I’m living in this horrible dystopian world where the evening news reports 5 incidents of murder in a row with 12 victims, half of whom were killed by police in “drug related incidents” and the other half grandmas or mothers or random citizens who who were shot while accompanying their kids who, for all intents and purposes, were beloved neighbours

Happy New Year Philippines

Why is this happening to my country and why does nobody on this useless site care

My Ravenclaw post can get 50000+ notes but my post asking people to care about people on the street being murdered by the dozen every week in my country gets two likes and no reblogs

Y'all are great

For reasons other than that “Tadhana” movie, I find Sagada as an intimate little town. I wasn’t expecting much when we arrived to the place just before lunch last November 18. It’s a busy municipality during the day with tourists and locals going about their lives. But by nightfall the town gets closely acquainted.

The usual busy locals and some tourists can be seen sharing stories on chill places and food corners. It didn’t take long for me to find myself having good conversations with 6 other people. We spent a good while sauntering before reaching a gathering near the church of Saint Mary the Virgin.

It was the cold weather, the smell of pine trees and a bonfire that made me realize it’s a romantic and ideal place for dates and long night walks. So the next time I visit this place I’d be sure to bring a date. Well, I’ll try. 😄

November 2016, Sagada, Mountain Province, PH


Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz just became the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal!

When Hidilyn Diaz lifted 200 kilograms of steel iron, she also lifted the spirits of her home country.

Diaz, a three-time Olympic weightlifter, became the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal when she won the silver medal in the 53kg women’s weightlifting class on Sunday. Diaz’s silver medal win ended a 20-year Olympic medal drought for the Philippines.

The last Filipino to win an Olympic medal was Mansueto Velasco. Velasco won silver for men’s boxing in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

But wait, it gets better. Diaz also achieved another cool first for the Philippines at the Olympics. 

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There’s a lamp that generates 8 hours of light using only 1 glass of saltwater. The SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) Lamp was designed to bring clean, safe, low-cost illumination to residents of the Philippines by conserving energy, reducing the risk of accidental candle fires, and utilizing an abundant resource for power. Source Source 2

‘You look like the help’: the disturbing link between Asian skin color and status

Outside a hotel lobby in Toronto earlier this year, an elderly Asian woman stopped my mother and me to ask what time a tour bus would be arriving. Then, the woman asked in broken English: “Are you Philippine?”

“Yes,” my mom replied.

“Ahh, you look Korean!” the woman exclaimed. My mother graciously thanked her.

I darted my eyes, offended and confused at the implication that looking Korean over Filipino should somehow be taken as a compliment. Later I asked my mother: “Why did you thank her?”

“I don’t know,” she admitted sheepishly.

Throughout the years, strangers have told me how “white” I look. Non-Filipino Asians who were surprised by my heritage told me not to worry because I looked Japanese or Korean or Chinese; I never looked like their version of Filipino. And years ago, I would’ve replied exactly like my mother to that elderly woman. In my own family, the notion that fairer skin was more beautiful was always an unspoken rule. My mother filled the bathroom cupboards with Asian beauty products that promised flawless, whiter skin.

She wasn’t alone. Women—and not just Asians—around the globe are subject to the pressure of having fair skin. Skin bleaching is a 10-billion-dollar-a-year industry. And this obsession with skin color isn’t just about beauty: It has real-life consequences that can stretch to everyday prejudice, class status, and quality of life. Many layers of systematic oppression are hidden behind seemingly innocuous compliments and beautifully-packaged day creams. Filipinos, a population that traditionally has darker skin than other East Asian populations, are hit extra-hard with this reality. In California, “Filipinos are the Mexicans of Asia” is a well-known saying among Filipino and Latino communities—an adage that holds extra weight in the age of Trump.

One quick Google search brings up countless personal anecdotes laying bare these prejudices. But the dynamic of idealizing light skin is far from new. The post-Spanish colonial Philippines looked to none other than the Virgin Mary for beauty inspiration. According to Filipino scholar Nicanor Tiongson, Filipinos wanted to resemble the sculptures of saints found in their Catholic churches during this time period.

