Values and Virtues in the Philippines and Why They Don’t Help Much

As a young boy studying in a Catholic private school, I was often proud of the fact that even our so-called “goodness” was also graded in our report cards. You see, in the back of our report cards, you would find a grading system regarding our industry, initiative, obedience and other traits you would find in a good, law-abiding citizens. However, after graduating from college and being exposed to philosophical debates postulated by the likes of Socrates, Plato, Nietzsche and Machiavelli, I came to realize just how silly the whole concept was. I mean, it could be helpful in making sure that kids grew up right but considering just how chaotic and troublesome growing up really is I doubt that they would really mean anything in the long run.

tree_of_lifeTo make matters worse, I have come to notice a very troubling aspect of Filipino culture and that is the way a lot of Filipinos misinterpret common values and virtues that are found in more developed countries. Now, don’t get me wrong, these values and virtues can still be found in a good number of people but it saddens me to note what they mean to a lot of other people. At best, most of these people will only understand the basic stuff like what they mean in the dictionary but at worst, they don’t even know said values and virtues have an even deeper meaning beyond the basic.

I have stated in a previous article that most Filipinos don’t really understand the concept of honor and the smaller values that constitute it. Here, I will expound on how most Filipinos often forget the true meaning of some values and virtues and apply them out of context or worse.

Let me show you what I mean with some of the following observations I’ve made over the years:

Freedom

  • What it Actually Means: Freedom is about having a choice in matters and knowing what a given choice entails. In second Captain America film, it was stated by one character that: “Freedom is not a right but a responsibility.” This essentially means that everyone has the right to choose but that they must also choose wisely. Freedom, when abused, can be every bit as dangerous as oppression when used recklessly. An example of this in action is how everyone has the “freedom of speech”. You can say anything you want about a given subject but it is up to other people on how they react to it and whether or not they even listen to it in the first place. Sure, you can always go out and hit someone but the person you hit can also hit you back.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK it Means: Most Pinoys tend to think that “freedom” is simply about doing what you want without consequences. It means that a person can do anything from running across non-pedestrian lanes to outright mass-murder. I will note that lawlessness and freedom are two very different concepts but a lot of people seem to misinterpret it as such anyway. A good example of this abuse of “freedom” is when celebrities and their slaves think they can get away with everything. I once heard Kris Aquino say something about “people should stay out of her life” even though she broadcasts her daily activities on a 24-hour basis which implies that people have no choice but to watch her and shut up which spits on the very meaning of “freedom”.

Forgiveness

  • What it Actually Means: Here’s a common quote: “To err is human but to forgive is divine.” Indeed, forgiveness is actually very powerful as it liberates a victim from the influence of an oppressor. When you forgive an offender, it means that you are not letting that person have any effect on your life whatsoever and it frees you from bitterness and ill will. It’s not about simply “letting things slide”, it’s about letting go of a person’s neck so you can use the same hands to do something more constructive. Contrary to what our teleseryes may tell you, life is not about revenge. It’s all about making yourself a better person and bettering the people around you in the process. By forgiving someone who offended you, you banish any bitterness and hate in your heart so you can allow yourself to contribute to your society instead of wasting your time and brain cells on needless animosity. A good example of this is when Israel and her people forgave the Germans for what the had done to them during the Holocaust and when Pope John Paul II forgave the man who almost killed him during an assassination attempt. While Israel and Pope John Paul II forgave their offenders, they still let justice follow its usual course and Israel, to this day, is ever vigilant (or too vigilant) in protecting themselves and their people and Pope John Paul II’s assassin still went to jail for his crimes. Forgiveness just means not hating someone because of what they did to you but it doesn’t mean you’re going to let their offenses slide and spit on the face of justice.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK it Means: Here’s another common quote: “Forgive and Forget.” I hear lots of people saying it when they’re too lazy to pursue an issue. That’s why, if you’ll notice, even proven criminals can still run for office in this wretched little country of ours. Most Pinoys seem to think that when you “forgive” someone, it also means that you erase everything in your mind and heart about what they did to you in the past. Is it really any surprise that I meet a lot of people who refuse to “forgive” their enemies and continue bearing their grudges for years to come?

Family First

  • What it Actually Means: Family first is actually something very nice. It means that you are a man or woman who looks after your family and that they will always be the center of your life. Indeed, the basic unit of any community is a family after all. There’s also the idea that life’s first lessons are learned at home. This means that, as a parent, it is your responsibility to look after your children and correct their mistakes.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK it Means: Okay, this is where we often get in trouble. Most Pinoys misinterpret this as saying that you should only look after your own family and no one else. That’s why nepotism continues to be such a big problem in the Philippines. Government officials often appoint their own kin over more qualified individuals because of this crooked way of thinking. I often think that there might actually be a lot of gifted minds and good hearts among the Filipino people but they are never given a chance to lead because most officials would rather have someone they’re related to take their place rather than someone who is a complete stranger to them. To make things worse, in some circles, being family-oriented means tolerating the bad behavior of people because they are “family” anyway. I’ve even known parents today who outright to discipline their children’s misbehavior as they seem to think that that is a schoolteacher’s job and that they can’t bring themselves to “put their foot down” against their children.

