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VIRAL: Canadian Harvard Graduate Fluent in Ilocano

Firth McEachern, a Canadian Harvard graduate who has been working in the Philippines since 2010, found interest in Philippine languages. In fact, he is quite fluent in Ilocano dialect.

A video of McEachern conversing in fluent Ilocano with netizen Romulo Mallanao while trying to get a tricycle ride in Walis, Ilocos Norte  has gone viral getting almost one million views on Facebook.

Watch McEachern belt out his Ilocano-speaking skill.

Rappler reported that McEachern, who also speaks Filipino and knows a few words in Kapampangan and Cebuano, is currently working on a mission to have the Ilokano dialect included in government services and communication.

“I hope we can consider giving more attention to the other regions, their languages, their cultures, and their people. In my own personal capacity, I will continue to learn the native tongue of the communities that I live in, based on respect, friendship, and intellectual development,” he told Rappler.

McEachern pointed out that Filipinos tend to overvalue things that they don’t have. According to him, Filipinos often desire to have white skin or  patronise Western  brands. On the other hand, local materials and characteristics are often unappreciated.

Colonial Mentality of Filipinos

Colonial mentality refers to the conceptual theory of perception of the culture of colonizer as superior and ethnic culture as inferior. It is often held responsible for the backwardness of the country as a whole.

In our country, the higher regard for Filipino mestizos in several industries like the entertainment and mass media industry is an evidence of persistent colonial mentality among Pinoys.

The high demand for skin whitening products in the Philippine market, despite the health risks these products pose, is a clear indication of Filipinos unwavering desire to achieve the mestizo look. Moreover, Filipino men and women also dye their hair and have their noses modified to aquiline.

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