Americanized Filipinos

I really wonder why some Filipinos in the US of A are still likely to become Americanized in just a couple of years. Their choice of words is becoming distasteful and very unpleasant to the ears. My mind starts working whenever I hear a Filipino uttering the big F*** or the gross A** words in the presence of people of different nationalities. Is this the way to become “in” the crowd?

Am I being an old school here? Perhaps, that’s just me..

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20 thoughts on “Americanized Filipinos

  1. Hmmm… sounds like Filipino colonial mentality at work, doesn’t it? I’m proud about our ability to quickly adapt and assimilate into other cultures. But I am not happy that

    (a)many of us see foreign/western, particularly American culture as superior to ours,
    (b)we have to flaunt any trace of having gone to the States(or any place abroad), no matter how brief, because of (a),
    (c)we tend to fail to sieve the worthy from the scum of foreign culture and ignorantly brag.
    (d)in this day and age of ready enlightenment, we tolerate and even adulate these
    (e)the foregoing observations tell that many of us are suckers, bigtime!

    And then there’s this sub-set of the Filipino American communities (I heard this is common in Hawaii specially), that when asked about their ethnicity, have to beat around the bush — “Im part Chinese/Spanish/Japanese/what-have-you” — and leave out Filipino. Better for them to just spare the interviewer and say, “I’m a mongrel” Or something. IMHO.

  2. Jun, you had me laughing with your comment!

    Most of us (Filipinos) view people who have been (or been living) in the States as “cool” or well-off. Well, that’s colonial mentality at work and so we see this as normal (for most).

    Being married to an American, I know that soon I will leave our country and see (and live) US for myself, and I do not know what the future holds for me there (career wise). For now, I am enjoying my work and my family. I do not see America as the only place to be successful with our career and all. Sure, we have lesser opportunities here, but if we just maximize what we have, I do not think that we will have a problem (including the government).

    But I have to confess though; whenever I deal with the government, it always gives me a bad day.

    I think, being in a Filipino community abroad is advisable. It keeps your sanity.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. Ever notice how some pinoys, after being in the States for say… 6 months, come back to the Philippines and pretend that they could hardly speak tagalog!!! Pucha! .
    It’s as if they act like they’ve been there for the longest time and have completely lost any knowledge of their native dialect.
    But when they speak english… BAROK naman!

    Posers! Bwehehe! 😛

  4. Hello Chuckie!! I like the “pucha” part, very Pinoy.Ha ha ha!
    Kidding aside, we rock the same boat with regards to this.
    Worst? Some act as if they are already big time, when while they were here in our country, they were nobody. It’s funny, but that’s life. Some people are just plain weirdo.

  5. haha! yeah! just recently, i was watching the news on tv and they were asking this balikbayan for her comment about the Sinulog. LMAO! it was just weird hearing her speak with a regional American accent, with a tinge of provincial Filipino. i don’t observe this in other people, the French for instance.

  6. Morning Ting, long time no see . . . how have you been doing?

    As for filipinos becoming americanized . . . it is not only filipinos it is everyone who have migrated to the US. And it is not only the US, it is also Canada, England, Amsterdam, anywhere . . . even Singapore and Hong Kong.

    Thing is . . . it is only natural. Being human makes us able to adapt, and absorb a variety traits from many social environments. Some of them good . . . some of them bad. Unfortunately, the easiest habits to learn are the bad habits.

    As for the use of profane words . . . it is a common in american society. Some use it as part of everyday speech . . . some use it on occasion . . . and some rarely/never use it. It goes with their background, and the environment they live in. In the Philippines, we have our share of profanity . . . but we don’t use in every day speech, I take that back . . . some do, but that also depends on upbringing. Inside the US, we don’t speak english . . . oh, we say we do, but honestly . . . in america we speak slang-english. America is a mixture of different cultures and ethnic background . . . and over the years . . . the proper english has change with each passing year. Like back home, there are several dialects, but if you listen closely . . . you can still understand each other, but people have a hard time listening, and many government knew that could be problems, which is why we developed Tagalog and other countries Italian, French, Spanish, etc. which would be a common language – but those have changed also into slang versions. In the US, it is similar . . . but we broke the common language and made various slang versions of it.