Oh, and readers, feel free to add more examples when you can…

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68 Comments on “Values and Virtues in the Philippines and Why They Don’t Help Much”

  1. I agree with most of this article, except the part about what ‘Freedom actually means’….

    I could also add a few things as the author implores, but I am not a Filipino so will decline the offer.

    it can also be argued that what a certain ‘value’ means in the Filippines is OK and doesn’t have to mean the same thing as it does outside of the Filippines. People have the right to define their culture as they see fit…..regardless of what those outside of the culture think…its TUFF SHIT, yes?

  2. Mostly spot on about forgiveness according to Filipinos, but there is another thing: To forgive and forget is to vote or re-elect.It’s as if a vote is the proof of forgiveness for Filipinos.

  3. “Freedom is not a right but a responsibility.” This essentially means that everyone has the right to choose but that they must also choose wisely.
    ========
    Yes, freedom is a right WITH responsibility. That’s the reason why we have laws and guidelines as to how we exercise such right.

    Everyone has the right but they must be responsible exercising such right. In matters of voting, ‘choosing wisely’ is relative. Is ‘choosing wisely’ based on somebody’s standard or mine? Is ‘choosing wisely’ means I also vote who you vote? Isn’t my personal choice who to vote not ‘choosing wisely’?

    I think that’s a good issue to tackle in the future. 🙂

  4. “Freedom is about having a choice in matters and knowing what a given choice entails.”
    “Freedom is not a right but a responsibility.”

    Every country has no law that forbids to procreate. But to have a large family when somebody can not afford it, is irresponsable.
    Its a pity that mature grown up parents dont realize that.

  5. I really think those “values education” subjects shoved down to our throats during our younger years are pretty useless.

    I mean, look at those people who run our government. They might be graduates with degrees but at the end of the day, most of them are crooks.

    Those subjects should be abolished if they are such as useless a pile of rubble.

    1. But you have to distinguish. Unlike those people running the gov’t. most people like me or you went to public school. Those crooks you are talking about mostly come from U.P., Ateneo, and other exclusive or private schools.

      If they got their values education like we do, how come they are prone to corruption that us? I don’t think values education or whatever you call it has something to do with them becoming crooks.

      1. Which reminded me of the following quotes:

        “absolute power attracts the corruptible” and “the pursuit of wealth is the way to slavery”

  6. In his recent visit, the Pope asked us to be “ready to go beyond your homes and to care for your brothers and sisters who are most in need.” This is difficult for me. i have become numbed by the onslaught of the countless poor and dispossessed. I have stepped over so many children sleeping in the street, that I no longer feel anything. I sometimes wish that the poor would just go away and go back to the provinces.

    The clamor and filth created by these colonies of squatters makes me want to run away to a gated community. The Filipino “Family First” value is understandable. However, that siege mentality has consequences.
    Public spaces are neglected, covered with spit, trash, dog shit, and broken glass.

    Why does loving your family mean turning your back on everyone and everything else?

    1. If we want to change anything, we should start by changing OURSELVES. If you have a family, then you can help by teaching them to care. It may feel awkward at first but it’s better than letting all that potential go to waste.

  7. The Pope’s challenge is very difficult; not because its not doable but because the culture apathy is prevalent in the Filipino culture. The poor care for their survival, the rich care for amassing wealth, and those in the middle are torn between both. The government? Doesn’t care

  8. What absolute crap, how one person could generalize to these completely devoid of merit opinions is beyond me.
    Unsubbed, bye

  9. Freedom must be understood, that it goes with it your responsibility to do good…for your country, the world and your fellowmen.

    Forgiveness releases the soul and your mind, from all “negative emotions”…I believe it is a “Divine Gift”. To forgive others and yourself.
    It is in the “Lord’s Prayer”…we cannot go on in life, without hurting others; and being hurt by others.

    Family first, is an ingrained culture in our country…my American friend, who is married to a Filipina; complained to me that; when he married his wife. He married her whole family..

  10. Freedom must be understood, that it goes with it your responsibility to do good…for your country, the world and your fellowmen.
    ========
    That’s gibberish.

    Freedom is not about “to do good” it’s about absence of external control. Being at liberty from any kind of restraint.