But it goes back even further than just worshipping the Catholic saints: Joi Barrios Le-Blanc, a lecturer with the South and Southeast Asian Studies department at The University of California, Berkeley, tells me that Filipino preference for fair skin dates back to the Binukot, a pre-Hispanic practice reminiscent of Japan’s geisha. The Binukot, often a wealthy girl, was chosen for her beauty from a very young age, was not exposed to sun and was raised on a hammock so her feet never touched the ground. Described traditionally as “pale as the moon and incomparably beautiful,” the Binukot retained their fair complexions because they were not allowed to work in the fields. Like the Binukot, who was pale simply because her higher class status forbade outdoor labor, fair-skinned immigrants receive privileges their darker skinned counterparts did not.

This longstanding bias bleeds into an international Asian hierarchy, on which Filipinos are considered the bottom rung. Because of its high unemployment rate, high inflation rate, and widespread income inequality, the Philippines remains one of the poorest countries in Asia. Some Filipino immigrants can’t obtain any other work simply because their qualifications aren’t recognized by host countries. (Often, Filipino doctors become nurses abroad because it is too costly and time-consuming to retrain as a doctor in their host countries. The pay as a nurse is still more lucrative than remaining a doctor in the Philippines.)

Some people in East Asian countries “have a tendency to look down on South East Asian countries, viewing them as poorer countries who have less political power,” Barrios LeBlanc told me.

Unfortunately, this prejudice also occurs among fellow Filipinos, and it seems to stem from skin color. Barrios mentioned that the Aeta people, an indigenous group in the Philippines characterized by their dark skin and curly hair, are often marginalized by their own patriots.

“Many people in the lowlands feel superiority towards other ethno-linguistic groups,” Barrios says. She recounts a story where her Filipino friend, married to an African American man, was jokingly warned by a colleague that her children would be seen as Aeta if she took them to the Philippines.

When Sierra Adkins, a Filipino-American, worked as a teacher in South Korea, she was encouraged to not disclose her Filipino heritage. In a blog post for Pilipino American Unity for Progress’ website in 2013, Adkins wrote that a colleague explained to her that Filipinos are “ranked lower socially” because Filipino immigrants in South Korea commonly take maligned gigs as nannies or prostitutes. “Filipino women were seen as second-class and unfit to teach the uber-rich students at my Hagwon,” she wrote. Adkins left Korea after only four months.

Many Asians of previous generations—both in Asia and North America—strictly adhere to this hierarchy. Courtney*, a close Filipino friend, noticed this bias in her Chinese mother-in-law. She’d matter-of-factly share her thoughts anything from Filipino-specific health conditions to stereotypes of Filipino women’s promiscuity. Her mother-in-law’s antiquated views caused Courtney a lot of grief. Though she married within her race, Courtney still felt like she wasn’t “the right kind of Asian.”

One of only times Courtney felt acceptance from her mother-in-law was when she’d comment on Courtney’s lighter skin. “She asked my husband why I was pale because Filipinos are dark,” Courtney told me. “And then said, ‘Oh, I guess she’s not so bad because she’s not dark like the rest of them.’”

Filipinos aren’t much better; the Tagalog phrase “Mukha kang katulong,” which translates to “You look like the help,” is a fairly common insult within our community. As a teen, I remember it being used to poke fun at an aunt who had gotten a suntan. This attitude even shows up in pop culture. In Singapore, a sketch comedy show called The Noose features a Filipino character named “Leticia Bongnino” whose repeated catchphrase (said in a heavy Filipino accent) is, “My name is Leticia and I am a maid.” Her character speaks broken English and has a Bangladeshi boyfriend who can only say the word “yes.” Leticia’s appearance is frumpy and unfashionable; she wears a children’s clip to pin back her short bob. A Twitter account under Leticia’s name uses bad grammar and has tweets like “BREAKING: Leticia have to clean windows today or no dinner for me.”

This hierarchy has certainly affected the way I’ve been perceived—and even the way I perceive others. In “passing” as half-white, Korean, Japanese, or any other Asian ethnicity that “ranks higher,” I have accepted a certain privilege and social acceptance from the Asian community. I have graciously thanked strangers for insisting that I have mixed heritage and that I don’t look like the typical Filipino. Given the global disdain for our darker skin and our roles as caregivers, it’s no wonder we find comfort in being mistaken for someone we’re not.

But nowadays, I’ll no longer nod politely. And the next time someone compliments me for not looking Filipino, I will say, “Actually, I do.”

*We’ve chosen not to identify Courtney by her real name to avoid more familial strife.



