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Discriminated, but where you’d least expect it

About Den Dominguez

I'm a 43 year old mother of two boys ages 21 & 10. I've lived 21 years in the Philippines, 14 years & counting in the US, five years in Japan & nearly two years in Rome, Italy. I love reading, learning, hanging out with family & friends, traveling, & occasionally, writing.

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My first experience of being discriminated was when I was at a beach party, just a few days after arriving back in the Philippines.  I was around 9 at the time.   After being introduced to a woman in her 50’s, I smiled & said “Hi!  How are you?”    I tried to engage her in small talk, asking her what’s her name, where she’s from & so forth, & although she answered, I could sense she didn’t like me.  The old woman just looked at me disapprovingly.  I later found out that  after having learned I just arrived from the States,  she said “Kaya pala bastos, lumaki sa Amerika.  Di marunong magmano man lang.  Ang mga bata nga namang laki sa Amerika, walang galang!” ( No wonder she’s rude, she grew up in the States.  She doesn’t even know how to  mano.  Kids who grow up in America have no respect!)

On account of my skin color –  I’ve been called  negrabaluga  &  Amerkanang  sunog.  For the handful of non-Filipino readers of my blog, the word ‘negra’ is simply a pejorative term for dark skin color, &  ‘Amerkanang sunog’ is ‘burnt American’.  Baluga, on the other hand, refers to dark-skinned aborigines of the Philippines.

Now I am by no means  that  dark-skinned.  I am what I’d consider a typical brown-skinned Filipina, whose skin naturally gets several shades tanner when I’m exposed to the sun a few hours.  (This was during  a time when using sunblock was unheard of).  But in a country like the Philippines where being fair-skinned is a premium,  where you’ll find all sorts of soaps, lotions, & even pills that claim to whiten the skin, where girls are sometimes discouraged from playing outside for too long under the sun out of concern they’ll get dark, & where the most popular local celebrities look either Caucasian or have very fair complexion, being brown-skinned can sometimes be a target — for those who are petty, ignorant & just way too superficial.

On account of my surname –  My full maiden name is Gardenia Tucker.  Now a foreign sounding surname always attracted attention on the first day of school.  People would turn around to see who I am & some would openly snicker or whisper when they saw I looked just like them.

In the Philippines, people who had foreign surnames looked foreign, what we’d call  mestizo  or  mestiza.  If one parent was white, they’d look white; if one parent was black, the child looked black.  There’d be very little trace of the brown Filipino color or features.

Since I was adopted, I looked just like almost everybody else.  But I actually liked that people remembered me because of my name during those first few days of school.  🙂  As the days wore on though I would be remembered for something else, but I digress.

On account of being married – After graduating from college, I married & had a child before I started job-hunting.  It was very frustrating to reach the last part of the hiring process & to be told in the final interview that although they were impressed with my college transcript &  how I did on the  tests & interviews, what they wanted was someone who is single, or married but with no kids yet.  As if marrying & having a child automatically made me a moron!

I was lucky that my first regular job (the first two were ‘contractual’ or short-term jobs with little to no chance of being hired as a regular employee), I was hired by a group of people who were willing to take the risk on me & with a prestigious company at that.  Since then I haven’t had that much difficulty landing a job. I will forever be thankful to Ma’am Delma & Mars for hiring me 🙂

So my experiences with discrimination, unfortunately, are at the hands of fellow Filipinos, not by white Americans, Italians or Japanese.  Go figure.

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  • Bien Santy

    Discrimination, on account of race, ethnicity, gender, civil status, etc., is a case to case basis and should not be generalized. Your experience is solely your own experience because others with the same background as yours will have a different experience, one way or another.

  • Jylcie

    I have to agree with others’ comment about the Filipino culture of paying respects to the elderly. It was not “discrimination”, it was an “expectation”, that your parent(s) should have taught you the things you should know, especially about the country of your origin. It was neither yours or the grandma’s fault, but more of your parent(s). The comment given was not really for you, but for the person/people who brought you up.

