i was delighted to find Filipina images blog online around last year. today, i checked and Filipina images is ranking 2nd in search results for “filipina” at google! congratulations ladies! and just now, i was delighted that i could join this blog and contribute. wow! what a great idea you have here, Lorna and all.
i’ve been creating filipina sites and linking to other filipina sites for many years now. i’ve even linked my sites to “yan ang pinay” which now has donated its great logo to this blog. you see, i’ve been watching these searches for “filipina” since around 1995-96.
many of us watching the filipina image online for all these years know what’s going on. i’ve come to call the problem we are trying to solve “cybertyping” because of something similar to cyber stereotyping.
cybertyping. a process by which the internet creates a stereotype, false image or cybermyth through search engine results or web advertising.
filipina cybertyping is articulated when one does a search on “filipina” through search engines such as a google and yahoo and those results show mostly sites that slant the image of the filipina to a narrow representation. go ahead and try it. what are your findings?
cybertyping also takes place through ads that come up with the keyword of “filipina”, for example, “filipinas for great prices at ebay” or through google ads. these results combined create a cyberstereotype or a cybermyth of filipinas. cybertyping.
cybertyping is impersonal on the internet’s behalf. it’s painful on a personal level. it’s degrading on a nationalistic sense. it’s a blow to the whole filipina/o identity experience as you become more and more aware of it. of course we can go on with everyday life despite it all. but there is something wrong with it.
stereotyping is a common thing. it creates control factors in the mind’s little games of perceiving and processing the world. maybe people like stereotyping because it limits and belittles in order to quell insecurities and fears.
the experience of newfilipina.com starting in 1998 was about a concerted effort, for and by filipinas, to create an online community where the sharing and discussions helped create a more complete filipina image online as opposed to the one-sided cybermyth created by the deluge of websites about brides, pen pals, dating and visual sex. Nothing wrong with the sites about companionship, but certainly something wrong with the skewed filipina cyber-representation peppered with porn and sex tours targeted to male markets globally. (and certainly something wrong with the impoverishment of the filipino people that might cause them to want to leave their country in order to survive. and that’s another topic to explore)
this skewed representation is not necessary caused by stereotyping necessarily. it’s more because of narrow representation online for filipinas that has been present since the beginnings of the internet. this narrow representation of filipinas is articulated when one does a search on “filipina” through search engines such as a google and yahoo. it also takes place through ads that come up with the keyword of “filipina”, for example, “filipinas for great prices at ebay” or through google ads. these results combined create a cyberstereotype or a cybermyth of filipinas. this is what i will call cybertyping. it’s impersonal on the internet’s behalf. it’s extremely painful on a personal level. it’s insulting on a nationalistic sense.
we can’t rant and rave anymore can we. (i did when i first discovered what was going on). we must work against cybertyping.
10 years after we started, filipina cybertyping is still ongoing and the cybermyth of filipinas as sex/domestic subservient goddesses still exists through the types of sites out there about filipinas.
thus, newfilipina.com cannot retire, but will rather, evolve. newfilipina.com, as a blog now, will concentrate on the examination of how this has come about. it will also make an effort, with your help hopefully, on deconstructing the mind-set and illusions that have helped create this phenomena. spin-off sites are being designed and constructed to take on the many features newfilipina.com once had, such as featured filipina lives, art, poetry, books, opinion and discussions. we invite you to join us through those spin-off sites.
and we invite you to apply techniques of using keywords and links to help counter cybertyping. a few years ago, i sent out an email to a few hundred cyber pinoys and pinays on how to do this. but i’ll give you the quick tips right here:
Place the word “filipina” in the meta keywords and, if relevant, meta title within the html coding of your index page and as many other pages of your site.
Place the word “filipina” in the text content of your web page/s, and as many webpages that you manage.
Create a web page list of your favorite quality Filipina/o sites at your web page/site.