Why potentially beneficial foreign ideas and influence have not worked in the Philippines

barthomerinsertbrainWhile writing “The hollowness and hypocrisy with which Filipinos regard foreign entities” (henceforth known as Hollowness) almost two months ago, it seems I had completely overlooked one striking manner in which they show such:

When the Philippines is compared with another country in any category (response to typhoons is such an example), Filipinos are quick to react with “please do not compare us, it is unfair. The Philippines is just a Third World country”, or “The Philippines is unique/special, we have our own problems; we cannot be compared with other countries.”

That’s what happens when the comparison puts the Philippines in a bad light.

When it makes the Philippines look good, on the other hand, the Filipinos’ reaction is only too obvious.

Proud to be Filipino! Woohoo!

Filipinos will grasp at straws to proclaim any sort of “victory”, however shallow and completely uncalled for it may be.

I’ve noted before that comparisons with other countries and societies, invidious as they may seem, are inevitable. The Philippines wants to be known as a great society, a great country, but the effort they show – much less the results – fail to back up the conclusion they so desire.

The Philippines is image-conscious, and yet when it comes to the hard work of actually putting substance underneath that image, Filipinos suck. Instead, they would rather remain true to their image of being “victims of circumstance” – even if the reality is that they’re both helpless and hopeless.

As I also noted in Hollowness before, Filipinos have had no shortage of exposure to foreign ideas and influences, both good and bad, yet it seems that they are one of those people who have learned the least from it. To put it quite simply, it has been such an incredible waste of a good opportunity.

It seems the only thing that Filipinos have taken to heart from foreign ideas was how to be an insatiable consumer, but that is yet another topic entirely.

So why have potentially beneficial foreign ideas and influences not worked on Filipinos? I can think primarily of three reasons:

Because they apply them off-the-shelf.

Every locale, what more every country, has different circumstances. Even those that are in the same country, or were under the same colonizer, if any, have different situations and cultural character on the ground. Because of this, you cannot expect to apply a solution that worked in one place without tweaking it to your local culture and expect to get good results!

Lee Kuan Yew, in his book From Third World to First did not fail to remind the readers that by no means is it an off-the-shelf prescription for others to go do in their own backyards. Rather, he stressed that he merely narrates what he did, what worked, and did not work while he was steering Singapore through its birthing pains as a nation in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the Philippines, we copied American-style democracy without seemingly considering things as how to prepare the masses for democracy, or what parts of our culture and our character are fundamentally incompatible with it. What has been the result? We got an electorate who simply go through the motions of electing its leaders and expect different results without being more scrutinizing and critical of the candidates.

This is also one of the main issues that the discussions with those pushing for a different form of government, whether federal or parliamentary or both, have failed to address. When asked about, or confronted with, scenarios and questions that extend these concepts beyond their theoretical context, and are about the application to and simulation of the actual situation on the ground, these concerns are parried, diverted or met with a strong, yet irrelevant response.

Because they pervert them.

Filipinos are known for having a “reverse-Midas touch”. Instead of turning anything they touch into gold, it becomes utter crap! And they keep touching things over and over and over.

To give an example, Pinoy Pride is actually an example of a perverted form of national pride. The prosperous societies, as far as I can tell, take national pride in the fact that they have accomplished great things together as a people. Whether it’s because they actually collaborated on it, or it’s because the people in question have shared beneficial values, they have turned their locales and societies into models to emulate.

Filipinos, on the other hand, put the cart before the horse. They claim national pride in the accomplishment of a single outlying Filipino and make the claim that the entire Filipino people are like that. Yet they have not built anything noteworthy as a people. Hell, it’s even hard to say that they even came together in the first place! They seem to merely be a collection of tribes who do little else but tolerate each other. What they have formed, is a society that rests on three pillars: pwede-na-iyan,bahala na, and impunity. The results of such a society speak for themselves: one where everybody suffers.

The sad thing is, the Filipino diamond started shining brighter when it left the Philippine shores, even temporarily. Left buried in the Pinoy shitland, este, backyard, Filipinos would have kept ignoring it.

Another example of a perverted concept: freedom. Sure, Filipinos yearned to be free from someone they perceived as an intolerable tyrant back in the mid-80s, but it seems that afterwards, they thought such freedom was a license to do anything – mostly stupid things – without regard for the consequences.

