Why Black cultural expressions? Many people may be yelling, "Hey! We look Asian! The Philippines is in Asia!" But after self-reflection and self-research, many of us will realize that Filipinos are a very complicated "Asian" group, especially considering Spanish, White American, and African American presence/culture in the Philippines. Check it! Filipinos are extremely mixed in terms of history, language, culture, and artistic expression! Simultaneously, Filipinos occupy a distinct position in richer Asian nations, as Filipinos are mostly "lower-class" workers (and called pretty horrible things by other Asians...btw, any other folks out there have an uncle/cousin heading to Dubai to do construction work or work as a driver??? holla) and we also tend to be stage performers and entertainers in other Asian countries.
Jota dance by Philippine Performance
Arts Company folks in Florida
What is important to understand is that these influences in Filipino expressions/social positions are closely linked to the intense history of Spanish and U.S. colonization, a unique history other Asian nations do not have (yes it goes beyond the chopsticks thing). So, considering this, how would you classify Filipinos culturally/racially/ethnically? (This framework of colonization anchors the questions we will be asking in the Filipino Aesthetics Working Group.)
There is an abundance of current examples of Filipino artists/performers "pin@ytrating" mainstream public culture-- from the "dancing inmates" (Lorenzo Perillo of our Filipino Soul Aesthetics Working Group writes a mean article on these talented Cebuano prisoners), to Charice Pempengco, JabbaWockeez, and even DJ Neil Armstrong touring with Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige (any other examples?). Gathering from this very visible manifestation of Pin@y talent in the "mainstream", I have a couple of questions for you:
Kiwi and Bambu of the
former Native Guns
former Native Guns
QUESTION ONE: What ethnic/racial group do you think Pin@ys most closely resemble? [Among popular choices are Asian or Pacific Islander (as seen in Myspace profiles), but many others (as we know) gravitate towards Latino and African American cultural expressions.]
QUESTION TWO: Why do you think there is a gravitation towards Black American cultural art forms among Pin@ys?*
*This probably applies more to second-generation Fil Ams.