Use of ‘Filipinx’ term in tweet by San Diego Comic-Con criticized online

·3 min read
The "Filipinx" panel that discussed the "Filipinx" influences in pop culture at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2022. (Photo: Edward S. via San Diego Comic-Con/Twitter)

Netizens have criticized the comic-book convention San Diego Comic-Con on social media after using the “Filipinx” term – which has sparked debates on identity and colonialism for years – in a post.

"The Filipinx Voices in Pop Culture was a fun and educational all Filipinx panel discussing Filipinx influences behind your favorite media," Comic-Con tweeted, referring to the Filipino-American panelists in the photo posted on Thursday (July 22).

Although gender identity activists mostly from the West argue that “Filipinx” is an alternative gender-neutral ethnic term, Filipinos have long pointed out that the “Filipino” term is already gender-neutral and inclusive.

One netizen said that no Filipino in the Philippines uses “Filipinx.”

Another said that “People who say "Filipinx" are just Filipino-Americans who think eating lumpia and Jollibee is what makes you Filipino.”

Why ‘Filipinx’ is debated

In an interview with Vice, former University of the Philippines professor of European languages Nanette Caspillo said that the term "Filipinx" is unnatural because of the suffix ‘-x’ which does not exist in the Philippine linguistic system.

“Language is shaped by the history of its people and the reality where it finds itself, including the laws of nature. Like anything bound in space and time, language evolves,” Caspillo said.

In 2020, added the term to its site, defining it:

1. as an adjective to mean “of or relating to people of Philippine origin or descent, especially those living in the United States”; and

2. as a noun, referring to “a person of Philippine origin or descent, especially one living in the United States”

However, those who are pro-Filipinx say that they see the term “Filipino” as an identity given by colonizers in the largely colonized Philippines.

Some members of the LGBTQ community also say that it is used by Filipinos who don’t identify with the traditional gender binary.

“Filipinx” is a term inspired by the Latin-American community, some of whom have started identifying as “Latinx” instead of “Latino” or “Latina,” a way to support different gender identities.

Meanwhile, one of the main points of rejecting the term Filipinx is that the term ‘Filipino’ is already genderless. While ‘Filipina’ is used as a feminine version of ‘Filipino’, the latter is not exclusively masculine.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

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