Summing up the results of Filipino freedom is quite simple:

License to do anything + People with inflated sense of self-importance = DISASTER!

We come to the third reason:

Because they reject or dismiss them prematurely or outright.

Countless times has it happened that Filipinos who studied or worked abroad are eager to bring their newly acquired skills back home and hope to help the country along in its development. What was the reaction that awaited them?

Hindi iyan uubra dito. (That’s not going to work here.)
Ang ambisyoso mo naman. (You dream too much.)
Kikita ba pamilya natin diyan? (Will our family make money from that.)
Akala ko mo kung sino ka, nag-abroad ka lang. (Who do you think you are, you just went overseas.)
Eh di wow! (Untranslatable; basically a dumbstruck expression of Filipinos)

What will make things worse is if your ideas clash with the vested interests of a politician. He/she will do everything to make sure that your ideas for improvement merely stay as ideas.

It is worthy to mention, that Filipinos have this obsession with “Filipino First”, and yet the results of putting the Filipino first have been all but a failure. Filipinos protected themselves from foreign competition in order to focus on locally made? They became complacent, and were merely satisfied with selling and consuming mediocre products. Filipinos want to put their own native languages and dialect first? Well, they failed to enrich them, and even allowed them to devolve into gutter speak.

***

If you haven’t noticed by now, there’s a single common denominator that ties the three reasons I mentioned above:

Filipinos are too lazy to think.

Adopting foreign ideas, influences, and best practices into Philippine society takes a lot of work. You have to carefully discuss and scrutinize each idea, and you have to go into every detail of what will work and what will not.

At the helm of it all, you have to have authority figures who are intelligent, have a vision, and have a strategy to see the Philippines improve. Doon pa lang bagsak na ang mga Pilipino (the Filipinos will fail even in that aspect alone)!

Ultimately, it comes down to what Filipino society collectively values, or does not, in this case.

Filipinos are anti-intellectual.

That is a natural result of being lazy. When people refuse to get out of their comfort zone, and are content to stay in their old, outdated, and detrimental ways, then they get a society that refuses to learn from the past and from outside influence.

Oh when will they ever learn
Oh when will they ever learn…

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About FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

Post Author: FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

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49 Comments on "Why potentially beneficial foreign ideas and influence have not worked in the Philippines"

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Robert Haighton
Member

Fallen,
To sum things up for myself is that its useless for me to stay any longer, and/or to keep my mouth shut because whatever I suggest is useless and a waste (of my time and effort).

Okay folks then this was my last and final contribution.
I am not sad to go but it makes me sad that the majority of the Philippines dont want to strive and dont want to aspire for and to a better life.

Well anyway, it was fun to be here.

Cheerio.

Minus
Guest

We don’t need foreigners like you telling us what to do.

Cheerio Robert, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

marius
Guest

That’s right, minus. Filipinos don’t need anybody! That’s why they’re so successful! The BEST in the world, in fact. At EVERYTHING!

Pinoy pride! Yay!

Singh Hot
Guest

Indian Pride! Yay!

marius
Guest
>> I had to figure out a way to work directly with and for the people without Oligarch permission. GoRico: same here, and it’s why I get incandescent with rage at people like Fidel. Fundamentally, the oligarchy exist because people like Fidel feel the boot on their neck, and say: thank you sir! More please! I’ve noticed that I have to work around not just the oligarchy, but people like them. I would say 50% of Filipinos want something better, know ‘better’ when they see it, and are interested in adopting it (I have enormous respect for these people and… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest

@ Minus, I’m just curious. What would a Foreigner need to contribute to Philippines to meet with your approval?

andrew
Guest

don’t mind him. people like to troll around. 😀

Fidel
Guest

I have no problem with foreign guests like Robert Haighton and you Go Rico! But just to answer your curiousity you can try by putting some sense in the brains of the sarcastic Mr. Marius who is all over the place having his high lambasting everyone about anything in his host country!

You can ask Mr. Magnificent where he came from so we can see if he and his people are truly magnificent unlike his host country!

