Faux Patriotism

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Finally, American Idol has closed season 11. All American guy, Phillip Phillips, won the title, much to the dismay of thousands and probably millions of Filipinos who cared too much for this contest.

I am a Filipino but I do not root for Jessica Sanchez. But does that make me less patriotic than those who profess extreme adulation to this 16-year old belter from Chula Vista, California?
Other people think so. I have gotten negative reactions from Jessica fans who think I have sort of betrayed my country for not supporting a Filipino talent, or whatever.

Cruel judgment, I must say. Rather shallow and cheap. Unfair. My patriotism shall not be judged according to who I cheer for in an American singing contest. Take note, this is an American show and those who are truly patriotic should not even patronize this for the fact that it is foreign. Get it, Jessica fans?

Jessica Sanchez, undoubtedly, is an incredible singer. She has this really big voice that could compete with mainstream divas like Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and the late Whitney Houston. She is truly gifted. But why don’t I like her? Simply because she lacks originality. I totally have no idea what her real genre is. Is she pop, urban, r&b? Sure she can hit all those high notes with such power but what is she aside from sounding like Jennifer Holiday on one number and Whitney on two? She can also pull off a great BeyoncĂ© whenever she feels like it.

Anyway, my bet, Joshua Ledet, did not make it to the finals so I was not really all giddy to watch American Idol’s season finale a few days back.

It is appalling how Filipinos show unity when it comes to entertainment or sports. They suddenly feel proud when a Filipino entertainer or sportsman gains admiration abroad. They express extreme support for Manny Pacquiao during his bouts in the US. Lives stop when Manny hits the ring. Everyone’s glued to the TV and crime rates even hit null. Amazing.

Now, Jessica Sanchez is not pure Filipino. She is half-Mexican. She hasn’t been in the Philippines ever as she was born and raised in the US. Then why call her “kababayan” (countryman)? She is not from here. She sang the Star Spangled Banner during her homecoming for the American Idol. She does not speak the Filipino language. What then is this sudden interest for Filipino unity just because a young singer with only 50% Filipino blood was making waves in an American stage? I do not get it. Is this really on the account of Filipinos trying so hard to be noticed in the international arena even only in the entertainment scene? What is this desperate need for attention all about? Does this equate to national pride? Is Jessica Sanchez a national pride when she is not even a Filipino citizen? No. Supporting Jessica Sanchez is not a matter of national pride but the need to identify and relate. Even if she is far from being a “kababayan” in the truest sense of the word and the fact the she looks 100% Filipino despite her Hispanic roots, that is enough for Filipinos to identify and relate with her. Enough to own her as ours.

Jessica is an incredible singer and that should be the reason for someone to like her, especially in this country. It should not be because she has the Filipino blood. Jessica Sanchez is not pure Filipino. She is international, multi-national. Which is why we should not pull the race or nationality card here.

Now, anyone who does not support her should not be judged as unpatriotic. Everyone has different tastes in music, and that should be respected. You cannot force a fellow Filipino to like someone and shove off that false patriotism down his throat if he refuses. That is not nationalism. That is stupidity and ignorance and narrow-mindedness at its finest.

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