The Truth about "World-Class Filipinos"

Listening to Sentro ng Katotohanan on 1242 AM one Tuesday, I heard eminent commentator Arnel Endrinal make one of the most hard-hitting revelations about Filipinos who become famous abroad: they didn’t become famous because of recognition in the Philippines. They became famous because of recognition abroad!

That is an interesting point when you consider how much Da Pinoy idolizes and boasts of these people to the world.

Lea Salonga, although she was known in the Philippines before, would have become another laos (bygone) celebrity had she not been picked to be be Miss Saigon. Then she would do the singing voice of Jasmine for the Disney movie Aladdin. After this, our country started touting her as a world-class performer.

Efren Penaflorida was not recognized locally. He was voted into that CNN Hero of the Year award, thanks to numerous flying voters. But still, CNN was the one who thought of the award. Why didn’t anyone locally give an equally prestigious recognition for his efforts?

Charice Pempengco was recognized on the Ellen DeGeneres show, in America. If she sang on a local show before Ellen, would she get the same level of fame?

Arnel Pineda, before he joined Journey… who was he? We know now that he loved singing Carpenter and Streisand (stuff that local gays like to sing!) when younger. But before this, did we know it? We only knew him when he already joined Journey.

Manny Pacquiao, when he was a boxer in our local rings, wasn’t given notice at all. It was when he beat a foreign opponent that he became our country’s superstar. And note that his coach, Freddie Roach, is an American, not Filipino. Manny thrives on an American’s advice, not a Filipino’s.

In other words, our idols, sumikat sila abroad. Di sila sumikat dito. They looked for greener pastures. Like our OFWs.

And when they become well-known, Filipino fans begin to appreciate them and idolize them. They boast of these stars to other countries. The irony is, the other countries may already know.

Now the weird thing is, when someone like Adam Carolla comes in and starts criticizing our bad habit of riding on the fame of these famous countrymen of ours and tell us to get our act together, we act as if we’re such poor bullied sops that deserve royal treatment. But in reality, the ones who made our countrymen famous are the ones we’re biting against. Backbiting against even.

Let me also quote the brilliant insight of one of our commenters, Mike Portes:

We just love to bet on Pacquiao, vote for Peñaflorida and adore Lea Salonga but FAIL TO EMULATE and REALIZE THAT THEY ARE PRODUCTS OF HARD WORK and DISCIPLINE

Hard work and discipline. Not being Filipino. That’s the reason why they’re famous. Yet the fans suddenly jump in and chant, “These guys are Filipinos, that’s why they’re great!” Opportunism extraordinaire!

Perhaps Filipinos are driven to do this because they feel that they should compete or contend with the famous in other countries. Some Filipinos believe that foreign and local are diametric opposites. Or in simpler terms, enemies. Thus, they, and of course some people in other countries too, have succumbed to a false dichotomy – the dichotomy of foreign vs local. Yes, this is a false dichotomy because foreign and local should not enemies. Successful countries do not stamp out foreign trade and control; they know how to make use of the relationships to their benefit. Often, the benefit must be mutual.

We depend on foreign countries. We should acknowledge that we cannot live without them. How can be boast of OFWs if have no countries to send them to? What if these in countries get angry and send home all our OFWs? What will happen to the remittances that even our ineffectual government depends on?

All countries thrive with the help of their neighbors. If you ask me, even small villages thrive with the help of fellow villages. Thus, when you’re a nation, you need other nations to acknowledge your “fame” and accomplishments. And when we receive criticism or bad reviews, we should accept it instead of complain.  “No man in an island,” runs the famous slogan… let’s expand it to “no country is an island!”

I would like to add that fame and show business should not be the only thing Filipinos should excel in.

Pakistani  economist  Mahbub ul Haq and Indian economist Amartya Sen created the Human Development Index, a holistic way of looking at the development of countries from many perspectives. Stephen Covey developed the Seven Habits of HIghly Effective People, which many Filipinos are studying and quoting now. What have Filipinos developed? Seven Habits of of Effective Rage-Driven Trolling? Filipinos are looking to foreign motivational and inspirational concepts, while our local, often outdated, wisdom is mostly derived from mga pamahiin ni lolo and lola sa probinsiya.

I echo commenter Lorenz who said (which jibes with one of my previous articles):

I’ve always wondered why I don’t know of a Filipino composer of orchestral/chamber music, Filipino Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer, etc.

We have to recognize that to become World-Class Filipinos, we need to examine our place in the world, and humble ourselves in acknowledgment that cooperation with, not competition with or more especially hostility towards, other countries is the right attitude and the way to help uplift our own. We should develop ourselves in a way as not to live in a box, but to get out of this box and learn to live alongside others out of this box.


About ChinoFern

Just another nobody on the Internet who believes even nobodies should have a voice... because the Internet provides that.
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80 Responses to The Truth about "World-Class Filipinos"

  1. rafterman says:

    This is great Chino! I hope you can give your take on Santino here on AP too. I really don’t care that much about those “World Class Pinoys” you mentioned. I’d rather have a World Class Philippines. Kahit maraming Pinoy na “World Class” kung karamihan naman “world class at being no class” eh walang mangyayari.

    • ChinoF says:

      Oh yeah. That over-reliance on others is demonstrated in the Santino thing as well as the “World-class Filipino” worship. Good suggestion, Rafty.

