The Philippines – a misfit among misfits

We should be careful about how we assure ourselves of the righteousness of the “side” we take in the world order. Today’s scoundrels may be tomorrow’s saints; today’s heroes, tomorrow’s goats; and today’s winners possibly tomorrow’s losers. Raul Pangalangan of the makes his judgment on the position the Philippines takes on the China Nobel Peace Prize “issue” quite clear in his latest piece:

“That lovely collection of rogues and cowards”—and Asia’s most democratic country now stands shoulder to shoulder with them all. For a country that takes pride in its “one brief shining moment” at Edsa 1, what we did last week showed that the moment has long lost its sheen.

I’m not sure what’s up with Pangalangan’s use of quotes in the above snippets as he makes no attribution of these words to any other person. By “lovely collection of rogues and cowards”, he is referring to the governments of some countries that joined China in boycotting the Nobel Prize ceremonies honouring dissident Liu Xiaobo in Oslo. These countries include Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, and the Philippines.

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First of all, enough has already been said about the Philippines’ presumption to judge rougish and cowardly behaviour, given our renowned track record for deeply-ingrained banal injustice. This is a point I highlight extensively in my book where I emphasise how (my boldface for emphasis)…

[…] in Philippine society, the unwritten (and ironically vastly more ingrained) cultural framework for guiding “proper” behaviour and conduct is itself convoluted, inconsistent, and unjust. Much of it lies outside the increasingly irrelevant Tradition-Religion Complex. Does this mean that Philippine society is inherently unjust? Maybe. It seems to be a theory that neatly explains a lot of paradoxes about Philippine society, among which is the famous paradox of our high Church services attendance back dropped against the virtually institutionalised corruption and passive-aggressive “immorality” that prevails.

Indeed, on one hand, we could say that perhaps we belong more amongst these “rogues” than in the company of winners of Nobel Peace Prizes. But then, on the other hand, consider how none of these countries listed by Pangalangan above pretends to be the saintly, “prayerful” and “blessed” society that inhabits the deluded self-perception of Filipinos. Pinoy nga naman talaga. The Philippines is still a misfit among “misfits”.

Second, the reality is that the “rogues” get all the chicks. Han Solo in the excellent movie The Empire Strikes Back was described by Princess Leia as a “scoundrel” before she kissed him. Let’s take a look at history’s famous “rogues”, shall we? The most famous and most worshipped rogue of all was none other than Jesus Christ. He was such a dangerous rogue to the Establishment, in fact, that he was successfully framed for “crimes” of “subversion” by the men-in-robes of the time and put to death. Recall too that it was a bunch of marauding “barbarians” that toppled the mighty Roman Empire, and the chieftains of those barbarian tribes of blonde and blue-eyed people would go on to descend a lineage of “royalty” that are the ancestors of today’s tabloid and celebrity magazine fodder.

Third, who are we calling “cowards”? Perhaps not all the countries in this set won wars, but they all put up a good fight, mounted innovative forms of warfare, and battled with conviction. I don’t think those are qualities that can be said to uderlie any initiative that Filipinos have been known to collectively effect. Indeed, as I highlighted in my article Manny Pacquiao’s compatriots – di naman pala papalag

Our society is an INSULT to the outstanding soldiers we send to battle and the world-class boxing champs we and the rest of the world worship.

Even more laughable is how we see ourselves as aligned with the “free world” who supposedly would take up arms to fight for liberty, truth, and justice. Yet if there is anything in the way we conducted our 2004 participation in that ironic American incursion into Iraq that says anything about us, it is that we remain consistent with our limp-dicked ways

Whether the Iraq War was a worthwhile undertaking or not is not the issue here. The issue is the reason (or rather lack of any deep reason) behind the participation of the Philippines in this war in the first place. […] The Philippines did not pull out of Iraq because there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction to be found. And it certainly did not pull out because it felt that its fundamental principles were being violated (there aren’t any to be violated in the first place). It pulled out because its Government wanted to shore up its popularity and present itself as a compassionate “partner of the people”. Good press and political survival, that’s what drives Government — a government that mirrors its constituents — a people who go to Church to exhibit form rather than experience the substance. A people who adorn the skin of its national symbol — the jeepney — while allowing engineering mediocrity to persist underneath it for 50 years. A people who are quick to slap the label of “Hero” on what is nothing more than a victim.

