Why are Punjabi guys so handsome


 Filipino Regionalism Stereotypes

A Filipino worked in Hawaii. When his boss once asked him about his nationality, he replied: “I'm Ilocano.” Instead of referring to his Filipino nationality, he referred to his regional and ethnic affiliation. Answers that follow this example are likely to be more common.

A. Regionalism

Despite a national government, national flag roll calls, the presence of national media and the linguistic brackets through the Tagalog, the country is still more divided or even divided according to regional affiliations. Regionalism is very important. For example, anyone who has ever attended an event on Independence Day should have noticed the storms of applause that can be heard when a singer calls out and greets the individual country teams.

Damon L. Woods explains: "Filipinos are regional in their thinking and maintain the stereotypes of other ethno-linguistic groups" (1). And Mellie Leandie Lopez adds: “Even the most sophisticated and westernized Filipinos are not immune to“ Filipino Regionalism ””. There is always a strange feeling of the "unfamiliar" at every new relationship with another Filipino from a different region " (2).

B. Stereotypes

Before we go into more detail here on the individual ethnic stereotypes that can be found in the literature and on the Internet, a few brief remarks on “stereotypes” are required.

Stereotypes represent simplifications of many differentiated behavioral characteristics of groups of people. Individual characteristics are drawn together in a caricature-like, exaggerated manner. Sterotypes provide basic information and facilitate communication. One no longer has to ask oneself what kind of person it is, but one can confront him with a ready-made set of ideas. The truthfulness of stereotypes is sometimes more than doubtful. Yet they do not arise in a vacuum. As a rule, one can assume a “grain of truth”. Stereotypes may be wrong and yet powerful. Especially with nationalities and ethnic groups, stereotypes (sociotypes) can be fictitious and, as prejudices, are also dangerous. Critics often reject stereotypes. But can you avoid them? We can hardly do without stereotypes in a complex environment. Who already has so many primary contacts to make an accurate judgment, for example, about the around four and a half million Ilocanos? Stereotypes delimit. One can be proud of them. One can get angry with them. Quite a few discriminate or are vulgar, for example when Igorots or Negritos are secreted as tails behind their hands.

The following descriptions of some ethnic groups are taken from literature or the Internet. It is noticeable that not a few authors use Leandie Lopez's ethnographic descriptions(2) serve as a template and source of supply.

The descriptions of the ethnic groups can appear antiquated. Stereotypes have a longer shelf life. Perhaps they have already weakened and blurred due to increased spatial mobility in the country and the influence of the media. It cannot be ruled out that we will soon only encounter them in the form of role attributes in comedies and burlesques.


Northern Luzon


The Iloconos, the third largest ethno-linguistic tribe in the Philippines, are at home in the northwest of the main island of Luzon. Vegetable lovers are considered tough, fearless, hardworking and adventurous. They are relatively mobile and can also be found in other parts of the country.

It is repeatedly pointed out that they are "stingy" or "kuripot". This trait can be described positively as "frugal" or negatively as "stingy, stingy". Sometimes the thrift is restricted a little. It only applies on a small scale; on a large scale, the Ilocanos could also be wasteful.

The thrift and frugality are also associated with the barren landscape of their homeland Ilocandia. It is difficult to earn money here, hence the appreciation of even smaller sums (3). According to a recent study, however, Ilocos only ranks seventh among the country's 17 regions in terms of the savings rate (4). The thrifty image is probably not entirely in line with reality.

Let us add that the region produced many leading figures. These include presidents Elpidio Quirino, Ramon F. Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos. The former president Carlos P. Garcia, Fidel F. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also have Ilocan roots. In the cultural sector, the painter Juan Luna and the writer F. Sionil Jose should be mentioned.

Other ethnic groups in northern Luzon

P.angasinanis the name for a language, a province (located on the Gulf of Lingayen) and a people in northern Luzon. The Pangasinan have a charming language and are said to be quite similar to the Ilocanos. Not only do they have attractive language, they usually also have good linguistic skills.

The tall onesIbanag count about half a million people and live in the northern provinces of Luzon Cagayan, Isabella and Nueva Vizcaya. They too are said to have many similarities with the Ilocanos. Rumor has it that they have extremely dark elbows. Is it true?

The home of Kampanguenos is Pampangas, a province in northern Luzon with the capital City of San Fernando. They are considered to be good-looking and are “specialists in the good life”. Sometimes they are blamed for bragging and arrogant behavior (4). It is also claimed that they always want to be the best. They are also assumed to have a tendency towards selfishness and materialism (5). The cooking skills and tempting cuisine of the Kampanguenos are praised and envied.

