The intellectual DNA of Philippine society is flawed at its most fundamental level. The trouble with the approach to thinking in the Philippines is, more often than not, this activity is retrospective rather than prospective in nature.
The word BUTTHURT encapsulates that society-wide malaise. And the sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, in turn, seminally illustrates that national condition. The presidential speech, rather than rally Filipinos to reach for the stars, focuses instead on reassuring them that they remain “special” and “blessed” despite the reality of their failure to prosper as a people.
President BS Aquino’s SONA is, thankfully, the last instalment in a series of speeches that nurses the country-wide victim mentality of the Philippines and the narcissism of the leader Filipinos gleefully selected in 2010. The thinking behind it prevailed like a stubborn rash over the entirety of the five years of this administration. Its worst impact was in continuing the tired Filipino tradition of constantly whining about perceived wrongs committed against “the Filipino” in the past — colonialism and imperialism, the bald “injustices” perpetrated by the dynasties and oligarchies they routinely tolerate, the “national interests” of the foreign powers they deal with.
Boo hoo hoo…
But, see, the simple fact of life from the micro up to the macro level is quite simple: The best revenge is success.
If the neighbourhood toughie beats the shit out of you, you move on, get your PhD in Machine Learning, get that $200,000 a year job at Google then later come back to your home town and HIRE him to clean your toilet. Win-win, right?
Indeed, that is exactly what the taho and balut vendors did. The behos that used to hawk the snacks of our childhood on foot from dawn to dusk are now looked to by their former tormentors for “much-needed” employment. Worse, by applying that all-too-familiar brand of “logic” held on to by people blinkered by their loser mentality, Filipinos have convinced themselves that the employment today’s Tai Pans provide is an entitlement rather than something earned.
Notwithstanding that, there are still tens of millions of Filipinos beavering away happily in the warm embrace of the jobs sustained by the capital created by certain sectors of society who succeeded despite their social disadvantages in the past.
Indeed, the Philippines is beset by many disadvantages. But rather than see those disadvantages as mere challenges Filipinos have regarded them as excuses to fail. And rather than encourage Filipinos to see things differently, President BS Aquino encouraged Filipinos to continue their fatal embrace with the comfy and the familiar warmth of their national delusion. Leaving an entire country still mired in its loser mentality is not the legacy of a good leader. It is the legacy of a con man.
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