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How Do Filipinos View Balikbayans?


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#41 jt2003

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 04:57 PM

so some people get irritated at balikbayans who point out what may seem obvious to filipinos; i can accept that...

just on this board alone, there are lots of non balikbayan members who point out the same things. all you have to do is look at threads with political and economic themes. question is, do you get irritated by them (non balikbayans) as well?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Quite frankly, sir eagleyes, no. It's because the criticisms, while the same, come from two different perspectives. One is often colored with derision and condescension (and the thought that the source of criticism can always leave and will actually leave), the other with a sense of helplessness and despair.

The same criticism from two parties can come across very differently, depending on where each is coming from.

In one instance in the movie "Gridlocked," for instance, the Tim Roth character kept using the "N word," which got him into trouble. So his friend, an African-American (Shupak Takur), told him not to use it. "But you use it all the time," Tim Roth says. Shupak replies, "Yes, but you're not black."
(Words to that effect anyway)

I hope you get what I mean.

Edited by jt2003, 21 May 2005 - 06:10 PM.


#42 scott_summers

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 12:41 AM

actually... theyr not different as us nowadays

#43 igol ays

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 02:00 AM

Quite frankly, sir eagleyes, no.  It's because the criticisms, while the same, come from two different perspectives.  One is often colored with derision and condescension (and the thought that the source of criticism can always leave and will actually leave), the other with a sense of helplessness and despair.

The same criticism from two parties can come across very differently, depending on where each is coming from.

In one instance in the movie "Gridlocked," for instance, the Tim Roth character kept using the "N word," which got him into trouble.  So his friend, an African-American (Shupak Takur), told him not to use it.  "But you use it all the time," Tim Roth says.  Shupak replies, "Yes, but you're not black."
(Words to that effect anyway)

I hope you get what I mean.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

fully understand, although there is a little difference. the balikbayan after all is a fellow filipino.

after i made the post, i was thinking that instead of the negative reaction, the comment could be taken as an opportunity for a healthy, positive discussion (that is, of course if the balikbayan is able to fully comprehend the different causes of all the ills he/she observes).

Edited by eagleyes, 22 May 2005 - 02:40 AM.


#44 Guest_Leviticus_*

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 04:08 AM

On a positive note, balikbayans remit their dollars here through their family (if ever) that lives here in the Philippines.

Also, they have this "outsider" perspective because of their exposure outside of the country.

Balikbayans are also Filipinos, they can whine and complain and stuff along side their fellow countrymen. They are Filipinos, yes, but Filipinos who have the option of leaving the country.

To be graphic; there is a big difference between the balikbayan who opts to live and work here as compared to one who is only on vacation (who is gonna leave anyway).

Ang labas ng balikbayan who complains ay parang visitor who overstayed their welcome.

It is like a guest who was invited to dinner but during the course of dinner all the guest does is complain about the food, the house, the service, etc; of the host. Ginawang restaurant ang bahay ng host :grr:

#45 12Ten

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:55 AM

I came and spent about a month in the Philippines just recently. I pretty much grew up in the US but always had the urge to go back to my home land and possibly stay for good.

I dare not digress, but as a balikbayan, I do believe we are misconstrued. I can assure you that I have nothing against my fellow Filipinos but the main difference is contributed to the diversity in culture, values, lifestyle...etc. For instance, people who are outspoken in the states are considered intellectual and the ones that are not outspoken are considered lame. In the Phillipines, being outspoken is a sign of arrogance.

Rather than misjudging the balikbayans, I think we should think twice and consider their experiences in a foreign land. To become sucessful, one needs to fit and adapt in a diversed environment. One of you will be a balikbayan someday, I don't think it would be fair if you are misinterpreted...right?! I thought so! ;-)

#46 boomouse

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:11 AM

So why does everybody I know back there wanna ditch PI and go somewhere else?  I wonder why there are so many nursing students?  And do you all know how many mail-order brides are out on the net trying to score to they can jam out of PI?  Balikbayans are not the only ones complaining.    Everytime I go back there, it seemed like people are always whining about the same exact sh!t the balikbayans whine about.    Traffic, pollution, no jobs, the gov't sucks, it's scorching hot, PAL is always late...sh!t like that.  Unless you're livin the high life like Boomouse...life can suck hard back there.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


1. You mean why do people in the Philippines want to work abroad? Well...
a. Its not because they lack a means of living in the Philippines but more of because you guys have a shortage of skills available here. You guys don't have enough nurses, so you'll be willing to pay through the nose for foreign labor.
b. Mail order brides? The clueless lotharios who seek them out are willing to pay suit with their money. And mail order brides are really a euphemism for a legal form of the world's oldest profession. Every society has career people in that industry. Especially yours.
c. Ah, when Filipinos complain about their situation that is par for the course. After al they are the ones who have to endure whatever needs to be endured. When psuedo "Flips" called balikbayans complain that is being an impolite guest. You have chosen to leave, then behave like a guest when you visit. After all, you contribute nothing actively to the country. You send money to relatives you say? Coincidental. If the same relatives were living in Timbuktu, you would be sending money there wouldn't you? Charity work and medical missions? I have relatives like those too. They just like to validate their superiority by slumming with what they consider to be under privileged Filipinos. I told them to change their thinking or just bring their charity to the slums of Washington DC or East LA. May mga Filipino din doon.

