Saturday, May 16, 2009

Is the world ready for the Filipino?

We often hear remarks about the Filipino that when we go abroad, we are very law abiding. Indeed, we know how to be successful abroad. We know how to follow rules - when in Rome, do as the Romans do.  Close to 10 million Filipinos are abroad. We are ever ready for the world. But is the world ready for us?

A Canadian school principal repeatedly disciplined Luc Cagadoc, a 7-year old Filipino boy, for eating in the customary Filipino manner with fork and spoon during lunch in school. In effect, the school principal wants the boy to "eat the way Canadians eat" because if he "eats like a pig he has to go to another table because this is the way we do it and how we’re going to do it every time."

What? These Canadians never heard of the word spoon-feeding? It means using spoon to feed. They'd be more grossed-out if they see him eat with his hands.

In another story, Amador Bernabe, a Filipino machine operator in Australia was fired because of the "tabo" scandal. He was fired over his habit of using water instead the usual toilet paper, like most Filipinos. Rich or poor, Pinoys invariably use the "tabo", the great equalizer. Bernabe's boss reprimanded him and threatened to fire him if he would not stop using water, and instead “follow the Australian way” (use toilet paper). When Bernabe wouldn’t back down, he was fired.

What again? These Australians don't know that using water is cleaner? I suppose if they take a bath by wiping themselves with toilet paper.

Filipinos are quick to adapt the new culture's way, except for the ingesting and for the excreting. But for all the others in between, the Filipino is ready for the world. The world better be ready for him because it takes awhile to get the Pinoy out of the Filipino.


  1. all pinoys out there, America is the place fo you. this country has no shortage of people who will fight for your cause especially in the matter of race, culture, ideology and religion. being politically correct is so "in" it is ridiculous that the minority gets so spoiled and it is almost a case of reverse descrimination. i will be self conscious of my aging mother walking around manila in "tapis" or "saya" but here in the US she will be an epitome of a woman of culture. i won't even be surprised if she gets a compliment or two. Barong Tagalog in the winter, why not?



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