Filipinos and happiness: why we need to be serious about it

There is enough evidence to suggest that Filipinos in general are preoccupied with the desire to be on a permanent state of euphoria or at least with being perceived to be a “happy-go-lucky” society no matter what circumstances they are in. Unfortunately, this national obsession with being “happy” or having a good time instead actually leads the Filipino people to a permanent state of misery because their pursuit of happiness is shallow and misguided.

Symbol of Filipino happiness

Because of our obsession with being perceived as a “happy-go-lucky” people, we unfortunately also come across as a people who do not take things too seriously even in times of crisis; which is why our social ills stay unresolved. In fact, Filipinos in general don’t even realize that our national psyche needs to be rehabilitated. Most Filipinos are of the belief that our corrupt public officials are solely to blame for the sad state of our nation. This is funny because the Filipino people are free to choose their public servants. And yet they prefer to choose someone incompetent — which is why they get the government they deserve.

The country remains Asia’s laggard perhaps partly because most Filipinos don’t have their priorities right. Most of us would rather pursue activities that cater to instant gratification because most of us want to be “masaya” all the time. We get instant gratification when we engage in activities that give us fleeting moments of happiness. Most often these are activities that are not well thought through and may even be impulsive. It could also involve being on a fiesta or celebratory mode more often than necessary even when we don’t deserve it. This also includes not participating in the running of the country and letting our public servants wreak havoc using public funds. Instead of being serious and more assertive about national issues, we dismiss topics pertaining to politics as something that we cannot do anything about or is none of our business.

Because Filipinos love a good time more than anything else, we don’t bother learning a new skill on our spare time. Most Filipinos don’t like the idea of working harder to elevate our status to one of being among the first-class nations in the world; we would rather wait for someone to do it for us. Unfortunately, because our society has become anti-intellectual, the intellectuals are driven to leave the country. The brain drain reduces our chances of competing with other nations whose aim is to be the best at what they do and excel at every endeavor.

It follows that since most Filipinos in general would rather have a good time than work hard, it is no surprise that they also love riding on the success of other Filipinos in the entertainment industry where fame and fortune carry away singers, actors, and even sportsmen — boxers in particular. It’s not that there is anything wrong with being happy for someone who achieves international recognition, it’s just that Filipinos tend to take it to the extreme and only idolize those who appear on TV and films due to their fame rather than those who work hard to excel in science and technology – those who can actually help elevate the status of the nation.

Too much “pakikisama” can be bad for our society.

Our love for a good time more than serious and reflective time seems to be associated with a uniquely-Filipino flavor of collectivism — “pakikisama” in the vernacular. Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for example, brings temporary joy and induce exaggerated Filipino pride among Filipinos simply by winning a boxing match held in an international arena. Those who do not feel the same level of “pride” when he wins are seen as being unpatriotic, killjoy or worse, “walang pakisama“.

Those who see Pacquaio’s win as an individual achievement rather than a collective achievement also tended to be the same ones who are more concerned about the negative effects this national obsession with a boxing celebrity or any celebrity has on Philippine society. This concern is not without its merit since Filipinos also tend to idolize those with celebrity status and vote them in as public servants even if they are not qualified for public service and Manny Pacquiao having been voted into public office as Congressman is enough proof of this. Alarmingly, there are even some members of the Philippine public who are now supporting the idea of Pacquiao running for the Presidency one day.

It is not an exaggeration therefore to say that Filipinos who are labeled “killjoy” or “walang pakisama” are the same ones who are serious about the state of the nation and use their heads for critical analysis in most situations. Unfortunately, those who apply a critical mind in Philippine society are outnumbered by those who don’t, so the former ends up being bullied to submission or being helpless.

Too much good time can be bad for our society.

Most Filipinos would often say, “It’s better to see the glass half-full than half-empty.” But the more applicable proverbial expression to our society should be, “The glass is not half-full if it isn’t half-empty.” We can’t always pretend not to see the dark side of any given situation. Having an incompetent leader like President Noynoy Aquino for example, is a situation that has more dark side than bright side. If Filipinos continue to refuse to prepare for the worst case scenario, they might just get a rude shock one day upon realizing that they are already stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not that we are not yet stuck in a difficult situation; we already are, except some of us just don’t realize it yet or refuse to accept it and, worse, are not prepared for it.