2. Me living the high life? Perhaps. Am I proud of it? Yes! I made it here. I did not have to go around trying to change my ways and adapting to someone elses culture, enduring another society's prejudices to do it. Darn right I'm proud. And you know what? I worked abroad too. But I live on less than a third of what I would be earning in say, Hong Kong where I stayed almost 9 years. And I do not have to work overtime. Nor do I have to work a second job.

About life sucking... Gunnar Myrdal, in his 1970s tome "Asian Drama, the Nature and Causes of the Poverty of Nations" said that a peoples perception of how well off they are is not based on how well they meet the basic needs of life but more of what they think they do not have that countries they perceive to be "rich" have. He calls it the International Demonstration Effect. We never thought that escalators were such great devices until media said so for example. Till then, we thought that trudging up and down staircases did the job nicely.

If you think that people who leave the Philippines for the land of muggings and drive-by shootings are poor, think again. They are not poor. They are simply dissatisfied with their lot and they blame Philippine society and the system for their inability to help themselves. Sure they do well in their transplanted countries. But that is because they had no choice. Kapit sa patalim ika nga. Too much pride to return home with an empty belly, so the prejudice and condescension from the great white brothers are easier to adjust to.

Wag na lang. sa inyo na yan. Diyan kayo, dito kami. You are welcome to visit anytime. But behave like a guest. Hindi na kayo Pinoy. Hanggang dugo na lang ang pagka Pinoy ninyo.

You want to rant and rave about my country? Earn the right. Uwi ka dito at pakita mo na mas magaling ka sa amin. Baka mas magaling pa ang survival skills ng taong grasa sa inyo.

#47 boomouse

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:21 AM

I came and spent about a month in the Philippines just recently.  I pretty much grew up in the US but always had the urge to go back to my home land and possibly stay for good.

I dare not digress, but as a balikbayan, I do believe we are misconstrued.  I can assure you that I have nothing against my fellow Filipinos but the main difference is contributed to the diversity in culture, values, lifestyle...etc.  For instance, people who are outspoken in the states are considered intellectual and the ones that are not outspoken are considered lame.  In the Phillipines, being outspoken is a sign of arrogance.

Rather than misjudging the balikbayans, I think we should think twice and consider their experiences in a foreign land.  To become sucessful, one needs to fit and adapt in a diversed environment.  One of you will be a balikbayan someday, I don't think it would be fair if you are misinterpreted...right?!  I thought so! ;-)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Why do you lump yourself in with "balikbayans"? If you were born in the US or were raised there from an age too early to make you have memories of the Philippines, you are not a balikbayan. You are an American tourist in the Philippines. You may have brown skin. You may have some Filipino sounding surname. But that does not make you a Filipino. It doesn;t even make you a balikbayan.

A balikbayan is an ex-Filipino who has chosen to immigrate to some foreign land and who has found the means (and perhaps the psychological need) to visit the country he left. Up to this point, I brook no quarrel with tourists or balikbayans. But when they complain and compare what they see here against the better system they claim to have "there" then we part ways. That's like me saying that American foreign policy sucks. I have no right to say so and Americans would certianly take umbrage if they heard me.

Don't think being critical is the same as being outspoken. We do that here too. You can be outspoken and still act like a proper guest. Which you are. Cross the line and you over extend your welcome.

#48 boomouse

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:34 AM

Folks, I don't want to argue.  But let's not make a big thing out of the use of PI.  It's simply a nostalgic term for those of us who are old enough to remember a time when our country was still among the top nations in Asia.  It was well in use in the 50s and 60s, and in informal discussions it's still nice to use.  And yes, I love our wonderful PI.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Nostalgia? That is why we have the problems Americans with Filipino blood enjoy ranting about. Things have changed. You can certianly us "PI" (in my colloquial lexicon it is an abbrev for a favorite street expression that refers to the kind of mother some people might have) whenever you converse with your ilk.

In public, with 21st century Filipinos in the Philippines? That's like using the "N" word when you do not have the skin color to give you the right to use it. It is a pejorative, a put down, a drawback to the days when the Philippines was seen as a colonial backwater, when post world war 2 Filipinos still dreamt of a cushy life in the land of milk and honey where the streets are paved with gold for as long as you say yessir to every white man.

Go ahead and use PI. You have the freedom to. But Use it within earshot and I invoke my freedom to bite your head off and put you in your place.

