A coffee session with my best buds, who are post-graduates and graduate students, resulted to an inquiry on depression.
One friend's student presented one curious argument linking COLONIALISM to DEPRESSION.
How and why?
✙ FOLLOW THE JUMP TO READ SOME ISLAND MADNESS ✙
Psychological depression is not a big deal with majority of the Filipinos. We are just not naturally unhappy as a culture! But, recently, depression is slowly gaining on us. This makes me wonder what factors contribute to depression.
FACT OR FICTION:
Depression is reserved for the well to do
Take this with a grain of salt. Depression is not class specific. Perhaps this is because it's a taboo to be depressed. Instead, with Filipinos being naturally social, majority of the Filipinos have a lot of outlet for their feelings. A good example is our alley. My neighbors aren't the richest of folks, living in plywood houses and whatever scraps are around. Every afternoon, when the sun is shining, the women would wash the laundry on our alley. That's right. It's plangana galore. This is a social bonding experience for the women as they talk about their lives. Being mothers of many children, they would have a way to pry your deepest feelings out of you.
FACT OR FICTION:
COLONIALISM'S ties with DEPRESSION
On to the good part of this blog.
The student had argued that Spanish colonists, via religion and whatnot, had made colonial Filipinos think that we are not good. This is where colonial mentality comes from. The colonizers are much better than us and it is through their grace that we have a chance at a better life. Naturally, colonized Filipinos would feel bad about themselves. Hence, depression.
I cannot argue against colonial mentality as I see it everyday. Hello, fairer skin is better?! (I am naturally golden bronze so this makes me cringe). It is true that we have a penchant of going for "imported" products. But this is mainly because we have a lot of mass produced products in the market. As for quality of life, I do believe that we do not have it as good as other First World countries.
Having said that, I would never trade what we have now for First World amenities!!! Nothing beats camaraderie. True, we do not put a lot of importance on privacy, hence the tiny and cramped houses. We work hard and accept what we are given. Our priorities are different. We prefer family and friends over everything else (except, status which is tied with family and friends).
So, had colonialism brought depression to the early Filipinos?
No, not really. Filipinos are non-confrontational by nature because it is paramount to preserve relationships. We have an affinity for passive resistance, wherein new cultures can be brought in and we would be able to absorb it into our culture. This is seen everywhere: our food, our crafts, our houses, etc. We don't just resist. We can enrich our culture under their very noses. This is our greatest talent. And, because of this, we will survive whatever it is that come for us.
Of course, that doesn't mean that we don't fight at all. Oh man, our soldiers originally did not favor firearms. Why ignore this powerful weapon? Because our men prefer to tie a huge and very sharp itak to their hand, charge while being fired at, and with their last breath hack through the enemy. So, one of our soldier down, maybe nine of the enemy in pieces. We have always been really practical.
Stay tuned for more ISLAND MADNESS!
Manila 1899: http://www.ourpacificocean.com/austronesian_people/PHILIPPINES%20Manila1899p.jpg
Juan Luna: http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Tagalog/Filipino%20Paintings/tampuhan-Juan%20Luna-1895.jpg
Ferdinand Magellan: http://www.deliabw.edu.hk/broadway/Eng/S3A%20English%20Project/Group%208/Ferdinand-Magellan.jpg
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