    And as for not having been hired–look at it this way: even if the job was very demanding, and your kid got sick, of course you wouldn’t go to work. They just cannot hire you for a job that they know you can’t be absent, and they can’t force you to go to work if something at home turns up. Every employee absence is a cost to the company–and I believe you understand that. It’s not discrimination, nor was it you being considered as being dumb–it’s just because you weren’t the one they were looking for, and at the time, they just can’t take the risk; whereas with larger, more prestigious companies can take that risk. 🙂

    I do understand your point; however, discrimination is merely how you perceive it to be. You will not feel discriminated if you could just take a while to look at the reasons why these are done, and try to understand. There are several versions of the truth, each one different from the other, but every person believes that truth they know to be real. Try to seek the reasons behind what you have experienced; learn, and understand; before you deem it as something that was being intentionally done against you.

    • I agree with you that it was an expectation, but the way she treated me during the brief time I tried to engage her in small talk & afterwards (she even made a nasty comment about us not being Catholics) is what I’d consider discriminatory. She was nice to the other kids, but not with me & my brother. If the comment really wasn’t for me, then a 9 year old girl, it sure didn’t feel like that to me. She should have directed her irritation to my mother or to the adults who brought us to the beach party, but no, it was directed at a child. Plus, I don’t think it’s excusable to treat anyone like that simply becasue they don’t fit your expectations.

      As for the company I applied for, it is a large, fairly prestigious company in the Philippines. And I do understand that every employee absence costs a company, but still I think it is discriminatory of an employer to NOT hire you because of your marital status. I had already aced their exams, gone through several interviews, & that last interview the man just looked at the application form, didin’t even bother to look at the test results or at the other notes by the previous interviewes & simply dismissed me by saying, “Well, you’re married & you have a kid.” Eh di sana they shouldn’t have wasted my time by letting me go through the entire hiring process.

      True, discrimination is how you perceive it. In my particular case, I believe it fits the definition of discrimination, which is the “unfair treatment of a person based on prejudice.” Everything that I wrote above was intentionally done against me based on different prejudices held by people…it wasn’t accidental, it was intentional.

      • Jylcie

        I believe you are missing the whole point in what I just said. 🙁 Please allow me to explain:

        There are several versions of the truth, each one different from one another. Your version of the story is the truth to you, because that’s what you believe to be true. Their version of the story is what they believe to be true, and my understanding of the situation is what I believe to be true.

        What I am saying is, try to look into other people’s eyes for a while and try to understand why they did what they did. Don’t get me wrong; I am not trying to rectify whatever they did, but sometimes, when we experience things is because it’s a way for us to learn yet another truth, and a way for us to know what truth other people believe in.

        You can’t apologize for telling the truth–like the way you can’t apologize that you wrote this article, because this is your truth, and you speak only in the most truthful way possible. But the reason why I am saying this is because the article seems a little one-sided, and I am suggesting that you try to find out the reason why these things were done to you before you decide that it was an “act of prejudice”. 🙂

      • joadobo

        I would say that experience of you not getting a job because of the reason that you are married IS discrimination. That is a lame excuse to not hire someone who is qualified. That is how things in the Philippines operate though, in other countries that wouldn’t happen.

    • ramon

      problem with filipinos growing up abroad is their lack of understanding of their roots. they come back to the philippines without an iota of understanding of how things are done in our country, then proceed to complain why our country is not like their first world homes.

      the painful truth is the philippines is not going to change in a snap. it still needs time for the people to mature, and have leaders that are genuinely caring enough to transform the country from its sad state. until then, instead of bashing and lashing our motherland, we should try to find ways to improve it. but those basic signs of respect to the elderly is not one of them. those are virtues instilled from our forefathers.

      mahirap yang puro dada at reklamo, pero wala naman kayong ginagawa para sa sariling bansa natin.

  • galo

    tama po, it’s about culture, hehehe ako rin madalas masabihan rude, It’s hard to lie, bastos po ang magsabi nga FAT, dapat BIG or LARGE. OLD should be AGED.

    • joadobo

      hahaha patawang excuse pinoy na pinoy lang ah

  • Hola

    You have a point my dear. However, why won’t you reflect as a filipino and be ashamed of yourself for not knowing the culture. It is not discrimination, kahit sa korea or china ka magpunta everybody should show respect to the elderly.the words po and opo wont take you years to memorize. Hindi ba ikaw, being ignorant of the filipino culture, ang mismong nggegneralize at ngdiscriminate.

    • I was 9 at the time, why should I be ashamed for not knowing something I was not taught in the first place?