The inhabitants of Quezon Province - the Quezonia - are considered humble and kind. Some are attracted to the "lovely ladies with their pretty faces" here (6).

The Olongaponas are residents of the city of Olangopo City, a city in central Luzon. They are considered Amerasinans with close family ties to America.

Under the nameIgorots one brings together several ethnic groups, mostly from the Cordilleras. They stood up to the Spanish colonial rulers for nearly three centuries. This resistance and the battles with their neighbors still significantly shape their stereotype as wild warriors and headhunters. At the moment, the image also seems to be shifting in a different direction. In the cities, the Igorots sometimes have a beggar image. (7) .


D. Central and Southern Luzon

The Tagalen are concentrated in the region in and around Manila. They are considered to be open-minded, educated and westernized. They are believed to have a higher degree of patriotism. They are downright domestic. They can also appear snooty towards members of other ethical groups.

In this context it should be mentioned that there seems to be some sort of hierarchy among the Filipino ethnic groups. This hierarchy is led by the Tagalen. The following statement can be found in a forum:

"The Tagalogs look down on the Visayans. The Visayans look down on the Illongos. The Tausugs (Muslims from the south) look down on the Samals (quasi-muslims). And so on. " (8).

They live in the Batangas province southwest of Manila Batanguenos. They are considered to be very religious and regionalist. Mutual meetings, which can also be loud, are very popular with them. Because they tend to favor each other, one speaks - hopefully just for fun - of the existence of a "Batangas Mafia" (9).

Religiousness also plays a role with them Bicolanos an important role. Her character is described as passionate and hot-headed. Damon L. Woods sees a (questionable) connection between her hot-headedness and her predilection for spicy dishes and the occurrence of many volcanoes. The Bicolanos appear friendly and accommodating to strangers. They should have a sense of humor and counter suspected attacks very quickly - also because they take a lot of things personally.


E. Visayas

The residents of the three Visayas regions are characterized as extremely friendly, fun-loving, enjoyable and enjoyable. They are more Hispanic and reportedly prefer the fiestas to work. The rumor still lingers that they are more often under the thumb of their wives (10).  

Ilongos can be found on both Panay Island and Negros Island. Both islanders are said to be looking for relaxation, play and natural beauty. A frequent reference figure is the well-dressed, imperious and merciless-looking Haciendero on horseback, armed with a rifle. Ilongos, who are at home on Negros, have more flashy and luscious tastes than their Panay neighbors, who are considered more conservative and risk-averse.


Again and again one comes across the claim "The Cebuanos are the Ilocanos of the Visayas" and one primarily means that they are modest and hardworking. Cebuanos pride themselves on their handicrafts, the built guitars, their music bands and their designers. As regionalists, they are reserved about the Tagalog, preferring to answer in English. They are musical and stubborn. One author claims that they migrate to other parts of the country, then in groups almost like lemmings.


About 25 peoples of the dark-skinned, short and curly-haired Negritos live in the Philippines. The best known ethnic groups are the Aeta and Ati. The estimates of their number vary widely and range between 32,000 and 120,000 people. The Negritos belong to the indigenous people of the Philippines. The clusters of the tribes are widely scattered. You can find them not only in Mindanao, but also on Luzon, Palawan, Panay, Negros, and Cebu. Almost all tribes were semi-nomads as hunters and gatherers in the past. At the moment they are mainly to be found in agriculture. It is a rather "hidden" part of the population of the Philippines that you hardly ever see in cities. Today, because land is often no longer available to them, they lead a primitive life that is threatened by poverty, unemployment and a structural crash. The criticism of them is restrained. Backwardness and dwarfism are likely to shape their image significantly.


The image of the Waray, a language group found on the Isles of Samar, Leyrte and Biliran, is somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, they are considered wildly determined fighters, especially if you provoke them. Then the saying goes: "Basta ang Waray, hindi uurong sa away" (A Waray does not give up his fight.) On the other hand, they are described as very religious. The Spaniards were already aware of their self-satisfaction, which bordered on laziness. The simple peasant life fulfilled them. When the tuba is prepared, the music is not far away either.

Boholans, Lumads, Hiligaynon

These three groups are rather poorly represented in the world of national stereotypes. With the Boholans, their strong religiosity is addressed. - There are hardly any negative stereotypes about the Lumads, a hill people in the southern Philippines. The colorful culture of the Lumads is mentioned. - Hiliggaynon is the name for a language group in the western Visayas. The only comment here is that they are "romantically" inclined.


