Is the solution to a socio-cultural problem a political one?

The socio-cultural problem, Filipinos need to be reminded, is comprised of the dysfunctions in Filipino culture that have kept them chained to a perpetual state of impoverishment. The political solution, Filipinos would like to think, is to merely focus on changing our leaders into those “different” from the corrupt bunch that currently infest government.

Is there really a solid deterministic link between quality of leaders and prosperity?

Filipinos seem to think so. There is no shortage of Filipinos who seem to believe that running for government office is the best, or even single valid way to effect change in the country. They can range from those who spout the overly defensive statement “Ang galing niyo! Kayo na lang kaya maging presidente!” (Why don’t you guys run for president if you’re so smart?!), to those who are just plain curious: “Who are the candidates that GetRealPhilippines (GRP) thinks embodies its ideals?”lying-politician

But is running for office really the best, or even single valid way, to effect change in society?

If that were true, then despite the few bouts of good leadership that the Philippines has had, how come the Philippines essentially remains the same wretched, impoverished, dysfunctional society that it has been since the 1900’s?

Filipinos removed a person they perceived as a dictator under the assumption that being free would lead to the improvement of their plight in life. If we look 27 years after, it doesn’t seem that anything much has changed.

Roughly, the trend of quality of leadership that the Philippines has had resembles a wave with its crests and troughs – Marcos, Aquino the Mother, Ramos, Erap, Gloria, and now Aquino the Son. And now Filipinos look towards the next one. That’s saying it nicely: simply put, the quality of leaders has been inconsistent, and yet the national plight has all but remained the same.

The assumption that one needs to run for office to effect change is a flawed one.

If one is under the impression that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a government official in the Philippines, think again. One just needs a lot of money and connections, and one just needs to be popular among the easily starstruck Filipinos. The ultimate example that backs this claim up is the fact that Filipinos chose Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III, arguably the most inexperienced, most unqualified, and least deserving of the lot. As it turns out, many Filipinos didn’t choose according to a stringent list of requirements that they would like fulfilled; many of them instead voted on the bases of popularity (helped in no small measure by the ubiquitous media machinery that backed him up) and the lesser evil that BS Aquino projected himself to be. The least corrupt? Please.

As I’ve said in one of my earlier articles:

”When the President is selective of whom he considers corrupt, and when he either does nothing about corruption or is powerless to stop it, the significance of his own personal incorruptibility shrinks, if not goes out the window entirely”; and “Incompetence overshadows incorruptibility any day of the week.

But I digress…

Let’s go back to the unanswered question: “Who are the candidates that GRP thinks embodies its ideals?”

Well, we don’t endorse any candidates.

As disappointing an answer as it may seem to many of you, think about this: if we were to endorse names, what would make us different from any “pundit” who presumes to know what is best for the country?

GRP is not a political entity; this is a misconception of us that has cropped up more often than it needs to. What binds the members of this community – owners, contributors, readers, and commentators – is the shared approach to evaluating issues found in Philippine society. That approach is called critical thinking. Since GRP is not a political entity, there is no GetRealPhilippines platform, and there will never be. GRP does not attach itself to any dogmatic principles. Our work is not intended to be an instrument for policy, but it is an alternative – a counter-balance if one must say – to the heavily co-opted media that is the main information source in this country.

As such, it is this critical thinking approach that more Filipinos need to imbibed with.

Is it clearer now why GRP does not endorse candidates? Why it doesn’t name names?

Naming names is an example of a top-down process of reforms – spoonfeeding. It would simply continue the persisting process of feeding fish to the Filipino electorate.

Change must come from the bottom-up. Filipinos must take it upon themselves – not a bunch of heroes, not a bunch of messianic complexes, and definitely not a bunch of politicians in robes or barongs – to think about how to improve their lot.

That is ultimately what sites like GRP are for – to teach the Filipinos to fish so that they can feed themselves. We are here mainly to show the door; it is ultimately up to the Filipinos to walk in by themselves.

As has been said in this site before, people looking for more are free to organize something and to apply the ideas here in GRP and other sites to their actions.

So why don’t Filipinos change the process, and consequently, the requirements, by which they measure the potential leaders they will vote in? Why don’t they take that critical approach to evaluating what potential candidates have to offer?

Because it’s much, much easier to not think, and be spoonfed.

