Why Simple Solutions Won’t Work In The Philippines

After a brief discussion with some of my friends, we considered the idea that what if we allowed common Filipino citizens to carry guns the same way that Americans do, the “right to bear arms”, so to speak. One commenter here on GRP even mentioned it, if I remember correctly. The discussion went around for a while and we even went on to mention that it might make criminals a little more hesitant about attacking the local populace. However, later on, we came upon the conclusion that even arming the populace probably will probably do more harm than good in the long run due to mindset of Filipinos.

solutions_philippinesI have been a gun owner now for quite some time and my grandfather was dead serious about the conditions on how to handle one: Always keep it out of the reach and sight of children, always assume that it is loaded even if you think it’s unloaded, always keep the safety on unless you actually plan to use it and always take it seriously. “Guns are for killing,” my grandfather often tells me. “They’re not meant as a joke and they’re not for polishing your ego.” While I will not claim any superiority over anyone else, I will still go on to point out that over-emotionalism, a big ego and guns are surely a bad combination in the long run and Filipinos are well-known for the first two.

Now then, for a broader examination of our society, we can see that simple solutions like arming the citizenry will probably only make things worse in the long run. Simple solutions simply won’t work unless they are enacted on a large scale and enforced with firm disciplinary actions. For instance, here are some common aspects of our society that require change but need something more to be truly effective:


Jose Rizal always believed that education was key in developing a nation. Unfortunately, while this may be somewhat true, the quality of education is also important if you want to turn puling children into productive citizens. Based on what I’ve heard and read so far, many public schools remain to be fully built and furnished with many classes being held outdoors as there are simply not enough room in the school building to contain all the students. Take note that there are even people who admire this kind of practice as they say that it is “reminiscent of the way classes were held in the olden days” even though it is anything but admirable. With overstretched funds, overcrowded facilities and incompetent personnel, is it really any surprise that most of the newer generation are largely apathetic and unproductive?

Now, I do not want to bash the hard work of teachers but it’s quite clear that something is wrong when students who don’t even know how to read are allowed to graduate. That’s right, either through the intimidation of parents or the “awa” (pity) effect, students who need to sit through more lessons are allowed a free pass. Worst yet, there are even teachers out there who openly endorse the “palakasan” system and allow themselves to be bribed to give students high grades. With the growing number of “holidays” and as more and more funds are siphoned away by corrupt politicians, can we really expect the youth to develop into something noteworthy?

We can’t really expect anything out of the following generations if we maintain this kind of attitude towards the education system of the Philippines. If we can’t even implant basic skills into our youth, how can we expect them to gain the more advanced and productive skills to contribute to and improve their ailing homeland?


As I have already mentioned in various other articles, the media has changed from being the protector of the common people to the great deceiver of the masses. Even now, the media continues to corrupt the minds of our fellows, warping them into the dumb and numb hordes that continue to elect officials based on popularity rather than hard credentials. But while this may be bad in and of itself, will changing the media really have any effect on our people as a whole?

As noted by another friend, among the middle-class, there are still a wealth of options when it comes to what to watch. There is always the Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the History Channel which can certainly help people intellectually. Unfortunately, most of the middle-class would rather watch garbage like Showtime or Dyesebel anyway because it’s what’s popular today.

Then, you have your lower class who have no choice in the matter and usually only have the most uneducational channels available to them. With an already poor education system, can we really expect much from the masses if they are fed the same kind of brainwashing on a daily basis?

Simply displaying the correct information probably won’t be enough to dispel the stupidity that permeates our society. Even if there are channels that provide the right information, the correct news and with shows that stimulate the mind, none can deny that most Pinoy viewers go for the least trustworthy and least helpful of the lot. There are countless websites like Wikipedia, Tvtropes and Wiktionary that can help one’s understanding of the world but most Pinoy netizens simply go for Facebook to stalk celebrities and posture to their “friends”. So it goes to show that even with available productive options, most Pinoys will still go for the less sound choices which reveals that our troubles may run even deeper than we’d like to think.


Ah, the government.

You know, I’m a big fan of the Disgaea games by Nippon Ichi. Anyway, the game is about demons and making an army out of them but the funniest thing about it is that in almost all of its installments, there is a part where you must consult the local demonic senate to pass a bill that will benefit your army. To do this, you will need to bribe some senators with various goodies so that they will approve your bill and these goodies range from weapons, armor, alcoholic beverages, cakes or bars of gold just to name a few.

What’s really sad is that I find the senators of Disgaea (as corrupt and demonic as they may be) at least a little more trustworthy than our own. While they need to be bribed, these senators will at least approve bills that can benefit people instead of just benefiting themselves and, when thing go awry, can be beaten into submission. Compared to our petty politics who can’t even be bothered to think of the lesser people and who have gotten away clean despite being caught red-handed, these senators might even bring improvements to our country should they ever take over.

