In the News: Filipinos on the defensive after siege fiasco (The Australian)

From the Australian. The writer’s style may seem harsh to some, but to me, it’s the style that fits, and it’s all said like it should be:

Emma-Kate Symons
September 03, 2010

THE Philippines, faced with global shame and humiliation after the deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists because of its spectacularly inept handling of the Manila hostage crisis, is doing what is does so well: playing the victim.

A week of breast-beating and emotional mea culpas has given way to angry defensiveness. The sullen collective reflex in the aftermath of this embarrassing confirmation of all the worst stereotypes of The Philippines as a lawless, chaotic nation of rank incompetents is to play the nationalist anti-Chinese card in reaction to the fury of Hong Kong, where 80,000 rallied this week demanding answers after the fiasco.

International experts in hostage dramas said the police response during the 12-hour stand-off was wrong on multiple fronts, including inadequate equipment and training; failing to seal off the siege area from media and public view (one bystander was injured by a stray bullet); failing to quickly satisfy the gunman’s demands; and bringing in his brother to negotiate

Heaping insult upon outrage, Philippines police and “gore tourists” were shown on social media sites smiling in happy snaps in front of the bloodied and shattered tourist bus that became the tomb of entire families on holiday in Manila last week.

The driver of the bus, suspected of having been in cahoots with the hostage taker – disgruntled former police captain Rolando Mendoza – has gone missing with his family, in another example of police incapacity to carry out their most basic tasks.

Most appallingly, Mendoza enjoyed national hero status, his coffin draped in the Philippines flag at his funeral attended by more than a thousand mourners.

A swag of opinion makers and columnists, parliamentarians and Filipinos writing on blogs and social media are turning the whole drama, Philippines-style, into a kitsch telenovella tragedy where they are unjustly suffering from Chinese bullying and arrogance, following the cancellation of official visits and the souring of diplomatic relations.

The histrionics are drowning out the minority calling for a calm, clear-eyed look at the rottenness at the core of The Philippines’ police, government and media.

Not enough voices are decrying a sick public culture that banalises violence and murder, applauds the armed and dangerous macho men who try to take on the “system”, and prefers the beauty pageant circus of Miss Philippines reaching the top 15 of Miss Universe to a wholesale examination of the national conscience, and concrete steps to prevent such a tragedy happening again.

Currying populist favour, senator Kiko Pangalinan said while he did not personally agree with the swathing of Mendoza’s casket in the national flag, “there is no law that explicitly bans the use of the flag in such a manner, and therefore we will have to respect the individual freedoms of our people”.

Just to hammer home the oft-noted “cultural differences” between The Philippines, a Christian country with democratic aspirations, and godless, authoritarian China, he added:

“We ask for China’s understanding in that we live under different systems, and what may be prohibited and banned in their nation may not be so in ours.”

The senator echoed widespread Filipino justifications of the widespread callousness towards the dead and injured as their Christian culture of “accepting God’s will” and moving on.

Columnist William Esposo in The Philippine Star went further, saying: “China should be the last to posture as if they hold a candle to us when it comes to preventing tragedies”, and recalling the 2005 murder of Philippines businessman Emmanuel Madrigal and his daughter by an axe-wielding madman in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

“Did a Chinese official apologise to the Madrigal family, The Philippines government or the Filipino people for their failure to protect Filipino tourists in one of the most visited sites in their capital? Where, then, do they get the gall and the temerity to disrespect us and our President due to a similar incident?

“How come our media pander to all these violations of protocol, baseless attacks and arrogance of Chinese officials? Have our media been secretly bought by the Chinese for them to espouse the Chinese line like this?”

Yesterday, a story in the leading Manila newspaper The Inquirer – headlined “Enough already” – pointed out that while “we ask forgiveness and condole with the Hong Kong families” and await the Aquino administration investigation, “we now say enough to the breast-beating.

“We are in solidarity with the women and men who offer prayers . . . but we see no point in prostrating ourselves further, or in insulting The Philippines government as though in a continuing kowtow. We will not be forced into a sackcloth-and-ashes pose.”

Such hogwash, redolent of familiar fatalistic, dolourist distortions of Catholic notions of sin and personal responsibility, is once again allowing a societal head-in-the-sand mentality to prevail in a nation that thinks saying sorry many times should be enough.

The reactions to the televised crisis have been severe, with immediate cancellations of thousands of hotel bookings and package tours to island getaway Boracay.

Aware that he is haemorrhaging credibility and authority so soon after his euphoric inauguration, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino has pleaded with the press and police to “shut up” and stop offending the Chinese.

But the defiant reaction in The Philippines is to turn its back on reality and take refuge in economic patriotism and racist nationalism.

It is quite a feat and will certainly do nothing but long-term damage to this troubled nation.


Note from poster: The writing is on the wall. Shame on us if we don’t heed.


About ChinoFern

Just another nobody on the Internet who believes even nobodies should have a voice... because the Internet provides that.
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124 Responses to In the News: Filipinos on the defensive after siege fiasco (The Australian)

  1. palebluedot_ says:

    wow! as if am reading from an AP blogger. thanks ChinoF.

    this should serve as an eye-opener for us. it is not just some Filipinos condemning us…the whole world has condemned us already. what a great shame!

    • ChinoF says:

      Probably this particular author has been reading AP as well. But the opinions she has remain very true to the world’s standard of universal ethics and morality.

      • palebluedot_ says:

        exactly. it’s just baffling when she used the phrases: “playing the victim”, “lawless chaotic nation of rank incompetents”, “telenovella tragedy”, and mentioned “accepting God’s will” and moving on as part of our culture. These are realities only your family can say to you (like when they tell you, you smell awful). But when a neighbor, whom you never know, tells you frankly about it, it’s just so embarrassing 😳 . reminds me of lee kuan yew…

        time to grow up, philippines…

      • You know how the shirt “From Where I’m From, Everyone’s A Hero” became so popular all over the country? One critic said it should have been “Get Real, Philippines” just because the former puts ideas in our head that yes, we are ALL heroes and that there isn’t one thing we should change about ourselves.

