ARCHIVED LETTERS 29 MAR 2006




30 Dec 2005

I just read one full page of your Get Real website and truly enjoyed the commentary which was a very refreshing look at one culture. It is important to note that I don't know your culture in the Philippines, but I get the impression that the comments are a no holds barred honest assessment of difficulties there and that motivation like yours might be the way to improve the conditions of which you speak so eloquently.

Although I arrived at your website by accident, looking for "Get Real" a television show and Internet site, I am very happy to have found yours instead. I've been involved in charismatic Catholic conferences in the US run by originally native Pinoys. I love the people I am associating with. Several of them are priests from the Philippines, but also from Canada and the UK, working in the Philippines for the church as missionary priests.

I also respect MiGuel Ayesa, the composer/arranger, musician and singer, who recently spent some very valuable time in the Philippines, where he was born. He has a lot of family still there, the Legardas. He also has a lot of Pinoy fans around the world and I've been communicating with several of them recently in the US, Philippines, Canada and the UK.

Thanks again for providing a wonderful look into your world.


29 Dec 2005

i am from both ilokano parents who were bred tagalog-speaking american educated people..i will consider myself a son of ilokanos-not filipinos-and born and raised in this american society. i am white-washed with ilokano pride-that makes me an Ilokano-american.

i praise the ilokano culture and hate the tagalog culture-i do not know what kare kare is-I know what palutan with chivo(goat) is..i know no alternative...

i have not affiliated with any pilipino-community because it is tagalog-washed.

i am american-washed with soloyot-not pilipino washed with american-pride.


19 Dec 2005

I like the site....

I run a caregiver nanny placement here in Vancouver -- and I don't understand many things about filipino culture... but your site has given me lots to read -- and I can see where things are in terms of filipino thinking.

The "in your face" writing is much needed.

Keep up the good work!!


18 Dec 2005

The great thing about the Internet is that you can't really take on everything on it seriously. And this site falls into that category. Everything stated here is a mere lie and is equivalent to being libelous. I hate to burst your bubble, but opinions don't make facts. I just don't see how you can generalize a population of over 70 million as failures. Do you know each and every Filipino, benignut? I doubt it. If you're looking for a life marred in tragedy, take a look a mirror and you'll find it. White people don't give a fuck if you turn on your heritage 'cause you'll always be a brown piece of garbage. You tell an entire nation to get real. You first, flip.


13 Dec 2005

Can I give you a hint? There are people here trying to figure out how to get coconut oil here from there. The reason? Well biodiesel, but the cultural difference has slowed them. You see nobody there will tell them the cost, until they say how much they want. Nobody here is willing to say how much they want until they figure out how to make fuel out of it.Use that, instead of bashing all that is wrong with your wonderful country, challenge them. Stop complaining how America is needed there to keep the country proped up. Use us, abuse us, chew us up and spit us out the way OPEC does. Your sitting on tons of coconut oil, don't sell it as coconut oil. That is giving it away. The government is already using it to run vehicles there. The knowledge is already there to make it fuel additive grade. Don't send it to the US as a cheap oil, refine it and send the finished product. Here in the US there is a tremendous demand for diesel. Use that resourcefullness your country is famous for. If you can take 10 cents off the price of diesel here, you will be our heros. If you can get it here, for around 25 peso per liter, you have done it.

Yeah, I came there, I married a Filipina, shoot me if you want. But I also married a family there, and a country there. A country full of the nicest people I have ever met. Want another hint? I never knew Acer computers were made there. I work in the computer industry and didn't know that. How are Philippine Americans here supposed to suport you there if they don't know what to buy? I don't see any products here labeled made in the Philippines, if I saw something I would probably buy it even if I didn't want it, and I'm not Philippino.

Maybe I am not the average American, because I hope the marines there in the embassy rot in jail. Maybe I am not the average American because I am all pissed off that the typhoon and floods there didn't make the news here. And I am worried, I am glad the US sent help, but they sent more marines? Obviously we are not the brightest people. When I was there, maybe I wasn't the average American, because I would pull my wife back to give money or food to the street children. And when she said the government discourages this my response was I don't care what my government tells me to do, do you think I will respect the word of a government that wants children to starve in the streets? I was there just after the government condemed the abandoned buildings along the street in Davao. The children living in those buildings now live in the median in shelters made from sticks and tarps. Brillant move on the part of the government, for a minute, I thought I was back in the US.

One last thing, I hope you will not hold this against me. I will probably retire there. Because it's cheaper? Well that's part of it. The US is not what it once was. We can't figure out that criminals need to be locked up. We have become such a tolerant country of everything, that we now chase away the good people. Did you know that even Christmas has become a major debate here? Stores are now calling it holiday shopping. When I was there, I stepped into america in the past. It was like my childhood. People there now, are just like people here, fifty years ago. I think you have no idea what that alone is worth. Cherish it, God forbid you will someday become like us. We didn't always have places to send our elders to rot and die because we didn't have time. We didn't always have street gangs here, caused by parents who ignore their children.


