Colonial Mentality

(Part 10 of the “In Defense of the Filipino” series)

ANTI-FILIPINOS say that Filipinos, because of their colonial mentality, always prefer foreign talents and products to local ones. This mentality does exist, but it is wrong to accuse us Filipinos of always having it.

Colonial mentality is the thinking that foreign talents and products are always the good, the better, and the best, and that the local ones are of poor or no quality at all. Colonial because our Spanish and American colonizers, during their four-century rule of the Philippines, instilled into the Filipino mentality the belief that foreigners and anything associated with them were the superior, and that Filipinos and anything associated with them were worthless.

Preferring an imported talent or product to the local one is not always colonial mentality. There are reasons why such preference occurs.

Swiss watches, French perfumes, Japanese cars, German gadgets, and Dutch dairy products are admired and sold throughout the world. Peoples of the world patronize them—even if they have their locally made watches, perfumes, cars, gadgets, and dairy products. Is it because they have colonial mentality? Is it because they always prefer foreign products to local ones?

Philippine-made microchips, garments, textiles, shoes, canned foods, farm products, and other goods worth more than US$50 billion a year are exported to many countries. The Swiss, French, Japanese, German, Dutch, Americans, British, Spaniards, Arabs, Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Indonesians, Malaysians, Thais, and Singaporeans are among the patrons of our locally made products. They buy our products because they have colonial mentality? Is it because they prefer foreign products (made in the Philippines) to local ones?

No. It is because of the natural human tendency to appreciate and embrace good talents and products, be they local or foreign.

It is also because of universality. If a talent or product is good, it will really be admired, patronized, and imitated. It has no boundaries; it affects humans—because it is good. This has been proven by the wheel, paper, ink, William Shakespeare, the British government, the United States Constitution, Thomas Alva Edison, the telephone, Albert Einstein, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the World Wide Web, and countless others.

If imported products are preferred, it’s because of good and better quality. The consumers should not be blamed, for they are only being wise, and wise consumers purchase goods with high standards of quality.

But it is not true that we Filipinos admire and patronize nothing but foreign talents and products only. We watch local movies and television shows. We adore our movie stars, singers, television personalities, artists, scientists, athletes, professionals, magnates, leaders, and other talented countrymen. We use Calabarzon-manufactured household appliances, read Manila-printed books, wear Marikina-made shoes, drink Batangas coffee, own Laguna carvings, and display Ilocos pottery.

It is not colonial mentality when we Filipinos listen to American songs, dance to Cuban music, eat on Chinese plates, wear French clothes, or ride in Japanese cars. It is because we admire quality talents and products, whatever their countries of origins are.

Colonial mentality will only be colonial mentality when one person believes that the good, better, and best talents and products are found only in other countries; when he always prefers foreign talents and products to the local ones even if the latter are better; and when he believes that nothing good comes out of his own country.

Such persons should be informed that Filipinos also produce quality talents and products that are admired and patronized here or in other countries.

Anti-Filipinos compare foreign products with those made in local cheap factories. Naturally, the foreign ones will fare better, since those cheap factories churn out non-quality items. Such mode of comparison is unfair. Quality products should be compared with the same quality products.

If the consumer finds the foreign and local products both of good quality, and he buys the local one, he is helping his country’s economy. If he buys the foreign (just because it is foreign-made), he has colonial mentality.

If the foreign product is superior to the local, and he buys it, he is a wise consumer. If the foreign one is inferior to the local, and he buys it (just because it is foreign-made), it is stupidity.

Product of Colonization. During American rule and the years following it, preference for anything foreign (mostly American) was prevalent. Only in the 1960’s did many people begin to think that they also have their own soul, identity, and heritage to mind and nourish.

Filipinos could not be blamed. They were brainwashed during Spanish and American rule: They were good for nothing; the colonial masters were perfect. Since such brainwashing had been implanted into their thinking about themselves for centuries, it would be extremely difficult to just shrug it off. It would take decades for them to pull themselves out of the colonial quagmire that they had been in for centuries.

Thanks to the nationalism movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Since then, little by little, Filipinos have been trying to obliterate the many negative effects of foreign colonization.


