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C ... and the Philippine colonial mentality
12/4/2006 9:48:34 AM

Nalabit, macasair ken sigurado a ma-insulto ti amin a masecnan toy insurat ni Serge Kreutz (, maysa nga Aleman. Ngem imbes a tal-licudan, mabalin adda ngata met pagimbagan na no saracusoken tay nga amirisen dagiti pammaliiwna. Ken mabalin adda mapanunot tayo a panangicalicagum tapno iti casta awan panggapuan ti maysa a ganggannaet a cas ken ni Serge Kreutz nga agsurat iti castoy:

C ... and the Philippine colonial mentality

Serge Kreutz

No other country in Asia has as colonial a mentality as do the Philippines.

Filipinos regard themselves as "natives" of the Philippines. While it is grammatically and semantically true that they are the natives of the Philippines, it is also strange that they consider themselves natives, and it is a clear linguistic indicator of the typical Philippine inferiority complex.

"Natives" are second-class citizens in their own country. American natives, or the small number that hasn't been murdered by European immigrants, are those who live in reservations. In the United States, these reservations typically are located in the most useless stretches of land. It’s basically the same with Australian aboriginals.

You can ask a Thai or Indonesian person, or even a Cambodian or Vietnamese, what he considers himself. Any of them would never come up with stating that he is a Thai native, or an Indonesian native, or a Cambodian native, or a Vietnamese native. He will identify himself as Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian, or Vietnamese. Basta no "native".
Only when the Filipinos stand up and consider themselves proud people in their own right will they linguistically abandon that "natives" shit.

So, what is a "colonial mentality"? A colonial mentality is characterized by a willingness of its holder to consider himself inferior to the colonial masters. Filipinos never objected to being typified as "little brown brothers" when in fact their colonial masters were overweight pale grandpas.

The terms "natives" and "little brown brothers" fit exactly the idea of "the white man's burden", used as an ideological justification by Western powers to colonize the world.

Actually, Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936, Nobel prize 1907) coined the term precisely for the US colonization of the Philippines.


12/4/2006 2:07:18 PM

...being one among the ‘few’ community leaders trying to seek an honest and better recognition for OFWs in Europe, I can be very bitter if I'll start commenting on this topic.

...for a start, though my name is spelled Castellano, I am still proud to be called a native than perceived as a mestizo...

I am sure, ang ilong ko ay pango, but then I am a proud Filipino!

Gosh! Was it really "the white man's burden" OR the profits made using the name of God, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity?

Urayek pay no ania ti makuna dagiti dadduma....

Zeny Padre
12/4/2006 3:53:05 PM

Ammoc a narigat a terreden ti irarasuc dagiti saan a napintas a ricna a gungtuban dagitoy pammaliiw ni Serge Kreutz. Ngem padasentay man nga amirisen dagitoy babaen ti silnag ni rason. Pabus-oyan ti kinapudno a mangpawayway cadatayo. Tay cunadan, nasaysayaat a gangtan ti candela ngem ti mangilunod iti sipnget.

Ruby Abad
12/8/2006 2:48:24 AM

A colonial mentality really in the blood of most filipino.I still remember the oratorical speech given by our teacher during my high school days intiled "THE COLONIAL MENTALITY".The two persons ivolved in the piece are kid and his auntie.The ofcourse wanted imported chocolate bars and candies todays but the Auntie intsisted all of these imported goods where the kid does not like and she then scolded the kid.
Nowadays, even used rugs or ukay-ukay in our localities ca be seen and it is good business because filipinos loves very much to consume all ofthese things.It is a great mistakes for us not to patronize our own products.The things I would say today is that love our own products.

12/8/2006 9:56:03 AM

Hello Zeny. How are you?

I am sick today and I don't have anything to do except to stay in bed and do my job at home. And of course, ag-Ilokodotcom.

