Friday, June 13, 2008

Thoughts on My Second Independence Day Outside of 'Pinas

I find it ironic and kind of sad that more people have commented, in email or via blog or friendster or multiply or whatever, on Friday the13th more than June 12th.

Talking to my Japanese and Chinese co-baristas about national pride yesterday made me sadder. If you ask any of them if they are proud to be Japanese/Chinese/Korean etc you'll hear a resounding "Yes!" but it has been my experience that if you ask any other Pinoys, it'll be a 50-50 chance you'll get a "No way." The rest would say, "Yes, BUT... The government is corrupt," or, "I wouldn't want to deal with other pinoys" or, "I'm happier outside the country" or "We'll never work as a nation."

I get glowing compliments on our ability, as a people, to assimilate into other cultures and speak english. Even the Canadians are surprised by our grammar and diction. I have to explain to them that Filipino is an amazing hybrid of Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and English with the local dialects balancing it for a rich language. I let them know that English is a medium of instruction in our schools, and Filipino, although it is our national language, is not spoken exclusively all over the country.

Someone said, "Wasn't your country an American Colony?" and I had to say, "That's why we celebrate Independence Day."

But we aren't celebrating it. We aren't even mentioning it. So in my quiet corner of Vancouver I will sit and contemplate the loss.

1 comment:

EA Nanes said...

hey... don't worry about it. June 12 next year: you, Tina, and I. let's go get a cake or something.

back here, the dwarf moved the observance to 9 June (well, long weekend, small comfort) and then decided to ditch any celebrations on 12 June.

i know it's not something you want to here, but if the President here doesn't give a damn...

well anyway, next year. the three of us. cake. and tea. alright?