How to become a successful Filipino

A lot of Filipinos have an identity crisis. You can spot these sorts a mile away. They are the ones who shout out “I am proud to be Filipino!” as if they hold a monopoly over harbouring such a sentiment. It is usually in the way it is expressed and in the context and timing of when the words are said that give these people away.

To me, anyone who says, “I am proud to be Filipino!” after Manny Pacquiao wins a fight or after any Filipino receives international recognition, has an identity crisis. Shaking your head in disagreement? Pause to think about it. When Manny Pacquiao wins or Arnel Pineda sings for the band Journey, is it every Filipino on the ring or on stage with them while they are performing? I don’t think so. Pacquiao and Pineda may put our country on the map with what they do achieve, but why can’t Filipinos be proud as a people regardless? Does it have to take someone from the outside to tell us “Hey, you guys are ok!” before we can believe in our capabilities? Isn’t it just that all-too-familiar colonial mentality at work whenever we feel that we have to rely on outsiders for validation?

It has to do with the reality that we are not known for achieving something uniquely exceptional as a people. Do we just want to be known as singers, dancers, boxers and all around entertainers around the globe? Personally, I don’t want our country to be known only as exporters of second rate artists because these are professions that offer fleeting recognition. If you are an entertainer for example, you only have the attention of people who admire your work for maybe, a maximum of two to three hours and then people go back to focusing on their daily lives and forget about you. Likewise, if you are a sports athlete, you only have your youth and stamina before you pack up your bags, go home, and retire. Indeed, the number of Filipinos (those born and bred in the Philippines) who make it big as actors in Hollywood is nil because the competition there is tough. So I’d rather see our citizens aspire for something that will leave a lasting legacy and contribution to sustained growth in our society.


Quite a number of people were outraged when blogger rafterman wrote about Efren Penaflorida and his supposedly “rigged” win as a CNN hero. I noticed that most of that anger had a lot to do with people’s thinking that our country gets special mention or international recognition only once in a blue moon only to have it ruined by a blogger saying the selection process was “rigged”. The people who were offended do not realise that it was Filipinos themselves — and not CNN the corporation nor the international community — who won Efren the honour of being awarded 2009 CNN Hero of the Year by voting for him in droves online on the CNN website.

Taking stock of most of the comments in this blogsite, I have come to the conclusion that we Filipinos need help in defining ourselves. Some of us need a refresher course on how to become a success without the need to piggyback on someone else’s achievements.

Knowing What We Want

The first thing we have to do to find out who we are as a people is to know what we want to be as individuals. What do we want to achieve in our own lives? What is our purpose in this world? We don’t all have to do or be the same things to be successful people. We don’t all have to be actresses or singers to be happy and gain recognition. Whatever we do as an individual — if done the right way, with our whole heart in it, and therefore not in that half-baked manner that we are inclined to — can be great in its own right. We can’t do a half-assed job and then expect to be successful at what we do. We don’t have to have lots of money to do great things. We just need the determination and the vision to accomplish something and then put our best effort into carrying it out. Whatever job we choose, as long as we are passionate at what we do and take pride in it, we will excel in our work. So what do we want to be? We want to excel individually at what we do and if a big enough number of us take that view, collectively we can become a successful people.

Take the Italians. Italians are known for many, many things. They are famous for doing things with a passion whether it be, say, cooking (pasta) or building sports cars (Massaratis). They are even good at being mobsters! Think of the perverse passion the characters in the film The Godfather applied to their “craft”. Italians take pride in their workmanship. The results speak for themselves. When people see something is made in Italy, they quickly say, “How exquisite!”

When someone creates something nice, the creator’s love of the work that went into his creation rubs off on those who regard it. When a work or a creation is done with pride, the creator gains respect. It does not matter if it is a pair of shoes, a piece of furniture or a sports car. It does not matter how small or big it is. If it appeals to people’s senses and practical sensibilities because of its excellent design, it stands a better chance of becoming a hit locally and globally. In essence, truly excellent work does not have to be shoved down people’s throats to gain appreciation. If it is really great work, people from all over will seek it and buy it.

Let’s go local and look at some of today’s famous Filipinos to illustrate my point even further. Manny Pacquiao as an individual, wanted to become a boxer when he was younger. He trained very hard to become one and is now the World Welterweight champion in boxing and we all know how much money he made out of his winnings. Efren Penaflorida wanted to be a teacher and to help underprivileged kids acquire an education. He finished school, designed his own kariton and is now roaming the streets of Manila teaching kids just like he wanted to. It’s not the most ideal way of educating our street kids but, hey, he is now walking around town carrying the title “CNN 2009 Hero of the Year” (thanks mostly to Filipino online voters). Manny and Efren are individuals who have done well in their chosen field and have been recognized because of their work. Let me stress here that a boxing title or the label “hero” is not a prerequisite to be considered a successful individual. You can be a success even without these titles. A title can even be a burden to an individual because with these come the need to have to live up to people’s expectations. Efren and Manny both started out doing what they do with just the expectations they put on themselves. Just think of some otherwise excellent actors who had received an Academy Award for acting like Cuba Gooding Jr and Lou Gossett Jr who hardly get any work now because their fees have gone up.

It’s hard not to notice that a country of 90 million struggles to hit double digit numbers when asked to cite examples of the truly exceptional and world-class among their lot. It’s hard not to notice too that out of 90 million people, very few of the celebrated come from the field of science and technology. It makes you wonder what Filipinos really aspire to become. We have to work on this aspiration of ours. We have to move beyond the goal of doing something just to gain publicity, fame, and fortune.

Before we get ahead of ourselves and think of the profits that we might eventually gain from our work or all the accolades we might eventually receive, we have to be good at what we do first. We have to dream big and aspire to innovations that will improve our standard of living and those around us. For example, the refrigerator was invented to preserve perishable food. As a result of this innovation, people no longer had to to go hunting for food everyday. When the washing machine was invented, women were freed of one of the most onerous of household chores. Being innovative is what builds wealth and quality of life. Perhaps it will help us be more innovative if we put ourselves in our servant’s shoes and use our education to think of ways to work smarter even as we work harder.

Some Filipinos keep thinking that Manny Pacquiao is lucky because of the millions in his bank account right now. Luck had very little to do with his success. Training hard to to be a great boxer had the most to do with his success. Manny makes it looks easy now but he made a lot of sacrifices to get to where he is. In fact, gravity will work against Manny’s career one day and soon; he will be forced to retire. We can see that what he does is something that is profitable only for himself. Sure, he may “inspire”. But the Philippines is not necessarily any better as a society after Manny Pacquiao. Let’s face it, not all of us have what it takes to be a boxer. Just like not everyone is cut out to be a Nicole Kidman or a Jon Bon Jovi. We all have what it takes to be something else that is uniquely us as individuals though but we need to work as hard as Manny Pacquiao to excel in whatever that something may be.

Therefore, we have to love what we are doing first and do what we do for the love of it and not because of any unrealistic hope for fame or fortune. Doors will surely open once we have mastered a craft. If we really don’t like what we are doing but are just forced to do it for a living, we must find opportunities to acquire the skills that will enable us to make a living out of what we prefer to do. If you’ve always wanted to be dressmaker but you are stuck being a cleaner, use your spare time to learn how to sew dresses in a dressmaking course. Of course, you should bear in mind that while you are waiting for the opportunity to become a dressmaker, you should still do your best at being a cleaner. Pining for another job is not an excuse to do dodgy work in your current job.

Please Yourself

Everyone can be a winner in their own right. As I said before, we don’t need anyone to tell us we’re good at what we do if we know that we are good it. Take the blogger Benign0 for instance. He was trained to write well at school which gave him the confidence to write anything he wants. He doesn’t really seem to try to impress anyone else but himself. He has his own standard and style of writing that is uniquely his own and will not compromise on anything just to please anyone. He is a winner in his own right.

