Pilipinx: A Western Validation?

Updated: Sep 15

Author: Sharmaine Ibarra

Editors: Steffi Chong, Belinda Tan


OPINION

Source: Image from Pixabay, no changes were made



Filipinx and Pinxy has taken social media again by storm after they were officially added in dictionary.com last September 1. The debate of whether they should be part of the ‘gender-neutral’ marking system of the Philippines is on! 


Some love them, some hate them. 


But how do these words affect the Filipino language? Let’s look at the meaning of these two.


What is Filipinx and Pinxy?


Source: Screenshot from Dictionary.com


According to the website, Filipinx and Pinxy are defined as "of or relating to natives or inhabitants of the Philippines (used in place of the masculine form Filipino or the feminine form Filipina)".


Filipinx can be pronounced as fil-uh-pee-neks, or fil-uh‐pingks, while Pinxy is pingk-see.

Filipinx was first recorded in the middle of 2010 to 2015 (Dictionary.com). Its historical usage was linked to Latinx explaining that Spanish has gendered nouns. If words are classified as male, it will end in -o, but if it is female -a.


Filipino: A ‘gender-neutral’ language?




















Source: Image from Wikimedia Commons, no changes were made


Unlike Spanish and other romance languages, Filipino pronouns are not gendered. For example, Tagalog and Bisaya use siya (he/she; him/her) for both genders. Ilocano also used gender-neutral pronoun isuna to refer to both male and female individuals.

In the Philippines, Filipinx and Pinxy are not commonly heard. People in the Philippines typically refer to themselves as Pilipino or Filipino. These words are generally used when referring to a gender-neutral term in news and textbooks. Filipino also refers to the national language of the Philippines. On top of that, Filipino can also be used to describe the 170+ languages in the country. 


According to SPOT.ph,  many Filipinos are still confused about the usage of the word Filipino. The addition of Filipinx and Pinxy appears to make it even more confusing for those who are already confused. Right?


Western validation


Source: Image from Pikrepo, no changes were made


Filipinos have always had a colonial mentality. There is always a need for validation from western countries - Filipinx and Pinxy is one of them. According to Formation of a Filipinx American, “The term Filipinx is born out of a movement to create space for and acknowledge genderqueer members of the Filipin* diaspora in the white-centric binary places their parents decide to move to (e.g. the United States). The term is also seen as a way to decolonize our colonized identity.”


In this matter, the use of Filipinx and Pinxy is for Filipinos who live outside the Philippines, especially in Western countries. However, some Filipinos in the Philippines think that it is unnecessary for them to use these. On Twitter, there are Filipino netizens who argue that Filipino and Pinoy were historically already gender-neutral terms and that “x” was never a member of the Filipino alphabet. There are also netizens who think that Filipinx and Pinxy is just a Western standard.


Source: @ScaredHyuckie, Twitter.


Source: @hellohanina , Twitter.


Source: @Vey_vanGogh, Twitter.


Filipino language preservation

Source: Image from Pixabay, no changes were made


Change is constant -- and this lesson can also apply to the Filipino language. However, I believe that change, especially if it is motivated by Western validation, may come at a cost to the preservation of Filipino language. As mentioned earlier, the Philippines has over 170  languages, and many of these languages are dying.  I believe that Filipino languages,  including Lannang languages, have complex and rich histories that should be preserved independent of Western influence.




-----------------------

Note: This is an opinion article. The views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of The Lannang Archives.


-----------------------

About the author

Sharmaine Ibarra is currently a Korean government scholar pursuing Master's degree in Film at Dongseo University - Busan, South Korea. For 4 years, she worked as a Program Researcher and News Script Producer for several newscasts in GMA Network, including 24 Oras, Unang Hirit and Saksi. She is always fascinated about world culture. Being part of The Lannang Archives did not only make her interested about the unique Lannang heritage in the Philippines, it also made her want to conserve and share it.



51 views

440 Lorch Hall 611 Tappan Street Ann Arbor, MI, USA, 48109-1220

CONTACT US
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

© 2020 The Lannang Archives. All Rights Reserved.