Filipino Corruption: Not just the government, even the people

Many people today focus on anti-incumbentism (kicking out the president) because she is blamed as the source of corruption in the country. In other words, the prevailing view is that only the top is corrupt. The government only, and not the people, since the people are blameless.

This is another sad fallacy of our damaged culture. I took the liberty of appropriating this comment by BongV in response to Cocoy at FilipinoVoices, about investing in the Philippines, to explain the real problem:

“Let me tell you about what happened to a retired couple who did just that. A retired surgeon and his wife settled in South Cotabato in the mid 90s. Bought a house in Kalsangi. Invested their retirement money in a clinic, a trucking business, and a fishing business. After the exercise, the couple swore they will NEVER invest in the Philippines ever again, even at gunpoint. The wife narrated their experience:

The trucking business.

She bought a fleet of trucks. The drivers that she hired had high fuel expense. Turns out the drivers would fill up their trucks. Then, they will remove the fuel and sell it to trike and jeepney drivers. She replaced the drivers, same crap happens. She closed the business.

The fishing business.

She buys a fishing fleet. She maintains the boats, provides the fuel, provides allowances to the boats crew. The fishermen she hired, they sell their catch before they reach land. She replaced the crew, same crap happens.

The medical clinic.

Her husband opened a medical clinic and designed it to US standards. The other physicians bad mouthed him and told the patients her husband will be expensive because he is from the US? When it came time to share clinical data, the local colleagues were not collaborative. He found it strange because in the US he was used to MDs discussing their cases so they can have faster resolution thereby improving health delivery to the public. The husband got tired of the bad-mouthing and the uncooperativeness of his colleagues. They closed the clinic.

Their residence.

When they arrived, the wife was so happy because she had a maid, a gardener, and a driver. Her utensils, her groceries, her linen, her family’s clothes was slowly pilfered by the maid, the gardener, and the driver – and their relatives who would hang out in the house all day. Months later, she was back to the US do-it-yourself lifestyle and people couldn’t visit unless they called in advance. She bought a Whirlpool washer and dryer because the labandera’s daughters had a habit of wearing clothes that weren’t theirs.

Today, they narrate their experience to every doctor and nurse who asks about investing in the Philippines.”

While this is about investing in the Philippines, it actually shows how corrupt poor and ordinary people can be. They can be just like the politicians they hate. Sounds like a sad isolated case, doesn’t it? It isn’t that isolated.

I myself am now living in a house under reconstruction, and we have experienced materials and even our own belongings (which have to be moved around because of the reconstruction) being pilfered by the workers. Thus, our workers now are composed of a completely different crew than those who started.

Electric lines on our street on two occasions sparked dangerously because someone a stole power cable from a nearby post (you can’t blame Meralco for this one, it’s the fault of “poor” thieves who don’t care about the safety of others) and it caused an overload on our own cables.

Then there are men without jobs who beget loads of children with different wives, maids who beget children from adventurous affairs only to abandon them, and cheats and swindlers galore. These are among the poor who may even claim to be “oppressed.”

But even middle class working people have their faults, such as stealing office supplies, cheating in office politics and willful traffic violations – you know. Nobody’s perfect.

Now, look again at the case of the retired couple’s businesses. Replace those businesses with government, and the employees with the politicians and government workers. Doesn’t it seem so similar?

My point is that corruption starts at the bottom, and not at the top.

Ordinary people themselves are corrupt first, and this flowed upward into the government.

This is because government people were once themselves ordinary people. And whatever habits they had as ordinary people they will bring into that office.

Our senators, congressmen and presidents whom we elect are like this.

If they cheat with fuel, supplies and materials, when they get into government, they can do that with pork barrel and public money.

The opposite view that the corrupt government leads to the ordinary people turning to corrupt ways to survive does not hold as much water.

The government people don’t hold seminars on corruption or how to be corrupt. The ordinary people can think of it themselves.

It is their decision to force themselves into moral bankruptcy and turn to corrupt ways just to survive.

This is the problem. How can the people expect the government to shape up when they themselves do not shape up? They earn the label of hypocrites.

