I am paying tribute to the beauty of Filipina women including the women who are only partially

Filipina. I love jazz music and one good experience I had in lavishing myself with this musical

expression was when I attended one of the annual Philippine International Jazz Festival. Among the

international big names in this genre is our US citizen kababayan Charmaine Clamor who performed her

own rendition of Rodgers and Hart’s My Funny Valentine. From her website, I am  sharing the lyrics to you and what Charmaine had to say to all



“A Pinay is a Filipina woman. I spent the first 16 years of my life in the Philippines, and I witnessed a

syndrome that persists to this day. Filling our magazines and lining our country’s major roadways are

countless advertisements and billboards promoting whitening soaps and creams, with larger-than-life

photos of European-featured mestizas and mestizos, idealized creatures with creamy skin and distinctly

pointed noses. Even today, in the 21st century, my beautiful little brown nieces wear heavy long-sleeved

shirts under the broiling sun for fear that they might become even darker -- which they equate with “uglier.” Visiting them recently reminded me of my childhood, when I was called a negrita and teased for my flat nose. I recall desperate (and fruitless) attempts at bleaching my skin with papaya soap. I tried pinching my nose every night, hoping I would awake the next day to find it nice and pointy. (Take a look at my face: It didn’t work!). As a lifelong fan of American jazz standards -- and as a tribute to America, where, for the first time in my life I learned to appreciate my unique attributes-- I’ve rewritten the lyrics to the classic Rodgers & Hart tune, “My Funny Valentine,” while preserving its essential sentiments. I’m trying to communicate to all my dear Pinay sisters a sincere appreciation of their Indio beauty. I say with the utmost pride, “Stay, don’t change your hair” -- or anything else. Because you are Filipina, and you are beautiful.”   -Charmaine Clamor


                                                          with eric2



“My Funny Brown Pinay” lyrics:

“Take a look at my skin”

“It’s brown.”

“Take a look at my nose.”

“It’s flat.”

“This is for all my sisters growing up thinking they don’t look right, ‘cause

they ain’t white, scrubbing with papaya soap to make it light...I think you’re out of sight. You are beautiful.

Maganda ka (You are beautiful).

Ikaw ay Indio (You are an Indio)

Ikaw ay Pilipino (You are Pilipino).

You’re my funny brown Pinay

Sweet comic brown Pinay

You make me smile

With your heart

Yours looks they say are laughable


Yet you’re my favorite work of art

Is your figure less than greek

Is your mouth a little weak

When you open it to speak

Are you smart

Don’t change your hair for me

Not if you care for me

Stay my funny brown 



Each day we celebrate our way


In 1521 Magellan “claimed” us for the King of Spain. For 500 years we were “conquered.” Tayo ay naging kanilang pag-aari ng limang daang taon. (We were conquered for 500 years). Ng limang daang taon (for 500 years).


Dito nagsimula ang ating paniniwala na kinakailangan nating maging tulad

ng mestiza at mestizo. (This started the belief that we needed to look like mestizas and mestizos). I was once a victim of this illusion.

Naging biktima rin ako nito (I was once a victim of this illusion).

Nung ako ay maliita pa pilit kong binubura ang aking kayumangging balat

ng kung anu-anong krema o sabon. (When I was young I tried every cream

and soap to erase/lighten my brown skin).

Pango kong ilong, pinagtatawanan (They laugh at my flat nose)

Kinamumuhian (hated it).

Ngunit hindi na ngayon (But not anymore).

Ako ay kayumanggi (I am brown),

taas noo (proud)


Don’t change your hair for me

Not if you care for me

Stay my funny brown 



Each day we celebrate our way




Beautiful music filled the lobby of Westfield Bondi Junction one Saturday when Filipino-Aussie Miggs Tiongson started his rendition of popular covers. He carries the musical genes as he is also a relative of Filipino renowned music maker Mel Villena. Catch him perform and see for yourself! He is at




  To all amateur and hobby photographers, attend the DAR RAMOS Photography Clinic at the Pnoy Lounge, Level 1, 24-28 First Avenue, Blacktown on 24-25 November 2012. Dar Ramos is an international wedding and celebrity portrait photographer and he will be sharing his expertise and exhibiting his celebrity photos in Sydney. The students will also put the Pinay-Aussie beauty on spotlight in the photo sessions to be held in the City. Seats are limited. For tickets and other details SMS 0420 432 220.


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