(Note: This post has been revised and updated. Changes and additions are written in italics.)
"Ok, Dorothy, just click those ruby slippers, follow your heart and say..."
Two days ago, I wrote about my fascination for snow and how I wished we have it here in our country so I could ski and make snow angels this Christmas. The post attracted a number of comments, most of which expressed appreciation for its candor and vivid descriptions of how we Filipinos celebrate the holiday season. Surprisingly, all of these comments were from people residing in the
In my 2 and a half months of blogging, I never thought nor imagined that my blog would be received by such a wide audience. And that a nurturing, open-minded host of diverse nationalities would adopt me as part of their blogging family.
For this, I am equally amused and flattered.
Let there be no mistake, I may be yearning for snow but I love being a Filipino. I am proud of the color of my skin and like Dorothy, I can say that there’s no place like home. There’s no place like the Philippine soil.
And so, it goes. I feel I have to do this. It is my responsibility – as a Filipino and as an adopted son to my blogging family, the only brown boy amidst white men and women - to tell you more about my beloved country.
If you really don’t care much about it, then stop reading. This post is not for you. But, if you are like me and a handful of people who would like to enrich their knowledge about different cultures, then by all means, carry on.
We are also home to the world’s smallest volcano - Taal Volcano, a 406-meter-high crater, described as "a crater within an island within a lake" because it stands as an island at
And, the world’s largest eagle -, the Philippine eagle. Not to mention some of the world’s finest beaches like Boracay,
Filipinos are generally, happy people. We smile, even when we have problems. We laugh, even at times of crisis. We crack jokes about our own trials and tribulations. Where else can you find a TV coverage of a flashflood where children riding in make-shift bancas wave at the camera in delight, grabbing their 15 minutes of fame, while their house is sinking underwater? We make jokes about “Erap”, (deposed President Joseph Estrada) even if he is listed as the 10th most corrupt leader in the world.
Theater: Lea Salonga, a Tony and Laurence Olivier awardee for her performance in Miss Saigon in Broadway.
Film: Dean Devlin (director/producer of Independence Day, Godzilla and The Patriot), Tia Carrere, Lou Diamond Philips, Phoebe Cates and Rob Schneider.
Music: Nicole Scherzinger (lead singer of Pussycat Dolls), Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas, Jasmine Trias (American Idol 3rd placer), Mutya Buena of Sugababes and Jocelyn Enriquez, Julio Iglesias Jr. and Enrique Iglesias.
Here’s another music trivia – did you know that Latina-American pop star Christina Aguilera lost to Filipina vocalist Josephine Roberto aka Banig during the International Star Search years ago? In a mid-1999 MTV chat, she said that competing against someone of Banig's age was "not fair." Banig was a few years younger then than Christina. Hmmm…
Sports: Manny Pacquiao (who has beaten almost all of Mexico’s toughest warriors on the boxing ring including Erik “El Terible” Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera), Efren “The magician” ‘Bata’ Reyes (who has conquered the World 9 ball billiards championship so many times, he has become a living legend), bowling olympian Paeng Nepomuceno, and Eugene Torre, the first ever international Grandmaster from Asia who won at the Chess Olympiad in Nice, France in 1974
Speaking of movies, did you know that a lot of your favorite Hollywood films were shot in the
Filipinos are a freedom-loving bunch. We were conquered, not once, not twice, but thrice! But our ancestors have always shown them that we Filipinos can really fight when our freedom is threatened.
First attempt was made by the Spaniards, led by no less than Ferdinand Magellan. It is also the reason why our country is called as such, as Magellan christened it after King Philip II of
The second was the Japanese, coinciding with World War 2. And the third, well, you guessed it right, the Americans. Though among the three, The
It is in the
We are the first in
We invented some of the world’s greatest inventions. A Filipino, by the name of Eduardo
Filipinos love food, period. We are, naturally hearty eaters. Aside from three square meals a day, we’ve snacks in between – meriendas at 9 am and 3 pm. And if we stay up late, we have midnight snacks as well. We cannot drink beer without “pulutan” or any food served. We are also fond of using condiments whenever we eat – there’s vinegar, “patis” or fish sauce, soy sauce, “bagoong” or shrimp paste, “Mang Tomas sarsa” or lechon gravy, and the likes. I myself cannot eat without patis, suka, toyo (soy sauce), seasoning and catsup near the dining table.
The Philippines is the third largest english-speaking nation, next to the US (of course) and the UK.
There you have it. Just a string of facts about us Filipinos and our beloved country. I’m sure there are a lot more out there that I am unaware of – side stories, heritage passed from one generation to the next, that I, nor the internet are fully unaware of. For now, however, this collection of info would do, so you could get to know us better.
“The world is a small place, and we are but tiny creatures roaming around, bumping along each other. Why then, don’t we introduce ourselves to one another?”
I hope you find this post even the slightest bit informative and entertaining.
Thank you all for reading.