Okay, I'll light the first candle. How about this: (not necessarily that I agree) I saw the entirety of Mr. Kreutz’s article and he is correct on some points.

Umuna: Prostitution brought by Europeans to wherever they go; yesterday, today and surely, tomorrow!

Iti kaso ti Pilipinas: No makakitada iti Puraw, kunada –arimekano, americano (uray saan nga Amerikano.)

There are several connotations of the calling: adoration and or ignorance; source of income –either by hook or by crook!

Of course there are exceptions. There are real Westerners who really want to help. Adda am-ammok ditoy a napilay a doctor gapu iti panagnaedna idiay Tondo tapno makatulong, not by spoon feeding but by educating the locals.

Ngem ti talaga a problema ket ti panagut-utek tayo a Pilipino.


Rugina laeng daytoy ibagak: ‘we pity ourselves too much that we tend to trade our pride for martyrdom.’

Kitaenyo ket pati dagiti politicians tayo ket umayda makilimos overseas manipud kadagiti kunada a ‘new heroes’, para kano iti eskuala-an! Holy cow, if they can allocate budgets for their airfares for their so-called official-mendicant-travels, why can’t they find another way of funding education properly.

Asino kadakayo ti padak a namati? hehehe

I already asked this question to Speaker de Venecia. Ammoyo ti insungbatna? Kusilap hehehe!

The challenge now is: How can we get rid of these ‘remnants’ of colonizers.

Zeny Padre
12/8/2006 12:10:29 PM

Dear VF & Ruby,

I agree there are some painful truths in most of Kreutz's observations. It is unfortunate that the cream of Philippine society who we read about in the newspapers, who we watch on television and who we hear about on the radio are walking examples and purveyors of this social disease. We've got a glut of so-called "nationalists", notably the young students at the university level who would like to have us believe they are doing stuff to get us out of the colonial mentality mold. However, once they get out of the university and face the realities of life and survival, they generally eat their principles.

On the other hand, what really is a Filipino sans "colonial mentality"? I suggest two articles--one serious and the other somehat humorous. "Colonial Name, Colonial Mentality and Ethnocentrism", a four-part series written by Nathan Gilbert Quimpo (, opens up with this statement: "Filipino nationalism is a contradiction in terms." JB Lazarte's "Without Spanish, What Is A Filipino?" ( hits it right on the head, suggesting any effort to define Filipino without Spanish would be a collosal exercise in futility. Apart from the Moros, Filipinos are hopelessly "colonized" through our Christian religion. How do you propose, for instance, to have Filipinos shed off their religion to start the process of religious and cultural decolonization? Our religion has so influenced our way of life, our attitudes, our beliefs, etc.

How do you jumpstart an "attitude reengineering" program when you really cannot find people--locals--who are untainted with the problem? We probably need to hire an army of external (foreign) shock therapists to design and run some kind of attitude engineering program starting from kindergarten or first grade all the way to college to shock/shame us out of the colonial mentality mold. But then again, that's probably wishful thinking...

12/8/2006 2:05:11 PM

Hmm... you are good Zeny, I like your line of reasoning, ‘attitude reengineering’! And I can see that you read a lot. Thank you for sharing.

Let me tackle first the question of religion. Filipinos, like any other Spanish colony around the world, blindly accepted Christianity, -Catholicism in particular. It is very sad to note though, that where there is too much Catholicism involved, poverty is more rampant. And where there is poverty, there is less probability to reengineer their approaches in life.

We don’t have to change our religion. We just have to show them what their religion really is. I am sure that most Filipino Catholics still follow their priests blindly. THEY DON’T really read the bible and know what is inside.

I was not able to read all those two articles you proposed ta medio maulawak pay laeng... but then, we should not go as far as changing our names and religion to be decolonised and establish our own national identity. What we need to do is to reengineer our knowledge about religion and enlighten ourselves from the grips of medieval Christianity.