So you think that this didn’t happen in the old days? Recall World War II history, when Manila was declared an open city upon the Japanese occupation. The city police were disarmed to appease the Japanese. Knowing this, people started to loot the city. The police, instead of just watching and shaking their heads, joined the looting. Not much different from today, isn’t it?

They were like this before, they are like this today, and if they don’t improve, they will be like this in the future.

If the quality of our ordinary people does not change, then our top government will not change.

Before asking for someone to be kicked out, they better kick out their own bad habits.

About ChinoFern

Just another nobody on the Internet who believes even nobodies should have a voice... because the Internet provides that.
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79 Responses to Filipino Corruption: Not just the government, even the people

  1. benign0 says:

    Very timely observations!

    Filipinos are pretty much the ones pulling the rug from under their own feet. They progressively destroy the very source of their livelihood by stealing from their own employers, demonising capitalists and investors, and trashing the very environment that is the source of their livelihood.

    Pinoys have a perverted sense of entitlement. While we see “entitlement” in a moronic Robin Hood sense of the term as a rationale for their petty thievery, we seem to apply hardly any sense of entitlement in the limpdicked way that we hold polticians to account, allow dimwitted “experts” and traditional thought leaders to infest our society with their flawed thinking with utter impunity, and look up with slack jaws to the very pedigreed oligarchs and robed-and-crowned religious leaders that are the objects of hare-brained street protests that demagogues encourage us to flock to at the drop of the slightest hint of a hear-say scandal.

    So though we are led to believe by our society’s vacuous demagogues that corruption emanates from the top, yet fail to appreciate how much of a bottom-up phenomenon Pinoy-style corruption really is.

    The reality is quite simple:

    Filipinos get the government they deserve and elect the leaders that reflect their character the most.

    It’s simple, really™. 🙂

  2. ilda says:

    Hi Chino

    This is what I’m talking about. You don’t see articles like this on FV. Articles that discuss what’s wrong with the common citizens of the Philippines and not just the public officials. Corruption has become a way of life for most people in the country and people just shrug it off as “kasi pinoy” . Most Filipinos think or believe it is normal anyway to pinch a few kilos out of this, use someone else’s property without permission or throw their garbage anywhere they please, etc, etc. They become overly sensitive when you zero in on the problem because they don’t really realise that their dysfunctional behaviour is part of their culture.

    Let’s sing it all together now:

    We are “The One”.
    We are the children
    We are the ones who make a brighter day
    So let’s start giving
    There’s a choice we’re making
    We’re saving our own lives
    It’s true we’ll make a better day
    Just you and me

    • ChinoF says:

      I think the view on the other side is that holding the people responsible for their own actions is futile, even if they know this is true. Their hope is that by changing the leader, the people below will be inspired to follow. But that is only a hope. It is not a concrete plan that will lead to results. It would be highly unlikely for the people to be inspired as such, given that the attitude of the Filipinos is often, “you’re in office, you do everything for us, make everything convenient for us.”

      Like I said in my own personal blog, Filipinos are looking for a Santino character in real life, a “saint” or miracle child, someone to “heal” or inspire them, or do the healing for them – and thereby allow them to just do nothing themselves. But in answer to this, in a recent episode of May Bukas Pa, the character played by Jaime Fabregas finally said to the people, “the reason why you all depend so much on Santino is because you are lazy!” Finally, something good was said in the show, although it came too late in my view. Maybe this should be extracted from the show and stated to all Filipinos: “The reason why you depend too much on changing the president is because you are too lazy to change things yourselves!” 😉

  3. Pingback: There is still time to BURY Noynoy Aquino! | The Anti Pinoy :)

  4. Tondo Tom says:

    When I was a kid, my brothers and I rotated around the store to “watch them”. My parents had other tricks their sleeves to catch stuff dishonest employees.

    I thought they were paranoid. I guess they were just smart. Hehehe.

