Ah, Filipinos… Full of national spirit, pride, resilience, and hospitality.
But Filipinos on the Internet? Now that’s a different story.
If you have been living under a rock recently, a video by Many People, Many Places on Facebook, featuring 70 people from different countries, went viral on the Internet. It’s a project of Conde Nast Traveller, an international travel brand, which features the differences and/or similarities in various countries.
That project was a chance to see the representation of different nationalities in the world. As we all know, minorities have long been fighting for proper representation in the media. Which might explain why several Filipinos got angry, upset, or saddened by the woman who misrepresented the Filipino language and culture in those videos. The comment section was flooded by the sentiments of Filipinos to change the Philippines representative, some even cursing the woman in the video for answering a lot of things incorrectly.
The questions are relatively easy, but our PH rep just couldn’t get the answers right.
In one video, 70 people were asked for tongue twisters from their homelands. Some were speaking their native language and perfecting a tongue twister. While the Filipino representative said, “There’s really no tongue twister.”
So how about “Minekaniko ni Monico ang makina ni Monica?” or the simple “Bituka, Botika, Butiki?” or even, “Kabilugan ng buwan, buwan ng kabilugan?”
In this episode of Many People Many Countries, citizen's reveal the funny tongue twisters from more than 70 different countries.
Posted by Many People, Many Places on Thursday, 14 June 2018
In another video, they were asked to say cheers in their native language. The Filipina woman said: “There’s actually no cheers in the Philippines, but since it’s Americanized, Cheers!”
It seems like she had never walked in the streets of the Philippines and never heard of the word, “Tagay!”
If you grew up in the Philippines, answering these questions would have been a no-brainer.
The Filipino culture is rich. Filipinos who are deeply rooted in the country’s culture would not forget about it even if they live abroad. As for our language, it is really distinctive for we have numerous dialects that we speak and hear.
Our PH rep looks a lot like a Filipina, but she seemed distant from true Filipino culture. Even as simple as, “how do you count in your country?” was answered incorrectly. She simply answered, “one, two, three…” but in reality, we also count in Tagalog: “isa, dalawa, tatlo…”
But we have to admit, our history of being colonized by the Westerners was the reason we were taught how to read, write and speak English. It’s part of our basic education to speak English. Which is also why we, most of the time, count in “one, two, three” and sing “Happy Birthday to you” instead of “Maligayang Bati.”
Reading, writing and speaking in English is kind of a big deal when it comes to presenting one’s self — in job interviews, in presenting or reporting in class, and writing. In fact, we are guilty of using English as a means of superiority over others.
Remember when everybody bullied Lyca Gairanod because she was unable to sing the lyrics of Havana?
And now, suddenly, the lady who appeared in Many People, Many Places was a bad representation?
As Filipinos, where do we stand?
Many People, Many Places heard out the cry of the Filipinos and said that they take full responsibility in respectfully representing every country. Through a Facebook status, they said:
We have received numerous comments in response to some of our Many People, Many Places videos, in which real people from…
However, they did not mention whether they replaced our country’s representative or not. Let’s see in their future videos.