    • Same sentiments. We’ve always known that the Philippines is suffering from a victim complex propagated by the late President Corazon Aquino and perpetuated her son President Noynoy Aquino. As long as this nation rests on that complex, there won’t be a tuwid na daan. It will be walking in place only or, worse, moonwalking.

  2. palebluedot_ says:

    whoa! as if am reading from an AP blogger. thanks ChinoF.

    this should serve as an eye-opener for us. it is not just some Filipinos condemning us…the whole world has condemned us already. what a great shame!

  3. ChinoF says:

    This is funny.

    “We ask for China’s understanding in that we live under different systems, and what may be prohibited and banned in their nation may not be so in ours.”

    So killing foreigners may be prohibited and banned in their nation, but not in the Philippines? hahahaha

    We live under different systems indeed… theirs is better and ours is bulok.

    • kusinero says:

      LOL my thoughts exactly. What the heck are these people thinking? And that’s from a senatong, who represents the common tao. Hay naku! Why is it that thinking pinoys are being marginalized? Our voices are not being heard and published in newspapers, we instead get this crap from monkeys in the legislature being broadcast for the whole world to see and hear and read.

    • Noynoy is a beansprout-head says:

      One thing’s for sure: Democracy doesn’t work in either country.

      • Anonylol says:

        “What the heck are these people thinking? And that’s from a senatong, who represents the common tao.”

        “Represents common tao”
        I think I may have the answer to your question.

  4. NFA rice says:

    Filipinos say ‘cheeze’ on camera in front of the bus. Abnoy giggles while issuing an apology. Flip flips. Abnoy Prez. Crazy nation.

    • ulong pare says:

      @nfa rice… flips are the happiest pipol… no worry… be happy… no care in the world… bahala na ang dios…. no stress…

      • NFA rice says:

        @ulong pare,
        there is a sinister aspect to the constant smile. It’s like that evil clown portrayed by Kuya Germs in one of those mean-to-be forgotten movies. Also Satan always break into laughter after committing an evil deed.

      • ulong pare says:

        @nfa rice… prez gung gong giggles/smirks like a high school girl behind the school gym… only scarier… 😯

  5. Jay says:

    Thanks for saving this. Gotta save racist nationalism and economic patriotism (whatever that last one meant).

    But yeah the nationalism is racist, as we’ve seen many try exclude the Philippines as what they can be (but are not doing so) or make them out to be status-quo of the world in terms of responsibility. People will say oh other nations can be just as racist about their nationalism but that is just playing into the mediocrity of it, when it comes to mind with imitation, form a quote, which states is the best form of flattery. As someone said awhile back they can’t even copy Catholic doctrines correctly, as the author states;

    Such hogwash, redolent of familiar fatalistic, dolourist distortions of Catholic notions of sin and personal responsibility, is once again allowing a societal head-in-the-sand mentality to prevail in a nation that thinks saying sorry many times should be enough.

    Certainly points of view help give a clearer understanding of the event and situation. In this case however it seems, there but 01 people who do; Those who understand competence and those who only understands racist intentions. Because we’ll never be with the latter if we actually believed in the former.

  6. mel says:

    I agree. The Philippines is always asking for understanding. It is a nation fond of receiving but not giving. The arrogance of our politicians add insults, not solutions. After the bloody outcome of the hostage-taking incident, everyone involved came out with different alibis that only worsen the situation.

    I do feel responsible with all this mess. I did not campaign hard against PNoy last election.

    • ulong pare says:

      @mel… Team AP campaigned our azzes of…. but outnumbered and overwhelmed by ‘sang tambaks the flip gung gongs and its financiers… don’t feel bad, you’re not alone… we did our share…

      • kusinero says:

        True, of all the elections in pinas, this is the only time I really felt disappointed and cheated. Imagine being trumped by zombies who belong to 40% of the population.

  7. benign0 says:

    The following excerpt from the article brilliantly summarises every message we in AP have been sending out for the longest time — even before this tragedy happened and all through Noynoy’s campaign:

    “Not enough voices are decrying a sick public culture that banalises violence and murder, applauds the armed and dangerous macho men who try to take on the “system”, and prefers the beauty pageant circus of Miss Philippines reaching the top 15 of Miss Universe to a wholesale examination of the national conscience, and concrete steps to prevent such a tragedy happening again.”

    as we can note now, the truth about Pinoys now resonates amongst the global community. 😀

    • The AP members are the ones whose “voices are decrying a sick public culture..” Someday, this community will grow.

      Not only do we prefer the pageant, but also the Pacquiaos and Pempengcos.

    • benign0 says:

      I highlighted here how the emergence of messages in the foreign press now presents a significant milestone in our history as a society. We are seeing the emergence of a new breed of non-Filipino writers who are emboldened by this sequence of recent events to write hard-hitting material that hits the core of The Truth about Pinoys. 😀

  8. geeky Mary says:

    Thanks, AP. What would I do without you? I already shared link to one of the news groups populated by the defensive Noytards. 

  9. No one dares to be accountable. Coloma says that he will happily step down if Aquino wishes him to do so. Why wait for the president to tell you what you ought to do? He’s portraying this honorable man who would gladly resign, but knowing he’s done something wrong he shouldn’t have to wait for the signal.

    • read that article in the newspaper also about coloma’s woe-is-me statements. a classic display of victim complex. lacierda: di pa ako sumusweldo. noynoy: eto lang sinweldo ko. i must say tama lang dapat nga magbayad pa sila sa mismanagement na ginawa nila.

  10. bokyo says:

    I loved that “playing victim” part. Too many Pinoys were affected as if THEY are the victim and not the HK hostages’ families.