#49 boomouse

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:47 AM

fully understand, although there is a little difference. the balikbayan after all is a fellow filipino.

after i made the post, i was thinking that instead of the negative reaction, the comment could be taken as an opportunity for a healthy, positive discussion (that is, of course if the balikbayan is able to fully comprehend the different causes of all the ills he/she observes).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Fellow Filipino? By blood perhaps. But what is a Filipino? You have to earn the right to be one by contributing negatively or positively to Filipino society. If you live elsewhere, pay your taxes elsewhere, contribute your skills elsewhere, abide by some other culture's ways and mores, you cannot possibly be a Filipino anymore.

You are, plain and simply, a guest. And that means you have to abide by internationally accepted standards of behavior for guests. You cannot arrogate unto yourself the rights of a Filipno even if these were just argumentative rights.

Suppose I shift language and ask you argue your point in Tagalog or the more colloquial Pilipino? Would you still consider yourself Filipino? Even Americans can't argue in English. They argue in AMERICAN. There is a big difference as the British will have you know. Its a good thing the British don't have a balikbayan program.

#50 igol ays

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:04 AM

well, we certainly know how boomouse views balikbayans
fortunately, a lot of us don't fit his balikbayan "model" :)

Edited by eagleyes, 26 May 2005 - 09:26 AM.


#51 jt2003

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 12:12 PM

Nostalgia? That is why we have the problems Americans with Filipino blood enjoy ranting about. Things have changed. You can certianly us "PI" (in my colloquial lexicon it is an abbrev for a favorite street expression that refers to the kind of mother some people might have) whenever you converse with your ilk.

In public, with 21st century Filipinos in the Philippines? That's like using the "N" word when you do not have the skin color to give you the right to use it. It is a pejorative, a put down, a drawback to the days when the Philippines was seen as a colonial backwater, when post world war 2 Filipinos still dreamt of a cushy life in the land of milk and honey where the streets are paved with gold for as long as you say yessir to every white man.

Go ahead and use PI. You have the freedom to. But Use it within earshot and I invoke my freedom to bite your head off and put you in your place.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


My ilk? What's my ilk? Have we even met that you can say that? Oh yes, PI. Now that's within earshot (can't you hear it?). So bite my head off and put me in my place. After all these years, I'm still trying to figure out "my place." The help of Your Highness would be deeply appreciated. But please, Your Highness, be careful with the head you actually bite off. I've grown particularly attached to one of them.

Edited by jt2003, 26 May 2005 - 02:19 PM.


#52 Guest_Leviticus_*

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:53 AM

Looks like there are a few ruffled feathers with regards to this topic.

For me the greatest spite about balikbayans is simply that their presence is not here. No matter how advanced communication technology becomes nothing still beats being physically present.

Not all of us here can afford to go abroad; some of us have opted to simply stay here for reasons that vary with each individual.

It is becoming a bit lonely here in the Philippines (for me) because some of my family already went there, majority of my close friends are already immigrants to other countries. The hard thing to deal with is going on with one's life without their presence.

The perception of the balikbayan, therefore, is "bakit ngayon ka lang?" Parang "where were you during the good and the bad times, during special occasions, during holidays?". Sure, us guys na naiwan here can get by with the occasional greeting or mail (email for that matter); we also have our own lives to live.

Nothing beats the separation from people that you know.

Di nyo ba napansin that balikbayans only come back to the Philippines when someone dies? Other occasions (ie birthdays, christmas, weddings, holidays) kung nataon lang na nandito sa country saka sila pupunta.

We can miss our balikbayan family and friends to the point that we do not miss them anymore. Ano gagawin namin susundan namin sa ibang bansa?

#53 jt2003

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:20 AM

Looks like there are a few ruffled feathers with regards to this topic.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Actually, we were having an intelligent and civil discussion before General Grievous began flashing his light sabers, insulting people here and there. That said, I'm saying no more.

Edited by jt2003, 28 May 2005 - 11:32 AM.


#54 MentalQ

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 12:56 PM

Setting aside the ruffled feathers, perhaps what is difficult to take is the tone (overtones or undertones) of condescension from some of our well-meaning Balikbayan brethren. Often, I sense an unstated postscript to comments that feel like "Ang tanga-tanga mo naman, bakit ka nagtitiyaga dito ... Mas qualified o mas magaling ka naman sa akin, bakit ka pa kasi nagtratrabaho para sa barya, eh puede ka namang kumita ng doll-ers (that sounds like it) sa States ..." etc.
Do others have that same sense? Mind you, I do not get that from total strangers; mostly these would come from cousins and aunts who visit

#55 jetrink

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:57 PM

it will be nice if many would put their money where their mouths are. invest
and put up businesses here, manage them using the skills they aquired while
abroad. they can rant and complain, but at least they are contributing to the
upliftment of our economy and creating jobs. to those balikbayans who are
already doing this, kudos to you.