  2. juanon says:

    Nice article Chino.

    I’d like to add that a lot of Filipinos base their self-worth on the perception of others. Add our colonial mentality to the mix, and you get Pinoys who judge one’s worth base on the perception of foreigners.

    I think it’s one of the reasons that, for some Pinoys, what Carolla said really hurt them. I think they see foreigners as “noble blood”, while they see themselves are mere “peasants” trying so hard to reach the noble life. So when Filipinos get criticisms from “nobles” like Carolla, they feel as if they are being oppressed. That they see people like Carolla as the oppressive sheriff of Nottingham. And they see Pacquiao as their hero Robin Hood.

    This shouldn’t be the case. Pinoys should remove that colonial mentality. We should stop seeing foreigners as “superior”, and start seeing them as equals. As people just like us.

    We should also stop seeing people like Pacquiao as nothing more than a sports champion. We should stop seeing him as THE Filipino, or THE representative of all Filipino aspects. He should not be seen as a “Captain Philippines” i.e. the epitome of the Filipino way. He is just a boxer, and damn good one. Nothing more.

    Filipinos should stop basking on the reflected glory of successful Filipinos, because they did not directly contribute to those Filipinos’ fame and success. As the article here said: “Be proud of them, not because of them”.

    • rafterman says:

      Very well said Juanon.

    • Wander-ruh says:

      What’s worse is that Filipinos bask in the reflected glories of “Filipinos” who were born and bred abroad. It’s as if being born from a Filipino heritage and being successful had anything to do with the Philippines, and so when a Fil-Am does well in any field, Filipinos **in the Philippines** are so quick to spread the word around.

      Pinoy lang ang mga kalahi nilang nangibang-bansa, pero hindi talaga sila Pilipino!

      • card crusher says:

        It always make me laugh when a successful American of part or full Filipino descent is claimed as “Filipino” by those in the Philippines, but that person won’t be able to purchase property in the Philippines if he/she only has an American nationality. Mahilig makisakay talaga ang iba!

  3. Kanye West says:

    Where can I get a copy of this book?

  4. Cool Guy says:

    I’m never wearing anything with a Filipino Flag design or any clothing with any variant of “I’m proud to be Pinoy” ever.

    • Filo says:

      If you do wear any of those (especially those Philippine archipelago shirts), you’re more easily branded an ABS-CBN follower, not a patriot. So, good for you.

    • Jay says:

      Actually, I liked FrancisM designs plus their products are pretty durable. As of the other people blatantly wearing the philippine island polo, thats just bleh. Doesn’t even look great and is very bland by design standards.

  5. Filo says:

    It’s a really good piece Chino. Arnel’s thought on the matter compels one to ask: What is it that makes Pinoys indifferent (maybe even crab-like) towards each other in our own country, but makes Pinoys ride on the successes of the few Filipinos who’ve made it big abroad? You’re right about mentioning that these famous names only began being called “world class” when they were recognized OUTSIDE their country of origin Da Pinas. While that cliché “Everybody loves a winner” immediately comes to mind, I wonder about a potential implication – Pinoys can’t claim anybody in the Philippines is a world class [put occupation here] unless some other country in one form or another says it is so. It would be so embarrassing to be pegged as a country with standards so low but individual egos so bloated and misplaced, but what are we really known for? Can’t local Pinoys realize that habitual self-back-patting means zilch in the global arena?

    What does this say about awards and recognition in the Philippines – are they overrating and mostly handed out without international markets’ standards in mind? Doesn’t that undermine our capacity to improve? Seems like that’s the way it is, especially for local entertainment products as an example. Then, we’d also be hard-pressed to come up with any original Filipino contribution to science and innovation without having some supposed Pinoy hoaxes (like the land rover or the water-driven engine said to be invented by Pinoys) cast doubt on the legitimacy of the rest.

    Why can’t Pinoys be as dogged about becoming truly world class as they are when it comes to trolling on critics? If their energy were spent on more worthwhile things other than “raging,”* Pinoys might actually be known globally for something far better than being Asia’s two-legged onions.

    *It’s just a little funny how “raging” is used as a verb online when it’s really meant to be a sort of adjective, but oh never mind.

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks, Filo. Your comment brought up the question… how do you define “world-class?” And is that term worth using and kind of concept worth-achieving? Our definition of what we want to achieve defines how we act. The discussion also seems to point to Filipinos wanting to achieve some sort of “world fame,” but have no practical idea on how to go about it. Even these guys I mentioned, Pineda, Lea and Manny… you can even say that chance was a big factor. They got an opportunity, they seized it and worked hard (and smart) at it, and voila, they achieved. All the rest just sigh and wish they were famous.

      My emphasis was also on the false dichotomy of foreign vs local. We’re supposed to work with them, not against them. It’s not for them only to define for us what we should achieve, or us alone to define what we should achieve. There’s gotta be a meeting of minds across borders.

      • brianitus says:

        Hi, Chino.

        It’s always nice reading your posts. Here are some of my thoughts on what you mentioned above:

        On foreign ideas:

        I guess what you’re driving at is something like getting “best practices” and “benchmarking” into our system. If they are better at a process, learn how they do it. Kung pangit, wag na gayahin. If we are better at something, then we set the bar or raise it if possible.