There is this misconception among Filipinos that if people keep pointing at the facts and discussing the problems of our society, they are perceived as being unproductive or negative. Never mind that discussing our social ills could actually lead to the right solutions.

What is a healthier outlook in life then? Humans have different set of moods. Normal people have a baseline or set point of happiness. We bounce up and down from that baseline in response to short term events depending on the situation, like when we hear some bad news or good news. Most people normally return to their baseline after some time. Unfortunately, some of us think that we have to be above the normal baseline all the time to be considered to be a “happy” person, which is quite an impossible state to achieve because it means that in order to be “high” all the time, the natural tendency to be down after a high needs to be continuously overcome. And if we keep soaring higher, the longer the fall that is sure to come sooner or later.

If we prefer to constantly experience that “high” feeling, we also have to be constantly entertained by outside stimuli. This outside stimuli could come in the form of watching a spectacle on TV, the movies, being on the computer all day playing a video game, or being around a large gathering of family and friends having a party just to be entertained. In short, when our brain is being entertained all the time, we don’t have time to think or engage in self-reflection.

How do we sustain the baseline level of happiness? Being happy does not necessarily mean that we should always be in a gathering with friends having a ball or a party. Being happy does not necessarily mean that we should literally be laughing all the time or making jokes that make light of otherwise serious things. It would be more ideal to find happiness during our spare time doing some productive work that stimulates the imagination — like reading a good book or learning a new set of skills to keep our brains occupied and sharp. This sort of baseline happiness is more sustainable and healthier for the brain. It offers greater potential for monetary rewards, which can lead to being in a healthier mood for longer periods of time.

Caroline Hunt, a professor in psychology at the University of Sydney, Australia suggested that society would be better off if people backed away from their obsession with getting more happiness, because the activities to satisfy such an obsession is does more damage in the long-term. To quote what she said in an interview:

“There are a lot of misconceptions about what makes us happy, often involving unrealistic expectations of just how happy we could be. There’s a small industry suggesting what people should do to make themselves more happy but most of the time it would be more useful for people to accept that being unhappy or being in a state of melancholy some of the time can be OK. In fact it is part of being a human being.

In the book Against Happiness, author Eric Wilson emphasized that he finds it odd that sadness is seen as not a normal part of life but as a weakness, something to be eradicated.

“You should really embrace those dark parts of your life. They are natural. They are normal. It seems to me those darker sides of experience, those times when we are sad or sorrowful, we often learn things about ourselves that we would not learn had we simply remained content.”

No wonder most Filipinos never learn from their mistakes. They never have time to reflect because they are preoccupied with having a good time. After reading the statement above, one cannot help but recall how some Filipinos did not show any sympathy after the deaths of eight Chinese tourists in the Mendoza hostage crisis. School girls and uniformed policemen posed for photos smiling and laughing near the hijacked bus of the scene of the crime and posted the same photos on social networking sites for all the world to see. It exhibits how our society has such an underdeveloped sense of compassion. We just want to have a good time all the time.

Lack of substance leads to idiotic behaviour

One cannot forget too how President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) was caught smiling like a dog during a press conference a day after the Mendoza hostage crisis in which eight Chinese tourists died. After being criticized for his smiling face, his only excuse was “… I have several expressions. I smile when I’m happy, I smile when I’m faced with a very absurd situation…” to be fair to P-Noy, he really was caught in a very absurd situation at the time. He probably felt that smiling would lighten up the situation. Unfortunately, it just made it worse.

Where did the concept of being happy start?

It’s been said that the pursuit of happiness started in the United States when the Declaration of Independence guaranteed every individual the right to “pursue happiness”. Since then pop psychology has advocated the notion that in order to live a meaningful life, people should be happy and to be happy, you should always be “positive”.

The concept gave rise to a lot of self-help books written by positive mental attitude gurus who tend to recommend that people see the bright side of things rather than the negative. You could say that the concept is a marketing executive’s dream coming true because advertising agencies can continue to sell more products to make people feel “happy” by creating a need.