    It’s just to show that the Pinoy has a false sense of pride and shame. The become proud of somebody as long as they’re a Filipino, but totally shameful of the government, not really reflecting that they’re the ones who put those idiots into power in the first place.

  11. aboy says:

    sapul! swak! kaboom! that’s all i can say…

    but then again, the proud failipinos who doesnt want to think and accept the truth, will just say that this writer is a racist…

    • And again, will demand a public apology. It’s always the same thing over and over again.

    • Jay says:

      but then again, the proud failipinos who doesnt want to think and accept the truth, will just say that this writer is a racist…

      Dear Aboy, the best part about the racist argument is that its a double-edged sword especially those who are quick to use it but don’t know the real implications. Especially these proud nationalistic pinoys who use it for the sake of making themselves look like the victim, but have proven that they are just as bad pointing the fingers needlessly.

      Besides, it is also racist if one makes it out to be an issue that isn’t suppose to be. And in the Aussie’s case, their usage of it is profoundly deeper than the Pinoys who have a paranoia that any OFW who gets fired after the bus-hostage crisis in Hong Kong is being laid off due to racism.

  12. Kotobuki says:

    Passing the blame around is one thing, but distorting the situation and trying to look like the victim is another thing. Honestly, I’m rendered speechless by our capacity (and our callous disregard to the aggrieved party!) to act the victim role. It’s just so appalling.

    What worries me is the thought that other countries, to the best of my knowledge, do not act this way. I’m sure there are countries (who some deride as being poorer than us) have more capacity for introspection. I am saddened (and angered) by the thought that we are being left behind, not just economically, but also in morals and common sense.

    • Anonylol says:

      We’ve been left behind in morals decades ago. As for when the Philippines was left behind in common sense, that would bring us back to where the stars were right and the Old Ones walked the earth.

      Also, S’up Mugi.

  13. aboy says:

    and another one….

    Now, where are the proud failipinos?

  14. edthepygmy says:

    I don’t know if you’ve heard the news recently about our sole employee, ignoy. That he actually thought of going in the area of the hostage drama, and tell R.Mendoza personally to stop all the commotion he’s causing.. that was according to DILG sec. Jesse Robredo, if I’m not mistaken. News for news’ sake is crap and I think those said statements were just meant for the admin to save face. Ignoy hesitated though because it wasn’t proper protocol so he just stayed and well, the rest was history. 🙄

    • palebluedot_ says:

      yea right! his spin doctors talking again, not mindful of the fact that the more they defend their master, the more they look like a fool.

    • Jay says:

      Its funny how the PR team has tossed the word protocol about yet I find no common sense and decency in accepting that. Where it is suppose to be rules you follow however they make it into some morbid get out of jail free card. Oh because of protocol, those 8 deaths and the situation that went haywire is excusable in his position then. EXCUSE ME?

      Death is natural when it is highly circumstantial. Death is UNNATURAL when you have the power and authority to change the outcome!

      The worst part of it really is that as much as the Philippines can make this a great PR situation for themselves (which was in the back of my mind somewhat before the hoopla), they decided to prove me right and show the world why they are the douchebags of the world who look for pity. Just like those same group of people who had the luck to come around my house and ask for clothes because their house was burned down. TWO WEEKS IN A ROW!

    • I doubt the story is true, and even more that he actually thought of going near the scene. That’s what dreams are made of. I’d believe that news if it was Richard Gordon in power, knowing he had done something similar before.

    • Kotobuki says:

      Is that supposed to comfort us? Comforting us possibilities of plans that they didn’t even TRY to play out? Those PR people sure look desperate in their damage control.

      • edthepygmy says:

        indeed. like it would make the victim’s families and all of us feel any better. just another PR crap. sheesh. when will they stop with that.

    • ChinoF says:

      Palabas na kwento nanaman ito. Just to save face.

      • Filo says:

        Even if it were true it’ll be just like “I was THINKING of showing up and helping out. Doesn’t that count for anything?”
        Bloody idiots.

      • Arvin Q says:

        They came up with that to disprove allegations that Noynoy didn’t do his job. I saw it in the news last night, it was the DILG Usec. Puno who made the “reveleation”. If the story is indeed true, then it just highlights Noynoy’s small-minded approach on the situation more than it creates the impression that he was actually [em]doing something.[/em] Mag-iisip lang ng paraan, yung sablay pa.

      • edthepygmy says:

        thanks for correcting my facts. ehehe. 😉

    • Sharafa says:

      It’s like the more they add to the tale, the more absurd the story becomes. Indeed, this is just another feeble attempt to cover Noy’s inaction, bu also its difficult to prove or disprove as only those close the Noy can verify. But it still doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t act when he should’ve.

    • I’ve read that statement na “he thought of going” daw. So? thinking is one thing. doing is another. the communications group kasi will squeeze every last drop of Noynoy puree just to make President Noynoy look good kahit na bad na bad na ang image n’ya. And that includes using PR templates like, “he intended” or “planned to” but “never got to doing it” coz (insert inheritance of problem issue here or some other name to blame).

      • Filo says:

        Perhaps it’s one of those “It’s the thought that counts” BS that they’re hoping they could get away with. A lot of Pinoys are suckers for those.

      • Jay says:

        Reminds me of an argument me and brother played a lot when we were younger.

        How about we don’t and say we did?

        If all that counts in the face of adversity were the thoughts, then you let adversity win. Forget hope and faith when you can’t even let actions dictate your thoughts.

  15. palebluedot_ says:

    “The histrionics are drowning out the minority calling for a calm, clear-eyed look at the rottenness at the core of The Philippines’ police, government and media.”

    maybe we should add: culture & morals. damn! in fact, all aspects of this country’s existence is rotten.

  16. boombox says:

    What’s next? Noytards and the over-PRIDE Chicken Pinoy’s will bashed the Aussies? My gawd..

