As a Filipina, Ive often fought checking myself for signs of colonial mentality. The position is rooted so deep in my head that sometimes I dont realize Im committing it. If youre a awake Pinoy( or any other colonized race for that are important ), you can relate to how challenging it can be to maintain the right amount of national pride so that it doesnt become blind fanatical nationalism, but likewise so it doesnt regress into internalized racism.
Last year I wrote an aggressive part expressing my frustration towards middle class and upper class Filipinos, which I now realise has levels that also applies to lower class/ poor Filipinos who shouldnt be blamed for circumstances brought about by its own history and present oligarchical civilization.( I still stand by my view that financially well-off Filipinos and privileged Filipinos who have access to resources, the internet, and education, but choose to remain ignorant are the worst ). But the committee is also revealed another side of colonial attitude extremism.
While I failed to understand the dynamics of classism at the time of writing, got a couple of Filipinos sent me rape treats and insults on my page for not being enough of a true Filipino. It dawned on me that all the persons experiences colonial mentality in a different way. Our internalized persecution has many layers and is inter-webbed with other social facets like classism, sexism, and racism.
No matter how awake we think we are, each and every one of us still have a lot to learn and unlearn. Some of us may not realize were displaying signs of internalized racism, while others may not realize theyre using their nationalistic pride as a pretext to harass others.
So this year Im going to try a different road. I asked different Filipinos from different backgrounds what they suppose constitutes as colonial mentality in the hope we can identify and correct the symptoms within ourselves. Feel free to add yours to the list.
50 Possible Signs You Are Still Subjugated By Your Colonizers:
1. Hating the color of your skin, specially if you are dark skinned.
2. Use whitening products to lighten your scalp. Glutathione injections, bleaching soaps, whitening lotion, etc. Did you know these can be really harmful and can increase the chances of you get skin cancer? Dont sacrifice your health just so you can look like your colonizers!
3. Being seriously worried about getting a tan. You avoid the sun. The only day you ever considered get tanner or eventually desiring your natural skin was when your favorite celebrities started promoting tan skin.
4. Making fun of others and seeming down on them for their dark skin.
5. Giggling at/ making fun of/ discriminating against indigenous people.( e.g. Mamanwas, Igorots, Atis, Bajaos, etc .) If you think native Filipinos are disgusting, lower class, thieves, or in any way inferior than you please check yourself. Yes, inducing jokes about their culture and physical appearance counts.( check out this story of an Igorot man being denied entry to a bus despite having money for a fare)
6. Not liking or consuming literally any Filipino media. Seriously, you dont like ONE Filipino song or band? Not even Bamboo or Rivermaya or Eraserheads? You dont like ANY Filipino shows? Not even Indie cinemas?
7. Talking rudely towards people who you dont think is acting like a or badmouthing anybody who says something about Filipinos you dont agree with, even when it comes from a constructive place. If you harass or gang up on someone online or tell person they deserve to die or get raped, your nationalism is misguided.
8. When you think Filipino accent is( not trendy) or lousy, but imagine any other accent( especially Western accents like French, American, British, Australian, Spanish, or Swedish) sounds nice or beautiful. Same moves if you blame someone for not speaking/ writing good English.
9. You judge person based on how fluent they are in English.
10. You value English more than your own language.
11. Thinking Filipinos who date/ wed non-Filipinos are traitors and not real Filipinos.
12. Thinking Filipinos who date/ marriage non-Filipinos( specially Whites) are super luck and have won the lottery.
13. Saying you dont want to date Filipinos, Asians, or other minority races because you like white people and its “( Wassup, Lily Maymac)
14. Saying you dont want to date fellow Filipinos because you believe in Filipino stereotypes that they are overly jealous, possessive, immature, sluggish, uneducated, corny, and unfaithful. You claim you if you just wed a Filipino.
15. If you are married to/ dating a foreign person, you immediately follow the principles and beliefs of your partner and his family without hesitation.( e.g. If you are married to a Trump supporter, you 100% assistance Trump even though you only migrated from Philippines and have not followed US politics)
16. If you live abroad and are largely surrounded by foreign colleagues/ friends, you often find yourself reasoning,
17. If you live abroad, youre afraid of arriving off to your foreign peers as threatening and too political when it comes to topics such as racism and colonialism. You dont wishes to voice out your discomfort if they say something you feel is racist, because perhaps theyll think youre too sensitive and cast you out of the social group. You dont wishes to potentially alienate your foreign pals, so you rarely want to discuss serious topics such as race, gender, or religion.
18. You consider European features to be the standard for charm long and straight-out nose, almond shaped eyes, blue/ grey/ green eyes, light skin and whisker. Meanwhile, you believe local features are ugly or boring flat and broad snout, black/ dark-brown eyes, dark skin, curly hair.
19. You are under the impression that American, French, Japanese, Korean, etc. meat, clothes, brands, and other products to be far superior than local.