      • ramon

        my god you were nine pero naalala mo ang nangyari, that means may isip ka na. you want to be treated like the same kids but you cant even accept the fact na kailangan mong magmano or mag po at opo? malamang pati sa anak mo di mo itinuro yan dahil sa nangyari sayo. tsk tsk. day, ang respeto needs to be earned, no matter where you grew up.

        • mac

          kulit mo mang ramon.d nga tinuro sa kanya ang pagmamano eh.oo kultura nating mga pilipino yan pero dapat ba iclassify ang magalang na bata at d magalang sa pagmamano lang at d pagsabi ng po at opo?go more thing research what discrimination means..we filipinos have it.admit it or not.

        • AJ

          Just because she didn’t show respect in the traditional Filipino way, doesn’t mean she was being disrespectful. Not EVERYONE is going to know local culture. It’s not disrespectful to not mano. She even tried to make small talk. She was clearly trying not to be rude.

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    • eric

      oo nga po, siya mismo nangdi-discriminate eh. Dinidiscriminate niya lola niya. nag-diminiscrate-an sila. hahaha~

      • eric

        nag-discriminate-an pala.

  • Jeff

    Joadobo i see you constantly trying to reword or twist the meaning of words to make it come across as the Philippines not being full of bigots…

    Sorry it does not work that way, the bigotry in this country is promoted by television, politics and the common person. Degrading others for skin color, education, place of birth, and their name even is flat out bigotry. Here ya go, the actual definition: big·ot·ry? ?[big-uh-tree] Show IPA
    noun, plural -ries.
    1.stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

    And lets add in discrimination to educate you: treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

    So as you can see, either of those words fit quite apropos to the common Filipinos treat and attitude towards anyone that appears or sounds to not have been born and raised here in the Philippines. Don’t like that? then go out and help change it, unless of course you are striving so hard to defend it cause you do it prolifically yourself, as i saw you attack that Steve Macon fellow for stating his opinion which yeah, nice one there.

    • joadobo

      Excuse me Jeff with all due respect I am not rewording anybody’s to change anyone’s opinion especially you. I am critical about how things are interpreted. Did I say that discrimination does not exist in the Philippines anywhere in the things that I wrote? I am not intolerant I chose to point out a different view of things and if you can’t take it then I don’t blame you. This article is merely stating out rants of personal experiences I do not see any discrimination on it. When you are discriminated dear, its more a belief about you that hinders you from getting a goal like a career, job. Do not even mention Steven Macon here it is not connected. Writing has a tone you see and your tone is the one that is full of bigotry. You can the filipinos attitude towards kids who are born abroad then if you are so full of knowledge of what the root cause of the attitude is dude it happens everywhere.

      • joadobo

        *You can change filipinos’ attitude towards kids born abroad that is if they are ALL treated the same way as the writer of this article was. I’m sure you know all about it what it might have caused it if you insist that everything she has said is purely discrimination. Now re read your definition of bigotry and read again what you have written see who is a bigot.

  • Tommy

    What you commented on is very true. When I stay at hotels to visit my relatives in the Philippines, foreigners would get the better treatment. They get the service first even if Pinoys were in line first. At the airport, Immigration officials would automatically assume that Pinoys can speak Tagalog even if Tagalog is not the only language that the Philippines has and they find it offensive that a Pinoy can’t respond in Tagalog when they serve a job that exposes them to Pinoys from abroad who obviously carry a foreign passport that states where they grew up or where they were born. Taxi drivers and people in the service industry expect you to tip them or charge more for Pinoys who are from abroad. Naturally they expect us to be financially well off even if we are as Pinoy as your ordinary Jeepney driver.

    When it comes to government services, the people behind the counter expect a bribe or something more from you. It never fails that whenever I go anywhere in the Philippines Pinoys with an English accent get scammed for more money.

    Pinoys from abroad who choose to come back and create a business or retire in the Philippines often find government bureaucracy as their number one obstruction. They’re limited to what they can do because of government workers who choose to create an opportunity for themselves by throwing all kinds of obstacles for Pinoys who wish to contribute to the motherland. Running for office is next to impossible for Pinoys who come back to Pinas simply because they don’t have the “pull” from government officials and workers. If one doesn’t have the funds to pay off bureaucrats, one doesn’t get far or anywhere at all. Generations have grown up knowing this that it has now become part of Philippine tradition to expect a pay off or a favor in return.

    It’s not going to change, not in my generation or the next. Sad but true.

