Gilas Pilipinas and the Filipinos’ continuous tradition of ZERO results inspiration

pilipinas_gilas_pusoAs I write this, the Philippine men’s national basketball team, better known as Gilas Pilipinas, has just won against Kazakhstan in the 2014 Asian Games basketball tournament currently being held in Incheon, South Korea. According to reports, however, Gilas needed to win by eleven (11) points in order to advance to the semifinal round. They won by only two (2), therefore it seems that they will wind up being eliminated from competition.

The Gilas Pilipinas team has spent quite a bit of time in the spotlight recently, as last month they were in the FIBA World Cup where they had a record of 1-4. Now, in this Asian Games tournament, they won against India and Kazakhstan, but lost to Iran, Qatar and the host country South Korea. That’s a 2-3 record this time.

The Gilas Pilipinas team, however, is merely just one more additional notch on the wall of celebrities, athletes, or national teams who are being displayed as symbols of that ever-so-persistent phenomenon called Pinoy Pride. Apart from Gilas Pilipinas, one will find names such as Manny Pacquiao, Lea Salonga, Jessica Sanchez, Charice Pempengco, and the Azkals, to name a few.

Pinoy Pride, as I have defined before, is a hollow knee-jerk reaction by Filipinos whenever someone with a semblance of Filipino blood makes it big outside of the Philippines. One persistent argument that Pinoy Pridists keep bringing up is that whenever these celebrities “win”, they not only make the Filipinos proud to be Filipino, they “inspire” Filipinos to do or be better.

A very obvious set of questions – to those who don’t jump on the bandwagon, at least – comes up in light of this claim of inspiration:

Inspire Filipinos to do what, exactly?, and;
Where are the results of such “inspiration”?

It seems that even in the first question, most Filipinos fail to put up a convincing answer. Perhaps some would say that someday, they or their son/relative will become a great singer, or celebrity, or athlete, just like those they admire. Well and good, then.

Pinoy Pridists, though, want to take the accomplishments of an individual, or single team, and apply them as proof that the country, as a whole, is great, or important, or to be noticed/respected. In other words, they want to take credit for them as a national accomplishment. Then it also follows that the inspiration that Filipinos feel should also be present not only at the individual level, but at the national level as well.

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The way Filipinos have been running their country to the ground, however, seems anything but inspired. They still fall for name recall and popularity in choosing their leaders. They let problems like thievery in government and the lack of government services grow into unmanageable messes. They treat their environment and each other with disdain. They abhor intellectual and critical discussion, and regard themselves as infallible and exempt from criticism.

The Philippines, however, needs more people who will help in the thankless and dirty work of nation building; engineers, scientists, and true statesmen are woefully in short supply here. It would be nothing short of foolish for every Filipino to dream and to be inspired to be a celebrity or singer, or an athlete. Not everyone will have the proper skills or build or even looks to qualify for such. Especially in a country like the Philippines which puts a premium on appearance, many of our countrymen will inevitably be setting themselves up for heartbreak and failure and disappointment. The heart (of a fighter), or puso, that Filipinos claim they have, will simply not be enough. They need brains too.

So once again, we ask: where are the results of the inspiration brought about by Pinoy Pride?

The readily evident answer – ZERO, nothing, zilch, nada, null, bokya, itlog.

This inspiration that Filipinos purportedly feel with every Pinoy Pride win is nothing but an anesthetic – a drug – that Filipinos instinctively administer to themselves in order to relieve the pain of the reality of their wretchedness. The Filipino way of coping with problems is to look for things to feel good about – distractions, if you will – and hope the problems go away by themselves. And yet after the feel good moment has passed, they will wake up feeling like crap and facing the reality they thought they could leave behind by ignoring.

Then, the vicious cycle starts anew.

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To truly create sustainable progress and development in the Philippines, the Filipinos must break this cycle. They must face their reality head-on. They have had countless wake-up calls shoved in their face – the recent video by Aegis Malaysia being one of them. They will need to examine their society and themselves critically, and build up the resolve to change the flaws and dysfunctions which have been keeping them down all this time. Pinoy Pride is one of them.

They need to show their strength of character, self-respect, and self-esteem. Pinoy Pride and the “good vibes” thing work against a goal. Filipinos will need to come to terms with THAT reality.

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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.

16 Comments on “Gilas Pilipinas and the Filipinos’ continuous tradition of ZERO results inspiration”

  1. This is so true. I have “unfriended” a lot of my friends due to this phenomenon that you’re saying. I lead a sales force of 200 people. As I’ve told them, Gilas’ performance is like salespeople doing all they can and not hitting the target sales. Nuff said.

  2. Jesus christ. This team, or any team sent to international tournaments represent the Philippines, so there is nothing wrong in being proud of their accomplishments or feeling pinoy pride because as delegates they represent all filipinos. Other countries feel proud of their delegates, including first world countries so stop singling out your own countrymen. This is different from saying “I’m proud to be pinoy” because of manny pacquiao, charice, or any whatshername halfbreed who has been included as a finalist in american idol, who are clearly doing what they do primarily for their own dreams of fame and fortune. A wise man can tell the difference.

      1. A wise man does not need to answer that question because a wise man already knowns the answer. Clearly a man who would resort to immediate name calling is not wise. This is the last time i would acknowledge your presence. Be thankful that i have stooped down to your level, at least temporarily.

      2. Be proud that your country is participating rather than not. Would you rather be a citizen of a country that can’t even compete in a international chess match? Look at sports as a way of inspiring Filipinos to work hard in order to compete with the world.