    To “do good for your country, the world and your fellowmen” sounds more like a motto of a Marvel super hero than what freedom is. Stop romanticizing what freedom. It’s a very simple term for you to stretch it too far and too out of context. 🙂

    1. @ YellowTard Jameboy:

      “Freedom is the absence of external control”?
      So, you are a “Control Freak”?

      What I have written, I have written. You are just a YellowTard Paid Hack nuisance…as mentallly retarded, as your Patron Aquino…

      1. “Freedom is the absence of external control”?
        So, you are a “Control Freak”?
        ========
        Ngeeekkkkk!!! Will somebody help the poor guy? He cannot even comprehend a simple statement.

        What I have written, I have written. – Toro
        ========
        Yes, and it was wrong. Writing is not the issue, saying is. 🙂

  11. @jameboy

    You idiotic Aquino Ass Kisser…you cannot understand English? How much do your Patron Aquino pays you? It comes from my taxes…kiss and lick Aquino’s Ass again…you are doing a good job for him. Maybe, he will pay you more…
    Do you ever have the dignity, to earn your living in a better way?

    1. Man, don’t you want to defend or explain your statement that I quoted?

      I think you are too obsessed with Aquino that you cannot post without mentioning him. Terrible.

      You keep on accusing me of siding with Aquino when you cannot even show an iota of evidence. For someone, who is educated and who now works abroad, that kind of thinking is simply childish.

      I’d like to see you engage me on per issue basis. Don’t attack me with your “I-hate-Aquino” personal agenda. That’s not what I’m here for.

      In fact, you cannot even show a post I put up where you can justify attacking me.

      I’ve spoken on a lot of issues here and I don’t remember challenging those who are ‘rabid and fanatic’ anti-Aquino with complete tapaojo like you.

      Man, grow up. Get out of your “I-hate-Aquino” mentality. I believe this blog has a lot to offer than be a let’s destroy Aquino attitude corner.

      What you’re doing is you are provoking me to level with you and go down the gutter talking about you against Aquino and me for Aquino. Not gonna happen. Find another guy you can play with.

      Go back, read again my comments on what you said about ‘freedom’. That’s the challenge you conveniently ignore. 🙂

  12. If we want to change anything, we should start by changing OURSELVES.
    ========
    That line has been with us, like, forever. Growing up, I firmly believe that that is the key to a frutiful and positive change and development. But, alas, I don’t think it even make sense now. Let me say why.

    Changing ourselves infers that the process toward change starts from within. We’ll do it ourselves. We change on our own volition. That attaining change individually will end up to changing collectively and will result to the desired change for the whole. But obviously we’re still far from it because people still wish it. Kumbaga, gasgas na.

    The problem with that theory is that it assumes we know the way to change ourselves. That we don’t need external assistance as a factor to go about changing. Start changing your self and things will fall into their proper places. No, they’re not. Time and again, our political as well as our religious leaders have said that but still change remains elusive.

    Could it be there is something in our culture that changing from within, by ourselves, make it impossible?

    You see, we are known to be regionalistic and clannish which often leads to division that impedes any positive action, be it change or agreeing on national or local issues or whatever that needs consensus. That alone will tell you that change will be impossible on people who are divided by ethnic, religious, economic, political, etc. groupings.

    Changing ourselves with assistance from external factors is a different thing though. Remember the Marcos years (martial law)? Boy, there were a lot of changes in that period. We have proven to ourselves that discipline is possible if collectively and with a strong leader we can attain it. Some may interpret this negatively but change-wise, we did a lot of both internal and external change during that time.

    I say, with a proper leader, a sound philosophy or idea and a working system will not only make change possible but also accelerate the process of change while at the same time doing it together. 🙂

  13. Forgiveness releases the soul and your mind, from all “negative emotions”…I believe it is a “Divine Gift”. To forgive others and yourself.
    It is in the “Lord’s Prayer”…we cannot go on in life, without hurting others; and being hurt by others.
    ========
    Really? Forgiveness releases the soul and mind from all negative emotions? Apparently, you have not practice that and have yet to have a ‘release’ because most of your post are all about negativity, name-calling, wild accusations and stupid allegations.

    If you believe in the ‘Divine gift’ why not show it through the post you put up? Someoe who believe in Divine gift must be able to prove that not by just talking cheap but by concrete deeds. What post can you show me where it shows you got a gift from the Divine?

    Lord’s Prayer? Really? My sweet lord. 🙂

    1. @Jameboy YellowTard

      People have eyes…they can see what I’m talking about; while you Paid Hack of Aquino is defending him like a Rabid Dog. I don’t believe, you do it for free…

      Kiss and lick Aquino’s Ass again, Dude…maybe he will pay you more from my taxes…

      1. People have eyes…they can see what I’m talking about; – Toro’
        ========
        Yes, they know you’re talking about “Aquino”. Every post you put up, there is “Aquino” there.