F. Mindanao


The tribe of Bukidnon lives in the center of Mindanao Island. The ethnographer Carmen Guererro Napkil idealizes them somewhat: "A large tribe of good stature and graceful build, affable and frank"(11) - (The tribe has a good physical stature with a graceful build. They are sociable and honest.) What more could you ask for?


The Tausugs, a language group native to the Sulu Archipelago, are said to be very hot-blooded and uncompromising. They are still proud of their aristocratic Muslim ancestors.


The Muslim tribe of the Moros comprises around five percent of the total population of the Philippines and is mainly found in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. They withstood the Spanish colonial troops for over three centuries. They invoke their warrior virtues and are considered proud and rebellious. Certainly not all Moros want to be branded as terrorists (MILF).


Here the stereotype seekers apparently only noticed that there are particularly pretty girls.

Bajaw is the collective name for a number of language and dialect groups of the "Sea Gypsies" (sea gypsies) in the Sulu-Sea, Sulawesi and Moluccas. The Bajaws are sea nomads. One hardly dares to reproduce what can be found as a statement about them in a forum: “Everyone looks down on them. Considered uncultured by most and dirtier than dogs and rats. " (12) (Everyone looks down on them. They are seen as uncultivated and dirtier than dogs and rats.)


G. Two immigrant ethnic groups

Here would be the first Chinoys to call. They have a reputation for being more hardworking than other tribes and ethnic groups in the Philippines. As a rule, live frugally and modestly. The fact that they mostly marry among themselves isolates them somewhat. Critics also accuse them of snobbery.

They are given a much less favorable assessment Punjabi (also: "Bombays"). It is the moneylenders who immigrated from India who can be found in their shops, especially in markets with motorbikes and turbans. Because of their high usury, they have a very bad image as “money sharks” and “bloodsucker”. Sensitive noses are also bothered by their body odor - they often say they are "smelly - as hell". Nonetheless, the Punjabi are almost indispensable as micro-lenders in the Philippines.


H. Last but not least

Finally, a joke that refers to the stinginess of the Ilocanos.

An Arab sheikh had to undergo an operation in a Philippine heart center. The sheikh had a rare blood type. The search for a suitable blood donor turned out to be difficult. So they started looking for a suitable blood donor in the provinces as well. Eventually an Ilocano with the same blood type was found. He agreed to donate blood.

The operation was initially successful and the grateful sheikh then gave the Ilocano a new Toyota, diamonds and a million dollars.

A few days later, however, the Arab had to undergo reoperation. The blood donor from Ilocos was again contacted. He was grateful that he was allowed to donate blood again. But this time the sheikh only sent a thank you card and a scale of sweets to the donor.

The Ilocano was deeply disappointed because these gifts did not meet his high expectations at all. On the phone he therefore reproached the sheikh that the gifts were too small this time.

The Arab replied: "Manong (brother), the blood of an Ilocano now flows in my veins."


© Wolfgang Bethge, 2012

(1)German translation: “Filipinos think regionally, they don't give up the stereotypes of the other ethno-linguistic groups so quickly”., Damon L. Woods, The Philippines, A Global Studies Handbook, Santa Barbara, 2006, p. 10

(2)German translation: "Even highly cultured and strongly Western-influenced Filipinos are not immune to" Filipino regionalism ". The strange feeling of being a stranger always arises when you meet a Filipino from another region for the first time. ”, In: Mellie Leandie Lopez, A Handbook of Philippines Folklore, Quezon City, 2006

(3)See Ilocano Culture, in: http://www.ilocanopeople.com/ilocano-culture/

(4)  Ilocanos no longer thriftiest Filipinos; Philippine, Daily Inquirer, 07.31.2012

(5) http://www.asiafinest.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t210646.html

(6)What do you think about Quezon Province, in: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090701091048AA8OuaU

 (7)Igorot Beggars: The Skeletons in Our Open Closet, in: http://igorotblogger.com/2007/07/igorot-beggars-skeletons-in-our-open.html

(8) Local Racial Discrimination-Mukamo! Filipino Forum, in: forums.mukamo.com/540095-post2.html

(9) Batangas, in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batangas

(10) http://anthrocivitas.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6513&page=2

(11) Carmen Guererro Nakpil, The Philippines - The Land and the People (1978)

(12) ) http://anthrocivitas.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6513&page=2