If you are a house painter or a construction worker for example, would you try to do a good job at painting or bricklaying to impress your customer or to impress yourself? The answer to that depends on how you see your own personal standards stacking up with your customer’s. If you are the sort that works to your standards and, in the process, meet your customer’s requirements as well, you probably have the right answer to that question. It really won’t matter if your client is easy or hard to please. If you don’t compromise on the quality of your work as a matter of personal principle, your customers will in most cases be satisfied with the outcome of your work. Customers who watch while you work won’t be a worry. You will be doing your work just the way you want it done at the quality acceptable to you. It’s as easy as that.

If you manufacture stuff, try to imagine that you are manufacturing every single product for your own use. You wouldn’t sell a defective product to yourself, would you? Apply a mindset where you see yourself as your most important customer, and you will produce at the highest standards of quality.

Often we compromise the quality of our work because we lack our own personal style and personal standards even as we aim to work towards others’ standards and styles. We Filipinos are not known for creation or innovation that is underpinned by a style unique to us or standards inherent to us. Hermès Birkin handbags, for example, are said to be hand-built by experienced craftsmen. The production of each handbag can take weeks. The manufacturers of Hermès Birkin handbags do not compromise on quality. This is the primary reason why it is able to command such high prices. Hermès Birkin handbags are classic examples of products that have unique brands of style and exclusivity.

In contrast, a lot of the workmanship around the country is very mediocre; all second-rate. One only has to look at the jeepneys or tricycles roaming our cities’ streets to this day to realise that we haven’t really set out to even impress ourselves with a more advanced and environmentally-sound means of transportation and livelihood. How then do we hope to impress other people outside our community? Everything made and done in the Philippines: our roads and infrastructure, the way we vote for our own public officials, our struggles for global recognition; they are all half-baked. It’s almost like we set out to lower our standards to purposely make our own lives miserable. It’s because we don’t aim to please ourselves when we make or do something. This is no different to the way we vote someone into public office. It’s as if we are voting for someone because we are trying to please that person and not ourselves.

The concept of pleasing ourselves first can also be applied in the way we conduct ourselves outside our home. When we leave our homes to go to school or work, we should treat the public space the way we would our own home. We should dispose of our garbage properly, cross the streets in the right places, and follow traffic rules and regulations. The public space outside our homes is a space that we share with others and is for our own enjoyment as well. We wouldn’t want to see garbage scattered inside our own homes so why should we tolerate it on public land? Just remember that whatever garbage we dispose of carelessly outside will come back to bite us again when the storm drains get clogged up…

In whatever we do, we have to think of what is good for ourselves. This means not just cleaning up our own backyard but maintaining order in the public spaces as well because we spend as much time using public facilities as we do those in our own home. The cleaner our environment, the more enjoyable our trip to wherever we are going will be.

Be Creative

As they say, the place we are born in is just the luck of our draw. We had no choice in the matter. It’s what we do in the place we inhabit that matters. Filipinos don’t have to feel unlucky for having to live in such a harsh climate. Some cultures live in worse conditions but have managed to find a way to work around their unique circumstances. As Galileo said, we have to master the mathematics of nature, understand it, harness its energy and use it for our benefit. There are also little ways we can alleviate our discomfort. If we find it hard to work and be productive during the hottest part of the day, we could adjust our working schedules to the times that work for us. If 12 noon to 3 pm is the most unproductive part of the day because of the heat and humidity, perhaps we should make our working hours before and after that time.

If the humidity in our country is stifling our productivity and our lifestyle, there are many ways to cope. We could design our abode and our work environment in a way that will encourage fresh air to flow freely making us less-dependent on energy-guzzling air-conditioning. We could also watch what we eat because taking in too much food during a hot day can make us lethargic. It is very obvious that people from First World countries have acquired a taste for knowledge. They use this knowledge to enhance their lifestyle and improve the quality of their lives. They appreciate the beauty of nature and compliment it with beautiful architecture and infrastructure. This is how they are and that is how they want to live. The question we have to ask ourselves is, how do we want to live? Do we want to continue to live in the condition we are in or do we want to make our existence a little bit easier for us? We seem to remain complacent even though we suffer from shortages of food, water, energy and get severe battings from the weather every now and then. We have to formulate plans, think more about our future, and be more creative.

Be proud because of yourself and not because of your race

No race is superior to the other. If we keep thinking that people who live in western countries are superior to us because of the amount of their knowledge and their wealth, then it’s like saying that people in third world countries are inferior because of their ignorance and poverty. In the same manner, we will always think that we are just victims of the circumstances we are in. If we keep thinking this way, we will never have any motivation to do something to elevate ourselves from our wretched existence. We will always feel bitter and envious about the prosperity of the richer nations. If we keep thinking this way, we will always feel incompetent and hopeless. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. We don’t have to feel inferior to western cultures because we are capable of acquiring the same amount of knowledge and wealth ourselves if we choose to.

The trouble is, Filipinos actually do feel inferior to other cultures. This is evident in the way we give priority to those who have fairer skin or possess Caucasian features. One just has to look at all the actors and actresses who make it big in Philippine cinema. They all have fairer complexions compared to the average Filipino. However, the average Filipino does not use this sense of inferiority or admiration for the western way of life as a strong motivator to copy their success. They use this sense of inferiority instead as an excuse to act like a victim of colonialism when in fact it is us who continue to allow our takeover by foreigners in the first place.

Ironically, this sense of inferiority of ours is the reason our “pride” as Filipinos remains misguided. The fact that some people have to constantly say “I am proud to be Filipino!” means that they are trying to prove something, like they may as well be saying that they are so unlike many Filipinos. They say the one who shouts the loudest is the one most insecure.

We have to work on our self-esteem. A person who is genuinely proud exudes quiet confidence and does not need to shout it out loudly. A person with confidence is a winner and a winner will always be recognised.

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93 Responses to How to become a successful Filipino

  1. Conyo says:


    This reads like a softer version of Benign0’s many tirades against Pinoy Pride.

    I suppose we need people like you to “polish” the Get Real message so that it reaches a wider audience?

    See you at Starbucks 🙂

  2. Chino says:

    Now let’s see what mucked-up excuses others will put up against this article’s point. When Manny wins a fight and people say, “Filipinos are great because Manny is great,” that’s bullcrap. It’s not Filipino pride, it’s Filipino arrogance – pointless and useless. Pinoys probably want to be complacent in their uselessness that they celebrate everybody who isn’t useless, and they just ride on the “feeling.”

    See you at Seattle’s Worst.. este, Seattle Cubao… este, Seattle’s Beast. hehehe

  3. benign0 says:

    This article communicates a message that is devilishly difficult to communicate to Pinoys — that the source of our pride must come from within and from our own sense of personal fulfillment in the work we do (no matter how obscure). It cannot come from a proxy in the form of those “heroes” whose individual achievements we try to associate ourselves with.

    Likewise our identity as a people should be the outcome of true collective character and not based purely on just the tradition ingrained into us by our “elders” (those “elders” under whose watch the Philippines degenerated to its current state).

    • elevicpernis says:

      It’s really collectivist thinking that is doing the damage here, IMHO. If Filipinos should be proud because of Manny Pacquiao, then we should also be ashamed because of the Ampatuans. Following the collectivist logic, we should really be ashamed being a Filipino since our successful hits are negligible compared to the mess we are in. Yeah right.
      Well, if you ask me, ‘I’m proud to be a Filipino’ is nonsense. So is, ‘I’m not proud to be a Filipino.’ These are collectivist statements. The collective can and should be reduced to the action of individuals.
      The Filipino should be proud of his individual achievement (or be ashamed for lack of it. I’m proud of Manny Pacquaio because of his achievement, but I cringe every time the media announces to the world that it should be a source of our collective pride. WTH!