        And you know what? People are bored.

        They want to see some reason, logic or idea in your post.

        Surely, for an educated (allegedly) person like you, there is more than “Aquino” on that round thing atop your shoulder.

        Or am I wrong? 😉

        1. @YellowTard Jameboy:

          What is your business on my education?
          I did not owe it from Aquino, or from you.

          Are you envious that I have the dignity to earn a good living, instead of kissing and licking asses , like you pathetic idiot…

          Your Patron , Aquino is the President. what has he done to create jobs; and the Land Reform Program….Answer my question, and don’t divert it with your childish blogs..

        2. @YellowTard Jameboy:

          Yes, sure your Master Aquino will always be on my comment. Until, he will do his job and blame others, for his failings…

        3. Paid Hack of Aquino
          Kiss and lick Aquino’s Ass
          I did not owe it from Aquino
          Your Patron , Aquino
          You idiotic Aquino Ass Kisser
          How much do your Patron Aquino
          kiss and lick Aquino’s Ass
          your Patron Aquino
          ========
          Is that really the Divine gift? 😉

          Terrible. 🙁

        4. What is your business on my education? – Toro
          ========
          I think it’s low. 🙂

          I did not owe it from Aquino, or from you. – Toro
          ========
          That is why it’s low.

          Are you envious that I have the dignity…
          ======
          Oops, you don’t know what dignity, let’s go back to ‘Aquino’. 🙂

        5. Yes, sure your Master Aquino will always be on my comment.
          ========
          Good for you! At least, you have something to write about other than nothing. 🙂

        6. Can we just agree that Noynoy supporters aren’t base turds, and aren’t supposed to be treated like base turds?

          Can we at least maintain a measure of civility? Hyden Toro (and his alts)? jameboy? Everyone?

    2. Forgiveness releases the soul and your mind…..

      I believe it is a “Divine Gift”……

      It is in the “Lord’s Prayer”….

      Yada, yada, yada….. 🙂

      1. @ YellowTard Jameboy:

        Divine gift is one of my belief. Is there something wrong with it?

        Yes, it is in the Lord’s Prayers…do you know how to pray the Lord’s Prayer?

        Go on with your Childish tantrum…

        1. Divine gift is one of my belief. Is there something wrong with it? – Toro
          ========
          Yes, you don’t have the gift so don’t talk about belief. 🙂

          Yes, it is in the Lord’s Prayers…do you know how to pray the Lord’s Prayer? – Toro
          ========
          I know how to pray but because of you I no longer do it. 🙂

      2. @YellowTard Jameboy:

        If Aquino will stop blaming others ; and take responsibility…I will desist from attacking him…

        He must implement the Land Reform Program, for his serfs and for the Filipino farmers…

        1. I will desist from attacking him… – Toro
          ========
          No, you just continue what you are doing. That’s all you know. You cannot engage others other than what you are doing now.

          You have perfected the “Aquino” offense. Continue it and who knows, you might get promoted and get to write an article here about, guess what, Aquino.

          Lol! 🙂

    1. @YellowTard Jameboy

      You can start licking the ass of your Patron Aquino…you diverted the issues of Land Reform Program of his Hacienda Luisita; and his accepting responsibility of his failures. You do not answer my questions…

      I know you are a Paid Hack of Aquino…poor you, this is the way you earn your living?

      1. I know you are a Paid Hack of Aquino…poor you, this is the way you earn your living?
        ========
        🙂 I know you area a one-issue know-nothing member of this blog. You hate Aquino. You eat, breath and defecate ‘Aquino’.

        ALL of your posts prove that. Good for you, you have something to write that you know. Nobody here doubt that you are an “Aquino-only” issue. Know nothing and no idea about other issues outside “Aquino”.

        And you accused me or earning a living for Aquino by writing in a Get Real blog? 🙂 Does that mean that there are people here, both pro and anti Aquino, that earn a living for just being that? Terrible.

        Isn’t there any place better and offers more where one can write and earn a living by being for or anti? Also, when you call someone a ‘paid hack’ does it mean he writes better than you, explain and expound better and demonstrate a keen sense of educated partiality while at the same time promoting a particular brand or person? I mean, I don’t think I’m good but if you see those skills in me, I’ll take it as a compliment. 🙂

        But calling me names, accusing and bullying without even showing any proof why just not right. In fact, only a person not in his right mind will do. You want me to defend and explain Aquino against your hatred and fixation for him. Why?

