Filipinos’ unwillingness to face ‘negative’ FACTS about their society hinders progress

It’s been so long since Filipinos won their “freedom” back in 1986 after the so-called People Power “revolution”. But we are still hard-pressed to agree with one another on whether or not we are really a better country after all that. The trouble is, rather than confront the question head-on, we are, instead, encouraged to simply be “thankful” about these “freedoms”. Many of the Philippines’ most influential “thought leaders” use that argument to tell people to desist from any remarks that may be perceived to be “negative”.

Just be thankful and stop being negative.

Therein lies the reason why the Philippines is a chronic failure of a nation — because rather than deal with the negative aspects of their situation, Filipinos prefer to pretend these do not exist or, worse, regard them as things to be “thankful” for.


For example, we are told that we should be thankful that, though we may be a poor country, we have a lot of the freedoms people in totalitarian states like China do not have. That is kind of an ironic thing to say. Unlike the Philippines, China, for example, does not pretend to be anything that it isn’t. If it is “brutal” to its own citizens, that is because it is, in fact, an unabashedly communist totalitarian country.

Compare that to the Philippines. Proud to be “free” and “democratic” sing its people. But its government and ruling classes are just as brutal and apathetic to the suffering of its ordinary citizens as any.

Oh, but no…

We are, we were told as kids, a friendly people.

But are Filipinos really mabait (“nice”) as we say we are? That’s quite debatable. We are amongst the most divisive and tribal of societies. In the US, Canada, and Australia, Filipino communities there are known for their backstabbing members and intrigahan. It’s so toxic that many ethnic Filipinos who are not into the whole pataasan ng ihi scene that characterise these “communities” avoid them like the plague and prefer to just assimilate into the broader community of their adopted societies.

The sad reality is that Filipinos, taken together as a collective are a weak people.

It takes an ounce of assholery to beat “bullies” like China. The reason they (and other powerful societies) are strong is because they have potent ruthless martial traditions underlying their culture shaped by many hard-fought and often hard-won wars. What have Filipinos gained from the perception that they are mabait? It may be a virtue individually, but as a collective, it makes us a flaccid state, forgiving of its most heinous crimes and thieving politicians while being hopelessly defenseless against foreign aggression and woefully dependent on old colonial masters.


Post Author: benign0

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25 Comments on "Filipinos’ unwillingness to face ‘negative’ FACTS about their society hinders progress"

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“But are Filipinos really mabait (“nice”) as we say we are?”
-Mabait kapag kaharap foreigners.

“What have Filipinos gained from the perception that they are mabait? It may be a virtue individually, but as a collective, it makes us a flaccid state, forgiving of its most heinous crimes and thieving politicians while being hopelessly defenseless against foreign aggression and woefully dependent on old colonial masters.”
-as per Lee Kuan Yew, Filipinos have this soft, forgiving culture. It’s time that we practice Meritocracy.


China is not a communist country and has never been one. It was socialist from 1946 and started transferring to capitalism in the mid 80s. It’s now a mostly capitalist totalitarien country with some socialist remains.


It would be easy to become a victim of our circumstances and continue feeling sad, scared or angry; or instead, we could choose to deal with injustice humanely and break the chains of negative thoughts and energies, and not let ourselves sink into it.

OMG benigno this is so true. When i first moved to the US of course I was adopted by Filipino communities. And it’s noticeable how people start a conversations with finacial capabilities. What’s your salary. Do you have a car. How much do you pay rent. And the senior citizens always ask very personal questions like why are you not married yet, why don’t you have kids, even if you’ve just met them! Very very annoying. After many years, i’ve experienced how it’s like when other races have gatherings. No very personal questions. Once you meet them, they get to… Read more »

Filipinos have the negative character: APATHY. They just let the problems remain, as they are; hoping the problems will solve themselves.

So, we have the : Squatter problem; the Corruption problem; the Incompetent political leader problem; the Terrorists problem; etc…

We are not problems solvers…we are PART of the problem…and just apathethic to find the solutions of these problems…

I’ve traveled to the Philippines many times and extensively within the country, usually staying 2 months each year. It’s become my second home. I’m not a tourist so I mostly stay in metro areas, but I have visited friends in outlying villages and squatter areas as well. Sadly, while many of the comments made by benign0 have some truth in them, many of my Filipino friends would be offended to hear them – perhaps because they know the truth but simply don’t want to hear it. I’ve discussed many of these issues with my Filipino friends and thought about them… Read more »
Ebola Ray
‘Faith without works is dead’, and so will Philippine society if it does not do something ,quickly and seriously about the sorry state of affairs that engulf the arcgipeligo at present. The stranglehold that the few have on the economy is never going to allow for an improvement in the standards of living of the ‘massa’.The country has little to no manufacturing capabilities and therefore can not engage,like other states in the region are doing, in ‘Free-Trade’ pacts due to the fact that the country imports almost everything. To do so would diminish the personal piggy-bank that the Congress has… Read more »
Ebola Ray
You know, in a few short years if Filipino’s ,as a nation of people, just stopped putting garbage wherever it happens to land and disposed of it properly and actually got the shit-bucket jalopies that pass for automobiles belching black smoke out their collective tailpipes off the roads the country would begin to look less like a shit-hole, IN A FEW SHORT YEARS.The pollution would slowly dissipate, the floods would be not as catastrophic (as the drainage system might actually be given a chance to work if it were to be un-clogged), the streets of major cities would be clean,… Read more »
I found this on fb. Not sure if the guy is Filipino or not. But I thought you might be interested since it describes a behaviour that is doing a lot of damage to the Philippines and, in particular, to those needing work: Philippine Bussiness Fobaap 19 April 2012 · I was briefly involved with a consultant for a substantial Japanese newsprint company who asked me to look at a large area of land in the PI. My brief was to collect soil samples, and collect data related to existing tree species and crops that the land would and had… Read more »