In response to that damn article..
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1. You just got here. Eat your humble pie.
2. Understand your privilege.
We get that you want to be involved, but maybe ask Filipinos first what they think before you start with your grandiose plans? And remember, at the end of the day, your greatest privilege is being able to “get out” or “go home” if things in the Philippines don’t work out. Filipinos do not have that privilege.
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3. Work toward building your understanding of the Philippines, its people, history and current issues before you start ANYTHING.
We see where you’re going with that, but the concept of “uniting” Filipinos undermines our diverse cultural, historical, religious, tribal, lingual and geographical roots. #CelebrateDiversity
4. No need to reinvent the wheel.
Learn from existing good work being done in the country, analyze your own strengths and limitations and together figure out how to fill gaps.
5. Before giving advice, shut up and listen. Learning should be a two-way dialogue.
Believing that Fil-Ams have the potential to uplift the Filipino reeks of colonization mentality. As much as we think we can offer to the Philippines, the Philippines teaches us just as much or even more.
6. Who are you really working for? Center your work on the Philippines, not your ego.
Because YES. There is a difference.
7. Watch out for the “Self-Esteem Crack.”
As a Filipino-American, it’s easy to feel validated/famous in the Philippines … even if you don’t deserve it. For example, you were asked for advice on how to succeed in the Philippines even though you have only been here for 4 days.
Last piece of advice:
So please be sensitive to the fact that our struggles are not the same.