    Could someone give me baseball bat to strike this lemmings coming from out of no where..  

  17. boombox says:


  18. aboy says:

    but clearly this article states the “BAD” truth of our country and culture…

    sad is, the proud filipino takes this as offence againts the race.

    If we only gave the chance to have a change in men not a change of men…

    • Jay says:

      Rather refreshing, considering the usual banter he makes to make the president look larger than life.

      I certainly agree with his take that the pinoys attitude in general about it have been about having no respect for the dead, yet wanting the pity.

  19. mix says:

    a little OT but will post na rin : )

    “Aquino administration: GMA ran economy well”

    “we have good economic fundamentals as left by the previous administration and, hopefully this will not be reversed by the present administration.”

  20. nymphetamine says:

    Nakakahiya na maging Pinoy..  😦  Sobra.. 

    • ChinoF says:

      Wish we could only say, nakakahiya ang mga pagkakamali ng mga Pinoy… ayaw pang ayusin… but even if I prefer it that way, our nation’s name gets dragged into it. This is because the Filipinos themselves insist on using “Pinoy, Pinoy!” Stop using “Pinoy, Pinoy,” and the other countries will associate the mistakes less with our country.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        The World must understand. Most of us, Filipinos, are not in comformity with the thinking of a few Filipinos who are followers of Noynoy Aquino. We do not identify with them. We are outraged on the incompetence and on the cowardice of President Noynoy Aquino. We isolate ourselves from him and from his followers. We are outraged at his Immature behaviors, not fitting of a leader of our nation. We are ashamed of what has happened on the Hostage Incident. 😮

  21. I must agree. The term used is both creative and fitting — gore tourists.

  22. Jayce says:

    Haemorrhaging credibility 😆 Splendid!

  23. Gardo Versausage says:

    The article only shows what we do best under similar circumstances: Be on the defensive.

    (Yawn)…..what else is new? 😈

    Yet, we still don’t learn a thing from events like these. Just watch out for proof of this once it’s considered safe to visit HK once again.


    • ChinoF says:

      The real stinger is that the world knows about it… and hates it. It’s as if we’re the criminal, and when we’re caught, we even say that we’re not guilty and that the victim is the true criminal. Twisted victim mentality to the utmost extreme.

  24. Mike H says:

    Malacanang threatens LIBEL???? 😡
    From Tribune:

    But today, as Noynoy and his spokesman Lacierda, along with their incompetent yellows are in power and position, they not only reject critical reports and commentaries, especially from the Tribune, but even go to the extent of 👿 threatening our Malacañang reporter with a libel suit, asking her when she would have a job change and even asking for the Tribune’s status, claiming too that the Tribune reports are editorialized, all of which is really none of his business. And if Noynoy is included in this, it is because Lacierda is his spokesman, and what he says necessarily reflects Noynoy’s stance toward our newspaper.

    Neither Nonoy, nor Lacierda, nor any of all those allied with Noynoy — including his yellow media — has a right to tell the Tribune how to run the paper, and how stories should be written up.”

    • ChinoF says:

      Lacierda’s probably imitating Singapore’s approach: “OK, write anything you want about me, but if you have false information, I’ll sue you for libel, and if you can’t provide proof, then you’re cooked.” Problem is, the burden of proof may be more troublesome for Lacierda’s side. And Lacierda now wants to be media dictator. So that’s a government with “integrity,” eh? 😉

      • Filo says:

        So this is what the yellows meant by “strengthening democracy.”

        They’re so full of 

    • Hyden Toro says:

      These people cannot take criticism. They try to control the informations. Is this the EDSA Democracy, they are speaking about? Truth is rearing its ugly heads now about the Aquinos. They are not, as they have been portrayed, as they are… :mrgreen:

  25. what de quiros had to say:

    reaction to de quiros:

  26. Hyden Toro says:

    It is very pathethic for the Aquino Administration to tie his incompetence and cowardice, to the nationalism and pride of the whole Philippines. It is more outrageous to attach it to the Mardrigal unfortunate killing. This is a case whereby a President, was in Malacanang Palace. A disgruntled Nut Basket Case Policemen, went to take Tourist Hostages. Parked the Tour Bus, almost about 20 Km., from where the President of the Philippines was. Noynoy Aquino’s response was: like an Ostrich, he buried his head in a ground hole, to avoid a dangerous situation. The President of the Philippines, went into Hiding; with order not to be contacted…then, after coming out of his Hiding. He was seen Smiling for a briefing on the Hostage Incident Aftermath. Noynoy Aquino and his Yellow Hordes Apologist, try to: (1) divert the issue;(2)place blame of the incident on people, not connected to the incident; (3)produce nonsensical alibis and rationalizations. To Cover Noynoy Aquino’s Ass; incompetence and cowardice. I had seen enough of the buffoons stupid acts already… 😛

  27. Mike H says:

    The story continues. The Hongkong families received the coffins with their deceased relatves and when they opened the caskets they discovered that Pilipinas sent bodies to wrong families.

    HONG KONG—Philippine authorities sent the bodies of three of the victims in the Manila bus hijacking to the wrong families, Hong Kong said Thursday, in the latest of a series of missteps 😯 in the handling of the hostage crisis.

    The eight bodies were shipped back on Aug. 25 to Hong Kong, where tearful relatives laid wreaths on the coffins of their loved ones at the airport as officials stood in attention—but three families were paying their respects to the wrong bodies.

    The three families discovered the mistake when they opened the coffins at the morgue later that night, Hong Kong’s Security Bureau said in a statement.

    In Manila, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said she would investigate.

    “If there was a mix-up of those names, we apologize,” Soliman said. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who is heading the hostage incident investigation, said she was unaware of any mislabeling.

  28. Expat from TW says:

    This is a very scary message sent to all of workers…

    I hope we keep this idea in mind

    The Filipino today

    After the August 23 hostage drama, there is just too much negativity about and against the Filipino.

