Filipinos need to develop a sense of shame or guilt

The Prime Minister of Japan, whatever his name is (there’s just so many of them that have come and gone), resigned on the 2nd of June after breaking an election promise. Just eight months ago, he won a landslide victory to become the new Prime Minister. Unfortunately, he has been forced to resign because of mounting criticism prior to his resignation for his flip-flopping on the issues he promised to solve during his election campaign. He is the fourth Japanese PM to step down in four years, with the others resigning in similar circumstances. I got to hand it to the Japanese people; they really know the meaning of shame. This is something our elected officials and we as a people need to emulate.

Japan is actually known for its shame (Haji) culture. It is said that the society of Japan uses shame as a primary agent of social control. Though taken to the extreme, shame seems to lead to a high suicide rate on its members, all in all the society of Japan thrives in the culture of shame. Paul Hiebert characterizes the shame society as follows:

Shame is a reaction to other people’s criticism, an acute personal chagrin at our failure to live up to our obligations and the expectations others have of us. In true shame oriented cultures, every person has a place and a duty in the society. One maintains self-respect, not by choosing what is good rather than what is evil, but by choosing what is expected of one.

There is definitely not a lot of downside to having a shame culture. It promotes a heathy environment of trust among its citizens that the right thing will be done. In contrast to Japanese culture, Western culture uses “guilt” as an agent of social control. It relies on the notion that one should do an internal evaluation before doing something — to reflect on what one believes one should or should not do. Otherwise, if one does something in defiance of what is the norm, one believes that he will receive the wrath of God or worse, the wrath of the entire community. Guilt is an emotional experience that happens when a person realises or believes that he or she has violated a moral standard and accepts responsibility for that violation. The feeling of guilt is closely related to the concept of remorse, when a person feels regret for what he has done. When guilt as an agent of control does not work, they have the criminal justice system as a last resort.

Psychopaths are said to be those who lack any true sense of guilt or remorse for harm they may have caused to others. Instead, they blame their behavior on someone else, or deny it outright. They lack moral bearing (in comparison with the majority of humans) and are unable to evaluate situations within a moral framework. They also have an inability to develop emotional bonds with other people.

Philippine society keeps trying to model its way of life based on the western model but we fail to grasp the fundamentals of what make Western society work. Indeed, we fail at even being a copycat. With the number of public officials and common citizens who get away with fraudulent activities in the Philippines, I am beginning to believe that there are members of Philippine society who are turning into psychopaths. A lot of our public officials do not have a sense of guilt or do not feel remorse for not being able to fulfill their social obligations and for causing harm to the rest of society. They also blame their behavior on someone else, make all kinds of excuses and therefore do not feel accountable for their actions.

Added to the lack of sense of guilt or remorse, Filipinos in general are averse to giving a critical evaluation of our public officials based on their past performance. This is part of the reason why the public officials who are guilty of embezzling public funds or those who simply do not do their jobs to the best of their abilities still get re-elected or worse put on a higher ranking position like the presidency. There is no shame in having accomplished mediocre work because Filipinos just “let the matter slide” into pwede na yan (“that’ll do”) oblivion and hope that things will become better eventually. Our false sense of hope has gotten us nowhere. I hear a lot of people say, “There is still hope for the Philippines” but until we develop a sense of shame or guilt, there is no hope for the Philippines. We do not like being criticized at all, whether it is a fellow Filipino or a foreigner doing the criticizing, Filipinos tend to lash out or dismiss the criticism as lacking in merit. We as a people, lack the ability to evaluate our circumstances or apply a bit of self-reflection.

According to cultural anthropologist Ruth Benedict, shame arises from a violation of cultural or social values while guilt feelings arise from violations of one’s internal values. It may make sense that Filipinos do not feel guilty or shameful about fraudulent activities if we perhaps consider that our internal values may be flawed. Worse, there seems to be a highly developed unconscious justification for deceptive actions within the Filipino mind. What we value as a society seems to be more around saving face by way of acquiring material possessions, family connections and having a good time. Whatever our neighbors have, we must have. Whatever our family and friends do even if it is illegal (i.e downloading films or DVDs or rigging votes), it must be ok because they have acquired a lot of material possessions through it and they seem like they are having a good time while they are at it. We as a society do things as a means to an end no matter the circumstances and we tend to be ok with it when we do it with family or friends, sort of like when in a pack mentality.

The things that bring us dishonour or shame are really trivial, do not benefit the whole of society, and only give us useless anxieties. Not having enough money to host a feast during a town festival or fiesta gives us a feeling of shame. Similarly, not having enough money to hold a Christmas party can give us a sense of embarrassment to other people. In both circumstances, some Filipinos would go to extra lengths as to spend all their hard earned cash or borrow money just to be able to hold a feast for that one-day event without thinking of the consequences. When the neighbors see that the party was held, we find our source of pride.

The things that give us a sense of guilt are also trivial, do not benefit the whole of society, and only give us useless anxieties. The family connections we value the most are also a source of dysfunctional behavior. Our family obliges us to hire family members when we own a company or if we are in a position to do so. There are many Filipino stories about family members who are working as overseas foreign workers who are obliged and made to feel guilty about sending money back home even if unnecessarily. Likewise, not having any presents or pasalubong for each member of the clan and the entire neighborhood is a no-no. Filipinos do not expect balikbayans to come home empty handed. Our family connections are a double edged sword. It can be a source of comfort and a source of sorrow.

Our religion also plays a big role in how we quickly remove our sense of quilt and shame. We have been made to believe that our “sins” are forgiven once we confess to a priest or a member of the Catholic Church; it is as if our conscience can be wiped clean of every abominable act — and then we are ready to do it all over again. There is no real sense of atonement or remorse after the confession but the cycle of dysfunctional behavior continues until it becomes part of our system. In short, a lot of Filipinos hide behind their religion as they continue their fraudulent activities. We often see a lot of households adorned with the images of saints and the members of the holy family. It makes some Filipinos believe that they are holy despite their unholy acts.

If we are to imitate the culture of shame by the Japanese or to genuinely adapt the western culture using guilt as an agent of social control, we need to develop a sense of responsibility for others and ourselves. The only way we can attain stability and progress is to honor our promises and value what is best for the whole society and ourselves in the long-term, and not just focus on trivial pursuits that only cater to instant gratification. In short, we just need to develop a conscience.

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125 Responses to Filipinos need to develop a sense of shame or guilt

  1. J.B. says:

    Ilda, it’s not only the confession to priest that the repentant feels he was forgiven from his sins. It is also the adoring of santos inside the home and/or giving out to church charities that give the official a feel of being forgiven to what he may still see a wrong and yet feel to pressure to make amends.

    You may remember that one priest running an orphanage had a hard time believing Erap is guilty of plunder when in fact he was their biggest single donor.

    Development of shame may take time as evident from those who raised in a shameless environment still showcasing what they had while going or living overseas. Take for example, Jinggoy who was reportedly eating with his bare hands while sitting on a business class seat showing fellow passengers “what are they in power for”.

    • ilda says:

      Hi JB

      Yes, I realised while writing this that our religion plays a huge role in why bad behaviour is tolerated in our society. The priests see themselves as having the authority to forgive and forget and what the church says is given more importance by the people. This was evident during the election when the religious endorsement was such a big deal. Unfortunately, your example of how some fail to comprehend the shortfalls of Erap is exactly the reason why Erap almost won the election again. Filipinos seem to have no sense of what is right and wrong.

      Take for example, Jinggoy who was reportedly eating with his bare hands while sitting on a business class seat showing fellow passengers “what are they in power for”.

      The man has class…not. The people voted for people like him so they deserve each other.

      • Paolo says:

        No wonder I don’t enjoy going to mass. The air reeks of hypocrisy.

      • Hi Ilda,

        Just reading some of your work and i must say that I’m a big fan and was wondering if you have a Facebook profile so that I can follow your work or perhaps converse with you to exchange ideas.

        Best Regards

        Elmer Balgos Alinsog

      • ilda says:

        Hi Elmer

        Thanks for reading my articles. I wish there were more people like you who can get my point.

        Although I like writing and publishing my opinions online, I am really a shy person ;). However, I created a profile on FB for AP and GetRealPhilippines readers who wish to be my friends. I will try to look you up and extend an invite.


  2. miriam quiamco says:

    Iida, a very good article on culture as a hindrance to development. Shame I must say is already part of the Filipino psyche and certainly guilt, but the problem is shame and guilt in our society have religious ovetones, whereas the Japanese version does too to a certain extant, from their history on emperor worship. In both these religious traditions, the difference lies in the fact that the Japanese religion is earth-bound and is centered on their nation as the land of gods whereas in our culture it is based on conceptions on heaven and earth as part of the doctrines of the Catholic faith. In the first case, the people therefore are bound to try to behave in a responsible manner in order not to offend the gods that are living amongst them, whereas in our country, our God is somewhere out there and will judge us finally after the death. Since a whole lifetime feels like an eternity to the healthy and young, it is quite alright to keep sinning and to be ashamed and guilty so long as we can atone for our since in time to be able to enter heaven upon death. Our relationship to be world is quite transcendent, the Japanese are just as irrational as we are, but because of a strong sense of social responsibility inculcated through centuries of emperor worship and certainly through despotic government that used this religious tradition, they have managed as a people to develop this strong sense of social responsibility.

    A scholar once pointe out that in ancient China, the family would protect a criminal member so that the police or a government authority would not be able to arrest him. In Japan, the family members themselves will turn in a family member suspected of violating a law to the authorities. Here, it is clear the two countries have differing social morality. The recent resignation of the DPJ prime minister was to succumb to pressure for him to give a chance to his party to clean up its image before the upper house elections in July. There is a lot to credit the Japanese system for, but in recent years though, their system of always changing prime ministers to give way to public pressure has caused discontinuance of policies, not to mention that the current party being too inexperienced with political games here has been quite indecisive or rather has had a series of gaffes in policy pronouncements. Japan has big problems on its plate at the moment that require decisive political action.