  5. Mastur Chino (Pulis Pangkalawakan) here is an excerpt of my SINGKOLARLY endeavor on migration and economic development studies… hehehe. I’m sure that the bolded sentence will really point out to those a-holes who rants about corruption with "vage generalities."
    —————————–STARTS HERE—————
    Corruption discussions in economics leads us back to the classical view point of Adam Smith (1776) and Jeremy Bentham (1824).   Smith has argued about corruption on the context of revenue collection where "uncertainty of taxation" favors corrupt men who are unnaturally unpopular, who are either insolent or corrupt.  Smith has also cited corrupt practices of bribery of the senators during the Roman period on the distribution of corn.  Bentham (1824) on the other hand has a long argument on corruption in his work "The Book of Fallacies".  It defines that the source of corruption is in the minds of the people where it so “rank and extensively seated”, no political reform can ever have any effect on removing it. Bentham has elaborated further that the "defender of corruption" are persons who speak of "vague generalities" in order not to be detected.  In the modern context, Sabillon (2005) pointed out one of the factors that affect economic growth is corruption. 
    Arcilla (2009) cited in his blog the effect of the negative perception brought about by negative reporting on government corruption that is headlined by the neighboring countries of the Philippines.  This "excessive negativism" is contributory to the global pessimistic view that the country is an ill nation suffering from incurable graft and corruption.  Other news articles  during the first half of 2009 have covered incidents of corruption through red tapes, extortion and abuse of power (Anda, 2009; Cabreza, 2009, 2009 b; Escandor, 2009; Gabieta, 2009; Lopez, 2009; Orejas, 2009).
    The studies of De Dios and Ferrer (2009)  pointed the nature of corruption as an incentive design problem where he defines that these dimensions are related to the corrupt transaction itself: the nature of this transaction as to scale, type of deal, predictability and the relationship between principal and the agent.  The corruption process he says, is an interplay between the corrupt transaction itself, the principal as represented by the public interest and the agent as represented by politicians and bureaucrats.  The paper also lays down an argument that the larger dimension of corruption can be traced to the historical and social context of the Philippines.
    Sources:
    Anda, R. (2009, 04/16/2009). Group claims Malampaya fund misuse. Inquirer Southern Luzon,
    Arcilla, W. E. (2009, Only in The Philippines. C:\Documents and Settings\QuickSilver\Desktop\Thesis Files\Research Files\Websites in PDF\the Pinoy – Philippines New…pdf.
    Bentham, J. (1824). The Book of Fallicies from Unfinished Papers of Jeremy Bentham. London: John and H L Hunt.
    Cabreza, V. (2009, 04/19/2009). 3 ex-immigration officials charged with graft. Inquirer Northern Luzon, from C:\Documents and Settings\QuickSilver\Desktop\Thesis Files\Research Files\Websites in PDF\3 ex-immigration officials …pdf
    Cabreza, V. (2009 b, 04/19/2009). Red tape turns Baguio into garbage city again Inquirer Northern Luzon, from C:\Documents and Settings\QuickSilver\Desktop\Thesis Files\Research Files\Websites in PDF\Red tape turns Baguio into …pdf
    Dios, E. S. d., & Ferrer, R. D. (2009). Corruption in the Philippines: Framework and context: Transparent and Accountable Governance (TAG) Project.
    Escandor, J. (2009, 04/19/2009). ‘Red tide’ still imperil Sorsogon Bay Inquirer Southern Luzon, from C:\Documents and Settings\QuickSilver\Desktop\Thesis Files\Research Files\Websites in PDF\‘Red tide’ still imperil So…pdf
    Gabieta, J. A. (2009, 04/17/2009). Tacloban kin bewail police treatment. Inquirer Visayas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, from C:\Documents and Settings\QuickSilver\Desktop\Thesis Files\Research Files\Websites in PDF\Tacloban kin bewail police …pdf
    Lopez, A. (2009, Apr 18, 2009). Cops acted like ‘hooligans’–opposition. Philippine Daily Inquirer, from C:\Documents and Settings\QuickSilver\Desktop\Thesis Files\Research Files\Websites in PDF\Cops acted like ‘hooligans’…pdf
    Orejas, T. (2009). 100 tons of garbage mounting near Clark Philippine Daily Inquirer, from C:\Documents and Settings\QuickSilver\Desktop\Thesis Files\Research Files\Websites in PDF\100 tons of garbage mountin…pdf
    Sabillon, C. (2005). World Economic Historical Statistics: Algora Publishing.
    Smith, A. (1776). Inquiry on the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

    • Crazy Canadian says:

      There is pancit. And there is Jet.
      There is pusit, malagkit, pinakbet. And there is Jet.
      There is Erap’s mustache tickling Ai Ai’s pwet. And there is Jet.

