Pinoy Identity

Nancy D. Sandig

Written on the meme that Filipino medical workers would even skip their sleeping time just to watch you sleep with comfort and wake you up at time of taking medicine.

There are a lot of Filipinos working abroad as nurses, caregivers and midwives. This implies that Filipinos have this gentle hands that provide care to those who are in need.

This meme talks about the attitude of Filipinos for being caring. The meme depicts how Filipinos treat their patients. When Filipinos take care the patients, they treat them as if they were related. They treat them with utmost care, will do everything to make them comfortable as if they are their family though they were a total stranger. This acts are innate to Filipinos. When it comes to Filipinos being a caregiver, a nurse, or a midwife, they tend to provide medical or even emotional support. They would even spend time conversing with patients.

Filipino identity through memes

By: Racel Race & Thea Faye Ynion

Filipinos are known to be resourceful and creative in many ways. This meme is inspired by how our weather here in the Philippines suddenly changes, mostly during summer it is too hot and with just a little rain it flood. And people as we are, we complain but one good thing is that we would probably find solutions. One of which is turning a large basin which is usually used in washing clothes into a swimming pool and an improvised boat during  rainy season. We get to make use of things beyond its sole purpose. It is no surprise that in every home there is a plastic container used for storage and cookie tins for sewing materials. And in some instances, we get to make something out of nothing given only with the available materials and pure skills of resourcefulness and creativity.

Another positive trait of us is being generous. Ever since we were a child, almost all of us are taught to share what we have even if we have little or less. This could be seen through inviting people even strangers to share with our meal whenever we’re eating. Foreigners could attest of such whenever they would roam around and be invited to seat with Filipino people and eat along. For our fellow countrymen, if ever they were invited they would usually refuse because of this so called attitude of “hiya” but, they surely appreciate the invitation. Being generous towards someone comes in different ways, and sharing our food is one.

How to be Pinoy

By Prima Stephaney Nadate and Hannah Jane Parreñas

Singing the national anthem, patronizing what’s ours and valuing our culture and identity as Filipinos. These are just some of the many manifestations of our national pride as Filipinos. But the most noticeable and fore standing way of how we Filipinos take pride in our identity is that we stand proud for every achievements of our fellow countrymen no matter how small the Filipino blood is flowing through their veins. We still feel the same amount of joy and pride for their achievements same as to any other Filipino. Usually, our ears and eyes twitch when hearing or seeing our fellow Filipinos achieve something great such as winning in contests, especially on an international level. Knowing about their achievements make us so happy and gratified, all the more when we hear about the positive comments or praises that they receive from other people.

The instances of facing mishaps are inescapable. As Philippines is one of the countries considered to be vulnerable to a number of calamities and the citizens remain to be below the poverty line, still, Filipinos continue to stand strong and never falter. This is what defines the Filipino spirit, the inspiration for this meme. We, Filipinos always keep a positive outlook on everything. Even in the state of despair and in the face of heart-rending problems, we always find a way to channel it into something to be thankful for in order to remain positive and to lift up our spirit as well as those of other people around us. We continue to smile amidst the catastrophes we are facing. With this, we can say that not even the strongest typhoon nor earthquake can break the Filipino spirit.

Memes About Positive Filipino Identity

by: Jeane Valerie Valera & Eula Rose Villaruel

Constructing Identity Through Language and Superstition

by Colleen Calizo, Matthew Palabrica, and Angeline Tupas

Identity can be defined as a social process constructed in and through communication. In terms of the collective, it is based on social organization and shared group memberships (Hecht & Choi, 2012). Since identity thus draws from a certain community’s culture, it shares culture’s attributes of being fluid rather than fixed. In other words, it is not something static but is constantly changing or dynamic. One aspect under the body of collective identity is national identity. National identity is socially constructed and conveyed in language rather than blood ( Wodak et. al, 2009). Drawing from this notion, aspects of Filipino identity that inspired the memes we made are rooted in modes of communication: language and superstition. 

According to the Komisyon sa Wikang Pilipino, there are approximately 130 Filipino languages. It is furthermore stated in the 1967 Constitution the evolution of Filipino, which is the national language of the Philippines, shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing languages in the country. Since language is used as a means for communication and constructing identity, the existence of numerous languages in the Philippines therefore corresponds to these characteristics of the communities which speak them.

Superstitious beliefs or pamahiin in the Philippines are rooted in the idea of the afterlife, which is a belief that developed during the pre-colonial era. Religious customs such as burial rites, for example, are known to be practiced and observed by communities across the country. Despite the urbanization and modernization of society, the reality that certain superstitious beliefs are still embedded in Filipinos’ way of life shows how this aspect of culture is held in common by groups. In other words, pamahiin reflects the communal frame of Filipino identity.

The first meme shows the common act of knowing how to speak Filipino and English among the other Philippine languages, most probably because we were accustomed to those two languages growing up due to their use in the education. By presenting this relatable content, the meme pokes fun at the notion that the construction of national identity is only limited to communicating in Filipino and English. It also implies how this Luzon-centric view erases representation of other languages in the country.