  • em

    totoo naman eh..ang mga dayuhan d ka pagtatawanan kahit mali grammar o pronounciations..pero kapwa pinoy parang malaking kasalanan yun.magsalita ka ng purong tagalog kukutyain at mamaliitin ka pa.db diskriminasyong matatawag yang katagang chekwa,bumbay,sakang etc?bata lang nga ba at biro lang ba talaga pag tnawag kang negra,baluga o sunog? at oo, diskriminasyon pa ding matatawag yung height limit, status preference at pati pagsulat ng religion sa bio data…lalo na at walang kinalaman sa trabahong inaaplayan.punta ka sa embassy..tignan mo kung sino unang aasikasuhin..dayuhan at indi kapwa pinoy.masisinghalan ka pa pag kumontra ka.

    • joadobo

      puso mo hinay hinay lang lol

      • em

        @joadobo puso ko? ayos lang.but at least now you have an idea of what discrimination is…it’s not pintas, panlalait or inggit or joke as you have said in your previous’s something you don’t have or you are not qualified para makasama ka sa grupo. example ko na lang tong si boy muslim na kapitbahay ko..binansagan sya acdng to his religion..i won’t say na nainggit, nilait or pintas,certainly not a joke but as plain as ‘kakaiba’ kasi sya sa grupo..

        • joadobo

          now what you are saying is actual discrimination because it has a big impact on your potential. that i would agree is discrimination but the article above most of it are rants.

    • sol

      mukhang nasinghalan ka ng kapwa natin ah.. hehe. ok lng yun, may mga tao talagang medyo sarado ang isip, ikaw ang mas nakaka unawa, ikaw na lang ang umintindi.. maligayang pasko 😀

  • Chenelyn

    Well… it’s just a clash of cultures… in the Philippines before pag di ka marunong mag-po at opo or magmano bastos ka na talaga. Lalo pa laking Amerika ka pala. That was not discrimination that was you being considered rude. Ngayon mga tao di na marunong mag-po at opo eh. Kahit sa TV walang ganun. Tsk. If taken in your context, BASTOS NA MGA FILIPINO NGAYON. wahaha~ gumagaya na kase sa kultura ng ‘Kano.

    And it sounds like you’re griping about this because you’ve felt discriminated by fellow Pinoys when in fact it’s just you not being able to find any opportunities here. You are already an American in how you think and say things, now who’s discriminating on who?

    • I spent only 4 years in the US, from the age of 5-9 years old. I would hardly consider that growing up there. Sa Pilipinas na ako from the age of 9-28.

      There’s a difference between griping & just stating one’s experience. How do you know I didn’t find any opportunities here? 🙂 I had a good career in the human resources field doing everything from recruitment, compensation & benefits admin to training & organizational development before I left the Philippines.

      • Chenelyn

        Oh yun naman pala eh. Good for you. Sige sabihin nating you were kinda raised there na lang. Still your first argument does not qualify as racism. Yun lang. =) Cheers.

        • joadobo

          discrimination hinders you from potential opportunities due to prejudice so mabigat na word na sabihin na discriminate ka dahil tinukso ka lang ng mga taong kilala mo. napigilan ba nun makapagtapos ka sa pag aaral or makakuha ng magandang trabaho? dun mo sabihin sa akin na discriminate ka dear.

          • Chenelyn

            oops i meant discrimination, not racism. haha~

      • joadobo

        there are companies who rather employ a single person due to the demand of long hours of work consider that thought dont take it personal.

        • Chenelyn

          tama! i believe discrimination is everywhere naman. Not commonly in the Philippines. Nasa Pinas lang kase tayo lagi, kaya parang tayo na ang magaling mag-discriminate, pero likas lang magaling mamintas mga Pinoy imho.

    • lasalista

      it is VERY racist to say na kung laking amerika na eh bastos na. Pag pilipino nman pwedeng harapan na magmamano at gagamit ng po at opo pero talikurang binabastos ang mga matatanda…at mga matatanda ang kikitid ng utak at mas bastos pa, tulad nyan kinakausap na nga ng bata, ansama pa ng tingin..

      • Chenelyn

        i guess pag nabastos ka sasama rin tingin mo sa taong nambastos sa’yo di ba?

    • onecrap26

      True, very true..Some people just don’t get it..

    • Rhena

      In our language, “po at opo” are not present. Thus, if a younger person doesn’t address the elderly with those words, it doesn’t necessarily mean he/she is rude. It’s how you regard them that matters the most.

