When I first heard that Binay was going to be the new Vice president, I wondered what aside from the behind-the-scenes machinations would make him popular. He was a surprise winner, after all. Then I heard from someone that in Makati, he gives a lot of freebies. For example, senior citizens could get free birthday cakes, or even money from government offices. It makes sense that a politician who will give dole outs often will be very popular.
But this reflects another bad side of our culture. It is a culture of dependence on or desire for dole-outs.
Ever heard the funny lyrics, “bili mo ko n’yon, bili mo ko n’yan, ha?” That typifies many Filipinos. There is still the cultural desire to have someone else give it to them.
For example, imagine yourself as a working class Filipino, eldest among the children, with a job and salary. You arrive home after work, and you hear the screams of “where are our French fries!” from your siblings. Your parents, who are already senior citizens, will demand, “when are you going to bring us to Boracay?” When you reply that your salary is too low for that, they’ll scream, “then go abroad!” You’ll go abroad, you earn enough to send them to Boracay, but your family goes there without you. Lugi ka. Add to that the hassle of going abroad, adjusting to another country and culture, separation from your own, etc.
In addition, Filipinos seem so afraid to work. Stories in Maalaala Mo Kaya to go like, “mula ng magkasakit si tatay, lahat kaming magkapatid kailangan magtrabaho.” It’s understandable if they have to stop schooling and go to work. But it gives the idea that it’s wrong if all siblings go to work. But there are stories where the children have graduated, but don’t go to work, and remain fed by the overworked parents. You should send your kids to school, but it’s a sin so send them to work? That’s one of the bad things our local media feeds our lazy people.
In addition, consumerism is tremendous in Filipino culture. Everyone desires to have the latest brand or be part of the latest fad. And to do this, they’ll ask for dole-outs from mama and papa, or from their working sibling.
And this affects the way our people vote. When candidates like Gordon come in offering the attraction of foreign investment to the country to generate jobs, they become less popular than candidates who offer freebies to people. “We will give you want you want, and you don’t need to lift a finger.” This is the most likely criteria that our people have for choosing their leaders. And this is what makes our country an idiocracy or kakistocracy.
Thus, I point you to Rafterman’s article that stated this undeniable truth: the reason for Filipino corruption and dysfunction is laziness. Filipinos, most of them for that matter, are lazy. And laziness can be found in all classes, from the richest to the poorest.
But I have to point this out: just look at most of the people who receive dole-outs from popular freebie givers. They’re still poor! Most of them are still poor because they wanted to receive fish. They refused to learn how to fish, all because of laziness. Then they’ll play the victim card again and say they’re poor. They’re not just poor, they’re pathetic.
I also have to mention this comment I saw from Ilda’s Offical Profile of Noynoy, which has the sense of a dole-out seeker:
CONGRATULATION !!! PRESIDENT BENIGNO NOYNOY C. AQUINO III. FOR BEING A PRESIDENT OF PHILIPPINES.I AM JUST A ORDINARY FILIPINO HOPING AND WISHING TO HELP OUR COUNTRY.BY YOUR HELP I WILL NOT HESITATE TO REQUEST ASSISTANCE PARTICULARLY AIR POLLUTION THAT CAUSE A BIG PROBLEM TO OUR ENVIRONMENT.I AM WISHING SO MUCH TO HAVE ASSISTANCE HELPING ME ON WHAT I HAVE.IT MAY COME CLOSER TO DEVELOP TOURISM ANDENVIRONMENT IF ASSISTANCE COME IN PLANTING IN ROAD ISLAND AND FRESH AIR THERAPY FROM GARDEN FLORAL FLOWER ANCIENT PLANT. FOR ME I JUST WANT TO DEVELOP THIS.I ASK A ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT FROM YOU BECAUSE I AM COMFORTABLE IN YOU.I AM HOPING TO BE INTERVIEW REGARDING THIS AND SUPPORT BECAUSE I KNOW IT WILL HAVE A POTENTIALS IN THE ENVIRONMENT MOSTLY PREVENTING AIR POLLUTION AND OUR HEALTH. CP#(taken out for privacy). NOEL B. DALISAY.
Ayos. That keeled me over.
Though it’s for a business, Mr. Dalisay is still asking for a dole-out to help him start up. Darn, for support for his anti-pollution focus, why didn’t he think of Perlas? And if he wanted real support for his herbal business, why doesn’t he ask for funds from investors abroad? Problem is, our protectionist clauses are inhibiting investments from abroad, so people like Mr. Dalisay are kept poor by our pro-oligarch policies.
Hence, our culture today has become a “libre me this, libre me that” culture. It not only affects our lifestyles and family stability, but it also affects the way we vote. We have to break this culture of laziness and make it a value that everyone should work for their own keep.