  4. BenK says:

    Very well put, Ilda. Benign0’s right, though, this is a difficult idea to get across to a lot of Pinoys. I wonder if the reason for that is that they have gone so long without being regularly exposed to “quality” that they are actually incapable of forming appropriate expectations for themselves.

    • ilda says:

      Thanks BenK

      I was warned by someone that the concept of “pleasing yourself” so one doesn’t compromise on quality is a hard one to be understood by some Pinoys. I could have explained this further and being long winded, the article would have turned into a book, haha.

      If there are people who still can’t understand the point of this article, it’s hard to imagine what else will.

  5. Unstoppable says:

    1. We have to GET REAL

    2. We have to see the problems/challenges and debate possible solutions/remedies to it

    3. Then we take careful action.

    Simple lang naman ang buhay. Marami lang ang nagpapahirap at pasaway.

  6. Joe America says:


    Forgive the length of my reflections . . .

    I wrote the other day that during my five years in the Philippines, I have never seen a single Filipino sitting on the front steps, or under a tree, or at Starbucks, or anywhere, reading a book. I suspect there is connection between this lack of reading and the lack of organization and efficiency that is reflected in most endeavors in the Philippines, from haphazard local construction projects to senseless traffic control to poor government services across the land.

    Where is the crisp mind that looks ahead and sees opportunities and possible problems and articulates solutions before-the-fact?

    If you read everyday mystery novels, you learn to search for things, to anticipate, to consider alternatives, to organize data into solutions. You learn to think outside the box to get things done. Move beyond popular reading into great literature by Dickens or Swift or Joyce or Kafka and, as Don Quixote’s loyal sidekick Sancho Panza would observe, your brain gets stretched six ways from Sunday.

    Those dynamic qualities of searching, anticipating, analyzing, problem-solving and considering others are missing in the Philippines. You can see business and government managers reacting after-the-fact, grasping for reflexive solutions to unanticipated problems. COMELEC is a grand icon of Filipino blundering. There is little looking ahead, little grasp of how others might feel or react. This failure to consider others can be seen in snarling clerks at government offices and retail stores everywhere. They don’t seem to realize that their jobs derive from citizens or customers who appreciate the rare experience of being cared for.

    Somewhere in this morass of ineffectual accomplishment is the tribal Filipino, simply doing what he does best, not caring all that much about anything. Certainly not about the damage to the greater community of me-first corruption, noise, and trash-tossing. Certainly not about courts or government agencies that are horribly inefficient and non-productive. Certainly not about satisfaction of the customer.

    Maybe Filipinos who are interested in becoming less tribal might DO SOMETHING, like take up mystery novels: the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, or Agatha Christie novels. Sherlock, Miss Marple and Hercule can think circles around the typical Filipino business or office manager. No matter that Sherlock was doped up on cocaine, Miss Marple is so ancient she knew King Tut personally, and Hercule is Belgian, like waffles.

    Something needs to be done to engender a passion for thinking better. Thinking forward not backward. Thinking clearer. Thinking kinder.

    For myself, I have started to carry a book everywhere, and read it when I can, in public. I would be happy if just one young person would “get it”, that the active mind that can be developed by reading. It is not necessary to simply let circumstances rule . . .


    • jethernandez says:

      everdearest joe

      american system of education forced me to create book reports on Gullible’s Travels, Huckleberry Fuck and Don Quiter de la Munchkins. I like the story of Lola Basyang, Pedro Penduko, Lam-ang and Florante at Laura better because I got the comics version… mwehehehehe…

      truly yors


    • Chino says:

      I think most Filipinos would read books only if it led to their having money in the end. Besides, they’ll just say, “libro lang ‘yan.” Money money money, drives ’em crazy,

    • ilda says:

      Hi Joe

      I wrote the other day that during my five years in the Philippines, I have never seen a single Filipino sitting on the front steps, or under a tree, or at Starbucks, or anywhere, reading a book. I suspect there is connection between this lack of reading and the lack of organization and efficiency that is reflected in most endeavors in the Philippines, from haphazard local construction projects to senseless traffic control to poor government services across the land.

      That is a sad observation Joe. I’m not surprised you can’t find them because for one, most Filipinos would rather be watching their favorite soap opera on TV instead of reading a book. Second, I guess those who are fond of reading books have to hide doing the activity for fear of being ostracized as trying to be different. There’s this culture among Filipinos which is called “pakikisama” and this means that you have to act and be like one of us or else, you are on your own. As Conyo would say, if you are the intellectual type in the country, you will be sad and lonely. It is hard to be different. That’s why Conyo just hangs around in Starbucks to belong 🙂

      Most don’t bother to put a lot of effort into what they do because they think that everyone else is doing the same thing, the same way, why should I do it differently?

      We have to challenge people to break out of the mold. Maybe there should be a massive campaign to make reading look cooler and the in thing? 🙂


    • BongV says:

      To understand the contemporary Philippine power structure, we need to consider briefly the power structure prior to the Spanish occupation and how it has survived and evolved.


      The term timawa refers to an intermediate social class among the various cultures of the Philippines before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th and 17th centuries. The most common translation for the phrase is “freeman” as opposed to Maginoo (Nobleman) or Alipin (Servant).

      As free men who were more than servants but less than nobility, members of the Timawa class were free to pick their jobs – as soldiers, merchants, etc. They were also free to pick their own wives. They could have servants (alipin), and own property such as land or houses of their own. Consequently, this was the only social class for whom tax payment was required.

      An alipin who has fulfilled his or her obligations to the person s/he serves may be freed, becoming a Timawa (‘Tinimawa’, literally “Made into Timawa”).


      The term maginoo refers to the highest social class among the various cultures of the Philippines before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th and 17th centuries. Members of this class serve as the leaders of the Barangay (tribal community), and the Datu (chief) is a member of this class. [1]

      The other two social classes almost universally observed among Filipino cultures before the arrival of Spain were: Timawa (Freeman) and Alipin (Servant). Some of the sources from the early Spanish colonial ere who observed local customs also noted the existence of another social class among the Tagalog, the Maharlika, but there is some confusion about the precise nature of the overlap between the Maginoo, Maharlika, and Timawa classes.[1]

      During the reign of the former dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, the term Maharlika was mistakenly attributed to mean ‘Royalty’. As part of his drive at promoting ‘Bagong Lipunan’ (New Society) Marcos sponsored the research into prehispanic culture of the Philippines. One of the results is the distortion of the original meaning of ‘Maharlika’. Maharlika does not actually refer to the ‘Royalty’ class as is claimed, but refers to the warrior class. They can sometimes be confused with the actual Royal class, the Maginoo, because like the vassal lords of the European medieval societies, they can also be granted land and alipin/timawa subjects in exchange for service in battle. It is also more or less unique to the Tagalog caste system and that of its neighboring tribes.


      The term alipin refers to the lowest social class among the various cultures of the Philippines before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th and 17th centuries. The closest and most common translation of the word is “servant” or “slave”, as opposed to the higher classes of the Timawa (Freemen) and the Maginoo (Noblemen).

      Differences from the western concept of slave

      While the alipin does, indeed, serve another person, historians note that translating the term as “slave” in the western sense of the word may not be fully justifiable. Documented observations from the 17th century indicate that there may be significant differences between the Western concept of “slave” and the Pre-Hispanic Filipino concept of “alipin”.


      As a social class, “alipin” had subclasses as well, documented by numerous Spanish historians, who took note of the local social norms as the Spanish conquest of the Philippines began.