    As for the use of profanity, I know you abhor it . . . but it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Occasionally, I use the word Frack instead of you know (I still use the other word too), if everyone started using it, it would have the same mean as the other word . . . and eventually it would be as bad as the original word. But using profanity, does not make you part of the in crowd. But to many, it is a common (but consider obscene) way of communicating, and to be fully understood in a variety of ethnic groups. But you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. It is your choice, you do what you feel comfortable doing.

    – –

    As for some of the other comments (you know me . . . sometimes I just talk to much). As for foreign culture being superior than ours . . . (even though I lived in the US 98% of my life) . . . it is not. Because you live in a different country (especially a western nation like the US, Canada, or in Europe) . . . you are considered rich or well off. With the exchange rate the way it is, I can understand why . . . but in fact . . . many people living in the US (I’ll speak from that aspect, since I’ve been here most of my life) are barely making it (some working two jobs, many families have both the husband and his spouse working just to make ends meet). Some are barely making all their bill payments and don’t have any left over to buy food. Some use credit to pay credit . . . just increasing their debt. Some homes, have more than one family living in it, because the mortgage payment and real estate is so high (especially in California). Politics are corrupt too, but it is well concealed, while back home it is obvious. I am willing to wager it is the same in every nation . . . rich or poor.

    As for getting involved with the Filipino Community while you are in the US. Be wary . . . just like the are some filipinos you don’t trust at home, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can trust them abroad. But that is with every culture . . . but a little bit more so in america. Why? Unfortunately, in the US . . . many have this me attitude (it is all about me, I am entitled to anything). Some go with the attitude, if it doesn’t affect or help me, who cares. And that is usually one of the first trait anyone learns when they come to the US. Remember Katrina and 911 in the US . . . sure it was a tragedy . . . but guess what . . . many americans are tired listening to it. The only ones who are not tired of it are those who were affected by those tragedies. Also the Typhoons and the mudslides in December 2006 that occurred in the Philippines . . . many filipino-americans were sadden and worried if it was their family that was affected, and when they realized that they were safe, they went with the attitude, who cares. In the community I live in less than 5% of the filipino community contributed to the relief fund in my area to send to the Philippines. There was more participation for filipino relief from other nations . . . .

    I think I may have said too much . . . I hope I didn’t scare you into not coming to the States . . . lol

  7. Glad to see you here, Lee. Im fine, thank you.
    Coming from an American, you made a clear and convincing comment about the orig post.However, we are talking about “a couple of years” here. Perhaps, people are like a sponge. Does this justify the saying, “if you are in Rome, do what the Romans do”? I remember Simon Cowell’s comment on Carrie Underwood last AI season. He said, “you are a kitten, trying hard to become a tiger”. Talking about AI, I enyjoyed watching the Day 2 of the New York edition episode.

    With my husband, I do not tolerate him talking trash (as simple as SH*T)even if it is NOT directed at me. I always remind him that he is married to a Filipina, who is not fond of hearing “bad” words. Of course, I also have my own share of insanity, but I don’t say it aloud (finds it disrespectful).

  8. Anytime Ting, your 360 is connected to mine, so you still have access to my blog and contraversal point . . . lol.

    True, it does take a little while for people to adapt to the mannerism of the area they live in. But as for rude and obscene behavior, it depends on the person, upbringing (how they were raised).

    As you know, I grew up in the streets when I was barely a teenager . . . so some of these bad words are second nature to me. It is nothing disrespectful to any, unless I meant it to be disrespectful, and you can usually tell with the tone.

    Ting, you were raised to have proper manners, to respectful to those older around you, you are very religious and have a deep love for your family and the lord. Which is why hearing bad words, even occasionally out of the blue . . . drives you (well not drive you, but) upsets you. Because of your upbringing, this will alway upset you, but eventually everyone adapt to the American environment, but you always need to be true to yourself.

    There are also some who were raise with manners, yet they lead secret lives that their parents don’t even know. These are the dangerous ones . . . because they will say one thing and mean something completely differently.

