Thursday, October 16, 2008

ORIGINAL: Thalia's hit song Mariang Taga Barrio defines perfectly what the Filipino culture is

Thalia singing in Tagalog, Mariang Taga Barrio!
The Thalia flashbacks continue, surprisingly to me as more Filipino-made Thalia stuff is published, including this song off of her multi-platinum Filipino album Nandito Ako. Mariang Taga Barrio was shown in the Philippines, the Tagalog dubbed version of Thalia's hit Maria La Del Barrio, during which Thalia performed at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila to a sold out crowd. Because really, can we Filipinos ever get enough Thalia? I don't think so, I think Filipinos don't get enough Thalia and they miss her like crazy, and this Pinoy blog is here to fill that void for you guys back home and for Pinoys overseas for a little bit of childhood nostalgia of the 90s. And this song by Thalia, hearing it in Tagalog, and the words, it's just so spiritual. You know what the amazing thing is, I loved Thalia and was a fan of her music since I was a kid in New York, before I even knew that she did songs and concerts in the Philippines, and before I even knew what a telenovela was, and then I moved to L.A. with my mom, who used to be the editor in chief of Panorama Magazine and worked at the Manila Standard, and I was watching a Thalia video on the computer one day, and she told me, "Did you know Thalia went to the Philippines? Our newspaper interviewed her." And I was like, "Wow! Really?" And then I heard this song on the internet, and in Tagalog, and it was so unexpected, I was blown away, other Pinoys in the Philippines, they're so used to Thalia because they grew up with her and her novelas, but I had no idea, I really didn't. That's the reason why Thalia captured the Filipinos' hearts, most Filipinos don't even realize that subconsciously, it's OUR OWN FILIPINO CULTURE that is being reflected in her and her telenovelas. And to most Filipinos, they just view this as another Thalia song, but when I heard this song and just heard her singing in Tagalog, and then the chorus was in Spanish, it was just like, all the facets of what makes me a person, the Tagalog language with the Spanish language of my grandparents and growing up with all of these mixed influences, never feeling like I knew where I belonged growing up being categorized as Asian, but also having a Spanish background and the Spanish language in my family growing up, being around other Latin kids and feeling completely accepted because of a shared Latin heritage, but inside of me also feeling different because of the unique Tagalog heritage in me, and also being around other Filipino kids and of course being accepted and feeling like one of them, but also feeling like an outsider among other Filipino kids in the US because I grew up with the Spanish language taught to me by my grandma and being constantly told that I looked different than them because of my Spanish blood, and then I heard this song Mariang Taga Barrio, I just started getting teary-eyed, it just reminded me of my grandparents, the fact that Thalia was singing in Tagalog, and then the chorus was in Spanish, just that mix of Tagalog and Spanish, it just hit my heart, because that's my Filipino culture, it's the exact mestizo, the representation of what I am, I'm Filipino of Tagalog and Spanish ancestry, I speak in Tagalog and feel at home with it, but I also speak Spanish, and Spanish is also a part of my family history, and I can't just be like other Filipinos that I read on the web that hate everything that is Spanish-influenced about our culture, especially when it's in my blood, in my family history and family tree (and our financial inheritance, hehe). History is history. Every country in the world has a not so beautiful historical past, it's not only the Philippines. Some Filipinos just need to get over that. And I don't care what other Pinoys think and their strong opinions about our culture, I know who I am, and I know that my Filipino culture is beautiful, whether Tagalog, Cebuano, Visayan, Bicolano, all of our dialects are beautiful, and I accept that our culture is a mixture, just like any other culture in the world, and there's nothing wrong with that, and that is something Filipinos have to realize to get over their insecurites, there's nothing wrong with the Filipino culture being a mixture of a lot of cultures, BECAUSE ALL CULTURES ARE LIKE THAT, not just ours, and if you have any doubts about that, just study cultural anthropology like I did and you will: I am of Tagalog blood, but I'm also of Spanish blood, I speak Tagalog, I also speak Spanish, my grandparents spoke Tagalog, but they also spoke Spanish fluently and among family members, and just having those two elements, the mix of the Tagalog with the Spanish in this song Mariang Taga Barrio, it just encapsulates everything inside of my soul of who I am and my family history, all in one song, and I was just so, it was just spiritual. This song just encapsulates everything of what makes a Filipino a Filipino to me, just like Pilita Corrales' music. And it's just amazing. Amazing. Thalia.
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Translation of Chorus:
Maria, Maria from the barrio
Wag ka na mag iyak
Maria, Maria from the barrio
Para sa pagibig mo, babalik siya
Maria, Maria from the barrio
Hindi ang kasalanan mo
Maria, Maria from the barrio
Magpapatawad ka ni Diyos

For Pinoy English-only speakers, barrio is a Spanish word used in the Philippines and Latin America meaning "neighborhood", but it's general use is synonymous with poor neighborhoods where poor people live, like Thalia's character in this novela. This song and the telenovela Mariang Taga Barrio also defines perfectly the Filipino culture, because of our spirit, of the struggle over adversity, and the cultural aspects and social systems of haciendas, servidumbre, social mores of the Spanish speaking world that are also a part of the Philippines due to our shared history, which is why Spanish telenovelas are extremely easy to dub, easier than Chinese, Japanese or Korean series, Spanish language telenovelas are easier to dub without losing the cultural context, because we share the same Spanish cultural aspects in our history and culture as Latin America, so it translates easily to Tagalog, because it is our culture to begin with, something that many Filipinos don't even realize, the Spanish culture belongs to us, Filipinos keep referring to the Spanish language, Spanish telenovelas, and having Spanish blood as foreign, even to this day, which is ridiculous, because it's no longer foreign. It stopped being foreign centuries ago, because it's a part of our national Filipino culture, Filipinos, especially young Filipino kids overseas, would like to erase everything that happened during the Spanish occupation in the pursuit of a "pure Asian identity" which in reality doesn't exist and doesn't make any sense, but you take those parts away, those parts that developed during that time period, you take away your own family history, your customs, all the happy Noche Buenas, the traje de bodas of your ancestors, the traje de mestiza, the lechon, the processions, the patron saints, our Lolas' rosaries, can you imagine being Filipino without all those things and memories that we cherish and hold dear to our hearts? Of course not. Not only are our people mestizo, our culture is mestizo, you take one element out of the many elements, it won't be complete. The Filipino culture is not "Filipino elements mixed with Spanish", it's MALAY elements mixed with Spanish, the equation and result of all that mixture is Filipino. The Spanish occupation may have been a dark period not just for the Philippines but for all of Latin America, but a beautiful flower bloomed and survived and rose up and grew from that time period, and that is our Filipino culture. It's good to appreciate the beauty of our Filipino culture, because it is beautiful. And connecting to the beauty of all of the mixtures that make up the Filipino culture is so important to me now, especially that my grandparents are no longer here with me.

I constantly see that Filipino kids growing up in the US tend to make the same mistake that I did growing up, they allowed the morés and non-logical social classifications of "Hispanic" and "Asian" in the US to influence them, and I have tell you guys, don't let others who aren't even Filipino in the first place and who don't even understand our culture at all to define who you are and what the Filipino culture is, research the Filipino culture, and you define for yourself who you are, and what your culture is.
To dream of a better life...
To dream of love...
To have faith...
To believe that happiness will come...Mariang Taga BarrioDownload FREE Thalia Wallpaper
Marimar Mariang Taga Barrio Philippines Tagalog Wallpaper