      * Aliping Namamahay (translated as “Servant who is housed”) refers to an alipin that has his own house, which usually sits on the property of the person whom he serves.

      * Aliping Sagigilid (translated as “Servant in the corners [of the master’s house]”) refers to an alipin without a house and whose existence is completely dependent on the graces of the person whom he serves.


      Modern Filipino Society and the Legacy of the Caste System

      The modern-day Maginoo refers to the national and local elite (landowners, big business owners).
      The Timawa refers to the Professional. Managerial and Small Entrepreneurs.
      The Aliping Namamahay and Aliping Sagigilid are the modern-day maids, laborers, and blue-collar workers.
      Each cluster of Maginoos its own network of Timawa and Alipin.

      The power structure has not changed much. Each foreign occupation force dealt with the Maginoo, and the command was issued through the chain – from Maginoo to Timawa to Alipin. Today the Maginoos have come to their own, each with their own “army” of Timawa and Alipin. The Maginoos have also gamed the democratic system by virtue of their vote farms. Consider the Lopez machinery, the Zobel/Ayala machinery, the Cojuangco Machinery, the Lucio Tan machinery – all the companies, the Timawas and the Alipins that are beholden to the companies owned by the Maginoo.

      What is wrong with this picture?

      Nothing. If the Philippines weren’t a democracy, a republic.

      I know, the caste system is “gone”. But is it? Really?

      Otherwise, here’s what’s wrong – the Timawas and the Alipins, should realize that in a democracy their vote is just as powerful as the vote of the Maginoo. The Alipins and Timawas vote for their individial preferences. The Maginoo votes for his personal preference. The Maginoo may campaign but so too can the the Timawas and Alipins. What the Maginoo says Alipins and Timawas should vote no longer has the power of a command but one of civil persuasion.

      Will voting for the Maginoo’s choice provide real benefits to the Alipins and Timawas or will it allow the Maginoos more room for impunity?

      • ilda says:

        Hi BongV

        Very interesting short history of why some Pinoys are still so beholden to the upper class.

        Obviously the Alipins and Timawans do not know what to do with the freedom given to them. They are still enslaved in their minds. The concept of democracy is not understood very well.

        It is very easy for the country to be ruled by a dictator. A lot of the opposition leaders in the country know this and that’s why they are always jittery when Gloria Arroyo mentions the word Martial Law.

        Majority of the members of our society cannot think for themselves. This is because they are insufficiently educated. Since this is so, the country probably needs a dictator who has a positive vision for the country and someone who will tell the people exactly what to do. Democracy will only work when majority of the population receives the same level of education.

    • Ryan says:

      On reading books, while I’m a certified bibliophile (when you have around an hundred books in an ever growing pile of “books to read before I die” you are certified) I’m not sure that this lack of book reading is a local phenomenon. Certainly kids in the US, Europe, and other Asian countries are reading less books and spending more time online, playing video games, watching TV, etc.

      And certainly there must have been a time where there was nothing to do BUT read so I find it hard to make the connection between this and our being seemingly unprepared for any future endeavour. As I’m sure has been pointed out already in the comments (tl:dr) I believe that the roots of this run far deeper.

      • ilda says:

        I’m pretty sure that if you did not read books yourself, you would not have a wealth of knowledge far greater than the average Juan.

        I know a lot of people who don’t read books. They limit their source of information to Philippine dailies and I can fairly say that they are very narrow minded. It is very hard to have a conversation with them.

        Reading books gives people a whole range of perspective about themselves and the world around them.

    • migs42 says:

      One of my friends said that “books are for nerds”. I never got into reading since I can’t afford them so that phrase stuck into my head (I know, it’s stupid thinking, isn’t it). Then I emigrated to my new adopted country, I observed that there are a lot of people reading books and books are cheap here so I bought several of them since I’m interested in history. I got hooked.

      Take a guess which one got a brighter future.

  7. jethernandez says:

    hi madame ilda

    success is relative. just like beauty. when it comes to my subjective conceptual definition, i go by the premise of the the maverick baluga of a PhD economist named armand armas, jr. “the purpose of every labor unit is to become a useful member of society” no mas no less. if joe and abe margallo thinks that they are successful in writing their books… and their purpose in life is to just publish a book… they are subjectively in their own right successful… even if i view the substance of as latak of the kapeng barako…. where at the end of sipping the coffee you’d just say PWE!!!

    a jeepney terminal barker may just be as successful as hans sy of SM because at the end of the day you’d find out he’s been able to create order among the manangs who always break the line or pila of the pasahero. i’ve once heard one saying “ALE WALA KAYONG PINAGKATANDAAN… KAYA HINDI UMUUNLAD ANG PILIPINAS DAHIL SA MGA MATATANDANG WALANG DISIPLINANG KATULAD NINYO. ANUNG TINUTURO NYO SA ANAK NINYO!!! PUMILA KAYO!!!” bwahaha….

    neways ilda… on my operational definition… the models that i see that fit into these are the pinoy and chinese businessmen who’ve been able to institutionalize their business processes and in the long run… they’ve been able to generate jobs…

    • Joe America says:


      You wrote: “if joe and abe margallo thinks that they are successful in writing their books… and their purpose in life is to just publish a book… they are subjectively in their own right successful… even if i view the substance of as latak of the kapeng barako…. where at the end of sipping the coffee you’d just say PWE!!!”

      Quite brilliant, you know. I know few who consider themselves failures – the ego tricks us that way, or maybe it is the id, you would know. However, I know many who compare themselves to others where others, too often, are movie starlets or boxers, the former thick with whitening creams, the latter thick-headed with macho posturings.

      What is your view of Ayn Rand? I’m re-reading “Atlas Shrugged”. The individual vs. society. There seems to be more distortion in our modern society as an outcome of the ease of uttering misstatements in our whiz-bang electronic era. The individual who is honorable – that is principled and truthful – is rare . . . most are squeezed into the shape of Sponge Bob by their perception of what others like, and their apparent goal, to fit the mold. Rather like the villains in “Atlas Shrugged”, society’s children.

      When you judge “PWE” and keep it to yourself, you are one thing; when you put it out for others, you become a part of society’s shaping mechanism. In case of the latter, it becomes impingement upon me either to accept or reject the “PWE” on its intellectual merits, not on some defensive feeling or other emotional response. I usually accept your judgments as insightful, as you see into places where others do not go, but I’ll be sure to let you know if otherwise.


      • jethernandez says:

        the PWE is an embodiment of a constructive criticism that one should consider… hehehehe… wink wink…

        hmmm… ayn rand… it’s another PWE author… stiglitz loves her work… she hates robin hood. so what’s good about individualism?

      • Joe America says:


        ahhh, PWE is constructive, I suppose, if it prevents self or others from sucking in those coffee dregs.

        Individualism is good if it promotes production; collective thinking is bad if it constrains same. Collective good, as you point out, is best. But there has to be some give with the take.


      • jethernandez says:

        eberdirest dyo

        balancing between individualism and society means a government system that is able and willing to provide intervention at the right time with the right policies. the individual behaviour of a labor unit is influenced by socio-economic entities or social contructs such as academe, human network, environment, markets and government. the only thing that these novelists like ayn rand are good at is the play of words that appeals to readers who are bored in reading socio-economic theories written by the likes of adam smith, jeremy bentham, wilfredo pareto and max weber. the PWE thing works within the framework of “torturing” or critiquing the theory or hypothesis presented by the novelist in a sort of a telenovela style. you’d find out that ayn rand still works within the framework of the “utility theory”…. go figure.

      • ChinoF says:

        PWE = I reject = everyone’s right. If we had no right to reject, there’s no right at all for anything.

      • BongV says:

        The mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary act—the process of reason—must be performed by each man alone. We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.