Indeed, placed alongside even these countries we presume to regard as miscreants, our nation of 100 million is a pygmy. The eminent Nick Joaquin had the following thoughts relevant to this matter in his famous piece A Heritage of Smallness:

Are we not confusing timidity for humility and making a virtue of what may be the worst of our vices? Is not our timorous clinging to smallness the bondage we must break if we are ever to inherit the earth and be free, independent, progressive? The small must ever be prey to the big. Aldous Huxley said that some people are born victims, or “murderers.” He came to the Philippines and thought us the “least original” of people. Is there not a relation between his two terms? Originality requires daring: the daring to destroy the obsolete, to annihilate the petty. It’s cold comfort to think we haven’t developed that kind of “murderer mentality.”

Do we chase the win or merely follow the “winners”?

It takes guts, vision, and imagination to do the earlier while it takes no more than a subscription to a tabloid or celebrity magazine to do the latter. We go for the easier way to feel like a winner. But then feeling like one and being one are two vastly different things. Take the song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. It is a Filipino karaoke favourite. That’s because it is the easiest of songs to sing and you have got to be a real toad not to get that song right. The popularity of that song in the Pinoy karaoke circuit lies in its appeal as a safe bet. But in its title lies the biggest irony about us that most likely simply flies over the vacuous minds of the Filipino.

33 Replies to “The Philippines – a misfit among misfits”

  1. Take the song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. It is a Filipino karaoke favourite. That’s because it is the easiest of songs to sing and you have got to be a real toad not to get that song right. The popularity of that song in the Pinoy karaoke circuit lies in its appeal as a safe bet. But in its title lies the biggest irony about us that most likely simply flies over the vacuous minds of the Filipino.

    Safe bet my ass. I thought the irony was that you either sang it the crowd’s way or you get killed. Perhaps that highlights the herd mentality of our current society.

  2. so democratic that the rule of land is like a whip in the hands of the lawless.. and we the people so willingly masochist that we seem to savor every hit.

  3. ay sus ginoo! … my beloved flipland… the label as a “misfit” does not even fit! … hay naku… flips, patawarin kayo ni judas escariote… when flips do the right things and do things right, only then, that the world will take you seriously… really, seriously… flips: 90% devout katolickdics, 110% corrupt… exports 80% of the world’s whores, 50% of the world’s slave trade… indeed, a “misfit” is a misnomer…

  4. Beijing top-leaders arely surely happy that Noynoy had kowtowed 🙁 to them when Noynoy boycotted the Oslo ceremonies, but Beijing big guns must be scratching their heads wondering what made Noynoy do that. 💡 “To save mules from death penalty” would not make sense to Beijing leaders — these are nuts-and-bolts tough guys, the same guys who saw perfect logic in ordering their tanks to run over people — not just Tibet demonstrators or OFWs 😛 from Sri Lanka — they ordered their tanks run over their very own Chinese citizens!!!

    Appeasing them to save mules will be “… this does not compute”. Beijing justice sees perfect harmony in assigning death penalty to convicted drug mules whether they are Thai OFWs teaching handweaving in Shanghai or a Beijing- or Shanghai-natural-born chinese citizen. I suppose they now call Noynoy a softhearted person, and you hope that they leave it at that. I hope Beijing does not tag Noynoy as ➡ malamya — that will be trouble for Pilipinas.

    1. and maybe the biggest danger 👿 to Pilipinas is this —- that Noynoy handlers, his inner-circle of kamaganaks and shooting buddies and those who funded his campaign, they now see that the Noynoy is 💡 lalamya-lamya at madaling utuin-utuin. 😐 Ano kaya, ito nga ba ang nangyayari ngayon sa bagong pangulo ng bangsang Pilipinas?

  5. Listen, ya’ll. What benefits do Filipinos to China when Philippfines are just a bunch of misfits who were OFWs back in the days of first recorded globalization called Galleon Trade between Manila and Acapulco? Acapulco imported Filipino OFWs in the 16th century. Filipino made the first brew that is now popularly called Tequila.

    They didn’t have a word at that time yet what is now called OFW and Globalization and intellectual transfer.

    @ ulong pare: MAAWA NAMAN KAYO SA FILIPINAS!!!! Binobugbug n’yo serado. Dat is totally unfer. Philifines is not MISFIT! The world just do not FIT into the world of Filipinos. Let ya’ll be enlightened that when Manny Pacquiao won boxing, the world revolved around Filipinos.

    MISMO mga gangbangers takut na sa mga Filipinos in America kasi Manny Pacquiao malakas si Charice Pempenco ay maganda.

    @ manzi: Manzi dear, Flippinos are afraid to get rich. Because their God said that “IT IS EASIER FOR A POOR MAN TO PASS THRU THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE THAN A RICH MAN”. Filipinos love being poor so they get to heaven easy. HEAVEN IS THEIRS. HELL IS TO THE AFFLUENT, PROGRESSIVE AND WEALTHY. Sorry, that is what the bible has said.!!!!!