    I reckon it is still possible for us to develop a strong sense of social and political responsibility, it will take time, but we will be able to do it with a mass media that know exactly their role in a democracy. We need to change our form of government to hold our leaders more accountable to their policy agenda, those validated by electoral results. How do we do this, now that GMA is in congress, the media once again will propagate those ridiculous conspiracy theories, playing on the hatred of the public towards GMA. This is probably why GMA is not accepting the speakership challenge of her party, I think that she does really mean to serve the interests of this nation even in congress, she might have committed hideous things, but all to serve some end for her economic vision for the country, which is to grow the economy. Iida, we are not Roman Catholics for nothing, we are already a very shame-ridden and guilt-ridden society, of the medieval kind.

    • miriam quiamco says:

      sorry for the typos, so many, i just realized.

    • ilda says:

      Hi Miriam

      I knew you would be interested in this because you currently live in Japan. It is fascinating to note what you said that they consider their gods to be living among them. This makes it easier to understand why they are compelled to behave while still on earth. Our case has been the subject of comedians in the past for its ridiculousness because we can basically commit as much sin as long as we ask for forgiveness before we take our last breath. It is quite unfair to the victims of crime if you ask me.

      Filipinos are more familiar with the word impunity rather than shame or guilt. The late Cory Aquino was a religious woman, she spent more time praying than going after those who murdered her husband. I have been wondering why she didn’t do much about it in my blog Edsa revolutions, Noynoy and the big conspiracy. There has been no closure and condemnation for the unscrupulous behaviour. To quote:

      The real problem started when the Marcos collaborators were not even put on trial. Just look around the Philippine political setting right now. You will still see the likes of Juan Ponce Enrile who was a one-time Marcos collaborator. He is head of the Senate. By defecting to the opposition in 1986, he had secured immunity from being taken to account for his former master’s atrocities. Imelda Marcos herself is still received warmly at various elite social functions. There exist in our society a lack of moral judgement and moral commitment. Since we fail to condemn those who do our society wrong, we jump into bed with the demons of impunity, corruption, and lack of accountability. If the most heinous crimes go unpunished what is there to arrest the equally-widespread incompetence that characterises our public officials’ tenures? If the Aquino camp were so sure that former president Marcos and his allies were responsible for Ninoy Aquino’s death, how come none of them were ever put on trial? Even the former president and one time criminal Joseph “Erap” Estrada is now free to run again as a presidential candidate. He is even getting a marginal lead in the polls. Where is the justice there?

      Guilt and shame gets easily wiped out once we confess our “sins”. Filipinos think that if we keep praying, we will be ok. And our sense of guilt and shame linger more on trivial matters.

      • Mark says:

        I gotta point out ilda that while you think majority thinks that their sins will be forgiven, well some of them doesn’t really believe in God or might as well they do believe in god but only in certain occasions. As you can see, more of them especially teens go to church just to find dates or hang out but not to offer themselves to god.. well I did find it too ridiculous especially when “simbang gabi” comes.. I remember passing by a church last sunday and a group of kids were just standing at the doors of the church calling every girls that passed them by saying “hi ate pede makuha number mo?” while the mass is still ongoing.

        and when I say they do believe god only in certain occasions, well what I meant was that most of the people I knew that live here in the phils were just praying for god only when something goes terribly wrong or they want something.. but ask the guys who after they get what they want if they still remember god or at least if they goes to church to thank him I bet majority of them will find silly excuses just to justify what they are currently doing leaving the church nothing but their second choice (excuses like “ah busy ako marami akong ginagawa kapag libre na ko tsaka na ko magsisimba”)… and some of them uses the church only for publicity so.. I guess even if filipino’s knew about this I guess thay won’t change anytime soon

      • ilda says:

        Hi Mark,

        That’s what happens when the people are, in the words of the great Benign0 “Religious but not spiritual.” We are more concerned with rituals rather than what it is in our hearts.

        A lot Filipinos just go to church to see and be seen. They also go there because that is what is expected of them by the community but not because they want to listen to the Gospel. Most Filipinos think that people with money are blessed people so they pray that they will get the same blessing.

        The group of kids you saw outside the church probably told their parents they were going to church to please their elders but were not really into it. Not to mention they are still ruled by their hormones at that age so listening to a priest is the last thing they want to do 🙂

        Our society is more star-struck than spiritual nowadays. Noynoy would not be president now if that weren’t the case.

      • myko says:

        This article… these comments. It’s as though all my frustrated thoughts (THC-induced or otherwise) and drunken conversations with friends, are eloquently written in one webpage. I just had to leave this comment to say thank you for putting this together. If only there were more like-minded people in this country.

    • HalleluyahHymen says:

      Society evolves and as it does it is being analyzed (or lobotomized) in different perspectives. Using a sociological, perspective symbolic interaction is a theory that i can think of to explain the phenomenon of shame. And according to Herbert Blumer (1969)

      In the field of ethics shame has :
      1. the heteronomous school of Immanuel Kant where man in shame’s is affected by the norms of society such as culture, laws, and standard moral conducts.
      2. the autonomous school of Bernard Williams positing that shame is not affected by any outside interference.

      My question is…. DO WE HAVE A FILIPINO CULTURE? We may be defined as a but we are divided geographically, ethnically and regionally. As these theoretical perspectives put it to have a shame culture as Japan there has to be a general or all encompassing culture. A culture where we agree on the norms of our Filipino society.

      • HalleluyahHymen says:

        sorry… di lumabas ang HTML codes

        *** we may be defined as a nation…

      • HalleluyahHymen says:

        Herbert Blumer (1969), who coined the term “symbolic interactionism,” set out three basic premises of the perspective:

        1. “Humans act toward things on the basis of the meanings they ascribe to those things.”
        2. “The meaning of such things is derived from, or arises out of, the social interaction that one has with others and the society.”
        3. “These meanings are handled in, and modified through, an interpretative process used by the person in dealing with the things he/she encounters.”

        sori ulit… hehehehe…. GRRRRRRRRRR…. fnck the learning curve!!!

        BongV… how will i make HTML codes work?

      • ilda says:

        Hi HalleluyahHymen,

        Filipinos are prone to get carried away by their need to impress other people. We have this constant need to get validation from others. For example, Antipinoy writers including you swim against the tide by writing audacious articles. Meaning, we are not the average Pinoy because we don’t aim to please other people but rather we please ourselves by being truthful about what we believe in. Of course the commenters here give us validation but those who oppose our views do not bother us. Whereas the average Pinoy like Paulo Mangahas, Abe Margallo and MLQ3 would rather write something that the majority will agree with.

      • jethernandez says:

        Hi Ilda…

        The HTML codes did not work. I was referring to the framework of your article on the comment I wrote (three replies up). The last post on this thread is a part of that reply. Sorry madame if it appears to be an independent comment.

        I was just putting in some theoretical perspective of what sociologists call “symbolic interactionism” and the two opposite discourses on shame which of Kant and of Williams.

        I’m developing an argument that unlike Japan, who was able to converge culturally through series of internal conflicts between clans, tribes or ethnicity, the Philippines may have to go through that process. In a society where is there is disequilibrium in the distribution of wealth… there will be a snapping point… such as in any other civil wars or revolutions. Being divided geographically, regionally, ethically (sorry if there such a word) in the present period, we still have to converge… Taking those concepts of SHAME and Structural Functionalism and analyzing our society on the aggregate, it seems that we don’t have a COLLECTIVE CULTURE.

        In my own family my father and mother still have to converge… there is still a conflict of culture between a Tagala and a Waraywaray… so are my sibling’s and their spouses. If we factor in internal labor mobility and regionalistic culture… we have “cultural” conflicts in every household.

        In a squatter community nearby we have different sets of behavior. In this side of the banana republic, we have an influx of probinsyanos. The first generation were carpenters, laborers and construction foremen who’ve built subdivision houses and “squatted” in a vacant chunk of land. These inter-married with the chimays and evolved as tricycle drivers, jeepney drivers and tindera sa palengke. The area where they are mushroomed into small shanties where a 5 meter barong barong houses about 3 to 4 families. Theirs is a different culture… different sets of norms. The second generation became the sources of votes of the current generation of politicians… a product of internal labor mobility that has bred a culture of “kaldero muna bago prinsipyo” politics. As I write as you read this comment, a “squatter” child is born in these so-called “depressed areas”. While the third generation kids are either sniffing “rugby”, in a street children foundation or looking for a subdivision house to loot.

        In the comfort of me and my neighbor’s houses, we the subdivision lot owners have a different set of values… the second generation in-migrants in my neighborhood are the “highly skilled” and the “highly educated” whose proclivity is to move out of the Philippines. Not because it is one of the option… but because it is the only option for them/us… because we have been motivated by the media, our social network and sadly the academic institutions (because most of are graduates of seaman’s course, nursing, IT, HRM… etc). This other side of the fence has a different culture than those living in the squatter area.

        This is why I’ve poised… DO WE, AS FILIPINOS, HAVE A COMMON CULTURE?

        Symbolic interaction requires same societal norms…. Look at Japan’s imperialism… or Hitler’s third Reich…. ooops… bad pala yun… hehehe… French Liberte na lang and the American Revolution and Civil War. The commons have some common ground… common symbols to begin with… Now, to put some element of SHAME into it would require a long blood process of convergence.

        Yeah we are of different mindset… and I’ve always been comfortable with that.

      • ilda says:

        Hi Jet

        What happened to Halleluyah? 🙂

        It seems like we have a halo-halo culture from your description. It’s like anything goes or we make it up as we go. One thing is certain though, the abundance of malls and the advent of consumerism has turned us into one big advertiser’s dream come true. Because we have a dysfunctional culture, we tend to cling on to what the media is telling us to do. And since we put more importance to catering to our instant gratification than our future, we spend our time and money on inconsequential matters.

