No one wears his ignorance as proudly as the Filipino man. You will easily spot him in a crowd, talking loudly as if he wants everyone to hear his forced American twang. Or, if he can’t manage one, he won’t let you miss his pro tip on how that chick half his age should be banged. Watch out for his “smart and edgy” humor – he claims he’s been compared to some famous white American comedian (oh, that obsession to be likened to white Americans). In reality, his lazy humor is really just different iterations of calling someone fat, or gay, or dark-skinned. He will even spice up his humor by comparing someone to an ethnic/indigenous minority (“He’s a dark simpleton aeta!”) or to someone with a disability (“Only a ngongo will not agree with me!”).
This Filipino man prides himself as a graduate of one of the country’s top universities. It doesn’t matter if he graduated 10 or 20 years ago, he acts and speaks as if he’s still that popular kid in campus. He thinks this top-tier diploma is an indicator of his superior intellect, even if he’s neither well-read nor well-informed. If he does appear like he’s well-read and well-informed, it is through the perspective of misogynistic, homophobic and racist white male authors and talking heads. His “educated” ignorance meant he will never see the ridiculousness of being a brown man namedropping his idol Jordan Peterson – a white supremacist trying to pass off as a credible intellectual.
This Filipino man won’t let you forget he’s educated by looking down on the poor and “uneducated” folks. These idiots keep voting for incompetent government officials! He complains. Yet, he will support and vote for his university or fraternity bros, regardless if they’re plunderers, murderers, molesters, or rapists (and he will always be quick to justify their actions). Chances are, this Filipino man doesn’t personally know these politicians, but he thinks this university/fraternity proximity will benefit him. Yes, he will preach about how hard work is the key to becoming rich, and that poor people are just lazy. But deep down he knows that you can’t get anywhere without the right connections.
This Filipino man is an older millennial/Gen Xer and he believes his generation is the toughest and manliest. The problem with the younger generation, he would declare, is they complain too much about every little thing, instead of toughening up like us. With “toughening up and not complaining” he means being ok with physical and emotional abuse during childhood, or being ok with a toxic work environment. With “toughening up and not complaining” he means sitting idly as he watches the world burn – thousands killed because of armed violence perpetrated by the state; thousands more dying because of the state’s mishandling of the pandemic. “Toughening up and not complaining” is really just the Filipino man’s bro lingo for “I’m too comfortable with my privilege that I couldn’t care less about others who are suffering” or “I’m too much of a coward (despite my claims of being a tough man) to take a stand and raise my voice.”
This older millennial/Gen X Filipino man will also complain about the younger generation’s obsession with TikTok, and with social media in general. This younger generation is so vain, everyone wants to be an influencer, he would scoff, yet his Facebook wall looks and reads like a public diary of a professional self-promoter. Aside from his pictures showing off his expensive gadget or his foray into “manly” activities (mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, electric guitar-playing, etc), his Facebook is littered with stories of his daily adventures and misadventures. Very common are his stories with sexual undertones, with zero concerns on the difference between flirting and sexual harassment, consensual or non-consensual. And then he will write a long Facebook post about how the #MeToo movement has made the world unsafe for men these days. Already in his late 30s/early 40s, he’s still too blissfully ignorant to realize that the world has always been unsafe for women, especially because of men like him.
(To be continued)
With special thanks to majority of all the Filipino men I’ve ever known in my life for giving me the inspiration and material to write this.