Stop being racist to your own race…

I don’t usually watch Loose Women as I don’t get to sit down during the day from running around and teaching. But today I switched on telly and watched a topic they’re discussing – spray tan to look darker.

This topic reminded me of how people see dark complexion in the Philippines. Recently I stopped interacting with people on Facebook as I had enough of the madness there (see my previous blog about this – D Day). The same person posting about racism, criticizing her own Filipino skin. I said something about that post as I felt really offended. When I was growing up, I was always teased ‘negra’ (niger) because of being dark-skinned. People want to be white in the Philippines and in fact, only people with white skin are considered beautiful. That’s why I never appreciated my own skin when I was living there. It changed since I went to Europe.

I am still outraged about that post. That is being racist to your own race. Filipinos to Filipinos. White people in Europe, even kids, are obsessed with spray tan, sunbathing, sunbeds, just to get our dark complexion esp in Summer. But why does it look ugly when Filipinos have dark skin? And it looks classy on white people to have tan colour?

For Elite Filipinos with dark complexion, they see it differently than poor people with dark complexion. The first thing Filipinos see is the colour of the skin. That’s why skin whitening lotions are every where in the Philippines and you won’t be able to find a ‘normal’ lotion without the bleaching effect. It’s absolutely ridiculous!

When Filipinos see fellow Filipinos with a white man, they judge that Filipino as a hooker or someone poor trying to get a rich white man to escape poverty. I am married to a white man, British in fact, and I am well educated back home. I went to Europe when I was working as an artist/actor for a musical. That’s how I entered Europe, not because I married someone. But in the eyes of a fellow Filipino, I am just one of them. It is sad really. I love my country but the mentality will never change.

Now that I’m quiet on Facebook, I feel relieved to be out of the madness. I will focus on my blogs instead. I find more freedon here, sharing my views and experiences, and simply being myself.

Thank you for reading. Let’s help each other fight racism. We are all the same as human beings. The most important thing in a person is having a pure heart. What you see in people reflects how you feel inside. Remember that.

FitSteps dance, not part of creative arts?

I was embarrassed when I advertised my Dance FitSteps on Creative Bedfordshire group on Facebook as I ended up asking myself, ‘FitSteps is not creative?’ The moment my Ad was posted, someone said that dance fitness is not part of creative arts, and that FitSteps has got no cultural potential or possibilities.

I was shocked by that reply that FitSteps is not part of creative arts. First, it’s obviously a dance fitness. It is a ballroom and Latin dance based dance workout. Dance is a major form of creative arts as it is self-expression, not just merely doing movements. It’s common knowledge that dance is part of creative arts, so as drama, so as singing.

This group did not specify what kind of creative arts they are talking about. You probably meant – crafts, pottery, painting, etc – but they were not even mentioned in the description. You need to be specific so you don’t mislead people.

Cultural potential/possibilities. Ok, let’s see. FitSteps is based on ballroom and Latin dance. Now when you hear Latin, that is not obviously of English heritage. So there is culture already just from the word LATIN. All ballroom dance came from different parts of the world. Tango originated from Argentina, Rumba originated from Cuba, Salsa originated from New York with strong influences from Latin America, Waltz originated from Vienna, Quickstep was actually danced first in the Caribbean before developed in New York, Jive originated from African-Americans in the USA, etc etc etc. So do not even start with me about cultural opportunities when it comes to dance. My Italian friends’ son is based now in Canada as a Principal dancer in the Canadian Ballet Company. I came to Europe because of my dancing/singing/acting ability, hired all the way from Philippines to do a musical, so do not even underestimate dance per se not being creative enough. All forms of dances are creative arts whether ballet, modern, contemporary, hip hop, tap, ballroom, FitSteps, Zumba.

Maybe you just need a better exposure to improve your ignorance about creative arts.

 

The Amazing LK…

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Marcia Carbonilla, is one of the professional pioneers of Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe from the Philippines, who has been training Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company in London for so many years now. I have seen how these lovely people work so hard to promote our Philippine culture to the world, and it’s been an honour to have been part of the family since 2010, even as a singer (and sometimes dancer).  I admire how everyone devotes their Sundays to rehearse and do their best to master our Philippine Folk dances, and perform non-stop in the UK and all over Europe for the last 20 years. They have been seen on Paul O’Grady Show on TV, concerts, galas, charity shows, Philippine Embassy events, and have produced their big annual shows. They are performing in Manila this year to mark their 20th year anniversary. Lahing Kayumanggi, based on what I’ve seen and experienced, is the only ‘professional’ Filipino dance troupe in the UK that will warm every Filipino’s and British audience’s hearts with the graceful flick of their hands, the sensual sway of their hips, their warm smiles, colourful costumes and props, incredible music and chants, professional musicians from the Philippines, and the dedicated volunteers who work so hard every week to improve their dancing skills. Keep up the good work guys and always feel proud to promote our beautiful culture and heritage. The person behind LK is the Philippine Baranggay veteran himself, Ronnie Barrio, who dedicated his time in helping people and making LK a success!  To all the talented LKyans, well done!  So proud to have been part of this family! Happy 20th Anniversary! Mabuhay ang Pilipino! x

SAYAW

After our successful three shows in London last 30th and 31st August 2013,  SAYAW is going to be presented again in Milton Keynes this Sunday, 20th October, at The Venue MK, 7pm. This is a fundraising show for the victims of the recent 7.2 earthquake in Bohol and Cebu, to help buy foods and water. Please support ‘DANCES OF PARADISE ISLANDS’ in Milton Keynes (SAYAW).  Salamat po!  x

 

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