Blonde and Blue Eyes

When I was little, I wanted what many Filipino children all over the
country wanted. I wanted to be blond, blue-eyed, and white. I thought-if I just wished hard enough and was good enough, I’d wake up on Christmas morning with snow outside my window and freckles across my nose!

More than four centuries under western domination does that to you. I
have sixteen cousins. In a couple of years, there will just be five of us left in the Philippines, the rest will have gone abroad in search of “greener pastures.” It’s not just an anomaly; it’s a trend; the Filipino diaspora. Today, about eight million Filipinos are scattered around the world.

There are those who disapprove of Filipinos who choose to leave. I used to. Maybe this is a natural reaction of someone who was left behind, smiling for family pictures that get emptier with each succeeding year. Desertion, I called it. My country is a land that has perpetually fought for the freedom to be itself. Our heroes offered their lives in the struggle against the Spanish, the Japanese, the Americans. To pack up and deny that identity is tantamount to spitting on that sacrifice.

Or is it? I don’t think so, not anymore. True, there is no denying this phenomenon, aided by the fact that what was once the other side of the world is now a twelve-hour plane ride away. But this is a borderless world, where no individual can claim to be purely from where he is now. My mother is of Chinese descent, my father is a quarter Spanish, and I call myself a pure Filipino-a hybrid of sorts resulting from a combination of cultures.

Each square mile anywhere in the world is made up of people of different ethnicities, with national identities and individual personalities. Because of this, each square mile is already a microcosm of the world. In as much as this blessed spot that is England is the world, so is my neighbourhood back home.

Seen this way, the Filipino Diaspora, or any sort of dispersal of
populations, is not as ominous as so many claim. It must be understood. I come from a Third World country, one that is still trying mightily to get back on its feet after many years of dictatorship. But we shall make it, given more time. Especially now, when we have thousands of eager young minds who graduate from college every year. They have skills. They need jobs. We cannot absorb them all.

A borderless world presents a bigger opportunity, yet one that is not so much abandonment but an extension of identity. Even as we take, we give back. We are the 40,000 skilled nurses who support the UK’s National Health Service. We are the quarter-of-a-million seafarers manning most of the world’s commercial ships. We are your software engineers in Ireland, your construction workers in the Middle East, your doctors and caregivers in North America, and, your musical artists in London’s West End.

Nationalism isn’t bound by time or place. People from other nations migrate to create new nations, yet still remain essentially who they are. British society is itself an example of a multi-cultural nation, a melting pot of races, religions, arts and cultures. We are, indeed, in a borderless world!

Leaving sometimes isn’t a matter of choice. It’s coming back that is.
The Hobbits of the shire traveled all over Middle-Earth, but they chose to come home, richer in every sense of the word. We call people like these balikbayans or the ‘returnees’-those who followed their dream, yet choose to return and share their mature talents and good fortune.

In a few years, I may take advantage of whatever opportunities come my way. But I will come home. A borderless world doesn’t preclude the idea of a home. I’m a Filipino, and I’ll always be one. It isn’t about just geography; it isn’t about boundaries. It’s about giving back to the country that shaped me.

And that’s going to be more important to me than seeing snow outside my windows on a bright Christmas morning.

Mabuhay. and Thank you.

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Posted on May 26, 2009 under Speeches and labeled ,,

71 Responses to “Blonde and Blue Eyes”

  1. Original post by Dmitri Gromov

  2. You know so many interesting infomation. You might be very wise. I like such people. Don’t top writing.

  3. nice piece….

  4. EANAH

    – o’

    NICE ONE.

    — o’

  5. ang lupet.!
    pero mas astig pa rin mging pinoy! :)

  6. JEWEL GANDA! JEWEL GANDA!

  7. misskiwi26

    i love miss pat super galing and talented.
    ipinagmamalaki ko ang aking pagiging Filipino.
    mabuhay tayong lahat!

  8. Andrea Salonga

    hi patricia. im planning to use this as my declamation piece for my speech subj. can i?

  9. [...] Updated 3: I didn’tknow  until today that Manay Evangelista has a blog. You can visit her blog at http://www.patriciaevangelista.com/blonde-and-blue-eyes/. [...]

  10. jovylyn

    your piece was really great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    don’t you know that your piece was the most used and popular oratorical speech!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    more power and blessings to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. ..ang gnda

  12. hi pat,

    i share your sentiments…
    keep on writing pieces like this one…
    good day.

  13. Frances Gaza

    Hi Patricia! May I use your speech for discussio in my English class?

    I am an English teacher and interested to discuss your thoughts presented in the speech. :)

  14. Marie Jeselle Oco

    Hello Ms. Pat,
    What can i say….oh right after hearing my boardmate reading your Speech i was so inspired word for word by your Blonde and Blue Eyes…..and how i really wish my kid cud be a little like you…so spantaneous, subtle, very good diction and sincere when you delivered. I ‘d like to be one of your millions of fan. You’re a Filipino pride!