Go RICO
Guest
I appreciate your attitude, Fidel. Thank you. I cannot speak for Marius or Robert, but I can understand their frustration. It takes a while for foreigners to learn how to navigate the systems (Political and Hierarchy)in Philippines, and what approaches get results and which ones to avoid, and to be mindful that we are guests here. So, thanks for being patient with us. Fallen Angel has written a GREAT Article here, and it illustrates some of the obstacles to bringing new technology into Philippines, most resistance from Gov Agencies, Monopolies and Power Brokers. Since these Agencies, Monopolies and Brokers are… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Rico, any time, I visit the Philippines again, I do know what is coming now. Its almost something that is predictable. But my “danger” is that I will start to accept that behavior or those things as normal. Well they are “normal” for them but still not yet for me. Because I am used to a higher standard. So basically I have to come down from the mountain (I hope that doesnt sound too arrogant) but its a defense mechanism to not get too frustrated again. Maybe if I visit any other part of the Philippines (than Cebu) it might… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest

Hi, Robert. I was unfamiliar with your background, but your new comment suggests that you are leaving and frustration played a role in the decision.

I haven’t been to Cebu be choice. In my research, it seems to be “Oligarch Headquarters Visayas”, so a place I didn’t need to be. Hopefully you’ll set up elsewhere when you return. Stay in touch.

Travel safely, GOD Speed.

Robert Haighton
Member
Rico, My personal background being a Dutch (growing up, going to school, having a job) or my background in relation to the Philippines? Yes indeed frustration was a big factor. Let me put it this way: in my country we also have poor and low educated people. But they dont do the things that are done by their equals in the Philippines. I really think – regardless of background – people from all walks of life, only want one thing and that is that their offspring have a good life and preferably an even better life than the parents ever… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Fidel, thanks. I am not here to get as many “likes” as possible, I am not here to become popular, I am not here to brag and boast how good my country is nor how good I am (if I am). All my intentions were and are to share about my personal experiences while being in the Philippines (read: Cebu) and what I think needs to be changed in order to gecome a better country and to become a better nation (people). I cant help it but most of my experiences lead to frustration. A lot of frustrations. And I… Read more »
marius
Guest

oops .. posted in wrong location. GoRICO, see above.

Hey Joe
Guest

Minus – you are the perfect example of fallen Angel’s statement “Filippinos are to lazy to think”.

What are you proud off? You did not understand a single thing in the article…Your Pinoy pride is the root cause of this country’s misery…

marius
Guest
Fidel: weren’t you making silly comments like that in another thread? Look at any international index you care to name, Fidel, and the Philippines is somewhere near the bottom. Every single time. We’re not talking about MY country here. GRP is about the Philippines. If you don’t want people pointing and laughing, don’t pretend to be something you’re not. You would get far, far more respect if the President stood up in the UN and said: the Philippines has failed. Can anybody help us fix this? Of course, he won’t do that, because failure is the goal, the intent. And… Read more »
Hugh
Guest
This article reminds me of my vacation in La Union and stayed in a German owned resort called Final Destination. The owner came and sat with us and in the course of conversation, he commented that his employees are all HRM or Tourism graduates but he still had to train them because they were not ready to do even the simple things such as proper preservation of food or greeting the customers, etc. Anyway, what he finds nauseating is his trained employees criticize, scold and mistreat the new employees and act like they were that good from the day of… Read more »
CCC
Guest

I couldn’t agree more! But sadly, this newbie treatment is a norm here in the country, that the newbies should respect the tenured ones jut for the sake of being tenured. Once upon a time, i also accepted that culture, but now, i’m working in a BPO company and that is a big no no in the company, think about it, BPO companies change the face of working culture here. We should be thankful because it minimizes the tenured/newbie twisted culture and equality disregarding the age, gender or physical abilities/disabilities as long as you are able is impose.

Hugh
Guest

Correction, the resort was ‘final option’ my bad!

Dick S. O'Rosary
Guest

Gruesome deaths come to mind. lol

94Hyden000777Toro
Guest

They will never learn…that is for sure…
Just look at our Squatters, who are multiplying, day to day like mushrooms. These people have bare basic necessities; much more sanitation. They live in such a very unsanitary environment. They can tolerate to live in this environment. Because, it is free..

No will/aspiration of their own, to better themselves. Or, to live in a better environment.

The Politicians wanted this situation; because these Squatters are sources of “captive votes”…

It is a symbiotic relationship…and is a bad situation for all of us. However, nobody, ever raised a voice, against these people.