      Take that! I don’t know how you can live with yourself after that Jet.

    • ChinoF says:

      Singkolarly and singkolarly, Jet babeh! APA citation style pa!

      Switch muna ako from pulis pangkalokohan to Global Defens Insiyatib. hehe

    • Crazy Old Man says:

      Chino,

      Stop spreading lies about FV. There is no censorship and deletion going on! They have proven it to me. So if you are not getting through, its just your imagination. Stop smoking Conyo’s drugs man!

      • FV = censorship says:

        But it’s true. They delete anything that obliterates the dogma they stand for. If you say something counter to what they stand for but it’s weak and what you say isn’t really able to demolish their arguments, your post stays.

        But if you post something that exposes them to be non-thinking people whose beliefs are all based on “what they want to hear” rather than being grounded in reality, DELETION.

        If you post something that proves that Noynoy is incompetent and that his supposed integrity and sincerity are based on mere speculation and have no objective proof, DELETION.

        If you prove that FV practices censorship by pointing out that some FV mainstays’ comments contain references to a clearly non-existent post by someone whose name doesn’t appear on the comments board, DELETION.

        FV = Deletion

        Deletion = Censorship

        therefore: FV = Censorship

        Simple transitivity, Crazy Old Man. 😉

      • Crazy Old Man says:

        No sir. It is NOT true.

        That is not what they told me. The FV People are very honest. They will never lie to me. The probability of them lying to me is ZERO. Therefore, it is you who is lying. So please, stop lying.

        Checkmate. You don’t need to apologize. Just admit your error 🙂

      • ChinoF says:

        Basically, they don’t really delete, but obstruct the posts of people who they have had personal beefs with. I get through (well, most of the time) because no one has a beef with me. But they have a beef with Benign0 and some of his company, and so most of their posts do not get through. Believe me, I have some posts that do not get through. But anyway, I let it go. Before, I had wanted to post my own major article there at FV. Now I know that it ain’t gonna happen. Thanks to AP for the alternative outlet.

    • Crazy Old Man says:

      Err.. I meant Filo. Sorry but your names sound so alike. I am getting old.

      • Filo says:

        Dear Crazy Old Man aka Crazy Canadian,

        First, your attempt at mimicking JoeAm’s personal style needs a lot of work. Pick on Jet at your own peril. (I do think you two as sparring partners would be a lot of fun to watch.)

        Second, I don’t lie about FV. Get over it, eh.

        Third, if you want to rant about FV’s moderation, do it on the appropriate thread, not here. There might be a few crickets to keep you company (We’ve moved on, well, most of us have).

        Fourth, Conyo’s drugs cause unbelievable munchies, and I’m on diet so I can’t have ’em. 😛

        Fifth, Chino isn’t moi, eff why eye.
        Don’t worry about your age. It’s nothing a drum of prune juice can’t fix.

        Lastly, welcome to AP. C’mon, let’s join us!

  6. Hyden Toro says:

    Truth hurts, but it is really true. This is the Filipino culture. Rotten from the TOP to the BOTTOM. The
    President, the Senators, the Congress People, the drivers, the maids, the servants, the relatives.
    All wants a piece of action . If you come from the United States. I will never retire in the Philippines.
    I do not even come for a visit. Relatives and the whole town are there to ask for a “pasalubong”.

    They even get your clothes, shirts, coats, shoes, underwears, bags, etc…Anything they can get
    their hands to grab. Some are thieves. Some are just plain freeloaders. Some are canibalizers.

    God bless our Balikbayans!

    • Makabayan says:

      Kabayan,

      Ang lupit mo naman magsalita. May pag-asa ang ating bayan kung tayo ay magtulungan. Kaya, kapatid, sana magbago ang isip dahil kailangan natin ang tulong ng bawat Pilipino!

