Would you say that colonial mentality continues to exist among Filipinos to this day?

() - September 14, 2008 - 12:00am

Colonial mentality still exists among Filipinos since it’s something that’s been permitted in Filipino society since Spanish times. – Johann Lucas, Quezon City

Maybe unconsciously, the case of OFWs still smacks of colonial mentality though most of them are just victims of circumstance in toiling abroad. – Jim Veneracion, Naga City

Deeply anchored in our psyche

Yes, we haven’t transcended our preference over anything imported (stateside, sabi nga nila). In more ways than one, I somehow find foreign brands a treat. – Ella Arenas, Pangasinan

We speak in English with a Filipino twang. We watch cowboy films and eat hamburgers. Need I say more? – Voz Butuyan, Pangasinan

Yes, lots of “can’t afford” individuals patronize imported products, particularly those made in UK (ukay-ukay), para may dating. – Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City

Yes, in the 1960s, American movies were shown in first run theaters along Recto, Avenida while Tagalog movies were shown only in second run theaters in Quiapo. Foreign music was played in most radio stations, while the music of Eddie Peregrina and Victor Wood could only be heard in Bocaue and Cainta. – Osmundo Lim, Caloocan City

Colonial mentality or “mental colony,” as Gary Lising put it, is deeply anchored in the Filipino psyche. Why, my Lolo Jose remembers how it was during the 1900s. Our leaders sold us out to Uncle Sam so we ended up chasing green cards to live in the land of milk and honey. How pathetic. – G. Calupitan, Quezon City 

Colonial mentality is alive and well among us. Just listen to what people say, watch TV, go to the malls and see kids enjoying burgers and lot more. – L.C. Fiel, Quezon City

Second-rate copycats

Promiscuity, European fashion, food and wine. We love everything imported and hate everything and anything that is local. We do not even know who we really are. Ah, that “colonial mentality” topic again. Look, whitening products sell like hot cakes; we ape anything Americans do: Body piercing, hair dye, drugs. – Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan

It used to be that colonial mentality meant “preference for the US” mentality. Now, it’s Japanese. Our Japayukis prefer to learn Nippongo and marry Japanese. – Vic Alim, Caloocan City

Oo, at guilty ka din doon dahil mas gusto mong gamitin ang wika ng Amerikano kaysa sarili mong wika. – Chris Navarro, Las Piñas City

Yes, many Filipinos act more like Westerners, particularly North Americans. Many Filipinos are proud of acting as Caucasian clones and speaking with a bad American twang like, “Ah tald ya not to goh toh, yah goh toh, naw luk at.” – Rey Onate, Palayan City

Yes, just look at stores carrying foreign brands at the malls and fakes in other places! – William Bacani, Bulacan

Kitang kita naman ang isipang kolonyal lalong-lalo sa mga kabataan ngayon na wala nang paggalang sa watawat. – Dennis de Jesus, Manila

A penchant for all things foreign

No, I don’t think so. It’s just that Filipinos seem to be fascinated with anything that is foreign. – Edgar Artates, Parañaque City

Yes, for as long as we think that their system and products are better than ours, we’re killing our identity. This colonial mentality will stay. – Cris Rivera, Rizal

Colonial mentality is here to stay. Filipinos only have eyes for anything that’s galing sa ‘Tate, making him forget to patronize his own. – E. Linsanga, Isabela

Yes, colonial mentality among Filipinos continues to exist up to this day. The majority of Filipinos continues to patronize foreign products. – Noel Castro, Laguna

 Yes, as shown by Filipinos’ penchant for imported items. – C.B. Manalastas, Manila

Yes, and sometimes it’s because their idol endorsed the product or it’s a sort of status symbol. – Gerry de Cano, Muntinlupa City

Era of globalization

Absolutely. Just look at all the things around you and you can see the influence of foreigners in our daily lives, from the food we eat, the cars we drive, and the structures we build. – Alfredo Carballo, Negros Occidenta