    “It is difficult to be a Filipino these days”, says a friend who works in Hongkong. “Nakakahiya tayo”, “Only in the Philippines” were some of the comments lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles received in her Facebook. There is this email supposedly written by a Dutch married to a Filipina, with 2 kids, making a litany of the supposed stupidity or idiocy of Filipinos in general. There was also this statement by Fermi Wong, founder of Unison HongKong, where she said – “Filipino maids have a very low status in our city”. Then there is this article from a certain Daniel Wagner of Huffington Post, wherein he said he sees nothing good in our country’s future.

    Clearly, the hostage crisis has spawned another crisis – a crisis of faith in the Filipino, one that exists in the minds of a significant number of Filipinos and some quarters in the world.

    It is important for us Filipinos to take stock of ourselves as a people – of who we truly are as a people. It is important that we remind ourselves who the Filipino really is, before our young children believe all this negativity that they hear and read about the Filipino.

    We have to protect and defend the Filipino in each one of us.

    The August 23 hostage fiasco is now part of us as Filipinos, it being part now of our country’s and world’s history. But that is not all that there is to the Filipino. Yes, we accept it as a failure on our part, a disappointment to Hong Kong, China and to the whole world.

    But there is so much more about the Filipino.

    In 1945, at the end of World War II, Hitler and his Nazi had killed more than 6 million Jews in Europe. But in 1939, when the Jews and their families were fleeing Europe at a time when several countries refused to open their doors to them, our Philippines did the highly risky and the unlikely –thru President Manuel L Quezon, we opened our country’s doors and our nation’s heart to the fleeing and persecuted Jews. Eventually, some 1,200 Jews and their families made it to Manila. Last 21 June 2010, or 70 years later, the first ever monument honoring Quezon and the Filipino nation for this “open door policy” was inaugurated on Israeli soil, at the 65-hectare Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion, Israel.

    The Filipino heart is one of history’s biggest, one of the world’s rare jewels, and one of humanity’s greatest treasures.

    In 2007, Baldomero M. Olivera, a Filipino, was chosen and awarded as the Scientist for the Year 2007 by Harvard University Foundation, for his work in neurotoxins which is produced by venomous cone snails commonly found in the tropical waters of Philippines. Olivera is a distinguished professor of biology at University of Utah, USA. The Scientist for the Year 2007 award was given to him in recognition to his outstanding contribution to science, particularly to molecular biology and groundbreaking work with conotoxins. The research conducted by Olivera’s group became the basis for the production of commercial drug called Prialt (generic name – Ziconotide), which is considered more effective than morphine and does not result in addiction.
    The Filipino mind is one of the world’s best, one of humanity’s great assets.

    The Filipino is capable of greatness, of making great sacrifices for the greater good of the least of our people. Josette Biyo is an example of this. Biyo has masteral and doctoral degress from one of the top universities in the Philippines – the De La Salle University (Taft, Manila) – where she used to teach rich college students and was paid well for it. But Dr Biyo left all that and all the glamour of Manila, and chose to teach in a far-away public school in a rural area in the province, receiving the salary of less than US$ 300 a month. When asked why she did that, she replied “but who will teach our children?” In recognition of the rarity of her kind, the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States honoured Dr Biyo a very rare honor – by naming a small and new-discovered planet in our galaxy as “Biyo”.

    The Filipino is one of humanity’s best examples on the greatness of human spirit!

    Efren Penaflorida was born to a father who worked as a tricycle driver and a mother who worked as laundrywoman. Through sheer determination and the help of other people, Penaflorida finished college. In 1997, Penaflorida and his friends formed a group that made pushcarts (kariton) and loaded them with books, pens, crayons, blackboard, clothes, jugs of water, and a Philippine flag. Then he and his group would go to the public cemetery, market and garbage dump sites in Cavite City – to teach street children with reading, math, basic literacy skills and values, to save them from illegal drugs and prevent them from joining gangs. Penaflorida and his group have been doing this for more than a decade. Last year, Penaflorida was chosen and awarded as CNN Hero for 2009.

    Efren Penaflorida is one of the great human beings alive today. And he is a Filipino!

    Nestor Suplico is yet another example of the Filipino’s nobility of spirit. Suplico was a taxi driver In New York. On 17 July 2004, Suplico drove 43 miles from New York City to Connecticut, USA to return the US$80,000 worth of jewelry (rare black pearls) to his passenger who forgot it at the back seat of his taxi. When his passenger offered to give him a reward, Suplico even refused the reward. He just asked to be reimbursed for his taxi fuel for his travel to Connecticut. At the time, Suplico was just earning $80 a day as a taxi driver. What do you call that? That’s honesty in its purest sense. That is decency most sublime. And it occurred in New York, the Big Apple City, where all kinds of snakes and sinners abound, and a place where – according to American novelist Sydney Sheldon – angels no longer descend. No wonder all New York newspapers called him “New York’s Most Honest Taxi Driver”. The New York City Government also held a ceremony to officially acknowledge his noble deed. The Philippine Senate passed a Resolution for giving honors to the Filipino people and our country.

    In Singapore, Filipina Marites Perez-Galam, 33, a mother of four, found a wallet in a public toilet near the restaurant where she works as the head waitress containing 16,000 Singaporean dollars (US $11,000). Maritess immediately handed the wallet to the restaurant manager of Imperial Herbal restaurant where she worked located in Vivo City Mall. The manager in turn reported the lost money to the mall’s management. It took the Indonesian woman less than two hours to claim her lost wallet intended for her son’s ear surgery that she and her husband saved for the medical treatment. Maritess refused the reward offered by the grateful owner and said it was the right thing to do.