      Mabuhay!

      • BongV says:

        depende kung anong klaseng tulungan ang pinag-uusapan.

        nagtulungang magtapon ng dumi sa mga ilog at lansangan?

        nagtulungang iboto ang mga magnanakaw?

        nagtulungang iboto ang mga tanga at bobong mga artista?

        nagtulungang mag iskwat ng lupa ng maylupa?

        nagtulungang pagnakawan ang kanilang pinagtatrabahuan?

        pakiliwanag kung anong klaseng “tulungan” ang iyong tinutukoy.

      • Makabayan says:

        You are correct, of course.

        But I was hoping that our kabayan, Manong Hyden, would not give up yet for it sounded like his message was full of surrender.

      • ChinoF says:

        May pag-asa naman talaga ang Pinas. Yun nga lang, mukhang di nailagay sa tamang lugar. Tama si BongV, tulong-tulong tayo para tuparin ang pag-asang ito, pero dapat sa tamang paraan ng pagbabago. At di lang sa taas ang dapat magbago – pati ang kultura natin, dapat magbago.

    • BenK says:

      This is the first country I’ve been to — and I’ve been in a bunch — where people expect you to bring something if you’re coming to visit them.

    • benign0 says:

      One thing I liked about moving to Australia is that when it is your birthday, you actually get treated to lunch instead of you, the celebrant, having to treat or “blow out” the group (I’d rather be blown to be honest).

      The first time I travelled to the U.S., I was astounded upon returning to Manila to see all these big boxes emerging out from the baggage carousel. In fact, I spent something like two hours on my last night in the U.s. in this Esprit warehouse store somewhere in the docks of San Francisco while the in-laws picked out boxes of shoes for us to take home with us as padala to their relatives in Manila. That was one fine way to spend one’s last night in SFO.

      I don’t know if this practice is some kind of leftover relic from some kind of primitive tribute-to-the-elders tradition dating back to our mountain ancestors.

      • BenK says:

        The first time the in-laws came back for a visit from their jobs in UAE, my wife reeled off a list of things she wanted to her sister before they arrived, and asked me if I wanted anything…I made a mental calculation, took the phone, and asked for a couple kilos of a particular kind of coffee. When they arrived, I received my coffee with great appreciation, reached for my wallet, and said, “How much do I owe you for this stuff?” Could’ve heard a pin drop. Yeah, I know, cultural differences and all that, but it still seemed really weird to me.

      • ChinoF says:

        These traditions of pasalubong and birthday treat-outs may have their good intentions, but they do certainly tend to hurt the people pressured to give out stuff. Also, because of some fad “values” being spread today, people believe you HAVE to hurt herself when you give. It’s a good thing when I went to Singapore, the people who asked me for “pasalubong” were just jesting, since they know I went there with hardly a penny in my pocket, and my fare to and fro was paid by my brother there. These traditions are not bad in itself for me when the person themselves wants to give out, but the problems is when other people pressure you for the pasalubongs or libres. It’s like they’re so greedy.

        Hmm, I have another article in the works about Filipino culture itself, and this sounds like a good sub-topic to include. Thanks.

      • homer says:

        At many international airports, it’s usually the Pinoy passengers who own all these gigantic boxes sticking-out like a sore thumb among a sea of luggages.

      • Makabayan says:

        I do not understand. Is it still cheaper to buy stuff over there and stuff it in a large box VS buying at the Duty Free Shop at the airport?

      • ilda says:

        Exactly Makabayan

        Some people buy stuff just for the sake of buying. It’s consumerism at its finest. Unless they are buying something that can’t be found in the country, it’s not justified filling in balikbayan boxes.

        You are right spot on about Filipinos from overseas who dread meeting their relatives in the Phils because they don’t have pasalubong 🙂

      • homer says:

        I have seen balikbayan boxes filled with all sorts of stuff that one can easily buy here. What a waste of space! If I were an airport official, I’d stamp “Haiti Relief Goods” on those boxes and have ’em shipped out immediately…and slip back into civilian clothes when I see the owner searching for his box of tsokolates and cheez balls….hahaha.