Frecklefaced29 aka May Ann Licudine aka May Ann Lumbang Licudine aka Mall (Filipino, b. 1981, Dagupan City, Philippines, based San Fernando City, La Union) - 1: Akane  2: Hanako  3: Chihiro  4: Kanako  5: Iwata  6: Ciou  7: Ayumi  8: Yoko  9: Maiko  10: Shiori from Innocent Girls III series, 2013  Drawings: Graphite on Paper


Tell NBC: Exploitation and violence against Filipinas is NOT entertainment!

Please sign this petition to demand NBC cancel the show and share widely: tinyurl.com/FilipinasNot4Sale 

Exploitation and violence against Filipino women is not entertainment! NBC’s “Mail Order Family” is slated as a half hour “comedy” following a widower who purchased a mail order bride from the Philippines. “Mail Order Family” is the most recent example of how the exploitation and violence women face is normalized in U.S. mainstream media. The mail order bride industry in the Philippines is rooted in historical U.S. colonial occupation of the Philippines, feudal-patriarchal view of Filipinas, and current neo-colonial economic policies that have impoverished the Filipino people.

The mail order bride industry exploits and trafficks women who are economically disadvantaged and living in poverty. Filipino women make up one of the largest segments of mail-order brides in the world. Due to an economy ravaged by U.S. imperialist economic policies dictated upon the Philippines, Filipino women lack employment opportunities in the country and are forced to leave their homeland to support themselves and their families.

Mail order brides are victims of human trafficking as they are forced into sex slavery and domestic servitude. Mail order-brides are vulnerable to violence because of the fundamentally unequal nature and imbalance of power where money is exchanged for an arranged marriage. Many mail-order brides become vulnerable to violence because they may be financially dependent on their husband, are isolated in a foreign country, and husbands can easily threaten them with deportation.

#CancelMailOrderFamily #FilipinasNOT4Sale


Manila, Philippines: Today, youth group Anakbayan marched to the US Embassy to denounce the result of the recently concluded US Elections, the victory of US President elect Donald Trump and its detrimental effects to the Filipino people.

Anakbayan reminds President Rodrigo Duterte about his earlier declarations regarding breaking away from the US in the economic and military aspects and demands the immediate abrogation of all unequal treaties and agreements such as EDCA, VFA and other pro-US policies that betray the interest of the Filipino people.

Via Anakbayan


The Tagalog Pantheon (Part I/2) 

The Tagalog pantheon consisted of many gods and goddesses adhering to various elements of nature and activities. They believed that the earth, sky, sea, and all living things were created by one god who was referred to by two names, Bathala Maykapal & Molyari/Malyari, “the creator and preserver of all things”. Under him were a number of different deities that served him and were directly prayed to by the ancient Tagalog, each with their own different responsibilities. There was Haik, the god of the sea, who they performed sacrifices of banquets and food asking him to protect voyagers out to sea from storms, granting them good weather and favorable winds. Then there was the goddess Idiyanale, the goddess of agriculture, who overlooked all activities of raising crops and animals. Aman Sinaya was the god who invented the art of fishing and was called upon by fishermen when casting their nets or preparing their fishhooks. The sisters Hanan, the goddess of the morning, and Tala, the goddess of the stars and the bright star, Venus. Laho, the naga deity who devoured the moon and sun, causing solar and lunar eclipses. People would scare Laho away by playing loud music and banging pots and gongs to free the sun and moon from the god. Mankukuktod was the god who protected coconut palms and was given offerings by tuba (a coconut alcoholic drink) tappers who wanted to climb up the tree to get the coconuts or else risk falling from the trunk of the tree. Then there was the god of hunters, Aman Ikabli, who the Tagalogs worshiped to help provide game such as deer and wild boars. Offerings of food were given to the god of the forests and fields, Uwinan Sana, who the Tagalogs prayed to when they passed through his domains, asking his permission to walk through and to not cause them harm as they do. These anito were only a handful of the old gods and goddesses the ancestors of the Tagalogs once worshiped and revered. The second half of the Tagalog pantheon will be in part two.

aswang aesthetic

a shapeshifting monster usually possessing a combination of the traits of either a vampire, a ghoul, a warlock/witch, or different species of were-beast in Filipino folklore or even all of them together. it is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories. spanish colonists noted that the Aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures of the philippines, even in the 16th century.