The COVID-19 pandemic has an absolute impact on our lives as well as our language. It introduces us to an array of new and newly prominent technical terms into our everyday vocabulary. Change became unstoppable in the year 2020, and it also resulted in a change in the language.
In September of that same year, Dictionary.com had their biggest update of words ever, with 650 new entries, and five of them are related to the Philippines: “Filipina”, “Pinoy”, “Pinay”, “Filipinx”, and “Pinxy”.
According to Dictionary.com, “Filipinx” is a gender-neutral noun or adjective that refers to natives and inhabitants of the Philippines. Its informal form is Pinxy and is used in place of the masculine form Filipino or the feminine form Filipina. The term serves a similar function to “Latinx”, which was likewise promoted as a gender-inclusive alternative to “Latino” or “Latina” in the American Hispanic diaspora.
Yet despite the term’s meaning to represent an inclusive Filipino identity, people denounce “Filipinx”, arguing that the term “Filipino” is already gender neutral. Many assert that creating a gender-neutral alternative for a term that is already gender-neutral is not only moot but imposes a gendered, Western lens on the Tagalog language.
Since when did "Filipinx" became the gender-neutral term for "Pilipino" when it's already a gender-neutral term? No female calls themselves "Filipina" as their nationality 🤨 HOW COME THE WEST KEEPS ON REINVENTING WAYS TO CALL US WHEN OUR WHOLE LANGUAGE IS GENDER NEUTRAL ITSELF?
— em (@heeniverse) June 22, 2020
When Fil-Ams use Filipinx, or Pacific Islanders, it's like you keep distancing yourselves from a culture you only wanna be associated by when it sounds quirky. It's also mind boggling when you reject the notion 'Filipino is a gender neutral noun' when it is
— Charlie Sartre (@charlie_sartre) June 21, 2020
While it is not commonly used among Filipinos here in the country, there are already a lot of Filipino-Americans overseas who have been using the controversial term. Some journalists in the US even use “Filipinx” to refer to Filipinos on social media.
Lenika Cruz, a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, used Filipinx to address her Filipino followers. Some Instagram posts were also called out and demanded to change the “Filipinx” to “Filipino”.
Due to the concerns raised with the said word, Dictionary.com decided to add a usage note for the word Filipinx that says its use as a noun in reference to a person is sometimes considered offensive (e.g., “a Filipinx…”).
Even though it has already been a long time since its release, it is still rare to see or hear people in the media, politics, or even everyday life using “Filipinx” to address someone.
Source: https://www.dictionary.com/e/new-words-dictionary-2020/, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/filipinx