If I were to introduce myself and tell you that I’m a Filipino from a country called the Philippines, a question from an American comedian named George Carlin would likely come up:
It’s a good observation and a very valid question. To keep it short, the word “Filipino” is a product of three centuries under the Spanish and “Philippines” is now our name after almost 50 years of US rule, which ended in 1946.
This is just a gist but my country’s story goes deeper than that. I shall tell it to you in bits and pieces as we go along.
Who are the people who live in the Philippines? They’re called Filipinos.
I’m a Filipino. My name is Bryan Ocampo. I have an American name and a Spanish surname. I have long straight hair just like the Chinese. My eyes are a bit slanted and get usually small whenever I flash a smile.
I live in Asia but the way I celebrate fiestas with my people can almost be close to Latin Americans. My English is good but I don’t sound like a native speaker. When I was in Disneyland Japan, an old Thai woman approached me and asked a question in her native tongue.
I check out the news about my favorite basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers and look forward to the next Iron Man movie by Robert Downey Jr. I love eating Japanese food and as expected from any Filipino, I do great videoke.
I mentioned these influences from different countries because I live in a multi-cultural society and these have links to what I am now. We’re nearing the 90-million mark and you can meet us almost anywhere in the world.
A smart Filipina puts it so well:
We are the 40,000 skilled nurses who support the UK’s National Health Service. We are the quarter-of-a-million seafarers manning most of the world’s commercial ships.
We are your software engineers in Ireland, your construction workers in the Middle East, your doctors and caregivers in North America, and, your musical artists in London’s West End.
I’m a Filipino Tour Guide and I’m pleased to meet you. I hope that this could be a start of a beautiful friendship.
*Mabuhay (Ma-boo-high) is a Tagalog word which means “to live” or “long live”. We use it like the Spanish do when they cheer “Viva!”.
We’re very pleased to welcome Bryan to our team of regional contributors from around the world. He will be writing more on PocketCultures about life and culture in the Philippines so stay tuned. This post was adapted from a post originally published on Bryan’s own blog. You can read the unabridged version here.
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About the authorbryan
20 comments for “Mabuhay!”
Hi Bryan! were the Philippines (or Filipinas) named after King Philip II of Spain (Felipe II)?
Hi Ana! Thank you!
You are correct! The Philippines was named after Philip II/Felipe Segundo when he was a crown prince back then 🙂
Hey! I read from your profile that you’re from Argentina. Our flags have a common feature: the mythical sun. I’ll write something about it and share with everyone soon.
Hi Bryan! Good post! Mabuhay ang MV!
salamat, pj! (translation: thanks, pj!)
This is an awesome and eye-opening post! Well guess I should take note of this..
@kitty- thank you! 😀 that’s generous of you.
nice post bry! make us proud! 😀
aba! thanks, chey! 😀
Isa kang alamat Bryan!!! Tour mo naman kami sa bus mo. hehehe. Anyway, kasama ba ang Davao sa tour mo?
thanks, redg! we haven’t included davao in our tours but hopefully soon 😀
By the way BBC Fast Track travel programme devoted a whole episode to the Philippines this week. It looks such an interesting place and very beautiful too. I’m looking forward to learning more about it in your next posts. Mabuhay!
thanks for the information, liz. i heard all about it too and it’s was a very good feature 🙂 kudos to bbc! i’m looking for that episode.
Here it is! But I saw this clip is only 9 minutes so I don’t know if it is the whole programme. It was about 30 minutes in total as I remember.
thank you! finally, it’s great to see something positive about my country shown on cable TV especially after the unfortunate events last year.
i’ll share this with my friends 🙂
maraming salamat! (that’s “thank you very much”).
Walang anuman! (did I say it right?? I looked it up…)
hahaha! yes, you did! 😀
Such a nice post, Bryan! 😀 I love it!
The difference between those two words is so interesting and many people don’t even notice!
You sound like a very multicultural person, even only by your name, appearance and background. So nice to meet you!
Thanks for the generous comment, Nuria! 😀 Nice to meet you too!
My husband is an american, and he really love to live here in the Philippines. I like your post! Mabuhay Pilipinas!
Thank you! 😀 This post inspired me and really opened my eyes who we are. Who Filipinos are. 😀 Kudos!