        We inherit the products of the thought of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make a cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane. But all through the process what we receive from others is only the end product of their thinking. The moving force is the creative faculty which takes this product as material, uses it and originates the next step. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator. Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival.

        For the New Intellectual The Soul of an Individualist, For the New Intellectual, 78


        Individualism regards man—every man—as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights—and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.

        Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness


        Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.

        An individualist is a man who says: “I will not run anyone’s life—nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone—nor sacrifice anyone to myself.”
        – The Ayn Rand Column


        The philosophy of collectivism upholds the existence of a mystic (and unperceivable) social organism, while denying the reality of perceived individuals—a view which implies that man’s senses are not a valid instrument for perceiving reality. Collectivism maintains that an elite endowed with special mystic insight should rule men—which implies the existence of an elite source of knowledge, a fund of revelations inaccessible to logic and transcending the mind. Collectivism denies that men should deal with one another by voluntary means, settling their disputes by a process of rational persuasion; it declares that men should live under the reign of physical force (as wielded by the dictator of the omnipotent state)—a position which jettisons reason as the guide and arbiter of human relationships.

        From every aspect, the theory of collectivism points to the same conclusion: collectivism and the advocacy of reason are philosophically antithetical; it is one or the other.

        The Objectivist “Nazism vs. Reason,” The Objectivist, Oct. 1969

      • jethernandez says:

        yo BongV

        This is just a presentation of theories and hypotheses long after the likes of Adam Smith and Jeremy Bentham published their works on the analysis of individual behaviour and society. Adam Smith tried to contextualize the behaviour of the laborer in terms of individual “benevolence” which according to him the “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their OWN INTEREST. ” (Wealth of Nations, 1776, Smith). Ayn Rand only presented her thesis on “rational egoism” without knowing that the first rule of being a “philosopher” is putting yourself in a crossroad. if an individual wants to go north… he should know the advantages and disadvantages of going to other places (north east, north west, south, south east…. etc.). Smith (1776) on the other hand, pointed out that while an individual labor unit he continues his argument… “By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an INVISIBLE HAND to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” (same book shit… hehehehe)… Economists and sociologists alike have tried to explain what this Invisible Hand means but until now there is no clear definition on this Smith metaphor.

        This discourse can still move on to the utility theory of Jeremy Bentham and the Pareto’s 80/20 rule… but my point is not to define the advantages of individualism and collectivism or say kung sino ang pinakamamahal ko sa dalawa… The purpose of a productive academic discourse is to present and ANALYZE data from different perspectives. If one should talk about AYN RAND… he should also know Immanuel Kant and the Kantian critique… and why she hates it… why she calls Kant evil. There should be thesis and anti-thesis…

      • BongV says:

        when the global recession hit, it occurred to economists that perhaps, Smith’s “Invisible Hand” does not exist.

        as to individualism vs collectivism – agreed, it’s good to understand what each perspective represents. my stance on the two is it boils down to the specific circumstances on the ground – a dynamic equilibrium resulting from a blend of both approaches – a synthesis from the thesis and the antithesis.

    • ilda says:

      Hi Jet

      Did Joe write a book? Yoo-hoo Joe, did you? I’m sure it is an interesting read.

      Anyway, in response to your comment: Indeed, anyone can claim they are a winner but the results of their work will speak for themselves. Eventually, those who have deluded themselves into thinking that they are good despite the lack of substance and quality in their work will find out the hard way that they are not.

      The public officials in the country are a classic example of this. A lot of the public officials couldn’t see what was wrong with the cities of Manila and then Ondoy happened. The second rate infrastructure was exposed as a joke.

      • Joe America says:


        I’ve written them, but not sold them. It’s a big gap.


      • ilda says:

        Congrats Joe. That’s something to be proud of.

      • lee says:

        yawn, try to sell it manong deanb, i might buy (yawn).

      • jethernandez says:

        hi ilda….

        on the book authorship thing… you have to validate that from joe… hehehehe… theres an “IF” on my statement.

        my argument on the success of an individual will always circle around on “common good” and “contribution to society”… his effect on his clients in the long run in terms of measurable effectiveness of the output. that is probably the “substance” that you’ve mentioned. take the case of this a-hole penaflorida. instead of pursuing some higher form of education in order to enrich his knowledge on the behaviour of his clients from head to toe, from follicles to pubic hair… he “believed” in himself… relied on his good intentions… never knowing that his clients are damaged emotionally and physically. this is pure egoism under the guise of “helping out the needy”… he is successful in fooling himself and other morons… he is indeed successful in marketing the philippine’s pushcart education in the whole wide world, milky way, universe…. SHORT RUN affect… people like him are just there for the kodakan or posterity poses. they feel that they are successful in involving themselves in medical missions, giving relief to typhoon victims and donating some powdered milk cans to the baby orphanages of mader teresa.

        merry christmas!!!!

      • ilda says:

        Sabi ko naman sayo Jet, some Filipinos are in some sort of trance. The appeal of rags to riches story is just too much to resist. That’s why cool ka lang dyan. Only time will tell what will happen next. The truth will prevail.

        Yung iba kasi dyan, kala nila if they have donated already to the needy, their obligation to society is already finish. They don’t realise that that activity is not sustainable. It’s alright but It will only answer the short term problems not the long term ones.

      • jethernandez says:

        hi ilda

        this is why ilda people should always look issues as if they’re always in the middle of the crossroad. if an issue pops up… the road is not always going north… going to tarlac…. hehehehe….

        guess we should publish joe’s book… i still have 1k in my dormant account. good for printing at least four copies.

  8. HusengBatute says:

    The US is an example of a society comprised of an assortment of foreign cultures & influences without need for an identity crisis. Perhaps, this is because their identity hinges on their history of collective achievements and not merely the achievement of an individual.

    • benign0 says:

      This is so spot on!

    • ilda says:

      Hi Huseng,

      You have managed to summarise my point in two sentences 🙂

    • Chino says:

      They had Kennedy who asked them, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

    • jethernandez says:

      makiki yeah na rin ako master chino…. hehehe

      success is measured on the aggregate and not on the individual level…. kaya nga merong mga economic indicators…

      • UP n grad says:

        A simple measure for me with regards Pinoys-in-Pinas getting better at being better will be the bottles of vinegar, patis and soy sauce. When these bottle-caps are the non-leaking kind, then Pinas has made a great step forward.

      • ilda says:

        LOL…nice to see you here UP n grad!

        Yes! Even manufacturing little things like bottle caps should be done with some thought into it. It’s not a rocket ship 🙂

      • jethernandez says:

        Nice point UP n grad

        This is why existing firms and startup entrepreneurs should be able to learn what “operationalization” or “institutionalization” of business process means.

        Hey JOE…

        since you are an authority of critiquing your second home country you should write a book about this s h i t s. hehehehe…

      • Joe America says:

        Hey hey Jet,

        I’d write it, but there is no market for it, as Filipinos don’t read books, near as I can tell. And my critique, like PWEing, is meant to be constructive for sure. That’s why I don’t mind ripping my first home, either, for its greedy consumption, destructive partisan politics, and sound bite, reality show mentality much as you will find in the Philippines.

        Merry Christmas to you!


      • jethernandez says:

        PWE!!! hehehe… @ joe…

        the “greedy consumption” of your first home is a product of the policy directions of the likes of alan greenspan who is btw a friend of ayn rand… it all started during the great depression. consumption and spending based on credit based monetary economy…

        hasalam alaykum joe.

      • BongV says:

        The aggregate measures and summarized the individual metrics. At the end of the day, the effort boils down to convincing more individuals to opt for a certain pathway in order to achieve the desired aggregate performance.