        1. If anything international sports encourages entitlement in pinoys more than hard work. Pinoys seem to be so allergic to home growing athletes. 99% of the Azkals did not learn the game here. The FIBA representatives would have been blown out of the water with no Blatche so much so that they considered not entering this current tournament because they feel so lost when told Blatche ineligible. So I ask you where is this hard work you claim is encouraged??? We are encouraged to bend our laws for naturalizing imports, that’s it. Pinoys import players and do not export them. So don’t give me this crap about encouraging work.

    1. As stated above, “Pinoy Pridists, though, want to take the accomplishments of an individual, or single team, and apply them as proof that the country, as a whole, is great, or important, or to be noticed/respected. In other words, they want to take credit for them as a national accomplishment. Then it also follows that the inspiration that Filipinos feel should also be present not only at the individual level, but at the national level as well.”

      It’s not that the author is saying there is wrong with supporting the national team, but he is making a point that the repulsive thing is that Pinoy pridists misappropriate the team’s accomplishments. Wise people should know that.

      Also, how lofty do you think you are for some to be grateful that you have stioped down? Well, after all, arrogance doesn’t count as wise.

    2. Let’s put it this way. Team USA won FIBA. With ESPN radio as a gauge, no one cared. Juxtapose that with the pinoys treating their one win like a gift from the gods above. Team USA could care less, it was thee fans of Team KSP doing all the chest beating over one win and so called puso and style etc.

      1. was Team USA an underdog? there’s always the thrill of being the underdog. When did Team USA last qualify for the last FIBA World cup? oh yeah, last 2010.the Philippines? 3 DECADES. you can understand the excitement from a country who btw is the only basketball mad country in ASIA and 2nd only to Lithuania in the WORLD apart from the USA. To mock the fans and calling this TEAM KSP is an insult to the sacrifices they had to go through, don’t get me wrong, i’m disappointed with the results of the games and i’m not a fan, i’m just allergic to ignorance.

        1. Ignorance is exactly how I view fanboy reaction when it comes to international basketball. Why is even qualifying such a novelty? Because we suck as a basketball nation despite being the only country in the world where the men are devoted to basketball and nothing else. Meager results in FIBA = huge entitlement by pinoy fans. Kidding themselves with most entertain and best fans etc. Sorry but attention is for the winners. Not people who win 1 game in 5. KSP. Again the world does not care about pinoy basketball, pinoy tv, pinoy food and commercial pinoy movies. Accept it and don’t act entitled.

  3. I have mixed feelings from writers like this. but hey, it makes us think.

    For every little victory that we have, may it be basketball,skating, dancing or what not, it’s usually glorified tenfold due to the fact that we’re a minority with an enslaved mentality(like the negro people) . we were an oppressed colony, handled by the spanish, japanese and americans leaving an imprint of inferiority. This works both ways, expect harsh recoil and feedback from insults and slurs directed at our once “inferior” nation.

    not that I agree with that but there are sensitive issues involved here. The same way you don’t use the N word on negros or why they’re so sensitive against other races insulting their own, you can take a look at their history as well. Those scars take time to heal, and it will heal from the inside

    While it is true that we need a lot of fixing, You need to know the source of the mentality, then slowly get away from it. This doesn’t happen overnight.

    killing our pride? moderation maybe.

    Also, if you’re one of those guys who thinks that the malaysia ad was okay, then no… Just no. Don’t even get me started about ethics.

    1. you should check out anti-pinoy.com as well. get your daily dose of reality not found in the opium bullshit our media shoves down our throats everyday.

  4. “If anything international sports encourages entitlement in pinoys more than hard work. Pinoys seem to be so allergic to home growing athletes. 99% of the Azkals did not learn the game here. The FIBA representatives would have been blown out of the water with no Blatche so much so that they considered not entering this current tournament because they feel so lost when told Blatche ineligible. So I ask you where is this hard work you claim is encouraged??? We are encouraged to bend our laws for naturalizing imports, that’s it. Pinoys import players and do not export them. So don’t give me this crap about encouraging work.”

    You missed the point of my comment. I meant looking at sports in general as a way to encourage Filipinos to work hard in order to gain results. Forget about basketball for one minute and think about how bad sports in this country has been for the past two decades. Our recent showing in the Asian Games is enough to show the predicament we’re in. Sports is both an investment of hard work and money, which is something our government and athletes lack. I’ve followed Philippine sports since the 2002 Asian Games and it’s really depressing to see our performance remain constantly abysmal. You can tell even from the faces of our athletes in Incheon that many of them simply have no will or desire to play hard.

    So let me see if I get this right: you hate the fans, not the national team.

    Well, that’s your right. I don’t like them either but I will support my national team no matter what. I hope you don’t take that the wrong way because, no, we don’t have a perfect program. Pretty much all of our national teams have major flaws but will you let that stop you from supporting your country? If there’s something you don’t like then contribute something to make it better such as constructive criticism. You should know that I myself have numerous criticisms on our basketball team alone.

    I’ve ask GRP this before but let me reiterate: what do you think we should do in order to improve sports in our country? I have yet to read an article on this matter coming from GRP’s side.

  5. @interxavier
    I guess to improve our national sports team a government support has to be established, but then again the money allocated to this agency just goes to the selected pockets.
    Therefore to improve our sports competitiveness in international arena we need to overhaul the political system in the Philippines.

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