Uyboco: Filipino First

WINNIE Monsod’s recent column entitled “Why Filipinos Distrust China” contained the following lines which incensed a good number of Filipino-Chinese:

Actually, I have often observed, Reader, that a Chinese-Filipino will never ever state unequivocally that he/she is a Filipino first, and a Chinese second (meaning, his loyalty is to the Philippines)...Combine this with the fact that most of our billionaires are Chinese-Filipinos, and that Chinese-Filipinos (especially the males) seem to be culturally averse to marrying Filipino women, and that they are some of this country’s most hated employers. It then becomes easier to understand the distrust factor.

I was about to write a reaction to this, but my friend, Freddie Tan, beat me to it and I thought his version sounded a hundred times better than what I was planning to say, hence, I simply got his permission to reprint it here:

I have always been Filipino first. Heck, I am more fluent in Tagalog and English than I am of Mandarin. Does that mean I love the USA more than China or that I love the USA just as much as I love the Philippines?

I, however, am not an ardent nationalist. I prefer to think of myself as a globalist and believe Nationalism is a concept that the world should outgrow soon if we want to ensure a future for the human race, as the problems we now face as a species are global in scope and no longer national.

I don't espouse going to war with China, neither am I happy with the doormat response we seem to currently take towards them either. I didn't like the previous administration’s overly aggressive handling of our diplomatic ties with China and I still don't like how the current one is handling it. It's like these people don't understand that there's more than two options. I don't even understand why we have to choose and pivot between China and the USA. Seriously? Why not both? Why not neither?

The love for the USA that Filipinos have is culturally ingrained in our education and in our culture. It's some kind of cultural Stockholm syndrome. Our education system is American. The medium of instruction is English. I used to joke during the 2016 elections that Grace Poe deserves to be our president, because she represents the hopes and dreams of practically every Filipino to one day be -- an American citizen.

Historically, the Americans have done more damage to us than China. We have had a Fil-Am war, while we've never gone to war with China. The main difference is that we have been a colony of the Americans, and they have imparted/forced their culture onto us. They forced us to learn their language instead of [them] learning ours. Yet, we love them. We've had very little history of Chinese aggression, except perhaps with some Chinese pirates, which were outlaws and not state sanctioned. Prior to the [West Philippine Sea] issue we have never really had a reason to have an aggressive stance towards China.

This woman's views on the Chinese-Filipino are as dated as her advancing years. For her age having outdated views may be forgivable, but putting that out on the public podium of her opinion column is reprehensible. To advance a political agenda by promoting Xenophobia makes her no less reprehensible than the supposedly reprehensible people she works against. Creating scapegoats and straw men to make her own political agenda easier to push. Replacing drug lords/drug addicts with “Intsik” doesn't really make you nobler.

I don't trust the American government, I also don't trust the Chinese government, and I also have very little trust in our own. Which probably explains why as I grow older I am constantly pushed to more libertarian thinking. She easily separated her opinions on the US government and the American people. I think everyone deserves that, including the Chinese people and more so the Chinese-Filipinos.

I personally am very sick and tired of Chinese-Filipinos being labelled as “negosyanteng intsik” if they are caught doing something nasty on the news, and being called Proudly Pinoy if we do something great.

Email me at andy@freethinking.me. View previous articles at www.freethinking.me.


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