Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Colonial Dumping Syndrome

- To drool over stuff whose enjoyment stems not from its perceived necessity to remain physically or mentally viable but rather from a bizarre obsession with brand, signature, origin and class connotations.

Girlfriend and I always find ourselves literally in each other’s throats every time we are out to stock up the fridge, the cellar or the wardrobe:

“I reckon this will be great. It has baking soda and it promises shiny white teeth. And uhhmm, it also is dead cheap", to which she’d say, "don’t believe anything that’s printed on the packet, silly. We’ve always used Colgate.”

Background info: Those who grew up in the Philippines know that the stuff you clean your teeth with is not a toothpaste but a colgate. A carbonated drink is not a soda pop but a coke. Imported American branded products are more superior to generic local ones.

“Oh, wow. The nanotech textile on this cool Gap shirt ensures that it will be stain-free forever. This is NASA stuff. Only astronauts wear this type of kit.”

“Well. You don’t drink red wine and don’t tell me you’re going to wear that stupid shirt forever, she quipped. Where is it made from? To which I lost all the energy to even look: Uh-oh. It’s made in the Philippines.”

This should never be confused with IMSCF [ I’m Spanish Chinese Filipino ] Syndrome. A supposed phenomenon of identity crisis amongst overseas Filipinos resulting in a unique form of institutionalised ethnic forgery .

This is purely physiologic in the sense that people who suffer from this affliction often have a low blood sugar from hyperventilation, hyperexcitedness, and weakness every time he sees anything shiny, metallic and small. Especially if it is visible from a window of an Apple Store.

People who have this syndrome also need to have small frequent trips to cafés, preferably Starbucks and little treats of simple sugars which again, preferably Hershey’s or Ben & Jerry’s.

New York City. Somewhere in Fifth Ave. Capital of capitalism and crass materialism.

People with severe cases need expensive holidays.

I wanna go to Peru. I want to see the Nazca lines. The lines are geometrical figures, trapezoids, triangles and animal figures etched on the rocky Peruvian mountains thought to be the remains of an ancient giant extraterrestrial airport. But nah, she will not have any of that crap:



Christmas shopping is best value in New York.”

I was tempted to suggest Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We could spend a few weeks there en route to the Philippines. I heard it is quite interesting and probably much cheaper of which she would probably say:

“I had enough of these trapezoidal, triangular monuments of gods or aliens and all these boring star gate theories.”

I'm sure, she would.

I’m getting my intestinal tract gashed if she won’t.

Also. Next time you hear stories of children dying from salmonella from surplus milk products dumped to the third world or people from a cracked heart valve, be very scared. This is a more evil form of dumping syndrome.

* Cautionary Advice: Without understanding the finer nuances of this author's amateurish attempt at humour there is a bit of concern that he may be taken in earnest that would altogether defeat the purpose of this ( tongue-in-cheek ) banter. The girlie's words are intentionally hyperbolized to evoke sardonic wit and not a blatant representation of her values or character. She is inherently down to earth and not a vacuous evil reactionary of stiff bourgeois upbringing. And we are not always at each other's throats, really.

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20 Comments:

Blogger sasha said...

Howling, I do love your posts! :)

How long have you two been together? Di ba it adds spice daw to the relationship if there's arguments. hehehe

9:50 PM  
Blogger howling said...

Oh thanks, sasha!!!

Don't know about that. LOL. You tell me. I guess it does make it a bit more exciting... Not gonna tell you the spicy stuff-bit. *forehead turns rosy*

We have been together for yonks! OMG LOL!!! We are old.

:)

2:41 AM  
Anonymous Ferdz said...

I've always wanted to see machu Picchu in Peru as well.

I guess thos minor arguments brings tat good ol' adrenaline rush as well. Hehehe.

5:03 AM  
Blogger howling said...

Oh yeah, ferdz... machu picchu.

To trek up and down the Inca Trail is a dream. I presume this is exactly your kind of stuff. Being a 'naturist' and that... and no, I don't mean you strike to me as some kind of a 'flasher' but you take photos right? Pardon the pun: you are a brilliant nature photographer.

"Got to do it while we still have the lungs to do it."

Cheers and thanks!

:)

5:54 AM  
Anonymous may said...

if you like BORING, then dream of a life without a single argument...
i don't know with you, but women alwasy seem to dislike boring :)

6:44 AM  
Blogger howling said...

Oh, c'mon may...

How about a thousand pair of shoes and God knows how many bags.

Honestly. Tell me: Are they not boring???

LOL. Okey, I'll take that on board.

Thanks and cheers!!!