      • BongV says:


        you do bring up a good point.

        japan had diverse cultural practices too in the formative stages of its national identity. prior to that, japan was a sprinkling of tribes and clans. japan’s history is full of lores of conquest and has a long contiguous history –

        Japan had its feudal period from 1185-1603 – the Philippines was just being discovered in 1521. Columbus and Magellan were roughly contemporaries.

        While the Spaniards were conscripting indio slave labor – Japan already had its Edo period (1603-1868) –
        in the same period, 1601 – Henry Hudson was sailing up Delaware, by the 1800s – the American civil war was over – and Reconstruction was in full swing – 1865 – to 1877.

        the rest is history.

        Culture in this case is a function of time – it will take time to aggregate the practices until it becomes widespread. Assimilation of new atittudes can be caused by migration, conquest, and intermarriage.

        The Philippines is an amalgamation of tribes – just like Japan. An archipelago just like Japan. However, the process of the internal nation-building that involved tribal wars, ever widening conquest and civil war – , leading into aggregation and empire (like Japan)- and ultimately a nation did not take place in the Philippines as it did in Japan – because of Spanish intervention. Unlike Japan, Vietnam, and Korea – the Philippines does not have a tradition of administrative centralization – until the colonizers came, rightfully or wrongly.

        In lieu of daimyos and shogunates – we had the hacienderos. the moros were on a parallel track with their sultanates.

        the only common ground filipinos have – is that once upon a time, Spaniards came, took over – then called everyone “Filipinos” after their bigotted king Philip. other than that it is still Ilocano, Bicolano, Ilonggo, Cebuano, Waray, Batangueño, Bicolano , Pangasinense, Pampangueño, Tausug, Maranao, Maguindanao. –

        The American colonial forces would have looked at it as a yank vs southerner thing. Well at least both yank and southerners spoke the same language – English, albeit the accent. Philippines ethnogroupings dialects don’t just differ in accents – they differ in sentence construction and conjugation. It took Europe and the Balkans a long time to straighten the EU. Well, here’s the Philippines – it’s the EU backwards – create a blank black box – then lump in a group of balkanized tribes.

        Shame may not be a value to the indio – but it is of value to the Maranao. The relevant word is – maratabat – honor. Cross that line and you’ll get the ridos – every thing that moves in your opponent’s village is sent to kingdom come all because of that.

      • jethernandez says:

        Mr. Hyde II (halleluyahhymen) will be posting in a while (no Jekyll only Hyde 1 and 2)… hehehee…

        I agree that media plays a very big role in the banana society. Kaya lang nawala na ang RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM. There should be a balance between consumerism and values formation and education. About two decades ago i remember that the advertising industry has agreed to integrate the “value formation” in their ad production. Sabi sa akin ng Journalism titser ko… ang mga primary functions ng broadcast MEDIA ay : INFORM, EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN. Kaya lang puro na lang entertainment… yung “to inform” function puro patayan, nakawan, sabunutan ng mga bakla at mga starlet. Hay nako… kaya di na ako nanood ng radyo, nagbabasa ng TV at nanonood ng Dyaryo. hehehehe…

        Sa Entertainment naman…
        Game Shows… alang ka kwenta kwenta… pina paasa yung mga walang pera at walang makitang trabaho na ang pag asa ay na kay Vic Sotto, Willie Revillame at saka dun sa baklang mahadera ng channel two na sino yun… Vice Ganda?

        Telenovela… SAMPALAN, IYAKAN, BARILAN, SUNTUKAN, POMPYANGAN… ayun… kung anong laman ng telenovela… yun din ang laman ng balita.

        How do we solve the problem like the media?
        dapat yung business sector na advertizers na pumpondo sa mga game shows at telenovelas should control the broadcast or program format…

        Now I can see the preview button. Yo Bong… Thanks for the intention and efforts to improve the comment box… hope you can figure it out… masarap mag link with ease.

      • jethernandez says:


        Each ethnicity in our archipelago, in my opinion, has a shame culture. The tribes of the mountain province and your anscestral tribe are good examples.

        Japan’s cultural convergence as we’ve both pointed out earlier has gone through a series of dominant tribe’s cultural assimilation of “lesser” tribes… similar as the ancient Romans and other ancient civilizations. I forgot the specific sociological theory on this but applying that theory into the reality… the dominant culture that has affected our aggregate behavior are the Christian Spaniards. Japan converged on it’s own or from within. Philippines, having been dominated by Spain, the US and Japan is still converging… From an animist religious culture, the spaniards have shoved in our religiosity the concept of the spanish kristo. Three hundred years is not enough to do this cultural damage… Had we been left out to converge on our culturally… the dominant culture should have been your tribe… the Maranao or the head hunters of the Mountain Province.

  3. ulong pare says:

    … flips are a bunch of cowards… walang bayags… panay traidor…

    … shamelessness (KAWALANGHIYAAN) is part of the upbringing… no cultural finesse like me!:mrgreen:

    … just lookit flipland’s ladrones garapales, every time they got caught, they’d be ‘bakwet to ‘merka on first break of dawn heading to kalipornya…

    … and, flipflams would welcome them with open arms… tiniklings and potlucks in lost angeles and insane diego…:lol:

    … ay sus ginoo, flips/flipflams, puro kayo mga tunggaks y gung gongs!

    • BongV says:

      @ulong pare:

      send them packing to Gitmo 😆

      • ulong pare says:

        … daaang

        … gitmo has flips – kusineros, labanderos, y hardineros – maintaining camp delta… it would be closed in the near future…

        … gitmo flips are palnning to “swim” accross the bay of pigs heading your ‘hood, whorelando, floduh… 😆

      • BongV says:

        dang.. i guess i’ll have to hold off on cleaning the lawn, till the fire sale of labanderas y hardineras 😳

        i thought they are going to insane diego 😆

    • BongV says:

      another word for no shame – kapalmuks

    • ilda says:

      Thanks for the link innagadda54.

      His motto is: “When you gotta go, you gotta go”

      It says a lot about his inability to plan his trip though. Again, the “bahala na” mentality at play.

    • abcdef says:

      ganyan ang karamihan ng pinoy. walang kapaki-paki. siguro sa bahay nila sa gilid ng tv umiihi o sa tabi ng hapag kainan. ganyan magmahal sa sariling bayan, ginagawang inidoro at basurahan. para saan pa at naimbento ang mga cr at trash can kung pwede naman pala kahit saan.

  4. Josh says:

    Wow. You hit the nail right on the head. When news broke a few days ago that Hatoyama was stepping down as prime minister, I remember telling my girlfriend how Japanese government officials tend to step down at the slightest of intrigues, whereas Philippine officials tend to cling on to power for years and get involved in even bigger scandals along the way.

    I wonder what Erap, GMA and Ignoy have to say about the Japanese?

    • BongV says:


      Erap will ask for sushi. Noynoy will say he is not a jukebox.

      • Josh says:

        Sauce on the jukebox/parrot, Bong. I’ve heard of that on FB but couldn’t find any sources.

    • ilda says:

      They are not capable of self-reflection so they will not even acknowledge it.

    • J.B. says:

      They’re like showbiz personalities. The more the intrigues, the more they can “cash-on” on their notoriety.

    • ChinoF says:

      Well, Noyboy said, “I am not a jukebox” to the Japanese. 😆

    • Miriam Quiamco says:

      Japanese prime ministers at times don’t have a choice but to step down if their popularity ratings are so low, like the last four prime ministers as their parties will pressure them to do so. To go against the wishes of the party means you are on your own and cannot do much anyway in pushing your government’s agenda, why else stay as an impotent leader and risk bringing your party down with you. A popular prime minister on the other hand may not give in to the pressure of the party and can instead appeal directly to the people for validation of their governance by calling for snap elections. This was certainly the case for Koizumi who was prime minister from 2001-2005.

      At times, it is not really shame that makes these prime ministers step down but strong group pressure to clean up the image of the party. Like in the recent resignation of Hatoyama, he resisted initially the urgings for him to resign, but the party prevailed. There are going to be elections for the upper house in July and if the party does not win because of DPJ leadership now embroiled in a series of scandals, involving Hatoyama himself and Ozawa, the kingmaker within the party, he will have to do it anyway to take responsibility for the loss of his party. By resigning now, Hatoyama is precluding any blame that may be put on him should the party lose, thus squandering the electoral gains from last year’s elections. With popularity rating in the 20s, and a series of gaffes in policy pronouncements especially on the Okinawa base relocation, threatening their enduring security alliance with the U.S., the DPJ pushed itself on the corner, and Hatoyama’s cabinet had to take responsibility.

      It remains to be seen if the shakeup in leadership is going to do magic with the skeptical voters in July. Shame you can say is institutionalized in Japanese society, one does not have to feel it on a personal level, but the group imposes it on you because of failure of leadership. Japanese society is cruel, it does not tolerate failure and that is why there is a very high suicide rate. What the Filipinos can learn from the Japanese in this department is not the inflexibility of the group-think, but the success of Japan in public policies to correct societal’s ills. Group interests certainly are above personalities here and many Japanese politicians are dour and serious, no personality at all, with the exception of Koizumi, because they realize how tenuous their hold to power is, it is the group that decides the leader’s fortune in the long run.

      In the past election, the Philippines once more failed to take advantage of putting political platforms over personalities. While in Japan, there are political dynasties just like in our country, the party will never elect an incompetent prime minister just because he is from a prominent political family. They will always look on his track record, thus many of them, though not all have had positions in the bureaucracy and are adept at policy-making. Kan, the recently appointed one was the head of Ministry of Welfare, Koizumi was head of the Ministry of Posts, Hatoyama himself has a Ph.D. from Stanford University, and led his party to victory in last year’s election. The party here does not just defer to politicians because of their family background, they put premium on leadership and know-how of the politician before electing him to office. And at the slightest sign of incompetence, the prime minister will get censured by the party leaders right away. Emo politics is not the order of the day in this country. If anything, this country has no emo at all in public life.