        On being world class:

        I guess the real question that needs an answer is: What is the role that we want to perform on a global scale? If this country ever decides on that, then we can see movement towards becoming world class. Right now, it’s like we’re just stuck on “Happy to be here.”

        Where do we want to have an impact on? Is it in the arts, sports, business or science?

        Sex tourism? Kidding..

        If you look at it, Chino, it’s like the country and its people need to start on a positioning exercise. It can be somewhat likened to building a new brand. We have to clarify what we do and what we stand for. The whole tropical fruit salad that is known as the Philippines, why does it even exist on this planet? If the Philippines was suddenly wiped off the face of the Earth, how will it be remembered?

        Once that is clear, we commit resources to living up to that position. It’s the same thing as Pacquiao deciding to be a good boxer instead of a kargador and Lea wanting to be singer. It was clear to them what they wanted to do and they followed through to get to where they are right now.

        Here’s an idea (example lang):
        Even if right now it looks like the Philippines is just a “Labor supplier to the world,” we should strive to make it “Number 1 Supplier of World Class Labor.” I say make the world hooked on us so that they cannot do without us. Make the world say, “Give that problem to the Filipino. He’ll get rid of that headache permanently.” Wouldn’t that be grand?

        Sabi nga ni Bill and Ted,”Be excellent!”


      • ChinoF says:

        That’s an interesting view you’ve got. And I agree – we lack a position. What’s been happening is different parts of Philippines society coming up with their own positions, but never agreeing on one. It seems one group’s position will even be opposed by another, for personal reasons.

        I certainly though wouldn’t like us to be No. 1 supplier of labor… I prefer to reverse that. I go for a position that most of our people should stay home. We can be world-class in providing services for the world, but in our own soil. No need to scat. For that, I agree with removing the prohibition for foreign entities to own land. Even that prohibition on what foreigners can practice in our country should be removed. Comparative studies with our ASEAN neighbors, like Singapore, show the value of this.

      • ChinoF says:

        Oh yeah, like Bill and Ted, Excellent! And like Wayne and Garth say, “Party on, dude!” LOL

      • brianitus says:

        Hi, Chino.

        Same here. I merely used the “labor supplier” angle as an example for a positioning exercise. If they can stay here, why not? I think the OFWs should be encouraged to become more like investors in the Philippines. After they take care of their aspirations of “bahay, kotse, pampaaral” they should move into making their money work for them. If they can do that at the same time, even better. Eventually, this labor sector will mature and will move on from just buying appliances, I hope. Eventually, they will invest in businesses that will employ the Filipinos back home.

        If you mention world-class services for the world based on RP soil, BPOs come into mind. We’re already into that. I just don’t know of the incentives they get from government for engaging in that kind of business. Bagging service contracts will go to the world-class and lowest cost supplier. The way I understand it, the BPOs here are under threat from India and even China. How government and the BPO sector are addressing that, I do not know.

        Agree on the ownership issue. That law prohibiting foreign ownership is also another source of corruption in government. It should be reviewed.

        Another idea on working the position:
        If we’re talking world-class tourism, not of the sex tour kind, then resources should be put to work to ensure that position. The issues with the EU and FAA should be addressed. Heck, even public toilets have to be tourist-friendly. It’s one thing to attract the tourists, getting them to keep coming over repeatedly is another.


      • ChinoF says:

        Hmm,,, more replies to catch up with, hehe… but I had just thought of this about “best practices”: yes, that’s one way of putting it. Let’s take and pick what’s good from foreign and local, and reject what’s bad for us from each. My own words for this “best practices” thing is “doing it right.” After all, it’s common sense to do this, isn’t it? But the concepts you stated here are a good start.

      • May Party Sa Dasma Wala Akong Wheels says:

        Aren’t we already the number one exporter of OFW’s yet?

        Just thinking out loud pero who’s keeping track of which nationality has the most number of “world class” employees? I mean, just being on the practical side, but who bothers? What we need is to step up to already existing higher standards of the world and win at those, not create new “categories” like “world class” laborers. Parang yung mga provinces lang natin yan na pilit makagawa ng ultra-pointless world records – at the end of the day, they get no bonus points for respect or status, so we will all say what benign0 said – “So what?

        About that part on positioning the Pinoy brand, that’s far far easier said than done because we have this culture that goes against (with hostility pa) anything that criticizes it. Tengks Gad for this site, the work has begun.

      • brianitus says:

        Hi, May Party Sa Dasma:

        I used the labor supplier as an example, a weird example nga lang. I wouldn’t really know if we are number one or not. Frankly, I’d like our people to stay put and use their god-given talents, naks, to good use here.

        Pero since namention na rin ang labor supplier:

        You can probably put my example to use lang if we go all out on OFW export. There are still other nationalities to compete against naman, we might as well secure the OFWs future. Yun lang yung point ko dun. It isn’t really for an award, but for sustained patronage of the host countries as bonus points. And yeah, stepping up to existing standards should be part of that agenda. If we can even set a higher standard, why not? Customer surprise, in a way.

        On positioning and criticism:

        Yeah, easier said nga ang positioning.

        Positioning is like having a pilot for guiding consumers. We shouldn’t allow random impressions to be the sole basis of what the global community thinks of this country, we have to guide the rest of the world to thinking in a specific manner about the country. We should also make sure that the “experience” jives with what we say. It’s something like this: we can’t say the country is a tourist heaven when we have bad public toilets and lousy airports.