Unfortunately, with Filipinos copying anything “in” in American society, Philippine society had embraced this concept without bothering to analyze if the same concept is applicable to us as a people. And because we are such bad copycats, we do not really think about the social impact of adapting a concept that works for other cultures but not for ours. The Presidential system is a classic example of a concept that seems to work fine for Americans but obviously not for Filipinos because of our personality based politics. But I digress…

Americans on their part, have an individualistic society, which means that they pursue their own happiness on individual terms. They acknowledge that what might make someone happy won’t necessarily make others happy. Pursuing intellectual stimulus for example can be gratifying for some while just playing video games all day will have the same effect on others. The long term effect or damage of either activity is debatable but it has been proven time and time again that intellectual pursuits which may seem like such a boring activity to those who prefer to play video games, will yield more positive results in the future for any individual.

Some societies celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and respect the choices each individual makes; this results in a more vibrant and innovative society. In short, you won’t really find Americans who force other fellow Americans to be happy when an American boxer wins boxing matches or label others unpatriotic if they don’t.

The drawback of selling happiness as the key to a meaningful life also gave rise to the use of medication in some parts of the world especially the US. Big pharmaceuticals in the United States jumped on the bandwagon of the self-help gurus and managed to enter the happiness market by selling happy pills or anti-depressants. At least the US has regulations that serve as check-and-balance on the euphoria industry. But this is already capitalism at its finest and luckily enough, Philippine society has not gone down that path due to Filipino consumers lacking the funds to indulge in such products. It’s easy to conclude that the pursuit of feelings of happiness can be costly and dangerous, which really shouldn’t be the case. People just have to embrace the fact that we can’t always be blissfully happy or be in a state of euphoria all the time especially when there are situations when we should be in a somber mood.

Researchers in Melbourne, Australia have discovered that “positive thinking could be helpful, but you shouldn’t force it. For most people, deliberate attempts to be optimistic compromise their wellbeing.” In the book The Negative Side of Positive Thinking the author Simon Moss states “all these theories about positive thinking is overrated. Generally speaking, there are some people that generally think positive but if people are anxious then positive thinking is damaging.”

His statement is proof that Filipinos in general cannot and should not claim to be always “happy” despite their obstacles because the notion of a whole society that is always in a permanent of state of bliss is just pure fantasy. Filipinos who force fellow Filipinos to feel happy and patriotic about shallow achievements like Manny Pacquiao’s win or Charice Pempengo’s guest appearance in Glee are just being bullies.

It’s a shame this obsession with feel good moments lead Filipinos to an unhealthy mindset. We become permanent catatonics whose brains are always tethered to entertaining spectacles. It is for this reason that incompetent public servants keep getting voted in as head of the Republic like President Noynoy Aquino because Filipino voters just accept whatever is being fed to them by the media. They don’t use their critical analysis anymore because they don’t get a chance to when they are always preoccupied with having a good time.

We should learn to be more serious about our life and the condition we are in. At the state our country is in, we can’t always pursue having a good time especially since most of us don’t even have the means to have one or don’t even deserve it.

print

60 Comments on “Filipinos and happiness: why we need to be serious about it”

  1. My observation is that Filipinos are no happier and no sadder than Americans. They deal with their lives as normal humans experiencing normal ups and downs. However, the cultural framework within which they operate is vastly different, with the vaulted Filipino Ego surrounding them with a tension easily susceptible to influences by others. Television is held in high esteem because, as a poor person, getting a TV is the first step toward having a life. Reading is held in low esteem because a kid with a book is disparaged by his classmates as being non-macho, a “librarian”. A winning boxer, like a heroic firefighter, Nobel peace prize winner, or Kobe Bryant, reflects well on the whole of the team of origin, the city, the Province, the sport, the nation. Oh . . . and the individual cheering, who see a little bit of their own ambition for goodness in the achievement of another. That is true everywhere, and is no cause for claiming Filipinos are therefore inherently incompetent.

