GMA-7 TV's Arnold Clavio defined being Filipino in a recent on-the-air rant against the Philippine Football Team Azkals in terms of being "kayumanggi," or brown-skinned.
TV host Clavio's contention was that, for the fairness of their skins, the bi-racial members of the team, two of whom have been accused of sexual harassment, are only pretending to be Filipino.
The rant was relatively rare, more praise rather than criticism being heaped on the Azkals, for, among other reasons, certain of its members' being mestizo, or of mixed blood, fairness being such a premium in the Philippines there's a whole industry devoted to whitening skin in these isles of contradictions.
But as rare as it was, it also demonstrated the secret contempt with which, in certain middle class circles, the bi-racial or even multi-racial Filipino, the inevitable result of migration and intermarriage, is held.
rant predictably provoked accusations of racism.
Filipino racism is among the bizarre offspring of the colonial experience.
Many Filipinos stereotype and ridicule the darker-hued.
Students from Africa, for example, complain about being subjected to racial slurs, usually by ordinary folk including their fellow students in the schools they attend.
The other side of this racist coin is the affirmation that being brown-skinned puts one in a category superior to darker people, though a notch or two below whites.
went a step further: brown's not only fine, it's also better than fair.