    The Filipina, in features and physical beauty, is one of the world’s most beautiful creatures! Look at this list – Gemma Cruz became the first Filipina to win Miss International in 1964; Gloria Diaz won as Miss Universe in 1969; Aurora Pijuan won Miss International in 1970; Margie Moran won Miss Universe in 1973; Evangeline Pascual was 1st runner up in Miss World 1974; Melanie Marquez was Miss International in 1979; Ruffa Gutierrez was 2nd runner up in Miss World 1993; Charlene Gonzalez was Miss Universe finalist in 1994; Mirriam Quiambao was Miss Universe 1st runner up in 1999; and last week, Venus Raj was 4th runner up in Miss Universe pageant.

    I can cite more great Filipinos like Ramon Magsaysay, Ninoy Aquino, Leah Salonga, Manny Pacquaio, Paeng Nepomuceno, Tony Meloto, Joey Velasco, Juan Luna and Jose Rizal. For truly, there are many more great Filipinos who define who we are as a people and as a nation – each one of them is part of each one of us, for they are Filipinos like us, for they are part of our history as a people.

    What we see and hear of the Filipino today is not all that there is about the Filipino. I believe that the Filipino is higher and greater than all these that we see and hear about the Filipino. God has a beautiful story for us as a people. And the story that we see today is but a fleeting portion of that beautiful story that is yet to fully unfold before the eyes of our world.

    So let’s rise as one people. Let’s pick up the pieces. Let’s ask for understanding and forgiveness for our failure. Let us also ask for space and time to correct our mistakes, so we can improve our system.

    To all of you my fellow Filipinos, let’s keep on building the Filipino great and respectable in the eyes of our world – one story, two stories, three stories at a time – by your story, by my story, by your child’s story, by your story of excellence at work, by another Filipino’s honesty in dealing with others, by another Pinoy’s example of extreme sacrifice, by the faith in God we Filipinos are known for.

    Every Filipino, wherever he or she maybe in the world today, is part of the solution. Each one of us is part of the answer. Every one of us is part of the hope we seek for our country. The Filipino will not become a world-class citizen unless we are able to build a world-class homeland in our Philippines.

    We are a beautiful people. Let no one in the world take that beauty away from you. Let no one in the world take away that beauty away from any of your children! We just have to learn – very soon – to build a beautiful country for ourselves, with an honest and competent government in our midst.

    Mga kababayan, after reading this, I ask you to do two things.

    First, defend and protect the Filipino whenever you can, especially among your children. Fight all this negativity about the Filipino that is circulating in many parts of the world. Let us not allow this single incident define who the Filipino is, and who we are as a people. And second, demand for good leadership and good government from our leaders. Question both their actions and inaction; expose the follies of their policies and decisions. The only way we can perfect our system is by engaging it. The only way we can solve our problem, is by facing it, head on.

    We are all builders of the beauty and greatness of the Filipino. We are the architects of our nation’s success.

    To all the people of HK and China, especially the relatives of the victims, my family and I deeply mourn with the loss of your loved ones. Every life is precious. My family and I humbly ask for your understanding and forgiveness.

    • Jay says:

      That is straight out of Alexander Lacson I believe. I recognize that vehement Pinoy defense attitude in that written piece. Which makes no sense since how are they suppose to learn what to expect of leadership and government when the young ones aren’t reinforced the failures of the adults?

      Heavily biased nationalistic crap.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        The ancient Greeks had the term: “CATHARSIS”. That is , bringing out everything that you have in your concious mind and your subconcious mind. Examine them; delete what does not work. Retain what works. Then, put a good “carabao sense” (Filipinize term) course by which to follow. All we do, was: keep going around and around in our stupid mountain. By electing the same leaders, in the same premises that our Grandfathers had used. THEY SIMPLY DO NOT WORK!!! 💡 ❗

    • ChinoF says:

      This is unfortunately what many people, even among well-meaning people I know, have bought. They believe that actively defending Filipino “pride,” along with being noisy about it, is the way to uplift our nation. I would tell other people that it draws more attention to your faults. It’s like an erring employee who was punished, and instead of humbly going back to work, he instead mouths out all his “achievements” and “good points,” blah blah, until someone tells him, “prove that you’re really good.” Again, It’s like the village idiot walking around town trying to look cool in crazy clothes, when it only helps confirm that he’s the village idiot (who said this originally?).

      It only confirms that the goal of Filipinos is just to feel good, and not necessarily be good. Alex Lacson may be well-meaning as well, but he also subscribes to Filipino emotionalistic culture. It shows that Filipinos have truly lost sight of what they should be, and what is the right thing to do.

    • ulong pare says:

      … daaaang…. ay sus ginoo… pagkahaba-haba naman ng post…. only to be summarized as “flips are gung gongs for doing the same sh!t”…. STOP ELECTING STUPID PEOPLE IN THE ADMINISTRATION IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!!!!… hay naku, pussssy oooopsie puso ko… :mrgreen:

      • Miriam Quiamco says:

        Yeah daaaang, the piece above is very long and very sentimental, reinforcing the “I am proud to be Pinoy” ideology.  As one who is not proud of any of the above individual achievements mentioned, I say, perhaps it is necessary for the Filipino collective psyche to be hardcore realists.  There are great people in every culture, and it is no excuse not to take those responsible for the bungling of the hostage rescue operation accountable.  I must say this is irrelevant to the issue of lack of credible leadership in our country.  This brainwashing should not prevent us from national self-examination.  Sure, we may be proud for these people, but the politicians we elected this past election are a bunch of disappointment.  These great individuals do not lessen the fact that we elected an incompetent president.  Germany had had far greater number of individuals who achieved greatness in various fields, but they still elected a Hitler.  Same with Japan during their fascistic times, look where the lack of self-reflection as a nation had taken them.  The Philippines is going the wrong direction with this, instead of realizing our cultural weaknesses, we are served all this nonsense. 