        Criticism can be likened to an audit — kinda like what the AP authors are doing.

        I agree that there is an innate hostility towards criticism. Pero I think it’s normal to react to criticism, no matter how valid it was, even react in a “hostile” manner; it’s part of the acceptance process. However, I just don’t know if all Pinoys bother to try and find out why they were criticized to begin with. It should not stop with the exchange of fancy curse words, there should be some form of understanding or realization in the end. The Pinoy should say, “Oo nga. Tama pala siya” or “Parang mali sya, pero bakit kaya nya nasabi yun?”


      • ChinoF says:

        Hey Brianitus, yeah, I was aware it was just an example. In truth, we may be just the number one exporter in terms of how many of our countrymen are forced out, rather than just the quality of our workers. I laugh at those who say “Filipino nurses are the best,” “Filipino seamen are the best,” etc., when the demand for our workers can be explained by just so many Filipinos making themselves available for this.

        That’s another forehead-slapper, our tourism program. In the mid-80s, great efforts were made to prop it up, but by this time, we fell by the wayside. Besides, one other issue with tourism is the presence of Abu Sayyaf et al. Tourists may become just sooooo afraid of going to Boracay thinking that they’ll be kidnapped there, hehe.

        who’s keeping track of which nationality has the most number of “world class” employees?

        Good question, Map Party. It’s like the “Filipinos are best” boast above, boasting that we’re “world class” is just a contrived salve to soothe our countrymen’s inferiority complex towards the world.

      • Joe America says:

        Bill and Ted,
        Keanu Reeves who shot into fame and ladydom
        and his friend who has worked in obscurity but had his few hours of fame.
        The all-important question is,
        not does Noynoy need a shrink,
        or Manny a set of cuffs,
        but who played beside Keanu,
        and who played Death in the sequel?

        “No way!”
        “Way, Ted!”

        I suggest that as the Philippine national motto . . .


      • Joe America says:


        And was George Carlin ever in another movie?

      • brianitus says:

        LOL. I think that was Carlin’s last movie.

        Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes!

      • Homer says:

        No, that wasn’t Carlin’s last movie. Aside from numerous tv appearances (not including his classic stand-up specials on HBO) after Bill and Ted, he’s also appeared in films like Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Jersey Girl (all three films by director Kevin Smith). Carlin’s first film appearance was on a late 60’s film called With Six You Get Eggroll. Before GC passed away, he also provided the voiceover for Shining Time Station as Mr. Conductor (a favorite of my nephew when he was sill a kid). He was also the voice of Fillmore on Pixar’s “Cars”.

      • brianitus says:

        Ah, yeah! Dogma! Thanks for the filmography, Homer.

  6. juanon says:

    Something I’d like to add about that “water-driven” engine. That claim is a bit blown out of proportion.

    In reality, LOTS of people from AROUND THE WORLD have done similar in the past. Even my grandfather’s brother made one in his youth. Thing is, the media just focuses on one person and makes a big deal out of it.

    Another example is the fluorescent bulb. Depending on the source, only Flores is in the spotlight and usually gives the impression that only two people were involved with the creation of the fluorescent bulb. But in reality, there were dozens of independent inventors from all around the world who were thinking of the same thing at the time, not only Flores.

    Even in history this applies. Thomas Edison may be credited to its creation, but there were a lot more inventors trying to make a working bulb at the time. Edison just made one first.

    • ChinoF says:

      When you look into history, inventions usually come out because of a sort of competition to materialize that idea first. People could have different technologies and techniques, but usually same idea. And often, business interests are involved. I believe Edison was competing with Nikola Tesla to materialize some inventions first. One aspect about “being famous” is that business interests are a large influence.

      • Jay says:

        One aspect about “being famous” is that business interests are a large influence.

        True. Tesla was the real genius compared to Edison. But the latter managed to make money out of it.

      • Anonylol says:

        Tesla was also a real live mad scientist (or the closest we can get) so that may have been a bit of a factor too.

  7. BongV says:

    Consider this, what if all the countries where the Philippines has workers will have a constitution similar to the Philippines that prohibits foreigners from practicing the following professions in their respective countries:

    2. Practice of professions *1

    a. Engineering
    i. Aeronautical
    ii. Agricultural
    iii. Chemical
    iv. Civil
    v. Electrical
    vi. Electronics and Communication
    vii. Geodetic
    viii. Mechanical
    ix. Metallurgical
    x. Mining
    xi. Naval Architecture and Marine
    xii. Sanitary
    b. Medicine and Allied Professions
    i. Medicine
    ii. Medical Technology
    iii. Dentistry
    iv. Midwifery
    v. Nursing
    vi. Nutrition and Dietetics
    vii. Optometry
    viii. Pharmacy
    ix. Physical and Occupational Therapy
    x. Radiologic and X-ray Technology
    xi. Veterinary Medicine
    c. Accountancy
    d. Architecture
    e. Criminology
    f. Chemistry
    g. Customs Brokerage
    h. Environmental Planning
    i. Forestry
    j. Geology
    k. Interior Design
    l. Landscape Architecture
    m. Law
    n. Librarianship
    o. Marine Deck Officers
    p. Marine Engine Officers
    q. Master Plumbing
    r. Sugar Technology
    s. Social Work
    t. Teaching
    u. Agriculture
    v. Fisheries

    Pupulutin ang Pilipinas sa basurahan.

