Confessions of a 21st Century Indio

Oct 27, 2010

Does being brown mean you’re “inferior” to other races? How do Filipinos deal with being just “brown”?

It starts with acknowledging the benefits of – and damage done by – colonization, revising schoolbooks and educational materials. It starts with the de-emphasizing of race, and emphasizing that different ethnicities in the Philippines were lumped together and oppressed during colonization. It starts with a new catalogue of Philippine history and emphasizing pre-colonial culture, defining who we are and who we came from.

Rizal once referred to “Indios Bravos”, perhaps in a satirical take to the derogatory term that the Spanish colonizers imposed upon us. Perhaps we can reclaim it as well for ourselves in the 21st century, and reclaim every negative notion of Filipino, out of the “mixture” that it has been long steeped in. The shift that I think can give us the one thing we have long been deprived of: the genuine pride that comes not from singers, from boxing matches, but from who we are and where we came from.


This post was originally published on The Marocharim Experiment in June 2010.