    As for the saying that you quoted “when in Rome, do what the Romans do” . . . it is not talking about their verbal language or bad habit . . . but it was talking about traditions or native mannerism. Like when I am home in the barangay, I use my hands periodically when I eat. When I am in Japan, you bow, introduce yourself with a business card, then ask my question or hold a conversation with another business person. The use of chopsticks, or the way you prepare food . . . basically that quote reference in following the basic traditions of the lands you are visiting. Since the US is a melting pot . . . we lost all focus on traditions, ethics or habits we learned in our home countries. And in time we adopt the American attitude, that we are entitled to everything, and no one is more important than us. Well, it is not just an American attitude . . . the French has the same attitude. (I guess that is why some americans can’t stand the french . . . hahaha . . . to me they are regular people)

    As for American Idol . . . I’ve been watching it too . . . and I am still waiting for Survivor and Amazing Race . . . which is coming out in Feb.

  9. Mabuhay! I can also relate to this. I live in Australia and I’ve met some kababayans who speaks Australian english with a thick Filipino accent and call themselves Aussie-Pinoys. Bloody hell! (Kakahiya!)

    “Then a new era began for the Filipinos. Little by little they lost their ancient traditions, the memory of their past. They forgot their writing, their songs, their poems, their laws, in order to learn by rote alien teachings they did not understand: a morality and an aesthetics different from those the race had inherited from its climate and ways of feeling. They went into decline, belittling themselves in their own eyes. They became ashamed of what was their own and their nation’s in order to admire and praise whatever was foreign and unintelligible. Their spirit became dejected and surrendered.”

    Jose Rizal, Filipinas Dentro de Cien Anos (1889)

    “The true Filipino is a decolonized Filipino”. Renato Constantino

  10. Lee: You always make sense in your postings. You should comment here more often.

    Language is just a part of one’s culture. That’s why I relate it to the aforementioned “Rome..” saying . The post’s essense is “in general”, eventhough I wrote (only) “Americanized”. It can be “Filipinized Europians or Americans”. Also, this is not just talking about choice of language, it is all about forgetting your identity and letting other culture swallowed us.
    I am sure that there are better thingsto do/scquire in getting the “I-belong” feel. Right??

  11. Ilik: Thank you for posting that patriotic excerpts.

    Being westernized is fine as long as we don’t forget (or be ashamed of) our heritage and the (good) values we have as Filipinos including our choice of words.

  12. Ilik: Pinoy ka nga. Pinupuna ang grammers at sfelling. Ahehe. This is such a thought provoking Rizal quote you shared, thank you.

    Tingting: namimiss na ang pagba-blog mo. Hehe.

  13. I am married to a Filipino-American woman, and disagree with Lee’s comment that we in the US have a sense of entitlement.

    I counter that point with the Filipino concept of respect towards all people older than themselves. Respect is a two-way street. You have to earn respect to get respect; I am not entitled to kiss up to you just because you are 4 years older than me.

    I do get mad when people (especially kids) disrepect people who have done nothing wrong to them, but if you treat me like crap, you’re not going to get my respect.

    You can disagree with me, but isn’t being obliged to call your older brother by 2-3 years “Manang (forgive my spelling)” stupid, even if he is the biggest jerk on the planet? If your father was an verbally abusive alcoholic who beat you as a child, would you cover up for him and give him “respect”?

    Another comment: Why do some Filipino-American parents refuse to let their adult children grow up without meddling? Are they afraid of their kids losing their “Filipinoness”, or is this just a part of the traditional Filipino culture?

    My GF was 25, but her mom still wanted to know where she was and when she was coming home almost every day. Mom still felt responsible for her 25 y/o “Baby” until the day I married her, even though she worked full-time, had a college degree, and was able to take care of herself.

  14. Hello Joseph,
    Very well said.
    My family is a very traditional Filipino family (thanks to my mother).
    In general, I like the idea but at some point, I get tired of it too. Too many supertitions, too many ideals, too many restrictions, IT IS JUST CHOKING ME…sometimes, near to death.

    For somebody who works with westerners for about 3 years, I get a tinge of the Western culture especially when it comes to work ethics and professionalism. I like working with them THAN with my fellow Filipinos. Perhaps, because of the idea that NOTHING is personal. However, when it comes to their (western) way of living, it’s not my cup of tea. It’s just too different, too stern, too liberated.

    About respect, I agree with you!!! Respect is easily given to people who respect theirselve and show it to others too. Respect is not just about being the parent, the boss, th eolder sibling, if we want to be respected, we ought to respect others too.

    Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

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