    Madalas ang ugali ng karaniwang noy-Pi (which is reflected in this constitution)… Take and take.. Hindi, give and take.

    Note the order – “give and take” NOT “take and give”. We give first, then we take. not the other way around.

    • ChinoF says:

      Consider this, what if all the countries where the Philippines has workers will have a constitution similar to the Philippines that prohibits foreigners from practicing the following professions in their respective countries

      These were all banned? Hmmm, now that raises my eyebrows. That’s being overprotective. Pinoprotectahan naman professionals natin, but in the wrong way, and wala pang tunay na support na binibigay to help them grow. It seems to me that the Constitutionists wanted to protect our professionals in order to develop them into labor to send abroad. As if the OFW phenomenon was actually planned.

  8. benign0 says:

    Great individual Filipinos like Pacquiao, Lea Salonga, and many others achieved despite being Filipino and NOT because they are Filipino. The irony there is that that reason is why Filipinos adore them so much.

    It seems the psychology at work in the way Filipinos so zealously revere their “heroes” is that they are extreme exceptions to the more general Pinoy Condition. Because Filipino society is known more for failure than success, all the more its successful individuals are magnificently adorned with gilded robes by the masses. They shine like gold nuggets in a land of gray silt. They tower over the cowered and soar among the beaten.

    That is the irony lost in a society that lacks the brains to fathom irony. The reason Filipinos are so enamored to their heroes and celebrities who succeed globally is because they played a bad hand dealt to them AND WON. A win despite the setback of being born Filipino. The more we exhibit extremist adoration for our global celebrities, the more we highlight this sad Truth.

  9. ilda says:

    Most Filipinos prefer to idolize those in showbiz or the sports athletes because the media paint them as having a glamorous life. A lot of us think that it is so easy to enter the showbiz industry and rake it in. Some have this impression that there’s no hard work involved because it seems that all you have to do is be pretty and act cute for the camera. Maybe when you are an actor in the Philippines it’s easy because most films or TV roles don’t have any substance and you can easily enter showbiz just by having fair skin. But it’s actually tougher to make it as an international actor because you cannot be a mediocre performer. A pretty face won’t be enough to get you a film role.

    BTW, I don’t understand why there’s always a guy speaking to Manny Pacquiao at the same time as his coach is giving him pointers in between rounds. It’s as if this guy’s input in the ring is actually needed by Manny. He acts so important and competes for Manny’s attention while the coach is talking. I wonder what Manny’s coach is thinking about his dozens of hangers on…ugh…

    • ChinoF says:

      There’s an illusion of joining showbiz being made easier with all the talent contests, Philippine Idol, Pinoy Big Brother, Talentadong Pinoy and all that. But then again, it’s actually more difficult because, with the population of the Philippines today, they got LOTs of competition… hehehe.

    • juanon says:

      Actually its a bit similar even in America. Producers love getting new “talent” from the poorer spectrum of society because they know that these people are easy to lure with money and fame. Notice how there are a lot of Hollywood “actors” lately that have beautiful looks but lack talent.

      One perfect example is Megan Fox. She admittedly said she came from a poor life. Heck, until now she’s banned from entering any Wal*Mart branch because of all the shoplifting she did prior to her Hollywood career.

    • J.B. says:

      That guy is MP’s buddy Boboy. He’s supposed to do translation because FR has Parkinson that even Bernard Hopkins was having a hard time understanding the trainers instruction. It has also some psychological value where MP was like that rampaging elephant in Rudyard Kipling’s story who only behaves after hearing local Indian words.

      • ChinoF says:

        Makes sense since I understand MP doesn’t know good English, and even his Tagalog seems rusty. MP’s really a far-off country boy who went farther off (international).

        Yet another case for increasing English competency in this country.

  10. J.B. says:

    Just Discipline and Hardwork themselves cannot make people world-class at par with Charice, Arnel or Pacquiao.

    They need some kind of “it takes a prodigy to hone a prodigy”.

    Charice + David Foster
    Arnel + Neil Schon
    Pacquiao + FR

    It gives false hope to those who believe that with their inborn talents, they can make themselves as famous as the three. In fact, if you visit and view Arnel interview, it takes more than great talent that makes him big.

    • May Party Sa Dasma Wala Akong Wheels says:

      Sorry but I can’t agree that Charice Pempengco is world class. Fairly impressive for mimicry skills at her age, sure. Oprah and Ellen’s amusement don’t necessarily make Charice “world class” but only internationally famous, for now anyway.

      • ChinoF says:

        That’s one thing to do too… how do you define “world-class.” Good point, May Party.

      • card crusher says:

        I agree with May Party. For now Chairce is a world class imitator of Celine/ Whitney, but not a world class artist or singer for that matter.

      • J.B. says:

        You can play around with definition if you wish.

        I was basing on these 3 aspects

        1. Superb vocal quality at lower range
        2. Superb vocal quality at higher range
        3. Pipes and vocal power

        Both Arnel and Charice possessed those. What makes her comparable to the Koreans? Are you measuring her skills outside the world of musical artistry?

        Imitation at young age is not bad either because as DF said, she will eventually develop her own not unlike the rest of artist.

