Long. Unhip. Boring. These are the typical things that an individual would expect about the articles / essays / in-depth discussions about History specifically about World History and Hispanic Times / Era. Of course, it takes a lot of patience, understanding and an open-mind for someone to appreciate the importance of World History and the topics underlying it. That is why for such articles; good-writing skills, new writing styles and a catchy title are needed.
For a foodie like me, upon reading the title, I find the article interesting and worth-reading, since the title was catchy. The first thing that came into my mind was; the topic would be solely about pan-Asian. After reading the whole article, I was just mesmerized that it haunted me with a lot of facts, not only about the things related to pan-Asian, but about the essence of knowing the difference between the meaning of Filipino and being a Filipino.
I acknowledge the creativity and the eruditeness of the author Fernando Zialcita, on the article ‘Why insist on an Asian flavour? With the given title, some would not expect that colonization, Hispanic times and significant events and issues regarding the Philippines and Asia would be raise, but just what I’ve thought, all of it were brought up. And, all of it was discussed in a very detailed manner; and in a way that the readers would be enlightened about the certain things that we should be aware of. The author seems to bug the readers with a lot of questions so that we could all think and have a moment of pause, and I find it ingenious.
Yes, life is easy since our basic needs are always readily available specifically food. But, most of us just eat, and we don’t have the time to think whether the food we eat or our favourite flavour / taste is indeed the Filipino taste. Come to think of it, there are only few people who put a lot of their time and effort just to study the history and origin of such important things related to us, Filipinos. Significant parts in the article were elaborated by the author. One of it was the Unappreciated Originality.
It was a very detailed and an informative part of the paper; and one of my favourite parts aside from the significant notes. True indeed, it was a sad truth that we Filipinos have an unappreciated originality unlike some nation, Chinese for example. I don’t know why, but instead of having a good appreciation of our origin, We Filipinos tend to embrace the culture and the things that the West brought to us. Of course, one can’t blame other for acknowledging the culture of the West that we had adapted since we were colonized for a very long time.
But the point is, like the Chinese, we could also make Filipinos known for who we are and from what we really are, without any hesitations and without thinking of the things or comments of the others. Western colonization of course was a big issue which affects our culture and tradition. I guess this was the reason why Westernization, Indigenization and Asianization were highlighted by the author, and I find it a significant part. This part tackles the good points and the advantages that we are enjoying because of the West.
We know for a fact that we had been colonized for a long time, and Westernization made a big impact in the simple lives of Asians specifically, We Filipinos. Many of us would probably think that we owe a lot to the West, our lifestyle, infrastructure, culture, etc. Some would also thought of blaming the West like the Spaniards for colonizing us and making ourselves look fool in our own mother land. One of the most significant parts in the paper was the Flavors Beyond Asia. It would really inspire the readers that we should be aware of the Greek’s Asia vs.
Europe Dichotomy, not to believe the dichotomy but to be aware of the things why it would never disappear. Though, it was a negative perspective that Tagalog cuisine was inauthentic; as stated in the article; somehow I agree with that. Our cuisine is indeed an example of fusion cooking. It was a combination of different cultures that we had adapted, the author had a good point in stating that We, Filipinos should not feel embarrassed about not being sufficiently Asian, either about being Westernized.
What we have to do is accept the fact and the things that were brought to us, but Deep Nationalism would play an important role for us to identify the real taste and flavour of Filipinos. In general, Filipinos who are fascinated with literature regarding the Philippine / Asia / World History would be Historians, Academes, Professors, and Writers. Ordinary Filipinos like students would prefer reading other books like Manga / Pocket books. Yes, it’s an ugly truth, and I won’t excuse myself; I’m not proud to say it, but I never done reading such materials just because it’s my interest or hobby.
There are a lot of people who has a passion in reading, but I guess there are only few who are interested in reading solely about Philippine History. Most of the time, it’s a requirement in a course or subject that’s why students encouraged themselves to finish reading such articles. I can say that this notion is somehow a proof that ‘Westerners have succeeded in making us apologetic about our own culture. ’ Since, we tend to choose other things over the things that would really matter to our History and culture. With regards of the title of the article, Why insist on an Asian Flavor ?
If only, We Filipinos would have enough courage, time and effort to involve ourselves in knowing the real us, we could really infer that acceptance is what matters and not on insisting on an Asian flavour, since we’re unique in our own simple ways. In my opinion, the article would be a lot easier to understand if layman’s terms were used so that even ordinary people would take time to read it. Also, good output like this with regards of Asian history written by a Filipino would be more acceptable by wide public, if it was written in Tagalog.