The great majority of our people now were born after we gained our independence from a foreign power. Most of them may know little about colonial mentality. After that historic event in 1946, colonial mentality, as manifested in the way Filipinos behaved, such as preference for imported or “stateside” products over locally produced goods, gradually diminished. However, there came about a greater force that has influenced the Filipino behavior: world commercialism, which turned into “fadism” and “status-symbolism,” or the use of popular brands. This new phenomenon has been enhanced by globalization, cable television and the magic of the Internet. Even older people like me are now influenced by this new international order that has swept the whole world. – I.Q. Calata, Parañaque City

If Filipinos of today still love the things and practices of those who colonized our nation and even of the things and practices of other nations, this is not colonial mentality. We are now in a global world and many are living in and have traveled in every corner of this world. Filipinos of today are simply choosy and discerning. – Rodolfo Capili, Caloocan City

In this day and age, where free trade, climate change and global oil crisis exist hand in hand with cyber- technology, colonial mentality is meaningless. – Leandro Tolentino, Batac City

Worse than before

Colonial mentality, I guess, has even jumped to the next level with the advent of high-tech gadgets that provide us with information on lifestyles in high-tech countries like the US. We can immediately find out fads we can salivate on, thus, we crave signature items, even fake ones due to our limited discretionary income. Our government leaders are the worst models of frugality. They wear expensive genuine imported items like Armani, Bally, diamond-studded gold Rolexes, and big diamond rings as if they were Mafiosi. They live in palatial houses, with second equally posh houses for their mistresses, just like what we see in Hollywood movies that depict the lifestyles of the filthy rich. This is proof that we are trapped in colonial mentality, to the detriment of Filipino originality. – Elpidio Que, Vigan

 Yes, and it has become stronger through the years for Filipino identity seems to be taken for granted and we prefer imported products. – Ricardo Tolentino, Laoag City

 Colonial mentality is obviously penetrating deeper into Filipino culture. Before, it was only in urban areas but now, colonial mentality prevails even in remote rural areas. Our old inkong, impo, tatang, inang, amang, ineng. kalesa, kariton, kareta, harana, kundiman, tula, balagtasan, suman, tupig, kayamangging kalagitan, pusod, tirintas, atbp. are already strangers to the young generation. The problem is that it does not make them any better than our authentic Filipino culture. – Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City

For want of a better life

No, it doesn’t. We’re only attracted to the economic opportunities. The promise of a good life continues to attract many Filipinos to go to the US and other developed countries. – Nap Cinco, Rizal

With the absence of any beacon to guide us, would you blame some if they look beyond our shores for inspiration? – Ruel Bautista, Laguna

When I go out jogging, I wear my Adidas anti-sweat shirt and shorts. I wear my Casio watch and pedometer. I have my Nike running shoes on, and I have my iPod hooked up. For a moment, I think I am guilty as everyone else, but I sure love the obstacles that only Philippine roads offer. I love my country, but I love myself more. – Rico Fabello, Parañaque City

Look at our shows

When it comes to TV programs, our colonial mentality is at its peak. A lot of “Koreanovelas” flood the airwaves. Local versions of foreign reality and game shows are being shown. Pinoy Dream Academy, Wheel of Fortune, Deal or No Deal, Big Brother and even Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? are all foreign. – Patrick Miranda, Marikina City

We think we’re inferior

Very much so. Whatever the root causes, this attitude contributes greatly to the inability of local products to compete with those of larger multinationals. Indeed, the only local industries that seem to be thriving are those that produce fake or imitations of their better-known counterparts. Filipinos have the tendency to think that anything produced in the US (and to a lesser degree, European and other foreign countries) are of higher quality than locally-produced goods. – Ube Wenceslao, Imus, Cavite

Go to an appliance store and ask where a certain product was made in. If it’s made in the Philippines, the sales clerk will most likely tell you it is made of imported materials, but only assembled here. If it is assembled in the country, then it is made in the Philippines. Maybe there’s a consensus among Filipino consumers that Philippine-made products are of low quality. That’s colonial mentality. – C.K. Yeo, Iloilo City