This can also be wishful thinking but let us not forget that it was religion that created haciendas that brought ‘filipino indios’ their miserable lives, deposed dictators (EDSA revolutions) and today, where the debosionados ‘offer’ their riches instead of investing into something that can feed the people.

How about getting away from the influence of the Vatican to start with?

hehehe! Ipritodak la ketdi kadaytoy!

Ruby Abad
12/9/2006 6:07:05 PM

It started from our hearts to decrease the ramphant practecises of having attitudes colonialism. I was touched from passages of your messages in here that awakened me from reality.Iam glad to hear from you morebec. I am limited from ideas regarding this concerns.

12/10/2006 1:27:15 PM

Oh well, we cannot change history. We don't have a choice but to study history and learn from it. In schools, we educate our children and let them see colonizers in two ways... we owe them some and they owe us some. We were colonized-- influenced by their teachings. Our forefathers managed to limit their influences but educators and the government are still holding onto them. Some student-idealists who dig on the issues of imperialism and try to unfold the 'not-so-good' visage of the bureaucracy are often branded as activists. Worse, their futures are compromised. Making the next "aspirants" to be more cautious.

Do we have a choice then? Of course, one can make a change but how strong is the "only one" to make a difference?

Ruby Abad
12/11/2006 8:06:36 PM

You then so great Madam Padre and even VF.I am trying my very best to share something about the blog tilte but then it reflexs of being new without experiences at all. I am telling you now how great massages you did in your previous works and I am sure differ but more interesting details to come. And I am here reading all of that.I am glad visiting your blogs.Advanced Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.Whatssss up...resolution never lastsssss.

12/12/2006 1:42:36 AM

Is there such a word called 'fatalist' Mr. Namongan?

Of course we cannot change history but we can create history. If only the Filipino people ever gave a chance to the 'New Society' of the late President Marcos, (patterned from Lee Kuan Yew's dictatorial system), our mentality as a proud nation could have changed a lot.

Look how disciplined (some) Filipinos can be while they are abroad. Why can’t we just do it like that!

And if you give a closer look on the behaviour of citizens of the rich countries, they are the same principles (like that of the ‘Philippine New Society’) that made Singapore a better country now. Don’t forget, Singapore (and even Korea and Japan) was a lot poorer than the Philippines after the last war.

What happened? Everybody became too fatalistic, selfish and arrogant. And why not parasites...

12/12/2006 10:19:16 AM

I am not a fatalist Mr. VF, am just a simple citizen with simple thinking. Trying to absorb (unwillingly) the influences of my forefathers and struggling to make my mark for the children of my children.

350 years of Spanish colonialization is undeniable. Thus, there is a significant presence of Spanish and Mexican influence in many facets of the Filipino culture. The Filipino language alone, contains many borrowed Spanish words. Our varied dialects, too. So was our attitude.

You said, "Look how disciplined (some) Filipinos can be while they are abroad. Why can’t we just do it like that!"

I agree. I am working abroad too. I can really tell the difference. In fact, I often compare our mores back home to what I conceptualized here. Everytime I visit home, I cannot help but say "DISIPLINA." Back here, we follow rules, too cautious to commit errors, too afraid to be sent home. We watch every single step we make. Why? according to you "PASANGSANGAILI." And we (although some are not much successful) are doing a good job. Back home? Yes, maybe. If and only if, the people who are 'responsible' for emulation are accountable enough.

We were so close then. In fact, in terms of natural resources, we are far better than Singapore and Japan.

What went wrong? Must be the attitude. We can change, can't we?


Zeny Padre
12/12/2006 10:57:33 AM

Following the nuclear test by North Korea in October this year, ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) reporter Diane Sawyer was allowed to travel to North Korea. In “Reporter’s Notebook: What Diane Sawyer Can’t Forget About N. Korea,” and a few related stories and videos (, a clear construct of an entire race, an entire nation that underwent (and continues to undergo) wholesale attitude enginnering under the auspices of Kim Jong Il emerges. Much as a lot of people are leery of that guy, the North Korean leader has demonstrated that the national attitude could be orchestrated to a national unity, a national pride that Filipinos can only dream of. This is one extreme of the spectrum.

