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My Philippine Identity Essay

1917 words - 8 pages

My Philippine Identity

Identity is the essence of a person which makes him stand out as an individual. There are various factors which help form and evolve a person's persona, and that is what I write about in the follwing essay.

We did not think it mattered! Who needed the "right" car, family lineage, the "right" education, domestic helpers--basically the "right" everything? We perceived all of the above as parts of the pretension of the Philippine society, yet it was so easy for us to ignore and dissociate ourselves from it because we were the products of this "right" term. We could deny the class system and insult it because we were luckily born into the advantageous class, and we had these "right elements" accessible to us. If we became tired of the society we could complain about it or excommunicate ourselves, but since we were considered the "privileged class" we could always return and the level of respect would still be there. We were in a no lose situation in this respect.

The Philippine society consists of distinct class systems which depend, number one, on the family background of a person, then number two, the socioeconomic level. Which family you come from, whether they are in business, in politics, etc. is very important. People really look at surnames. If you have a revered surname you get some kind of automatic respect, even if you are not a very kind person. Money also matters but if you have just recently encountered your wealth and you do not belong to the right kind of family, chances are you will be considered "nouveau riche."

Many of my friends and I used to complain about the materialism of the people, the way we had to act a certain way in front of adults, the social obligations, and how one had to have the right everything. In a way we could be called the rebel thinkers because we tried not to stick to the expected views and ways of thinking that most of the other teenagers had. We looked down on some of the other teenagers who went to the same discos, bars, and parties, who were caught up on the topic of family and wealth. You could tell who these people were because the girls would blab about the new jewelry that her boyfriend or family gave her, or they would comment about a guy's car or money before his personality and charms. Some of the teenage boys, on the other hand, to impress especially the girls, would brag about their parents' wealth and they would make it sound like they were the ones who earned it. There was one instance when this guy tried to impress me by saying that he bought his car (Mercedes Benz) with his own money and he also said that he supported his parents financially. This was a lie because the boy was only sixteen then, and all he did was go out and party. This occurrence is an unending cycle because the men know that most of the teenage girls look for superficial attributes primarily before personality.

Although my friends and I were disgusted with the pretension and the...

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