      • ilda says:

        While in Japan, there are political dynasties just like in our country, the party will never elect an incompetent prime minister just because he is from a prominent political family. They will always look on his track record, thus many of them, though not all have had positions in the bureaucracy and are adept at policy-making.

        Again, the reason why majority of the voters did not bother with Noynoy’s track record is because most of us just wanted to cater to our need for instant gratification. Noynoy’s image gave the people that warm, fuzzy feeling and that was enough for them. The media portrayed him as some kind of knight who can kill the “evil” spirit once appointed. We are basically still stuck in the dark ages where witches still roam around and witch hunt is the only way to go.

  5. ulong pare says:

    … daaaang

    … flips have nothing to say… there’s ‘sang tambaks na milyones dolyares grants/loans at stake here if flip admin magnanakaws/traposakals open their ‘toopid mouths… 😀

    • BongV says:

      dang… pasilip naman ng milyones dolyares grants/loans at stake dyan 😉
      basta walang deployment sa lugar na may nagsusuot ng burka 😆

  6. Paolo says:

    The thing with Hatoyama was that he was the first non-LDP prime minister in 20 or so years! (In Japan, the LDP or Liberal Democratic Party has had an iron grip over most legislative and executive branches in Japan since the end of WWII) Yet he promised the moon and the stars. An old man who was my english student described him as an idiot or foolish. I say that he was, in promising too much like Christ come to cleanse the temple, or making the temple fall and rise again. That kind of drastic change is quite a bitter pill for the Japanese to swallow, and the pressure to follow through, especially the Okinawa base situation made it even more unbearable for him. He should know better that genuine change will happen later than he thinks. So I think that was too abrupt.

    The Philippines on the other hand… Despite the change of political parties, the same people remain!

    I think Utak ng Tilapia has a cartoon about shame, and I think its posted here.

    • ilda says:

      Hi Paolo

      He is no different then from Noynoy who keeps saying “Walang mahirap kung walang corrupt.” So, on the 30th of June wala ng mahirap or else he needs to step down from the presidency. 🙂

      • Josh says:

        @ Ilda

        Sorry Ilda, but please don’t equate Hatoyama with Ignoy. Yeah, Hatoyama may have made promises he couldn’t keep, but at least he had the balls to accept accountability for his failures. Let’s see Ignoy do that. 😀

        Heck, come to think of it, after 12 years in the legislature with nothing to show for it, he should’ve already committed ritual suicide if he had any shred of honor left in him. 😀

      • ilda says:

        We do not have the shame culture unfortunately. In fact, Noynoy’s mediocre performance has been equated to him being a man of integrity. Pinoy culture nga naman! 🙂

      • ilda says:


        Haha..yeah, I just meant to equate Hayatoma’s unrealistic promises with Noy’s “walang mahirap kung walang corrupt” not his overall performance. Noynoy is definitely not Hayatoma. 🙂

      • Miriam Quiamco says:

        Hatoyama and Noynoy are similar only in the sense that both come from economically well-off families, the same economic class that has produced Gibo, but the similarity ends here. Noynoy is a total picture of zero accomplishments both in public life and in personal life. Hatoyama and Gibo both have accomplishments in their educational attainment and in their respective political careers, both have shown leadership skills, and Noy is a nobody without his family name, why did Filipinos, including the so called intelligentsia vote for him again?

  7. gossipgirl says:



    Here Lies Love Lyrics

    When I was a young girl in Leyte
    My dresses were all hand-me-downs and scrubs
    I’d see the people smile, and I would sing for them
    How happy they all seemed when I would dance

    We lived a stone’s throw from the palace
    A simple country girl who had a dream
    Ladies passing by of better class than I
    How much it meant to me
    To be like these

    Is it a sin to love too much?
    Is it a sin to care?
    I’d do it all for you
    How can it be unfair?
    I know that when my number’s up
    When I am called by God above
    Don’t have my name inscribed into the stone
    Just say, “Here lies love!” “Here lies love!” Here lies love!”
    Just say, “Here lies love!” “Here lies love!” Here lies love!”

    The most important things are love and beauty
    It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor
    To prosper and to fly
    A basic human right
    The feeling in your heart that you’re secure

    Is it a sin to love too much?
    Is it a sin to care?
    I’d do it all for you
    How can it be unfair?
    I know that when my number’s up
    When I am called by God above
    Don’t have my name inscribed into the stone
    Just say, “Here lies love!” “Here lies love!” Here lies love!”
    Just say, “Here lies love!” “Here lies love!” Here lies love!”
    I know that when my number’s up
    When I am called by God above
    Don’t have my name inscribed into the stone
    Just say, “Here lies love!” “Here lies love!” Here lies love!”
    Just say, “Here lies love!” “Here lies love!” Here lies love!”

  8. aboy says:

    a very simple example of how we are in-terms of “shame” compared to japan.

    Loren, a senator, candidate for VP…

    “Ay pila ba to, ay sorry ha? Gusto nyo akong pumila, balik ako sa pila? Sobrang bagal ba?” replied Legarda.

    Despite the appeal of those who were in line, Legarda still proceeded to vote ahead of them.

    Shame at it’s finest!

    simpleng simple… dto pa lang sa pag pila eh d na tayo nahihiya sumingit paano pa kaya sa ibang bagay… our country and culture is rotten… sorry to say…

  9. JOn says:

    thanks ilda. those are powerful words of wisdom. for all its worth, i give credit for the filipino people and to erap by stepping down for being ineffective as a leader. he had his chances. now, the people should held noynoy accountable for every campaign promises that he made to the people.

    • ilda says:

      My pleasure

      I enjoyed writing it because I realised a lot of things while I was in the process. I also learn new things from the intelligent commentators here. 🙂

  10. Alfred says:

    Having lived in Japan for more than a decade – I wouldnt see this as “shame.” Oh, I would have – the initial years Ive been in this country…

    Id see this as a typical Japanese trait of “irresponsibility.” A way to escape from the weight of what needs to be done – if the Filipinos have the “bahala na,” the Japanese would have the “shouganai” (wala tayo magagawa – ganyan talaga).

    This is nothing but another PM na tumatakas from responsibility – “get the job done!” most would say…

    • ilda says:

      Hi Alfred

      You’ve got a point there. Anything in extreme is not good. Moderation is key. But the results speak for itself though. Japan’s institutions seves its purpose. No matter how many times they change their PM, the country does not suffer and the citizens can still live their normal lives. It might be seen as giving up, but at least they are man enough to admit it so the next guy can have a go at it. Unlike Filipino politicians who want to remain in power even after so many years of failure.

    • J.B. says:

      I heard it straight from Japanese speakers themselves that it is due to “honour” more than anything else. It has nothing to do with shying away from responsibility.

      Not even an old Japanese woman would accept your offer of a seat inside a train because to herself it’s degrading.

    • J.B. says:

      Btw, its hard to portray a culture who’s wiling to do harakiri or kamikasi suddenly transformed into people too unwilling to face responsibilities.

    • Josh says:

      @ Alfred

      Dude, しょうがない is completely different from the Filipino concept of “bahala na.”

      True, both “bahala na” and 「しょうがない」 are expressions of resignation, a.k.a. “nothing much we can do about it”, But that’s where the similarity ends.

      The Japanese usually follow up with affirmative action, e.g 「しょうがない、辞職しよう」 (nothing I can do about it, I’ll resign) whereas in the Philippines, we go “bahala na, I’ll show up at work tomorrow and pretend nothing happened.” 😀

  11. Mad Man says:

    Blame blame

    If it’s not GMA or America — it’s religion.

    Blame whine blame whine

    When we should blame those without shame….

    • ChinoF says:

      I see your point… people here tend to be unashamed when their own interpretation of religion is exposed as faulty, eh?

      • Mad Man says:

        Right right! :smile:They should not blame religion, only their interpretation of it….

      • ChinoF says:

        One thing I see though is that some religious authorities tend to be biased over some issues. The people really need to be taught to use their own judgment on religion and learn to disagree and resist. I’m still Christian, but I prefer a secularist society and government, and religious entities should know their place.

      • J.B. says:

        I don’t see it as an interpretation problem. It’s more of like the social dimension or implication of a religious belief.

      • Mad Man says:

        Right again, ChinoF. 🙂

        It also boils down to lack of intelligence. With intelligence, we can determine HOW and WHEN religion can work for us. With intelligence, we can read the Bible ourselves and hopefully have a correct interpretation of it, instead of listening to brainwashing preachers. With intelligence, we can know between right and wrong.

        Once again, it’s very characteristic of Pinoys to find something to blame, here it seems religion is the new scapegoat. Of course, at the HEART of all the things that’s plaguing our country — is the Filipino mentality.

      • Aegis-Judex says:

        Amen, Chino. After all, Jesus Himself DID instruct us to “rend to Caesar what is Caesar’s and rend to God what is God’s.” You can say He ENCOURAGED the separation of Church and State. If only our CBCP would do that ALL the time…

  12. ChinoF says:

    If you ask me, Filipinos tend to have shame for the wrong things. They won’t be ashamed when they’re caught stealing, when they’re known to philander, when they’re drunk, when they’re naked waist up on the street, when their mistakes are pointed out (they get mad instead of accepting it) or when they’re even exposed as a corrupt official. They’re ashamed when they don’t have the latest Giordano or Nokia phone, when they have no car while a colleague has one, when they have no women for competing with a philandering acquaintance, when they lose a , and other wrong things. Hence, I write what I write in this blog.

