The Ten Plagues of the Philippines

(So I was browsing through my dust bunnies when I came across a draft of my old article which I posted in my old blog years ago. I read through its contents, and realized its relevance to the current issues our country, the Philippines, faces. Therefore, I found it ideal to share it with the esteemed readers of GetRealPhilippines for their benefit and leisure. Here’s a brief glimpse to my past.)

In this blog entry, we shall address the traditions and idiosyncrasies that kept us pinned to poverty and corruption; we shall tackle the “values” indoctrinated deep within our subconscious that stagnate our progress as a society; and we shall discuss what keeps us trapped in misery and confusion… what can bring forth our ruin as a nation.

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It is time, ladies and gentlemen, to name the Ten Plagues of the Philippines.

The First Plague: “Victim-ism”

Now, a typical Filipino might blurt out something like this:

“How come we, the citizens, are contributing to the problems here in the Philippines? How come that we exhibit characteristics that scourge our economy and national reputation? How come that we, the Filipinos, known to be one of the most hospitable citizens in the whole world, who are industrious and heavily family-oriented, are reasons for our country’s ruin? How come that we, the victims—“

For countless moments, we Filipinos have insisted that we’re the victims of the bad stuff that struck our country. We’ve always declared that we’re the oppressed, the pitied, underdogs of our social drama. What caused this indoctrination in the minds of our fellowmen? Is it perhaps the usual portrayal of the protagonists in the local TV series and movies; the oppressed and the belittled? Could this have been caused by three consecutive occupations of different countries in the Philippines? My reflections about Filipinos always eager to play the “victim” part pointed me to these suppositions.

Now, tell me, my dear fellowmen: is it in any way productive to base our stand from the idea that we’re victims in some kind of a telenovela? Is it in any way uplifting that we’re labelling ourselves as the oppressed wretches in our own society? Is it so necessary to adapt so pessimistic and self-damaging an attitude just so we can arouse sympathy from the people around us?

Snap out of this illusion, my dear Filipinos. As we continue to label ourselves as “victims,” we in reality victimize ourselves. We live up to our view of ourselves by moaning and groaning about our problems, ruining our own self-esteems, and complaining about why our saviours haven’t come yet. Is this what we want? To be like dying wretches wanting to be saved by someone we’re not sure will come?

This, I say to you, Filipinos. How you view yourselves will inevitably define who you are as a whole. As you continue conditioning yourselves as the victims, you unwittingly become burdens yourselves; heavy crosses to be carried by our productive fellowmen. It’s true that we have been victims of treachery, discrimination and corruption in many ways, but the crucial question is this; should we remain victims of our story, or should we stand up and become our own heroes?

The Second Plague: “Vanity”

If one has read Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere or El Filibusterismo, he or she would without doubt remember Doña Victorina, a despicable old woman, who, after mingling with a bunch of Spaniards, has declared herself a Spaniard and rejected her Filipino heritage, to the point of spitting out insults to her fellowmen as if they are supposed to bow down to her. Truly a wretched character, Doña Victorina is. The sad part is that Doña Victorina has gotten out of the pages and spread her influence amongst our fellow Filipinos. Today, there is an unimaginable number of Doña Victorinas in our society; a disheartening truth, a nightmarish prospect.

I’m no stranger to such kind of people. Countless times I’ve witnessed fellow Filipinos lavish themselves with self-righteousness, their ego ballooning in disproportionate levels, just because they got something what they wanted, like an iPad or something, or just because they won in a little contest, blah-blah-blah. It was a distasteful encounter, and my heart was wrought with contempt and pity.

Filipinos with a misplaced pride are no exception, for the reason that their pride is, well, misplaced. Vain Filipinos tend to bash in the skulls of people who point out the flaws in our society, our traditional ills and our misconduct, further revealing how badly mannered a good number of our fellowmen are. Filipinos have bombarded critical thinkers with names such as “nerds,” “geeks,” and “anti-Filipino,” claiming that they’re just jealous of their achievements. I can almost hear them say:

“You’re just jealous because we’ve accomplished so much as a nation. We’re a hardworking race, and we can adapt to any environment. You all go to hell!”

This fact alone proves how the Filipino ego grew throughout the years; and it’s not looking pretty. Binsfield, in his study in demonology, have equated vanity with Lucifer, the fallen angel who refused to follow God. For atheists, it has been regarded that pride is the “root of all sin.” You see where I’m going; we Filipinos exhibit an attitude that can prove highly destructive to our society and image.

I do not tell you, my dear Filipinos, to abandon your pride in what you have accomplished. I’m simply asking you to put your pride within the context of the situation, for if we look in the bigger picture of things, our individual and collective accomplishments have yet to live up to our vain fantasies.