        Toro, I believe you are mature enough to understand what sophistication, decency or propriety means. Bullying solves nothing. It only exposes your weakness.

        Although I enjoy exchanging with you I sense that you are shocked and mad to learn that somebody will take you as you are: a puppy masquerading as a bulky.

        🙂

        1. @YellowTard Jameboy:

          You are a Paid Hack of Aquino…why do you defend him? Why do you not answer my question of his Hacienda Luisita? Why do you not answer my question about his stopping the Land Reform?

          Anyway, you are acting like a clown, and a real ass kisser of Aquino. Not only his apologist but, his ass licker…poor you…

        2. …why do you defend him (Aquino)? – TORO
          ========
          What? Where did I defend him? All I know is you always attack him for you perfected the ‘Aquino offense’. Before you ask me that question, show first the post that I defended him and then we’ll start from there. In the meantime, your hallucination is getting out of control. Do something about it because you have been an embarrassment with those posts for two days now. 🙂

    2. @YellowTard Jameboy:

      You lick the Ass of Aquino. Then, pays you…why do you rabidly defend him on GRP? I don’t believe you do it for free…or,to to give him a favor…

      You again lick his balls…he gives you a blowjob…what a pathetic scene….

      1. You again lick his balls…he gives you a blowjob…
        ========
        And you said you work abroad with your wife helping you and you have grandchildren?

        Very sad indeed. 🙁

    3. @YellowTard Jameboy:

      You told people that I have a low education; and low intelligence. Then, you have a comment on your Blog: “You perfected the Aquino offense…”

      If I’m as stupid as you think…how can I “perfect things”? Like the “perfected Aquino offense”…

      Aquino’s YellowTard Hackers are frustrated in Hacking my blogs and computer. This is the truth….YellowTard Jameboy is contradicting himself…How pathetic these people are…

      1. You told people that I have a low education; and low intelligence… – Toro
        ========
        Don’t play ‘awa’. Just show my post saying you are low educated/intelligence and if true, I’ll apologize. Actually, I remember saying you are an educated person for you to be focus on one issue only.

        If I’m as stupid as you think…how can I “perfect things”? Like the “perfected Aquino offense”… – Toro
        ========
        True, you perfected the Aquino offense because that is all you do. You bully, not because of issues but because of Aquino and Aquino only.

        Tell me, where did I disagree/agree with you on Aquino? Where?

        When a comment is not to your liking, when it does not attack Aquino, your antennae goes up. The ‘Aquino-offense’ takes over and you go bully and challenged those that do not conform with your thinking. That’s wrong, Toro. 😉

    4. @Hyden_Toro: I am inclined to agree with @jameboy. Though much of what you say about Aquino may be true (and many of these things I personally agree with), I am also growing tired of the way you turn every issue into an anti-Aquino rant.

      For your sake, I suggest you try broadening the range of your argument domains and think outside the square when making comments here. Labelling everyone who disagrees with you a “YellowTard” subtracts rather than adds to your credibility.

      Just a friendly suggestion. Take it from me who also routinely gets accused of being a “paid hack” for [insert whatever name here] just because I write something perceived to be “pro” or “anti” whoever bozo happens to be the subject of said writing. Frankly, I find that sort of mentality quaint at best and idiotic at worst.

      1. For that, I’ll hold my piece.

        I apologize for wasting space in your blog benign0. I don’t take the exchanges with Toro personally but I admit, it went overboard.

        Sorry. 🙁

        1. I was actually addressing @Hyden_Toro jumping off your own observations. He seems to have not taken on board our suggestions seeing that his comment form following the above recent posts remains the same.

      2. @BenignO

        You know where I stand;you know how I think, my belief, etc…we started as Bloggers in the now closed: “Filipino Voices” Website. The Webmaster, became Aquino supporter, and sold it to Aquino.
        Then, they closed the Website…

        I love exposing YellowTards…they are Too Dumb, to hide their intents, like their Patron.

        I enjoy playing with the Aquino Hackers, who hack my computer. They may had hacked the HCOSPCOS machine…but they are very frustrated to hack my computer.

        Pandering for CREDIBILITY is not one of my vices. If the reader, agrees with me. I will appreciate it. If he/she does not agree with me. It is okay.

        I request all readers to use your common senses, in reading blogs. Research what are written, if they are true or not.

        Now, I further introduce my family. We are 7 Children. I am the youngest; and the only OFW. Two of my brothers, are practicing trial lawyers. Some of my sisters are university professors in the fields of Science and Technology. One of my brother, is a Roman Catholic Jesuit Priest…

        We don’t have any politician in the family. We detest politics.

        My childhood friend was one of those murdered by Aquino, in the Hacienda Luisita massacre. He left a wife and children.