        Actually, I feel sorry for those who have relatives who expect pasalubong just because one gets to travel…but one can do both sides a favor by educating them on how “kapal” they are. You can’t choose your relatives, so might as well be honest with them. It’s better than avoiding them.

      • Makabayan says:

        That’s the problem, getting honest with them. Tell them the truth sila pa ang galit. You’re better off doing it the Pinoy way by giving white lies, “nawala po yung box, hinahanap pa ng Northwest.”

      • homer says:

        Kung sila pa ang galit, that should tell you what kind of relatives you have.

      • ilda says:

        Some token items like fridge magnets and snow domes should be enough for relos. I don’t have enough room for my own stuff in the luggage, hehe 🙂

  7. John Amend-All says:

    Chino

    Found myself nodding in agreement right through your article. I’m sure all expats here have similar stories to the one about the retired couple in South Cotabato. I know I have.

    But what is your take on the image of OFWs who seem to have all the virtues their overseas employers could wish for? All over the world Filipinos are wanted for their cheerful, hard-working, diligent demeanour. How does this contrast come about. Is it just the cream of the workforce being skimmed off or, as I think, people’s attitude changing when they encounter a meritocratic milieu as opposed to a feudal one. If the latter, then I think there is hope, just change the work ethos here.

    Hyden Toro: The saddest thing I heard in UK was Filipinos saying they would go home for a holiday but avoid the family and not even tell them they were there, for the reasons you describe.

    John

    • ChinoF says:

      Filipinos work best when guided by a foreign hand.

      I guess it’s our values, reinforced by the friars of Spanish colonial times, that teach us to “just follow” without thinking for ourselves. In the Philippines, corruption can be considered a cultural norm, so people are even goaded to conform to this. In other more developed countries, order is highly emphasized, and Filipinos will “follow” that. While I don’t say that corruption is non-existent in other countries, it is certainly less frequent and less apparent. I consider Filipinos to have a strong “slave mentality.” Factor in the poverty as well. I do believe though that some Latin American countries and even African countries are like the Philippines in this aspect.

    • Filo says:

      Chino,

      Speaking of order, would you agree that perhaps Filipinos have greatly perverted what “order” is supposed to be in the Philippines? There is “order” in a society where none of the outdated norms are challenged, where society’s ills are tolerated and even expected as realities of life as they call it. There is this same “order” where things happen or don’t happen for the simple reason that nobody wants any trouble, rather than because that’s the way things should be.

      If Filipinos only care about this kind of “order,” then it’s a picture of everyone holding hands –
      in hell.

      Sometimes I struggle to convince myself we’re not in hell yet.

      • ChinoF says:

        I’m afraid I have no other choice but to agree, Filo. 😉 “Order” can be defined in one’s own terms. You say the sky in blue, they say it’s pink. I guess the other countries included universal ethical principles in their version of order, while in the Philippines, it is defined by those who insist they’re the ones enforcing it (and I don’t mean just the government). It’s a messy kind of order here.

  8. BenK says:

    I think most Filipinos, once they get into a better system, adapt quickly and can prosper. It doesn’t work for everybody; when I worked in California, I had both kinds in my department — the ones who picked up on the new (for them) way of doing things, and the ones for whom serfdom, not to put too fine a point on it, was so deeply-ingrained that they couldn’t change.

    • homer says:

      It’s a no-brainer figuring out which group turned-out to be more productive.

      • BenK says:

        I had two guys, one named Roy and one named Sherwin. Both started out as parts-runners (I managed a parts department at a BMW dealership). Sherwin was chronically late, rarely worked an entire 5-day week, took twice as long (and put twice the mileage on the delivery truck) to make his rounds, two-hour lunches, etc., etc. I finally fired him when we caught him on the outside security video unloading a CD player he’d pinched from the truck into the trunk of his car parked around the corner.
        Roy, on the other hand, was conscientious about his assigned tasks, was very reliable with his schedule, did his job efficiently, and expressed an interest in learning more so he could move up and get a better position. Eventually, I made him a counterman where he could earn half again what he started at plus a little commission, and he was good at it. Whether he could have done more, I don’t know — it’s a big leap from being a technician to being a manager — but if I’d still been there when the time came to make that call, he certainly would have earned a chance to see what he could do.
        For a long time I thought maybe this was just a difference between two individuals, but it turned out every department in our shop had at least one Sherwin and one Roy, and so did the guys that I used to hang out with from the other dealerships in the neighborhood. Gods and Clods — so far, I’ve not met another single group of people with such a distinct division as this one.