  15. Harry Potter

    hey pat,

    your speech really has a profound content and an unusual intellect, one that’s rarely found in a human being of norm. once again, I congratulate and thank you for bringing the honor to our country in a way that could express the random impressions of all the Filipino citizens upon this borderless world in a superb speech!.

    don’t mind my name, I just don’t want to expose my name…

  16. as i watch her speech on the video, there was a paragraph and some lines that were not said by ms. evangelista as compared to what is written here, was that meant not to be said at all?
    thank you if you’ll answer my question. (i’m a bit of curious.)

  17. JOSHUA

    ANG LUPET NANG SPEECH@INSPIRATIONAL PA.

  18. mary.pots :)

    this speech is so good ! i Love it …

  19. Chris

    Your speech were really inspirational…..

    It was our topic in our english class…..and we listen to your speech and I made myself a reflection about it…

    It was sooo true =)

    Congratulations!!!

  20. Hey Miss Pat! I am one of your fans and I am looking forward to see you soon. Congratulations! And indeed you are great! Can my friend use your speech? Thanks and more power Ms. Pat!

  21. hai…idol kita..narinig ko palng ung boses mo sa radio nung nag-guest ka sa new 107. grabe napabilib mo tlaga ko…sana mameet kite in person…ingatz ka palagi..

  22. Melody Alcaraz

    you’ve got one of the greatest minds in the world. i love your speech :)

  23. Melody Alcaraz

    you’ve got one of the greatest minds in the world.
    this piece is something that would really stuck in my mind even after years.

  24. Melody Alcaraz

    hello ms. evangelista
    you’ve got one of the greatest minds in the world.
    this piece is something that would really stuck in my mind even after years.

  25. Manolo Libertad

    The piece was great but only if we had remained ignorant of other people’s social status in our country of corrupt government. It’s not so much the being blonde and blue-eyed but the PRIVILEGED life that so many of our people are left for wanting. Any child, girl or boy, who had grown up in the slums of Manila dreams of having breakfast and an education more than being blonde and blue-eyed first. These are the ones who have no means of living our country, much less the means to break their cycle of poverty. If only your idea of a borderless world included that obvious fact, the piece would have been perfect. Nevertheless, for what it’s worth, I have no argument about many of your points.

  26. Hannah

    I’ve read this piece a few years ago and stumbled upon it today, your work never ceases to amaze me!

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  28. kichi

    Thanks to you.. I’m a pinoy and living here abroad. What you said on your speech is really true. I want to go home…and this made me more homesick. I watched your speech and I’m proud of you kababayan…

  29. It amazes me that this piece won in an international (not that local ones are easier to win) speech contest. Perhaps you are really skilled as a speaker.

    However, I have some doubts about what it tries to say. The “analysis” that Filipinos who disapprove of “the Filipino Diaspora” simply do because they feel they are left behind, is at best naive. Another naivety is the assumed reason of the diaspora: cultural domination. Not that that was wrong, but to dismiss the diaspora as merely a paranoia just because of that, is.

    The piece seems to just justify Philippines’ Third Worldliness; a sniff of amphetamine while writhing in hunger.

    I have nothing against you, I just wanted to comment (just like others above me; however, in a more honest manner).

  30. Adoyable

    This is great ur amazing!!!

    Hmm, i saw u, in tv that was Living Asia?
    hmm… Fiesta in Leyte, But hey ang gling mu pAla sumAyaw?? Take Care =)…

  31. it is very nice speech….

  32. archel

    …your speech are inspirational to all specially to our filpinos…I hope our kababayans appreciate your message within thier hearts….

    ….God Bless..=)

  33. hi ! i’m a third year highschool student ..
    your piece is our lesson in english tomorrow… :)
    im hoping that all of us will treasure this inspirational speech !

  34. that speech was nonsense

  35. Ariana

    amazing…it was great…

  36. Ariana

    정말 대단하군요 .. 난 이야기 …:) 사랑

  37. Chrissie

    Hi Ms. Patricia. Great speech! You know what, I first read your name in a weekly journal when I was still in high school. Way back in 2004? 2005? I remember My high school English teacher discussed about you and your speech. And I was amazed with your speech. I was like “Wow, Ang galing” it’s inspiring. And you know what… honestly, I find it more inspiring now because I’m away from home… thousands of miles away from home. It’s such a beautiful speech Ms. Patricia. :-) keep writing speeches like this Ms. Patricia. You’re an awesome writer and public speaker! And when you write something new, I’m sure many Filipinos, young or old, male or female… (and not just Filipinos) will like it. How I wish I can write essays, articles and speeches like you! He he!

  38. [...] first Filipina to win the International Public Speaking Contest in 2004  (read her winning piece here), Patricia also works as a TV host and [...]

  39. It’s really a great speech so I chose to present this in our declamation in English. It’s quite a long speech to memorize but it’s all worth it thinking about inspiring the whole class with this piece.