        Those farm workers were only asking for increase in their wages. Aquino sent government troops to murder them

        Aquino paid only 9 pesos per day (U.S. $0.23 equivalent), per day…not per hour…

  14. I’ve observed mainly that ideals and values come easily to those who are sure of their identity and their place in society, and we lack this in our people— across every class we have. Maybe the better question is who are we beyond the superficial traits and values we like to adhere to. Who is the Filipino? Thinking out of the box, which is the ‘reason’ most people attribute to ‘diskarte’ is kind of difficult if we have no idea of what the box is in the first place. That to me, is very disturbing.

  15. We are primarily Asian and a mixture of everything (from Chinese to Malays to Hispanics to Americans, etc.).

    I don’t think we lack identity. In fact, we have multiple identities because of the conglomeration brought about by different genes in us. And that’s one of the reason why Filipinos adapt easily in different environment.

    Being genetically mixed accord us values and ideals from those cultures that coopted our geneology or ancestry.

    The ‘what is a Filipino’ question has been around with us for sometime and it makes for a good conversation for it enlighten us in a way on the why and the what about us as a people.

    1. @YellowTard Jameboy:

      You really descended from the monkey. there is still a stub of tail on your rear. This is the reason you are acting like a monkey…

      1. @YellowTard Jameboy:
        “You really descended from the monkey. there is still a stub of tail on your rear. This is the reason you are acting like a monkey…” – TORO

        “You told people that I have a low education; and low intelligence.” – TORO
        ========
        Kindly reconcile those contrasting statements you made above. 🙂

        1. @YellowTard Jameboy:

          I don’t have to reconcile anything…
          I believe you descended from the monkey…because you are behaving like a monkey…

          Whatever my family is, is out of question. I have a wife and 3 kids…no grandchildren…We are proud to have the dignity to earn a good living…we have both careers…my wife is British. She is a university graduate from Britain…maybe she loved, my low intelligence, as you had claimed…but I know she is not stupid…

          No licking ass of a President, like Aquino…

    2. Definitely the question has been with us for some time, but I don’t think we have a specific answer, as a society. Yes by race & genetics we definitely we are a mix, so were the ancient Romans, the English, the Germans, the Spanish, the Americans, Hong Kongese even, and basically every other culture that opened their doors to other races or cultures. We’re not unique in this aspect— yet every one of those I mentioned, knew who they are, culturally. Their identity as a whole, as a society was a singular complex concept that boiled away genes/religion/ideology, when looked in the right light. This left space for development of a chance of becoming a stellar person on their own, and develop values according to universal guidelines there are to becoming a decent human being.

      We’re not sure who we are, that’s the scary part. There’s no room to develop simply because we are not sure what to develop into as a group; which is ironic because we have that East Asian group-oriented mentalities down pat.

      My point of view is because of the very fact that I am quite a mongrel, a bi-racial blot to the narrow minded or worse– all by virtue of birth and I simply don’t agree with your concept that ‘genetically mixed’ automatically means an inborn talent of being a chameleon that we can just claim whatever identity we like and it would be right.

      In terms of what you call adapting— I completely disagree. Do I want to say that being Filipino is being on top of the latest hashtag trends? Of always praising in general ‘diskarte’ whether right or wrong? Of being so unimaginative that respect for an actual idea might only come after someone in the west thinks of them first (because we ‘adapt’)? Of having an innate hatred of true facts peppered with informed opinions? Of dissing always using the secondary language yet being so intolerant of one’s neighbors of the same country that its still a common practice to classify derogatorily by the way one speaks the mother tongue? Of thinking the whiter you are, the more you must be interesting or entitled? Is this what you meant by adapting?

      If it strikes hard, its because it is true. Ugly to hear, but true. And all a product of the one rigid concept we must have— and don’t— IDENTITY. When A Filipino comes up with a concrete answer to that, then maybe I can feel a little better of at least seeing the beginning of change in my lifetime, and feel proud to be Pinoy.

      Ps. I don’t hate being Filipino. I will never deny it, despite not being my only dominant race. But for the ever freaking life of me, I’ve had very little opportunities to be proud of it and its exhausting to keep on searching for that one real impact where I can feel a little less hopeless that usual.

      1. We’re not sure who we are, that’s the scary part. There’s no room to develop simply because we are not sure what to develop into as a group; which is ironic because we have that East Asian group-oriented mentalities down pat.
        ========
        I’m more scared of denial than not being sure of who we are. If you think we have that “East Asian group-oriented mentalities” how come you are not sure of who you are? I don’t get it. Also, not knowing who you are infers that you have nothing to base your existence or heritage or your identity, etc. But there are a lot of factors that we can pinpoint as a determinant to ascertain who we are. You mean to say, you are ignoring those factors or don’t rely on them because of what?