  • marie

    “So my experiences with discrimination, unfortunately, are at the hands of fellow Filipinos, not by white Americans, Italians or Japanese. Go figure.”

    I’m curious, why specifically just saying “white” Americans? What about African Americans, etc?

    • Good that you noticed 🙂 Kasi when Pinoys talk about discrimination, they’re usually talking about the majority group in the population, which in this particular case are the white Americans. Although a few have experienced discrimination from other minority groups (African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans), usually they’re referring to white Americans when they talk of discrimination.

  • Angela

    I’m a Fil-Am (my mom was Filipino and my dad was American) and I also experienced a lot of discrimination in the Philippines. I think a lot of the commenters saying that you did not experience discrimination are being defensive. I don’t look very Filipino, but I grew up here. I hated studying here because I got bullied everyday because of my race, the way I looked, and because of my accent. I didn’t learn to speak Tagalog till I was in 5th grade because my dad was very strict in implementing an all-English rule in our home, so naturally, I had an American accent. I don’t understand why my Filipino batchmates kept bullying me because I spoke perfect English and looked different. Just because our culture is different, doesn’t mean it gives you guys a right to bully us. I’m sure bullying happens everywhere, but it’s sad that fellow Filipinos discriminate each other. I studied in the US for a couple of months because my dad was being treated there, and I have NEVER experienced any discrimination. I was never bullied. I had this other batchmate who transferred from Nevada to our high school during senior year, and she was heavily bullied too because she was from the US. She was full Filipino and was a good Christian girl, so, no way was she rude. I also think that Filipinos discriminate each other because they keep dissing each others’ looks. You can’t walk anywhere without seeing a single whitening advertisement in view. What does that say about us? Filipinos are constantly trying to look white when we should all be proud of our tan skin. Do you know how many people have gotten skin cancer to get skin like ours? When you call someone negra or baluga, you’re only bringing each other down. Why do it? It’s like you’re saying looking Filipino isn’t good and we should strive to be whiter. More caucasian. It’s sad.

    • joadobo

      again, that is bullying due to insecurities nila inggitera lang yun mga yun sayo. iba ang discrimination because they have a bigger impact on a person. usually happens in a corporate environment.

      • Angela

        They bullied me because of my race. Isn’t that discrimination? I even had a school teacher yell at me and foreign classmates, in the middle of class, “Go back to your country! You people make Filipinos stupid!” It’s not fair and it’s uncalled for.

  • Discrimination, as defined by several online dictionaries, is basically the unfair treatment of a person based on prejudice. Unfortunately, this happens everywhere, kahit saang bansa may discrimination. My point when writing this was that a lot of people were expecting that because I’m a foreigner in other countries, ako ang magiging target ng discrimination, but that hasn’t happened to me yet.

    What’s kinda sad is that, in my experience, kapwa Filipinos are the ones who’ve treated me in a discriminatory manner. And it has nothing to do with being Filipino, dahil nga kahit saang bansa merong discrimination. I think it just boils down to ignorance & narrow-mindedness. And I think that’s what we all need to learn, regardless of our nationality or citizenship — we need to look at other people as human beings & avoid judging them because of their race, color, age, sexual orientation, or any other external factors.

    • joadobo

      is someone being prejudice about you kapag tinawag kang payatot, mataba, baluga or kulot? thats not discrimination dear, panlalait tawag diyan. ang pilipino mapanglait by nature blunt and never indirect not purely out of ignorance. its not as simple as that you grew up in america the first few years of your life so you are an american who has filipino roots. you are generalizing. discrimination dahil tinawag kang bastos? ive moved to england ive been called rude coz i dont say goodmorning to people when i see them in the morning. malay ko ba di kami ganun sa bahay sa pinas pero i wouldnt consider that discrimination. its more of ignorance of people about another’s culture.

      • Chenelyn

        Ah, couldn’t have said it any better. =)

      • em

        how bout some pinoys calling their kapwa pinoy boy muslim,totoy tagalog or inday bisaya? discrimination or panlalait? oh come on! i know prejudice is everywhere..but in the phil ibang level eh.And i am fed up because i am always judged by the color of my skin(by my own race!) and not on my other qualities.

        • wela

          ayun na panlalait na nga yun.

