I could have just thought up a story on how the phrase was coined but I can’t help but share a rather amusing Filipino folklore told to me by my nanny when I was a little kid. It is about how God created the first people and a theory on how the phrase was first coined. There are few “artistic license” changes that I made for my version but rest assured, the essence remains the same. As different cultures have their own different versions of the creation story, you may find this one a little too partial, but nonetheless funny, in my opinion. Here goes:
When God has finished making the Earth, He thought it was lonely so He decided to make man.
God whipped up some flour and eggs in His kitchen in heaven, formed the dough into little men and put them in the oven to bake. When the timer went off, He realized that He may have baked them too long because the little men of dough were black and burnt. Not wanting to throw what He just made, He scattered them to the grasslands and in what is now known as Africa. They became the first black people.
Being the persistent God that He is, He whipped, kneaded and shaped another batch of little dough men. Remembering that the previous was burnt, He made sure that this time, He’d have to take the oven tray out sooner. As God was anxious that He’ll burn this batch again, He ended up opening the oven door too often which made the dough very pale and under-cooked. Seeing that what He made was just okay, He decided to keep them anyway, placed them in the cool rolling hills of what is now known as Europe. They became the first white people.
A bit frustrated and realizing that He’s may be not very good in the kitchen as He thought, God decided to make another batch of little dough men one more time, for the last time. He kneaded them to perfection, laid them carefully on the tray as if they were the most precious thing he’d ever held. He patiently waited for them to bake. When the timer went off, God just had a good feeling about this last batch. As He expected, the little dough men came out beautiful – golden brown and perfect throughout! He took the time to choose where to scatter them until finally deciding on a tropical paradise where the sun always shines. They became the first Filipinos.