My Philippine Identity

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My Philippine Identity

Identity is the essence of a person which makes him stand out as an individual. There are various factors which help form and evolve a person's persona, and that is what I write about in the follwing essay.

We did not think it mattered! Who needed the "right" car, family lineage, the "right" education, domestic helpers--basically the "right" everything? We perceived all of the above as parts of the pretension of the Philippine society, yet it was so easy for us to ignore and dissociate ourselves from it because we were the products of this "right" term. We could deny the class system and insult it because we were luckily born into the advantageous class, and we had these "right elements" accessible to us. If we became tired of the society we could complain about it or excommunicate ourselves, but since we were considered the "privileged class" we could always return and the level of respect would still be there. We were in a no lose situation in this respect.

The Philippine society consists of distinct class systems which depend, number one, on the family background of a person, then number two, the socioeconomic level. Which family you come from, whether they are in business, in politics, etc. is very important. People really look at surnames. If you have a revered surname you get some kind of automatic respect, even if you are not a very kind person. Money also matters but if you have just recently encountered your wealth and you do not belong to the right kind of family, chances are you will be considered "nouveau riche."

Many of my friends and I used to complain about the materialism of the people, the way we had to act a certain way in front of adults, the social obligations, and how on...

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...e harmonious relationships. These reminders which are trying to reach out to us, so that we may all live together in peace, are extra elements which help push us along the road to better relations. In the end though, people must come to terms with racial, societal, or any kind of discrimination in their own time and pace. That is the only instance that they will be able to get their hatred and awkwardness out of their system. In terms of Philippine Filipinos and Fil-Am relations, as of today, I think that the people are ready to accept each other. It is now the right timing for them to get to know their missing link--their other Filipino half. The occurrence in Boston University was, I feel, the beginning of a trend that will reach all the Filipinos in the United States, and make each and every Filipino part of one group instead of two groups that do not get along.

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