Image from Laz'andre
The Angono Petroglyphs tell us people have been living in our country for at least 5,000 years. That means as a race, we can claim we're not that young, although not that advanced as the old civilizations of the planet. There's a huge gap in our history and our scientists are continually researching to uncover how our ancestors were for 4 and a half milleniums ago, but only so much can be uncovered by the experts. It might be safe to say most of the details have been lost.
|Battle of Mactan Image from Cebu Bluewaters|
New culture followed after the Philippines was sold for 20 million dollars, yet the remnants of Spanish rule still exists to a huge extent plus other cultures that merged with ours. Its now a fusion.
We are the brown, Asian people who were educated by Americans and Christened by Spain. We love basketball although we'd never be great in that sport. Rice is still staple but 9 out of 10 birthday parties or celebration, spaghetti is on the menu. And some put banana ketchup in spaghetti sauce. Heart disease is nature's way of saying game over for most Filipinos, same as with the rest of the world. Bagoong and adobo will always be a mainstay in Filipino tables, and it will be hard to find a Pinoy backing away from a Lechon and eat on the plate with bare hands. Barongs will never go out of style, and Filipiniana surely means classic Pinoy fashion. There's bound to be a walis in every house, whether ting-ting or tambo. Men will always have a peculiar interest in cockfighting and women will always be expected to take care of their elderly parents.
The list can go on and on, there are still numerous things that are distinctively Filipino. However, with globalization, mass media and the internet, we are driven closer to other cultures over impossible distances. The gaps are bridged, and we consume more American, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and other cultures. More faster than ever, the fusion churns everything together, like a blender on steroids. Our concept of identity gets muddled, confused, and exchanged over some stereotypes starting from childhood even up to adulthood. Too bad because we are great assimilators, and on hyper mode, we could be throwing away a lot more than what is necessary.
So who is the Filipino? No one can really say. Though we resemble closely our Asian cousins, we behave and think differently. Yes we can draw it from our history and heritage, but it only speaks about the past. Language? 7,107 islands in an archipelago brings about over a hundred dialects and it wasn't a majority win. Being Filipino is a state of mind nowadays because no one is really sure. It is the age of confusion, the era of individuality, the reduction of stereotypes (you really can't make them go away, many will always be misguided). We are almost at the moment to define who we really are. When the dust settles, we will know by then our distinction. Sounds close enough? Think again.
|Photo from Rappler|