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Subject: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in America


Author:
Chris
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Date Posted: 01/16/02 8:55pm PST

This one's regarding Filipino identity crisis. You can detect IMSCF Syndrome when a Filipino with no Spanish and/or Chinese blood at all claims to be a mix of Spanish, Chinese and Pinoy. That person usually recites when asked his/her ethnicity: "I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino." This has been a common problem among Filipino-Americans. It would be interesting to know if Filipinos in places other than the USA are also afflicted with this. Filipino readers in other countries outside the Philippines, you can tell us your personal experiences on this. Is this syndrome widespread among Filipinos in your adopted country?

A Fil-American friend's view is that because of the negative international image of the Philippines and the lack or invisibility of Filipino role models in America, the Fil-Am youth deny their Filipinoness or fake it. This topic should be attractive. Speak your minds, Filipino-Canadians, Filipino-Australians, Filipino-British and other Pinoys/Pinays. And no, I don't have IMSCF syndrome.

Read Kalani Mondoy's enlightening web page, entitled "Filipino Identity," to understand what I'm talking about: http://home.earthlink.net/~motuahina/visaya/identity.html.

It says partially: You can see the Spanish surnames with the Filipino people. (This) was due to the Claveria decree implemented by Governor General Narciso Claveria in 1849. A Catalogo Alfabetico de Apellidos or "Book of Surnames" was created. This was done so that maintaining tax records could be easier since Filipinos initially did not have surnames and many of the early converts of Catholicism adopted names of saints and in turn duplication of the same surnames were numerous...Throughout the centuries, the fact that Filipinos looked upon the Spanish as the "elite" since it was they who held most of the positions in office, being "Spanish" would be looked upon as a high status. This has continued down until the present, and many Filipinos today still say that they have Spanish blood when in reality they might really have very little or in most cases, none at all...Many Filipinos are not comfortable calling themselves Filipinos alone and still use "Spanish" as part of their ethnic description...How Filipinos are looked upon by some societies and what happened with the early Filipino immigrants (in America) in the past give today's Filipinos more reason to use other terms when describing themselves...My paternal grandmother was from Cebu, so regional pride was important for her and she passed that unto us. Like many Filipinos today, my grandmother said the same thing to us that have been said for generations - that we are Spanish. I have traced my grandmother's genealogy going through records as far back as 1842, and traced ancestors who were probably born around the 1760s. None of them were Spaniards, and their baptism and death records did indicate that they were "indios" or native Filipinos.

Related to this is Filipinology's revealing article entitled "Pinoys in Hawaii": http://members.fortunecity.com/filipinology/hawaii.htm.

Parts of it state: Most local-born (Hawaii) Filipinos are even notorious for having no Filipino pride at all, and they readily classify themselves as Hispanic, Chinese and Filipino when, in fact, their parents are pure-blooded Pinoy from the Philippines. What's worse is, because they are looked down upon by non-Filipinos, sometimes they wish they weren't Filipino; they try to replace their true identity with Hawaiian and say, "I'm Spanish, Chinese and Hawaiian." But their facial features...are a dead giveaway. Filipino community leaders believe that the discrimination against them by other Asians in Hawaii is due to bad stereotypes perpetuated by famous Honolulu personalities like Lois Ann Yamanaka, Frank De Lima, etc. Somebody from West Covina, California wrote to Filipinas Magazine (January 1999) that in Hawaii, "teasing jokes and verbal cruelty by Japanese children and adults (against Filipinos)" are commonplace. Filipinos are "always degraded, constantly overlooked." Local Filipinos, as a consequence, grow up with low self-esteem...According to Augusto Espiritu, Ph.D., "In Hawaii, unlike the Mainland, Filipinos belong to the bottom of the racial and economic hierarchy next to Samoans and (indigenous) Hawaiians." The only best times to see happy Pinoy faces are during weekend parties and Sunday masses when Filipinos dress like billionaires and flock into those air-conditioned Catholic buildings of worship. On the positive side, many Filipinos have abandoned Hawaii and found the true meaning of paradise in California, Illinois, New York, Washington, Texas, New Jersey, Florida and other U.S. Mainland states.

"Living as an AJA - Ashamed to be Filipino?" by Geraldine Morales de Leon is worth your time, too: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/neh/oct/gleon2.html.

It says in part: I sometimes also get upset when some people are not as proud of their Filipino heritage as they ought to be. I have a cousin who is half-Caucasian and half-Filipino who usually claims that he is Spanish. He hardly ever mentions that he has Filipino in him. I think it has more to do with how ignorant he is of his Filipino heritage. If he learned more about his cultural roots, I think he may have a different attitude about being Filipino.

