Wenceslao: Boost

Candid Thoughts

I ALREADY wrote about this years ago, on how the Filipino version of a diaspora could in the end be beneficial for our race. In the recent Golden Globe awarding rites, Filipino-American Darren Criss won the best performance by an actor in a limited series or a motion picture award for portraying Andrew Cunanan, the killer of Gianni Versace in the series titled, “The Assassination of Giani Versace.”

Cunanan himself had Filipino roots, which made Criss’s triumph making up for the spree killer’s ignominy. Cunanan was born in California to Modesto Cunanan, a Filipino American, and Mary Ann Schillaci, an Italian American. He killed not only Versace but four others during a three month period in 1997. The murders ended only after Cunanan committed suicide.

“This has been a marvelous year for representation in Hollywood, and I am proud to be a teeny-tiny part of that as the son of a firecracker Filipino woman from Cebu that dreamed of coming into this country and getting to be invited to cool parties like this. Mom, I know you’re watching this. I love you dearly. I dedicate this to you,” Criss said in his speech. His mother is Cerina Bru, who is married to investment banker Charles William Criss.

Criss is, of course, not the only story of success of Filipinos with mixed blood. Australian-Filipina Catriona Gray recently won Miss Universe this year and before that, in 2015, German-Filipina Pia Wurtzbach won the crown. In basketball, in football and other sports disciplines, Fil-foreigners are becoming world-class.

There are those who resist this development, insisting on segregating Filipinos with mixed blood from those who are “native” Filipinos. But pure Filipinos no longer exist, or if they do they are in the minority because of our having been colonized and our looking for greener pastures abroad. So instead of resisting this development, it is time for us to embrace it.

For example, because of politicking and the flaws in our quest for dominance in some sports disciplines, let us scout the world for Fil-foreigners that could potentially boost our campaign in global tournaments. If they are out there, let us recruit them. This has boosted us in international campaigns in, say, basketball and football, why not do it for other sports disciplines?

Fil-foreigners, like Criss, have also surfacing in the entertainment world—in Hollywood and everywhere. Singing competitions have become the stomping ground of Fil-foreigners lately. In the United States, Filipino-Americans are making it, slowly but surely, in politics and other endeavors, even in the military.

But my wish is for Fil-foreigners to make it big in business also, with their success eventually boosting our country’s own economy. They who make it big in the world stage may have to be asked to help our economy grow also, if that is possible. Loida Nicolas Lewis stands out but unfortunately she is being demonized by the Duterte administration and diehard Duterte supporters.

But time will come when these Fil-foreigners and the local leadership will no longer work with cross-purposes and instead unite for the betterment of our country.


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