Given this, do we expect Filipino society to change any time soon?

Can problems be solved using the same thinking that created them?

Obviously, Filipinos think so. This is why it is no surprise that they are mistaken for an insane people. The results have been speaking for themselves ever since.

[Photo courtesy: bellscorners]

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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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51 Comments on "Is the solution to a socio-cultural problem a political one?"

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ChinoF
Member

Good answer to “why don’t you just run for office,” and “who is your candidate?” And who is the right person to vote for… eh di, mag-isip ka!

Gogs
Member

You go to a Jollibee in Laguna, Dumaguete or Basilan and you can get a Champ Burger or Chicken Joy or Spaghetti or all three. GRP does not work like that. Like I say in my own posts, I may not give you absolute answers but if I can make you think of more questions then I am making you think. Thinking is something this government seems to abhor since they seem quite incapable themselves of it.

Johnny Saint
Guest
When Australia and the United Kingdom granted independence to Melanesia (Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, etc.) in the 1970s, they established parliamentary style democracies there. According to our local “CORRECT” Movement, this should have set them on the path to socioeconomic development. It should have made Melanesia one of the most progressive regions in this part of the world. In fact, the exact opposite happened. When this political system was transplanted to Melanesia, their societies became more chaotic. The reason? Most Melanesian voters do not vote for political programs or ideologies. They vote for political PERSONALITIES. Usually this was… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

I’ve always thought tribal factionism is one thing that keeps a country from moving forward. But of course, it’s that basic; if they care for only their factions, they don’t care about country and the rest of the people, the greater good, to put it another way.

Johnny Saint
Guest
Chino, That having factions will polarise society over certain issues is an experience we are already familiar with, both in the Philippines and even in more (supposedly) advanced nations. But the roots of this are deeper than tribal factions. More than a failure to consider “the greater good.” In an earlier exchange (with Chrissie) this was the conclusion that was drawn: Filipinos have not developed an identity or “sense” of nation beyond the borders of their immediate community of kinship relations and friends and supporters. Because of this, we cannot expect them to appreciate the idea of OTHER communities or… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

Unfortunately, our sense of identity as a people doesn’t go deeper than believing that we’re a great people because we can win in international competitions (boxing matches, beauty contests, singing contests, etc.). That’s really a very complex problem –the need to define our identity as a people and to form an ideology that we can all embrace — because we’re a people who are not very fond of thinking deeply or reflecting.

Hyden Toro
Guest
Filipinos are used to being deceived and deluded by political propagandas;PR lies of politicians, and False survey firms. Being President of this hopeless Republic, takes a lot of patience and brains. We have a Culture of Corruption. We have a Culture of Political Patronage. We have political Warlords in the Provinces. Our economy is a “Bubble Economy” , floated by OFW earnings. Then we elected actors, actresses, comedians, show biz personalities, etc…to be our leaders. Who are barely literate. Change comes from all of us. It is my duty to inform my countrymen, as a GRP Blogger. To tell the… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest
I know this comment that I’m about to make will elicit violent reactions from many, but I must say that my previous prejudice against movie stars running for elective positions in the country was wiped out when I watched Batangas governor Vilma Santos-Recto being interviewed on TV. She’s about the only politician I’ve ever heard speaking who didn’t sound like a politician at all. She sounded very sincere and matter-of-fact, and certainly not politically correct, even saying that the people would have to do something about their attitudes, and even castigating a town mayor in Batangas for not considering the… Read more »
Johnny Saint
Guest

Chrissie,

I think you’ve already put your finger on one of the bigger problems with candidates like Vilma Santos. Her preparation for the job consists of a crash course in public administration. Akin to Manny Pacquiao’s approach. We should be able to do better than “short cuts” and good intentions. Ultimately it is her popularity that allows her to assume public office. Not competence. You have to wonder: Are those her policies? Her ideas? Or the party’s? Or were they dreamed up by her handlers and consultants — people who are unelected and unaccountable to the electorate.

