It must be hard being an intellectual. Just think of all the names they call people with all the answers to the problems of the world: “nerd”; “geek”; “eccentric”; “weird”; “odd”. That’s not to mention how they get bullied, ostracised and even labeled “pretentious” just by simply trying to help solve the big puzzles of the universe. Life must not be easy for those who are trying to simulate the Big Bang or those who are collecting data to prove climate change. Who believes these people anyway? Not a lot of us if you think about it. There are too many sceptics in the world and there are those who even oppose any research that are seen to not be beneficial to the corporations who earn a lot of money from people’s excessive lifestyle habits.
Boy, there must be a lot of smart people in the mental hospital. I can imagine a lot of them getting frustrated with regular folks who are too ignorant and arrogant to even realise what’s good for them. Have you ever tried having a discussion with someone who just doesn’t get it? It can be really frustrating. If you let them affect you, you could be driven to put your head in an oven and turn up the heat to “High”.
Ignorant people outnumber the thinkers in this world. If you don’t add gloss and glamour to your cause, most likely it will go unnoticed. You need to hire someone like Angelina Jolie to highlight the plight of the poor in the Philippines, say, so that the promotion of an initiative to help them can go viral or become the in thing. The key question is always What’s in it for me? I came across some discussions in PinoyExchange.com among trolls who were questioning the motives of the bloggers here at AntiPinoy. They think that we have some kind of dark ulterior motive behind a disguise of trying to help Filipinos. They simply can’t accept that we are just passionate about what we are doing. They label us as “pretentious” even. Most Filipinos just don’t know what’s good for them even if you get blue in the face trying to convince them about the need to try and do something different for a change, considering that the alternative is to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
Take our presidential elections this year. If you look at the presidential candidate who is leading the polls, you can pretty much conclude that Filipinos are anti-intellectual. Filipinos are also suckers for subliminal packaging. The Liberal Party repackaged Noynoy Aquino and branded him as The Non-Thief — “Hindi ako magnanakaw”. Now he might just win. Never mind that he had hardly any accomplishments as a politician. I guess my brain must be wired differently because I don’t really buy into all of the words they associate Noynoy with, like him being a “good” person for goodness’ sake and all that stuff that Noynoy supporters believe in.
Spare a thought for Nick Perlas. Do a quick read of his resume and you will see that he is a pretty smart dude. He is an environmentalist, a microfinance expert, a sustainable agriculturist, a creative educator, and a bearer of New Politics. Unfortunately, the polls will tell you that the Filipino people don’t like people who are smarter than them. Nick Perlas has received numerous awards for his advocacies but ordinary folks don’t really care. More importantly, they don’t even know and can’t be bothered to know what he is talking about. Voters will just say, he is too unknown and unfunded. They might even ask “Where did he come from anyway?”
How about Dick Gordon? He’s got a Law degree from the University of the Philippines, a Bachelors degree in history and government, became an associate of a law firm, was once Mayor of Olongapo City, Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Chairman of the National Red Cross and, finally, a Senator of the Philippines. His success as former Chairman of the Subic Bay Freeport zone speaks volumes of his capacity to do so much for the country. The list of his achievements in the senate is long. But if you ask what the Filipino people think of him, they’ll just say, “Mainitin daw ang ulo” or “He’s doing poorly in the polls”. If only arrogant Filipinos aren’t too skeptical about his motives. Perhaps they’ll give Gordon a chance.
Another smart presidential candidate who is tailing by a few notches (if you believe the polls) behind The Dull One is Gibo Teodoro. Gibo’s professional accomplishment far outshines his cousin Noynoy’s. His resume on Facebook reads: Youngest Secretary of National Defense at 43 years old, August 2007- present; Chairman, National Disaster Coordinating Council, three-term Congressman; Practicing Lawyer Mendoza Law 1st Place, 1989 Philippine Bar Examinations. He is also a Pilot (Lear Jet 31 Rating) and a Colonel in the Philippine Air Force (Reserve). The list goes on for this young presidential aspirant. You have to wonder, why is he not doing better than the other Cojuangco when he is much smarter and better looking? Some would say “He used to work for GMA”. That statement is usually enough said for most. Are Filipinos that dumb to associate a person’s character to their previous boss? It’s like saying “Ilda, even though she is a female, probably scratches her balls just like her male boss”.
And then there is Manny Villar. His resume reads: A former accountant of SGV, entrepreneur, former congressman, former Speaker of the 11th Congress of the House of Representatives and currently a Senator just like Dick Gordon. He’s made a lot of money throughout the years and has received a number of awards for his business achievements. He is currently running second in the presidential polls and is the biggest opponent of The Chosen One. What do Filipinos have to say about the guy? Take a pick from a long list of names: “Magnanakaw”; “Villaroyo” “Evil” etcetera, etcetera. There’s just too many to write down here. It’s hard to tell what is true and what is fabricated nowadays, it’s best to stick to your guns.
Given the list of some of the candidates with better credentials above, can someone please tell me again why majority of Filipinos (if you believe the polls) are going to vote for the less successful, less competent, and less smart candidate? Are Filipinos too blind to see what’s really in front of them? Or is one having too many accomplishments too daunting a concept for a regular Pinoy to digest? Gloria Arroyo receives a lot of criticism for her ideas because ordinary citizens are suspicious of her moves like calls for Charter Change and a change into a parliamentary system.
I heard some people say that they don’t want someone who is intelligent anymore because former President Ferdinand Marcos and President Gloria Arroyo were supposedly intelligent people. Some say that they just used their brains to siphon public funds into their own pockets. Fair enough. But we’ve also tried someone who was also less qualified and less intelligent in former president Cory Aquino and the economy went from bad to worse during her time. Besides, you simply can’t say, “Oh, we would rather have an ordinary person who is not going to steal.” It’s just not justified.
Noynoy Aquino for one will have secretaries just like any previous administrator. If his appointed secretaries follow the same path as the previous ones and end up being corrupt, it simply becomes pointless for Noynoy to promise that “I will not steal”. Noynoy’s mother, Cory claimed to have not stolen any public funds too but she couldn’t control her cabinet members’ and her relatives’ activities either. If her administration was impeccable, how come there was too much instability during her administration? The answer lies in the fact that you need someone who will command respect and imbibe accountability, not just sympathy.
Being anti-intellectual is just not right. I’ve never heard of such rationales as the one Noynoy supporters are providing us. We are electing someone knowing full well that he is not knowledgeable. It’s like standing in the middle of the train tracks and waiting for the oncoming train to hit us.