      • jethernandez says:

        korekek sir bong….

        now da neks kwestyon is who or what institution should influence the individual’s perception to perform and be productive?

        media? government? firms/markets? academe? family? church?

      • BongV says:


        pwede all of the above?

      • ilda says:

        The bloggers, hehe. Because the media, government and etc, all fail to function as a check and balance in the Philippines 🙂

      • benign0 says:

        I am still of the belief that Media hold a big key to instituting change in Pinoy society. They capture a big chunk of the masa’s attention span and therefore constitute the single biggest source of influence power that can be tapped if a coherent framework of reform in our behaviours and traditions could be applied.

      • Kahlil says:

        hey everyone

        imho… entertainment may also play a big part since our country is so fond of being entertained anyway; might as well entertain ourselves with some good shit, no? i guess writers for television, movies and music should step up. i should include fine arts here but i don’t know how effective they may be in our country these days; too inaccessible i suppose.

      • jethernandez says:


        yeah all of the above… academics are now moving into a holistic paradigm of analyzing a social phenomenon. the migration issue for example has to be presented/analyzed as a behaviour that is influenced by, policy perception, opportunity and wage differential perception, events and global issues perception, environment perception, self-perception… etc… if there is a corruption perception index (CPI) there must be some sort of an indicator on how these social constructs (academe, church, media, government… ) affect not only the labor mobility of the citizens of a state but also their productivity….

      • jethernandez says:

        ewwwwwwww…. bloggers…. hehehehe @ ilda.

        just an opinion (or a stupid guess)… most of us (including moi) pinoy bloggers have this urge to “dictate” what we “think” is right for Pinas and its citizens. these perceptions (most of them or significant number of them) are based on the “truth” sensationally published by the traditional media conglomerates. blogs (significant number of them) are plain and simple arguments between “good and evil”, “north and south” and “wet and dry”. it is a cut and paste behavior employed by tordesillas and MLQG (the gay abunda of blogging).

      • ilda says:

        Actually Mr Jet, bloggers shouldn’t blog expecting everyone to agree with them. Well, maybe Jim Paredes does, hehe. I notice that some popular bloggers like Jim always gets the thumbs up from his supporters. It’s so boring when the readers just agree and agree even though it’s so obvious that what’s written is sometimes crap. The fans act just like robots trying to pat their idols on the back. Or worse, they really agree which means a lot of people believe in crappy stuff 🙂 This is why it’s better to be anonymous so people will judge the article based on the content and not on the person behind it. At least alam mo na nag-a-agree ang tao kung hindi ka kilala, diba? Mag-agree ka!!!

        You do realise that the people of the Philippines need to voice out their anger, frustration, indignation for all the incompetence and debauchery that transpire in the country. Unfortunately though, the regular journalist gets murdered if they do their job. So, it is up to bloggers nowadays to report the truth based on their biased opinion, hehe.

      • Kahlil says:

        hi ilda 🙂

        i just observed that “popular blogger” phenomena recently in another blog. as i’m new to commenting on blogs, i was under the impression that blogs are sort of like public spaces where everyone is free to express their opinions (respectfully of course) about the article. i normally don’t comment if i agree with the article but on the other hand, if i find something wrong with it, i point this out hoping to engage someone in an honest discussion. but in this particular blog, i got attacked not only by the blogger himself, but also by the fans. very strange behavior indeed. i wonder if that could that be another bad aspect of being pinoy… hhmmnn.

      • jethernandez says:

        Hi Ilda

        I agree… sort of… hehehehe… geez pasko na.

        Blogs as you’ve said are medium of personal opinion… nothing wrong with that. In academic or commissioned researches blogs can now be used as references. I’m just saying that bloggers in general must transcend these expressions into something that is worth referencing. Jim Paredes, like Alex Magno and MLQG, only parrots what he’s read… putting some links… citing some feel good statements… placing the mindset of the readers as if they are the authority of everything of anything… Reading the Paredes blog is like reading Ayn Rand and Dan Brown… if you’ve read one material from him you already know the plot, the hypothesis and the theories of the rest of what they’ve written… sa huli sasabihin mo sa sarili mo… anak ng pitong kuba oo… bakit ko ba binasa yang alang ka kwenta kwentang blog na yan. Pero babalikan mo uli… kasi naging masochista na utak mo sa mga walang ka kwenta kwentang blog na ang mga authors or owners ay nag hihintay lang ng mga responses na… “o thank you mr. jim paredes. this really made my day”, “this is a nice post mr. paredes… more power to you”, “mr. paredes can i link this?”, “this is sooooooooo inspiring”.

        Other bloggers only blog for the glory of winning a blogging contest or perhaps looking into the opportunity of earning thru commercial banners and links.


        I feel sorry for you. Welcome to anti-pinoy. Tambakan ng mga na-delete na-flame at na boot out… hehehehe.

      • ilda says:

        Hi Jet,

        I agree. Two days na lang pasko na 🙂

        Reading the Paredes blog is like reading Ayn Rand and Dan Brown… if you’ve read one material from him you already know the plot, the hypothesis and the theories of the rest of what they’ve written… sa huli sasabihin mo sa sarili mo… anak ng pitong kuba oo… bakit ko ba binasa yang alang ka kwenta kwentang blog na yan. Pero babalikan mo uli… kasi naging masochista na utak mo sa mga walang ka kwenta kwentang blog na ang mga authors or owners ay nag hihintay lang ng mga responses na… “o thank you mr. jim paredes. this really made my day”, “this is a nice post mr. paredes… more power to you”, “mr. paredes can i link this?”, “this is sooooooooo inspiring”.

        That is the most insightful thing you’ve ever said, hehe- joke. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Kaya nga diba sabi ko sayo, those who think they are a winner, will always be revealed as a fraud anyway in the end. The results will speak for themselves…

        Sabi nga ni Dely Atay-atayan, Kaya ikaw Jet…este John, magsumikap ka, blah,blah…

      • jethernandez says:

        merri na krismas pa… @ hilda… hehehehe

        the dely atay atayan rantings on john puruntong is a lousy one. in tagalog there is a difference between PAGIGING MASIKAP at PAGIGING MASINOP… in street linggo nowadays pagiging masinop means WAIS… or streetsmart. problema lang ilda ang mga NON-BUTT-KISSERS always got booted in forums/blogs/listservers.

  9. Joe America says:


    Interesting perspective.

    I think the genetic code of a nation is pretty well set upon birth. In the US, all except native Indians are immigrants, courageous and determined enough to uproot from the homeland to go elsewhere to make it. So there is a drive to succeed against all odds, a motive to work hard, a need to think well and interact constructively with others. In the Philippines, almost all are natives except for a few immigrants, so they only have to sit around the fire making sure the rice doesn’t overcook. Trash? Toss it.

    If overseas Filipinos of the courageous and determined kind return, maybe a different set of values will work its way into the Philippine national fabric. However, if they do that when they are old and out of the loop, and leave their kids overseas, not much is likely to change. It seems today to be a culture of greed at the power points and “the indifference of subsistence” everywhere else.


    • benign0 says:

      I think the migrant ethic is at work in the Philippines — but mainly amongst the Chinese minority, just as (as explored in the previous article) the Koreans seem to be coming aboard to test the business climate as well. So there can be waves of enterprising migrants coming and going in the islands whilst the natives sit around and simply play the role of timid labourers and willing consumers of the goods hawked by these astute merchants.

  10. benign0 says:

    Hey Joe, I wish you’d consider publishing your book some time (or self-publishing it if you think it is unmarketable).