:)

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who grew up in the Philippines know that the stuff you clean your teeth with is not a toothpaste but a colgate. A carbonated drink is not a soda pop but a coke.

I grew up here, but I don't really interchange the terms. Only fuddy-duddies do that.


Imported American branded products are more superior to generic local ones.

Not really. Screw America! ;-p


Wow. Your girlfie sure is fab! Is she on crack or somethin'? Kidding. :-)


Oh, and btw, nice photos. What a twosome of cuteness!


You know what, I sooo wanna go to Peru and Cambodia and behold those whatchamacallits that come in many shapes and sizes. DUMP YOUR GIRLFRIEND AND TAKE ME INSTEAD!!! Woop dee doo!

7:30 PM  
Blogger howling said...

*howling grabs talamasca's shoulder and performs a koshi nage aikido throw...*

My woman may prefer coke from pepsi but she will never take crack. You naughty, naughty boy. She does have great taste and she likes the good stuff but she's not a junkie.

She loves the theatre and likes Venice but my lady is no tramp. Honestly, she's an intelligent woman and a bundle of kindness...

I love her to bits.

Thanks Tala!!!

:)

8:44 PM  
Blogger Alternati said...

The girlfriend has one incisive wit. I haven't met her but I love her already! hehe...

I've never believed in brands. I rely on experience and gut instinct. A Starbucks Frap is a piece of heaven as opposed to hellish 3-1 instant coffee. However spending THAT mush money on say a Burkin is just preposterous. A lot of starvation in the world people!

I heard somewhere and I might get this wrong, but less than $20 can support a one year of a child's education in Pakistan. And on the other side of the world... an Aston Martin Vanquish is $228,000. No matter how much I would want one (as if), The guilt in that car would probably be palpable.

10:01 PM  
Blogger howling said...

"The girlfriend has one incisive wit. I haven't met her but I love her already! hehe..."

That's so sweet alternati... someone's gonna be flattered with your words. LOL.

"A lot of starvation in the world people!"

Ouch.

Not really. Screw America! ;-p

Huh? talamasca... I don't really have a thing with imported products. Personally, I prefer THIS!!!

Also, I have a funny feeling that I may be sending off the wrong messages to kiddies. The girlie's words are intentionally hyperbolized to evoke sardonic wit and not a blatant representation of her values or character. She is inherently down to earth and not a vacuous evil reactionary of stiff bourgeois upbringing. And we are not always at each other's throats, really. [ Will stick this bit at the bottom of my post as well... LOL ]

:)

3:49 AM  
Anonymous muddybanks42 said...

We don't necessarily prefer foreign made products so much as recognize the brand value. But the point is a good one. I note the 'dumping' of filipino literature into the Filipiniana section of bookstores as a case in point - we so lack self-confidence that we have to put F. Sionil Jose there as well as Rizal, when these should more properly be in "General Fiction" and "Classics" accordingly. (I know this because I was just by Powerbooks the other day.)

So it's more than just 'brand value' but a lingering doubt about our own abilities.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it's always been quality over quantity for me. Seriously, it's far more practical in the long run, and it's more energy efficient at the same time.

But I hate Starbucks more than anything else.

9:55 PM  
Blogger howling said...

muddybanks42 is absolutely spot on here...

We do have a collective "ours is not as good as" issues which is disgusting.

It is quite easy to point a finger to 3 centuries of Spanish colonization but that would be too simplistic and would sound like taking the mick on muddy's Iberian blood and heritage. Which is unfair. LOL.

So, naaah. I think it's more complex than that.

"You make your own spectre, you create your own insecurity."

3:24 PM  
Blogger howling said...

I also agree with you all the way, momel...

Quality over quantity.

Example:

Quality = Although it is more expensive to wear genuine fur than the faux versions, thermodynamics is better with the real thing. So it's probably more energy efficient.

Quantity = The J Lo thinks we still have more hairy mammals in the planet. LOL.

:)

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The girlie's words are intentionally hyperbolized to evoke sardonic wit and not a blatant representation of her values or character.

Point taken.

I'm off to buy me some chocnut and a whole lotta peanut butter lovin'! Damn you for making my mouth water!

P.S. Where the hell are my tickets to Peru and Cambodia? *winks*

7:56 AM  
Blogger howling said...

You are now forgiven tala... LOL

I've said it HERE ... I'm gonna say it again.

"No wicket, no ticket."