    • Jay says:

      Charice hasn’t sold out any concerts yet, besides being a special guest singer for a celeb to showcase her high level kareoke skills. She’s no better than the Taiwanese kid who can imitate Whitney Houston for one song for 5 minutes until running out of gas.

      Now my example could tread murky waters but watch Lady Gaga before going Gaga (literally). It was a performance at NYU and displayed amazing ability with her voice and piano arrangement. THAT is a glimpse of musical genius at work.

      • ChinoF says:

        Lady Gaga for me seems to have merged the eccentricity of Cyndi Lauper with the sexy vixenness of Madonna. For Filipinos who are just too backwardly conservative, she’s just another gaga. hehehe

      • Jay says:

        I was referring to this. This actually has some artistic merit as opposed to her selling an image.

      • ChinoF says:

        That Lady Gaga writes and composes her own songs is enough for me to say, this is a class act.

        And thanks for this video. It was nice to see Stephanie Germanotta before she actually went Gaga. hehehe

    • ChinoF says:

      By the way, JB showed that “foreign backing” can also mean “foreign mentorship.”

  11. Anonylol says:

    We actually have a lot of local sci-fi and fantasy writers, if Neil Gaiman’s contest is anything to go by. A lot of them are pretty good too.

    But once again, we needed a foreigner for them to be published and recognized. The locally published books are mostly the same old crap that no one really cares about. Books that are pretty much compilations of blog posts, light reading comedy books, sappy romance stories, etc.

    • J.B. says:

      The age of blog and internet may be a chance of a lifetime for those writers. Even Arnel and Charice were both helped by internet vehicles.

      If somebody can compile their works and play some tricks like what FalseVoice did to Charice or Noel Gomez did to Arnel, these writers may have a fair chance of getting known worldwide depending of course on the quality and originality of their thoughts.

    • Jay says:

      But once again, we needed a foreigner for them to be published and recognized.

      Maybe. But as J.B. said, the internet and blogsphere can definitely help if used right. Also helps to be in a community of people who read into stuff like that and help promote the compilations. None of it is going to work by local promotion since the people are brainwashed to think anything beyond what they on TV as entertainment is ludicrous.

  12. Joe America says:


    Fascinating article and enriching discussion. I think Filipinos should be rightfully proud of their talented overseas ambassadors. Boxing talent, singing talent, cooking talent (Obama’s chef) are rather like scoring a basket in hoops, a little success in a big arena, but one game of a long season. Who cares if the coach is black, white, or from the Ukraine. Enough scores in enough games and soon the world takes note. Rather than citing the Philippines as a bastion of poverty and corruption, they see it for what it is – a dynamic culture with a lot of sharp, talented people.

    Talented Filipinos getting overseas recognition should stand as incentive to do more. In science, yes. In sport. In governance, hallelujiah. To get from a desert to a golf course, you start with a patch of bermuda grass and water it. It helps if you put in a few more patches, as the growth is geometric.

    Perhaps one danger of “being Filipino” (haha, yes, Chino, something to be overcome) is represented in the reaction that greeted Martin Nevera back home after his rendition of the national anthem at a prior Paquiao fight. His wonderful artistic expression (in my foreign opinion) was soured by tight-minded people back home who demanded it be a march. It is a case of the world applauding and the home country booing.

    I have written to this point of being closed-off to new ideas in my current blog “The Filipino and the Unfettered Thought” at . I hope you will visit.


    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks for the comment Joe. I think though we’ve seen what “rightfully proud” should mean. A Filipino excels in a foreign field, fans immediately insult others as inferior, “we Filipinos are better,” some criticizes and the fans get mad, and all that – that ain’t it. I’m sure we’re also recognized as a bastion of talent, although for now it’s mostly showbusiness talent. Glad you agree Filipinos should be recognized in other areas. As for Martin, yes, we are so subject to subjective cultural quirks and criticisms, and I think that’s why some people look for greener pastures abroad. Filipino culture is somewhat intolerant. And when I’ve time, I’ll drop by your blog. Thanks again.

    • J.B. says:

      That national singing protest is not unlike the singing of baba-rainbow sheep as a result of complains that has gone overboard. Trying to protest a non-existing thing.

  13. card crusher says:

    It’s interesting that two Filipino filmmakers who won at Cannes and Venice film festivals fit the same mold of having foreign backers and recognition before (barely) registering at the radar of a typical Pinoy. Brillante Mendoza and Pepe Diokno have backers in France and Italy that got them distribution, DVD/ theatrical releases, and a shot at major film festivals. Back home Mendoza has to struggle with the MTRCB just to have public screenings of “Kinatay”. It’s even more interesting that the two men received very muted welcome after their victories. Is it because of their focus on the bleak side of the country? Only “world class filipinos” whose stories can be manipulated to show a more positive angle of the country deserve bandwagon jumping?

    Speaking of bandwagon jumping, every demographic on the planet of guilty of it as some level, but some Filipinos are very bad at disguising their noobness and kabaduyan.

    • ChinoF says:

      You know, I don’t think foreign backing is that bad… that’s how you become famous in their countries, after all. And we may need it after all. And that’s the idea in my post… why reject foreign backing? Since your own people won’t support you, go ahead and get foreign backing. Our small businesses are being snuffed out by the oligarchs… the Constitution helped in discouraging any foreign backing. Now if foreign backing seems “traitorous,” then why not support our fellow countrymen’s initiatives? Now there’s something traitorous… one little countryman has a great idea, he gets criticized and snuffed out.