Presidente Emilio
Guest

There are still people who are willing to say enough is enough. The problem is that they’re so few, and they can’t just take action outright, lest they wanted a meet Saint Peter ahead of schedule.

The oppressive powers has a tight grip on this unfortunate nation. If this goes too long, we might need a lot of bloodshed to actually bring true change to the Philippines.

jeni
Guest

Grace Poe is born in the Philippines. She’s a natural born Pilipino whatever her parents nationality,born in our motherland. if she’s not a natural born pilipino, then we all are stateless. secondly, how many years did she studied since birth in the philippines before pursuing her further education in the states? will that not count the 10 years requirement preceding such elections? there’s no years mention in the constitution which such election.

Grimwald
Member

Sadly Fallen Angel, I don’t really think they’ll change anytime soon.

d_forsaken
Guest
Part of the problem with the general word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of Failipinos who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of Failipinos who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And Failipinos who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest
@d_foresaken. Thank you for commenting on this phase of life in Philippines. It’s an issue that is critical to our future. Of all of the crimes and injustices of the Oligarchs, their methodical destruction of souls of their fellow Filipinos is the most obscene. Even before birth, while babies are in the womb, they can sense their environment. Because they are virtually “living in water”, every sound is magnified, so arguments, music, laughter, disappointment, despair, anger and danger imprints on the child’s subconscious. So, getting rid of Political Dynasties is more than just building a new Gov. and some highways,… Read more »
ice cube
Guest
a wild troll used point miss. it was not effective. positives? i don’t know if you saw this on the news lately but we live in a society where a police officer deserves an award ceremony (a damn award ceremony) for returning a wallet with 55,000 pesos…let that sink in… seriously … seriously… do you want some brilliant insight, some golden pearl of wisdom to tell you how to fix the philippines? this is yet another cretinism that pinoys have…ummm we need some brilliant theory…some heavenly sign to show us how to change the country (preferably, with this sign you… Read more »
anon
Guest

> positives? i don’t know if you saw this on the news lately but we live in a society where a police officer deserves an award ceremony (a damn award ceremony) for returning a wallet with 55,000 pesos…let that sink in…

They get rewarded because they’re rare acts of kindness. Now the majority will come to think that a simple act like that one needs to have something in return as well or else they won’t do it.

Besides, this article isn’t about negativity. It’s about being realistic.

ice cube
Guest

this was a reply to a post that disappeared.
can posts be edited or deleted after posting or was it taken down?

Grimwald
Member

Most likely the latter…

colbey007
Guest

– @FallenAngel;

Thanks for your thoughts! I have sincerely enjoyed your thought provoking articles. Just so you know….I do see eye to eye with you.

MM

andrew
Guest
Filipinos are known for having a “reverse-Midas touch”. -laziness, complacency, and hard headed Case Study: my co-worker eats his “lumpia” in his workstation which is prohibited (no eating allowed). i saw crumbs falling on the floor so I told him to clean it afterwards which he did. however, i still saw some more crumbs which he ignored. I said, “there’s more! F@ck is wrong with you!” (he’s one of my good friends. lol!). He replied, “that’s fine it won’t be seen.” So I rebutted, “stop that attitude. go and clean it to perfection!” so he cleaned it spick and span.… Read more »
CCC
Guest

Have you watched the disturbing news of someone shooting a security guard just because that guard is asking him to stop smoking in the no-smoking air-conditioned e-games area…. i wonder where the brain of this certain failipino went.

andrew
Guest

WTH! 0_0
never heard that incident. but you see, there’s really something wrong with our attitude. f@ck! >_<

romeo
Guest
I am a filipino, and I am ashamed. Truth hurts and it takes a lot of courage to face the truth. So I will take-out this disgusting yellow film that has been used to bind my eyes so the only thing I can see is yellow. Some Filipino’s do enjoy being poor. Being poor has its perks. You don’t pay taxes, you enjoy help coming from foreign aids and whatever alms the Philippine Government is willing to sprinkle. We are taught that we won Democracy and Freedom when Cory ousted Marcos, but is it true freedom? Most Filipinos are unable… Read more »
marius
Guest
You have no reason to be ashamed, romeo. You are not responsible for other people’s choices, only your own. There are a lot of people like you, even though it might be hard to find them among the crowd of willing slaves and the deliberately poor. Sadly, it’s up to YOU guys to sort out this mess. A critical goal of any dictatorship is to denigrate The Other – to make sure that the populace dismiss anything from outside of the country as inferior, evil, or useless. It’s an extremely effective tactic: foreigners can’t help even if they want to… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest

Well said, Marius!!