24 Nov 2005

mahal ko po kayo! i havent read the whole site pero, i keep reading it from time to time. minsan hindi ako makatulog at makapag aral after reading just one section. pero hindi pa ako dumating sa "solutions" eh. however i think nasa website nyo po ang makabuluhan na topics. iposted it on my profile. my wish is for more audience at enlightenment. mabuhay po kayo and God Bless you!


18 Nov 2005

i am sorely disappointed that the "solutions" you list are plain vanilla motherhood statements, to whit:

Manage our resources properly. Save and invest. Work with one another to create robust organisational frameworks. Owe allegiance to the community and the system, not its leaders.

-duh? do you have actual policy proposals? action plans? programmatic frameworks?

if you don't, then you're just another rant on the web.

as Turner so famously said: "Either lead, follow or get out of the way."


17 Nov 2005

What a strange argument: you can come up with some �clear ideology� and then imagine that everyone will miraculously �agree� to it. The idea of �reinventing� oneself is sophomoric, like that of a high school teenager who thinks that everything will change with a brand new set of clothes and a personality that should suddenly appear with that change of clothes. The argument that one has �to formulate some deeper ideology shared by all filipinos (sic) that would inspire personal or moral conviction beyond mere emotionalism or sentimentalism� and that �Patriotism could only be sustained if it's rooted on more timeless principles and yet peculiar only to the filipino (sic) people� sounds as na�ve as similar views envisioned by personalities ranging from Chairman Mao to Marcos. In fact, I�d say that such fantasies appear to be as emotional and as sentimental as the same emotionalism and sentimentalism they purportedly challenge. Ditto for the cute management flowchart that sees the Philippines as some sort of computer program or business enterprise.

Finally, I get this feeling that many of the traits you claim Filipinos possess might apply to many countries in the world at many points in their history. One can only recall the American civil war and the decades it took the U.S. to evolve, or that the German characteristic of precision became dominant only during the nineteenth century. Given history, I�d say that seeing the Philippines as some sort of organization that can be whipped into shape with a carefully formulated �benchmark� is incredibly simplistic.


17 Nov 2005

Benigno, I don�t understand why there are many contradictions in many of your essays. For example, in the essay �Next Steps� you write:

�In the middle of all this are blogs like the PCIJ that provide �investigative journalism� -- doing nothing more than contribute to the divisiveness in the chattering classes who subsist on all this stuff.

�It's a dog-like mentality (in Tagalog asal aso). One dog starts barking in the night, and others in the neighbourhood following suit without really knowing what the fuss is all about.�

Your own arguments about PCIJ and your description of the situation as �dog-like mentality� might also apply to your website!

Finally, I find it strange that you criticize the PCIJ web log and yet become part of the �chattering classes� when you post comments in their site.


05 Nov 2005

nothing hurts more than the obnoxious truth. Acknoledging these painful truth does not make us any less Filipino- its our inaction that does! Worse, some Pinoy would rather hide behind misguided sense of nationalism to conceal their own inadequacy. Some guys are obviously upset with this site but look around you, our country is sinking fast and there's no solution in sight. If there is, then you can bet your ass its not going to happen in our lifetime, perhaps not even in the generations of our great grandchildren. Isnt that tragic?


31 Oct 2005

we filipinos are so hypocrete. we live on lies and half truth.

when I was a kid (am now 40 [years old]) our elders never give us straight answer. one day while playing to my female friend,we were both taking a bath (nude and I was 5 [years old]) I shout "ay pepe" [and] my aunt scolded me for saying bad words.

another was, when I ask my aunt again how did I come out in this world. and without hesitation she said "galing ka sa puwet".

there's alot more lies and half truth i learn from my elders, when we went to US at my age of 10 [years old], I was so surprised how ordinary folks explain everything as if am talking to them as the same age as mine. up to now am still wandering why we filipinos doesnt treat kids as intellectual and the future of our country, in the philippines, youth are deprive of ideas what is better for them. look who's the one talking and explaining everything on tv,radios or in press con. FVR 78 [years old], DOJ Gonzales 78 [years old], Ex Gen Abat 80 [years old], Sec Ermita and other's who as if t[h]ey will still live by hundred years and cannot accept that their ideas are already "kalawang". please you oldies, give the youth what is best for the country and for them.

now I know if only I was around when Pres Quezon said "I would rather see the Philippines [run] like hell by filipinos than run like heaven by the americans", I will be the one to say you dont know what youre saying. suppose we held a referendum and ask every filipinos if they want the Philippines to be part of USA as one of his member in State? [I] am sure it will get a landslide vote of yes. yes to be a member of United State of America.

but hypocrete will say, that's traitor, that's treason and maybe that [is] destabilazation.

thank you and hope that we filipinos one day wake up, there's no hope with our politicians.

"evil to triumph in the Philippines, let all good filipino men and women do nothing and let our politician`s do their thing"[.]


30 Oct 2005

The article of Nick Joaquin drives home to us, Filipinos, our common negative character traits that seem to always put us behind other nations and peoples.

