The Real Flaw in 'Pilipinas Kay Ganda'

A lot of brouhaha has been raised on the botched Pilipinas Kay Ganda program, especially with the revelation of a “lutong macaw” scheme, that of Enteng Romano’s daughter already being given a contract in the program without a bidding. Add this to the alleged plagiarism of the Polska logo of Poland. But notwithstanding, this was not the real problem with the program. As I commented previously on it, it comes as a dishonest slogan; a lie. It’s inappropriate to say after the Bus Hostage Crisis, and of course with the squatter areas all over.

I was reminded of Alex Lacson’s note in the wake of the Bus Hostage Crisis. What he basically did was namedrop many known Filipinos and emphasize their “beauty.” Then his tips, which BongV summarized in the “12 things little things,” had the attitude, let’s build up our beauty and make people forget the negative. Basically, he was trying to draw attention off the negative and distract with the positive. He wanted to “protect and defend” the Filipino. But somehow, it didn’t seem like the right way.

It’s like, for example, a Filipino going about with a foreign guest. The foreign guest sees the squatter area and asks, “Hey, those are the poor of this country? I didn’t know there are so many of them.” The Filipino says, “nothing to see here, move along now.”

It’s also like an employee who was caught falsifying a document and lying to clients, and was going to be terminated. He comes in defense saying, “I got this account for you! I made this campaign work! I’m also loved by my co-workers!” But sadly, those achievements are now soiled now that he committed a grave offense, and he’ll still get the boot.

It reminds me of the time when foreign delegates were invited during the Marcos era (of course, I hear this from my parents and older siblings). Marcos ordered the building of high walls at the roads where the foreign delegates will pass to cover the squatter areas from the delegates’ view. It may have been shameful indeed to see, but it was dishonest to cover them up.

The above attitude, which I call the “kapalmuks” attitude, is one of the driving forces behind the defense of the Pilipinas Kay Ganda campaign. They say, focus on the positive, ignore the negative – basically sweeping the dirt under the rug, instead of cleaning it out. In the end, it comes out as dishonesty. Sadly, this is a common trait in Filipino culture. But it’s this trait we have to clean out, aside from the dirt we have to dig out from under the rug.

Foreigners aren’t fooled. Now a foreign group, the Asian Human Rights Commission based in Hong Kong, calls the Philippines a broken and lawless nation. How can you say Pilipinas Kay Ganda with that? To them, it’s Pilipinas Kay Panganib. It’s hard to disagree with.

Navotas Cemetery kay ganda... and this is the picture of Filipino poverty that foreigners know. Yes, foreigners know of this already. It's useless to hide it

That’s the real flaw with Pilipinas Kay Ganda: it reflects the cultural attitude of not cleaning house, sweeping the dirt under the rug and hiding it with flagrant and arrogant pronouncements, like “Proud to be Pinoy,” that are more like bangka-lifting. The irony is that it was an effort to hide what’s ugly about our country. But it actually served the opposite: reveal that ugliness even more.

Or perhaps this is the real flaw: the problem is not with the slogan itself, or the country. It’s the inhabitants.

If Filipinos only dropped the “distract with the positive, hide the negative” mentality, we would go one step further away from being Pilipinas Kay Palpak.

Of course, let’s not just clean the logo and slogan. Let’s clean house.

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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44 Responses to The Real Flaw in 'Pilipinas Kay Ganda'

  1. Hyden Toro says:

    “What are we in power for…”, is the resounding shout of any incoming administration. I reviewed the disc clip of the inauguration of the imbecile President. Crowds were dressed in resplendent yellow.- a sea of yellow. The chant of Pag-babago and Hope were all over the place. There was a typical Filipino festive mode of fiesta…Now, the hope and desire for change…turned into a dark of stark of reality. The President turned out to be: (1) incompetent. (2) a coward. (3) as corrupt as any other President. and (4) his followers are as greedy and as self serving, as any other political followers…

    • Aegis-Judex says:

      “What are we in power for…”,

      For me, we are in power in order to serve. We bear arms to protect the weak. We hold knowledge to educate the ignorant. Isn’t that the ethos of a true leader?