    Filipino culture is what it is. Those of us who have lived by different cultural standards want Filipinos to embrace our way, but they cannot. They don’t see things the same way, don’t grasp the Golden Rule, get their ups and downs from different standards (being ashamed of reading), and find happiness within the rules of their society.

    Now, argue that society’s rules are not commercially productive, and I would agree with you. Argue that they are unkind to too many people, and I would agree. Other than that, things here are peachy keen. Hunky dory. About the same as in America on the good old happinessometer.

    I also rather think that saying President Aquino “smiles like a dog” is akin to saying someone with a hairlip is “sneering”. It is such a shallow basis for judging the character of a man, to pick on his physical attributes. Or, I suppose, we could call all women “hysterical”. An even better example.

    1. @Joe

      I will take what you said on board. I might just have to reinvent myself for the new site…ha!

      FYI, it was the Chinese people who called him that in the first place. Check out the news bit after the hostage fiasco:

      http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100826-288804/Angry-messages-flood-Aquinos-Facebook

      “Angry messages from Hong Kong residents flooded the official Facebook page of President Benigno Aquino III hours after Monday night’s hostage drama that claimed the lives of eight tourists from the Chinese territory.

      More than 663 comments about the hostage drama were posted on Aquino’s wall as of 6:10 p.m. Wednesday, many of which were critical about the handling of the crisis.

      A number commented on Mr. Aquino’s smile at a press conference he called at around midnight of Monday, more than three hours after the hostage crisis ended.

      “Shame on you, you were smiling in the press conference, the whole world has witnessed what the police and SWAT did. No more HK people traveling to the Philippines,” Cliff Cheung said.”

      and

      “(….) after Facebook members in the Chinese territory called him “a dog” and urged him to resign in connection with published images that showed him smiling while inspecting a bus where the tourists died.”

      Yes, you are right about most Filipinos view that things are “peachy.” It is because they love mediocrity.

    2. I work with Americans all the time and they unanimously agree that Filipinos seem to be always happy. I think your observation is wrong then.

      1. filipinos often wear a smile and on a party mode most of the time. But they don’t have any strength of CHARACTER.I don’t find them genuinely good people. I know some malaysian friends, who were disheartened working with filipinos here in NZ at dairy industry. They told me that they are trouble people, slanderous mouth towards their workmates and a kiss ass to their boss. Too much pretense and lies in filipino’s head

        1. I agree with this article. Despite the act that he does attack President Aquino, what’s important is that someone realizes this. I studied in the Philippines for 2 years and I really believe this. Many people didn’t like me because I wasn’t pleased with the government and it seems to me that a vast majority of the population is highly complacent towards the situation at hand. Though, I would like to point out that one shouldn’t leave out the importance of education in all this. I mean since a large proportion of the Philippines lives in poverty, naturally they wouldn’t know who to blame.

        2. Do not hold stereotypes bases on the few Filipinos that you’ve met–that is a huge mistake. I find that very insulting to a Filipino like me. You don’t even know me at all, and here you are generalizing that all of “us” lack character.

          You get bad apples in any basket. The Filipinos you met may have been nasty people–I myself met nasty Filipinos, but I’ve also met nasty Vietnamese, Chinese, American, etc.

          Nasty people come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

        3. I agree with you.. i like being friends with my own kind, but always end up being backstabbed. I can’t trust people in my own kind anymore.. it’s sad, but true. always happened in my life… the good, genuine ones are too few and so hard to find 🙁

  2. Love this one…this is great..it’s about time the truth gets leaked out..leak out more. For all who don’t believe this is true and will just email me and say i’m not a good filipino, then it is so true of this article.

    Filipino’s wake up. Time to wake up. Stop your nonsense. See, this is the mentality that the Spaniards brought to the Philippines, just likw what they brought to other Latin countries…Philippines, Mexico, El Salvador, Cuba, all ended up the same, corrupt minds. I say, Filipino’s, dumb all the spanish mentality. Start cleaning out the closet and start anew with a new government. A respectable government that will provide the country out of misery. No more bad television programming and investing more in science and technology for the country itself. Don’t vote for popular people or adore all those tv icons. Like the author of this article said…stop the pakisama and be original. Be yourself and do what you want to do. Explore the individuality…I don’t mean sexual individualty because there are too many gay men in the Phil. And that’s another thing, why do people in the Philippines adore gay people and lift them up…That is such an abomination and it’s no wonder our moral value has degenerated. Please change.

