Why a Smart Gilas win means everything to Filipinos

Consider, first of all, the kind of responses that fellow GRP writer Gogs’ article “Why a Smart Gilas Win Means Nothing to Me” drew. They can be summarized with one simple phrase: Butthurt Pinoy pridesters are so predictable.

“If you don’t ride on the bandwagon, why don’t you just keep your opinion to yourself?”
“Why can’t you just be happy for your countrymen, don’t be so nega(tive).”
“The country had become united to support one common goal! Isn’t that something to be proud of as a Pinoy?”
“What have you done to support your team and uplift your fellow citizens?”
“You don’t support the team? You’re a traitor to your country!”
“Filipino pride inspires to strive for greater things! You crab! Why are you trying to pull your fellow countrymen down!”

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More telling than the perceived attack on Pinoy Pride is the fact that most Filipinos can’t take someone or something who/that dares venture away from what is accepted as common or popular. In other words, something or someone that/who does not ride on bandwagons. Filipinos and “different” don’t mix very well. As I and many others here in GRP have said many times, Filipinos don’t like different. They don’t approach different with an open mind to learn from it; they judge it.

In the interest of being different, I could beg to differ with Gogs and say that perhaps he doesn’t appreciate where the Filipinos are coming from. For them, one thing takes highest importance above all else: to be happy all the time. This is why Filipinos are addicted to instant gratification. This is why Filipinos attach themselves easily like leeches to the accomplishments of individual exceptional Filipinos, simply by virtue of shared Filipino blood. Yet they don’t just cling on to any achieving Filipino; they cling to those from the entertainment and sports fields, in particular. These people project a larger-than-life image whenever the Filipino sees them on his/her screen. What other way to make you feel happy or feel good then by attaching oneself to somebody who appears larger-than-life to you?

Yet in reality, Filipinos are smaller-than-squat.

HappinessFilipinos call for GV (good vibes) all the time. Indeed, being happy is the opium of the Filipino. They are addicted to it. Ask a Filipino why they need feel-good moments and why they flash their trademark ngiting-aso (dog smile) as much as possible, and you will most likely get an answer like this:

“It’s a distraction from all the negative things happening in our country.”

Need we remind Filipinos, however, that a lot of the “negative things happening in their country” could be considered to be at least partly, if not entirely, their fault. Are your government officials not representing you? Why did you vote them in? A natural calamity devastated your place? Can you honestly say that you prepared as much as possible for it, and why are you waiting for aid to come instead of picking yourself up?

A drug addiction eventually leads to a high – a state of seemingly utter don’t-give-a-f*ck bliss. This happiness that Filipinos want to feel perpetually IS exactly that, what a reputedly emotional people like the Filipinos aim for, by instinct. However, at the end of it all, the outcome is all the same: after the high has passed, they wake up feeling like shit.

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Filipinos better start asking themselves then: once their Pinoy Pride personality/team loses, what happens next? Kanya-kanya na lang nanaman? Where are the results of being inspired to strive for greater things? When Filipinos have nothing to feel happy about, do they actually think the world will stop for them? After they come down from their happy place, how do they plan to deal with their not-so-happy realities? Do they try to escape them again with more feel-good moments?

What better time to ponder the answers to those questions than now, because, apparently, the Philippine national team has just lost to Iran in the FIBA Asia finals. I guess, in basketball, heart and fighting spirit are not substitute enough for the height and skill credential which Filipinos lack. If the reactions I’ve been starting to see on Twitter and FB are any indication, Filipinos have started resorting to the “cope by patawa” – making endless jokes about their “sad situation”. This proves what I said about the need for GV, in contrast with dealing with things like defeat and dejection stoically and in a composed manner.

It’s long been said that perhaps Filipinos should try their hand at football (soccer). However, it is inarguably more of a team game than basketball is, and the manok na pinugutan ng ulo na pinakawalan sa palaruan (headless chicken released onto the playing field) mindset that Filipinos like to employ in basketball will obviously not work as well in that game. But I digress…

The bottom line is that Filipinos, if they want to really stand tall among the world’s best, then they need to build first something that they can collectively be proud of as a nation. This something is not attributable to a single personality or team, but the outcome of a people coming together to make things work. The world is still waiting for that day to happen; this will not be achieved by attaching your entire people to the success of a single entity, nor will it be achieved by forcing yourself to be happy while ignoring the realities that you need to face. It will come from strength and substance of character as a people.

Where is that for the Filipinos, you may ask? Well, they need to build up their self-respect and self-esteem first. Ironically, Pinoy Pride and the “good vibes” thing work against such a goal. Filipinos need to come to terms with THAT reality.

[Photo courtesy: Watchmen Daily, Colipera, and Addicthelp.org]

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About FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

Post Author: FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

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41 Comments on "Why a Smart Gilas win means everything to Filipinos"

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Gogs
Member

Thank you for this my friend FA. My favorite artist once sang ” allow me to inject a dose of reality into this festive occasion.” . But the notion is taboo I guess in Pinoy culture. I also found it extremely funny that despite all the personal attacks and the assumptions and fantasies the naysayers had about me others still criticized my real name was not on there. There is no pleasing them.