    @ Renato Pacifico: Globalization did not promise us rose garden. Globalization is what goes around comes around to bite you in the asz. What civilied country outsource abroad is loss of employment to them causing people to charge their government is not goot in giving employment to their citizen. The very citizen who boughted products outsourced abroad because products are cheaper ‘cuz of cheap labor the reason they outsourced in the first place. 2ndly, they outsource because they do not one to pollute their very own country.

    @ UP nn Grad: Lookit, benign0 came from Cojuanco’s who came from Tsina back in the 1300s when Lapu-lapu was still in his pampers … HA!HA!HA!HA! benign0 did not kowtow to Tsina’s whim! benign0 is chinese! His allegiance is to his roots, China! HA!HA!HA! Interesting, eh? HA!HA!HA!HA!
    benign0 even wanted Tangalog banned and changed to englsichtzes!!!! HA!HA!HA!

    [NB: Above is consolidated across comments made by Subliminal Messenger a.k.a. Renato Pacificobenign0 😉 ]

    1. @benign0, thank you very much, sir.  Now that you have pooled all my comments together. No one will read it because it has lost its character. 🙁

      1. @Renato – How so? I read it and it’s just fine. It certainly isn’t as cluttered had it where distributed all over the place. 

        1. OK.  Cool!  See, my posts refers to other posts.  Pooling all my posts from my responses to other posts is like ranting and raving at some imagine ghosts!!!  ha!ha!ha1ha!  SINCE we have a professor of englsichtzes that still belongs to the days of Philippines under American and spanish colony, I can respond to posts and professor-snooty pools them together to make it into coherent whole!!!! HA!HA!HA!HA!  benign0 still has this ingrained colonial mentalitty that englsichtzes is measure of IQ.  HA!HA!HA1HA!

  6. The Philippines has basically aligned itself with the “enemies of the world,” or at least the “enemies of democracy.” Which is quite disturbing for me.

    1. Neccessity; not Principle is the issue here….you have to draw a good line between them. To see the line: you look back to the tragic Quirino Grandstand Hostage Incident….No Principle, or Alignment is involved here…These people are opportunists. They have no Principles…

    2. enemies of democracy? there is no such thing as enemies of democracy, the US who champion democracy, relies on dictatorship during the cold war for their brand of “democracy” to survive. in recent times, when the people of Palestine voted for hammas in a democratic election, did the us recognized them?? democracy is only democracy if its work for them…..

      in the noble peace price award, it lost its prestige from the time it was politicized, 1st the awarding of it to OBAMA, for peace!thats BS, now to a Chinese decedent who criticize the very govt system in place who is responsible for an unprecedented economic rise, that had put millions of people out of poverty…

      whether the reason for boycott is based principle, for appeasement of china, or just plain incompetence, i dont care. i just glad we did boycott it.

      1. That’s why my phrase is in quotation marks. But China is still more dictatorial compared to the US. And besides, would you boycott a Peace Prize award to save some “drug mules?” Seriously.

        Hmm, perhaps those are the real enemies of democracy: the drug mules. 😉

        1. When we legalize drugs, China goes on a rampage and invades us, putting to death all drug traffickers… this is a great dystopian plot. 😛

  7. It was not a matter of Principle that Noynoy Aquino boycotted the Nobel Prize ceremonies. He was appeasing the Chinese Giant. To successfully appease a Giant: you must dance to his tune.

    EDSA was nothing but a U.S./C.I.A. tool; to get Marcos out. Too many EDSAs already…too many political opportunists. The more we get away from this EDSA stinking thinking; that the Aquino’s wanted to perpetuate. To get hold of their Hacienda Luisita. The better for us Filipinos…

    1. I know right. Well, history is written by the hands of the victors so they say. So I guess well be seeing more of these perpetuation of EDSA thinking by the Aquinos in the years to come.

      I just cant help but think that EDSA1 is a prototype of the hakot-rallies that are too common now. How can you rest the fate of the entire country to a few thousand people, thats just scary. Thats not democracy. Shouldnt we be shouting “Long Live Imperial Manila” then?


      1. dang! you got that right, k-poo: LONG LIVE ‘TANG INANG IMPERIAL MANILA!… my rallyistas/demonstrators/strikers are squats from the south of ‘tang inang imperial manila… squats are cinco centimos per 100 squats… just listen to them talk when interviewed by pekeng periodistas… in heavily accented tangalog… i’m thinking, an amptuanized bisdak… bwi hi hi hi

  8. DOES ANYONE READ in the idiot peryodiko that Philippines will provide child support to the victims of Quirino Grandstand massacre?  