  11. cardcrusher says:

    A minor point about the “proud Pinoy” crowd and the “heroes” who get global acclaim: are they actually boxing or Journey fans when they cheer for Pacquiao or Pineda? Or are they bandwagon fans hitching a ride on an already known act? I’ve been reading and hearing of Filipinos who wave Philippine flags at Journey concerts. Frankly that’s embarrassing and baduy. If Arnel Pineda was a Thai or Vietnamese guy, would the new Filipino fans of Journey be around to buy tickets and cds?

    I hate to state this, but the “proud Pinoy” crowd is one shallow group. Where were they when Arnel was with Zoo or Charice can’t get a local recording deal? To be honest, I might be one of those “proud Pinoy” fools when I wrote this earlier

    • ilda says:

      Hi Cardcrusher
      You said:

      I’ve been reading and hearing of Filipinos who wave Philippine flags at Journey concerts. Frankly that’s embarrassing and baduy.

      I have to agree, that is a cringe worthy scene. The band Journey has been around for so long and Arnel is obviously just a replacement for Steve Perry. Big deal. Anyone can have a nice set of pipes. Having a good voice is not unique to Filipinos. People should be proud of him instead not because of him.

      I read your blog. I don’t think you said anything about being proud to be a Filipino because that particular director gained some recognition abroad. It’s a different story if you did say “It’s good to be Pinoy!” after. So you don’t have an identity crisis.


      • Homer says:

        Hi Ilda.

        I also agree that flag-waving at Journey shows is cringe-worthy, embarrassing, and (most of all) baduy. Besides, Journey today is nothing more than a shadow of what they once were. Next, we’ll be hearing about more flag-waving ceremonies when Charice Pempengco continues to belt-out (or yell) the same ol’ karaoke tunes on U.S. television.

        Can you imagine what would happen when a Pinoy finally makes it as an NBA player? Que horror!!! I mean, nobody sees anyone raising a Canadian flag when Steve Nash wins an MVP award, nor do we see anyone raising a German flag when Dirk Nowitski makes a game-winning shot. No Spanish flags either when Pau Gasol helped the Lakers win a title last season. Think about what would happen when the “new pride of Philippine basketball” finally comes-off the bench in the 4th quarter when his team has already built a 27-point lead with two minutes left.

        How ’bout when the media attempts to build-up our confidence with that tired phrase, “Ang galing ng Pinoy!” whenever someone makes it good abroad? Whether it’s a successful businesswoman, a White House chef,  a film director, a recording artist, or an actor who lands a part in a B-movie, I sometimes feel sorry for the person who deserves all of his/her successes when the media passes on the credit to da Pinoy…”Huh? What the hell did we do for their success? Duh!”…..Really, the media deseves credit for the dumbing-down of the masses. Ang galing talaga ng media!!!

        Oftentimes, a proud Pinoy would tell a foreign guest that “Filipinos love to laugh at themselves” (I’m sure we’ve all heard this one too many times)…but when a foreigner makes the exact same observation that Pinoys would normally nod their heads in agreement to, it suddenly becomes “Pikon City” with all sorts of insults being hurled at the poor foreigner. Much worse is the fact that some of these proud Pinoys act with misguided anger when a statement is made about us abroad in the name of satire or humor. I tell you, these proud Pinoys wouldn’t know satire if sat on their faces. These are the ones we should love to laugh at.

      • ilda says:

        Hi Homer

        That was so funny.

        Yes, the behaviour of some Filipinos have become so predictable and you already know how they are going to react each time there is even a tiny mention of a fellow Filipino abroad. It’s a sign of desperation, really.

        Indeed, the Philippine media is the culprit here. They create the atmosphere in which some Filipinos survive. If I had the money, I will create a show like Sesame Street in the Philippines and educate the next generation to wipe out the romanticised mentality. Sigh…



  12. ilda says:

    Hi Kahlil

    Who attacked you? Tell me, I’ve got Italian friends, they’ll take care of him! hehe. I’m sure you were talking about Batang Tondo, haha. That guy didn’t know who he was dealing with, sorry na lang he had to find out the hard way, hehe.

    It’s true, it is a Filipino trait to be offended quickly if they see that someone is giving a criticism of the Filipino culture .  It’s a no-go zone to some Pinoys. Just ask Joe America. He’s American so for him to criticise the Filipino culture is like suicide. They will always tell him to “Go back home!”  Unfortunately, Pinoys always want to hear only good things, they want to live in a fantasy world.

    Good to see you joining the discussion.


  13. Joe America says:

    Thank you for the kind words.  Means a lot.

  14. Joe America says:


    Undeterred, I continue my relentless observations, noting that the Philippines does things backwards from the ideals expressed by Ayn Rand, where productivity is king. Here is a brief excerpt from “Atlas Shrugged” where steel-man Hank Reardon’s mother tries to convince him to hire his brother. Cast this against the Philippine’s penchant for hiring friends and family and to hell with productivity.

    His mother speaks:

    “I’m glad you agree with me. So what you have to do is give him a job.”

    “A . . . what?”

    “You must give him a job, here, at the mills – but a nice, clean job, of course, with a desk and an office and a decent salary, where he wouldn’t have to be among your day laborers and your smelly furnaces.”

    He knew that he was hearing it; he could not make himself believe it. “Mother, you’re not serious.”

    “I certainly am. I happen to know that that’s what he wants; only he’s too proud to ask you for it. But if you offer it to him and make it look like it’s you who’re asking him a favor – why, I know he’d be happy to take it. That’s why I had to come here to talk to you – so he wouldn’t guess that I put you up to it.”

    It was not the nature of his consciousness to understand the nature of the things he was hearing. A single thought cut through his mind like a spotlight, making him unable to conceive how any eyes could miss it. The thought broke out of him as a cry of bewilderment. “But he knows nothing about the steel business!”

    “What has that got to do with it? He needs a job.”

    “But he couldn’t do the work.”

    “He needs to gain self-confidence and to feel important.”

    “But he wouldn’t be any good whatever.”

    “He needs to feel that he’s wanted.”

    “Here? What could I want him for?”

    “You hire plenty of strangers.”

    “I hire men who produce. What has he got to offer?”

    He’s your brother, isn’t he?”

    “What has that got to do with it?”

    The Philippines needs a “Fair Employment Act” that requires hiring and promotions solely on the basis of aptitude. It is no good complaining about poverty and a lack of jobs while overlooking how the problem is created. Filipino legislators appear fundamentally blind to the notion that productivity requires a commitment to capability, not somebody’s wife or brother. They are largely a product of such connections themselves, so it is understandable that they have neither the eyesight nor will to do the productive thing.

    A side benefit to hiring based on capability is a reduction of corruption as people decline to put careers at risk for illicit quick cash.

    Hank threw his mother out of his office.

    But I’m willing to wager that we won’t see “Fair Employment” legislation in ANY Philippine presidential candidate’s platform.

    Discouragingly, I would add that things can’t change if people keep doing them the same way.


    • ilda says:


      Hear, hear.

      The same argument goes with Noynoy then. Now you will understand where some people are coming from when they object to Noynoy as being labelled “the one”.

      Noynoy’s supporters keep saying that because he is the son of Cory and Ninoy, he is already fit to be the next president. It does not make any sense at all. If I knew his plans for the next six years, I will have a better idea if this belief even has any basis.  He’s got lots of relatives to look out for if and when he wins the election.

      • jethernandez says:

        …. THE STUPID ONE kamo… hehehehe

      • BongV says:

        Hi Joe,

        jet is just jesting… equivocation intended.. to jest as in to joust… or to jest.. as in to joke.. tama ba yun? LOL

        ilda couldn’t have said it any better.

        but, such comments wind up being moderated here (1), and being banned here (2), and here (3), too.

        Just check out the comments section of (2) and (3) – and weep.