    Notice when some small-time crooks are caught on local TV, they hide their faces. They’re at least ashamed, but I wonder… are they ashamed of being of being a crook, or ashamed of being on TV? 😛

  13. concerned_citizen says:

    Is NA ashamed that he doesn’t even know the real problems of this country? He even said

    he’ll make an inventory of the problems of this country.. Where has he been all these years? Wasn’t

    he a 3-term congressman and a senator.. For God’s sake, our lawmakers are getting more dumber through

    the years.. NA doesn’t believe in shame to the point that he sensationalized his mother’s death as

    a stepping stone to the presidency.. Cory would be crying in her grave right now..

    On the thought of kapalmuks.. Is there really a thin line between shamelessness and overconfidence?

    • ilda says:


      On the thought of kapalmuks.. Is there really a thin line between shamelessness and overconfidence?

      My feeling is, Pinoys are motivated by the constant need for the validation they can get from other people. Behind the overconfident Noypi is an insecure person who gets his kick out of flashing his material possessions and boasting about his acquisition. He likes it when people notice what he has because it makes him feel “made.” Shame does not come into the picture.

  14. fullofhatred says:

    He is an incompetent fool (sorry, can’t help it). shame on those who voted him. Buti pa yung mga talunan, campiagn period pa lang, may plano na. lol at yellow zombies:evil::evil:

  15. brianitus says:

    Hi, Ilda.

    So, basically, the Pinoy has a weak super-ego.

    I don’t get it. A deeply religious country like the Philippines has gone down in terms of moral standards? Whatever happened to the Pinoy conscience?

    Anyway, here’s my take:

    At this point I’m more inclined to believe that the perceived strength of the Catholic Church is all bullsh*t. I read one comment above that even cited the “chick factor” as motivation for going to church. Washing off of the sins as motivation for going to church is abused like a bloody reset button — puwede umulit. The seeming hollowness of the Catholic Church spurred the rise of the different Christian sects and other pseudo-religious cults.

    In a way, I think that the marriage of liberal Western culture with a strongly repressed and insecure Catholic society led this country to the predicament that it is in. How far can one go to push the envelope without getting reprimanded by the rest or all of RP society? From pasimple to just brazen displays of crookedness.

    In short, why the lack of conscience in Pinoys? I’d put it in the words of the old folk, the Pinoys of today are “nakakawala sa howla” or “nakakawala sa corral.” In the same terms, the corrupt politicians are “nakakawala sa kusina.” Don’t bother me with conscience, I’m enjoying eh.


    ps On a strange note, I can imagine the Philippines suddenly getting a burst of shame. Add that to our love of sensationalist TV news…. Tada! We’ll have publicly televised Government Official Suicides. We can even have text-in poll to decide on how they’ll kill themselves.

    Cheers ulit.

    • Mad Man says:

      Let’s look at statistics then. You said:

      1. Philippine moral standards are declining.

      2. Adherents to Catholicism are declining.

      You also hypothesized that moral standards are declining PARTLY because of Catholicism.

      So, shouldn’t be moral standards be going UP right now SINCE Catholicism is going DOWN? Shouldn’t these two be inverse with one another instead of being equal to each other, just as you said?

      The way I see it, the only way to figure this out is to compare the behavior of an American Catholic and the behavior of a Filipino Catholic. Both have the same religion, since a Pinoy Catholic has the tendency to vote for an Erap, does that mean an American Catholic has the tendency too to vote for an Erap-like candidate?

      • brianitus says:

        Hi, Mad Man.

        Thanks for your points. Well-taken. I guess my points were magulo.

        I think it’s more like this. I took the examples I mentioned above to rationalize that the indoctrination of Catholicism hasn’t been all that strong. Declining moral standards could be taken as a reflection of the rebellious stance against the long-practiced strictness taken by some Catholic-raised people. That’s why I also said that Pinoys are behaving as if “nakakawala sa corral” or they’ve just escaped from a cage. Kinda like ex-cons suddenly seeing girls. To hell with hiya.

        I hope I made better sense.


    • ilda says:

      Brianitus, blame it on our inability to copy the right formula. Christianity was just shoved down our throats in the first place. We basically followed the ritual and fail to interpret why we have to do it. And you’re right, because the meaning of it was/is lost in the average Pinoy, it “spurred the rise of the different Christian sects.”

      You might just witness Noynoy to be the first public official to claim the honour of resigning out of shame. 🙂

      • brianitus says:

        Exactly my point. The whole point of the doctrine got lost na eh. I just don’t get it. For a religious country, declining morals. Does that mean that if religion was totally absent, the Filipino will be naturally “evil”?

        Let’s see if Noynoy lives up to your expectations. 😆

  16. jonphil says:

    “In short, a lot of Filipinos hide behind their religion as they continue their fraudulent activities.”

    I remember in the 90’s when I used to transact with Bu. of Customs. Every fri morning, office functions were put on hold because employes – and their clients – held a mass in front of the office ‘altar.’

    Right after the solemn rites, employes would INSTANTLY swing back their drawers to open position (by 12nn, bills are overflowing). After all the intent closed-eyes-prayers, they all go back to their ‘normal’ activities. I wonder what the status quo is nowadays?

    • ilda says:

      Hi jonphil,

      That’s so dreadful and unacceptable. It proves what I said in my article that Pinoys think that just because they pray, it means that their sins are forgiven and they can carry on doing it again. I am pretty sure the practice is still like that today. You can’t rely on Pinoys to change on their own. The real question is, how can Noynoy convince these people to change their bad habits?

    • J.B. says:

      It’s rooted on the belief of substitutional value of a superficial religious act.

      5 days of kickbacks IS absolved by attending 2 masses (Friday+Sunday)

      Stealing from government funds is absolved BY 10 Hail Marys

    • ChinoF says:

      Here’s another thing I hear… some people actually believe that when God forgives your sins, you’re clean so you can go sin again! Then when you sin, pray again, you’re clean, then sin again, then pray again… God was turned into a friggin’ laundromat! Must be the principle behind this mass in Customs. Frickin’ abuse it is.

      Otherwise, it’s either a tradition, or some religious nut thinks making religion as part of the rules will help. Note how some government offices also tend to have Sto. Ninos and Marys on display. No wonder Yano composed Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo.

  17. bokyo says:

    Why don’t we scrap the Constitution altogether and bring back Kodigo ni Kalantiaw? 😀

    • ilda says:

      Hmmm…I don’t think I’m familiar with that… 🙂

      • ChinoF says:

        Here’s an explanation of the according to Wikipedia:

        “The Code of Kalantiaw was a mythical legal code in the epic story Maragtas. It is said to have been written in 1433 by Datu Kalantiaw, a chief on the island of Negros in the Philippines. It was actually written in 1913 by Jose E. Marco as a part of his historical fiction Las antiguas leyendas de la Isla de Negros (Spanish, “The Ancient Legends of the Island of Negros”), which he attributed to a priest named José María Pavón.”

        It’s a pretty harsh code which is why Bokyo suggested it.

      • ChinoF says:

        Hmmm, code cuts… should be “explanation of the Code of Kalantiaw according to…”

    • datu maragtas says:

      that will lower our population

    • GabbyD says:

      the code is fake

  18. ChinoF says:

    You know, when talk of Japan comes up, I’m surprised at how Pinoys always talk about suicide, when Japanese don’t necessarily commit suicide except if the shame is something that you’d rather die on than live carrying. The prime minister here merely resigned. And if Japanese made a mistake, if it’s proven they’re in the wrong, I think most of them just admit it and apologize. They’ re still alive to make things right.

    Only if it’s a really shameful scandal, like if a woman has proven that you raped her (or even convinced people many people to believe it even if it is not true), and you bear that stigma all your life, might a Japanese person want to commit suicide. Ika nga, living with shame would be more painful than being dead. In a way, that may be an escape from the pain, but the Japanese at least show that they value their integrity. Pinoys don’t care if they don’t have integrity. Kapalmuks nga ang tawag.

    Japan may have a high rate of suicide relative to other countries, but other people like to make it a social problem in Japan. But I don’t think it is that serious. Talk of suicide as a problem in Japan has been overrated. Filipinos might use this to condemn Japanese culture as abnormal when compared to Filipino culture. Yet I agree that Japanese is a lot more respectable than that of Filipinos who love to flaunt their shame (like Erap’s many women).

    • Miriam Quiamco says:

      Interesting perspective you have about Japanese suicides. Culturally, suicide in Japan is something that has not been frowned upon, it demonstrates purity of spirit and lots of Samurai-based writings always have suicide as important components. As a way out of a dishonorable situation or for failure to fulfill one’s duties to one’s lord, suicide was an honorable act. Many Japanese famous writers have committed suicide, Mishima, Kawabata, etc., etc., Perhaps, traditionally, suicide has always been part of Japanese life. The recent wave of suicides however has become a serious problem in this country. It has even become part of politicians’ platform of governance to attempt to reduce the rising tide of suicides, how to reduce the over thirty thousand suicides a year is now openly talked about. Many do commit suicide out of economic desperation, shame is probably part of it, remotely, like the shame of failure, of failing to fulfill financial obligations to one’s family or to society.

      On more prominent suicides, a few ministers of state have committed suicide in recent years due to embarrassment and damage their scandals brought to the party they belong to. In this case, it is failure to fulfill obligations to the group, that they caused enormous suffering to people they have long associations with, there is therefore that element of group think in their decisions to end their lives. Thousands have indicated it is the economic downturn that has caused miseries and has increased the number of suicides. Truth to tell, this is a very touchy issue in Japan these days. There is nothing to glorify about modern suicides which involve Japanese of all ages and walks of life. The elite members back in the past might commit suicide with honor and dignity, but the present version is viewed in a different way. There are now helplines which have been funded by the government to reduce suicide rates.

      Suicides because of shame are aplenty too. Take for example an 80-year old poultry farmer who killed himself after a scandal broke out that he supplied meat to supermarkets from his farms hit by bird flu. Instead of facing govt. investigations, he hanged himself. Another would be a president of a bank that was hit by many bad loans and was up for government rescue, he also hanged himself in his own private residence, imagine the insensitivity to his family. A finance minister and an agricultural minister were only two recent suicides, perhaps, in all these cases, shame was a component, but also perhaps, the intolerance of the group for failure in leadership.