      Yeah, that MTRCB… an antagonist to creativity and free expression. You’d think that they were screening COMELEC’s applications for candidacy. hehe.

      • Anonylol says:

        >”You’d think that they were screening COMELEC’s applications for candidacy. hehe.”

        Bwuh? They’re not? With all the singing, dancing and inane jingles flying around I thought they were.

      • card crusher says:

        Foreign backing has certainly been an advantageous thing to indie filmmakers who would have a harder time without the financing and word of mouth coming from other countries. Sticking to films, I don’t understand why the Regal/GMA/Star Cinemas don’t attempt co financing and co producing with other foreign firms (when the global film market was still flush with capital). Then again, that would have meant that local producers would have needed to step up quality to attract the foreign capital or co producers, but that’s another altogether.

        After watching “Ploning”, I’m still confused about the hype that surrounded it. Then again, FAP continues to make idiotic choices one after another regarding films picked to be the country’s entry into the Academy Awards. It was absurd to disregard the international momentum of some indie filmmakers/films and pick a loud slapstick dramedy in “Ded na si Lolo” last year to be selection for the country.

    • Jay says:

      Actually this is a funny dichotomy. I remember how some bloggers (with exception for a few) were trying to hype Ploning, Judy Ann Santos’ entry in the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film. It was your typical Pinoy-esque film with the redundant story with lack of acting and directing plus stunning shots of scenery (Which was done long ago by ‘A Sound of Music’)Apparently that got 2.5M from the government and Film Development Council (Holy crap did that really exist?). Of course since Judy’s name is on it, you would have the rest of the media help the rest of the mindless people support her no matter what.
      In short, it was a 2.5M gamble that never paid off for the sake of having one of the long time media darlings represent in the politics of the Academy Awards. And many people weren’t outraged by this at all, trying to justify that the project was somewhat of a success despite never achieving the initial goal with such a pretentious work.

      So yeah I’m with these real visionaries to get financial backing and success outside of the country, even if to achieve proper awareness of their body of work IN the country. The film industry continues to be stagnated due to what Chino has already mentioned.

  14. Homer says:

    We’ve all seen the slogan before, that “censorship is un-democratic”. i tend to believe in that line which I’ve seen in many t-shirts. Wish I had one of those shirts myself. Having said this, I refuse to call our country a democratic one as long as an MTRCB exists in our society. They are there (mainly) to appease the church, where people go apes**t over an exposed nipple. They are also there to supress any suspected form of subversion…to keep our society in-check, so to speak. Such an outdated and useless bunch if you ask me…

    As for the world-class Filipinos, I suspect that the world-class “label” given to them usually comes from people who are NOT qualified to determine who/what is world-class. In most cases, they are hired “publicists”. I’ll bet we’ll be grinding our teeth if we ask them to define what is world-class. We at AP can imagine how they will answer that. These people usually belong to the group of Pinoy idiots we detest here. Let this be clear to those pathetic fools who insist we are bashing all Pinoys.

    • ChinoF says:

      I suspect that the world-class “label” given to them usually comes from people who are NOT qualified to determine who/what is world-class.

      Exactly! Like singers being judged and graded by those who don’t know how to sing. Does Simon Cowell know how to sing? But he sure knows how to judge with high standards. There are after all a lot of Simon Cowell wannabes. Look at people who watch Pacquiao boxing or their fave basketball stars playing, they’ll say at a gaffe, “he should not have done that! He should have done this!” Or just look at our Wowowee crowd watching a local horror movie… “Wag kang pumasok dyan! Wag kang pumasok sabi!… Ayan, patay tuloy. Tanga-tanga eh.” As if the character will listen. 😛

  15. ArnelE says:

    Hi ChinoF, thanks for listening to our program (Sentro) and taking note of this idea.

    What Manny Pacquiao and Leah Salonga prove is that we can be world-class, not that we are already world-class for we are not. But they proved that we Pinoys can excel in something, too.

    Sad to say, we are hailing Pinoys that gained recognition abroad (actually, we hail Pinoys that gained recognition on “foreign media”, not just necessarily abroad). It is as if the judges abroad are better than us so we believe something is good only when they say so. Meanwhile, good Pinoys that are around us remain largely unrecognized.

    Let us take a look at Bayani Fernando. It is very obvious to see that Marikina is a place different from the rest of Metro Manila. In our country where garbage, street vendors, squatters and absence of government is the norm, Marikina should have been a shining example of excellence given scant resources. But no and instead, BF is pictured to be one of the dirtiest trapo in the country. Marikina has won and is still winning many international awards but since those awards are not seen on TV, they seem to have not have happened at all.

    While we hail Penaflorida as a hero because CNN says so, we regularly dismiss people in our country who have done better.

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks for coming here, too Arnel. Those words you said on the broadcast seemed like something Filipinos don’t often realize. Damn, BF is a good example of a Filipino who promoted something that isn’t popular with other Filipinos, namely discipline and compliance with laws. Those who don’t conform to our (damaged) culture are really unpopular in this country. Pineda, Pempengco and Salonga on the other hand symbolize the popular stuff, and thus, they get a more positive reaction than BF. It sure is a battle against conformism too.