Romeo has left the “Dark Side”, we only have 103 Million more Hearts and Minds to win.

In the meantime, we have lots of work to do.

Vincent
Member

Or if you still feel shame, use that as fuel to express your frustration and offer solutions as GRP contributors are doing.

I’m sorry can’t help it. I noticed that one of the above comments have been watching Suits too much and inappropriately used a Harvey Specter line. Pity that comment.

Go RICO
Guest

Hi, Vincent. I agree, Romeo took the first step, after that it’s automatic. 1)Man-Up 2) Stand-Up 3) Choose your solution and 4) Go to work.

Go RICO
Guest

WELCOME HOME, ROMEO!!! Like Marius said, you have nothing to be ashamed of, but proud that you chose to “Man-Up”. It’s a big step forward in joining the “Global Community”

Re: Blinders, you’re correct. The media and educators provide blinders for free so people can’t see well enough to find the truth.

So, you’ve had a big day!! You recognized the problem and took of the blinders so you can see solutions. Well done!!

colbey007
Guest

Though I am not ashamed to be Filipino. I am not particularly proud of the Philippines either.

Go RICO
Guest

Hi, colbey007. Your comment is remarkable. You have the perfect perspective. As free men, questioning the Government is not only our right, it’s our obligation.

You should be proud to be Filipino; but we should never stop working to make the Government as good as the people. CHEERS.

Juliet
Guest
I am Filipino and I am not ashamed that I come from a poor family! I resent the idea that being poor is enjoyable. I say that you try living a life on subsistence level for once and you’ll know what it really means being poor. It takes a lot of courage to experience “the experience” than just merely describing it and passing a judgement. That’s the truth! It is not also true that being poor has its perks because unlike the rich kids in my school me and my siblings don’t have access to a family car, washing machine,… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest
Juliet, your comment inspired me, thank you. You represent the dignified and proud Filipinos that Foreigners admire and are always willing to work with to improve the Philippines. In my research I interview a lot of Filipinos from different income Classes and I was always shocked when I heard the “Perks of the Poor”. I always asked Middle Class commenters “Would YOU give up everything you have to avoid paying rent and taxes?” and “Don’t you think the poor would prefer to pay rent and taxes in exchange for the opportunities and blessings of the Middle Class?” They always changed… Read more »
Mom
Guest
In behalf of this girl, I would like to thank you Mr. Go RICO for representing that special breed of human specie who knows how to be critical but still likeable! You are the confirmation that not all foreign individuals living in The Philippines and commenting in this site are abominable scumbags! Perhaps you are the first or the only one (at least that I have the pleasure to have encountered here in GRP), who, inspite of your intellect isn’t afraid to show how to be considerate and understands how it is to be human again! I’m getting emotional but… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest
Hello, Mom. Please accept my apology for the late reply, but your message touched me deeply and left me almost speechless. Thank you for your sincere compliments. As an American, I can say frankly that we have special affinity with Philippines. I am from Texas where we have large populations of Filipinos, and we admire them and treasure them for what they contribute to our social fabric. First Juliet, then you, exhibited through GRP the same qualities that Americans think of when we think of Philippines. However, as you pointed out, too many foreigners have trouble expressing themselves online. For… Read more »
T
Guest

only if the intellectuals breeded more than the masa, we’d see rapid change.
what we can do now is instill our ideologies on our children (eg official language at home is english, no “pwede na yan” mentalities, less exposure to philippine media).

Go RICO
Guest

Hi, T. The breeding is already done. 55% of Philippines population is 24 years or younger, and many are Students or Graduates.

Masa lost that battle years ago, hahaha.

Yes, our children will see the progress and grow up knowing they will have opportunity to create their future.

andrew
Guest

i agree about the proper upbringing of our children but i dont agree with teaching our children english at home. They would lose their cultutal identity which is one problem we have. At least only here in ncr. I dont know about the rest of the tribes in other regions.

I prefer good educational system which will help our children discover their aptitudes. Discipline and etiquette should be taught at home.

wpDiscuz