“Pinoy pride… only exists because we think ourselves to be inadequate.” – Diokno

Below is an article written by Pepe Diokno on his own take on Pinoy pride. It is an interesting take on a concept that I feel every Pinoy needs to take personally.

After is my own take on the whole thing.

I encourage you to think about this and share your thoughts to me either by email or by leaving a comment.

Thank you.

Phony pride

By Pepe Diokno

Originally published on June 19th, 2008

With Brillante Mendoza turning up dry at the Cannes Film Festival, and with American Idol ending sans Ramielle Malubay, the Filipino race has again missed the chance to bask in international adulation. Of course, we need only wait until the next Pacquiao fight for a new fix of Pinoy pride. But considering what I’ve said so far, what the heck is Pinoy pride, anyway? Where does it come from? And have we really resorted to defining our national identity via wannabe singers and boxers?

Now, Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, defines pride this way: It is “(attaching) undue importance to the superiority of one’s status.” For Christians, on the other hand, “Pride brings destruction,” — that, from Proverbs 8:13. But Pinoy pride, though, is arguably different.

Ideally, the term should connote respect for our heritage — and not the superiority of our race over others’. But today, Pinoy pride is used as an antonym of shame. At a time when there is so much wrong with our country, it is meant to be the gravitas with which we say, “I am Filipino.” Instead, Pinoy pride has now morphed into an exercise in finding the silver lining.

Like, “I am Filipino, but so is singer Charice Pempengco.”

We jump every time we see a Filipino on foreign TV. The Black Eyed Peas’ “Bebot” gives us orgasms. And I bet you know every Hollywood star who is at least half-Filipino. (Rob Schneider?)

Robin Williams was married to a Filipina. Oh, ABS-CBN’s “Bandila” got nominated for an Emmy. Lea Salonga! Stars wear Monique Lhuillier! A bunch of private-school kids won a world robotics Olympiad! And Michelle Bumgarner has been signed by a major US racing team!

How was that for a dose?

But, “pride is the mask we make of our faults,” goes a Hebrew adage. And the same is true for Pinoy pride. Yes, Filipinos may be talented, hardworking, and world-class. But do we really need to keep telling ourselves we are?

We look around and see evidence that we’re not great. Our streets are dirty. Where is our government taking us? Over 20 years after we fought for democracy, and where are we? Are Filipino children learning in schools? Every day, thousands of Filipinos leave home to be underemployed abroad. And the “Mabuhay!” we all used to say has been replaced by the sound of, “Hello, this is ____ speaking. How may I help you?” (Said with an American twang.)

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people,” says “Narnia” author C.S. Lewis, “and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.”

See, there are real challenges that we Filipinos have to overcome. But instead of facing these, we turn to Pinoy pride. We turn to Pinoy pride to convince us that we’re a capable people. (Why do we need convincing?) We turn to Pinoy pride to assure us that we’re world-class. (Is it because there is a part of us that believes we aren’t?)

The truth is Pinoy pride only exists because we think ourselves to be inadequate. Continue reading