  1. eugene codiamat says

    nowadays, because of quality control phil products(done by pinoys but foreign investors and trademark)are very competitive world wide. i wear shirts made in philippines;
    you know it it’s made in the philippines because when it goes on sale nobody touch it. they wait til it’s on clearance.
    if you say “colonial mentality” they know you’re not from
    present generation probably you’re receiving ss already.

    btw who is president on 60’s and 70’s ” nationalism movement”.

  2. Marie says

    If only Filipinos patronize our products instead of foreign products it would truly boost our economy and more chances of employment in the country

  3. dorz says

    tangkilikin ang sariling atin jud noh’it is not bad man to appreciate the other countries man;;pero you must know din how to appreciate sa sariling atin …koh’jejeje

  4. Jon E. Royeca says


    I agree with you. There’s nothing wrong with patronizing foreign goods, simply because we need them. We need imported petroleum, medicines, crops, dairy products, and many other material, technological, and industrial goods.

    Besides, if we don’t patronize foreign products, other countries might retaliate. Philippine-made goods, worth fifty billion U.S. dollars each year, become imported when they land in other countries. If other countries won’t patronize Philippine-made “imported’ goods, our factories and other industries will close down, and millions will be stripped of their livelihoods.

    Thank you for reading and for the comment.

  5. Glenn says

    Filipinos could not be blamed because i think we not are in capable of creating such products that are in a high definition… for examples in movies… simpleng pgsabog lng ng bahay eh hlatang computerized…. compare to the movie “2012” which is very realistic…

  6. joan faye p. morales says

    i’m only 11 yrs. old girl.. i realize it too.. that kailangan tangkilikin natin ang sariling atin. upang umunlad ang ating bansa.. hnd yung import ng import.. kailangan “PILIPINO MUNA..” SABI NGA NI MR. CARLOS P. GARCIA.. SABI NG NG ATING DATING PANGULO..

  7. Jon E. RoyecaJon E. Royeca says

    @ joan faye p. morales

    Tama iyon. Tangkilikin natin ang sariling atin. Pero tangkilikin din natin ang mga dayuhang produkto, kung paanong tinatangkilik ng mga nasa ibang bansa ang mga produktong nanggagaling sa Pilipinas.

    Salamat sa inyong dalawa ni Glen sa pagbasa at pagkomento.

  8. lee min ho 'ayieh' says

    tangklikn ang sariling atin……. paano uunlad ang iyong bansa kung iyang napaka simpleng bagay di mo magawa.. so just patronize your own product …

  9. carla says

    tangkilikin ang gawang pilipino muna.. di pa tayo mayamang bansa, di pa natin afford tumangkilik ng iba, kaya tinatangkilik ng ibang bansa produkto natin kasi sobra sobra na pera nila, so kahit tumangkilik sila ng produktong galing sa iba eh.. ok lang..di sila masyadong maaapektuhan.. if ever naman na tatangkilik tayo sa gawa ng ibang bansa dapat 5% lang, 95% ng loyalty natin sa filipino products at filipino talents pa din… marami namang quality products dito bakit ilalabas pa pera natin… bakit naman sila magreretaliate eh ganun naman ugali nila, most of them naman they appreciate their own products at talents, tulad ng bansang japan at taiwan.. sa tingin mo ba karamihan sa kanila, puro ingles pinapakinggan or pinapanood sa tv di ba hinde halos lahat in their own language di ba kaya nga hirap sila sa ingles.. so ibig sabihin di na nila nilalabas pera nila sa ibang talents ang nakikinabang ng pera nila kapwa din nila.. mga asensadong bansa na mga iyon.. lalo siguro nung hinde pa sila masyadong asensado im sure strictly local talents lang pinapatronize nila.. siguro nga baka tinatawanan nila tayong mga filipino, kaya di tayo umaasenso dahil hinde tayo marunong iappreciate kung ano meron tayo… we dont need foreign products kung meron na tayo dito na filipino made bakit lalabas ka pa ng bansa? exceptions lang dito yung mga bagay na kelangan talaga ng bansa para magfunction ng hinde yung kelangan ng isang tao para sa luho nya
    .. –kaya nga di nila maayos quality ng mga movies or products dito kasi konti lang ang tumatangkilik, bakit naman sila gagastos ng malaki kung malulugi lang naman sila dahil walang bibili o manunuod.. matuto muna tayong tangkilikin kung ano meron tayo later on the improving of the quality will follow.. at kung may awa ka sa naghihirap na pilipino then alam mo na kung ano ang tatangkilikin mo… kung foreign products pipiliin mo, im sure di mo pa alam kung paano ang magutom dahil wala kang pambili ng pagkain at kung paano kahirap maghanap ng trabaho sa pilipinas lalo kung di ka nakapag aral, yung tipong kahit ano na dyan basta magkapera lang at makakain kahit dalawang beses sa isang araw… yung mga trabahador na gumagawa ng produktong pilipino di naman po yan malaki sweldo,kadalasan yung sweldo nila sa isang araw, eh pang isang araw lang talaga.. isipin mo na lang kung dadami demand ng isang produkto di xempre dadami demand para sa mga manggagawang pilipino… dadami ang magkakatrabaho.. dadami ang hinde na magpoproblema sa pagkain nila.