    1. yeah. our mentality’s like this because of what the Spaniards did to the early Filipinos –what the Spanish “priests” did (acc. to my sister).

      time to wake from a lot of non-sense.

    2. IMO, It’s that Catholic Religion that is suppressing our quest to improve for intelligence, and knowledge. Though I agree with some of the points in this article but it is too restricted to feelings of “euphoria” and state of happiness. What’s wrong with that? I love being happy. If I have a problem, I will look at it, find solutions and then still stay happy because it’s a choice and life on this earth is already very serious. I do agree with her about the celebrities and politicians – why do we still vote for them? Erap won? and so many actors/celebrities/boxers who don’t have a clue about legislation and bringing in good to our country. Brain drain is one inherent problem and that is true. Who wants to stay in the Philippines when no one wants to change. Small things like if you tell your neighbor to stop disturbing the neighborhood with his karaoke singing at 2am), you are the bad person, (walang pakikisama). The attitudes shown on those noon time shows, making fun of people, slapstick and all. Yes, our nation’s leaders should be highly cultured, educated and well picked but who picks them but the masses and the buying of votes? Nothing will change unless we change the old style of leadership and cut off the religious, specifically non-evolving Catholic dogma that has plagued this nation. I’m well traveled and work abroad so I am sad to see these things whenever I go home. Nothing has changed in the past 15 years since I’ve been away. More corruption, crime, never ending traffic/pollution and more poor people. But this article should not be generalised to all Filipinos, myself not included. We can change for the better and if more educated people put themselves out in public service, we might stand a chance to beat Singapore, Malaysia and the rest of our neighbors.

  3. I have a question, does this site want to show the problems with the Philippines or doest this site want the people to change, i just want to know what this site wants to do.

    1. An interesting question. Why does one’s place of origination have anything with an idea, with a thought? If it makes a difference to you, then I would suggest that you look within, as to why you would shade the meaning of a thought differently depending on who uttered it.

      Bias is half the time in the mind of the RECEIVER of the information, not the utterer. heh I’m occasionally an utterer myself, and am utterly bias free.

  4. Love this article Ida. I will share this to my son who was raised & schooled in US. He always called us, his parents, anti-Filipino which we always vigorously deny. We always told him that we don’t hate Filipinos but we hate the way they act on certain situations. By the way, we are Filipinos but sad to say, we are not proud to be pinoys.

    1. Hi Reuel

      Thanks for reading it!

      I’m glad you get what I am trying to impart. I guess it is hard to make your son understand something that is totally alien to him. He has to see it to believe it 😉

  5. Ilda,

    great article. I have visited Phili once now and I met quite some of your national culture. Also in Facebook. The Phili mentality drives me crazy. Being 2-faced, totally not open-minded, playing the “victim-role”, no individual responsibility, lack of knowledge, poor education, no prograss whatsoever.

    I am totally not surprised the Philippines is a 3rd world poor country and will remain that way for many centuries to come. Unfortunately.

    1. @Robert

      Thanks for reading it. I hope it has helped you gain a deeper understanding of why the situation in the country hasn’t improved.

  6. Filipinos also tend to idolize those with celebrity status and vote them in as public servants even if they are not qualified for public service and Manny Pacquiao having been voted into public office as Congressman is enough proof of this.

    -In the past this was also my thought but when I saw that Pacquiao has more bargaining power than some educated congressmen out there, I changed my mind. Example, during his training in America, he got a donation of I think 10k dollars in order to fund his project. Because of his current status, it’s easy for him to get sponsors to fund his projects which even an intelligent congressman can’t do. He can easily raise money to build infrastructures in his area than an ordinary congressman. People like Pacquiao are okay to get elected on a local level because the money that they can raise to fund their projects talks more than bright ideas that lack funding. Of course, I would disagree if we’re talking of a position higher than that.