The Third Plague: “Projection”

We’ve discussed during high school in our MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health) subject the different approaches of man to his daily problems in life. Of all those approaches (I think there are six major types), only one really caught my attention; “projection.” Projection is a type of approach where someone, in an attempt to alleviate himself from the pain of his problems, tends to put the blame on others, relieving himself of the necessity of carrying his own burden… at least on his perspective, anyway.

This caught my attention, because, I’m sure you already know this, many of our fellow Filipinos employ this kind of approach. Most of them spend almost all of their time finding someone to blame to relieve them of their stress; the usual target being the government. This has always been the trend of the poor Filipinos throughout the course of this nation’s existence; using the government as a scapegoat to satisfy their escapist attitudes.

“Why are we poor? Why isn’t the government doing anything?” is the usual complaint of many impoverished citizens in our country. They just don’t get tired of shouting to the whole world that their sorry life is the work of a government who can’t answer their needs. Is such a disposition justified? I mean, what do they do to give themselves a better life, anyway?

I say they’re doing their best to improve their social standing, alright. They are diligent in their job of continuously making love with their spouses to make a whole army of children, while not having any money to support them in any way, and blame the government for their miserable state. They exert efforts in their vocation as gamblers, be it “jueteng,” “mah-jong” or cockfighting, even if they hardly have any money to spare. They willingly send their children to work in the streets, asking for alms or selling sampaguita, candies and even cigarettes, while they tend to their important businesses, usually the drinking and baby-making industry. They are such hardworking people; surely their complaints are justified? They have been working their butts for so long!

Now, allow me to pause for a few moments as I cry myself to sleep.

Projection has been a Filipino’s primary weapon when it comes to facing problems, and it seems to work for some; but at what cost? Is the neglect of one’s personal responsibilities, passing it on the backs of others just for the sake of alleviation of pain justified?

Are you, my dear Filipinos, bringing yourselves to prosperity by your indiscriminate projection? Or should we rewire our mindsets, man up and take the responsibility ourselves for the better?

The Fourth Plague: “The Celebrity Syndrome”

The elections are coming. Several figures have already expressed their interest in running for different positions in the government, be it national or local. The populace meanwhile are already making up their minds about whom to vote. As we all know, elections are an important aspect of society, particularly in a democratic one (our nation is a republic; a republic is a type of a representative democracy), wherein each person of a legal age can have the opportunity to vote people whom he believes can lead us to a better future. To elect someone in office requires intense critical thinking about that person’s educational background, his contributions in society, and how comprehensive and beneficial his platforms are.

But lo! How it pains me to see that people have voted for candidates who are now the integral part of our collective destruction. People have voted for candidates who might just be the last persons I would like to see governing so delicate as our society and economy; celebrity stars.

This has been quite the trend these past few years; celebrities aspiring to be politicians, possibly in order to make more money for various purposes, most of which probably are individualistic. The big problem is that many of our fellow Filipinos fall for these ploys. They willingly subjugate themselves on the influence of these famous figures, blindly following them around and fastidiously clinging to their promises, without analyzing whether they can really achieve this, given the very little fact that they’re not really politicians in the first place. Take Manny Pacquiao for example; the Philippines’ National Boxing Champion who is now a congressman. This is simply outrageous and is a strong insult on the credibility of our government. To actually accept someone whose job is so dissociated from politics into office, this is severely anti-intellectual. What could have caused this phenomenon that can only be possibly brought about by mass brainwashing? Fame and influence, of course.

A great number of us Filipinos have decided on things only by considering the influence brought upon them by television figures; there is no dispute in this saddening fact. Again and again, Filipinos have preferred totally incompetent, but insanely famous people over simple yet intellectual diplomats and professionals. Yes, I’m addressing Noynoy Aquino, whose rise to presidency is caused solely by her famous mother’s death (which gained sympathy from millions), and of course because of his sister, too; Kris Aquino, the queen of talk shows. Heck, even Fernando Poe Jr., an incredibly famous action star almost got presidential seat in the past. Furthermore, in the last presidential election, Joseph Estrada (I’ve mentioned this miserable bungler in my previous article), actually ranked second in the total vote tally (next to Noynoy). What makes this unbelievable is that Estrada has already become president in the past, and our Constitution has stated that an ex-president cannot run again for the said position. But apparently, fame and influence trumps logic, or it’s just that how things go in my beloved country; lovely.

The Fifth Plague: “PNY (Pwede na ‘yan) Syndrome”

Pwede na ‘yan – a usual Filipino mentality of being easily satisfied over things that could have been improved a lot.