        I am not ashamed of being Filipino, as being Filipino for me is just a technical accident of birth, I care about my country, this is a given, but I will never buy the ideology above that I should be proud of this race just because of the accomplishments of these handful of individuals.  I am proud for every noble human being who has contributed to the progress of human kind, like Mandela, Luther King, Gandhi, Jose Rizal, etc., etc., it is stupid to be lulled into unthinking just because the “Filipinos have the biggest hearts in the world”, plain stupid, stupid, and moronic.

      • ChinoF says:

        I like your line in the last paragraph, “I am not ashamed of being Filipino, as being Filipino for me is just a technical accident of birth, I care about my country, this is a given, but I will never buy the ideology above that I should be proud of this race just because of the accomplishments of these handful of individuals.” This is the right attitude about it.

    • NFA rice says:

      “Fight all this negativity about the Filipino that is circulating in many parts of the world.”

      How do I exactly fight the bad publicity? A non-Filipino friend also broke the news to me. He watched the news on Dutch television. I told him I am ashamed of the incompetence of the Filipino that is in plain view for the whole world to see. He said I don’t have to be ashamed because I am not in Manila. I did not understand what he meant. Maybe he meant I can pretend to be an Indonesian, Somalian, or an Australian pygmy. It is easier to do that these days.

      • ChinoF says:

        You know, someone should front the question to Alex Lacson… is the Filipino really seen that negatively around the world? Is the Filipino really a victim of international oppression? Or is this just the imagination of leftists? Victim mentality seems to make good use of the playful Filipino imagination. 😉

    • ODin0 says:

      I believe this was an Alex Lascon post, isn’t it? And yes, I’ve read it word per word.

      Though not devoid of merits, it has totally disregarded the issue here. Just to make things simple, we AS A PEOPLE should HAVE BEEN proud of them when they made us proud. (notice it is in PAST TENSE). And when a situation calls for being responsible AS A PEOPLE for what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how it went wrong. The Nation better man up and take the steps to correct what was wrong and make it right. You don’t make things right when you cover up the Nation’s fault with myriads of honorable individuals.

      You don’t say “I’m proud of my A++ Finger painting in kindergarten.” when you just failed Advanced Metaphysics and Epistemology.

      • Jay says:

        And to add, those pinoys accomplishments, including certain ones that are embellished do not represent the accomplishments of the Pinoys as a nation. Their specific efforts and personalities are theirs alone. Their accomplishments showed that the possibilities are endless when one does the things in order to accomplish their goals and achieve personal success. The effort is highlighted yet all they can see are the awards and recognitions.

    • Aegis-Judex says:

      “We are a beautiful people. Let no one in the world take that beauty away from you. Let no one in the world take away that beauty away from any of your children! We just have to learn – very soon – to build a beautiful country for ourselves, with an honest and competent government in our midst.”

      An HONEST and COMPETENT GOVERNMENT? My ass! Where was the honesty when fingers were pointing all around? Where was the competence when the police attempted to breach the door with sledgehammers and allowed the media to display their positions? More to the point, where was the government when all hell broke loose? Alex Lacson, if you wrote this, please explain to everyone in AP the contents of the entire article with cold, hard reason, instead of attempting to appeal to emotions.

      • ChinoF says:

        Well, Lacson did say that “we have to learn to build… an honest and competent government…” so it’s not there yet. But his way of building is based on shaky foundations. Let’s see if being “proud of the few achievers” will actually inspire others to achieve… maybe that’s what he thinks. He doesn’t understand the real Filipino mentality – “yeah, let’s ride on the few achievers’ achievements, so we can exalt ourselves and feel good without achieving anything, and we can be asses towards other nationalities, but play the victim card in case they criticize us.” Lacson is trying to appeal to a sensibility in Filipinos that’s actually dead. His appeal thus falls on deaf ears.

      • HareBurger says:

        Is the Alex Lacson you guys are talking about the one who ran for Senator under Noynoy’s party? Just asking…

      • ChinoF says:

        Yes, he’s the Liberal Party candidate. This letter that Expat from TW posted above is confirmed to be on his Facebook notes page.

    • Expat from TW says:

      Empowering the Filipino

      The 12 “little things” are:

      1. Follow traffic rules, follow the law.
      2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, ask for an official receipt.
      3. Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy local. Buy Filipino.
      4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners, speak positively about us and our country.
      5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier.
      6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve.
      7. Support your church.
      8. During elections, do your solemn duty.
      9. Pay your employees well.
      10. Pay your taxes.
      11. Adopt a scholar or a poor child.
      12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country.

      I just can’t help but poke fun at him.

      • Expat from TW says:

        >4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners, speak positively about us and our country.
        >5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier.
        How? Can you?

      • Expat from TW says:

        The order is wrong.

        We can’t respect the stupid.
        Respecting people will never make them respectable.
        Just like being proud to be Pinoy will never make you honorable.

        You have to make them respectable and honorable first.
        Even elementary school students can understand this simple logic.

      • ChinoF says:

        All of the “12 little things” would have been much easier if the country were an economically liberalized environment. This is something that he failed to understand.

  29. Hyden Toro says:

    The SWS Survey of Popularity of a President in his term; has vanished into Thin Air. Where is the SWS Popularity Surveyors? Now that Noynoy Aquino popularity is on its downward spiral? Where are his apologists like: Buencamino, Joe America, Gangelona,etc…they are nowhere to be heard. The commenters at the Lopez Media Network, do not even touch the Hostage Incident in their news. Or make it some kind of topic of discussions. We can see here , how the Media is manipulated by these people. Media manipulation is worse than Censorship. Because, they hide the Truth, for their own selfish motives. Journalists have sold themselves already…Another shame… 8)

  30. Kikuchi-sensei says:








  31. ralliart1to3 says:

    I am new here. Anyway…

    I don’t get what the h3ll is with most Pinoys that they believe they should not be punished and instead given pardon for the crimes they committed abroad even if due process was involved? That they should not be humiliated when it is clearly their fault? That they think they have the right to put out slur comments on other races and they can’t be slurred upon just because they are Pinoy? Is there even something special with the Pinoy race that they act with much pride and arrogance or act as if they are THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE? When will Pinoys grow up.