    1. @Ozneh

      You are just talking about his ability to solicit funds. That’s just band aid solution. Our public servants should be working towards the country’s self-reliance. It’s high time Filipinos get rid of this habit of asking for money from others.

      If only our public servants knew how to handle the public funds, the country would be much better off financially. We won’t even need someone like Pacquiao to “solicit” funds.

  7. When Filipinos begin to appreciate sardonic wit, is the day I’ll be optimistic about the Philippines.

    Today though, Willie Revillame and Kris Aquino prevail.

  8. I agree that Filipinos are mostly a happy people. But I don’t agree how you blame all the bad things that’s been happening to a country on the Filipinos being too happy.

    I would largely blame corruption rather than “us” being too happy. What our country needs is rehabilitation. Big time.

    I would like to point out that Filipinos are “resilient”. You might have mistaken “happiness” for “resiliency”. Living in a 3rd world country, one has to be resilient. And I think “being happy” is part of this “resiliency”.

    Regarding Manny Pacquiao, I agree that the media feasts on him too much. What did he eat for lunch? What vitamins did he take? What car did he buy for Aling Dinonisia? I am really happy for Pacquiao for his victories–but I think that the media gives him tooo much coverage that I feel sick of seeing him all the time on TV. Whenever he has a fight, I don’t watch the news before and after the fight for a loooong time.

    To all Filipinos and to all people reading this… Please… do not hold stereotypes regarding Filipinos or any other race. Holding stereotypes is the biggest error in relating with people of other cultures. What was said it this article may be true or maybe false. Let us respect the opinion of the writer.

    1. @Yuri

      Being too focused on being happy is the root cause of the country’s problems. Most people want instant gratification in everything they do – from driving or crossing the streets to voting their public servants. This is part of the reason why Filipinos do not want to follow the law. It’s all here in my other article:
      Filipinos cannot progress if they cannot follow even simple guidelines

      I would like to point out that Filipinos are “resilient”. You might have mistaken “happiness” for “resiliency”. Living in a 3rd world country, one has to be resilient. And I think “being happy” is part of this “resiliency”.

      I think that is a misguided idea. You may want to read this too: Being average is NOT being resilient

      Here’s the gist of that article:Better and best rather than just good

      “In writing about Philippine politics and society in general, I often come across Filipinos who get offended by my “no holds barred” criticism of the country and its people. They quickly defend the mediocrity in the country by saying, “Don’t be too harsh on Filipinos. It is worse in India” or whatever third world country they perceive to be in worse condition than the Philippines. I find that kind of statement so lame. It is an excuse for defending the status quo.

      In saying that there are countries in worse situations than ours, we congratulate ourselves for being better while doing minimal work. We therefore come across as a people who are content with inferior workmanship or what is called “pwede na yan”. Which is why we remain who we are today, a nation of braggarts and show offs living in third world conditions.

      Like what I said in my previous article…

      Until Filipinos learn the real meaning behind the adjective word “good” in its comparative and superlative form, “better” and “best”, we cannot consider our society “resilient.”

      Unfortunately, most Filipinos actually take comfort in the thought that if the Philippines is bad, in their mind, some countries are worse or the worst off. And I do believe that Filipinos are still waiting for the day when things go from bad to worse before they do something more drastic to uplift their condition.”

      Cheers!

  9. Point taken, but wouldn’t your article be much better if it was written in Filipino and presented to the rest of the Filipino people who couldn’t read English and understand English the same way you do. We rant about how Filipinos should change their attitude but how far reaching is your website? Might as well send this type of articles to TikTik, Remate, and all those other tabloids that the common people read. 🙂 Useless ranting in the interwebs when the primary group that you are ranting about won’t be able to read this.

    1. @Empot

      You seem to be implying that only the “masa” behave in the way that I described in the article. I’m sorry to say that a lot of the so-called members of the “elite” tend to behave even worse than the average Juan. Their so-called education is a waste because most of them do not get involved in civic duties and politics. They are the ones who have the time and money to spare but you hardly see them participate in volunteer work to help uplift the status of the country. I expect more from people who do understand English to advocate for changes in government policies and to educate the masa through their various resources.

