How Filipino Can Be Made Less Of A Novelty
Hindi lang pang Buwan ng Wika ang pagiging Pinoy
For a country that prides itself in its national pride, it’s hard to understand why Filipinos find it hard to be outwardly Pinoy. Think about it, we wear clothes from Japan (even ukay-ukay finds are made elsewhere in Asia), eat food inspired by places littered around Europe and religiously watch films and series produced in the United States. It’s actually a little funny how we laud every success of a kababayan, but very rarely support our own.
And before stones are thrown and a debate rises up, we know that there’s truth in saying you cannot take the Pinoy out of a Filipino. Local dishes will always have a warm spot in our stomachs, OPM will continue to give us chills and teleseryes are beloved the nation-over. But maybe it’s time to start putting our money where our mouths are.
There are so many great films out there that were created from the ground up by Pinoys. Think Honor Thy Father, Birdshot, General Luna, Ang Panahon ng Halimaw… the list goes on and on. Even the likes of A Second Chance and When A Man Loves A Woman tickles our fancy once in a while. And you know what? There’s no shame in watching local. It shouldn’t be some guilty pleasure you watch on a workday because your friends would rather watch Deadpool 2 on the weekend.
The likes of Sarsa, Manam and Mesa are staples for family get-togethers. They hit the spot when you need a good dose of local comfort food. The thing is, there’s so much more to explore outside of these air-conditioned walls. Check out food markets that offer ready-to-eat and cook-at-home goods, try a humble entrepreneur’s modern shot at classic dish. The possibilities are endless, much like a Pinoy’s creative juices.
Some people have said that OPM is slowly dying but we say this: If you think OPM is dying, it’s only because you continue to listen to Billboard’s top 100, because the local music scene is alive and doing very well, thank you. All you need to do is pop into a bar with a stage and you’ll hear some of the best renditions and original pieces your ears have heard.
Okay, we’re not saying wear a Barong Tagalog all the time or slap on a Baro’t Saya every week. We’re not even saying get your entire wardrobe from Bench or Penshoppe. What we are saying, however, is that you can get a few local pieces and—even better—don’t look down at people that do. Who cares if your shorts are from Zara and cost P1,500 when his are from some local store and cost P300? Really, who is the loser there anyway?
Not to mention the fact that a simple accessory with some local flair has the potential to bring your outfit from grocery-worthy to event-best dressed.
Bags, shoes, pillow cases, wallets, home décor at pati mga pamaypay—all available locally. And it’s not hard to get your hands on them either. They come from every province, made by careful hands and talented individuals. And they are beautiful to look at—there’s absolutely no denying that—but just because they’re beautiful doesn’t mean they should be kept on display.
All products available in Rustans Makati.
There’s no excuse for making a novelty out of being Filipino. Nasa dugo mo naman, diba? Ilabas mo na rin kaya.
Art Alexandra Lara