      • jethernandez says:

        nako bong… kung alam ko lang na yang nick prick na yan ay pro-nonoy, i wouldn’t risk posting anything there. kaso mo i’ve had this IGNOY moment (tatangatanga) na di muna pinag-aralan kung sino ang blog owner na nyan. mahirap kasi ang mga NON-BUTT-KISSERS… moderated, banned and booted out… hehehehe… buti pa dun ka na lang kay MLQGay… kahit puro form yang aleng yan at walang substance at least wala gaanong moderation dun. sasayangin mo lang ang bandwidth mo sa mga BLOGGER-POSERS na yan… gusto parating may exchange gift… or monito monita…. dapat itawag sa mga yan ay MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY OF B U T T KISSERS.

      • lee says:

        “he is the son of Cory and Ninoy, he is already fit to be the next president.”

        oh well, if they belive in that, Kris also can run as a president,

    • jethernandez says:

      hey joe…

      PRODUCTIVITY IS KING? bwahahahahaha… go figure joe… go figure. it seems that you’re declaring yourself an authority of productivity, consumption and spending… and basing your theories and concepts from AYN RAND? oh s h i t oh my…

      ok ok…. lemme just point you to… Adam Smith, Karl Marx hmmm who else… ahhhh… that intellectual i d i o t… john meynard keynes. ewwwwwwww…

      BTW… AYN RAND doesn’t have an ideal… she is a rational egoist… and pro-anarchist biatch.

      • Joe America says:

        hey jet,

        I don’t claim any authority, but I appreciate your consigning me some. I do believe the hiring of friends and family is a sure way to get a place with the economic might of the Philippines, and values that don’t prize right over wrong. Ayn Rand is brilliant, whatever her flaws in your mind.


      • BongV says:


        keynes formulation provided a safety release valve should capitalism get to the verge of hitting the ceiling. a measure which the GRP calls “socialist”. the valve was used when the global stimulus fund was released by the various OECD countries’ governments.

        rational egoist has a nice ring to it dawg.

      • lee says:

        jet, thats the point, shes a biatch, loved by our beloved biatch deanb aka joe.

  15. ilda says:

    Hi JetH and Joe,

    I know it’s Christmas today and you probably have a hangover right now but I just noticed the mud-slinging between the two of you.

    I’m no expert on Ayn Rand so I can’t take sides, hehe.

    Try not to let someone’s opinion ruin your day 🙂 My own personal style is to be more creative in convincing people about my own opinion rather than shove it down their throats. Maybe that’s what Ayn Rand tried to do, put some kind of story into her own personal beliefs so more people will understand where she is coming from.


  16. Pingback: The Official Profile of Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco Aquino III | The Anti Pinoy :)

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  18. BenK says:

    Very well put, Ilda. Benign0's right, though, this is a difficult idea to get across to a lot of Pinoys. I wonder if the reason for that is that they have gone so long without being regularly exposed to “quality” that they are actually incapable of forming appropriate expectations for themselves.

  19. Ryan says:

    As for getting this across to Filipinos, all I can say is that we each have to do our part to spread the word. We have to create awareness that Filipinos are more than boxers and entertainers and kleptocrats.

    I’m the head of a group of local game developers called IGDA Manila, and in a presentation to them almost a year ago I had a slide up of Willie Revillame and I told them “This is the face the Filipino shows to the world. When my cousins from America come here with their white friends, they attend Wowowee like some cultural sideshow. I do NOT want this man to represent me to the world.”. The point I was trying to get across was that we needed to organize in order to show to the world that we weren’t just disparate individuals, that we were an organization that represented a professional game development work force that in the next 10 years can rival the best in the world.

    A year later we have monthly meetings attended by roughly 20-30 people. We organized the first Manila Game Jam in January, coinciding with the Global game jam in which we were able to showcase our talents against the rest of the world. It’s not much, but it’s a start. Everytime a student who wants to make games for a living thanks me for giving them this opportunity to meet people in their chosen field I believe I’m doing the right thing.

    I don’t wear a yellow shirt with sunglasses on it because I don’t need to. I pour my patriotism and love of country into an organization that I truly believe can create world class talents and bring large game development companies to open studios here thereby creating employment. This is what fuels me to do what is essentially a pro bono job.

    So find that passion. Find your niche. No matter how small or inconsequential it seems you can make an impact on your world if you can empower even one person.

    • ilda says:

      Hi Ryan
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      I’m glad to hear about the success of your organization.

      I agree that no matter how small or inconsequential others might think our contribution is, if we can at least touch a person or two, that person or two will in turn, try and convince others in their own capacity about our movement.

      We will always have people who will doubt the sincerity of what we do but we are genuinely motivated by our passion to see the day when the majority of Filipinos find success in whatever it is they do not just in boxing or pushing a cart like Efren.

      Keep up the good work!

  20. Tristan Angeles says:

    Great article great stuff! My only comment is that its in english, and that a lot of people who really need
    to read this won’t have access to it.:( I’ll link to this so that more people can read it.

  21. mel says:

    “We have to be good at what we have to do first…….”

    Enthusiasting article and candid discussions. I must admit, am “AP-engrossed” nowadays.

  22. ulong pare says:

    … daaang

    … i consider myself good at what i do (whatever i’m doing)

    … my peers (all shades of colors) seek my thingy…

    … it so happens that i sold my doings to the highest bidder… :mrgreen:

    … kaya heto, like a hi-end japayuki…maybe, flips could afford me in my leter years… 😳

  23. Mad Man says:

    Ilda already cited it: “They say the one who shouts the loudest is the one most insecure.” Great!

    I also sometimes use “The emptiest can rattles the most” when summing up Filipinos. When I was a kid, I hurled a huge full can of Del Monte pineapple juice across the room (why I did this I don’t know) and the can only made a slight “thud” when it hit the floor. Then I took another can but this time, empty, and threw it too. It really made a lot of rattling noise while it ricocheted and tumbled around for a minute.

    I don’t want to be Captain Obvious here but of course the main message here is: people who have nothing inside tend to be the noisiest .

    And here’re some more things worth noting about (my?) FULL/EMPTY CAN THEORY. God, I hope Freud wasn’t the first on this… 😯

    I wonder does that mean a person who has the wisdom of DIGNIFIED SILENCE (or SILENT DIGNITY , whatever works) hits other people harder than a noisy braggart?

    Does that mean Intelligent Pinoys (the nonErap-voting kind) will quickly shrug off any harsh comments from the international community while Pacquaio mega-worshippers will display prolonged unrest over Adam Carolla’s scathing but honest remarks?

    Does that mean Intelligent Pinoys (the nonAquino-voting kind) are harder to kick around and the kicker (huh? Is there such a word?) will just get hurt in the process while it’s easier and painless for Carolla to kick Pacquiao mega-worshippers as they get into an infantile tantrum over his scathing but accurate remarks?

    • ilda says:

      Cool analogy Mad Man

      For me the empty can represents someone who has an open mind. Someone open-minded is receptive to new and different ideas or the opinions of others. Whereas a full can represents someone who is close-minded. Someone close-minded is usually intolerant of the beliefs and opinions of others; stubbornly unreceptive to new ideas.

      We should never stop learning new things. I learn new things from the commentators here that’s why blogging is very addictive for me 🙂

  24. Hyden Toro says:

    The article is well written and is up to the point. We are still suffering from: colonial mentality, inferiority complex, cannot-do complex, need foreigner’s assistance mentality, no good mentality, etc… We have to borrow the successes of Manny Pacquiao and Arnel Pineda, in order to feel good for ourselves. Much more to grab an identity that is like a phantom. We make ourselves. We have our choices. And, we can improve ourselves, if we want to improve. The trouble is: if we choose to be stagnant, and content only with being OFWs. We have the mentality of the people living around the garbage dumps:”Isang kahig, isang tuka…”

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