This Dance Cru is SoReal – but are Filipino Parents out of touch with reality?

by Leonard

I know, I know… even though America’s Best Dance Crew is now in Season 2 and people are STILL about the JaBBaWocKeeZ,  you gotta admit that this next season has sort of turned into “Filipino Dance Crew”. Not that it’s all about Filipinos on that show, but there are enough flips on there that you know SOMEONE is bringing the adobo for baon.  (I think it’s the Boogie Bots.)

It’s no secret to anyone that Filipinos have moves… and being part of a dance crew or performing some sort of choreographed routine is a distinct part of the Filipino “growing up” experience (who remembers learning the routine from New Edition’s “If It Isn’t Love” *raises hand alone*, oh shit I’m old.)   

Both here and in the motherland, Filipinos of all ages love learning moves and performing them together. Prison Inmates in the Cebu Jail.  Our parents doing line dances to ‘Candida’ at a debut or a wedding, followed by you and your friends doing the Electric Slide to ‘Follow Me’.  Look at Wowowee for G’s sakes. There’s a routine every freekin’ day on that show.

It should be no surprise that as Filipinos rise to the top of the world’s current love affair with street dance that our parents start to feel a little hot under the barong collar.

For every young Filipino that wants to pursue a career in dance, that’s one less Filipino doctor in the world.  Even worse, that’s one less Filipino doctor in the immediate family.  ACK!  SoReal Cru member Ailyn Isidro talks about this almost every week in the produced segments of the show.

“I wish my parents supported me” “What will my parents think if I dance suggestively” blah blah blah “Oh no Oh no Oh no!  What WILL they say?”  *cry* Every week!  That girl on the Pussycat Dolls show said the exact same thing all the time.  She even cried about it.

Not that we can’t all identify with the pressure to please our parents.  We all know what kind of sacrifices they gave to ensure better opportunities for us.  But now that there are more young flips ascending to “not-so-traditional” higher heights and actually being on TV talking about it, I wonder how Filipino parents feel?  Will they see the light and support their kids?  

My guess is that they’ll react with the very old-school Filipino trait of losing face because their kid talked about their family issues on national television.  Ay!  Walang hiya!

How about you?  Have you ever experienced this sort of conflict with your parents?  Did they always support you with what you wanted to pursue in life?  What’s your story?  Do they support you now?


~ by Leonard on July 19, 2008.

11 Responses to “This Dance Cru is SoReal – but are Filipino Parents out of touch with reality?”

  1. you know what i thought was weird? ailyn made a big deal out of all that, and then when their performance was over, she walked away and turned around real sexy-like and put her finger in her mouth…


  2. haha yeah.

    Us Filipino kids are always caught between trying to be respectful and doin’ what we wanna do. Heheheh. I’m sure all of us have done some things that would shock our parents when they’re not looking.

    (but wait a minute! Her parents ARE looking! Oh no!)

  3. excellent entry len. I think every Filipino hears their parents voice in their heads whenever they think about doing something as ‘reckless’ as pursuing an non-money making career. I mean, come on, I started off in Business Management at Ryerson for god’s sake!

  4. i think a shift in thought is happening because many of the parents of this generation’s youth were probably going through that same struggle. hello, there are less doctors, nurses and teachers among my mom’s cousins. and we worry now that yes, there are no more titas to write us prescriptions when we fall ill at the fam jam.
    my dad is an animator, my mom, in her spare time, writes and sings, so i’ve been lucky that they haven’t really discouraged us from pursuing the arts or less pragmatic career paths.
    a good question to ask is if our generation will also lose our cool when we become parents and see that our kids are less inclined to want work at desks.

  5. I’m the only one out of my siblings who isn’t in the medical field. On top of that, I like to volunteer a lot of my time to arts festivals. I can’t believe I used to wonder why I was always forgotten when it came to my parents doing their spiel of how proud they are of they kids.

  6. We all made a difficult choice to enter the arts. It’s a luxury that we have to be thankful to our parents for–that’s what I tell myself at least. For them, this isn’t a choice they could have made, so understandably, it’s difficult for them to accept….

    You should out at the centre some more Prin, we could hook you up with a mentor in your artistic field if you want!

  7. I get that. Also, I’m sure it has to do with them wanting us to be able to support ourselves. They wouldn’t want to see us struggling when we had the chance to go to school and make lots of money. They want me to be successful for myself first and then for them to boast about.

    I need to find a job first. My mama won’t fund my transportation down there anymore.

  8. hehe I think its so true that Filipino parents just want us to do something they can talk to their friends about over mahjong.

    For many years it was like, “Son? What son?” until I got a good enough gig to bring up in conversation.

    Let’s make a pact not do that to our kids!

  9. With you on that pact. I think the fact that my parents allowed and continue to allow my sisters and I to explore our options have made us less likely to rebel and even more type A than they are at times. 🙂 So we can work the suit jobs as well as the fun ones.

    I think it hit me hard when I ran into my papa at adobofest: my parents are cool. I want my kids to at least think I’m not so uncool. 😛

  10. Personally, I don’t think Filipino parents put enough pressure on their kids. We are one of the few immigrant groups whose kids are underachieving/not surpassing or meeting the economic and academic accomplishments of their parents.

    I have no problem with non-traditional careers, per se, but I’m sick and tired of hearing about Filipino kids choosing a career as a manager in fast food instead of sticking in school.

  11. excellent comment immanuel, as you might know Fils have the second highest HS dropout rate in Ontario for SEAsian immigrants. But is it because parents don’t put enough pressure on them, and is there a reason why parents don’t/or can’t put as much pressure on them as they would like?

    I have a post related to this idea:

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