  10. I flay my arms, and jump up and down! That’s how happy I am to read these words, because it’s all TRUTH! Bravo, bravo, bravo.

    My only qualm with this site, is that it often bashes the Philippine President Pnoy, when he’s in fact the first good president in a very , very long time! The inability to see that, is very, very Filipino, and that just makes everything so ironic!

    @Joe America: Yes, Americans and Filipinos are very much alike, in fact, we always say that the USA is the Philippines of the West! Filipinos are the Americans of SouthEast Asia. The biggest douchebag countries in their respective regions!

    1. “My only qualm with this site, is that it often bashes the Philippine President Pnoy, when he’s in fact the first good president in a very , very long time!”

      Well, the way the current leader is so engrossed with publicity, he is just getting what he wants and deserves–only it is NOT to his advantage.

      I do not know your definition of “good”. But from a non-GRP author POV, him not doing anything – I mean with work – does not make him evil, nor does it make him good.

      And if the continuous blame game and “unprofessionalism” he has shown during his speeches is good to you, there may be something wrong with your definition.

      Just my two-cents

    2. First good president?…From what are you on anyway?

      If you really believe in your claim then back it up with credible figures. I said credible, don’t come back quoting rappler or abs cbn or his sona to name a few.

    3. @Belle Luna

      What makes you think that this site “bashes” the President? Please be specific, thanks.

      Perhaps some people do not think President “BS” Aquino is the “first good President” because he has this habit of bad mouthing and blaming his predecessor and her allies all the time. He also did not have any qualms about ordering the public persecution of Renato Corona just to destroy his reputation. If his supporters can’t see that, then the country is in deep trouble because he will continue to use this kind of tactic until he finally steps down.

      Thanks for the compliment.

  11. At last, a kindred spirit! I totally agree with your article. Much has been said on the socio-political aspects of your statements, so I won’t go there anymore. On a personal level, I know for a fact that I often stick out like a sore thumb in many communities and gatherings because I am ALWAYS the spirit-dampener who does not ride on the successes of Pacquiao, Jessica Sanchez, and most recently, the Fil-am gymnast on the US Olympic team. When colleagues propose celebrations and events, I am the one who asks, “What’s our objective?”, as I it is obvious that they just want to have fun, and nothing else. I have never seen this as an idiosyncracy, and I am glad my bosses don’t see it that way, for I have often saved them vast amounts of money by being prudent and results-oriented. My point is this: Level-headedness is a dying art in the Philippines. Everything here, it seems, is an endless stream of trending topics, without depth or substance. The kids in our schools who are overtly critical thinkers are ostracized and are silently bullied with a few choice cutting words and sharp or dismissing stares. Graduating high school students clamour to get into UP or Ateneo. But how seriously did they take their studies when they were just high school freshmen? What books have they read besides Twilight or Harry Potter? What these kids lack is that depth of understanding of their world as represented by their school subjects. Imagine how they will be when they enter the workforce. So there, my thoughts on Pinoy happiness.

    1. Welcome to the club, Letsky.

      There is enough evidence to suggest that the situation in the country will not improve if the attitude of the majority does not change. Most are more interested in feel good sentiments. Just like what I posted earlier: When’s the best time to discuss serious issues? Is it before a disaster? People will think you are BORING. During? They’ll tell you are INSENSITIVE. After? No, it’s PARTY TIME!

      1. I mostly agree of all your articles. In my opinion of why Philippines is poor, of course and very obvious, because of the 1st corrupt politicians, 2nd incompetent, 3rd irresponsible, lastly not serious. All that things affect automatically the lives, minds, characters and actions of it’s people and it’s normal. So what is really the effective solution from that since people has been cultured, grow up and race in reflect of their government system?? Who and What can really help and change Philippines?? My answer to this own questions is ” US ” only it’s countrymen. And it’s Quality Education is the only solution. And in starts from nursery, and now. I know it will take generation, but I believe that once the mindset of our toddlers is well inform and educate they will bring it to their generation as they grow up normally, and I believed that Changes start automatically and progressively!

