Recently a new fan on Facebook emailed me asking the following questions after some heated discussion on comments.
He asked me a simple question, “Why are you so harsh on the Samoan culture, or Fa’a Samoa?
[box] Note: I do not like the language in the video but funny nevertheless.[/box]
I had a friend in Manila recently send me this video on YouTube where a NON-FLIPINO was mocking all types of things in our culture, some of which that the old people consider “sacred.” I really have to laugh at some his positions and I tend to agree with every of them. No, I am not offended at him at all!
Much of what hits on many Flipinos have sit around coffee tables in Makati on lunch break talking about. There are the same things we have said privately but most wouldn’t publicly because of the outcry of the people who struggled to be “free” (but 10 times poorer) in 1946.
[mejsvideo src="http://petervandever.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/culture.flv" width="500" height="400"]
Sometimes, we have to be lighten up and realize some of the things we do is silly. Many of the things he mocks have historical reasoning for them (such as the security everywhere) but today, they just look silly to most people. Also, some of them need an “upgrade.”
Now, I am sure if the guy has been in the Philippines for three years; he must love being there and enjoy pinoy life.
Out culture is what it is and messed up is what it is most of the time.
I have publicly stated some of what he says and more so over the years. In December 2009, I mocked the traditional culture so much that congressmen were campaigning for my “deportation.” (You can deport a citizen though). It is quite funny looking back that they hating someone just for pointing out what they would not do! lol
In the end, I love the people, hate the culture!
Here is some picture I took while teaching at a WordPress conference in Boracay.
Yesterday was Single Awareness Day (SAD day). For so many, we make this 24 hours of shame, for others it is 24 hours of fornication and for some, it is 24 hours of pretending you still love the person you married the year before. No matter what it was for you, the truth is Feb 14 is a time of missed opportunities for most. It is a state of poverty mentally and socially.
I have been single for most of the last 31 years and not had a serious relationship since 2009 (while I was in the Philippines). Yea, I talk to women but…
There seems to be a culture of expectations in the world today.
We have this pretty little checklist of things we think we need in a relationship. When we find the person who meets the 7-10 society tells us we need in a spouse, we get married. Who said society knows what you need in a relationship? For real, are you dating a person or a society? I mean for real.
The reason I believe our divorce is out of control in many countries is the cultural ramifications of relationships. Culture has no business telling two people with a mind, will and emotions how to operate their relationship at all.
If we are to come into a place of open, transparent, relationships; it is going to be living for what you believe is important, not society, culture, or even religion tells you is important. So much of what we believe to be “good” for a relationship is based on culture, religion and political status; not personal identity.
There seems to be a fixation of early marriage
I spent alot of time with Flipinos, Samoans and Americans. I can tell you one thing the Flipino people have right: getting married in your 30′s or 40′s. Yes, there is some fornication happening, I will give you that but Samoans and Americans marrying so young makes for some unhappy marriages and because of religious expectations, they are mandated to stay unhappy. Afterall, we do teach God wants us holy, not happy; right?
One of the things I believe is good about Flipino culture is figuring out who you are and what you want in life before you tie yourself down to someone who will not be the same person with the same values and goals in 10 years.
Most of my friends who got married at 20-22 are now either divorced or they should be divorced. Few are happy 11 years later. Why? They didn’t wait to find out who they are before committed to someone else just as confused about their own identity.
There seems to be a better way.
I am not, at all, condoning any behavior that we demonize religiously, culturally or socially. I am saying the biggest problem with relationships is people change. Which is worse, get married to please others, have a few kids then realize you don’t want the same thing in life leaving the children with divorced parents or doing what some concern wrong to save a divorce, broken children and a hell of alot of money? Again, I am not saying fornication is acceptable.
What I am saying is we need to rethink what we value and the high importance we put on marriage, especially among young people to start family based on society’s standards of religion, culture and sociality.