Pinoy thinking: Noynoy Aquino and King Philip II of Spain

I’ve recently come across a few bright boys who presume to tell us who has — or who doesn’t possess — the “right” to write brilliant commentary on the sad “internal affairs” of the Philippines. And here I am thinking: well now isn’t that just classy. It’s days like these that remind me to keep my feet on the ground and do an occasional mental pilgrimage back to a string of so unintentionally prophetic words coming from one of our most revered statesmen:

I would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos than a Philippines run like heaven by the Americans.

But see, revisiting the above words is the easy part — which is why I did so above. However they are not the point of this article. The point I want to make here lies in two questions currently swirling in my vast mind. Here is The First one:

What is a “Filipino” and what does the “Filpino” stand for?

The challenge to the Philippine “intelligentsia” to step up to providing a convincing response to the above question was something I issued way back and was noted by the eminent blogger Rom Sedona who provided an initial stab at the challenge, thus…

It’s actually a very simple question with a very simple answer: Filipino stands for parochial.

Parochial means – insular: narrowly restricted in outlook or scope; being provincial, being narrow in scope, or considering only small sections of an issue; narrow-minded. Ever heard a more concise description of a Filipino?

… but then on taking on board further clarification issued the following more refined take on the concept:

Tackling the question as [benign0 clarifies] it now, my answer will only be slightly different. what does the Filipino stand for then? The Filipino stands for survival at any cost.

If you were hoping for some lofty ideal – like truth and justice – you’d be disappointed. Filipinos like to think that that’s what we’re about, but in practice, we’re more about enlightened self-interest than anything else.

Aside from my own treatise on what I believe the Filipino stands for, there is not much out there beyond Rom’s own succinct take on the matter that comes across as coherent and therefore convincing — at least to the sorts of people who think. Certainly there is none coming from them traditional emo “experts” on all things “Filipino” to contribute to gaining any further clarity to this enduring mystery. Perhaps it is because all the mediocre mind could come up with to prop up our global “identity” is a “flag” and this nebulous concept of “one nation” — a “nation” which, I might remind, goes by the name of a Spanish king who presided over that charming period in our history as a species known as The Inquisition.

Hey isn’t that the same kind of mentality that predisposes the same meeting of minds of the sort that goes on to latch onto “L” signs, yellow colours, and no-results and no-insight politicians? There you go. You, reader, are in the midst of a groundbreaking convergence in the analysis of what fundamentally underpins the mediocrity of Filipino thinking — Spanish Kings of the Inquisition and Noynoy Aquino.

But, see, I digress.

What an understanding of the above comments ultimately leads us to as far as this article is concerned is a robust context to regarding my Second Question:

Who ultimately possesses the authority to issue edicts on who is and who isn’t a “Filipino”?

I hereby assert, for example, that I am Filipino enough to write about Filipino affairs — wherever those affairs may transpire. Who’s gonna dispute that assertion? Perhaps I might take on board the views of someone who has a clear enough grasp of what it means to be “Filipino” to begin with. In short — Go To Question One First.

Too bad the small and therefore the average (following the Pinoy bell curve) mind consistently fails to answer Question One. If Da Pinoy where a bit more cluey as far as his own identity is concerned, he’d be in a better position to tell “foreign” commentators (many of whom find it personally rewarding to focus their energies on the renowned dysfunction of all things Filipino) to butt out.

Butt out? Well, the short answer is this:

Tough luck.

nyek nyek!


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14 Responses to Pinoy thinking: Noynoy Aquino and King Philip II of Spain

  1. FreeSince09 says:

    What is a Filipino?

    A product of colonial edict. A group of archipelagic tribals forced by Empires to become one nation State. An artificial construct. Stuck in semi-feudalism due to crisis which stuns its growth. What is a Filipino? An amoeba.

    What can the Filipino become?

    Who knows, it is a shapeless entity waiting to be hammered.

  2. ChinoF says:

    One thing people may not understand or believe is that nationality is by nature a contrived concept. People are the ones that make nations, nations don’t make themselves. It’s now time to make a conscious effort to redefine Filipino into a word that people can respect, both from here and abroad.

    One challenge to this Filipino redefinition is tribalism. To some, being Filipino means being Bicolano, being Ilocano, being Bisaya, or stating that’s one’s own ethnicity is the true Filipino. I propose we discard or even just temporarily set aside our tribal identities and work on being a real Filipino.

    • Persona Non Grata says:

      The name Filipino is bestowed by Magellan by naming this country after his patron and financier. The name Filipino then did not conjure as now being philosophically defined. The definition of Filipino has evolved to reflect the present state of mental illness they are now afflicted.

      Redefining Filipino to gain self-respect is futile and waste of time yet it may be entertaining. For Filipinos to gain respect we need to redefine what is poor. Poor is rich. And, rich is actually poor. Does that make the Filipinos better? Respect themselves more?