    • J.B. says:

      What happened in Marikina should be a good blue-print for the country and I think it’s the only doable thing to do, a “progressive first, corrupt second” policy.

      As someone who knows something about the workings in building construction business, I have very little doubt that Fernando did his share of “stealing” being in construction business himself. But then again, he did it that his city can progress at first while his greed keep in check.

      Normally in some progressive cities, the Mayor did “admin” all projects and his kickbacks are channeled from suppliers and material supplies. But then again, the obvious fact remains. His projects were finished while leaving his pocket not a distant behind.

  16. cris n says:

    hey! after reading just two posts, I’m starting to believe I’m ‘anti-pinoy’ myself *LOL* Nice blogs guys!!!! More power to all of you.

  17. Pingback: AntiPinoy: Read it! Really great posts and discussions | Ron Del Rosario

  18. card crusher says:

    >>>> “It is as if the judges abroad are better than us so we believe something is good only when they say so. Meanwhile, good Pinoys that are around us remain largely unrecognized.”

    And some people get mad and throw the trite “crab mentality” accusation when others call them out for just hopping on the bandwagon just because some foreign people decided to rave about a Filipino…..

  19. ME says:

    a post from ArnelE is an example of a wise decision making.. for me bayani fernando is a right choice for a vice presidentiable.. take note that Arnel said marikina is far from what metro manila places is.. its because of their hardwork and discipline.. i remember our field trip on marikina 5 yrs i go down to our bus .. i was totally surprised on what i saw.. clean surroundings.. all of the buildings where renovated and maintenanced.. no pollution.. vehicles like tricycles and jeeps were aligned respectively and parked organized etc.. all those things were organized and there is no garbage that was swept by the wind.. some were recycled and some were used as fertilizers.. you see that all those was not be done without bayani fernando.. his decades on convincing people to be disciplined and work hard for success were now nominated as a most disciplined city in our country.. his rules were strictly complied by the people.. i hope that this article from chino will serve as inspiration to our fellow filipinos.. we need to stand with our own feet.. discipline and hard work.. appreciation not discrimination.. bayani fernando stand on his own to transform a small town into a city with a reputation..sorry for the grammar.. its just my opinion.. an opinion but truth inside..

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks, ME. I agree on Bayani. He really showed how a city should be run. People are attributing the destruction by Ondoy to him… but that’s just red herring. Marikina was already there even before Bayani set foot. It is stupidity to blame Ondoy on Bayani. I actually feel for him because Ondoy seemed to undo his work. Yet the city is coming back to its feet. But hopefully, he could do the same for the whole country, so the discipline hat Marikina has, the whole country could experience it.

  20. ReikaLee says:

    Again another great article I love sharing on Facebook to give those pinoys a well-deserved eye-opening slap on the face.

    Many pinoys would say, “What if the Filipino nurses and OFW’s pull out of the country. Who would the latter depend on for manual labor?” Simple! Hire people of other nationalities who are just as capable. Why do so many Filipinos think they’re the ONLY ones capable of being nurses and domestic helpers?

    I’m also personally getting tired of this, “Iba talaga ang pinoy” chant.

  21. anthony says:

    er, my dear ex-kababayan – hinay hinay lang

    Lea Salonga, Arnel Pineda, and Charice Pempengco all achieved success here before they became known abroad.

    Lea Salonga was already a successful stage and movie actress here, and recording artist, before she auditioned for Miss Saigon

    Arnel Pineda’s band here is well-known in the local band scene before Neil Schon called him

    Charice is already a popular recording artist here before Ellen Degeneres came calling

    You can say that Lea, Arnel and Charice simply moved to a much bigger stage

    Even with Pacquiao, its the same. He became a Philippine champion before he won world titles

    I bet you cannot name a “world class” Pinoy athlete or recording artist who went straight to a much bigger stage.

  22. Maki_Alam says:

    Some Pinoys just don’t get how idiotic their name-dropping and misplaced nationalism is. Perhaps a different perspective is needed to show them. Consider the following example:

    Leonardo da Vinci is Italian. So is Pavarotti, Pacino, de Niro, the cast of Jersey Shore, Mario and Luigi–all Italian! Italians are world-class! I’m so proud to be Italian! Go Italy! Viva l’Italia! Go go go! Woohoo!!!

    Disclaimer: The above example is merely used to illustrate the eye-rolling properties of this very annoying Pinoy habit and is not meant to insult Italians in any way.

  23. ReikaLee says:

    LOL!! That made me laugh. But I think the ubiquitous Justin Bieber is a better example.

    “OMG!! Justin Bieber is soooo hot and is like the cutest guy in the world. And he’s CANADIAN!! I’m proud to be Canadian. CANADA IS THE BEST!!”

  24. ReikaLee says:

    Hmm, what other examples?

    Malaysians don’t put Michelle Yeoh on a pedestal.
    Thailand doesn’t point out again and again that Tiger Woods is part-Thai.
    Australians don’t rave about Kylie Minogue, Hugh Jackman or Sam Worthington.
    Ireland doesn’t go gaga over The Corrs.
    Russia doesn’t bestow a god-like status upon Maria Sharapova.
    Austrians don’t depend their self-esteem on Arnold Schwarzenegger.
    Koreans don’t say, “I’m proud to be Korean!” or “Koreans are the best!” during the Korean Wave.

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