Chrissie
Guest
Yes, I guess Vilma Santos’s bigger problem is her lack of adequate preparation for the job of president, which is a lot more complex than that of a provincial governor as it already involves national issues like national defense, foreign relations, etc. I was just thinking that many (if not most) of the past U.S. presidents were governors of states, which they say is a better preparation to be U.S. president than being a legislator as it’s also an executive position and entails much the same tasks, except that the tasks are magnified when you’re president. But I guess the… Read more »
Johnny Saint
Guest
Chrissie, Serving as the chief executive of a local polity is usually the path to a national office. But, historically, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is always the best choice. John F. Kennedy served both in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate before being elected President. By all accounts, Americans agree he was a great leader. Jimmy Carter was governor of the US State of Georgia. History tells us he was a weak and indecisive president. Closer to home, Erap Estrada was Mayor of San Juan (City) for seventeen years (1969-1986). His administration was marked by unequaled… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

Johnny Saint: While I don’t reject any of the facts you stated here, I don’t suppose that they constitute a proof that there can be no provincial governor in the Philippines who could also become a good president in the future? Rest assured that I haven’t decided to endorse Gov. Vi for president in 2016, but the thought just crossed my mind. I’ll certainly weigh all the pros and cons before I make any decision. Thanks so much for your insights. They’re definitely very helpful.

cynicjam
Member

Just a friendly warning to the trolls/butthurt individuals who would use spiels like “Pa-Ingles pa kayo dyan e mga Pinoy kayo!/Sige, kayo na ang magaling, kayo na ang maging presidente!/Puro kayo salita wala naman kayong ginagawa!”…

I think GRP has already provided with many articles to detail on what is wrong with this country. Understand the message then applying the knowledge remains on the individual itself.

Problem is there are still people who are dreaming that everything’s better because all are provided by their benevolent ruler. Hey, if they enjoy getting butthurt here, it’s not my problem anymore.

Hyden Toro
Guest
@Ian Your innuendo is not friendly, you idiot YellowTard. Why did your YellowTard President ran for office; if he cannot handle the job? I speak English; and there is nothing wrong with it. If my communication with my countrymen is effective in English. So be it. There are many more wrongs in our country. Your narrow and constricted YellowTard Vision is like that: because you refuse to see, other wrongs; even if you have eyes. It may be because of your political patronage to the Aquinos, and other politicians. Why do you try to prevent people from speaking up, in… Read more »
cynicjam
Member
@Hyden Toro Uhm, I’m not a Yellowtard – have you read some of my posts? I’m also attacking those retards and people who are obviously being ignorant about the situation in this country. Maybe you accused me of being retard is this: “Problem is there are still people who are dreaming that everything’s better because all are provided by their benevolent ruler. Hey, if they enjoy getting butthurt here, it’s not my problem anymore.” – The “they” I’ve mentioned are the Yellowtards and Filipinos turning a blind eye on the current situation of this country. I’m puzzled as to why… Read more »
Critical Thinker
Guest

@Ian I remember going to the Philippines one time. I was on board Philippine Airlines. This one guy a carrying her baby next to the restroom even though the airplane was going through turbulent air and the captain had the keep seats fastened. This pretty is an example of the article. He’ll probably blame the airlines if anything happened to him or his baby. I don’t know if people will read this site. You can lead the horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink.

cynicjam
Member
@Critical Thinker, I get your point especially your last sentence. We can’t force feed individuals if they are not willing to understand the true message of articles such as these. To paraphrase my previous statement: GRP has written many articles that it is up to the INDIVIDUAL to understand its meaning and to implement on what he/she has learned in the process. I’m hoping that the messages here would make the average Filipino snap out of his/her delusions and face the reality that our country is slowly dying. Maybe it would be better if we had a local version of… Read more »
Critical Thinker
Guest

I beg to disagree. I don’t think it’s a matter of education; it’s more of a character trait. Education is merely a sign of that trait, which is the willingness to listen and to improve. Tagalog or English, if the person is not willing to improve, they won’t learn. As this site said, it’s the culture; for the individual, it’s about character.

Chrissie
Guest
Critical Thinker: While I agree that it’s a matter of character, I don’t agree that it’s not a matter of education. I could be wrong, but I’ve always thought that one big problem of the Filipinos is that so many of us are uneducated, undereducated, or miseducated. Pardon me for saying this as I myself am an educator, but I think the best minds in the Philippines can’t be found in the field of education as it doesn’t pay well (the only intelligent people it attracts, therefore, are those who really want to help better their country through education or… Read more »
Chrissie
Guest

The reason I said that, Critical Thinker, is that everywhere I go in the country, I do people-watching, and it seems to me that many Filipinos really mean well but are just not enlightened and act without reflection. For instance, they throw their trash just anywhere not because they’re bad people but because they don’t think about the consequences of their acts. If you even just hint to them about throwing their trash in a trash bin, they’ll think you’re weird.

