Filipino: A Love/Hate Thing

by alex

Pango means flat nosed.

"Pango" means "flat nosed."

I was at a famjam today at the Fiesta ng Pateros picnic in Newmarket (Pateros is the part of Manila where my immediate family lived). I decided to test out a project about how young Filipinos and Filipinas viewed their people.

I visited other tables and asked youth to write one positive and one negative about Fils. The horizontal images show what they liked, the vertical pics what they didn’t like.

I told them they could write anything on the white board they wanted, as long as they meant it. I didn’t tell what language to use, nor did I correct spelling.

The word on the left means loves to gossip.

The word on the left means "loves to gossip."

Though they all wrote positives and negatives, it’s the negatives that interested me more…

Balut is a Pateros speciality dish involving a duck egg with a recognisable chick inside.  Cheese Miss is supposed to read tsismis meaning gossip.

"Balut" is a Pateros speciality food involving a duck egg with a recognisable chick inside. "Cheese Miss" is supposed to read "tsismis" meaning "gossip."

FOB means Fresh Off the Boat, a term referring to new migrants (it can be derrogatory depending on who and how its used).

"FOB" means "Fresh Off the Boat," a term referring to new migrants (it can be derrogatory depending on who uses it, and how it's used).

To be fair the girl above was trying to find the word for how new arrivals talk, the girls with her told her to write “fob” for that.

And one last one. I also asked some non-Filipinos, here’s one in the positive category:

For the curious, the other positives listed include: family (this was by far the most popular answer coming up five times), friendly, out-going, caring, religious, smart, and sinegang.

The most common negative was “gossip” (four votes).

I’d love to hear what you think of their answers, what you think it says about the Filipino identity, and how you would answer the question of what you like/dislike about your fellow Fils…

* * *

I found this pretty interesting and after making some adjustments to this project, it will be continued…

Look for the results at the Kultura Festival!!! Kultura is on Saturday 23 August from 12 to 9pm at Bellevue Square Park (in Kensington Market) and at the KPC (167 Augusta).

* * *

For an overview on the Filipino experience here in Toronto see my post “Filipinos in Canada.”

~ by alexfelipe on July 26, 2008.

12 Responses to “Filipino: A Love/Hate Thing”

  1. Alex, I think this is a brilliant idea. You could also expand it to have parents comment on their kids, kids about parents, about life in Canada (I think that one would be really interesting).

    Not that it’s within the scope of this project, but it would be cool to do that with other groups (e.g. homeless).

    Keep up the great work!

  2. This is a great idea.
    It would be really cool if we could get a group of people to do this at a festival or some Filipino community event.

    I’m not surprised, but sort of disappointed at how two physical characteristics made it there. I think that a “colonial” mentality when it comes to aesthetics is one of the great scourges of Asian and Filipino cultures.

  3. You should offer this as a group on facebook and allow people to upload their own whiteboard views. I am sure it will be a runaway hit.

  4. what a great concept

  5. I absolutely love this one Alex. I agree, this should be a roving KPC project. I especially loved how you ended the post – HER. So simple yet so profound, you can feel the love!

    BTW I love how this blog is starting to grow ūüôā more contributors means more perspectives from our Toronto kababayans.

  6. Thanks guys!

    Jasper and Jade: I definately have plans of opening this up to others—but after I do my thing with it! ūüėČ So don’t steal my idea just yet eh?!

  7. Not a problem, you got it Alex…

  8. Hey is that my cuzins!! in newmarket!??

    anyway, genius dude. just the beginning.

  9. ya man, them’s be the Cruz’s. you know I’ve known them for years. small world huh?

    they say ‘hi’ btw!

  10. cool…i’m gonna try this too with my fam…but on post it notes of course! dope, good thinking!

  11. Jen, let’s coordinate. We can exhibit at Kultura?

  12. Hey Alex, Great and creative ideas..LOVE it.
    Dat pinoy thing..Don’t leave without BAON!!!

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