ChinoF
Member

What I’m also seeing on Facebook is people saying Iranians are terrorists. That only shows how sore losers many Filipinos can be. Perhaps it reflects that all they want is to have the highest piss – maybe another reason why a Gilas win is so important. They win, they have another reason to boast against others. These Filipinos make being boastful very important. So if they have nothing to boast, they attack instead those who do better than them. Crab mentality, as well as the desire to be “king of the world” without really trying, I guess.

Gogs
Member

Look at the PBA Atin To FB page. They talk about losing to taller Iranians and that silver is as good as gold. Even in winning they have excuses.

gosh
Guest
Guys I think you’re missing a point of what human beings really are. If you’re really into reality (as what your blog named after) you have to accept that in our world we’re all unique. Even in other nations: – some people really have a hard time accepting defeat( that’s 100% reality) – some people(trolls) are plainly playing your temper( that’s 100% reality) – some are just really an idiot.( that’s 100% reality) 100% real not only in PINAS. Don’t write if you don’t understand the whole package. and Opinions are 100% free even if it came from a person… Read more »
IshmaelM
Guest
Maybe you and the other poster don’t know how much basketball means to Pinoys. It’s not a logical thing we loved the game ever since it was introduced to us. From half-courts in streets, to the rudimentary ones where there’s vacant soil, we Pinoys simply love basketball. Sorry if you don’t but the majority of us love it, it’s not logical because we’re generally short but we love it. I know, soccer is a team game where points are hard to produce, but basketball is a team game also, even if points are harder to produce. It’s true that one… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

I think you’re missing the point… please read this for further ideas.

Also, I believe loving only basketball is a sign of narrow-mindness, lack of creativity and unwillingness to change of Filipinos.

IshmaelM
Guest
I’m not defending the other commenters. I’m directly refuting the argument in this post, and possibly the other one I don’t remember, that this basketball win is just an opium for Pinoys, who are not hard-working enough to do well on their own. I was talking about for the first time we have a long term basketball program. And although a big part of it is the naturalized player, there are signs, like these past two games, that we can eventually be successful without naturalized players. It’s the system built by SBP, coach Raiko and coach Chot. A system is… Read more »
Johnny Saint
Guest
What would have happened if Dado Banatao stayed in the Philippines instead of going on to the US and Stanford and a string of start-ups that changed the face of computing? Are you actually arguing that he would have achieved the same thing under the onerous policies of the Marcos administration and the IMF/World Bank? That the economic and social conditions in the Philippines would have fostered his success? And that the intellectual environment here would have inspired his ingenuity? Please review your history of the Philippines. And try to understand why Dado was successful abroad. Try not to be… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

The way you’re talking about Banatao is putting him down for being successful in America. That is being negative, as our detractors would like to accuse us of. Think of what Johnny above asked: what if he never became successful in America? Wouldn’t he do less? He is already giving more to this country by using his resources to help businesses here. If you want him to give to the basketball programs here, ask him yourself.

gosh
Guest
@FallenAngel: as you you stated above “Those Filipinos who merely cling to the success of those who win and insist that everyone ride on the bandwagon for Pinoys to feel good about themselves should not. This is why stuff like this is opium for the Pinoys, because instead of using such inspiration to improve their own lives, there are those who get addicted to the “good vibes” brought about by an accomplishment that isn’t even remotely theirs. They look for it again and again and pass it off as their own success.” Wow! Such a strong statement. You mean being… Read more »
benign0
Admin

Look at it at a collective level. There is a lot of collective pride for “achievements” like these sports wins but little in the way if actual achievement at a national level that puts the Philippines at the same level even of its peers within the region. It’s simple, really.

ChinoF
Member

First, Gosh, let me ask you: Gilas just lost to Iran. Still proud?

Johnny Saint
Guest

Gott im Himmel!

Three concurrent articles and you lot still DO. NOT. GET. IT. It was never about basketball. It still isn’t, no matter how many times you write commentary about GRP writers’ “disdain” for basketball.

ChinoF
Member

My belief is that Filipinos are not about improving themselves through basketball, they’re after boasting over others by riding on successes that are not their own. I doubt there is anything that can challenge that observation.

