Some commenters come in here saying that our site is so unpleasant and that we should focus on something more pleasant. Thing is, there’s little that’s pleasant in a country that’s going down by allowing itself to be suckered. Truth hurts. Face it.
But it reveals another sorry aspect of our culture: that Filipinos tend to be pleasantry addicts.
Being Filipino is just an unfortunate circumstance that it is so unpleasant. And thinking about the unpleasant things is so painful makes the emo tribe of the Philippines want to seek some distraction. Wowowee, along with most of local TV (and perhaps even Glee and Beverly Hills 90210, hehe), is one of the most harmful programs to our culture, but it is being embraced by our populace. It remains a distraction, forever keeping the masses drunk with emo pleasantry, while making sure they don’t think of doing anything worthwhile, such as participate in anti-protectionism charter change initiatives.
Anthony Bourdain in his episode of “No Reservations” in the Philippines saw really glaring faults in Filipino culture. He noticed how the inviter Augusto was so excited and wild in his submitted request video, but was so tame in person. So Bourdain was like, what happened? Then after learning more, he said about Filipinos… you’re too nice!
I wrote before that Filipinos don’t know how to be truly positive (or constructive, as Benign0 had pointed out). My points in this article are vindicated when you see how the Filipinos in Bourdain’s show are focusing so much on the trappings of the culture, but are hiding the substance, hiding the truth – because there’s very little substance to be proud of. Otherwise, the food featured on the episode was nice. Yet that food was probably one of the things depended on to forget the problem (probably the reason for high cholesterol, risky food?).
Pleasantry addiction is also form over substance. No wonder Filipinos want the latest products, fashions and stuff. They want to look good… even if they are not good.
You may say that we in Antipinoy.com are so negative, that we dwell on negativity, and focus on them too much. Not at all; we give the right focus to things that are so obvious. And we want to be constructive. We don’t want the problems hidden under the hot air of “positiveness.” We want real working solutions to be enacted. Face the negativity, and think of the solutions.
I now know that focusing on the obvious problems is disturbing some people. They are so sad about what’s happening to our country, that they want people like to “stop all this negativity” and be more pleasant. Thing is, pleasantry addiction is also laziness. It’s what wiser minds would say, “puro good time lang nasa isip.” Then it turns out that Filipinos are good in faking the good time, wallowing in pleasantries while their country falls apart around them.
Because of pleasantry addiction, Filipinos love to avoid confrontation. They believe too much in that Desiderata line, that one should “be on good terms with all persons.” But if you value justice and righteousness, you will certainly not be on good terms with some people, since you will oppose their injustice. Remember, even very good people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King and even Mother Teresa had enemies.
Also, this avoidance of confrontation can lead to many Filipinos not saying what they need to say to correct another person. Instead, they talk behind their backs. It’s one reason why Filipino family values can actually encourage our culture of inaction and fatalism. It can lead to families pretending that everything is OK, while they’re actually breaking up inside.
Filipinos are so addicted to pleasant stuff that they refuse to face the truth. They instead want to focus on pleasant things and insist that even if there are serious gaffes and mistakes, everything is still OK. Alas, it means that people are willing to drop the truth and embrace lies just to feel good. And thus, we become a nation of lies.
Of course, seeking something pleasant is not by itself wrong. But it is when you use it to hide the truth. the pleasantry addiction in Philippine culture is a cause of inaction. They want short-term pleasantry, while not focusing on the long-term way to get truly pleasant results because of ignorance or laziness.
Even if the truth is ugly or unpleasant, you must face it.