      More tomorrow, I don’t want to go to bed with images of suicide in my head.

    • GabbyD says:

      “Talk of suicide as a problem in Japan has been overrated.”

      not according to the japanese govt.

  19. tagoy says:

    what’s lacking in our country is also our education. look at “kome hapyo” in japan’s history.
    look at our current media and tv programs, how many educational programs are there?
    noon shows are full of sayawan at lahat ng ka-ekekan. the media has the responsibility
    of taking in a certain level of education into its program. just my 2 cents

    • J.B. says:

      The media actually did their part in educating the people albeit on the other end.

      The singing and dancing are to help inculcate the people to become entertainers overseas.

    • ilda says:


      Some of the people who watch stupid shows on TV might not have a higher level of education but the people who own and operate the TV networks do. So, the latter intentionally produced mind-numbing shows because in the Philippines, the patrons of those kinds of shows are greater than those who patronize intellectual shows. Meaning, the owners will earn more if they continue showing telenovelas and wowowee. And the owners care more about their bottom line than uplifting the mentality of the Filipino people.

      It still boils down to lack of shame or guilt.

      • J.B. says:

        It was actually a brazen display of insensitivity to people’s long term needs.

        Maybe because they have charity work like “Sagip” or something they think they paid their dues already to the people regardless of the garbage their spewing from their respective programs.

      • ilda says:

        Ahhh…yes J.B. that’s another thing that creeps me out about the elite Pinoys. They think that just because they give to charity, they’ve already done their share of helping the society.

        They don’t seem to get that what they are doing is just a temporary solution. Of course giving to the poor is well and good but both parties must also work towards seeing everyone in the community being self-sufficient eventually. Some of them just want to post their photos of giving relief goods on FB especially during the Ondoy disaster.

    • palebluedot says:

      it’s not just noon time shows. education = entertainment already in this damned country.

      whenever i give critical thinking lectures where i do not do somersault in front of my students, where i do not sing and dance, where i do not touch my pubis just to visually point out to these sexually deprived idiots where to apply metrogel, i get post-lecture evaluations like “she’s so boring!”, “she is so techie, we do not like her to teach us again”, “she is not a good teacher. masyadong pang-intellectual ang sinasabi nya, di namin carry”, “so seryoso, wala man lang patawa kahit few seconds.” then i get comments from my monggo-brained supervisor: “integrate dancing and singing in your lectures. backflip if you must. breakdance if u can. don’t make your critical thinking similar to your specialty – mathematics & logic – boring! most of these students came from public high schools, they will retain information more if you entertain them. if i get same evaluations about you next time, you’re out! wowowee!!!”

      now i am having problems how i will explain to these morons next week how morphine acts on the opioid receptors through singing “di ko kayang tanggapin”. s**t!!! 😡

      • ilda says:

        Hi palebluedot

        Your situation is indeed frustrating. You have to be an entertainer and a teacher at the same time. Gone are the days when you can whack them with a stick and still feel respected.

        I know of an accounting teacher in one of the schools in Quezon City and he said that he can’t even bring himself to give any of his students a failing mark even if they haven’t fully grasped the entire subject because he feels sorry for them. Can you imagine the number of people who have a degree in the Philippines but aren’t really that knowledgeable on their chosen profession? It must be staggering. No wonder the country is full of jack-of-all-trades and master of none.


  20. Wilberg says:

    Filipinos don’t need to develop a sense of shame or guilt but a sense of both shame and guilt. Also, it is not because we need to imitate nor be inspired by the Japanese and Western cultures but because as Christians, we are being called to be transformed into the fullest meaning of our humanity. The word “being” gives emphasis to the reality that even the most holy man is a sinner that needs a constant calling. That is the job of the conscience — not all consciences but those that are in good shape. And speaking of properly shaped consciences, it is a commonsensical truth that we cannot teach ourselves what is right and good. A child for example, does not have an ability to recognize by himself the evil of lying and stealing. Only another someone could make him learn and realize that this should not be done. Other so-called Bible folks might say, “The Bible will teach him,” but I would say again, “Only another someone could make him learn and realize that this should not be done.”

    The Church is the moral teacher of this world, especially of the Christians. Her having unholy or even wicked members does not change her duty, nor would it be taken from her by God. The only reason why the world still exists is because the Church still exists. Without her guidance, the world will be drowning in a quicksand of immorality, and that will be its end. Some clergies may be evil, some laity may be evil — we’re in the evil world, anyway — but that does not mean that the Church is not holy and that she is not also composed of a holy people. There is always a Judas in this world, whether inside or outside the Church, but there are also always twelve good apostles and thousands of faithful disciples in every place.

    The Church does not promote or cause someone to be self-righteous; she does not even condone it. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” Whether a wicked person is in a business field, in politics, in entertainment, in a religious congregation, or in public service, he will do his wicked works, not considering what group he belongs in, but making use of it. To conclude that this person or group of persons will make a particular institution or field evil in itself is very naive. It is not the offering that makes the altar unworthy, rather it is the altar that makes the offering worthy. It is the gold that covers a copper, not the other way around. There will always be sinful members of the Church but it will always be the Church who would lead them to holiness.

    The Sacrament of Confession is not for people who want to unload their guilt for a brand new wicked start, but for people who understand what a true contrition is and what it really means to be forgiven. The Sacrament does not promote hypocrisy, although their malicious use of it will further harden their hearts.

    For those who do not enjoy “going to Mass”, let me give you a clue: the Eucharist is not for entertainment, it is for nourishment. You don’t give up eating just because you don’t like the folks who are with you at the table. As the late Father Jose Luis Arieta of Lourdes Parish always reminds us, “It is not the waiter that really matters but the food.” The server may be ugly, dirty, stinky, and unacceptable; as long as the food is clean, nutritious, satisfying, and has its own merits regardless of the server’s defects, it will always be wrong to deprive oneself of it.

    Again, whatever good is in this world, it is Christianity.

    • HalleluyahHymen says:

      Wilberg… you are coming from a dogmatic/theological perspective. The shame and guilt that we are discussing here comes from a sociological, ethical and philosophical context. We can go on arguing on what is the best organized religion with the best dogmatic explanation of deities, realities and human lives whole year round… but nothing will be palatable on the things that we will write.

      To prove my point… Lemme go through a first person “I” argument. My seminary days have provided me some some insights on the moralist and dogmatic perspectives of the Christ and the Christian Catholic world of where you’re coming from… so “caveat emptor” on your end… I choose to become a realist… not a moralist. Further studies have given me other perspective to best explain the behavior of men… such as the sociological theories of structural functionalism and symbolic interactionism. IMHO, the difference between dogmas of the church and the classical theories is like the difference between Napoleon and Nelson where one rules the terrain and the later one rules the seas… the tiger and the shark’s endless argument.

      Other organized religions have those concepts of shame and guilt… the Catholics/Christians do not have the monopoly of it. It’s been rammed through their spirituality by men at the top of the hierarchy who will always relate to dogmas on why they should be shameful or guilty of their actions. Its opposite concept is a utopian reward system… you’d go to heaven if you do this… or you do that.

    • ilda says:

      Hi Wilberg

      I’ll just summarise what you said:

      “Don’t let Christians turn you off to Christianity”


  21. J says:

    While the gist of your post talks about the culture of shame versus the concept of guilt, let me point out that it wasn’t really shame that made the Japanese PM resign, although of course it was part of it. He resigned because he did not want his diving trust rating to drag his party down in the coming July elections.

    Hatoyama was but the latest casualty in the battle between reformers and the Establishment in Japan. That he, an experienced politician, had to bow before the elite; I think it makes sense to say that Noynoy will never be able to outsmart the Philippine Establishment.

    • ilda says:

      Hi J

      Miriam Q who currently lives in Japan explained the situation in detail here To quote:

      Japanese prime ministers at times don’t have a choice but to step down if their popularity ratings are so low, like the last four prime ministers as their parties will pressure them to do so. To go against the wishes of the party means you are on your own and cannot do much anyway in pushing your government’s agenda, why else stay as an impotent leader and risk bringing your party down with you.

      What she said actually contradicts what commenter alfred was saying when he said:

      Id see this as a typical Japanese trait of “irresponsibility.” A way to escape from the weight of what needs to be done – if the Filipinos have the “bahala na,” the Japanese would have the “shouganai” (wala tayo magagawa – ganyan talaga).
      This is nothing but another PM na tumatakas from responsibility – “get the job done!” most would say…

      We can come up with all kinds of interpretation on why the PM resigned but at the end of the day, he resigned because he either A) felt responsible for bringing the ratings of the party down or B) felt ashamed for not fulfilling his promise. Both of the reasons say a lot about the PM’s sense of duty to his party and the people of Japan, which our politicians should emulate.


      Love your blog BTW 🙂

  22. Shaddap says:

    The real problem of the Pinoy is this:

    1. The Pinoy is thick-skinned and SHAMELESS when doing all those stupid wrong things that other societies would be embarrassed to do.

    2. The Pinoy is thin-skinned and HYPERSENSITIVE when, after others see number 1, they say “Hey, that’s wrong!” and criticize the Filipino for doing something that is shameful.

    In other words, the Filipino is usually KAPAL-MUKHA and then metamorphoses into BALAT-SIBUYAS at the flick of switch.

    I think that’s actually PSYCHOTIC.

    SIRA-ULO is the turm.

    • ilda says:

      As usual Shaddap, your analogy is spot on! It is very convenient for Da Pinoy to turn a blind eye on matters that are critical to maintaining a peaceful and progressive society and then be all alert for Adam Carola type criticisms that will cramp their lifestyle. Our priorities are misguided indeed.