      • ilda says:

        Maybe it’s genetic 🙂

      • Makabayan says:

        Okay you got me interested.

        What are Roy and Sherwin’s educational and socio-economic backgrounds? I know its too small a sample as a basis for generalizations. But I am curious…

      • ChinoF says:

        Count in cultural factors as well. But it’s likely that Roy and Sherwin have similar backgrounds. Within a family, one sibling can be the opposite of another, but they’ve lived under the same roof.

      • BenK says:

        Roy was originally from Pampanga, and he mentioned that his parents had a store. At the time that didn’t mean much to me, but now I would assume he was talking about a mom & pop sari-sari kind of affair. Sherwin was from Manila, and I didn’t really find out much else about him. Both guys about the same age (mid-20s or so), had both been in the US for 4 or 5 years when I met them. Sherwin was single, Roy was married to a Filipina gal he met in the US. Neither one had been to college, but both had been to some sort of vo-tech school, and I think they had both studied computer stuff. I know Roy was taking night courses at the community college; given Sherwin’s demeanor, I would assume he wasn’t doing anything like that.

  9. ChinoF says:

    Anyone remember the joke about a mom dying in the U.S., and when her coffin was sent back here, all the pasalubongs were packed into the coffin with the corpse? That was a laugh, but was it a real life case?

    • BenK says:

      I’ve heard that it was, and not the only one.

    • ilda says:

      OMG! Really??! Pasalubong inside the coffin… I’m not so sure if that is funny or sad 😦

      But I’m still laughing at that Crazy Old Man above with his rant on Jet, hahaha! 🙂

    • Conyo says:

      Ilda,

      Glad you liked it … wink wink.

      I hope Jet doesn’t get pissed at me. Joke lang pardz, I was really making fun of you-know-who. But these series of jokes were duds, I think.

      The song really works, btw.

      See you at Starbucks 🙂

      • ilda says:

        What?! Didn’t realise that was you..haha. Hate to say it, but I’ve been laughing since yesterday. The Avatar reminds me of the literary fairy though – hate it, haha.

        I don’t think Jet has seen it yet. Lagot ka! He is going to send you to hell on earth 🙂

      • Conyo says:

        You should see the thread of me debating DJB (of all people) on Rizal’s sexuality. I asserted that Rizal and Luna were an “item”, Rizal invented the 69 position, and that Rizal discovered the gay gene which was the true reason why the Church had him executed.

        DJB caught on early. But the other people didn’t quite get it. They were asking me for evidence. A true classic….

        See you at Starbucks 🙂

      • ilda says:

        I’m sure. But I don’t follow him. I’m not familiar with his blog. Maybe he’s too old for me 🙂

        Ciao

      • No harm done here… I know a flame bait when I see one @ Conyo… hehehehe…

        yours is just CREATIVE TROLLING…

    • ChinoF says:

      Guys, here’s a version of that joke… so many aspects of Filipino reality are in it. Enjoy (or gasp in horror? whatever. hehehe)”

      “A family in the Philippines was puzzled when the
      coffin of their dead mother arrived from the USA,
      sent by their sister. The corpse was so tightly
      squeezed inside the coffin that their mother’s face
      was practically touching the glass cover. When they
      opened the coffin, they found a letter from their
      sister pinned to their mother’s chest,
      which read:

      Dearest brothers and sisters,
      I am sending you our mother’s remains for burial
      there in the Philippines. Sorry I couldn’t come
      along as the expenses were so high. You will find
      inside the coffin, under Mama’s body, 12 cans of
      Libby’s corned beef and 12 cans of Spam. Just divide
      them among yourselves. On Mama’s feet is a brand-new
      pair of Reeboks for Junior. There are four pairs of
      Reeboks under Mama’s head for Miloy’s sons. Mama is
      wearing six Ralph Lauren T-shirts – one is for
      * Roy and the rest are for my nephews. Mama is
      also wearing one dozen Wonder Bras (your favorite),
      just divide them among yourselves. The 2 dozen
      Victoria’s Secret panties that Mama is wearing
      should be distributed among my nieces and cousins.