However, I should note that our government is solely responsible for the troubles that we face. It was we, the people, after all who put them in their place. It was we who played along with their ploys and believed in their otherwise implausible promises. Just because they sang and danced for us (like a Russian friend I have says: “Everyone sing and dance when they drunk. Not everyone who sing and dance know how to run country.”), we decided to vote for them because they amused us.

Now, our politicians do have a lot to answer for and need good justice for their crimes. But unless we, as a people, are willing to take action against them and select the right leaders next time, we will be forever doomed to serve scum such as these.

If we want real change for our country, the change should start with us. Let’s save the Philippines together.


Post Author: Grimwald


Leave a Reply

32 Comments on "Why Simple Solutions Won’t Work In The Philippines"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
I agree with everything in the article. It is truly sad how Philippine society has developed over the last 3 to 4 decades. All the problems of society (Shitty drivers, traffic, dumb people, poverty) root from the corruption of this government. It seriously makes me wonder how one could live here for the rest of their life after experiencing life abroad. Luckily for me, I have options abroad. I came back to live here since I moved away as a young child. Sadly, I have decided to take my life elsewhere as I do not want my future children to… Read more »
Sea Bee
You are describing a totally dysfunctional society, from top to bottom. Any laws that are passed to address these problems, will not help because the corrupt police and judiciary will not enforce the laws. That is a depressing state of affairs. There must be something that works the way it should in this country. Perhaps, if we can identify those things and establish why they work well; then we may begin to apply those principles to other matters. I can hear the response, now. The Filipino people are warm, optimistic and good humored; DESPITE the chaos. That is something that… Read more »

In U.S. anyone and even an unexpected maniac can have guns. More and more gun deaths.

“…..we can see that simple solutions like arming the citizenry will probably only make things worse in the long run.” ======== Arming the citizenry is not a simple solution. In fact, it’s a dangerous proposition. Actually, there is no simple solutions when it comes to making one country better. Countries like ours need more than simple solutions because our problems are not that simple. Unity is hard to come by in a country where regionalism, nepotism and other -ism is exercise with passion. Cohesion is wishful thinking in a nation governed and guided by a democratic system where the minority… Read more »
The tragic truth is, the only way the Philippines is gonna be forced to change is if it gets invaded and taken over again, or something so wrong in the Philippines happens that causes EVERYONE, not just the rich, the poor, the middle class, the rebels to wretch in disgust that it would set off the decades of resentment built up towards the government. It happened to France in 1789. The situation back then is similar to ours. Everyone who is not the clergy or the aristocrats lived like peasants. The government is controlled by both parties above, food is… Read more »
Robert Haighton
It was here on GRP that I read the words “dysfunctional society” for the very first time (I think it was by Benign0 who used those words). And yet it took me only 2 visits to the Philippines (read: Cebu) to see that those words were/are 100% accurate and precise. The main question now is: how to turn that coin and make it a functional society? Well as you all know: Rome wasnt built in one day. So it needs time. But it also needs a start. Now, who should start? You? Me? Words dont make changes, only behaviorial changes… Read more »

I believe in Education…the higher level you attain, the better you will succeed in the Real World…however, we have politicians who are Barely educated. We have a President, who is educated, but mentally retarded…

Media is the source of information. If the media is used to further political agendas; and makes Dumb the viewers…we have a situation, like we have now.

It is the CHOICE of every Filipino, to better themselves; or remain as ignorant, as they are now…

Sea Bee

One of the few groups working actively for change is the BAYAN
(communist/socialists) groups. However, most people have been brainwashed into believing that they are evil terrorists.


‘Like Americans do…”, WHAT? Has the author been to the USA? Ever? in the USA a person buying a Pistol at a gunsmith/store needs to produce to state issued forms of ID and go thru a three day waiting period before he/she is sold the pistol/weapon.
Guns shows are a bit different story but they have been cracked down on.
The 2nd amendment,in the the ‘Bill of Rights’ in the USA’s constitution is important as it is there to protect the individual as well as limit the Tyranny that can be inflicted upon the citizenry.VERY important.


I agree with you here, no questions asked.


Fear is the lack of faith in one’s ability to create powerful solutions.

I doubt if there is any problem in the world today – social, political or economic – that would not find a happy solution if approached in the spirit of the sermon on the mount.

neil tristan yabut

before you go blaming the government for all your woes, first ask yourself: what have you done as an individual and as a citizen of this country?

especially for representative democracies like ours, the people (as a whole) have the government they deserve.