  23. mel says:

    Let me share with you my experience with some Filipinos who attended the World Youth Day in August, 2005, in Cologne, Germany.
    The event lasted for a week and the Filipinos were thrice (3x!) reprimanded by the organizers through the microphone not to "plunder" the food (mostly packed in small portions) as other participants were still lined up and have not yet eaten their meals. 
    To my dismay, instead of showing shame, some only giggled and continued to "collect souvenirs".
    When some of us cannot even resist "plundering" small things, how much more when we see goldbarrels?

  24. GabbyD says:

    sure thing:
    90 suicides a day spur Japan into action

  25. ChinoF says:

    Ah thanks for that article, GabbyD. Informative. Shows that Japanese are trying to rethink suicide and show that it is actually the symptom of other problems, rather than the problem. Also, they're trying to portray it in the way I stated above – as an "easy way out" other than something honorable. The white paper might be interesting to read. Could be an interesting model of a cultural change project that Filipinos could emulate.

  26. J says:

    Hi Ida,

    First of all, let me say that I agree that PM’s sense of duty to his party and the people of Japan, which Pinoy politicians should emulate.

    Miriam's comments reflect a very informed opinion and the depth of her understanding of Japan. I agree that compared to the Philippines, Japan puts emphasis on leaders' capabilities and accomplishments.

    This does not mean, however, that political parties in Japan are not susceptibe to electing people based on pedigree or popularity instead of accomplishment. A glaring example of this would be the election of the son of Junichiro Koizumi in Kanagawa, a 27-year-old without any experience behind him, over that of a grass-roots community organizer who did not come from a political dynasty. Also, the selection of Taro Aso by the LDP as president was the result not of his capabilities but rather because of his immense popularity as a manga enthusiast. In the same way, DPJ kingpin Ichiro Ozawa recruited athletes, reporters and models in the last election, all of whom defeated incumbent LDP politicians who have with them on average 40 years of experience.

    Also, while I agree that shame and sense of accountability to the people is to some extent values, again in contrast to the ways of politicians in the Philippines, I disagree that these values are held very highly by many politicians in Japan. An indication of this was the refusal of succesive prime minister from 2007 to 2009 to call for elections, despite the fact that there already was clamor for them to do so, because they knew their party would lose the polls inevitably.

    Japan, like the Philippines, is hardly democratic. It is ruled by a ruling establishment composed of hereditary politicians, powerful bureaucrats and industrialists. The system benefits the politicians through pork barrel politics, the industrialists through protectionism and the bureaucrats through guarantees of post-retirement employment in companies of the industrialists. In this system, the cabinet and the parliament are mere rubberstamp to the all-powerful bureaucracy, which considers its prominent position in governance a sacred one that can be traced to the kokutai ideology. The system worked before and made Japan an economic giant, of course, but many believe its no longer responsive to the present needs of Japan, now on its 2nd consecutive lost decade.

    Hatoyama and the DPJ has promised to end all these by introducing genuine democracy. The establishment has reacted, and the Okinawa base row is but a battle in the on-going war for Japan's political soul. Hatoyama and Ozawa are but casualties of that battle.
    PS thanks a lot for visiting my blog 😀

    • ilda says:

      @J and Miriam

      According to the grape vine, Hatoyama resigned because he broke a promise to move a U.S. Marine base off the island of Okinawa. Whether it was out of shame or due to mounting pressure from his party members, it would be difficult to distinguish the two. It has been said that Japan always fails to come to grips with its past especially with their crimes during World War II. They have right-wingers who are resistant to reform domestic and economic issues but are in favour of Japan breaking free from its pacifist constitution. And the domestic liberals are suspicious of anything that smells of Japan’s militaristic past.

      The government has always been criticized for its slowness in getting the reforms into motion whether it is their economic or foreign policies. From what I understand, Japanese bureaucracy provides an institutionalized leadership. It is neither individualistic nor charismatic like that of the US (JFK) or Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew) but it is leadership nonetheless. To be part of the bureaucracy means you belong to the elite of the elite. Their intellectual ability ranges across policies because most of them come from the law faculty of Tokyo University or Waseda University or any of the elite institutions in Japan. They devote their time to the science of governing Japan. This might be the reason why you think it’s not a democracy.

      I think the addition of popular personalities in Japanese government like that guy you mentioned Taro Aso, has as much to do with the expression of impatience that reform is slow to come and of skepticism from the existing crop of politicians who could not carry reform. But as Miriam said, the same types would not be promoted into a higher-ranking position without proven track record at policy making. We all know that the celebrities there are still better educated compared to Filipino celebrities. So even if reform is slow, it is most likely to proceed eventually.

      • miriam quiamco says:

        Wow Iida, you are quite a quick student of Japanese Politics. Many of the points you brought up are true. The relocation of the base off Okinawa was part of the DPJ electoral promise, but it was a miscalculation on the part of DPJ because it would have meant revoking the agreement entered into by the previous administration with a powerful foreign government. The U.S. gave the Hatoyama government a lot of leeway in trying to negotiate another option for the relocation but all of Hatyoyama’s suggestions failed and with more promises of deadlines that ended up being broken, the U.S. got impatient and started flexing its influence within the bureaucracy. Hatoyama was put on the spot, without the more knowledgeable policy wonks in the bureaucracy giving advice to the DPJ, the party seems at a loss. The LDP had a more effective working relationship with the bureaucrats and in fact had formed reliable policy circles within the party to study policy options.

        The DPJ is largely untested and with their goal of wresting power away from the bureaucracy, they proved to be too undecisive. Luckily, with the change in leadership, the popularity rating of the party shot up to the 70s according to the recent opinion polls. You see, this is quite different from our country where, everyone associated with a party is condemned even if the leadership is changed, we have a very hateful view of politicians and the party they belong to. Gibo for instance was castigated for his association with GMA, even though he is quite a capable and an issue-oriented leader. All N/A had to do was criticize Gloria and immediately, he was the people’s candidate.

        What is wrong with this catholic country that is full of blind hatred towards their government? The answer of course is the emotional media, that is only good at drumming up hatred without real leadership in debating policies. Poor Philippines, when will we ever be a functioning democracy, and not a medieval catholic country. You see our leaders have to pretend to be religious, the chosen one had to go to a convent for retreat before making the decision to run, GMA and her family had to be seen receiving communion, many include God and prayers in their policy pronouncements. These are true hallmarks of a medieval country.

  27. miriam quiamco says:

    Hi J, we have to congratulate Iida here for writing such a thought-provoking article.  As a long time resident of Japan and as one who has been teaching Japanese Politics at a university here, I have had to grapple with contradictions of things I have read with things I have seen and heard of political life here.  Many foreign friends share your assessment that Japan is not a democracy but the rule of the elite, just like our country, and that the outward democratic trappings like elections and existence of parliament are  superficial, promoting only the interests of the triumvirate: bureaucracy, business and LDP politicians.  However, the more I know of how the system works though, the more I am convinced that it is a working democracy, despite its differing nature from democracy as we know it in advanced democracies in the West.  It is what many scholars call group-based democracy with pluralist interests represented at various stages of policy-making.  For how could DPJ oust the well-entrenched LDP in the election last year, if their reformist policies of breaking up the hold to power of the triumvirate did not resonate with the voters.  It means that various groups did get the message of reform, and as my students pointed out, it was media-led.
    How policies are conceptualized in Japan is a long-process of building consensus among many groups.  The idea comes from the bottom rung of the bureaucracy and is pushed at various levels within each government ministry until it gets a hearing at the very top for consideration as a bill to be submitted to parliament.  Along the process, various advisory councils composed of knowledgeable people, professors, labor leaders, farmer representatives, etc. get to give an input on the policy content.  The law stipulates that each ministry should have advisory councils to help bureaucrats draft the bill.  There is a hint of undemocratic practice here since the bureaucrats are non-elected officials, drafting the bill, but here, you can see the government's deference to the those who are skillful at drafting policies that should benefit the country.  It worked for Japan during the 35 years of  LDP dominance, but after the economic bubble had burst in the 90s, you are right, this way of policy-making has become quite burdensome, the process is somewhat undemocratic, but also very slow at responding at fast-changing world-situations.  The Japanese do recognize this and are supporting the DPJ's reformist policies.  Here, you can see the difference with our people, the Japanese do not make their political decisions based on emotions and personalities, but based on the reality of the need for clear reforms.  The public debate is on reforms, the substance of policies of each political party and never, never the ethos of family affiliations, you know what I mean. . .
    I will have to take you up on the penetration of celebrities in elite political circles, like Koizumi's son being groomed now to run for the Upper House (upper house is not as powerful as the lower house).  It is true that Ozawa and other elite members of ruling political parties recognize the winnability of celebrities in elections, but even though these celebrities win, they will never be chosen in important positions within the party without having a proven track record at policy making.  Many senior LDP or DPJ politicians for that matter have held responsible positions within a government agency, and the more challenging their positions had been, the more they would be given meaty positions within the party, the celebrities will be treated like underlings and too inexperienced in governance to be entrusted with anything important.  And certainly, unless Koizumi's son proves himself capable in leadership and in making policies, he will never be pushed up to a top rank within the party.  Taro Aso made it to the prime ministership because of his experience as a minister of Foreign Affairs, considered to be one of the elite government agencies and was party leader for some time.  To be prime minister, you need to prove some track record in policy-making and in leadership, a Noynoy will not make the cut because he is a nondescript politician without proven track record in policy-making.  Just being a member of an elite family here is not enough to get to the top political rank because the elites themselves are aware of the importance of having competent leadership.  The Japanese are not looking at particular families to help them get out of the rut, real policy-issues are discussed, like the need to strengthen their parliamentary system, similar to the British style, whereby, a prime minister cannot easily be thrown out of power. They are now recognizing the importance of continuance of policies, that's why.
    Sorry for this long-winded explanation.

