Friday, December 07, 2012

Last thoughts before going to bed tonight.
I better write this down before I lose consciousness and forget it all by the next day.

Written in: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Mood: Randy Opines about being Filipino and more...

Previous Post: Dear Filipinos, Stop Claiming that You're Spanish!

Today I spoke to some white Canadian-born people who asked me, after they learned that I've been here in Canada for 15 years, whether I have dual citizenship.

I said, "No, I see no advantage in that."
They made a face, which indicated to me that they thought this was weird, because


... beacuse they might have assumed I have stayed as a Filipino after all this time in Canada. So I had to clarify that, "I've only held Canadian citizenship since I got naturalized as a kid. Repatriating myself as a Filipino offers no advantage whatsoever, even when I travel there." I may have also said that even if it were very easy, even if all I needed to do was swear allegiance once again, I have not done so because there is no utility whatsoever, at least not for my life right now, where I am living in Canada as a Canadian.

I added, "IN fact, the Canadian Passport is an all access pass in the Philippines. It gets you through security checkpoints faster, gets you invited to prestigious shit, and it drops panties." The point being: It's actually harder for me to try and be Filipino in the Philippines because then the Filipino Locals would just treat me like another Filipino - which means being treated like shit.  Or at least shittiER than the treatment I would get as a Canadian over there.

I would have thought that this would have made me even more happy in my decision to indefinitely postpone a longer stay in the Philippines - what with it being a more difficult place to adjust to overall.  I had bought tickets to Manila 8 months ago, only to return it 6 months later, rationalizing that it's probably better to explore stories of Canadiana and Alberta as a documentary idea (don't want to reveal too much because all's it is are ideas being explored... so far)

Turns out, I actually do regret not having gone there. There are bigger stories over there (in the Philippines) that need to get told to the people here (in Canada and the rest of the western world). Because if this conversation I had is any indication, people here seem to have NO idea, NO clue whatsoever, that in a lot of everyday travel situations in the Philippines, a Filipino would get worse treatment than a foreigner.

This is not a few anecdotes strung together to make a point. This isn't just my bitter musing. This is a real thing, and versions of it have been around for a long time. And it's time this story got told.

By me.

...right after I make my documentary debut.  Ask me again about this topic after a year and a half?

Next Post: Monday Movie: "Lost in Translation"

Related Post: White Privilege in the Philippines
                          Discussing Citizenship: What am I?



I don't blame these white Canadian-born people, and many others like them, for not fully understanding how potentially oppressive it is in the Philippines to be a Filipino. Indeed, the idea that you could be treated badly in the place of your birth is not exactly that easy to grasp.

It's just that they were too nice, far faaaar too nice to fully appreciate this form of  discrimination. To them, because they are so sympathetic to the immigrant experience, they think that discrimination only goes one way - that the  majority discriminating against the minority is the only way that this dynamic could go.

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