We even want to look like them

Brown people who wish to look white by taking pills or wearing cosmetics on their faces and bodies exhibit colonial mentality. Why not be proud of the brown color God gave us on our skins? – Jose Fabello Jr., Misamis Oriental

Filipinos go for almost everything the West has to offer. Women use skin whiteners to look Caucasian, and local TV networks prefer doing foreign reality show knock-offs. – Norberto Robles, Taguig

Yes, it is. A lot of Filipinos are still crazy about getting nose-lifts, bleaching their skin white, patronizing and flaunting imported items. – Ed Alawi, Davao City

It comes with foreign aid

Yes, colonial mentality has afflicted us and this affliction will stay with us as long as we depend on foreign assistance particularly from the US. The truth hurts. – Leonard Villa, Laoag City

Yes, because we owe a deep sense of gratitude to them which we could not forget until our last breath. Just like that of our love and respect. – Romeo Caubat, Masbate

It’s quality and affordability we’re after

Consumers just want value for their money. If they prefer to buy imported goods, it has nothing to do with colonial mentality. We should blame our factories for coming out with low-quality goods. BFAD, the Philippine standard and other government agencies, are also to blame for not monitoring the quality of locally-made products. One other thing: imported quality goods – like clothes, appliance, food stuff and raw materials – are oftentimes cheaper than locally made products. – Robert Young Jr., San Juan

Imported goods are always present inside balikbayan boxes. We patronize these products wholeheartedly because of their quality. – Edwin Castillo, Batangas

Colonial mentality is as alive as bayanihan. The truth is, these days, a Filipino is automatically introduced to all sorts of imported things as soon as he is born. We have imported baby apparel, bottled or canned foods, toys, clothes and educational books. As he grows older, he’s even more immersed in an environment where being “in” means adorning himself with signature items and eating burgers and pasta instead of rice and vegetables. I should know, because I practice it simply because quality matters a lot, and I want every cent spent well. Anyway, there’s also lots of sariling atin that I can’t do without. It’s simply being practical and gearing up my kids for the global realities. – Imee Aglibot, Rizal

Yes, and there’s nothing wrong about having colonial mentality especially if it is in pursuit of good quality or excellence. – Rey Ibalan, Antipolo City

I am tired of colonial mentality being blamed for some problems besetting the Philippines. I think it is a matter of choice. To me, is it colonial mentality or quality? So long as the Philippines fails to produce quality products, then others will opt to patronize imported products. It is the value judgment of the Filipino that is manifesting here, not really the so-called colonial mentality. – Edwin Monares, Marikina City

I doubt that the buying and preference of foreign-made items means colonial mentality. It really just comes down to the quality and, at times, the affordability of imported goods. – Dino Monzon, Caloocan City

Love your own

I believe so, especially among the youth in some schools and in some offices, especially in Makati. They buy imported items that are actually of the same quality as Filipino-made products, which, I must say, are pricey, too. But for people like me who know how hard it is to earn money these days, colonial mentality is gone. We also have signature products that are even better than foreign brands, so let’s patronize our own. It also boosts our economy. – Rose Leobrera, Manila

It’s gradually diminishing

That’s quite evident in the cities, suburbs, countryside, yet noticeably dissipating among the young breed. Datuism, which is fiefdom, is one form. – Nestor Buñag, Mandaluyong City

Foreign domination has made us subservient for a long time. Colonial mentality still has a hold on us, although it’s gradually diminishing. – Concepcion Gaspar, Laoag City

Its vestige in our preference for anything imported is now diminished by economic difficulty. The NFA’s US rice couldn’t even be an option for the poor. – C.B. Manalastas, Manila

Debasing the country

A big number of Filipinos prefer to be identified with prosperous nations and I feel like throwing up listening to them debase their country. – Rodolfo Talledo, Angeles City

Views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The STAR. The STAR does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication also reserves the right to edit contributions to this section as it sees fit.


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