Chrissie
Guest

Hyden Toro: Ian’s right. You’re mistaken. He’s certainly not a Yellowtard, and he’s one of the GRP readers who’ve given very sound and civil comments here. I’ve had exchanges with him here, and I particularly like his ideas.

cynicjam
Member

Thanks for the vote of confidence, lol.

elmer c solidon
Guest

it makes me sad and at times frustrated that many of us like to be screwed by a lot of our politicians as evidenced by the kind of people we choose as our leaders. this article exactly echoes my own sentiments, thank you very much. keep on punching……

Jhay Lapinid
Guest

TL:DR GRP ranting about how even though they are all talk no action they are still noble and relevant. The same dozen posters commenting on their own articles to pad the otherwise empty comment section.

Another day, another sweet peso laughing at you wannabe-but-toogutless2b traitors, muahaha

joeld
Guest

Of course you won’t read the article, it doesn’t matter if its too long. You wouldn’t get it anyway. You are either too dumb for it or just too busy sucking Noy’s small cock.

cynicjam
Member

Again…obvious troll is obvious.

Lumabas din ang kulay mo. Hardy-har-har.

WinterSoldier
Guest

Yes, and being non-traitors means worshiping the Aquino family like demi-gods like you do and the rest of their cronies too. We’ve put out more facts in our arguments against yours which are ridden with nothing more than Yellow Propaganda. Honestly, come at us with facts that actually support your argument for once, instead of derailing or mouthing off about conspiracy theories and crap.

My advice, hypocrite: Just don’t bite your tongue when you try to laugh and choke back those tears.

Johnny Derp
Guest

Oh look, the troll thinks he’s winning again but in reality, he’s getting his ass handed to him.
Don’t even think about making another account to agree with your post since you have already been outed as a bonafide fraud.
You think supporting this regime is patriotic? You really have no clue of the true nature of aquino clan.

Don’t show your face here unless you can disprove our points.

joeld
Guest

@ jhay lapinid

Get a real job, like everybody else, and do not waste our tax money. Pati ba naman sabado OT ka pa, maka troll ka lang dito.

You are worse than the lowest scums of society, trying to earn a living by destroying what is left of this country. You are worthless!

Jhay Lapinid
Guest
16 comments so far… And apart from me no normal commenters, just the posters. No wonder you guys are lining up to attack! Doesn’t look like I’m on the losing side, no matter what happens the legacy has already been set for the true and faithful. Deep down inside your bitter hollow souls you know the authority has won every cycle, because they are chosen by your kababayans. There are always people that want to swim against the tide in every country, enjoy another decade in your fruitless rants conyos! I have to thank you also, please carry on frothing… Read more »
cynicjam
Member

“Doesn’t look like I’m on the losing side, no matter what happens the legacy has already been set for the true and faithful.” – What legacy are you talking about?

“Deep down inside your bitter hollow souls you know the authority has won every cycle, because they are chosen by your kababayans.” – My guess is that you would rather be contented with what is going on in this country? I thought you love the Philippines? Guess not.

WinterSoldier
Guest

You’re not making sense either. And stop lying, you’re not a ‘normal commenter’. In fact, you’re just like any ignorant Pinoy pleb who loves to comment nonsense.

I have to thank you, please carry on TROLLING since you just want to have fun instead. Am I right, real-life fraud?

joeld
Guest

Poor delusional idiot, still thinking that his retard of a president is still enjoying the majority of the country’s approval.

Lucky for you you don’t need sex anymore, because you get effed from behind every minute of the day by the BS, haha!

Johnny Derp
Guest

Fruitless rants?
Your attacks are the one that’s fruitless.
You already claimed that this site wasn’t a threat yet here you are, what does that make you then?
If this site wasn’t a problem for your president, he wouldn’t need you gullible fools to spread his flawed propaganda.

Enjoy your blunder, Mr. Multiple account idiot.

Gogs
Member

I thought a normal commenter is one with no monetary bias or monetary agenda. Just a curiosity with the issue. But you parrot Lacierda type dogma. Well since you are on the payroll to Noynioy for that and other services rendered we can’t mention on a family site.