  12. It has been said that Phenotype is eaqual to the Genotype plus Environment plus the interaction between the Genotype and the Environment; P=G+E+(GxE) … It is hard for you to accept the truth, that the Pilipino Malayan Race were the descendant of same people who rule the Earth on the very beginning of history….. Evidently, they still have the AU gold to finance any large scale project; they still have the Abaca fiber that was used as rope to tie the ship made of bamboo….. Pilipino Malayan Race were the happiest people because of their GENES. They have the Genes, you envy to have. The Filipino Malay of today, you may see as the lowest form Phenotype.. it has been said, do not judge a book with its cover.

    1. @Maximo

      Evidently, they still have the AU gold to finance any large scale project; they still have the Abaca fiber that was used as rope to tie the ship made of bamboo

      Whaaat?! You think the Malay “race” is more superior because they happen to have gold and abaca?

      Question for you: Who utilised those raw materials to the fullest to become more industrilised while the Malays just sat on it?

  13. Our being too religious is one of the biggest contributors why we Filipinos are one of the happiest people in the planet. We are taught not to worry about tomorrow. This makes us too positive and hopeful. This is the reason why we don’t work so hard. If we have money now, we don’t save some of it for the rainy days. Being too positive is a good thing but it is making us irresponsible. We don’t worry things that we are supposed to worry like financial stuff because we always hope for the best but we are not prepared for the worst. That’s why when we are confronted with crisis, many of us become burden to our families and to our society. This is why our crime rate is so high. Robbery is very rampant in the country. Part of us is not really happy because we are worried if someone will rob us. We are not safe.

    1. Religion is STILL the “opiate of the masses”. The recent worldwide gobfest about finding a new pope continually talked about the size of the Catholic church in south america and Africa where numbers of catholics are large and growing. This has been interpreted by most as due to the materialism of the western world displacing religion in places like Europe. It ignores the fact that catholicism thrives where there is poverty hence the growth in adherents in Africa and south America. Of course where there is poverty, ignorance walks as a friend.

  14. What country and people do you hold in high esteem then

    And may I point out that the bloggers here seem to do their fair share of the blame-game; blaming Filipinos & their current president without really doing anything else but blog about it. They are truly Filipinos themselves.

    1. What country and people do you hold in high esteem then

      What’s your point in asking that question?

      Are you sure we are not doing anything else other than “blog” about PNoy and Pinoy dysfunction? 🙂

  15. Tons of good point but difficult to read on the web due to small fonts and congested paragraph lines. Still read the whole article though. 🙂

  16. It’s just ironic but I like the caption of the picture of that ROASTED PIG – the Symbol of Filipino Happiness – Yes, Filipinos are still happy even though the PIG Government already ate all the tax payers money by corruption and all their illegal activities. Mabuhay ka Pilipinas (and I mean literally, MABUHAY sana ang mga utak ng mga tao!)

  17. Your article elaborates one of the reasons we migrated…not because we don’t want to be Filipinos anymore but because we have the chance to really live like true Filipinos… God-fearing (maka-Diyos), human (maka-tao) and law-abiding.

  18. Very nice article. An in-dept analysis of Pinoy’s happy-go-lucky psyche with a trace to its colonial source and an answer to why they are poor. When they see other ethnic groups getting rich, they will always complain that they got it through cheat, not paying the taxes right, or have exploited the labor. Never will they go into some sort introspection on what intangible elements they lack that make other people succeed. But foreigners, even they see through this negative Filipino attitude, knowing they hate criticism, will prefer to just term it as Filipino’s resiliency and flexibility to please them and they will react to this praise gleefully with pride. Very careful not to find fault in Filipinos, otherwise you will be branded outright as Anti-Pinoy! Unfortunately, if a people prefer to stay in cloud 9 and be happy, which they call it positive thinking, do you think they can still grow?

  19. Dear Ilda,
    My admiration for your very insightful article.
    I feel that the real thing underneath the ” HAPPINESS ” is DEPRESSION. Feeling of hopelessness and helplessness is reflected in ” happiness.” There is nothing else one can do but to be ” happy.”
    Respectfully yours’
    Cho-chiong

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.