I remember reading a story when I was younger. At the time of course, I didn’t understand it completely but it was only until later did I really understand the theme of the story. I don’t remember the title or the author of the story but it was about lions. No, it’s not The Lion King, but it is about an adult male lion and his cub. Well, one day, the cub was trampled and killed by a rogue elephant. The father lion was clearly outraged but instead of attacking the rogue elephant, the lion attacked the nearby antelopes claiming that they were behind the death of his son. This was, as the moral of the story goes, because the lion wasn’t willing to accept the inconvenient truth.
This is just one of the stories of my childhood that have stuck with me for time out of mind. The more I think about it, the more I see that what’s wrong with our country isn’t our government, our media or our poverty. Instead, as Bob Ong said, we are our own greatest enemy. The government officials who oppress us the people we voted for, the media that feeds us lies on a regular basis are something we clamor for and the squatters that infest our cities are all too often the result of our own carelessness.
When Jesus was being crucified, all he said was: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In this age of deception and growing discontent, I can only say the same about our fellows who continue to lie to themselves about the state of their lives and their country. The truth can be ugly and there are those of us who simply choose to hold on to comfortable lies and pretty illusions rather than face the glaring historical facts that many of our politicians choose to ignore and our media constantly hides.
A History Of Twisted Messages
You know, if you read the New Testament of the Bible, especially the part where Jesus was going to be crucified, you’ll notice how the scribes and pharisees twisted his words against him. While his motives were pure, his words tended to be rather ambiguous, allowing for his enemies to manipulate the people easily into thinking that he was talking about something else. In the end, he was crucified for charges that were at best ambiguous as well because they hinged more on the twisted interpretations presented by the scribes and pharisees rather than basing it on Jesus true motivations.
Now, while Ferdinand Marcos was nowhere near anything like Jesus, it is also obvious from the get-go that his own words were twisted by our current media to make his seem like the tyrant his enemies wanted to present him as. While Marcos was far from perfect and his wife has gained quite a bit of infamy, it’s still clear that he was not the monster that his enemies like to think of him as. As I said, he was far from perfect and was not immune to temptations of self-interest but still, most of his choices were more for the better of the people. I was none too fond of his decision to ban many animated shows of the time but I also thought that like some shows of today (take Oggie and the Cockroaches or Happy Tree Friends for instance) one has to limit exposing children to this kind of brainless entertainment.
To this day though, people continue to lie to themselves about the state of the nation around them that is now coming apart. Muslim extremists muscle in on more sovereign territory while China claims more of our islands for its own. Of course again, many Filipinos delude themselves by saying that China and the terrorists probably have what they want now and will probably leave us alone or that America will haul our asses out of trouble again. But really, as ChinoF likes to say in his comments, these people are just like ostriches burying their heads in the ground.
Like a child who has wandered into a dangerous forest and is closing his eyes in the hope that the rabid wolf or savage bear might just disappear if he doesn’t believe it exists, many Filipinos turn a blind eye to these kinds of geopolitical developments.
A Delusional Mindset
The Philippines is certainly trapped in a delusional mindset, all things considered. I can often compare the Philippines to a woman on the wrong side of 40 who tries to convince itself that she is still a youthful teenager despite the heaps of evidence towards the contrary. The overreaction of many Filipinos even toward the relatively mild criticisms presented to them by foreigners is just a sign of how insecure they are of the Philippines’ harsh reality.
I often notice that the most insecure people are often those who are most defensive. Criticism is often necessary for one’s betterment. By refusing to listen to critics and bashing them as detractors, many Filipinos fail to see the error of their ways and continue to stumble in a dark world of their own design. They fail to see that there are other things in that darkness. Monstrous, terrible things. But of course, as long as they can’t actually see these horrors, it’s fine with them.
Take for instance the reaction of some people about the Mamasapano incident here in Luzon. Instead of being outraged, they cling to the fact that it happened somewhere “far away” and that, as long as it doesn’t affect them, it’s of little relevance. Besides, the Mamasapano incident isn’t the only thing that our leaders have failed us in. From that hostage crisis in a bus that our people have pretty much forgotten to the islands being claimed by our rowdy neighbors, it’s obvious from the get-go that unless we break free from the Martix of delusion we have woven around ourselves, we as a nation are doomed if not already dead.
- Isang Mensahe Para Kay Mocha Uson, Ang Bagong Myembro Ng MTRCB - January 6, 2017
- 3 Steps To Finding Success And Happiness In One’s Life - December 24, 2016
- How Pinoy Over-Romanticism Destroys Us As Persons - December 19, 2016
- Why I Think The Catholic Church In The Philippines Is Doing More Harm Than Good - December 6, 2016
- No More Nonsense Films For This Year’s MMFF: Why I Have Some Hope For The Media - December 4, 2016