      • Hyden Toro says:

        It is supposed to be…in the Philippines; we don’t have True Leaders…we have Opportunists and Self-serving Politicians, masquerading as leaders…it is up to this Filipino generation to awaken. Right what is wrong in our country…We start with informing to the grass root level of the population…who are too gullible to bite what these Bogus Leaders are selling/presenting to them…Do your part, future generations will be grateful…

    • a rep of theirs went on the radio two weeks ago saying na they should be given the chance to produce their own output kaya they did not want to keep WOW Philippines. pero yun na nga, they were given the chance. ang pangit naman ng output.

    • ChinoF says:

      “We are in power to keep it.” – oligarchs. 😛 

      • Hyden Toro says:

        It is a cycle of Political Deceptions…we keep biting them, from election to election…we cannot learn from our lessons…How high must the I.Q.s, our Filipino voters must have…to awaken their common senses to vote true and able leaders for our country?

  2. ArticleRequest says:

    “sweeping the dirt under the rug”

    Sounds like Coloma, Mr. “Donald Tsang never called”
    and Mr. “Other countries should copy Japan’s example and write warnings that are unintelligible to foreigners so that foreigners come here”.

    I really hate it how Pinoys sweep dirt under the rug after every embarassing incident that the world sees. They will usually (1) Go to facebook and attack the rest of the world for noticing (remember how Pinoys stupidly launched a barrage of racial slurs against Chinese over the bus hostage crisis?) (2) Assert arrogant Proud to be Pinoy pronouncements (3) Namedrop certain Filipinos and their “glorious” deeds and pretend nothing happened.

  3. ArticleRequest says:

    Asian rights group calls PHL ‘broken and lawless nation’
    GMANews.TV – Saturday, November 27SendIM StoryPrint.In one of the harsher foreign assessments of the Philippines in recent times, a Hong Kong-based human rights group has called the Philippines a “broken and lawless nation.”

    The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) drew this conclusion after two more recent murders in Mindanao, where the victims were executed in front of family members, one of them in the presence of three young daughters.

    But the non-government body also made an apparent reference to the eight Hong Kong tourists who died in the Manila hostage crisis last August 23 after botched police negotiations and a rescue attempt, describing the Philippines as a place where citizens “cannot hope to protect the foreigners on its soil.”

    ‘A broken and lawless nation’
    In an article on its web site, the AHRC stated:

    “In a country where an individual can no longer protect himself, he cannot protect his family; a family that cannot protect its members, cannot protect the community where they belong; and a person, a family and a community that cannot protect itself cannot protect a Nation. A Nation that cannot protect its own citizens, their families and the community where they live cannot hope to protect the foreigners on its soil. It is a broken and lawless nation.”

    AHRC said it has become an “illusion” and “absurdity” for anyone to claim that there is protection and security for people in the Philippines.

    The Philippine National Police and government spokesmen have a habit of assuring the foreign community that the country is safe, in the face of travel advisories to the contrary issued by foreign governments.

    The human rights body said it has become ordinary for killings to be carried out by policemen, the military and the paramilitary forces working for them, and for killings to be perpetrated in broad daylight in crowded public places and in front of the victims’ families in their own homes.

    Unreported cases
    “Hundreds if not thousands” of stories go unreported and this has been taking place in the country for many years now, the AHRC lamented.

    “A system of justice can still continue to exist on paper, structure and appearance, but its existence is meaningless once it departs from its original role of being a protector, it becomes the very opposite of what it was supposed to be; that is the protector of those within the system, protecting those who are already protected; securing those who are already secured. This is the type system that each Filipino lives in daily in their own country. Unless there is a discussion and organic realization by those who are part of the system of the need for reform to reexamine their purpose, its existence remains an object of contempt,” it said.

    Mindanao murders
    The AHRC cited the murders of Reynaldo Labrador of Davao City and Vicente Felisilda of Mawab, Compostela Valley, who were executed in front of their families.

    Labrador, 39, was shot at 7:30 p.m. last Sept. 3 in front of wife Leonisa and daughters Reylon, 10; Raquel, 8; and Jennifer, 4, at their home in Paquibato District in Davao City. He was a member of the Paquibato District Farmers Association (PADIFA), a local chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

    The gunmen escaped after the shooting. They left a note at the victim’s house that read: “Demonyo ka! Hiposon ka!” (You’re evil! You must be killed!)

    Felisilda, 38, a farmer with four children and a member of Bayan Muna, was shot dead last September 9 at 7 p.m.

    Both the KMP and Bayan Muna are leftist groups that the military has tagged as being communist front organizations. The Philippines has seen a spate of extrajudicial killings of activists committed by what international observers say are agents acting on behalf of the military, or by soldiers themselves.