The second meme reflects a common pamahiin in Philippine society, which is that a butterfly is the spirit of one’s dead relative that has come to visit them. It points to the lasting continuity of superstitions on life after death, and also uses humor to portray how it has become a common belief even in today’s times. To conclude, the construction of Filipino identity in the memes are based on the ways and means in which people communicate.


Hecht, M., & Choi, H. (2014). Communication Theory of Identity. In Encyclopedia of Health Communication. (Vol. 1, pp. 137-152). California, U.S.A. SAGE Reference.

Pelagio, E. Philippine Languages and Dialects [PDF file]. Retrieved from

Wodak, R., Reisigl, M., De Cillia, R., & Liebhart, K. (1998). The Discursive Construction of National Identity. Edinburg, UK: Edinburg University Press.

Encapsulating the Filipino Identity in Memes

By: Hazel Joy Nono and Myla Mae Pahamutang

Quality #1 : Generosity

Filipinos can be very generous, especially if they have the money to do so. There are several TV shows presenting the situation of several Filipino people, most especially the less privileged. The most noteworthy ones for us are: a) a segment of TV Patrol which focuses on people who are currently having difficulties in their lives and b) some episodes of MMK, which may oftentimes feature people undergoing through a difficult situation and how they are coping with it on a daily basis or how they managed to overcome it.

There were several reports featuring children who were suffering from diseases such as leukemia, gigantism, tumors, etc. Their parents did not have any money to give their children the treatment they needed. However, after they were featured on the said show, they caught the attention of various Filipinos and even gained financial support from them. This was proven as every time, the reporters would give updates on their situation and usually they would give the viewers the news that the said families had received enough money to get their treatment (with clips provided and sometimes, an entire documentary separate from the show).

This meme, which somehow exaggerates how money is given, represents just how much effort or what extra mile Filipinos are willing to go through just to help others and sometimes, it is at the cost of their own comfort. They also do not question the situation heavily or have a hard time deciding whether to help those persons or not as they solely focus on how to uplift those people from that situation.

It is truly heartwarming to see just how Filipinos are willing to help their fellowmen whenever they are in need. This, of course, is not only limited to financial help as Filipinos can mostly be seen lending a hand to other people (regardless of whether they know them or not) physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually etc. We are one of the few countries who have empathy and manifest in upon our actions as well as our interactions with other people. With the world taking advantage of this specific value at present, we truly hope that Filipinos will remain firm and stick with this attribute up until the very end.

Quality #2: Optimism

Filipinos are one of the most resilient people in the world and along with that resilience comes the quality of optimism or the ability to see the best out of any situation.

This was mostly inspired by several clips shown on television. During 2013, when Typhoon Yolanda struck the country, a lot of damage was brought upon our lands. Many houses were destroyed, a lot of livelihoods were in peril, and there were a lot of people who either died, were injured or were declared missing.

At that point, almost anyone would have grieved or would have lost all hope of ever living a good life again. However, Filipinos were different. As reporters went to the affected areas of the typhoon and reported about their situation, several bystanders were seen waving at the camera and even smiling, seemingly ecstatic that they managed to be seen on TV. It wasn’t obvious that they were deeply affected by that tragedy.

As depicted by our chosen meme, a balloon which is usually known as a fragile and easily destroyed object was used to represent Filipinos. When everyone was expecting them to be shattered by the difficulties they were facing (as represented by the blade), they stood strong and remained optimistic through it all.

Even in the case of our goals, oftentimes we Filipinos might not get what we want or we were hoping for something but it didn’t come true. Instead of giving up there, we used that failure as a motivation to improve our performance the next time around so that in the end, we may eventually achieve our goals.

We think that this particular trait is very special and we, as Filipinos are lucky to have it because it allows us to enjoy the little things, to enhance our skills even more, and to overall just enjoy life to the fullest. After all, what makes life memorable are not the successful moments but rather the difficult ones and how me managed to overcome them.

“Thrifty”: A Filipino Identity

by: Era Mae B. Suarez & Macy L. Tagaduar

Many disasters, phenomena, and trials had taught every Filipino to think critically. One of the positive characteristics of Filipino is being thrifty or matipid. It is not only a usual and ordinary personality one Pinoy must have but it is called “diskarte”. It is our own way to overcome poverty and to develop practicality.
According to Abrugar, 2014 “Thriftiness teaches us to be prepared for the next emergency or calamity that will strike us. We become money wise in budgeting and saving money. Some Filipinos can live beyond their means. But on the other side, there are also many Filipinos who are living frugal. We shop wisely to save money for future uses. We are conscious on price tag, discounts, and quality of the products we buy to get most out of our money. Filipino parents also do sacrifices like skipping the stuff they want to buy for themselves just to save their money to buy things that can make their children happy.”

In addition, many Filipinos are sale crazy. We usually get coupons, seat sales, and grabs buy 2 take 1 offers. Often we buy second hand stuffs like ukay-ukay and cell phones. Also, Pinoy are segurista in many things that they will never buy a thing unless they had tried it. For example, they buy food after eating a bunch of free taste. Likewise, we keep an alkansya where serves as bank where we can deposit and withdraw money easily without long transactions. This just proves that Filipinos are wise enough to manage their money in case of unforeseen emergencies that requires it.

