pursued. This leaves all the subsequent generations of Filipinos to identify themselves in a fashion that connects them to the prior inhabitants that once controlled the power within the Philippine nation.

Numerous people say that the Filipinos are suffering from severe colonial mentality. But tracing its roots, was it really the Filipinos who inflicted this disease amongst themselves? No. Filipinos back then were pacified and were lured by the idea that people, products, ideologies, and everything else made by the colonizers were better and good for them. Filipinos identified themselves to be an extension of the personalities their colonizers embodied. Today, colonial mentality still persists within the government, as it is being indirectly manipulated with the unwritten agreement and uncertain notion that the United States is the country’s ally. On the other hand, colonial mentality that was infused in our culture is now gradually transforming into global competitiveness. Colonial mentality may no longer be viewed negatively, once it is used as an edge to standardize global competitiveness in the country. What better way to compete with advanced nations but to think like they do, live like they do, create like they do? With this, we visualize the Filipino to have an inner struggle between the preservation of his native roots and the adaptation of modern innovation. It is the predicament of the Filipino to be identified by what he is leaving behind without being left behind.

Filipinos tend to immerse themselves in other cultures which they find “more superior.” They embrace a culture different to their own because they find it more appealing, or more widely accepted by the world. Take for example the “Hallyu” or Korean wave that has taken over the country for the past few years. With the in flux of Korean migrates, they have taken their media art and media culture along. Endorphin levels of Filipinos over Korean music and dramas are soaring. This may be because of Korean talent is viral globally, and has reached and satisfied the standards of global viewership. Adapting so much to this culture may have an inclination towards the transformation of lifestyle and preference, on a whole new level. The ability of Filipinos to adapt intensely and genuinely to other cultures has made it harder to have a more transparent idea of the Filipino identity.

The Filipino identity is a hybrid of cultures and ideologies. It is made individualistic by the pace in which it has transformed dichotomies into a single entity. The Filipino identity is hard to decipher, it cannot be contained in words formulated by observations for it is dynamic, just like any other existing identities out there. It changes in time, but the constant thing about it, as Nick Joaquin said, is this: “the true identity of a Filipino is a Filipino searching for his identity,” Now, go ask yourself, how do you identify Filipinos? How do youidentify yourself as a Filipino?

Post created by Vinz Lamorena, dedicated to Cara Encabo

(Source: heyitsvinz)

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