What the hell is a Filipinx?

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Filo, Swaggapino, and now Filipinx?

After a post made by Comic-Con International that referred to the Filipino voice actors as “Filipinx” trended, many Filipinos share the same question, what even is a Filipinx?

According to Dictionary.com, ‘Filipinx’ is meant to relate to people of Philippine origin or descent in place of the “masculine” Filipino and “feminine” Filipina. Especially for those living in the US.

However, here poses the disjunct. Filipino is not an exclusively masculine term, it is already gender-neutral. Hence, natural-born Filipinos, especially those living in the Philippines, question why there is a need to come up with a new and out-of-touch term.

A product of white-washing

Filipino has always been gender-neutral, and this dates to pre-colonial times. It is assumed that Filipinx is an effect of colonial mentality.

Others may compare it to the use of Latinx, the gender-neutral term for Latino and Latina. However, the letter X does not exist in the Philippine linguistic system.

Nanette Caspillo, a former professor of European languages from the University of the Philippines, shared in a conversation with Vice.

Morphology is influenced by phonetics, so if it is problematic morphologically speaking, it is also difficult for it to stand phonetically speaking,” Caspillo says.

The case for Filipinx

In a dialogue with Tatler Asia, Filipino language advocate and Diwatahan editor Roy Calingan thinks it is also important to acknowledge that Tagalog is not as gender-neutral as we would like. Calingan also reminds us that we should try to understand culture, which includes linguistic differences, in a different light. “We must develop a mentality that views all languages as equal,” says Calingan.

Filipinx, holds significant weight for our fellow countrymen in the United States. We need to understand it in its own context and reality.” Calingan adds.

What do you think? Should Filipinx see the light of day?

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