      Mama is also wearing eight Docker pants – *,
      Diko, please get one for yourself and the rest are
      for the boys. The Swiss watch you asked for is on
      Mama’s left wrist, please get it. Aunty Sol, Mama is
      wearing what you asked for – earrings, ring and
      necklace – just please get them. Also, the six pairs
      of Channel stockings that Mama
      is wearing must be divided among the teen-age girls
      there. I Hope they like the color.

      Your loving sister,

      Nene

      P.S. Please take care of finding a dress for Mama
      for her burial.”

  10. homer says:

    P.P.S. You can leave the last Victoria’s Secret pantie on Mama if you don’t want it after all.

    (Ok, so I like morbid humor)

    • homer says:

      P.P.P.S. If you have trouble unfastening the Chanel earrings, just yank ’em off. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt Mama. Bring some Elmer’s in case something goes wrong.

      If you decide to check the freshness of the corned beef and spam, don’t smell it too close to Mama so that you can tell the difference.

      As for the toe rings from Tiffany & Co., be very cautious. If the rings have tightened, please avoid making the same mistakes you made when I sent you the coffin of your Tito Boy last year. Before we buried him, I was horrified upon noticing that his toes were upside down.

  11. Migs42 says:

    Guys, I came from an OFW family (majority of our family members are OFWs) and I agree with your points about “pasalubong”, kung wala kang ibibigay, sila pa yung galit and all that stuff.

    I ALWAYS remember that whenever someone is coming home, we have one policy. Do. Not. Tell. The. Relatives. 😄
    But don’t get us wrong, they always have “pasalubong” when they come home.

  12. Anne Boleyn says:

    Everytime I come back to the Philippines after a vacation in the United States, some people always ask me for their much-awaited pasalubong. I told them that I went there for a vacation, not for them to have their pasalubongs. I hate the sight of balikbayan boxes.

    ————————————————————————————————————–
    I find her so bright and pleasant for her young age that I am more beholden to you for sending her to me than you are to me.— Archduchess Margaret of Austria, who trained Anne as a maid of honour in her household.

  13. elle_md says:

    i really like this.

    being poor is not an excuse.

  14. gibovsgordon says:

    it was only today that i saw this site. im already enjoying it… *bookmarks*

  15. Caesar says:

    Good statement… a real wake up call.
    may i provide this lnk to other sites?

  16. Why Filipinos corrupt? Because it is a race of who becomes the wealthiest first. This is the cause of crab-mentality. Me-first mentality. It is rampant. It is deep in the bones. It is cultural.

    Problem is this kind of posts can only be read in blogs. It cannot be read in columns. There is no study. EVen the church are afraid to bring it up. SO WE REMAIN THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER WILL BE.

    • Vivian Ganaden Dulkiewicz says:

      Hi Mr. Renato Pacifico,
      I like your comments. Can I borrow these words from you. I will just post it in my profile in FB in your name of course. Best regards.

      Vivian Ganaden Dulkiewicz

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  22. Kazuo says:

    MOST Filipinos suck! (OK I said Most but not all). And their country is lawless; it’s full of good laws but there is a problem in implementing it. If you’re rich and powerful you have an edge.

    And F***! Mental and environmental trash almost everywhere! And their venality is ABSOLUTE. The Philippines is an ocean of superstitious, racist, brainwashed, indifferent, egoistic, apathetic, unthinking, hypocritical crabs. Sugar-coated on the outside, full of shit inside!

    This is true for most Filipinos but not all, specially the ones who accept the negatives of their culture and try to think of doing a paradigm shift instead of getting hurt and blasting those who criticize.

    I bet Filipinos are getting angry reading this instead of reflecting and working for a change.

    Get real and grow up Filipinos

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