Sundalong Pang Lamig
Guest

Your point is a Red Herring. It will not fool us because we have education.

Troll harder.

Suibon
Guest

You’re looking for a ‘normal commenter’ — I wonder if you were looking for me?

I mean, it isn’t as if you don’t have a point, even as you put it so jerkily — we can’t just sit on our asses yapping — but then, this is the prescription of the founders of this site. ‘The masses are idiots! Talk over them and to the elites! See if they move!’

libertas
Guest

After living with the dysfunctional behavior of politicians for so many years, people regrettably can become invested in defending their dysfunctions rather than actually changing them.

this applies particularly in societies where levels of education are low, and cult followings are high.

Jmac
Guest
Jhay Lapinid wrote: “TL:DR GRP ranting about how even though they are all talk no action they are still noble and relevant. The same dozen posters commenting on their own articles to pad the otherwise empty comment section. Another day, another sweet peso laughing at you wannabe-but-toogutless2b traitors, muahaha” It’s really kind of pathetic to see trolls derive satisfaction from being a troll and beat the bushes just out of spite every now and then. And they always exhibit passive-aggressiveness in the form of fake laughter (ie., “muahaha” or “lol”) in a poor attempt to deflect criticisms and avoid having… Read more »
Johnny Derp
Guest

In other words, they’re just a one trick pony which is really pathetic when you think about it.

Gogs
Member

And they represent the very thing we despise. A very shallow person with no ability. They represent EXACTLY what he is.

krokodil
Guest
@ FallenAngel Political decisions and solutions have dominated and changed human history from the ancient Sumerian civilization, to the Roman Empire, to Hitler’s Germany to the present time. All the wars in recorded history were political. Space exploration was political. Assassinations are political. The recent events that shook the financial houses and nations economies was political. Although poverty, overpopulation, lack of education, unemployment, inequality, corruption, low salary and high prices remains to be the core issues the country faces today, other challenges like religious issues, drugs, health care, abortion and same sex relationships and marriage have further complicated the country’s… Read more »
Johnny Saint
Guest

krokodil,

You have no idea how political systems evolved or you wouldn’t have put forth that comment.

ChinoF
Member

To the krokodil, everything’s political. That’s what you call living in your own little world.

Johnny Saint
Guest

Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed often and for the same reason.

Gerry
Guest
A good point, BUT since the gov’t. is the only entrepreneur allowed to profit, due to the never ending red tape and regulations governing business’s, it really is the only way to get ahead in the country. IF you are an employee, the wages paid are PATHETIC. If you are a retailer you have to deal with the end of the line proposition that the tariffs already imposed on the products being sold have been passed all the way along to the retailer so that any and all profits have already been taken out of the product for sale. IF… Read more »
TheDiscomfortofChange
Guest
TheDiscomfortofChange
If it’s one thing I hate about Filipino culture, it’s the over-emphasis on collectivism where individual critical thinking and individual freedom is considered a social taboo. There is limited individual thinking and limited freedom here. Not “freedom” in the legal sense, but in the social sense. People here are so afraid to express themselves. They’re so afraid to be individuals. They’re afraid because the collectivism and mob mentality is so strong. Nobody wants to go their individual way and shine as an individual.(Gays are an exception. Kudos to Gays) Anyone who attempts to do so is subtly hissed, jeered, sneered… Read more »
yup
Guest

collectivism? where did I hear that? oh! former communist bloc countries plus North Korea.. At least North Koreans has that Juche principle, I don’t know about us..

Aryianna
Member

This forum is an excellent medium of communication for the intelligent. What about the below-average IQ citizens who comprise the majority population? Even if they were computer literate (enough to post on Facebook or register on dating sites) I don’t think they’d be able to grasp the concepts discussed here, i.e. to think critically. It’s as if the burden of educating the population (of dulled minds) falls on those who are privileged and blessed with intelligence, which would require a grass roots effort — a monumental task, but not impossible.

BobTop
Guest

The problem is those of you who realised the problems with the country are a the minority, whilemany of the people are ignorant or choose to be ignorant.
The education and message need to reach the common people.
Only the people can change the country.
But the underlying deeper issue is the culture, the nonchalant attitude towards what is happening over and over again.

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