    • palebluedot_ says:

      Oh! Pinoys think they are superior in the eyes of their God. Because they are the only Christian nation in Asia, they think they are blessed. Because their pari told them that anyone who believes in the Christian God and the bible is special. Basta pray for forgiveness ka lang & go to church every Sunday, nobody can harm you and make you feel small. Screw the laws of man, the laws of God prevail! 👿

      • Swatdaoligarchs says:

        Here’s the good part…..that kind of belief system is here to stay.

        Eh, majority of flips are “uto-uto” kasi when it comes to da Lord.

        Jeez, so many groups to swat… 😈

    • Hyden Toro says:

      A Good Blogger writes what is in his/her heart. Write the Truth, quietly and firmly. Never care, if it pleases anybody. Truth should be the premise in a Good Blog. I have seen Psuedo Bloggers; Paid Hacks; Ignoramuses of all kinds, etc… In the end: they all tell a story. Some contributing their ignorance. Some contributing their Word of Knowledge… 😯

  32. Kyle says:

    now we wait for the inevitable Aussie bashing… and subsequent banning of the author from the Philippines once this article reaches the walls of congress.

    do these congressmen honestly believe that these foreigners care if they’re banned from this god forsaken country? 

  33. ako ang simula ng pagtatago says:

    Engr. Jojo still managed to diss Gordon. Whattazombie

    defensive indeed.

  34. Mike H says:

    Some results of inquiry:“Do you know that according to the protocol, members of the crisis management committee should be at the command post during the progress of incident?” Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, IIRC vice chairman, asked Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.

    “Hindi ko po alam,” the vice mayor replied.

    • Hyden Toro says:

      This is a situation, where a mentally deranged Policeman was treathening to kill Hostages. They debated among themselves, who is in charge? Or abide by the protocol? Of course, our coward and incompetent President is in charge. However, he was hiding somewhere. Not wantting to be bothered. Please spare us of your stupid investigation shows…it only aggravates the situations the Yellow Hordes are in. They try to dig themselves out of the Hole. Instead, they are digging themselves deeper into the Hole. All they do: is accept responsibility. I was afraid. I was petrified by the situation. The mental case Mendoza may Shot Me, instead of the Hostages. I did not know what to do. It is simple, as that…. 😳

  35. Expat from TW says:

    A chain mail sent to me right after the incident that 8 people were killed.

    The Hongkong Travel Association in cooperation with Cathay Pacific is offering a promo package tour to Hongkong for 3 days 2 nights for $50/person includes economy airfare, 4 star hotel accommodation, all meals, visit to Disneyland & Ocean Park, city tour & a hostage drama experience similar to the Luneta Grandstand Experience (compulsory).
    Hurry limited seats are available.
    Contact Hong Thai Travel for more details. He! He! He!

    I don’t understand this sense of humor.

    • ChinoF says:

      Yan! Let the Filipinos be part of that tour so they can understand what the hostages went through. So that they won’t get back at the Chinese for being OA in their reaction.

  36. frustratedcitizen says:

    i really don’t like this chain mail thingy…its in the same line as:

    -picture taking in front of the bus(with smiling faces pa)
    -that hostage taking game(crap, is the hostage taking that funny to the retards here in our country? what a shame!)

    Filipinos really like to have fun. Even if the basis for that fun was wrong to begin with.
    It all begins in early childhood. Mishaps happen, pero tatawanan ka lang ng kapwa mo, di ka pa tutulungan. Jokes are ok, but not jokes that do bodily / emotional harm. Clearly a problem with morals.

    retards of this country, enjoy the world stage and see what you will have for an applause. i don’t think the audience will be happy with just throwing tomatoes at your face.

  37. Mike H says:

    A few of those totally disappointed are members of the Yellow Army 😳 those who were loyal and who had asked others to vote Noynoy. Now a few of these diehard “yellows” are by ➡ extremely disappointed in Noynoy and his choices for leaders. This is good — then they can join those who are vigilant against mistakes and excesses 😈 of Noynoy (like Lacierda threatening libel against a Tribune reporter).

  38. frustratedcitizen says:

    its good to hear that some of the pro-Noynoy people are now realizing what they have initiated to this country. hopefully the numbers will increase.. we need more than just a few..

  39. Sally Shine says:

    It’s like those Village of Foul Devotees in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, who just listen to the majority, even if they don’t give a damn about what consequences it might bring, like in the case of Aquino. Just because his mum left a legacy doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s fit enough to lead the country.

    And yeah, they’re right about the so-called “masa” being too melodramatic and delusional. Blame it on the media who regularly feeds them with worthless, cliched crap that depicts long, overdrawn clan wars and hapless love triangles. Sure, it might give you a taste of good values, but is it really enough?

    Wake up, Juan dela Cruz.

  40. Pingback: What Next for Post 8/23 Philippines?

  41. ice_queen says:

    “THE Philippines…is doing what is does so well: playing the victim.”

    That’s because we’ve had lots of training thanks to the inundation of melodrama and histronics of local and imported telenovelas. Yet another thing our mainstream media can be proud of.

  42. Paolo says:

    In a country that prides being a victim, here’s a solution akin to cutting the Gordian Knot:


  43. frustrated citizen says:

    well, the problem is, the media has too much control and influence over the masses. the only way that their control can be removed is with a sudden shock, so much that it even surpasses tragedies that we are having right now… as they say, the ‘bitter pill’ for the betterment of everyone

  44. Pingback: Why Pinoy Pride will never save the Philippines « Get Real Post

  45. Hello to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more
    from this website, and your views are good in favor of new visitors.

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