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Bisaya and Proud

April 10th, 2005

I read a post from Alan’s Ay Ambot! blog “Put___ Ina Mo, Bisaya Ka Ba?”, and I thought of putting my opinion about it in my blog. I don’t want to jump into hasty generalization nor do I intend to offend the sensitivities of many well-meaning individuals. As the tagalog saying goes – bato bato sa langit, ang tamaan huwag magalit.

I find it revolting when someone uses racial identities with derogatory connotations.

Most common in the Tagalog world is the use of the word “Bisaya” to emphasize anything that is stupid, foolish or simply low class. i.e., para ka namang bisaya kung manamit, or ang tanga mo naman para kang bisaya!

Another is the use of the term “Muslims” to depict terrorists or anything illegal, barbaric or uncivilized. The word Muslim is commonly used as an adjective that is attributed to dreaded characters like terrorists, kidnappers, VCD/DVD pirates, trouble-makers, war-freaks, etc.

This mentality and outlook is simply bad taste, politically incorrect and nauseatingly racist. It reflects a strong regionalist attitude engendered by historical prejudices and biases. An overriding mentality rooted in a majority-nationality ideology: that by being majority—vis-Ã -vis the various minority nationalities—is to be superior. Our present Manila-centric eco-politico-cultural set-up is its main manifestation.

But then again, it’s like poetic justice. Most of those who are successful in Philippine commerce and trade — from the hacienderos, jewelers to shipping magnates are Bisaya. In the field of entertainment and sports, a lot of celebrities and sports icons adored by a legion of fans are Bisaya.

And to think that Manila and other parts of Luzon were once kingdoms of Muslim aristocrats who first fought the Spanish colonizers long before the tagalog consciousness came into being. And that the Muslim Moro Sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao were already recognized as sovereign states by European countries long before the Republic of the Philippines came into existence.

Somehow I couldn’t help but think that these prejudices and biases against the Bisaya and the Moros are perpetuated to offset and justify a very obvious deficiency- a superiority complex coupled with low self-esteem born out of ignorance.

I am a Mindanawan and I’m proud to belong to the Bisaya and the Bangsamoro people. I speak Bisaya proudly to any Bisayan in a tagalog crowd. And when some dimwit asks me by sarcastically aping an exaggerated stupid accent “Bisaya ka man pala Dong?” my reply is “Oo Bisdak ko bay, way kurat no?!”.

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  1. April 10th, 2005 at 23:33 | #1

    Minsan nagalit tayong mga Pinoy dahil ang ginawang definition ng “Filipina” ay “maid”. Pero sa ating sariling bansa, ang ginagawang definition ng ibang mga Tagalog sa “Bisaya” ay “maid” (maliban siyempre sa ibang mga mabababang katangian ng isang tao katulad ng sinabi mo: tanga, baduy, etc). This smacks of hypocrisy. Ang kapal! Hilas kaayo!

  2. Samuel Bilibit
    April 10th, 2005 at 23:58 | #2

    Ang political term dyan Lan ay majority-nationality chauvinism.

  3. April 11th, 2005 at 14:25 | #3


    the Bisayang Intsik are the rich ones..

    i cannot say that I don’t have my share of stereotypes… and am thankful that blogging has broken down borders, barriers and created bridges where people from diff. backgrounds, beliefs, motivations… can exchange ideas and experiences…

    and so, we all learn together…

  4. Samuel Bilibit
    April 12th, 2005 at 08:50 | #4

    yup delish, but besides the use of any medium of communication…open-mindedness is the key to understanding and breaking barriers…

  5. April 15th, 2005 at 13:04 | #5

    Clap! clap! People from the provinces unite! Ha! Some of these people in MM thinks they’re soo good but most of them are just showboats and show-offs!
    Seriously though, if we all really want to do away with discrimination and racism – let’s start among ourselves, here in our own country! What I’m saying is – let’s start educating people from MM some manners and urbanidad 😉

  6. April 22nd, 2005 at 05:41 | #6

    Good point.

    I’m Bisaya-Kapampangan though I consider myself more Bisaya than anything else. Bisaya is my first language. But since I left Davao at a young age, I seem to have forgotten most of it and retained the essentials (i can still manage to understand a bit). I should go back to my roots (soon), stay there for a while and rediscover the beauty of the language and the culture.

  7. March 19th, 2007 at 15:25 | #7

    i am bisaya and proud.

  8. May 22nd, 2007 at 07:29 | #8

    hi Im glad to find spot. we all shld be proud of who we are. we shld think that we all belong to the world. being different, makes the world beautiful.

  9. igniz
    May 25th, 2007 at 14:51 | #9

    Hola! I’m from davao city and I’ve lived here since birth (Yep!).

    I’m a proud Davaoeño and a Visayan!
    Before, I’m used to watch Tagalog films in the movies.
    But I’ve realized how bad Tagalog people are!

    I’m really unconscious and unaware that the discrimination is really visible in our country! I’m surprised and somewhat, disappointed.

    Right now, the latest film I’ve watched was ” Ang Cute ng Ina Mo” and there was a part that made me frown (I’ll keep this secret!). So, I’ll not watch Tagalog films until… forever?!? this will do.

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