Getting rid of the Ugly Filipino abroad

This Philippine Daily Inquirer article by Michael Tan does not make for pleasant reading for some Filipinos. I agree that when we Filipinos travel (both locally and abroad) we tend to be loud, especially if we are a big group. This can be misinterpreted by locals as being rowdy, too. However, this attitude is not something unique to us.

The use of the epithet Ugly Filipino is an obvious reference to Ugly American, which was used "to refer to perceptions of arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless behaviours of Americans at home or abroad (Wikipedia). Why the reference? Because the behaviour we show as tourists is similar to the Americans.

The article, however, is well meaning. It seeks to erase that bad image we have abroad as tourists by offering the following tips to become better tourists:
  1. Take in the local culture's sights, sounds and smells
  2. Blend in
  3. Be inquisitive, not acquisitive.

Some food for thought then for those Filipinos about to travel abroad as tourists.

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