  40. chairein

    Hi! I’m a great fan of yours. I first saw you on national television at Mr. Cito Beltran’s program in ANC. You had a flu then but you managed to say your piece.

    I really wish I could inspire people like you do. As I read through your piece, I was having goosebumps. I almost cried. By the way, today’s my first time to actually read your entire piece since the day I first saw you on tv.

    Wow! Keep inspiring millions more :)

  41. harmony

    ahmm..a nice piece^^

  42. mikee mcCusker

    niceone ganda tlga super :) kakatuwa ung speech mo i really love it :)

  43. gabriella

    wow!!very great…im very much blessed being a pinoy.because I know a lot of races admiring the filipinoes..and wanted to become “brown to black eyes”…filipinoes had a unique personality and attitude among the rest..Thank you for your very inspiring speech to those who abandon our native race…Godbless you!

  44. andrea

    wow…nice speech. proud to be pinoy..

  45. Richmond

    nice piece its sa very inspiring and very admiring keep it up

  46. ahu ning gipili nga speech kay very bongga!

    i really love it!

  47. it is a very nice piece.i like the message from this piece,you chose it because a lot of filipinos are migrating to other countries…wish me luck!i’m gonna use this speech for the CHOOSING OF WHICH STUDENT WILL PERFORM THIS ON THE BAPSEA……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..it is really nice, patricia evangelista… god bless!keep writing!you have inspired different persons like me…i hope we will meet…someday!

  48. it is a very nice piece.i like the message from this piece,you chose it because a lot of filipinos are migrating to other countries…wish me luck!i’m gonna use this speech for the CHOOSING OF WHICH STUDENT WILL PERFORM THIS ON THE BAPSEA……………………………………………it is really nice, patricia evangelista… god bless!keep writing!you have inspired different persons like me…i hope we will meet…someday!

  49. huh?
    huh?
    huh?
    huh?
    huh?

  50. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..,;’/it is not nice really!boring………………………………….

  51. awaiting diay!bleh!

  52. boring…way lami!

  53. nice piece i like it very much!
    you inspired me a lot…

  54. i love this piece………………………………………

  55. I am using this piece in my English classes. I know I have to ask permission but I am hesitant.

    Accept my thanks and admiration :)

  56. roma angelica alcausin

    cool and nice! btw your speech on yesterdays event at UPB
    was so nice. continue inspiring other people :)

  57. roma angelica alcausin

    your such a good speaker! MOVE.

  58. hi maiam patricia ! :) i really love your speech. hehe actualy i use it in my speech resitation..my prof. loves it.

    thanks a lot ma’am………..

  59. ulz_nouvelle

    hi,ms patricia..

    at the height of prince william’s engagement to princess catherine,i thought of you regarding the articles you wrote in a shell magazine few years back….relating how you met him and so on….fairytalewise,you could have been prince william’s princess today but you just can’t leave your family back at home….and the country that shaped you!

  60. i love it… but be careful…its brain drain..

  61. Hey Ms. Patricia! I’m actually wondering how were you able to produce a very meaningful speech. I’m a fourth year high school student, who doesn’t much care about the globalization of world, was left thinking in my seat after reading this. I’ve realized that it wasn’t really bad after all. Maybe some people just doesn’t want to look beyond and they’ll just think of it as a heartbreak for being left out, but as I’ve read your ‘speech’, I’ve seen that being able to leave for better opportunities and return with much more pride for the nation is such an honor for the country. I mean, it takes courage to leave your beloved and country for a long time. Or is it? Hahaha. Anyways, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what am I saying right now. Blahblah.. :) )

    This piece inspired me. Whew.
    Great job Ms. Patricia!

    Now I kinda regret that I haven’t read this before. -__-

  62. jhulynne

    Filipinos should be proud of you…

  63. ibeetoots

    hey Ms. Pat :) ))
    i love you :) ))
    i’m a part of the #MoveBicol Campaign :) )
    just wanna let you know that you inspire us :) )

  64. ellein

    i idolize you ms. patricia
    our teacher said that you are very great!!!
    i want to be as great writer and speaker like you

  65. nikki

    nice piece , i just want to use this for my english subject ..

  66. kaycee

    i used this piece once.. thank u.. and i love it even it’s too long to memorized. keep writing!! <3 <3 <3

  67. ..very nice,
    We discuss your writings in our class since you have a good and precisely interesting advent of writings to our country..congrats kept it up!!!we idolized you pat..

  68. kaya pala nanalo ka sa contest sa london eh… out of 60 contestants, ikaw nanalo! galing mo!

  69. I agree with the stuff you said!It really is a borderless world

  70. otherwonderland

    You are my new spirit animal. You inspire to write, to write more, and to never stop writing!

  71. [...] Mabuhay! Share this:EmailPrintMoreFacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestLinkedInDiggStumbleUponRedditGoogle +1Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

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