“Joe the Amerikano” in the Philippines

Officers carefully screening everyone entering a shopping mall…except Joe ang Amerikano

A “Joe Nobody” in his country becomes “Joe Somebody” in the Philippines

I remember walking down the streets of my wife’s barangay alone and everyone would greet me with the expression “hey Joe”.

Filipinos automatically assume that if you are a Westerner your name is “Joe” and that you are wealthy and “Amerikano”.

I also remember all Filipinos and their bags being thoroughly screened at the entrance of each shopping mall I went to.

However the officers would just greet me and smile, as you can see in the picture above (that was at the SM in Rosales, Pangasinan), and say to me “welcome Sir”. And there is nothing like hearing a Filipino call you “Sir” wherever you go, especially when you come from a country where your neighbor treats you like nothing.

Indeed, the Philippines is the place where a Joe Nobody becomes Joe Somebody!

When “Joe the Amerikano” is not Amerikano

I come from Southern Italy and I am neither American nor that wealthy but that is how Filipinos view me whenever I visit the country.

The funny thing is that a friend of mine who left Serbia back in the “90’s, during the war in the ex-Jugoslavia and moved to Italy to seek asylum, later married a Filipina and when he visited the Philippines he too was addressed as “Joe” the “Amerikano” and treated as a wealthy American even though he comes from a country that is perhaps even poorer than the Philippines!

In the Philippines a white man is automatically Amerikano even if he comes from Kazakhstan, Moldova…he can be Greek, Romanian, Albanian or even a gypsy. He is still an “Amerikano”!

Even the unggoy in the gubat (jungle) is impressed by Joe

The unggoy (monkey) that lives in the gubat (jungle) was startled by the Amerikano who has some “gubat” on his chest
An unggoy who has only had contacts with Filipinos who have no gubat on their bodies

Yes, Joe Nobody, the one who lives in a country where his neighbors and close relatives barely greet him, arouses the admiration of every living creature, including the unggoy sa gubat, whenever he sets foot in the Philippines.

Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino!

Joe the Ifugao
Si Joe ang Italyano
Si Joe ang probinsyano

11 thoughts on ““Joe the Amerikano” in the Philippines

  1. Hey Joe Ed!

    Not only westerners but also fair skin tone Filipinos who have no gubat on their chest, at least once in their life, were also called “Hey Joe!” I know! Nice satire piece but true, Ed! So, you’re here, I initially thought, you were in Italy! Maybe when the curve gets flattened, we can drink San Mig sa may SM Mall. Kitakita minsan pare, inuman na to pag may cure na!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Matindi, favorite at first beer na nainum ko pa ang gusto nila. Sure, Ed, whenever the restrictions are lifted and that it is really safe to go out (with the availability of a cure) then talagang, pancit at inuman na to pre!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How true, how true! That’s why a lot of western men love to go to the P.I. All white men are Joe, the rich Americano. We, Filipinos can’t distinguish Americans from Europeans. Likewise, westerners most likely can’t distinguish Filipinos from people of other Oriental countries.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hopefully it will change in the coming generations… all this perceptions about white foreigners because it can be embarassing… once i was in bohol and there were three australians and the family urged the young kids to dance for the foreigners… very shocking..

    Liked by 1 person

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