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I am new on this forum. I searched and did not find this topic exactly so decided to give this a try. I apologize if it has been discussed before making this old news... I have lived here for 3 1/2 years now, for two years on Samal Island and here in Davao for 1 1/2. I noticed early on that, whenever I went to a grocery store, restaurant, other store, wet market or simply walked on a street or rode my motorcycle that I seemed to draw a lot of stares. Sometimes I would hear the common, "Hey Joe!" mostly from kids or young adults. I didn't know how to react so mostly tried to ignore this. At times, I would be parking my bike and notice several young men just hanging out on their bikes and staring hard at me. Sometimes I would stare back until they looked away finally and a few times I smiled, but mostly, again, tried to ignore it. I just found it unsettling since I was unprepared for this sort of behaviour. Now I have grown more accustomed to it. My partner suggested that people stared due to ignorance - lack of formal and informal education about foreigners. She also said that people stared because I am tall with blue eyes and that there was no malice, just bare curiosity. Since moving to Davao, I notice much less staring and fewer, "Hey Joe!" calls, but there are still some. When in Manila, Cebu or Olangapo, there seemed to be little to no staring and no calling out. I am guessing it is just because people in those places are used to seeing more foreigners there. However, when my partner (who is very smart, and while not a raving beauty or very young, is still very attractive and younger than me (I am in my 60's)) and I are out together in malls or restaurants, etc., we both see people staring at us as a couple. With some we can actually read possibly distaste in their expressions while others it seems again just curiosity and yet others it looks like just a blank 1,000 yard stare... So I am just posting this to remark that this behaviour - I was taught NOT to stare when I was a little kid - does bother me a bit and I am still trying to get used to it. I like living here and find most people to be friendly and respectful (except some of the drivers in their Fortuners). I would appreciate any comments or advice.
What is the most disturbing about the Philippines and its culture? (Written by a Filipino) Filipinos actually carry with them very racist behaviors especially against dark-skinned people. There are a couple of derogatory terms used in the Philippines I’m familiar with to refer to someone who has dark skin complexions, “ulikba” and “nog-nog”. These two words are very demeaning and hurtful. If you’re a Black person visiting the Philippines and you happen to visit the provinces, people might call you “n***er” because a lot of people are not sensitive to the idea of racism against Black people and to their history. I want to make it clear here though that Filipinos calling a Black person a n***er surprisingly does not carry racist connotation. For many Filipinos, “n***er” is the common vocabulary word used to refer to Black people instead of “black” This does not only happen in the provinces of course, it also happens in the big cities. People may not say it out loud but there’s a deep bias against dark-skinned people among Filipinos whether it is of their own or people of foreign origin. There’s arguably not a single person in the Philippines who would want to be dark-skinned. Most, if not all, want to be white. All skin products aim to whiten the skin. Now, you’d hope this is the end of my answer but the disturbing things about racist Filipino behaviors don’t end here. Filipinos have also coined words they use for other ethnicity which oftentimes are very offensive and demeaning. For example, the term “chekwa” is a colloquial term used by Filipinos in place of the normal Filipino translation of the word “Chinese” which is “Intsik”. Chekwa is used when Filipinos are talking negatively about a Chinese person and they don’t want that person to know that he or she is the topic of the conversation. Sakang is a demeaning term used to refer to the Japanese people. Sakang means bandy, which is common to Japanese people. Pana is a term used by Filipinos in Canada and in the US to refer to the native Indians of the land instead of using the actual word “Indian” when they are referring to the natives to avoid detection. Pana means “arrow” and it’s been associated with native Indians because they are usually depicted carrying bow and arrow in movies. There’s also a rhyme associated with a game played by youngster’s back in the day that mentions the term “Indian Pana” and this rhyme is loaded with insults if I recall correctly. I have no idea why kids back then loved making whymes loaded with insult. When I was a kid, I was told that if I ever met white people, I should be friendly towards them and greet them “hey Joe”. I learned later on that it is not cool to call a Caucasian “hey Joe.” There are probably a lot more racial terms I am not familiar with but my hope is that Filipinos, sooner than later, would become educated and civil enough to get rid of this bad habit/culture which for me, personally, is very disturbing. I hope by writing this, I am not demeaning my own people because I’m also a Filipino but the goal is to identify this issue and hopefully rectify it and begin spreading awareness about the idea that the world would be a better place without racism. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-disturbing-thing-you-know-about-the-Philippines-and-its-culture