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Replies:
Subject Author Date
Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaBarney Caparros01/20/02 4:43pm PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaSandy01/29/02 3:00pm PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in Americaisadora02/ 2/02 10:30am PST

OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF INTEGRATION AND SOCIALIZATION, IF ONE DECIDES TO DESCRIBE THEIR BACKGROUND AS FILIPINO, WHITE, AND SPANISH, IT'S UP TO THAT PERSON; HE/SHE IS THE ONE WHO KNOWS THEIR FAMILY LINEAGE BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. I FEEL NO ONE CAN REALLY SAY THEY'RE REALLY FULL BLOODED; EVERYONE IS MIXED ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. BEING "FILIPINO" IS WITHIN ONE'S DAILY RITUALS, HABITS, AND/OR CULTURAL BELIEFS. (NT)C.F.02/ 5/02 6:18pm PST

Filipinos in Hawaii, USA, Canada, Australia, South America, Europe, Africa, Bangkok [Re: Identity Crisis]Anxious, Bewildered, Confused02/ 6/02 4:21pm PST

I was plagued with the disease.Mang Tomas03/ 6/02 6:51pm PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaA_Very_Proud_Filipino03/ 3/03 3:22pm PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaJ. Manzon03/23/03 7:44pm PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaAllyn05/ 8/03 9:09am PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in Americacynthia01/22/04 12:41pm PST

I enjoyed reading your message and the others that follows - very interesting and informative. Well, let the Filipinos who live in Hawaii call themselves as Hawaiians. As for us Filipinos who live here in California can call ourselves as CALIFORNIANS. (NT)NO BIG DEAL! NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY HIDE THEIR REAL IDENTITY, THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT!03/ 4/04 11:30am PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaMel03/ 5/04 4:43pm PST

Screw that "Spanish blood" syndrome....you are NegritoJaimejaime03/17/04 9:21am PST

She said FILIPINO (first)-spanish-chinese. She said that here parents were from the Philippines and she was born in Hawaii. (NT)viewer03/24/04 6:37pm PST

I don' t think all Fil-Ams say that. I'm Fil-Am, and when asked about it, I just say: "I'm Filipino." If asked, "Where are you from?" I say, "Virginia" cause I'm from there. But when they say, "No, your ethnicity?" I say, "My parents were born/raised in the Phils; I'm Filipino," tho I know I have Spanish, Chinese, Irish blood. Just say you're "Filipino." I've noticed a lot of those from Hawaii "break down" their ethnicities. It's not as common on the mainland. (NT)ta-rue...03/25/04 5:57am PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaAllie03/29/04 2:56am PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaMaryann Uy03/31/04 6:59am PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaJLowe04/11/04 9:46am PDT

The AncestryByDNA.com genetic test should provide a more definitive answer regarding the genetic racial makeup of an individual. Recent advances in genetic testing have put the answer to questions/claims like those made on this website (e.g., I'm Filipino, Chinese, and Spanish, etc.). Whether your goal is to assist in validating your true racial makeup or just to satisfy your curiosity, Ancestry DNA testing is the only scientifically rigorous method available for this purpose in existence today.Tresyang Dupaya-Adhikari06/26/04 3:52pm PDT

i am more than half chinese, a quarter of filipina and spanishmargarette si07/15/04 7:11am PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaMR.Cardenas08/26/04 7:27pm PDT

I don't understand why you have to be ashamed of saying you are a FIlipino since Filipinos have a rich heritage of east and west. In the 1800's the Philippines was the center of trade of Asia reacher than Hongkong and Singapore. Second to Japan until Marcos' term. I have a treu Spanish blood but I always identify myself by myself as a Filipino my nationality and proud of it because I've done something good to enrich myslef. I don't understand why the Pinoys in America have this identity crisis (NT)Mestiza Verdad10/26/04 7:58am PDT

just a clarification for those confuse from chinese-malay-aboriginal(negro) thing.dan02/22/05 4:40am PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in Americanate craig04/25/05 12:33am PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaChai07/ 5/05 6:55am PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaJ.R09/29/05 8:36am PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaCraig10/ 5/05 6:03pm PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaCraig10/ 5/05 6:10pm PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaChristy10/12/05 5:10am PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaCeleste10/19/05 10:52pm PDT

I have IMSCFMarielle11/13/05 3:15pm PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaMarsha Lynn (Rapada) Hunter01/31/06 1:02am PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in Americaeric05/31/06 9:45am PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaLauren07/ 3/06 7:36pm PDT

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaDerrick02/21/07 2:19pm PST

Re: IMSCF Syndrome ("I'm Spanish-Chinese-Filipino" Syndrome) in AmericaDaniel R. (Sad)01/21/10 7:17pm PST


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