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In Pursuit of ProgressNarratives of Development on a Philippine Island$
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Hannah C. M. Bulloch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824858865

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824858865.001.0001

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Imagining Amerika

Imagining Amerika

(p.79) 4 Imagining Amerika
In Pursuit of Progress

Hannah C. M. Bulloch

University of Hawai'i Press

The term “colonial mentality” is popularly used among many Filipinos to refer to a tendency to compare themselves negatively to Amerikanos. This chapter explores the everyday form such deprecating self/other constructions take on Siquijor, shedding light on how these constructions are socially situated and reproduced, their limits and their effects. It shows that comparisons between categories of Filipino and Amerikano must be understood in relation to local hierarchies. On Siquijor, local imaginings of Amerikano lifestyles and bodies not only serve as reference points for ideals of affluence and beauty, but act as markers of prestige in competitions for status between neighbours and kin, sustaining a sense of Amerikano superordinancy. While, on Siquijor, superordinancy usually presumes neither innate nor moral superiority, there is a strong presumption specifically that the “failure” of the Philippines to achieve similar levels of affluence to the US is due to moral deficiencies of the Filipino self.

Keywords:   self and other, colonial mentality, auto-racism, United States, identity, post-colonialism, beauty, shame, Orientalism, Occidentalism

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