Have you ever wondered why there is a website called Good News Pilipinas? People keep sending me links to that website but every time I visit it, most of the stuff I find there consists of news items about superficial “wins” by Filipinos who won one “contest” or another somewhere locally or globally.
Worse, Efren Penaflorida‘s picture is permanently pasted on that site, as if to highlight how he is the true epitome of what a successful Filipino is. Even reigning beauty contestants’ photos grace the website just to showcase the “beauty” of the Philippines. It goes to show that some, if not most Filipinos haven’t got a clue as to why the words “successful” and “winner” still cannot be associated with the Philippines. It goes to show that, more often than not, “bad news” rather than “good news” is perceived by the public to regularly come out of mainstream media, to the extent that a website needs to be dedicated to exhibiting the tidbits of news that some, if not most Filipinos consider “good” — the sort of far-in-between news that comes out every now and then, like Manny Pacquiao’ s boxing wins or Charice Pempengco’s acting debut in Glee.
The general attitude found in the Good News Pilipinas website is basically the same as what you will find in the average Filipino: out-of-touch with reality, in denial, self-righteous, defensive, shallow, and most of all triumphalist. Most Filipinos have no stomach for “bad news” so they have to season the bitter pill they have to swallow with something sweet.
In response to the recent breast beating and shameful soul searching brought about by the Mendoza hostage tragedy on the 23rd of August 2010, the Good News Pilipinas website published another litany of what they consider to be a summary of outstanding “achievements” of individual Filipinos over the history of the Philippines. This is the website’s way of reminding everyone that we as a people have done something “good” in the past. Last I saw there were 2000 plus people who shared the article. This proves my earlier statement about the general attitude of the average Pinoy.
Because of the heavy criticism Filipinos received from around the world after the hostage drama which resulted in the avoidable deaths of eight Chinese tourists in the hands of both hostage taker Rolando Mendoza and the incompetent Philippine National Police, the author of the article “The Filipino Today: Let Us All Rise As One People” even went on to say that “We have to protect and defend the Filipino in each one of us” it’s because as he stated, “… there is so much more about the Filipino;” and that, “The Filipino heart is one of history’s biggest, one of the world’s rare jewels, and one of humanity’s greatest treasures.”
Those statements, especially the last one is what I can call a mother lode of exaggerated and triumphalist crap, and I am actually being polite here. It’s like the author of the article is claiming that the Filipino people are the only people in the world who possesses excellent virtues and that the world simply cannot live without us. Never mind that Mexicans can very well take over our slice of the domestic help jobs pie anytime, anywhere. I’m sure I am not the only one who didn’t see “rare jewels” in the behavior of some of the Filipinos who keep defending “Filipino pride” after the hostage fiasco, particularly those who kept saying that “buti nga sa mga Intsik beho na yan” or those who said that they “Don’t feel so bad about the death of people who are not our kind, let’s take care of our own.”
Of course, in their list of accomplished Filipinos who have gone beyond the call of duty is none other than Efren Penaflorida himself who won the CNN hero of the year award in 2009 (allegedly as a result of vote rigging) for his performance in pushing a cart full of books around Manila in an effort to teach under privileged kids to read. It’s not that there is anything wrong with that. I just think that Efren’s work should highlight more the systemic problem of the country’s education system rather than promote copying his band-aid solution to the problem. The fact that the population of the Philippines has just reached 100 million people proves that Efren’s work is certainly not the best way to educate Filipino kids.
Another Filipino in their list could be your average next-door-neighbor, Marites Perez-Galam who is lauded for returning a wallet full of cash while in a public toilet in Singapore. Huh?!? So, is a Filipino returning a wallet to its rightful owner now considered extraordinary and therefore a cause for celebration nowadays? I must have been living under a rock because I didn’t notice how times have really changed for the worse in the country. I guess just looking at pictures of students and police officers who had their pictures taken near the site of the Mendoza hostage tragedy at The Quirino Grandstand should be enough to convince anyone that the moral standards in the Philippines have gone so low that Filipinos now do get confused about what’s right and what’s wrong and celebrate deeds that most decent people ordinarily do.
Even the President of the Philippines, Noynoy Aquino does not even know when to put on and when not to put on a “smiling” face in front of the media. Because of his smiling face after the deaths of the Chinese tourists, Chinese people from Hong Kong have aptly named him “smiling dog.” Recently, he even let out a very insensitive statement saying that “Our problems now, in two or three years we can say that they are laughable when we recall that they were not that grave.” I, for one don’t have to wait “two or three” years before I can start laughing because every time P.Noy opens his mouth, I end up laughing so hard at him and the Filipinos who voted for him. I can laugh heartily now knowing that I have a volume of articles as vindication and proof that I already knew even before the presidential election in May 2010 that P.Noy was a chump and not a champ.
P.Noy, should try and get real for once so he doesn’t end up looking like a fool during his briefings with the media. His problem starts when he tries to act cool or tries so hard to please everyone. Even his previous statement “You are my boss” directed at the Filipino people seem so ridiculous now considering he can’t even be truthful to his “boss” with regard to where he was on the day of the hostage crisis.
Speaking of good news, recently, I have come to realize that I should never have to be ashamed of being Filipino — ever — for the following reasons:
1. I don’t vote for loser Presidents like P.Noy Aquino. And having a loser president should not define my identity as a Filipino.
2. I refuse to let other Filipinos’ decisions like their decision to vote for incompetent leaders pull down my life, so I will try my best to succeed in my own way.
3. I don’t have to use Efren Penaflorida’s or Charice’s achievements to define me as a person because I have my own achievements to speak of.
4. I just happen to be born in this country called the Philippines but it does not mean that I have to be imprisoned by the average Filipino’s mentality and way of life.
5. I have come to accept that losers don’t listen and never learn from their mistakes. The process of natural selection will take care of them soon enough.
6. I now know that smart people can actually make money out of losers because losers buy a lot of useless trinkets like that shirt with a Philippine map embroidered on it.
7. The existence of losers makes me feel like a real winner.