    What happened to Felisilda illustrates the brazenness exhibited by killers in the prevailing culture of impunity. The victim and and his elder brother Allan were resting inside a small hut in Mawab town, Compostela Valley after extracting meat from coconut shells on their farm.

    While the brothers were resting, two gunmen arrived. They were wearing civilian clothes and armed with cal-.45 pistols.

    “At first the two greeted the brothers and tried to make conversation with them by asking what they were doing. However, suddenly one of them shot Vicente at close range. Startled by what he saw, Allan ran for safety to a cliff nearby,” the AHRC said. – HS/TJD, GMANews.TV

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks for quoting it in full. While the local media is fawning over the Ampatuans and Mangandadatus, this article at least mentioned other killings that have equal weight. Despite the mentioned victims likely being leftists, it does not justify their killing. 

      • UP nn grad says:

        President Noynoy should send a very simple message 💡 to the AFP and PNP. Ang simple-simple lang naman ang dapat na instructions to the men-in-motorcycles. Kung pipitsugin at wala namang baril ang target, 😐 arestohin lang dapat, huwag 👿 babarilin.

      • Aegis-Judex says:

        And if they’re not from the Army, what would you do, blast those men of the drive-by to Kingdom Come?

  4. MKDL Studios says:

    Enough with the “half-full over half-empty” mindset. Seems like we are putting happiness over wisdom and genuine reasoning first, waiting for whatever miracles to come for us.

  5. benign0 says:

    Great cartoon, Chino! Is that one of your original works? 🙂

  6. UP nn grad says:

    Within the 😐 Yellow Army, a group knows the propaganda 💡 of distraction. So chismis of romance 🙄 (starting or crashing/burning) hits the news whenever there is a need to distract the wo-wowee Pinoys and Pinays.

  7. jonphil says:

    First it was Campaings and grey, then Romano’s daughter.

    When both of these entities were discovered, all the pencil-heads could do was to look for palusot: “they worked pro-bono” (u2’s bono is not a pinoy?!) Or bono (bisaya), taking advantage of their connection just to grab the multimillion contract.

    As I’ve been saying all along, fix the broken government not the slogan.

  8. yun na lang kayang campaign slogan ni noynoy na “walang mahirap kung walang corrupt”? sabagay kasi his cabinet members can’t tell the difference between one job and another. when the HK governor called during the hostage-taking crises, they still implemented the protocol kahit na emergency in nature yung phone call. when various progressive countries released travel advisories to specific locations in the Philippines, noynoy felt they had no basis and felt he was being attacked unnecessarily, not thinking that one can’ release something so grave without basis. di katulad ng DOT n’ya na that released a slogan and logo with poor marketing and demographic basis tapos sasabihin na SOWREE POW TESTING LA-ANG.

  9. Bea says:

    “I choose to see beauty. Like Enteng, I believe in Pilipinas, kay Ganda!” by Yoly Villanueva-Ong
    Geez, this statement is such a problematic ending. I mean, sure, it’s good to see the glass to be half-full, BUT at the same time, we should also ask ourselves why is the glass only half-full and think of ways of making it really full on its own right. We can’t be just staying at one point – we have to progress as a nation. And how in the world will you convince tourists that Philippines is indeed beautiful if you experience excessive pollution, traffic, and criminals as soon as you step out of the airport? Heck even our airports are not even state-of-the-art, suffice to say. I suggest to our gov’t that several gov’t institutions should work together if they want our nation to be flocked by tourists for the following years.

  10. ilda says:

    Cool drawing ChinoF 🙂

    They should hire you for the tourism campaign.

  11. the tourists will still come. the irritating thing is that noynoy and his cohorts are dishing out mediocre and pretentious efforts at the expense of those who did well in the past for the same or even higher compensation that the people are producing.

  12. Homer says:

    Many tourists use Manila as a landing point and proceed to Cebu. Boracay, or Palawan. I say these tourists are well-advised. Still, it doesn’t hide the fact that the reality in the Philippines lies behind the billboard illustrated on the cartoon above.

    Also, it makes one wonder why a former spokesman for the Makati Business Club was made to head the DOT. It smacks of protectionism, doesn’t it? Romano may have taken the fall, but it failed to do any damage control…duh! It was just another show for the majority who still don’t see how ROTTEN our system, media, and culture has become…..but you already know that.