        My point of view is because of the very fact that I am quite a mongrel, a bi-racial blot to the narrow minded or worse– all by virtue of birth and I simply don’t agree with your concept that ‘genetically mixed’ automatically means an inborn talent of being a chameleon that we can just claim whatever identity we like and it would be right.
        ========
        Genetically mixed an inborn talent? Who told you that? Chameleon, who even implied that idea? Like I said, denial is worse than sincerely looking for answer to something you think is a question. When you are in denial, everything tends to lean on it. You live in a vacuum and be content of the mystery you created. The discovery process is alien to you, hence, any idea that will indicate something that could be a sign of direction or order is easily ignored.

        In terms of what you call adapting— I completely disagree. Do I want to say that being Filipino is being on top of the latest hashtag trends? Of always praising in general ‘diskarte’ whether right or wrong? Of being so unimaginative that respect for an actual idea might only come after someone in the west thinks of them first (because we ‘adapt’)? Of having an innate hatred of true facts peppered with informed opinions? Of dissing always using the secondary language yet being so intolerant of one’s neighbors of the same country that its still a common practice to classify derogatorily by the way one speaks the mother tongue? Of thinking the whiter you are, the more you must be interesting or entitled? Is this what you meant by adapting?
        ========
        No, that is not what I meant by adapting. You made an intepretation full of ideas meant to be critical of who we are. Fine, but I was not being critical just being common sensical. What I meant was simply, we adapt, we understand and we don’t have a hard time adjusting in new environments. We are not seen by other people as distant, snobbish or nonconforming. We do not feel isolated. We have a welcoming nature and do not fell threaten by something alien or foreign to us. Nothing in there, unlike your allegations, is negative.

        If it strikes hard, its because it is true. Ugly to hear, but true. And all a product of the one rigid concept we must have— and don’t— IDENTITY. When A Filipino comes up with a concrete answer to that, then maybe I can feel a little better of at least seeing the beginning of change in my lifetime, and feel proud to be Pinoy.
        ========
        I find nothing hard nor ugly about the issue of identity because I don’t see it as a baggage or something that is pulling me down. I don’t see nor even use it to motivate me to shift toward negative thinking why we are what we are. I’m sure of myself as to who I am. I don’t have any hang-ups that I can use as a justification for deprecation. I may be proven wrong eventually, that is possible, but at least I don’t wallow or float in uncertainty and depend my life on doubts and suspicions that only eats the precious time I have on this short life of ours.

        Ps. I don’t hate being Filipino. I will never deny it, despite not being my only dominant race. But for the ever freaking life of me, I’ve had very little opportunities to be proud of it and its exhausting to keep on searching for that one real impact where I can feel a little less hopeless that usual.
        ========
        I don’t think you hate being Filipino. For one, you are not even sure who you are. Just don’t look for it as a source of being proud. Just be proud you are a good human being. That’s all there is to it. 😉

        1. @jameboy— Try reading back and understanding what I wrote— don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge you your condescending judgement of my opinion, maybe complex concepts are what they are— complex and difficult to digest. Also, try looking up the definition of chameleon and irony.

          Benigno I think had a better understanding of my point.

          Again, I don’t see hoping for a better common understanding or definition of a people as baggage, because it complicates matters further trying to push boundaries when you don’t know what they are— how can one develop deep value within themselves if the understanding is superficial? And then replicating it in a group? It’s a bit like trolling someone else’s opinion because you don’t have your own original one of the topic of conversation.

          I’m quite secure of who I am and where I place in this rather crazy city we live in, I don’t need your approval to question what I see. I also don’t deny realities— if my opinion is considered quite negative, it’s because the majority of examples that I observe are— and they are not limited to those I see in this country. There maybe loads of other people with more exposure than I but certainly I’ve seen enough in different fields of industry, classes, relationships for me to have an informed opinion for an informal exchange of opinion. Something in the way you argue tells me that you don’t, quite frankly; but I don’t hold it against you. I’m sure you’re lovely, and perfect in your idea of self.

          Have a good weekend!

        2. twisky,

          I’m sorry to burst your bubble that forced you to respond in a personal manner to me. No offense meant. You put up a post that I happened to disagree with, so I do what everybody does, critique it.

          I quoted the part I don’t agree with and you could have rebutted or disprove it but you chose not to. You instead focus on the ‘hurt’ part of my response. I have no control on that.

          Talk about condescending, I suggest you read back your posts because my response to you was carefully patterned with the way you expressed your self in those posts. I did not go over, I leveled with you.