      I do not know. The company I work with has just redefined my job title to a more exotic respectable title: Chief of Children’s Benefit Trust. When this was conferred upon me before my colleagues and “esteemed” Filipinos I couldn’t help myself of breaking the pencil I was holding behind me. It was an honor. It was the same job function. Albeit higher pay. And the “esteemed” Filipinos were caught flat-footed.

      How can a suspected felon, absconder of immigration law ever reached this position?

      Upon reflection of the envy, disgust, jealousness of the “esteemed” Filipinos they also wanted the word “Chief” bestowed upon them. Well, they were conferred ahead of me as “Accounting Officers” it never changed them. They only got respect from below them. Now they report to me. As one white American told me in private: “THEY ARE YOUR PUNISHMENT, ACTUALLY”.

      • ChinoF says:

        Is the term “Filipino” that tainted? But I don’t believe it’s irreparable. It’s a challenge, I agree. And even if it hurts to try, the nobility of the purpose makes it worth doing.

        Maybe your “promotion” in your work gives you a chance to help clean up your colleagues’ acts, and exert influence to help them change their bad habits. If it doesn’t work out in the end, at least you’ve tried. Call it a challenge, call it a trial. Life’s full of them… while some Pinoys want to avoid them. Guess you know what I’m talking about. Good luck at work, anyway.

  3. Homer says:

    Butt out? Hahaha…..No effin’ way, Jose! What are the detractors gonna do then? Sue AP? Hope it’s worth their time if so…and we’ll see who’s been right all the time.

    Who says we aren’t Pinoy enough to speak about the internal affairs of the country? Whoever these baboons and birdie-num-nums are, let us remind them that we have the right to call Filipinos “our people” as much as they do, but we choose to call it the way we see it…and tough s**t if they have a problem with that. They can always present their arguments here (with no censorship, imagine that)…but I guess they choose to hide behind what they call their “mongoNOYd community”.

    We speak out on things that prevent our country from moving forward simply because we want to move forward. For “buttheads’ out there who’ve called us traitors (among other things) for doing so, p*t*ng*na nila. They are simply in denial, but we know better. For some reason, it pisses ’em off. Regardless, the numbers are showing that AP is doing something right. Tough luck talaga! 😀

    • Noli Me Tangere says:

      Tell you what,

      Why don’t we (or you or I) curse these people (and I mean business here – no time for blabbermouth) and bring them down to hell?

      People here had nothing right to do but blot out racially hateful stuff.

  4. bokyo says:

    Typical Filipino. Always the drama. Always the pat in the back. Always the ego-fodder.

    Never the solutions for issues. Instead, they call it “unpatriotic”. Afraid of the truth. Always in-denial.

  5. mamyaw says:

    the term Filipino originally refers to the Spaniards that lorded over our lands, as well as their mulatto offspring; we natives were called “Indios”. when the Spaniards were booted out, we inherited the title, but it seems that we inherited more than that: we inherited the social caste that the Spaniards enforced during their stay here. and to some degree, the original oligarchs did not really leave, they are still here. they are alive through their descendants who still hold the country’s economy and politics in their hands. these descendants’ ancestry is diluted not with native blood, but with Chinese pedigree. so in a sense, we are still oppressed by “naturalized” foreigners.

    but i digress. It is rather insulting that we have to bear the name of our oppressors and still be treated as stupid monkeys. so maybe to be a Filipino is to be an Indio, just rebranded.

    • ChinoF says:

      I recall there was a movement to change the name of the Philippines to something more “native.” They thought maintaining the name of King Philip in our country’s name was symbolic of our failure, so if we change it, we’ll “remove the curse”. To me, this is completely unnecessary and idiotic. “Philippino” for me is an acknowledgment of the truth about ourselves and that we don’t escape into lies just to feel good. We’ve got to accept that we were a foreign creation, and thus we should use foreign connections to help our country, instead of closing to the world, which would be more harmful.

      Also, what would be the new name? Ilocanos, Bisayas, Warays, Cebuano, Tagalogs and Mindanaoans would feud over it.

  6. killem says:

    who has the right to to speak about the internal affairs of the country? only those who hold a filipino citizenship(dual citizen is acceptable) for a simple reason that they are the one who will reap the benefits from the improvement of the country or the one who will suffer from from its mismanagement. =)

    • ChinoF says:

      For me, anyone with Filipino blood and family relations in the Philippines, or even just friends, has a stake in the country and a right to say something about it. Screw citizenship.

    • Kahlil says:

      hey guys…

      you know what, i don’t care if martians call us lazy, rights or no rights. as long as it’s an honest observation based on facts (as long as it’s true) then no harm no foul. it’s up to us what to do about it. do we act on our alleged laziness and prove them wrong or do we shout our collective indignation out to space? for me, it all boils down to the truth.

    • Noli Me Tangere says:

      “Who has the right to to speak about the internal affairs of the country?”

      Anyone anywhere, Filiponos or foreigners alike, as long as THEY DON’T CROSS THE LINE (unlike many the bastards here), DOES have the right to do so. Hint: there is a very fine line between racial hostility and blottering out the (sadly painful) “truth” that does seem discriminatory.

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