What do basketball, karaoke, and democracy, all have in common in the Philippines?

Basketball, karaoke, and democracy, are favorite pastimes in the Philippines. All three are things Filipinos like to associate with being Filipino. We like to think of ourselves – and are proud of it – as the most basketball-crazy country in the region. When it comes to social gatherings, and Filipinos are involved, everyone is expected […]

The unresolved issues with the Marcoses are strong indictments of Filipino cultural dysfunction

It is tempting to think of the unresolved issues with the Marcos family – their alleged ill-gotten wealth, the lack of compensation for all those who supposedly suffered during the Martial Law era, and now the purportedly “undeserved” burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) – as political […]

Human Rights advocacy is the latest fashion statement in Imperial Manila

Whose side are Filipino “activists” on nowadays? From all the chest-thumping and fist-waving we are seeing all over social media and mainstream media nowadays, it would seem that the Philippines’ chattering classes are on the side of the crooks! That is exactly how both President Rodrigo Duterte’s massive base of voters and the broader swathe […]

A message to Filipinos who plan to celebrate the EDSA People Power ‘revolution’ anniversary

I find them funny, these articles, blogs, and Facebook posts that together mount a futile effort to trumpet the dubious “achievements” of Yellow-branded “democracy” over the last 30 years. Authors of these hilarious articles make the whole circus sound colourful and peachy only because they apply a low bar as a baseline for measuring “progress”. […]

Will the Pinoy Way ever work?

The Pinoy Way is that set of behaviors, mannerisms, and cultural idiosyncrasies which have become a staple and hallmark of Filipino culture and society as we see it manifest today. Filipino culture is seemingly built up on three pillars of dysfunction. This means that all the observed dysfunctional behaviors of Filipinos as of yet (I […]

No blood, no foul. If you die, sorry ka na lang; ganoon talaga sa Pilipinas

“Eh buhay ka pa naman, diba?” (But you did not die, right?) – reportedly said by President BS Aquino to the recently deceased Tacloban business man Kenneth Uy. “Hindi naman siguro fatal iyan” (It’s not fatal anyway) – Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) head Emilio Abaya’s words, when asked about the worsening traffic problem […]

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

While 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 […]

Philippine elections: perpetually about the ‘least unacceptable’

Do Filipinos want to be represented by the best of their own, rather than the least bad? No, they don’t. Elections in the Philippines are rarely about the “most acceptable”, if at all. They are, more often than not, about the “least unacceptable”. What is the difference, you may ask? Well, common sense tells us […]