          • em

            @wela i beg your pardon? anung kalait lait sa kulay kayumanggi? or being a muslim or tagalog or bisaya? isa ka pa eh…

            • wela

              nag-agree lang ako sa’yo na panlalait nga yung examples mo, hindi discrimination.

              wag masyadong galit sa mundo. chill.

        • Chenelyn

          magkaiba ang panlalait sa pag-aalis ng kahit anong karapatan or discrimination.

          Panlalait kase inaasar ka lang at iniinis dahil nai-inggit sila or minamatapobrehan ka. Ex. Negra, Ita, Intsik, taba, payatot, patay gutom, jologs etc.

          Discrimination inaalis ka sa lipunan or sa grupo dahil sa itsura mo o sa estado sa buhay atbp.

          Examples ha:
          – Di ka tinanggap as call center agent kase nurse ka at akala nila magreresign ka agad pagka-pasa mo ng board.
          – Inuuna yung mas maporma ang damit at mukhang mayaman kahit na pare-pareho kayong nakapila.
          – Dahil Igorot ka, kahit laking Maynila ka pa, mababa tingin nila sa’yo kahit magaling ka sa mga ginagawa mo.

          They are related but different.

          I think what the article writer is referring to here is being a victim of society, not necessarily discrimination per se. Although Filipinos are not perfect we really need to work on getting rid of our colonial mentality. Kaya naman tayo nagkakaganito eh.

          • em

            @wela..chillin now! sorry I got carried away.:)
            @chenelyn YES! there’s a thin line. tell it to a person who just lost the opportunity to work in a good company just bec she is ‘too dark’ without even looking at her other sad. but it’s really happening. I still thank the author for bringing this up.

  • ramon

    oh and also, parang mali yata calling what you experienced discrimination. masyadong mabigat. when i was a kid tinatawag din akong baluga dahil maitim ako. is that discrimination? its being bullied to some extent, or talagang inaasar lang ako. part of growing up. im sure the states has them. better yet, each and every country has them. yung paghanap ng work, day napakaraming pilipinong nagaagawan sa trabaho, of course the company would at some point have the luxury to choose. kung tingin nila mas magiging efficient ang walang anak thats their managerial decision. again im quite sure it happens to a lot of countries, especially those whose economy is taking a hit. babaw ng mga dahilan mo,sa totoo lang.

    • Lorna

      I agree that the companies has the luxury to choose who they hire. But if they hire based on marital status, having children, age and looks, that is outright discrimination. It is just sad that it is happening in the country of our birth.

      • lasalista

        oh yeah in regards to employment, applicants in the philippines are heavily discriminated upon by height too

    • wela

      medyo mababaw nga eh. pero kita mo maka-react mga tao. hmmm. mababaw pa lang na issue yan, panu kung malalim na discrimination na? Ay naku lagot na, sobrang init na ng diskusyon pag nagkataon.

  • ramon

    oh and also, parang mali yata calling what you experienced discrimination. masyadong mabigat. when i was a kid tinatawag din akong baluga dahil maitim ako. is that discrimination? its being bullied to some extent, or talagang inaasar lang ako. part of growing up. im sure the states has them. better yet, each and every country has them. yung paghanap ng work, day napakaraming pilipinong nagaagawan sa trabaho, of course the company would at some point have the luxury to choose. kung tingin nila mas magiging efficient ang walang anak thats their managerial decision. again im quite sure it happens to a lot of countries, especially those whose economy is taking a hit.
    babaw ng mga dahilan mo,sa totoo lang.

  • joadobo

    I would say yes this happens all the time. But not only in the Philippines, everywhere else. It is not discrimination I would say as culture operates in a very complex way. I would say when in Rome do as the Romans. You grew up in America not your fault that you were not taught filipino values by your parents, but when you were called bastos, it was a mere reaction to the way you were. In culture there are certain expectations of behaviour and if the expectations are not met there is a reaction of disappointment to the point of disgust. Now we filipinos are very blunt with our words. In the western world when you call somebody you know as fat, that would be called rude. However, in the Philippines we are so insensitive that we do not know when to draw the line and call friends taba, negra, payat, its not just you who experienced it everyone else in the Phils did.

  • ramon

    if you were 9 that would make it the 70’s when you engaged in small talk with an elderly. sorry but that will be considered bastos. what you need to understand is our elderly expects us to be magalang, and that is a very nice trait by filipinos. doesnt mean you’re being treated differently, because sila ang naoffend, not you.