  9. Mayor Alfredo “dead HK tourists” Lim accompanies President Noynoy to launch book on Aquino successes

    As the famous saying goes. the winners get to write history. That, indeed, is what is happening as President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III launches The Inaugural — a book about, what else, him and his family. Everything about the book has Kamaganak Inc written all over it. The book is published by Maria Montelibano, a cousin (surprised?) of Noynoy.

    Like they had done, back in the 1980’s with the help of the family publicist ABS-CBN, history is now being written around the Second Aquino Administration…

    “I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to all those who offered their times and talents just to publish this ‘The Inaugural’ book. Most importantly, thank you to everybody who gathered stories of our success from the first automated elections up to the heroics act of our volunteers and our unity to fight the dark side of our history to bring significant reforms,” Aquino said in his message.

    Successes? It is a bit of an irony that the astounding number of failures and gaffes over the last six months of the Second Aquino Presidency was simply glossed over even as gross-epic-failure-embodied Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim sat in the President’s company as he delivered the above speech in — where else — the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

    Mayor Lim, if we recall, is the man on whom blame for the deaths of eight Hong Kong tourists in a bungled rescue operation back in August 23, 2010 is most palpable. Ellen Tordesillas reports

    He has never admitted mistake for the debacle that claimed the lives of eight Hongkong tourists and strained relations with China and its prosperous administrative region, which hosts thousands of Filipino workers.

    The IIRC , in fact, put the blame squarely on him. The committee, headed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, listed eight incidents that turned the crisis into a tragedy. Lim had a role in almost all of those incidents.

    …an irony that most likely will simply fly over the heads of the vacuous minds of most Filipinos.

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    1. Months prior May2010 elections, I always feel indignant against Noy’s sole privilege to justify himself live on TV patrol. And now this?!

      – “Piso para kay Noynoy” drive –
      – Polo shirt with yellow Philippine map
      – Reversed 3 stars and a sun logo (liberal party)
      – The idea of duality in the govt (kami good, sila bad)
      – “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” tag line- I am ninoy
      – etc
      Who is behind the PNoy Brand marketing? Must be the same people behind this new book.

        1. Mired by countless blunder, I kinda wonder what the book “The Inaugural” contain. 6 months is just too early to count your achievements (Kung meron man). So I guess its gonna be a fiction. Perhaps It might turn out to be a best-seller since one would wonder whats really inside it and end up buying the book.

          These are the chapters that I would really love to see:

          1. Memorandum Circular 1, Anu ba talaga?
          2. Manila Hostage taking fiasco
          3. Mislang Misadventures
          4. The Truth Commission
          5. Amnesty
          6. Pilipinas Kay Ganda
          7. Nobel Boycott

          Plot thickens….
          It seem like Aquino-Cojuanco popularity is based on a death of another family member:
          Cory was able to bank on the death of his husband.
          Noynoy was able to bank on the death of his mother…and father.
          So to follow this pattern, if ever PNoy fall into some kind of tragedy (knock on wood), I guess its Kristeta’s turn to bank on their deaths.

          This is just so sad.

  10. dang! the misfits wouldn’t even align themselves with flipland…. they do not have anything to do with flipland at all… when the somali pirates take down a ship and find out it is manned by flips, somali pirates are ashamed, embarrassed of how low they’d become… bwi hi hi hi hi pwi!

    1. HA!HA!HA!  One Somali pirate teksted me that it was an easy take-over because the ship was runned by Flippers who were drinking Tanduay while the cooker steered the ship.  ha!ha!ha!ha!   THAT IS WHY I DO NOT BELIEVE LAPU-LAPU KILLED MAGELLAN!!!!  HA!HA!HA!HA!  

  11. Like everything else, this country lacks a strong rule of law. Whoever is popular IS the law. Dangit danggit. 

    I’ve always wanted to do something outstanding that gets the international spotlight just to get the local Media’s attention. And when they come around and interview me and beg me to say something to “Uplift pinoy spirits”, I’ll take that opportunity to shoot them, the corrupt government and corrupt oligarchy down, and highlight the mistakes and errors of PH culture and society. All on live television. That would be sweet.

      1. daaaaang! @renpac: you are a misfit, a bad seed…. you’ll outlive a mummified flip and outlast santa ate cory’s everlasting memory…

  12. daaaang!… the baddest flip misfits (traposakals, magnanakaws y murderers) who ‘bakwet to ‘merka to hide turn to be an asswipe as possible… i could b!tch-slap them and would not move a lip…. they could not act the way they used to… por eksampol was the dacer-corbito murderers… they were atsoys in nuyak and ahente in flo’duh!… hay naku, parang kuting!

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