It was the early 199o’s. The internet was young and a bunch Filipinos, early adopters of this new medium, mingled in this now-almost-forgotten area of the internet called Usenet. The group’s name was “soc.culture.filipino” and it was basically one of the earliest (if not the earliest) form of Social Networking. Composed of mostly professionals who can access the internet via dial-up (28.8Kbps, mind you!), ISDN or broadband access at their places of employment, they converged everyday, exchanging information, discussing relevant topics and even participating in ‘flame wars’ against other groups (remember the case against Flor Conteplacion in Singapore?).
I can still remember some of the people such as Ken Ilio, Chuck Gardner (who owned the most popular website at that time, the SCF page at Mozcom.com), and even Lea Salonga herself dropped by every now and then. However, it was sometime around July of 1996, when one of the regulars, Bobby Factura wrote this now famous post (we call this ‘Wall Post’ in the Facebook era):
“You know you’re a (redneck) Filipino if…. you have several slippers on you doorstep… feel free to add to this list “
That post grew in a matter of days, and made its way into mailing lists, books, websites with different variants published over the years. Even I joined in with my own contributions: “you call toothpaste, Colgate”, “you know what ‘chocolate meat is'”, “you own a piano but no one ever plays”, etc.
If someone would write something about internet history in relation to Filipinos, this list should be part of it. It probably is the first Filipino-related viral piece that ever came out of the internet.
This morning, I was reading the wall posts on the Definitely Filipino Page when I stumbled upon a post by a member, Loven I. who posted something similar, “Hindi Pasko Kung…” followed by several comments by other members. I said to myself, maybe we should try it and see what kind of response we receive. What would be a better way to reminisce or pay homage to our own Philippine Christmas tradition than to make a list of why we love it or miss it (to those out of the country), basically something like a “How do I love thee, let me count the ways..” list?
So how about it, and let’s have fun? Please add your contribution below, not on the Facebook wall since it will disappear down the stream after a few days. We’ll publish this list sometime in December.
Hindi Pasko Kung…
… walang simbang gabi.
… (add yours as a comment below)
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