    • benign0 says:

      Manila is the single biggest evidence of Pinoy habitation in the Philippine Islands — which is why tourists minimise their exposure to it and head off into areas of the Philippines where there is very little of the hallmarks of Pinoy habitation. Compare that to tourists who go to, say, Europe where the most popular attractions are places that showcase man-made stuff.

  13. Pugot says:

    Do you guys think maybe the Filipinos need an “eye for an eye” type of vigilante group that will go after the bad elements in our society (especially the ones in our government)?

    If the bad will kill the good, why not the other way around? (The good killing the bad.)

    How do we fix a broken and lawless system/country? Certainly not through debates, academic discourse, critical articles nor prayers. It is done through actions that will eliminate the bad for good. Does this sound harsh and barbaric? No, it’s the only practical method to fix a broken and lawless nation.

    When George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, et al., figured out what must be done to end tyranny, they first discussed about it, wrote their grievances on a piece of paper called “the declaration of independence,” then, they decided to take action and fight tyranny. Same thing here people, we need action.

    • ChinoF says:

      I hear you. Action certainly is necessary. Of course, we’re providing what can be used as treatises and educational material here on AP, so others may teach the principles and content to others. For action, we see charter change, creation of alternative media and encouragement of purposeful counterculture as three possible areas. It’ll take time of course to really act on it. But another purpose AP serves is to bring people together for this. 

    • The Lazzo says:

      The fundamental problem with the vigilante ideal is what defines “good” and “bad.” Yes, the people need to take a much more active approach against crime and the private military.

      Perhaps easing restriction on gun ownership (current law effectively limits gun “ownership” to the rich and their private armies, with all that license money greasing their pockets) supplemented by required self-defense courses for individuals and communities might be a step toward the better. License and stamp serial numbers on the guns, they’ll be easier to track.

      Rodrigo Duterte’s “death squads” are no better than the Zaldy Ampatuan’s private military when it comes right down to it. Sooner or later, someone’s gonna decide to use that for their own personal gain. They’re gonna decide that innocents are guilty as serial killers for whatever reason they can think of.

      Filipinos need to learn that with power (especially over other people’s lives), comes responsibility, and it’s not something to leave to the superheroes they keep praying for.

      • ChinoF says:

        I forgot to comment on the vigilantism. For me, that’s disrespect for the rule of law. And yes, there’s lots of room for abuse. Better to work on creating the environment that won’t stimulate it. A lot of things will go into that, like gun laws that Lazzo here explained, providing economic opportunities for people and more. 

    • UP nn grad says:

      Well, Noynoy Aquino wrote and spoke many times that passage of FREEDOM OF INFORMATION 💡 bill would be priority if he gets elected!!! So Noynoy had a plan, Noynoy 🙄 made a promise.

      Ngayong presidente na — flip-flop. 👿

      “How soon had he forgotten that once upon a time he(Noynoy) was calling on Malacañang to certify that FOI bill as urgent. But now that he is in power, he refuses to do what he once urged others to,” Zambales Representative Magsaysay said.

  14. Odin0 says:

    00:45:
    What does Ganda mean to the rest of the world? In India, Ganda means dirty.

    Hence they’re telling the truth, but only to the Indian context! AHAHAHA!

    • ChinoF says:

      Thanks for sharing that! 

      Dang, Indians already know that. 😛 

      I also looked around the Net. Ganda is the root word for the name of the country Uganda. So it means our country belongs to Uganda? There’s also a town in Tibet named Ganda. 

      Filipinos have not learned from the guy who urged his Korean female co-worker to call him by his nickname (It think it was Bodjie or Podjie), without realizing that this nickname actually sounds like the Korean word for female genitalia. 

      The current tourism people have been sleeping like their boss! 

      Michael Tan talked about ‘Ganda’ in Inquirer back in 2007. Worth a look see. 

  15. The Lazzo says:

    Lol, that sounds exactly like what happens in North Korea. Soon we’ll be attaching special minders to the tourists. 😀

  16. Renato Pacifico says:

    “Kay Ganda … ” is truly Filipino invention.  Go to any Flip household, the cleanest part is the living room because that is where they entertain the visitors.  The living room is where they hang the diplomas, electronic gadgetries, big-screen TV, books (assuming if they buy books ‘cuz Flips do not read books), of course, Liway-way, Adarna comics and Filipino version of HM.  HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU HAVE PEACE IN LIVING ROOM …?

