Let’s say you play volleyball and your team participates in a tournament where there are 100+ other teams. As in any other sports tournament, there is a hierarchy of achievements. Your team can win a set, a match, an entry into the next qualification round, a quarterfinals match, a semifinals match, or the championship.
In attaining each of these levels, there is a corresponding degree of proud feeling or ‘high’ brought about by your sense of achievement. The higher the level, the greater the high. When you score a point you get a high. When your team qualifies into the next round, you get a higher high. But the highest of such highs is when your team reaches and wins the championship match. In such a case you may feel really proud of yourself and your team, and you deserve to feel that way.
But what happens when you or one of your teammates score a point during a game in the prelims and you act as if your team just qualified for the semifinals or won the championship? You’re dancing to the tune of the always-latest dance craze in town called ‘pinoy pride’.
Pinoy pride is all about ‘over-feeling’ the high. Instead of feeling like you just scored a point when you score a point, you feel like your team just advanced to the finals. When you over-feel it, you tend to over-express it. And when you over-express it, you’re agitating and confusing some of the peacefully operating neurons in the brain of every reasonable person who happens to witness it, prompting them to remind the person of the letters w, t and f.
When you say pinoy pride, you’re talking about the high you experience when you look at your country and compare it to the rest of the world. You look at your country and you see how Filipinos are able to communicate in English while the Japanese, Chinese and Russians aren’t. You then feel high.
You look at your country and you see Dingdong Dantes and Megan Young and you think, surely the rest of the world can’t help but admire such beautiful and amiable specimens that the Philippines is able to produce. So you feel high.
You look at your country and you see how Filipino-blooded singers and celebrities are winning contests and becoming famous in the U.S. Surely Filipinos are a special breed. Have you seen a Vietnamese singer win on The X-Factor or a half-Indonesian making it big in Hollywood like Rob Schneider did? You don’t think so, and you feel high. You’re so proud to be a Filipino.
But what you don’t realize is that your country isn’t really winning many of the matches, let alone advancing to the next elimination round or the quarterfinals. Your team is only scoring points.
(Continued in Part 2)