Maybe, we are still in the process of discovering our real strengths - our comparative advantage that gives us the feeling of real pride as Filipinos.

Filipinos have always been noted as religious; his faith to God is his source of strength and power at all times.

Mother said that She has chosen Filipinos because She has found the faith She has been looking for amaong the Filipinos.

Mother said that God is the Philippines' hidden wealth, God is the Pearl of the Philippines.... If Filipinos will have to teach the world just one thing: it will be FAITH in God. It will be God...It will be in the realm of spiritual development. . . and spiritual development is never measured in the greatness or the bigness or the largness of material and even intellectual achievement, because, spiritual development is an entirely different kind, level, method and way of learning and doing.

Maybe, Filipinos have to explore more on this strength... on his FAITH to God.

Mother said "The Philippines is the richest nation on earth, both spiritually and materially, if only Filipinos will finally discover their true identity - as the chosen, fine nation of the end-time.


29 Oct 2005

I have observed this website for a few years now. Initially, I found the articles hard-hitting and very amusing.

Years later, the initial allure of the articles is lost. It is quite obvious that this site is simply a "Filipino Bash Site".

There is nothing at all about solutions to the problems presented here save the lip service and articles that are, frankly, too obtuse and difficult to understand.

The attraction of this website is still the Filipino Bashing that many readers (presumably also Pinoy) seem to thoroughly enjoy.

I suppose congratulations are in order ... if you hate your own kind.


29 Oct 2005

Hi benign0

What an excellent perspective you are bringing to the conventional mind of most Filipinos. Don�t worry, I have no doubt in my mind that you are giving a priceless contribution to your motherland by shaking its sagging ego with the hope that it may wake up to its unjustifiably long slumber. Our Philippines has been over-sleeping and it�s time for it to wake up and engage in some worthwhile activities.

To your detractors, I hope that they open their minds just a little bit more instead of forever defending the non-productive attributes of Filipinos. Get real kababayans � we could actually learn a lot from other cultures if only we stop and objectively evaluate what habits we can get rid of. Stop being too precious about some of our unworthy attributes because frankly, we have lots of those

To those who accuse you of generalization, I say this - you have in reality presented many detailed and fact-based arguments. Those people who refuse to see your point of view are probably those people who are currently the beneficiaries of a mismanaged Philippines and who stand to lose that position if the country suddenly wakes up and go to the opposite direction. Of course they don�t want The Philippines to move forward because that would mean their much cherished turf will be endangered.

But enough is enough � with the information revolution that we currently are in, let�s use this to help every Filipino youth the right to a brighter future. I just hope that this information revolution will help change the perspective of the younger Filipinos and not follow the paths of their stinking forebears.

My admiration goes to you for your resilience and resolve. You are the probably a hard working professional judging on the way you use your skill to articulate an intelligent yet common sense argument. I hope to see more Filipinos like you come out of their shell and help shape the minds especially of our younger generation who we all hope will take us out of this mire that we currently are in.

I hope to meet you one day and keep up the good work.


25 Oct 2005

I think many people who go here miss the point of the site. It does not say reject or hate the Filipino people but rather reject its culture that is incompatible with the modern world. Retain the people, change the culture. Did I get it right?


22 Oct 2005

I think Get Real Philippines is a wake up call to all of us. If Benigno didn't love his country, he wouldn't even bother putting up this website. I think we have to recognize that what he is doing is patriotic. He doesn't merely enumerate the symptoms of our country's ills - - he diagnoses the ills and in fact attempts to find solutions.

To those who villify him - -sure, hate the doctor who had just told you you're sick. Rather than vilify him, it would be more productive if we all engage in dialogue -to read, think with reason, and act accordingly rather than verbalize positions based on ideology or hate for this fellow.

As Butch Dalisay said in his speeches: "Our mission is to lead and to be led by reason - by independent, scientific, and secular reason, rather than by politicians, priests, shamans, bankers, or generals."

I'll admit one thing - -maybe Benigno's style may seem abrasive to many. A frustrated man can seem impatient to many. But let's not deny the fact that he makes a lot of valid observations and analysis. If he hated the country, he would leave things at that and not suggest solutions. But he suggests changes, he suggests solutions, and admits when the task is daunting.

Let's not kid ourselves. Let's start getting real. Our country has a lot of problems - not just a whole bunch of minor ones, but fundamental, basic problems that have different facets. Let's not forever be in a state of denial and think that we'll end up okay by simply coasting along.

I clearly remember 1986 when it seemed we couldn't go wrong. 1986 was right, was great, was triumphant. I have seen with my own eyes how we squandered (let's not point fingers here now - -while some had greater share in the blame, we are all part of the problem) 20 years. Sure, lots of good things have happened - the dictatorship is gone, a lot of the vestiges of state control of the economy is gone. But let's step out of our little world and begin to see ourselves as a nation in the community of nations. How have we fared compared to the other nations of the world? I think we know the answer. This failure has real consequences - the continuing poverty (in many senses) of the nation.

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