Benjo
Guest
LOOK, there is NO HOPE for changing what is going on in the country…except ONE…and it is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.(How much more the country can take is astounding!) the best anyone in the country can do is to GET OUT while they are under 30 yrs. of age OR suffer a poverty stricken life-time. the deck is sooo stacked against any type of aspiration to even a middle-class life-standard in the west(which,btw , is declining every second) it is AMAZING that there are not mass-suicides OR massive civil unrest. the situation IS that HOPELESS. That said, have a few… Read more »
Johnny Saint
Guest

Benjo,

Let me get this straight. You want to jump ship — leave the Philippines — so that you can try to eke out an existence in the west where conditions are declining to Philippine levels? That doesn’t make sense. More than likely westerners are headed for Southeast Asia because this is where the next frontier for development will be. The old markets in Europe and America are saturated. The so-called tiger economies of Japan and Singapore are also looking for new channels, more dynamic markets. That means China and the ASEAN countries. And you want to leave that?

libertas
Guest

My dreams have become puny with the reality my life has become.
Imelda Marcos

We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

libertas
Guest

Reasons to be cheerful – filipino style

It is overcompensation for fragile egos and low self-esteem
A need to follow and belong to the crowd
A diversion from their daily dross
A vicarious sense of achievement
A platform for political exposure
‘Bread and circuses’ – keep the peasants amused

17Sphynx17
Guest
I personally understand that people would like to express pride and feel entitlement when a team plays or wins. I get that. I personally don’t have that and never will. What I do not support is claiming it as a national success story and the badmouthing of the other team. I get that sometimes trash talking is part of the sport, but that is between the players. Why do onlookers have to stoop low by stating it as a PvP (putok vs puso). Low blow, What if the iranians made it look like it was because their measuring sticks were… Read more »
Rookoz
Guest

This is much better post, it comes across as more articulated, sceptical and constructive.

IshmaelM
Guest
I’m not denigrating Dado Banatao’s achievements in the US. Ok, the conditions then particularly the dictatorship, might’ve not been conducive to technology enterpreneurship but what I’m saying is many Pinoys should put their efforts where their mouth is. There is such a phenomenon as “reverse brain drain”. It is where somebody gains knowledge or leverage in another country and brings it to his home country. Dado might not have any choice in his younger days but wait when he was older to start doing something for his country but look the Philippines actually has the best GDP growth in Southeast… Read more »
domo
Guest

“We’re still poor but investments are actually coming in because of the anti-corruption drive of the administration.”

I bet you always believe on “good” news especially from penoy’s propaganda machine like hallelujah. The question is did you really feel it? Or does you emo self told you so? And no don’t give me that stupid “mangyayari din iyan hintay lang” excuse.

Johnny Saint
Guest

Let me say this again. PLEASE read up on Philippine history BEFORE you make comments about what OTHER people should or shouldn’t do. Also try to get an inkling of the local business environment in the 1990s vis à vis the US and Europe. You might understand WHY conditions were more favorable in those economies and why it is more viable to invest in Asia now.

And stop being deluded by Penoy’s propaganda. Try getting a real glimpse of the local business conditions now. Not the lies circulated by Malacañang.

IshmaelM
Guest
Okay please enlighten me on what part of Philippine history did I miss? What if Asia as a whole is a more viable investment opportunity than Europe and US. Okay you’re saying it has nothing to do with PNoy. But what is wrong with PNoy’s anti-corruption platform? It remains to be seen if it goes anywhere but do you think any of the past regimes would have the will to bring the pork barrel in the spotlight? This administration lacks in many things, particularly in infrastructure spending, but it is the only administration that has done something against what most… Read more »
ChinoF
Member
Success in sports is good, but it’s not the only thing we should look for. And that seems to be the case with some of the Gilas team fandom – they only seek to ride on the fame of a team while continuing their bad habits. If you are worried about our sports programs in the country, better lobby the government for more support. It should be more than the president attending a game himself. The funding needed for sports programs seems to be dwindling. Perhaps Banatao and other people are already contributing this much for sports programs, but public… Read more »
libertas
Guest
I was a professional squash player in my youth and support sport wholeheartedly, for the fun it provides, the values it engenders, the health benefits it gives, and the cameraderie it offers. What i see in sport in the philippines is an approach and a microcosm indicative of the country as a whole – disorganised, corrupt, power play, political kudos/exposure. Politics regrettably plays a role in national sports everywhere, but in the philippines it is controlled by fat unsightly politicians who only run when they need to hide. They have no agenda but their own. Sport is about the grass… Read more »
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[…] is the main reason Gogs, FallenAngel and I came out with criticisms of the Gilas fandom. The way these fans behave is pulling down the […]

rannelM
Guest
1) The pinoy pride issue is a valid point, but not valid when it comes to sports or other competitions where the country is being represented. What we don’t want is when the nation tries to attach itself to an individual or group who for all we know, doesn’t give a damn about representing the country. 2) You are a funny yet annoying party crasher, to get the attention you desperately need. This is why you got to write something like this pretty soon while the country is celebrating. You will not get the response you want, nor the buyin… Read more »
ricardo
Guest

Very good perspective. It is the culture of “take what you can” even if it’s just the crumbs. The corollary to this mentality is the “hopeless” mindset that have been injected into our minds. Nothing changes; not corruption, not the wet and hot weather, not the traffic, not the politicking, nothing, except maybe basketball but even that is short-lived and momentary. As I said Filipinos take what they can, that’s really sad!

Leb
Guest

‘Filipinos don’t like different. They don’t approach different with an open mind to learn from it; they judge it.’

I don’t agree with that but granting that it is true, such expression can also be said of other countries and worse. Take for example, Russia which recently adopted a law prohibiting “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors.” It’s an anti-gay law.

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