Abrugar, V. (2014). 14 Good Filipino Habits that Make the Philippines a Great Country. Retrieved from

Meme Me Up! The Filipino Way

Jessamine Kay Palomo & Anaiah Rhima D. Palomata

The Filipinos are abundant of diverse cultures seasoned with beliefs and cultural practices. These cultures run in the blood that makes up the lifeline of Filipinos, the ‘smiling faces’ amidst the hardships and troubles. It is evident during times of emergency and disasters that even in the middle of life and death situations, Filipinos still remember to give the most absurd way of laughing off a problem.

A meme, as defined by Oxford Dictionary, is a humorous image, text or video that is replicated and spread on the internet. Filipinos continue to dominate social media platforms. Exposure to the internet combined with their creative juices show how inventive and colorful Philippine culture can be.

The Philippines, although heavily influenced by the Spaniards and Americans, still has its own distinct cultural practices. One of these is the great significance Filipinos give to one’s birth dates and birthday celebrations. This practice often leads Filipinos to associate meal invitations and food especially spaghetti with occasions, such as birthdays and whatnot. Most of the time, spaghetti is served due to the belief that it represents long life along with other pasta meals like pancit.

Another thing is the Filipino’s hospitable character and their love to bond and socialize. Birthday celebrations offer the venue and time for people to be around with others. This reflects the character of Filipinos having close family ties and close relationship with neighbors, friends, relatives, colleagues, and many other people.

Filipinos are commonly family-oriented individuals and that there exists strong bonds between family ties that Filipinos hold. This is true because even if it’s a distant relative, everyone knows everyone. This is manifested usually during family reunions where all the women that you saw are your Aunts while all the men are your Uncles and the rest may be your cousin, nephew, niece, grandparents. etc. In short, everyone is related to you even if your familial relationship to them can be compared to the relationship of the north and south poles.

Filipinos tend to associate one another based on ancestral traces and find common grounds based on blood and in-law relationships.

They are fond of occasions and gatherings that can be linked to the culture of having tight family relations. Since there are gatherings, delicious food from the host of the occasion also had become an unwritten rule over the past years. During birthdays, reunions, fiestas and even social gatherings, guests usually look for different local favorites such as KBL (karne, baboy, langka), lauya, valenciana, buko pandan as dessert and most of all, the all time favorite of many, lumpia (spring rolls). Thus, these foods somehow were the norm in the table.

Side remarks from your tita and tito telling how fat you’ve become or maybe asking if you’re in a relationship or not will always be present in every family gathering. This may come off as one of the most annoying thing for every Filipino teenager out there but it has also become part of the tita and tito culture which Filipinos are aware of.

It is undeniable how inventive Filipinos can be. They have proven that internet memes have turned into a communication tool which are effective in conveying messages, ideas, and meaningful discourse. It has also shown how Filipinos presented their identity in the internet. Through memes, Filipinos are able to utilize their humorous and creative sides. Filipino meme culture has become a platform in showcasing and highlighting social issues, culture and tradition.


Ma. Luz Villegas

Just like what is written on the meme above, Filipinos would carry you inside their home(figuratively) and you would definitely recieve a five-star accomodation and treatment. You are that special, you would really feel important and loved.

Hospitality is being friendly by providing generous reception and entertainment to visitors and guests.

Oxford Ditionary

Filipino hospitality goes beyond the mediocre way of accommodating guest, may it be foreigners, a long-time-no-see relatives or an acquaintance who just dropped by. If you planned to visit Filipinos and had informed them ahead of the time, they would prepare shiny floors, dust and cobwebs free furniture and of course prepare feast-like foods. If you visit them by surprise, they would practically scold you a little for not telling them, apologize for what you had seen (may it be their house and their appearance and not preparing something), and would rush to the nearest store to buy you something to eat.

To point out, Filipino Hospitality are always going on extra. Never settling for less and overreact on things. They aren’t just being friendly with warm welcomes as you enter the door, it pretty much looked like they are welcoming you to be part of their home and feel the freedom as if it’s your own.


By Freden Javelona, Keseiah Joy Tavera, and Trina Villaflor

Meme no. 1: Hospitality

screenshots from

Filipinos are known for their friendliness, hospitality and strong family values. And so, we have always been very fond of big gatherings such as reunions and fiestas. In such occasions, it would not really matter if you were immediate family or a distant relative; a Filipino household will be more than happy to welcome you in. It has become a courtesy to treat anyone who has even the slightest hint of familial relation to you (or even none) with the same respect and hospitality as you would your immediate family.

Meme no. 2: Dining etiquette

Marie Kondo meme format taken from

One of the strongest positive traits Filipinos possess is our strong family values. Ever since we were children, we were taught to always eat meals together at the dining table. First to wash our hands, then to wait for everyone, and last, to pray together before eating. Meal time is treated as a form of bonding in the family so as we eat, stories and the happenings in our daily lives are shared. It is in the mindset of Filipinos that it is merrier to eat with the ones you love, especially with your family.