    The rest of the house is messy.  Do not even try going to the toilet.  It stinks and smell of pooh.  The kitchen cannot even pass Los Angeles’ Dept of Health grading system.  The Dining is sticky.  The rooms are soooo messy yoou would have thoughted it is a junk room ……

    FILIPINOS ARE FOND OF SHOWING OFF.  Only up to the point of the living room.  Do not even venture out and beyond the living room because the rest is just like combat zone.  HAHA!HA1HA!

    • this made me laugh terribly coz i’ve seen so many households in the philippines that are like that. no Pulse Asia survey can beat personal visits. pulse asia won’t even bother giving a poll about that observation coz they will only reckon that it has nothing to do with the collective mindset.

  17. ici says:

    god gave us a beautiful country…it’s the people who have ruined it, and no amount of presidential tantrums can change the fact that it has deteriorated into a “broken and lawless nation.” tsk, tsk…

  18. juanon says:

    IMO the slogan “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” still holds water, at least for tourism’s sake. Most of us think that the Philippines is ugly because we live mostly in Metro Manila. But the rest of the Philippines isn’t as messed up as MM. Davao for one is an incredibly clean city. And most of our resorts are just awesome and foreigners agree as well. 

    • ChinoF says:

      If they run with it, that’s fine with me. The problem is when some of the clients say, “it isn’t as ‘maganda’ as you claim.” There’s also the problem of “ganda” meaning “dirty” or something else in other languages. I predict problems with the new slogan, which of course the DOT should be prepared for. Based on how they handled it just now… it looks like they’ll never be ready. 

      True, there are a lot of beautiful spots in the country. A lot. But the squatter areas and poor are still there, sometimes not far from the sites. And once the nice spots become famous… the vendors and other other people trying to make a buck, but don’t know how to clean up, will make a mess with the trash they scatter there. That I heard is what happened to Boracay. So if this is the pattern, it will be doubly hard to support the “Pilipinas kay Ganda” slogan.  

      Still, if we can clean up the country in a way that deserves “Pilipinas kay Ganda…” why not. But the slogan sets an almost unrealistic goal. 

  19. Tish says:

    Here is what I commented in another essay related to the infamous slogan:

    I viewed the slogan Pilipinas Kay Ganda two ways: 
    1. It may not be a phrase foreigners would not understand AT FIRST but it is patronizing our own- it tend to arouse curiosity however, our country needs to be pushed globally.  Once the Philippines is an established name in everyone’s must-see destination then that’s the time DOT can perhaps introduce patriotic ideas; 
    2. It is a LIE.  The Philippines have its good and bad side.  I understand that DOT was just trying to focus on the positive but that’s misleading.  Everyone I know who has been to Boracay were raving about the place so that set my expectations high but when I went to Boracay, well I was a bit disappointed, however I do acknowledge that different people have different views on what is beautiful, what is interesting; that being said- I wish that DOT would come up with a well-rounded approach on the tourism promotion of this country.  It could be a slogan that caters to different views- the good, the bad and the neutral. They have to step up their game and be more creative.
    What saddens me most about this recent issue is that the current secretary denies any liability and the 5 Million wasted on this project could have been used to fund education or infrastructure or salary increase.  ROBERTO SHOULD PAY FOR THE PHP 5 MILLION.  That I think is accountability- not just apologizing and resigning.  For every action- there should be an equal reaction.  Officials tend to neglect their duties thus make bad decisions because they think they could get away with it.  Government spends sparingly because it is not their money in the first place- imagine, if you were to spend Php 5 Million of your hard-earned salary, you’d think carefully and you’d want the best result for it. 
    If Aquino truly cares for the Philippines, as he claims to be (to the extent that he ate Sabrett hotdogs for lunch), he would make sure that someone pays for this mistake- LITERALLY.  You broke it, you pay for it.

    I contributed this slogan in a DOT DIY slogan drive on FB: 

    Explanation’s there.  Forget the font or graphics (I’m artistically challenged LOL), focus on the message.

    • ChinoF says:

      OK na sana yung Wow Philippines, kaso the current administration decided that it was a legacy of the “evil” GMA administration. Yun lang yun, hate campaign. And it botched. This administration banked on this hate campaign… and it’s now getting a taste of its own medicine. 

  20. Tish says:

    *** Correction- Its EXCESSIVELY instead of SPARINGLY

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