#56 12Ten

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 08:57 AM

Why do you lump yourself in with "balikbayans"? If you were born in the US or were raised there from an age too early to make you have memories of the Philippines, you are not a balikbayan. You are an American tourist in the Philippines. You may have brown skin. You may have some Filipino sounding surname. But that does not make you a Filipino. It doesn;t even make you a balikbayan.

A balikbayan is an ex-Filipino who has chosen to immigrate to some foreign land and who has found the means (and perhaps the psychological need) to visit the country he left. Up to this point, I brook no quarrel with tourists or balikbayans. But when they complain and compare what they see here against the better system they claim to have "there" then we part ways. That's like me saying that American foreign policy sucks. I have no right to say so and Americans would certianly take umbrage if they heard me.

Don't think being critical is the same as being outspoken. We do that here too. You can be outspoken and still act like a proper guest. Which you are. Cross the line and you over extend your welcome.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Easy cowgirl...you don't have to loose any sleep over this...haha

I sense your passion for the country but take it for what it is. No need to shoot people down for their differences due to their experiences in life. Just chill... :cool: :evil:

#57 psy101514

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 03:51 AM

Well at least I know how a few Filipinos view balikbayans now...especially Boomouse. :thumbsupsmiley: At least we know that Boomouse can view her opinions out to everyone.

Everyone has a right to get angry at so called "Filipinos" like me. I was born in the Philippines and left there when I was 1 1/2 years old. Came back when I was 19 (1991) and I'll be honest with all of you, it was terrible, the worst experience I ever had...food poisoning. Thought I was going to die in the Philippines. It was my first impression of the Philippines. But you know, I said to myself, "I should watch what I eat cause the Philippines aint bad at all." So I came back again (1999). Hell, it was another bad experience with the homeless children begging for money. They pulled on my shirt, stepped on my shoes...terrible. I asked myself, "What is the government doing about homeless children?" The third time (2001) I visited the Philippines, this ex-girlfriend treated me like trash. She greeted me with a middle finger and thought of it as a joke. Well first impressions do count and I wondered what was the Philippines changing into. Fourth time (2004) I went to the Philippines, I saw too much. Another ex-girlfriend in the Philippines treated me like I was some sort of moneypot...basically I paid for everything she wanted. I thought to myself, "Do Filipino's in the Philippines think Balikbayans are rich?" Dang, I'm fricken poor after that trip. Then I told myself, "Ok, I'm going to take one more trip to the Philippines, fifth and last time. If this trip is another bad experience, I wouldn't want to step foot ever in my motherland again." So I came back this year (2005). And you know what? I really enjoyed it. I got to experience going all over the places in Luzon, from Isabella, Manila, Cagayan Valley, Pangasinan, and Laoag City. Beautiful country. Even though I did my best to spend money there and invest in those who have dreams of having their own shops or businesses, I admire the people that can also give back what they can to Balikbayans. We all need each other to survive from Balikbayans sending money home or stimulating the economy. What if we didn't come back at all to the Philippines because of all the bad experiences that people say about the Philippines. It is damaging but I refused to believe that. My friends that went back said that it is a dirty country filled with pollution and crime. I guess I know where they got these conclusions but there is the better and beautiful side to the Philippines. I can take advantage of the Philippines if I wanted to or I can choose to be just a normal human being and just enjoy the sites and sounds of what Philippines has to offer. So people in the Philippines can choose what is the outcome of someone like me visiting there. I can get extremely sick or I can be proud to be a Filipino. Everyone needs to clean up their attitudes and habits cause I can see a great future for the Philippines.

I give credit for those who live in the Philippines cause it's rated the second most corrupt governments in the world. Number one is Vietnam.

#58 TheGeneral

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 04:38 PM

I am already a resident of Dubai, UAE. I have decided to come back. This is my home. :) I'd rather serve my fellow Filipinos than serve other nationalities who look down upon us. Honestly, they are nothing compared to us in terms of skill, learning pace, and innovation. ;)

#59 mach10

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:31 AM

yo! boomouse. be cool dude. don't be no playah-hatah. why you busting our chops for being a bunch of whiners? what the heck did we do to get you all pissed off besides whinin' and gripin'. obviously, you're very patriotic and proud of your status-quo in PI. i'll give you a standing O for that. what i'm trying to say is, instead of bashing your fellow "filipino blood-bothers&sisters" in here...slap em' upside their heads next time you see a whiner and tell em' to cowboy up...they're in your country now. so that they'll know they ain't gettin no luv from you. and whatever grudge you got against us , put a lid on it dude...you got other things to worry about.

later my BROTHER IN BLOOD

#60 gw@p1t0

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 05:39 PM

filipinos think that balikbayans have so many money....
rich ika nga...




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