“So, how do you find the Philippines?”
I feel ashamed whenever a reporter or a talk show host ask this question to a foreigner.
What do we expect to hear from them but to say good things about our country, don’t we?
A foreigner then feels obliged to say nice things about the Philippines even if the opposite happened to them.
Some outspoken ones would honestly say that they didn’t enjoy their travel because of pollution, pickpockets etc. etc;
then some onion-skinned Filipinos would declare these foreigners as persona non grata.
I don’t understand why some Filipinos dare foreigners to eat balut, dinuguan and some native delicacies.
I wouldn find it offensive if my French host would dare or insist me to taste frog legs. Not that I consider eating frogs as yucky but I’m not accustomed to eating frogs so the thought of munching frog legs is enough to make me puke.
And of course, there are freeloaders and leeches who take advantage of a foreigner’s extravagance.
On the contrary, there are Filipinos who are so hospitable to foreigners to the extent of being ass-wipers.
Charice’s manager expressed her amusement and disappointment to the Filipino fans for “owning” Jessica Sanchez
(the American Idol runner up who’s half-Mexican and half-Filipino) but not supporting Charice Pempengco who’s a homegrown talent.Jessica’s relatives from her mother’s side are Filipino. The Bugays are from Samal, Bataan and I happen to be from Balanga, Bataan. Kababayan, yes, but only Jessica’s relatives are my kababayan. It does not include Jessica because Jessica, though 50% of the blood that runs in her vein is Filipino, is American. Her upbringing is American. Her culture, no matter how mixed it is, is predominantly American.
I won’t force this sweet young lady to Filipinize herself just to please her Pinoy fans.
Charice Pempengco was not a favorite when she started her singing career on Little Big Star, a talent show in the Philippines.But luck was on her side and before we knew it, she was already a youtube sensation then later, she was rubbing elbows with Ellen Degeneres and Oprah. Filipinos started owning Charice when international celebrities noticed Charice. Pinoy pride, as they said.
But Charice was quick to adapt to American culture and tounge; in just a matter of months, she sported a new image: confident and vibrant.
The Pinoy fans would not understand that sudden change. Charice’s accent could not be compared to Leah Salonga’s because Leah has always had that accent even before she became a Broadway star.
So between Jessica and Charice, the Pinoy fans would definitely root for the former who tries to Filipinize herself rather than the latter who tries to Americanize herself.