10:40 AM  
Blogger Jasmin said...

hmmm, you may shoot me now for trespassing but the line: "Background info: Those who grew up in the Philippines know that the stuff you clean your teeth with is not a toothpaste but a colgate. A carbonated drink is not a soda pop but a coke. Imported American branded products are more superior to generic local ones." ...is an off reflection of the Philippine society and culture. Im born and raised in Phils and I know the difference between common nouns and proper nouns. My students didn't have problems with that either. Filipinos are not that dumb and ill-cultured.

and maybe u've been gone too long that you forgot(following your propernaming a common thing syndrome)carbonated drinks are called softdrinks here just as soda pop is in other countries its just not coke.

Inspite all these, I see your point. I just thought that it is unfair how you portrayed Filipinos as dumb as not knowing toothpaste even if we (coz im Pinoy too) are using it after meals.
==
i dont mean to be rude, there is just no polite way of saying it...i tried.

6:34 AM  
Blogger howling said...

Oh, pardon me jasmin if I actually managed to offend your Pinoy Pride sensibility... I for one takes the offense when someone takes the mickey on my Filipino heritage and culture. I actually read this post again and in my opinion I haven't portrayed Pinoys as dumb or ill-cultured. Perhaps vain, lacking a sense of social identity and maybe materialistic but not dumb. You may have taken it out of context... but if I did, I do apologize.

The use of soda pop instead of softdrink was pure whimsy.

The colgate and coke banter is not there to highlight a grammatical deficiency on the part of the Filipinos but rather a silly propensity towards imported branded products rather than locally produced goods which does have an impact to the economy. I'm not that shallow minded to pick on the Pinoy's English skills. I know that we could construct our sentences and spell words just as good if not better with anyone in England.

To be honest, I'm sick of all the patronizing. I only try to be honest with my opinions. I still love our country: the reason why I keep a dual citizenship instead of just one, and I still have high hopes for the motherland but I don't wear rose tinted glasses to just see her beauty, unfortunately. I don't turn a blind eye to that part of her that's ugly and disgusting that's why...

I've just read a blog about a TV program showing urban poor people living off leftovers from fastfood chains and risk getting poisoned just to fill their hungry stomachs, I don't see beauty or Pinoy Pride there, sorry if I couldn't find a better word. The situation is too despicable to toy with euphemisms. I believe in critical analysis as opposed to empty polite rhetoric. It is quite sad that we just watch this kind of programs in complete apathy while politicians binge on whatever wealth is left in the nation's coffer. I feel sick myself that I can't do much about it.

And sorry, I have to digress:

I don't usually go up in arms if some silly foreign celebrity visits the country and comments that Manila or another Phil. city is dirty because it's the truth and that would just be stooping down to her utter stupidity. Where there are excess of scraps of food and opportunity for poor people to grab on to survive there will be plenty of rubbish and litter. The same is true even in rich cities like New York or Paris.

But thanks Jasmin for raising the issue. I love it when I see comments with political and social relevance on my blog. I feel I've been waiting for this all this time. Where were you when I posted it? Do you mind if we exchange links???

I hope I make sense.

:)

4:58 AM  
Blogger Jasmin said...

hi howling =). I isolated and focused on the "soda pop-coke,colgate part" in particular and like i said, i get your entry's entire point . I did so because i dont agree everyone knows it is colgate not toothpaste...but i guess it was exaggerated =).

It was not really politically-fanned sentiment. It is just a personal advocacy towards a positive and dignified Pinoy image but to ask that from other people may be a little pushy.

I am not turning a blind eye on national pressing issues and unpleasant reality. Knowing what is happening in the society is the reason why I am passionate about what I do. I am a Millenium Development Goals advocate, A director of an environmental(coastal) NGO, a consultant of women in development NGO,and an educator at the same time. You can be sure that I am not coming from behind a rosy tinted window when I look at the state of Philippines. I do see hope and I do welfare work because action and participation are effective ways to achieve goals.

==
Thanks for taking time reading my Nippon Maru entry. =)Hindi po ako pupunta ng Japan.hehehe. Ang Nippon Maru ay para sa asian youth exchange program na bibisitahin ang mga ASEAN countries at makipagkaibigan, courtesy call, institutional visits etc.

==
exchange links =) add na kita

10:08 PM  
Blogger howling said...

Alright then, jasmin :) link na rin kita. Hehehe. I quite like that personal advocacy towards a positive and dignified Pinoy image, actually. I really do. I just happen to have a twisted view on stuff sometimes. I always see the bleaker side. It's my dark sense of humour, I guess.

Oh! Sorry, I really thought you're planning to go to Japan. That was an innocent question. Nothing naughty lurking at the back of my head.

Well, these are all in the spirit of good fun. So there.

:)

5:33 PM  

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