So apparently one of my articles went viral (I Hate Filipino Culture). I wrote the article back in 2007 back when I wrote without caring so much who I offended. Yes, I was also a lot angrier and a lot less politically correct then. It got a bit of attention when I first posted it but nothing like what it’s getting now. I was surprised when I checked my counter and I saw that it had almost 50,000 hits in less than 24 hours. It’s now at almost 100,000 hits and still rising. It got a lot of comments as well, some agreed with me some didn’t. I don’t think that I’d be able to reply to all of the comments individually so I’ll be addressing some of them in condensed form in this entry.
On the title of the article: Yes it’s a bit extreme and yes it’s also intentional. It’s the kind of title that would rouse emotions in the reader before they even read the article. It got its intended effect. I wrote about the average filipino’s sensitivity when it comes to criticism about their own race and the title is a sort of stab at that; A test if they can go beyond the title and actually read the entire entry. If you’d read the whole entry, you’d know that I wasn’t hating on Filipino culture in general, whatever that may be. I was expressing my “annoyance” at certain aspects of our society. And in no way did I imply that masa culture is Filipino culture. I actually said the opposite.
On me having colonial mentality: Filipino culture can be a pretty iffy term. Almost all remnants of pre-colonial culture have been wiped out. Our own alphabet, baybayin, is practically dead now (a lot of Filipinos don’t even know that it ever existed), our language is littered with Spanish words, Most of our customs, traditions and religions are of post colonial origin. I’m not saying that that’s good or bad, Im just saying that if you’re gonna be xenophobic and hate on all things foreign, recognize that a lot of the things that we consider Filipino arrived at our shores pretty recently. I’m not touting the culture of any particular country and I’m not saying that any of those cultures is superior to our own but there’s a wealth of information out there if we’d not close ourselves to the boundaries of our shores, especially considering that what we have within our shores are a lot of material that cater to the masses. Yes I’m aware that the negative qualities that I enumerated about our people also exist in other countries but just because those qualities exist in other cultures, that doesn’t mean that I hate them any less.
-On depression: nope hindi ako depress …or depressed and I have no plans of killing myself anytime soon, thank you
-On my douchey profile pic. I apologize for my face. Well not really but I probably would’ve chosen a different profile pic if I had known that one of my entries would’ve achieved a bit of notoriety. But it’s there, people have seen it anyway so what the hell. I’ll replace it with something more artsy fartsy soon.
-On elitism. I said that I wasn’t elitist but I guess this is a matter of perspective now. One person’s elitist is another person’s fearless writer. One thing that the entry was NOT about though was about class divisions. Like I said, I’m not even rich in the first place. I’d rather rub elbows with a penniless, starving artist than Willie Revillame or Joey deleon. I don’t look down on the poor because I know that shallowness doesn’t always come with poverty. And to be clear, when I say “masa”, I don’t mean the poor in general.
-On my rant on local TV shows: I know a lot of respectable people who watch eat bulaga and wowowee. I have nothing against them at all. The rant really was NOT about the people who watch the shows, it was mostly about the people who appear on them, particularly the TV hosts and the way they almost seem to make a mockery of their “masa” live audience. It was one of these TV shows that actually inspired the rant in the first place. If you feel like I insulted you when I insulted your favorite TV show, I apologize. And this is the only part of the article that I will apologize for because I didn’t qualify it clearly.
On not saying anything good about our country: Yes I only highlighted negative aspects of our society. That was the point of the article, really. It’s a rant. In case you’re interested, I also have a travelblog where I write about some of the nicest places that I’ve visited in the Philippines - I don’t only write about negative stuff but why would anyone expect to read positive things about our people on a rant. One more thing that I’ve noticed about us Filipinos is that not only do we only want to hear the positive, we sometimes ask for it too much. Whenever foreigners are interviewed about the Philippines, it’s almost like we expect them already to say very rosy things about our country and if they don’t say anything good, they should be deported. We even took up arms when some foreigners said that they didn’t like the food at jolibee, as if our nation’s identity rests squarely on the shoulders of the fastfood giant. And I remember that Ricky Lo interview where he practically was goading Anne Hathaway to say that Lea Salonga was a better singer than her. That was very difficult to watch and it just shows how insecure we are as a people. I sometimes wish that we’d wait for the compliments to come, not expect them and not ask for them directly.
To everyone who agreed with me and to everyone who vouched for me, reading your comments was pretty heart warming and flattering. Thank you. To everyone who disagreed/ disagreed violently, thank you for visiting my humble little blog and I hope you’d see that I meant no disrespect to our people in general but like others, I see certain flaws. If you do not agree with me that they’re flaws then let’s agree to disagree. I hope you read the entire entry though before you posted a comment.