Call to action: Sayaw Pinoy, sayaw

You can easily tell that Filipinos aren’t a very reflective people. Go to any public place — a mall, a department store, a train station — or take a ride in a public utility vehicle like a bus or jeepney and chances are your senses will be assaulted by loud monotonously-throbbing music punctuated by tacky vocals.

Why does every public space in the Philippines have to be so, well, disco-like??

“Vacuous” as boss Benign0 terms it.

I’m really not quite sure whether loud thumping music is a reflection of the vacuousness of Filipino minds or if the vacuousness of Filipino minds is its outcome. Do malls, perhaps, play loud music incessantly to dull thinking and make Filipinos more vulnerable to the power of suggestion?

Here, listen to this loud music. And while you’re at it, check out the low prices of these inferior products on display.

Or more ominously…

Here, listen to this loud music and check out the babes gyrating to it on stage. And while you’re at it, remember to vote for Risa Hontiveros.

Hey that’s just a hypothetical example of a suggestive message, ok ma’am Risa? 😉

Actually, this article was inspired by Benign0’s previous post on the pomp and pageantry surrounding the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod and the promotion of Bishop Tagle to Cardinal. When I read it, it suddenly hit me — Filipinos are easily distracted. It explains why on one moment they’d be up in arms over the latest outrage fad and, on the next, they’d suddenly move on fists pumping in the air to the next noisy “issue”. It explains why a million-strong mob illegally kicked Erap out of Malacañang in 2001 and why, in 2010 the same man almost became the next president of the Philippines.

Put on a little bit of music, crank up the volume and issue a bit of encouragement…

Sayaw Pinoy, sayaw…

…and the next circus is on.

Contrary to popular belief, Filipinos are an easy people to govern. You just need to be all showbiz. And that is where my next epiphany hit me…

Kaya pala “Showbiz Government”!

The mighty Showbiz Government Facebook page (in excess of 28,000 followers as of this writing) seem to make this whole simple point of what the Philippines and its government is all about. We really are just one big disco nation — loud music sponsored by the public service playing all day and we all mindlessly dancing to its beat and humming to its tune while the really important issues simply fly way over our heads.

I must say, after spending a couple of years just being a mere follower and lurker in the wondrous ecosystem that is the GRP Universe, it is only now — as a writer — that I am beginning to connect the dots, the dots being the various terms and phrases I repeatedly see in the different articles I’ve been reading here…

– vacuous
Sayaw Pinoy, sayaw
– outrage fad
– Showbiz Government
– Platform Plez
– irony
Da Pinoy condition

…among others.

To me, these words and phrases just used to be no more than colorful metaphors and descriptive devices that added that unique spicy flavor to GRP articles. But now they have become components of a beautiful mental picture that has formed in my mind of that Pinoy Condition various writers here often mention.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Johnny Nash “I Can See Clearly Now”
(Theme song from the film Cool Runnings)

I wish Filipinos will sing this song and take its lyrics to heart instead of simply dancing to the beat of the mind-clouding music our retailers and politicians shove down our ear canals.


Post Author: Kate Natividad

Frustrated artist doing geek for a living.

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49 Comments on "Call to action: Sayaw Pinoy, sayaw"

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hwag kang gawa ng gawa ng kwento. Nanalo si PNoy hndi dahil sa sounds na sinasabi mo, nanalo sya dahil magagalit ang taumbayan sa mga kumorap sa gobyerno at si Aquino lamang ang makakalutas nito. Hinuhuli na ang mga nagnakaw (Gloria and Corona) at sunod sunod na ang mga makukulong pa.


Yes, if the beat is right, they will dance all night (or until the elections come around and there’s a new politician to dole out freebies).


Showbiz Government,you’ve got it! it is correct.Actors,producers,directors….a performance aka charade!
You might be missing one crucial part,they are all the same.As in No difference. All working together to perform a public spectacle that is entertaining,engaging and not at all insightful as far as what you never see.
Nice one young Lady!


@ Kate

Show me how and where you spend your 10 hour day period and I’ll tell you what you are.
You might think you are reflective but a person staring at you think otherwise.


You know, Kate,

We could probably substitute a circus for what we have as a government and the people still won’t be able to tell the difference.

You did mention above that Pinoys aren’t known for being reflective as a people. Well, one of their behaviors can be described by a simple paradox:

“Stuck in the past but doomed to forget it”

We all know that a society is composed of different groupings or classes. Since that is what make up a society, we should be able to distinguish one class from the other. We should be able to differentiate among several classes or types of crowd as to how they do things, think or react to external factors affecting their situation. That is why we have what we call a, b, c, d etc. crowds. When you say “Filipinos are this or that” chances are readers will wonder who in particular are you talking about. Are you talking about people in… Read more »
Hyden Toro

We are Wowoowee people. Some have deriorated already to YellowTards…


Jonas rages against generalization


I like Kate Natividad’s blog post. It’s light yet has an impact to the reader. Like a drizzle, enough to get you wet.


The lower class lack education and refinement as we in the art and entertainment industry would call it. I can’t hold that against them though, it’s the hand they were dealt with. If they would be more educated, they would have the cognition to understand “higher” levels of entertainment.

Case in point: an educated person would understand and possibly relate to the deepness in Cash’s lyrics, whereas a non-educated person will probably only understand the lyrics in a superficial way.

This wouldn’t happen though if the government wasn’t so corrupt and would focus more on education and development.


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Months after you wrote this. It is so prophetic. In light of things like Cebu Airlines non answer answers on that runway incident and of course Nancy Binay you have summed up the mindset of this culture. What it accepts and what it propogates.