This final article for the Pinoybaiting series will hopefully serve as a wake-up call for Filipinos to go beyond the colonial mentality which has been inculcated in us by colonizers for centuries.
The point that I intend to drive home to our Digital Corner readers is that we do not need to be validated by foreigners in order to feel good about our skills and talents. The main resource person with whom I discussed this topic with was M.A. Buendia.
Buendia said that our evaluation of other Filipinos even in performances seemed invalid. It appears that the only way for a skill to be legitimized is if another race is to say that Pinoys are doing a good job.
“If it’s someone from abroad who recognized Filipinos for a good television show or someone who won a reality show, that’s the only time that we realize how good a local performer is. That’s a sad thing because the truth is, we do not need their validation. We do not need their approval to be able to say that we are world-class and we do know how amazing we are,” Buendia said.
He added, “We already know that and even they know our work ethic. The only difference is that before YouTube, they did not know how to document performances and monetize praises for Filipinos.”
One habit which Buendia pointed out and to which I agree with is how we like searching for links that would relate with our Filipino pride. We want everything to relate to us like an athlete or a Pinoy joining a reality or performance contest.
One example is how everyone in the country and even overseas Filipino workers are waiting for the results of America’s Got Talent featuring Marcelito Pomoy, an extremely talented singer who can belt out soprano and tenor voices with ease.
The fact that Pomoy has disappeared in the Pinoy psyche is quite outstanding. Instead of developing his unique talent here and booking concerts for fans, he has had to compete again to gain global recognition. Imagine if American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson has to go to Manila to join the Tawag ng Tanghalan singing contest so she can pass Filipino standards.
Pomoy already won here in the Philippines and he could have started his career here. But because of our colonial mentality, he needed to be validated by Americans before we start buying his tickets. This is sad as he will have to work twice as hard for something he already deserves and already achieved with excellence once.
America’s Got Talent show is the definition of Pinoybaiting. The show needed Pomoy to attract a wider Filipino audience for their ratings. Pomoy is their puppet and we are all enablers of this.
Sadly, colonial mentality has turned digital as well.