There is one thing absolutely indisputible about the plight of the Filipino “Nation”, and that is its absolute lack of any collective achievement of consequence. A recent article that BongV pulled out from somewhere in the Net cites one failure after another over most of Philippine history, each snippet in itself a testament to our inability to take control of our destiny. Each episode reads like a telenovela peewee bleeding heart martyred protagonist vs Big Bad-Ass all-powerful antagonist plot. It’s no wonder we never win our wars and always succumb to our conquerors (both external and internal). The kind of boo-hoo I’m a pathetic victim, please empathise with me emotional hook is prevalent in our society and is reflective of its character. This pathetic sentiment gets propagated in Philippine Cinema and by the over-arching Philippine Media. It is campaign fodder for popular politicians. Whether it is entertaining the Jologs or winning their votes, there is a glaring and highly-effective common message that gets sent and lapped up — that Da Pinoy is not responsible for her chronic failure to launch, but are mere victims. We are victims of the proverbial guava not falling right into our gaping maw as we stare out into the sky in prayer. Malas nga naman talaga.
But see, rather than focusing on actually delivering results Filipinos instead concentrate on suppressing the highlighting of The Truth about the absence of said results. And it is precisely because of this dysfunctional regard for our lack of achievement — that we are victims of mythical “forces” that “prevent” us from succeeding — that we remain imprisoned in a crybaby mindset.
Too often, Filipinos have launched into tantrums of national scale against perceived slights over inconsequential things like that Desperate Housewives episode where some crack was made about Filipino doctors and that Filipino domestic doing an exotic dance routine portrayed on some two-bit BBC program (no producer will probably touch the ethnic Filipino actress who portrayed that character with a ten-foot pole after that debacle!).
A slight breeze toppleth the House of Cards.
Every perceived and over-bandied Filipino “achievement” is followed by a fresh breeze of child-like questions that chip away at each one’s populist appeal to prevailing victim mentalities. The Edsa “Revolution” is one such spectacular example. From being the crowning glory of Filipinos’ status in the global community, it has now become a sad embarrassment.
Back in 2002, Philippine-based consultant Clarence Henderson published a comprehensive take on the renowned onion-skinnedness of Filipinos following his own first-hand experience with Pinoy tontowism (a label we like to use to describe the blanket intellectual bankruptcy of the Philippine National “Debate”). Indeed, some things don’t change. There were Desperate Housewives “debacles” even back then as there are now. Sensationalised national “outrages” were also directed at a few poor sods who were merely pointing out evident truths about Filipinos back then. Among the esteemed and couragous Truth crusaders of that time who were cited were The Probe Team, American Ambassador Frank Riccardione, Claire Danes, and James Fallows.
The moral of the story is that the more we tighten our grip on our fragile sensibilities in the hope of shielding these from the pain of having to stare The Truth squarely in the face, the more such information will slip through our fingers. It is no different from the sort of presumption the Catholic Ayatollahs apply to covering Filipino kids’ virgin ears to the realities of human sexuality — something that Chino explores in brilliant detail in a previous blog.
Ah yes, myths. I for one am tired of being told that thunder is St. Peter bowling in the clouds. I’m tired of parents telling their sons that if they kiss Nene, she will be pregnant. Such myths should be silenced once and for all. Facts should be taught squarely. This is what the RH Bill is trying to solve; leaving children in the dark about sex. This opinion of Fr. Arellano probably reflects an intention of keeping people dumb so that they can be easily manipulated, which the church in the Philippines has historically been accused of.
In the same way, we Filipinos ought to wean ourselves from the warm-and-fuzzy of being constantly told myths about who we are — that we are some sort of a “special” breed of people occupying a “blessed” place in the region destined for some sort of imagined “greatness”. Both our track record and the current reality tell us things that point to a far different scenario. We are a grossly over-populated country that imports a vast chunk of its basic staple and are dependent on non-renewable resources for our national income. We are unsustainably dependent on foreign markets to both employ our people and consume our products (which for the most part consist of bottom-of-the-barrel labour-added-value products and services), and despite The Vote having been available to us for the last two decades are still led by bozos who don’t act in the interests of their constituents.
In the same way that an open discussion about sex at an early age helps assure one a healthy adult life properly equipped to deal with the reality of human sexuality, an open discussion about Filipino Dysfunction equips us with the right information to deal with the reality of cutthroat global competition. Both sex and Pinoy dysfunction are made out to be “dirty” and “offensive” topics by our revered “elders” and self-described guardians of “Filipino sensibilities”. Unfortunately history has been quite clear on one thing: far more damage has been done to humanity by those who suppress information than by those who wield it skillfully.
We don’t need PhD’s and MBA’s to take our place in the vast technology-enabled free market of ideas. All we need is the mind of a child to ask the good and the hard questions as is so well demonstrated by the author of what I consider to be the best fan letter I had received over the last ten years:
we filipinos are so hypocrete. we live on lies and half truth.
when I was a kid (am now 40 [years old]) our elders never give us straight answer. one day while playing to my female friend, we were both taking a bath (nude and I was 5 [years old]) I shout “ay pepe” [and] my aunt scolded me for saying bad words.
another was, when I ask my aunt again how did I come out in this world. and without hesitation she said “galing ka sa puwet”.
there’s alot more lies and half truth i learn from my elders, when we went to US at my age of 10 [years old], I was so surprised how ordinary folks explain everything as if am talking to them as the same age as mine. up to now am still wandering why we filipinos doesnt treat kids as intellectual and the future of our country, in the philippines, youth are deprive of ideas what is better for them. look who’s the one talking and explaining everything on tv,radios or in press con. FVR 78 [years old], DOJ Gonzales 78 [years old], Ex Gen Abat 80 [years old], Sec Ermita and other’s who as if t[h]ey will still live by hundred years and cannot accept that their ideas are already “kalawang”. please you oldies, give the youth what is best for the country and for them.
now I know if only I was around when Pres Quezon said “I would rather see the Philippines [run] like hell by filipinos than run like heaven by the americans”, I will be the one to say you dont know what youre saying. suppose we held a referendum and ask every filipinos if they want the Philippines to be part of USA as one of his member in State? [I] am sure it will get a landslide vote of yes. yes to be a member of United State of America.
And that is as real as it gets.