My friend recently shared with me some of the “Filipino” stereotypes her family and she had growing up and living among the Americans. Even though my friend was born here and grew up immersed into the American culture, her family kept traditional Filipino customs and taught her a thing or two.
However, over a long span of life in USA, I’ve met a few “foreign born” citizens who share their cultural backgrounds with the locals – and there are many of such Americans, and that makes this country one of the most diverse countries in the world – because of all the people of various cultures gathered in one place.
Here are some of the stereotypes of the Filipino culture that a friend shared with me:
1) We [Filipinos] drive only Japanese cars, because they are reliable and practical. (Even though it’s not true to all Filipinos, many of us, and them, would agree with this one statement!)
2) Filipinos are always late...to everything. (Even though it’s regarded as a stereotype, my friend did admit the fact that she is usually late, as well.)
3) Someone asked her if she has ever eaten a "dog". In some provinces in the Philippines, they do eat "dogs", but they are the "wild" dogs. Neither her, nor her family, have ever eaten one.
4) Upon entering a Filipino's home, one must remove one’s shoes, and should put on slippers. Filipinos don't like "outside dirt" inside the home. (This is actually a very common thing in Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France – based on my direct experience.)
5) Filipinos loves "rose gardens and orchids", one can tell if you are walking by a house, and you see a plentiful amount of them, it is a "Filipino" home.
6) Most Filipinos like "oriental" furniture, with the "plastic" covers, and "plastic rug runners".
7) Some Filipinos eat with their "hands".
8) Filipino parents would get their attention, by saying, "Psst!" and "Hoy!" You are a true "Filipino", if you turn around.
9) Most Filipinos tend to work in accounting, as physicians or nurses, or electrical engineering. My American Filipino friend knows a lot of Filipino nurses, physicians and accountants, in her immediate and extended family. Filipino parents tend to push “math and science" majors in college.
10) My friend’s Filipino grandfather told her mom: "The Chinese treat the Filipinos, like second-class citizens." On their recent trip to Hong Kong and Macau, they experienced it, since most of the domestics (housekeepers) are Filipino. There are a lot of Chinese-Filipinos in the Philippines, and they are very wealthy.
If you are of a Filipino descent, please tell me if any of these stereotypes have ever been applied to you.
If you have any other stereotypes to share, please drop me a line. Let’s all discuss and break the stereotypes, which would – on one hand – make us more politically correct and culturally aware, but – on the other hand – it would make us boring. Some stereotypes are both healthy and fun, and completely harmless.