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Why criticizing your own doesn’t make you less of a Filipino


ICYMI, the trailer for the Netflix adaptation of Trese debuted last week. While there was overwhelming support for this milestone in Filipino animation, there were people who had their own nitpicks.

One of the main criticisms was the voice acting for the Filipino version of the trailer. The recurring theme in the comments was that it felt lackluster, devoid of any impact or heft that was heard in its Japanese and English counterparts. Still, most of these people coupled their critique with praise to the animation and the milestone.

But in true Internet fashion, anything that isn’t black or white is met with hostility. Angry reactions ranged from accusations of ‘crab mentality’, being a Liza Soberano hater, or my fave ‘hindi ba pwedeng maging proud na lang tayo?’

It’s as if pointing out criticism – which may have validity to them – automatically makes you unpatriotic. This recurring way of thinking is such an annoying, delusional and naive aspect of Filipino culture for several reasons.

It’s okay to have mixed emotions about something

One thing that always grinds my gears is the Internet’s obsession with hyperbole, and its inability to see things in shades of grey.

Everyone’s a ‘queen’. A popular influencer releases a song, and it might as well be the Holy Grail. Say anything on the contrary and prepare to get wrecked. Nobody can do no wrong, and if in the case they do, they’re cancelled.

If you’re a part of this culture, I’m sorry, but you’re living in fantasy land. In real life, you can both like and dislike certain aspects of a particular thing.

trese, <b> Why criticizing your own doesn&#8217;t make you less of a Filipino </b>

I admit, I did find the Filipino trailer of Trese a bit jarring, mainly because a) I’m not used to hearing straight or ‘deep’ Tagalog, b) there isn’t exactly an overabundance of Tagalog animes out there, and c) the voice acting sounded a bit tamer to its English and Japanese counterparts.

That doesn’t mean my heart didn’t swell with pride from seeing an original Filipino content get its due. Or that I didn’t repeat the trailer ten times because I was getting such a high.

I still liked Trese. I’m still hyped despite my reservations.

Putting effort into something doesn’t exempt it from critique

Another pet peeve is our penchant to see criticisms as personal attacks. ‘Did you just point out a flaw? That must mean you don’t want Filipinos to succeed. Utak talangka!’

No! That is completely untrue. Heaping on the praise feels good, but how else are we going to improve if no one (respectfully) voices out our shortcomings? Constantly only leaning on compliments leads to delusion.

Plus, just because a lot of effort was put into a product, doesn’t mean it’s invulnerable to critique. One can work on a business for years and it can still flounder. A writer can pour their heart out on a piece and no one would read it. When we watch and review a movie, do we go ‘Oh, the director must’ve lost a lot of sleep during production’.

No, we simply say whether the film was terrible, average, or good. It’s harsh, but that is the reality.

trese, <b> Why criticizing your own doesn&#8217;t make you less of a Filipino </b>

So while the jury’s still out for Trese’s voice cast (the trailer is only two minutes long), it isn’t impervious to potential failure or success just because it features Filipinos. Or that the source material is an awesome byproduct of years of lore.

Trese will succeed or fail based on its quality. It’s as simple as that.

The toxic nationalist mentality needs to die

If we could roast the DDS for being blind supporters for the sake of being patriotic, then we need to rein in ourselves too when it comes to our #PinoyPride.

There is nothing wrong with loving our country, our fellow Filipinos, and anything else that is remotely related to our culture. But to think that we, or anything associated with us, could do no wrong?

That is just delusional.

I’ll head into Trese with high hopes, with a sense of pride for this long-overdue recognition of just how good Filipinos can be in creating their own stories. But at the same time, I’ll have my own set of reactions and opinions when it calls for it, whether it’s positive or negative.

That doesn’t make me less of a Filipino. That makes me human.

trese, <b> Why criticizing your own doesn&#8217;t make you less of a Filipino </b>

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