  28. miriam quiamco says:

    And let me add, there is wisdom in getting low-ranking bureaucrats to think of ideas to be drafted as a bill, more than anyone in government, it is the low-ranking civil servants who have direct contact with ordinary Japanese people on a day-to-day basis.  They are keenly aware of the problems of ordinary Japanese, thus, their ideas oftentimes do address problems that affect the poor or the underprivileged.  Historically, the basis for this was the direct relationship of the bureaucrats with the emperor, bypassing politicians in pushing for the modernization of the country.  
    The corrupt triumvirate slowly came into being due to the dominance of one political party for 35 years.  While it is true that corruption became a part of the wheeling and dealing among the elite members of the triumvirate, the low-ranking bureaucrats though are still as earnest in delivering public services to the people.  It is widely acknowledged that the selflessly serving members of the bureaucracy of Japan are the source of the success of the nation.  The delivery of public services here is certainly quite professional and efficient, no task is small enough to be taken for granted.  That was why I strongly supported Teodoro who articulated a vision akin to the Japanese model of success.

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks for sharing most of your knowledge on Japanese politics, Miriam. You seem to be a very credible resource person for this. At least we get to see more sides and have a more wide-ranging view of the issues. It sheds a bit more light on the Hatoyama resignation… and maybe even suicide. LOL

      • Miriam Quiamco says:

        ChinoF, I am glad to read this, you are all very idealistic young intellectuals (genuinely interested in ideas), I hope you will be the representative of the youth in not so distant future. We need to liberate the youth from the stifling control of the religious and medieval type intellectuals, we need them to be as irreverent as you are guys. The youth should take advantage of opportunities to expand their minds through education and active rationality in their lives. The mass media that we have now only care about money-making, this is why we really need to establish a public service media. Along with a progressive educational system, we should be able to transform public debate in our country and thus, the likes of Aquino shall never have a serious shot at the presidency ever again.

  29. J says:

    Hello Miriam,

    I do agree to your main point that compared to Philippines, leaders in Japan are chosen more or less based on merits instead of popularity or pedigree.

    I have minor disagreements though in your take on Japan’s political landscape. I disagree that Kasumigaseki is responsive to the needs of the people and is aware of the challenges facing Japan. Kasumigaseki tried to cover-up the pension records fiasco and the HIV-tainted blood making its way to health ministry blood banks, I don’t think they really are concerned. I also disagree that LDP should solely take the blame for bureaucratic corruption. The LDP, afterall, did not initiate or benefit from the practice of Amakudari. I also disagree that the the US has given Hatoyama leeway on base issue. The bureaucrats in the MOFA forced him to make a Futenma deadline and did not help him get a one-on-one meeting with Obama he was hoping he could get to discuss Futenma options. The so-called Alliance Managers in Washington are pro-LDP and LDP people have been lobbying in Washington to ignore the DPJ. Of course, Hatoyama was incompetent not to have seen this effort by LDP, Kasumigaseki and the Alliance Managers to torpedo his Okinawa policy. Or perhaps he has seen it, but unable to outmaneuver them.

    But then discussing all these would be too off-topic in this thread. Are you in Tokyo? Perhaps we can share ideas over coffee one of these days. Assuming you’re not busy of course. :D.

    • Miriam Quiamco says:

      Hi J,

      No, I don’t live in Tokyo and am totally averse at the idea of going to Tokyo, I hate that place. Interesting points you brought up here about the MOFA sabotaging the DPJ’s reformist stance. This just confirms many pundits’ suspicions that since DPJ’s platform is to weaken the bureaucracy’s stranglehold on policy-making and make elected officials more accountable instead, that the current party in power is not getting the cooperation it should have from government agencies. Decisive policy actions therefore on Japan’s pressing problems have not been forthcoming from the new government. LDP is probably just waiting for the public to get fed up with DPJ’s perceived ineptitude to get back in power. So the alliance politicians on both sides have been putting pressure on the DPJ, interesting, quite the contrary from what I have read. Your take on the issue is spot on, thanks. It is comforting to know that politics everywhere is the same, politicians have to swim in shark-infested waters and well-meaning politicians could get attacked. It is a perception game and since the resignation, Japanese voters have been convinced the new set of leaders could deliver the promised reforms, the popularity ratings of DPJ are up and it looks like they will be able to keep the majority count in the upper house.

      If I may compare the current political happenings here with those of ours, the stark contrast lies in the fact that the Japanese are a discerning multitude of voters. They do not just discount a malfunctioning government in a wholesale manner, they do not label every civil servant associated with the party as evil just because the people at the top are, they look at the bigger picture and if the government delivers especially in terms of economic growth, they are quite forgiving of the government’s scandals. The two incidents you mentioned which all happened under LDP rule were only a tip in the iceberg. There are more cover ups in the bureaucracy than are revealed in the media because here, the media practise self-censorship and will not just publicize allegations, solid proof has to be very clear before it reveals misdoings. This is one difference between our sensationalistic media and the Japanese one.

      The LDP has benefited quite a lot from the practice of “amakudari”, many LDP politicians have been former bureaucrats and LDP politicians could get their pet projects funded, in the form of pork barrel by cozying up with bureaucrats cause they are the ones that draft bills, most anyway and make sure projects get funded. They are able to push for projects to be funded because they are convincing at justifying the validity of projects, being very knowledgeable and well-trained at elite universities. They therefore ensure the reelection of LDP politicians. It is no different from our system, however, what is slightly different is the fact that in Japan, the bureaucrats implement projects of politicians, thus, there is efficiency and localities are not at the mercy of their politicians completely. Basic public services are delivered evenly, because the bureaucrats and politicians work hand in hand in making sure public services are delivered to their constituents. In the case of the Philippines, even basic public services are doled out in the form of pork barrel spending of congressmen and senators, they are not mandated by the government to deliver basic public services.

      I think that our system should eliminate pork barrel being the prerogative of politicians without check and balance. In Japan, the political party, politicians, people’s organizations and bureaucracy work closely together, there is check and balance. The corruption involving bureaucrats, businessmen and LDP politicians was inevitable due to the 35 long years of give and take relationships, but it worked for Japan for the longest time because all sectors of society pursued developmental goals clearly set by the government. And even the media cooperated in unifying people behind these goals, catch up with the west, Japan may have lost the war, but it could be an economic power, what should be done to reach that pinnacle of economic power, media did not focus on controversies putting government down all the time, like in our country.

  30. sutoi says:

    Gordon was right, we do not think, we just react….

  31. Hyden Toro says:

    🙄 Shame is not in the vocabulary of our politicians. Most of our politicians are: opportunists, amoral, crooked and corrupt.”Crookedness with self respect”, this is their prmises. They steal outwardly in view of the public. Yet, they have the thick face to deny it. They even flaunt it. Political promises in elections are made to be broken. We still reelect them, inspite of this behavior. Our values have gone to the sewer as a nation already.

    To talk about shame, integrity, truthfulnes, etc…is like talking to a wall. Don’t waste your time. These people will not change. Until, you will hang them one by one…

  32. ed says:

    This is a very good article. We need people with balls to point this out in public.

    Does AP have an article on solutions to overcoming a dysfunctional culture? That’s what I really want to read about.

  33. Primalscream says:

    Sorry Ilda, i disagree with what you wrote: “Our religion also plays a big role in how we quickly remove our sense of quilt and shame. We have been made to believe that our “sins” are forgiven once we confess to a priest or a member of the Catholic Church; it is as if our conscience can be wiped clean of every abominable act — and then we are ready to do it all over again.”

    To set your facts straight, what you describe above is not what Catholicism teaches us. Catholicism emphasizes reparation together with absolution. So if you stole money, the proper absolution is to return what you stole and face the consequences of your actions. If you are corrupt, you should absolve to stop your life of corruption and return what you stole. No amount of confession to a priest will erase you of sin without reparation. The problem is, like most teachings of the Catholic church, these are either misunderstood or have been bent by IGNORANT catholics to suit what is convenient to them. Priests and church leaders are not without blame either. Priests conveniently forget to insist of reparation especially if the “sinner” is a huge donor. If only catholics adhere to the true teaching of Catholicism, then this broken culture will not prevail.

  34. Randy Bau says:

    Hey, thanks for sharing. I beg to disagree with some of your points although, I agree with some too. In the real of religion of which I believe I have taken graduate work and research. In the confession, it is a total mistake to believe your sins are forgiven by not doing penance and a total desire to put an end to your sinful way of life. Priests have to tell a penitent that sins are forgiven by doing penance. Just look at the concept of indulgence which is a very highly abused catholic belief especially after Luther’s Ich Protestiere. In the concept of indulgence , people who sinned retains the effects of their sins that is why when an individual died with this effect inn him or her. He has to purify himself/herself in purgatory where ones soul is purified for some time in order to be worthy to meet our creator. The length of time a soul stays in purgatory is dependent on the gravity of the sins committed in this life. In that state a person is purge– by some forms of penance that can be likened to something like bodily punishments due to ones sins. This is a traditional belief in purgatory. The effects if sins are carried over to ghe next life. So, I want to clear that up that when for instance somebody murder someone, the effect of this is varried on to the next life and since it is a grave sin, the murderer will have to be purge for a long time in purgatory. But of course we do not speak of time in human terms. It is a miseducation to believe that ones sins are authomatically forgiven totally by going to confession. Simply because, the effects of sins are carried over till the next life where purgation is vety necessary before a soul comes to meet his/her God.

  35. In my four years here in Japan, we have seen three PM’s sworn in and stepped down . If they cannot deliver, they resign or made to resign. That simple.

  36. Team Saf says:

    I knew this article had a female author when i got to.. “There is definitely not a lot of downside to having a shame culture.” right after she mentioned Japans extremely high SUICIDE RATE. NOT A DOWNSIDE!?? But suicide is overall a male problem.. Ilda, your lack of empathy is showing.

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