20. Favoring First World countries beliefs, literature, artwork, and mythology because you declare theyre better than your homecountrys.( Brooooo, Filipino mythology is literally the best !)
21. Unconsciously( or consciously ?) considering native artists like Whang Od chiefly important for what they can give you. If you reacted like when “youve heard” she was sick, you might want to consider your priorities.
22. Calling Lumads, homeless people, and activists “and ”
23. Not wanting to interact with other Filipinos if you live in a foreign country because you assume theyre merely interested in drama and( rumor) and you”
24. You rarely question what you are fed of determining whether by the Church, media, celebrities, or politicians.
25. Youd instead own a pedigreed home pet( Golden Retriever, Chihuahua, German Shepherd, Siamese Cat, British Short Hair, etc .) than adopt a dog/ feline from the street or the animal shelter.
26. You think if you befriend enough foreigners and act like them, you will be superior to other people in your own race.
27. Bending over backwards to accommodate foreign people even when they act rude or are benefiting from you/ other locals, yet never extending the same quantity of politenes towards your co-citizens. In fact, you do not mind criticizing or physically assaulting your or maids or any house-help because you believe they are of a lower status and works for you, so you have the right to be abusive towards them.
28. You like to copy Hollywood or Western way, specially promiscuous fashion like Kylie Jenner, BUT simultaneously think indigenous people wearing g-strings or being topless are indecent, antiquated, and backwards.
29. Believing Filipino clothes are bearing or ugly, especially the tribal and traditional styles, and would never be caught dead wearing one. You opt glamorous suits and gowns.
30. When youre browse, you think anything Filipino-made is cheap and trashy, especially items made out of materials and textile like pia, rattan, and abaca.
31. Claiming Filipino epithets are unsophisticated and making fun of those who posses those epithets such as Tudtud, Bayani, Isagani, Liwayway, Luzviminda, etc. You would rather name future developments babe something like Hermione, Chanel, Paris, Alexander, or Aloha.
32. You look down on others who are not able to render( or prefer not to buy) Western branded products. For instance, you think someone has no style if they can afford to buy Gucci Perfume, but instead choose to use Bambini Cologne.
33. You make fun of the” black guy/ girl in Hollywood movies and you will never ever consider marrying a black person.
34. You think is a negative term when someone tells it to you. You also think its a valid style to insult others.
35. You have at least once said to someone,”
36. When you first heard there was a Filipino member in The Black Eyed Peas, you instantaneously presumed “its been” Taboo( tall, skinny light-brown skin ). You never expected it to be apl.de.ap because you concluded he is”
37. You think people from other dark-skinned races like African, African American, Indian, Sri Lankan, etc. are unattractive.
38. Having no doubt a Filipino baby will grow up to be attractive if it has at least half non-Filipino genes.( Except, maybe, if the other mother is black ).
39. Youve never detected it problematic that American movies/ Tv displays almost never have any Filipino characters or apply any Filipino performers, despite the fact Filipino-Americans are the second largest Asian population in the USA.
40. Youve never discovered it problematic that bookstores merely sell very, very few Filipino books , novels, or comics.
41. Colonial mentality is not limited to desiring White People. If you like other countries culture more than your own( for example: K-POP, Japanese culture ), then you may have to check yourself.
42. Youre embarrassed by your mothers when they speak broken English with a heavy Filipino accent.
43. You get annoyed at them for not knowing how to operate engineering by themselves. You detest teaching them how to use their iPads, cellphones, computers. You are astounded they still cant figure out how to navigate the internet.
44. Youre hyper-partisan. You firmly trust that one certain political party is the answer to all the countrys many problems, and you get defensive and upset if someone else topics the motives or capabilities of the politicians you support.
45. You are easily offended by any criticism about the Philippines/ Filipinos, irrespective how valid or harmless.
46. You dont care at all if people, especially foreigners, say racist gags or unfair commentary towards the Philippines/ Filipinos. You laugh with them and concur by saying how Filipinos are stupid, gullible, etc.
47. You teach children/ young Filipinos that” means being accommodating and welcome, most especially towards strangers. You can not see your definition of hospitality is in fact synonymous with modern colonial mentality.
48. You are prejudiced towards Muslims or native healers or anyone who is not Christian or Catholic. Remember our current belief was forced upon us by the Spaniards.
49. You blame the poorest of the poor for many things. You even blame them for being born poor and remaining poor! You believe it is the homeless and poor people who are the root of the countrys economic problems, specially poor households who elevate 5+ infants. You also become sad if a foreign sightseer get into some sort of unlucky situation like “losing ones” valuables, yet you will not bat an eye if there is a starving beggar asking alms from you. You are sure these” earn a great deal of money simply by begging on the street.
50. You believe the only behavior to” from its current impoverished and corrupted government is if the USA or some othercountry swoops in to aid.