For Filipinos, the middle-of-the-road would seem like a more palatable and doable course of action. Forget about the nationalist-revisionist ideologues who would want to “extricate” us from more than 300 years of colonial subjugation. Why don’t we just take the good that was dealt us and find the resolve to shake us out of the influences that we deem bad for us? When I mentioned “attitude reengineering”, I had the following in mind, just to name a few: “Bahala na…”, “Maawain ang Diyos…”, “Areglado…”, etc. We need to analyze these catch phrases because they tend to blur our conception of reality and eventually engender our socio-economic ruin, and ultimately our personal ruin.

We also have a need to rein in our tendency to put down our fellow Filipinos to "look good" before somebody else (a colonial attitude for the servant to get in the good graces of the master--e.g., some Filipinos ratting on TNTs [tago ng tago or illegals]). Look what happened to the Katipunan as a result of someone ratting about it in that confessional. This prevailing distrust for each other is probably one of the main reasons why we as a people generally are less able to put together alliances that can think big and do something big. We are a bunch of small, short-term thinkers.

Look at the countries of South America. They took what the European colonizers gave them. Not all of them are doing well. Yet most of them are doing better than Filipinos. Which is to say that the colonial influence couldn’t be all that bad.

12/24/2006 12:41:24 AM

Hi Zeny, will come back intono saanak a busy....

Johnnyric Domingo
1/1/2007 1:06:36 PM

Natalingen-ngen koma a Baro A Tawenyo Manang Zeny.

Arlane Manzano
1/1/2007 4:45:26 PM

HAPPY 2007 gagayyem!

Ruby Abad
1/10/2007 6:04:05 AM

Interesting pages...some more to read....
Gud day to all of you.

1/15/2007 8:36:47 PM

Ney adda man gayam ditoy ni manong VF paan-anawan:-)

Hi Manang Zeny kumusta dita lugar nga ayanyo tatta?

Manang Zeny
1/16/2007 10:41:33 AM

Maricar: Nalamec, Adingco, tay cunada a naimas coma ti aguldag nga aglazy-lazy no coma saan a capilitan a bumangon datao a mapan manglo iti igatang iti sumaruno a pamedped...

Ngem uray pay no casta, Ading, ket nagasgasat tayo ket adu a pagyamanantayo agsipud ta adayo tayo cadagiti disso a pagkikigtutan ti inaldaw a gerra, bomba, kdpy.

Aren't we lucky that you and I can communicate in a civil manner, are able to plan our lives, enjoy the fruits of our labor, etc., etc...

Maricar Cabotaje
1/16/2007 4:04:58 PM

Manang Zeny kusto ta kunam ngem ditoy Pinas ket magulo met nangnangruna dagiti opisyales ti gobyerno!

Naimbag nga aldaw yo dita Manang, agkabsat kayo kadi ken Manong Joe? Regards.

Manang Zeny
1/17/2007 5:31:52 PM

Maricar: Agcabsat? Hmmm, taga-Bangui ni Joe. Taga-Badoc met toy 'numo... Manmano nga awagannac iti 'Cabsat' wenno 'Sis', cas iti masansan a pangawag na caniac idi adda cami pay laeng iti high school. Isu a no awagac isuna iti 'Bro', dina magawidan ti umisem ket, um, no dadduma, peligro ti pagtungpalanna, Ading...

1/17/2007 7:06:43 PM

Manang Zeny, hahaha, naawatakon. Diay auntie mi nga asawa iti uncle mi ket taga-Badoc met,Reyes apelyidoda ngem nalipatak metten no ana a Brgy. da. Manang saan ka maum-uma wen ta kanayunek umay ditoy abong mon...


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