          There would be people who will surely agree with you which I think you expected from the start. But I don’t see any reason for pouting just because you read one member that did not went along with what you said.

          Listen, I’m not important. Don’t destroy your day because you read a post of mine.

          Happy weekend too! 😉

        3. Just saw your reply and it made me chuckle. I’m a bit flattered, actually, that you must go out of your way to needle me.

          Nope, it wasn’t personal at all however can’t exactly choose the way you understand what I observe in you?

          xx,T

      2. Sometimes an entire group or even an entire nation is defined by what its collective achievement(s).

        Perhaps because the Philippines lacks any other basis for defining a national-level identity that trumps all ethnic, cultural, and tribal affiliations that weigh down its efforts to “unify” then Filipinos need to strive to achieve something that can be attributed to the whole collective rather than just on an exceptional individual.

        Unfortunately collective achievement does not seem to be a strong tradition in the Philippines. There may be a few exceptional individual achievers amongst this country of 100 million, but when it comes to the challenge of coming together to achieve as a nation, the score so far is ZERO.

  16. Freedom is not what it really meant for the Filipinos, they attributed it in a more physical means rather than a spiritual thing.

    Sometimes too much freedom instigated disorder, disunity, and chaos.

    Too much Freedom made us ignorant, that even a simple rule of law cannot be followed. That is why even our government still walk the path of
    corruption.

    We paid high price for freedom. They gave us Freedom, but used it against us.

  17. Freedom isn’t doing just what you want to do, but what you ought to do.

    There are some boundaries in life which we are born into by circumstance, but it’s knowing what to do within these boundaries and be able to maximize one’s potential.

    There may be those that are born impoverished and are bound by monetary capability, but it does not stop one to try and improve one’s self and be able to change his life.
    I have an uncle and his best friend who were born impoverished and were living in a community of illegal settlers. Everyday it was the same old thing. Drinking with the other people in the area in front of the sari-sari store and complaining about everything. Why they were poor, the government, the rich, etc.
    As they were growing up, difficult as it may have been for young people, he and his friend decided to leave the community to look for more and/or better opportunities. They even put themselves through school.
    Several years down the road, he and his friend have their own houses and families. Now, their kids are doing well in school and some are headed off to college.
    They visited their old place in the baranggay and found a lot of the same people doing the same thing. The same people, albeit older as well but still drinking like there’s no tommorow and complaining about the same things.
    My uncle and his friend said to each other that they were grateful that they were able to leave the life that they were so comfortable and familiar with and be able to give their families a decent and comfortable life. That if they didn’t leave, they would also still be part of the group drinking and complaining there nightly.

    A saying i try to live by.
    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

    Every person has the same ammount of time in a day. 24 hours. It’s what one does with his or her time that matters.
    Obviously, Filipinos make technology a very big part of their lives. We are the texting capital of the world. We are very connected to social media. We post selfies and follow a lot of people, especially celebrities via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
    Free Facebook promos are offered by telecoms. People who live on the street, the juvenile youth and street vendors have smartphones. Students would cut class to go to cafes and be online. A lot even chat with random strangers.

    Despite having a huge online presence, there aren’t any big dot-commers or tech millionaires in the country.

    ———-

    Filipinos also like to live vicariously through others, especially athletes.
    Celebrities and athletes are put on a pedestal.
    It’s nice to be proud of a fellow countryman’s achievements but to use it as the main or only basis to also be proud of one’s self is confounding.
    When a boxing match happens, everyone suddenly becomes a boxing critic. A UFC fight and everyones’s a commentator. An Azkals match and everyone’s a soccer citic. “They/He should have done this instead of that. Bobbed instead of weave. Passed instead of shoot. etc.”
    This is despite a lot never even went boxing in their lives, never practiced or trained in MMA, or ever played Soccer/Football.

    After Pacquiao wins a fight, we see all this “Proud to be Filipino” posts and tags and pics. What did the poster of such do himself to be proud to be a Filipino?

    ———-

    Another thing that confuses me is nowadays, a lot of filipino families buy turkey and celebrate thanksgiving.
    I saw a lot of posts of turkey dinners last year despite the family never even been to the US.
    There were Black Friday/Thanksgiving Weekend sales in the philippines despite it being just a regular sale because it just coincided with a payday weekend. Only the usual “upto 70% off but with on selected items only in fine print”. There were no major electronics sale, no midnight openings, no doorbusters and such as would a traditional Black Friday sale entails.

    1. Thanksgiving and 4th of July are celebrated by Filipinos but our own Holy Week is used instead for parties and concerts rather than giving thanks for Christ’s sacrifice for us. A solemn time for prayer and thanksgiving bug Filipinos give thanks more to a holiday of another country which has no bearing on us.

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