    Kahit anong sabihin mo against pa rin ako sa colonial mentality na yan… at gagawin ko ang best ko para maiwasan ko ito completely at mabawasan ito… Appreciate all filipino talents, lalo na yung nag-uumpisa pa lang at galing sa hirap, kung talented naman bakit hinde diba? Tangkilikin ang produktong pilipino, pati yung mga nagtitinda sa tabi-tabi dun na lang tayo bumili.. lalo na kung mukhang di pa nakakabenta..parang tulong na natin sa kanila least di sila nagpapalimos, nagtatrabaho sila.

  10. Jon E. Royeca says

    @ carla

    Para sa akin, dapat tangkilikin talaga natin ang mga lokal na produkto para matulungan natin ang ating pambansang ekonomiya. At tinatangkilik naman talaga natin ang mga lokal na produkto, serbisyo, at talento, hindi ba?

    Pero tangkilikin din natin dapat ang mga produkto, serbisyo, at talento na nanggagaling sa ibang bansa kasi kailangan natin ang mga iyon, katulad na lamang ng petrolyo, pagkain, medisina, teknolohiya, at iba pa.

    Kung hindi natin tatangkilikin ang mga iyon, guguho ang ating ekonomiya. Walang sapat na langis sa Pilipinas upang paganahin ang ating mga sasakyan at industriya.

    Ang utak-kolonyal ay magiging utak-kolonyal lamang kung para sa isang tao, wala nang magaling na lokal na produkto, serbisyo, at talento, at panay mga dayuhan na lamang ang tama at magaling. Iyon ang utak-kolonyal. Pero kung tatangkilikin din natin ang mga nanggagaling sa ibang lupain, hindi utak-kolonyal iyon.

    Kasi, maraming mga produkto, serbisyo, at talento na nanggagaling sa Pilipinas ang tinatangkilik sa ibang bansa.

    Ano ang ibig sabihin niyon? May utak-kolonyal ang mga tao sa ibang bansa? O humahanga lamang sila sa magaling at de-kalidad na produkto, serbisyo, at talento?

    • says

      Tangkilikin mo muna ang sariling atin bago ang dayuhang produkto, ngunit mukhang sa ‘yo ito ay mahirap unawain marahil nga at totoo nga na iba kung paano mo tignan ang mga bagay. Sinabi mo nga unibersalidad at tama ka walang masama kung magustohan mo ng higit ang dayuhang produkto dahil ito nga ay nakakahigit sa kalidad ngunit papaano mo mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang lokal na produkto para maiangat kung hindi mo bibigyan ng higit na pagtangkilik. Oo tinatangkilik din ng iba ang ating produkto pero huwag mo sana ipikit ang iyong mga mata sa katotohanak higit na tinatangkilik ng ibang bansa ang sa kanila. Hindi ba sa larangan ng kalakalan tayo ay laging agrabyado at mga dayuhan lagi panalo?

  11. gambino says

    kung sa musica nman abs cbn ang isa sa nag papa bagsak sa musikang pinoy mas sinusuportahan pa nila ang k-pop j-pop kesa sa pinoy music and nung araw lang ng kalayaan nag pa tugtug ng pure opm ang yung mga p—– i—- bagong henerasyon sumusuporta naman sa katangahan ng myx and yung mga struggling artist natin mas lalong nawawalan ng pag asa dahil sa mga tinaman ng l—– na mga boyband na yon………..

  12. Marco says

    Sir, you said that colonial mentality is the thinking that foreign talents and products are always the best unlike the products made locally. Does it also include their culture, traditions and behavioral practices being the best? Or just their products?


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