I think I'm beginning to understand foreigners who think we tend to go overboard with the "proud to be Pinoy" bit.
On Facebook, there are these pages like Amazing Places and Fascinating Places that feature awesome photos taken in scenic spots all over the world. You see comments by people of various nationalities, usually expressing awe at the beauty of each place.
If you read the comments of photos taken in the Philippines - that of Mayon Volcano or of our beaches or other nature spots - you will surely come across more than one "proud to be Filipino" comment. And it seems we're the only ones who do this. There are photos taken in Las Vegas, in Montana, Indiana, several places in the US, but you never see a "proud to be American" comment anywhere. Same goes for photos from different countries. I have yet to see a "proud to be Canadian" or "proud to be Aussie" comment in these threads. (I think I'd be annoyed if every photo of the Eiffel Tower had some "proud to be French" comment.)
Is there really a need for us to declare how proud we are every chance we get? I'm sure every person in the world is proud of whichever country they come from, but it seems we have a greater need to convince others that we are no different.
I'm beginning to see this "proud to be Pinoy" phrase more as a defensive statement rather than a simple declaration of something true. It's as if not saying it meant the opposite. It's as if the whole world thought little of us and this was our way of fighting back. Maybe deep down, this is what we really believe.
And we want so badly to change what we perceive to be their image of us.
We hunger for compliments and recognition. Every bit of praise is like a major victory. We'll latch on to it and beat our chest and say "you better believe it!" instead of simply and confidently nodding in agreement. "Proud to be Pinoy" is a battle cry, something to keep our spirits up, and yes, one can say that the Filipino fighting spirit is a good thing to have. I just wish we weren't in battle mode all the time.
I would love to see the day when Pinoy triumphs all over the world are too many to count that we take them for granted, when every compliment we get for the beauty of our land is something that makes us simply smile in humble gratitude, maybe even shrug a bit because it's something we're so used to getting. I dream of the day we no longer feel the need to cry out "I'm proud to be Pinoy!" because that would merely be stating the obvious. Because we'd know deep in our hearts that the world already thought highly of us. And if they didn't... well, we couldn't care any less. Because love and pride for our country would be something each Filipino knew, not something we needed for the world to believe we had.
My name is Trina Belamide and I'm a songwriter and record producer.
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