Let’s now turn our attention to our entertainment industry, where celebrities truly belong. In a scale of one to ten, how would you rate today’s movies and songs in our country? Due to a surge of nationalism, an eight or ten might come out. Now, how about we go comparing our works to that of the other countries, like the US or Japan; in a completely impartial perspective, how would you rate them?

Okay, I might just get bombarded with insults about my alleged “colonial mentality.” Here’s my say. Go ahead and say what you want, but I’m just being realistic. While I nevertheless commend some of our artists’ astounding works that gained international recognition (thankfully, such works and artists exist), on a collective point of view, how is our industry faring? Again and again the Philippine movie industry have produced sub-standard and overly clichéd films that never fail to irritate me. The plots were formulaic and highly predictable and the CGIs are medieval, effectively making the Metro Manila Film Festival, which is held annually at December, synonymous to “abhorrent” in my dictionary. Our music industry, meanwhile, have resorted to repeated revivals of famous songs in other countries, losing their sense of creativity, which leads to the corrosion of OPM, which happens to stand for Original Pilipino Music.

Why stop at the entertainment industry alone? What could’ve caused some people rebel against our country’s protectionist act and the “Filipino First” policy? To a well-organized mind, he or she already has the answer to this question. While I’m not saying that we try hard to become like other countries (that defeats creativity on our part), shouldn’t we take how much progress they had as a reminder that we have to move forward as well?

The Sixth Plague: “Debt-Treat Syndrome”

“Pautang naman. Palibre naman.” (Hey, lend me some money. Hey, treat me.)

This is a usual dialogue between Filipino friends nowadays. We’ve even coined up a term for people who always like to be treated; “kalog,” probably because “kalog,” which means “jingling,” usually reminds us of the jingling of coins. It has a fairly shallow etymology, but that’s most probably how the term came to be.

However, we’re not here to discuss Filipino linguistics; we’re here to discuss a seemingly harmless but actually a parasitic and a potentially destructive trait among us Filipinos. I call this “plague” the Debt-Treat Syndrome.

How come this characteristic is parasitic? I mean, this is just for fun. However, let us always keep in mind that a hobby unattended becomes a vice. What initially passes our standards as “fun,” will be addictive if misguided or ignored. Debts are incredibly common in highly impoverished parts of the Philippines. There are people who unwittingly bury themselves in debts just to satisfy their hedonistic needs, or because they’re having a very hard time finding a job.

No matter what the cause may be, be it stupid or noble, unregulated money-lending hurts both the lender and the debtor, in a sense that most debts made between the poor aren’t paid.

Another good example is how many of us Filipinos have an uncontrollable urge to drain their credit cards, buying lots of stuff here and there, until they end up with an unimaginable horror of having to make both ends meet just so they can pay their debts.

Let us not nurture this disease, my friends. Do not just merely dismiss your debts and treats as small things, that they can always be ignored. In time, you might just find yourself constantly demanding gifts and expecting others to lend you money, because you’ve let this mannerism really get into your system. This is psychology, people; as I’ve stated earlier, a hobby unattended becomes a vice.

The Seventh Plague: “Lack of Discipline”

One who knows Filipinos does not need an extensive lecture to understand why this plague is rampant in the Philippines, especially when it comes to someone who lives in the Philippines. It’s as if our mindsets were wired with a radically nonconformist view, which might explain why most of us have utter disregard for even the most basic of rules.

Parking at a no-parking space, smoking in non-smoking areas, throwing trash everywhere even when there are garbage bins nearby, loading passengers in a “no loading” zone, demanding change from “exact fare” ticket booths, indiscriminate jaywalking, you name them! An old adage once stated that “everybody loves a rebel,” but I’m afraid my fellowmen might have taken things to the extreme.

Lack of discipline is not limited to following basic rules; it also manifests in basic interpersonal courtesy. Squeezing your way in a line just so you could go first is a good place to start reflecting. Such acts have been done countless times to the point that it’s already perceived as the norm, but just because it’s the norm, doesn’t mean that it’s okay to do it. Doing something evil over and over again doesn’t make it right, the same way that happens when adding a bunch of negatives in your arithmetic subject. A typical display of recklessness in the Philippines can be seen at MRTs (Metro Rail Transit). I say this because I ride on trains at least twice a week.

Words can hardly express my contempt as people entering the trains bash through other passengers, rather than letting the ones trying to get out go out first before boarding. As one commenter at Yahoo! Philippines News said about usual annoyances at MRTs:

“ang MRT high tech! automatic. pagpasok mo, automatic ka ng nadadala ng mga taong nagtutulakan papasok sa loob! tapos automatic din pag-exit kasi para ka lang dinadala ng agos ng tao palabas after. minsan matatanung mo sarili mo kung nagamit mo ba mga paa mo or lumutang ka papasok at palabas ng mrt sa kakatulak ng mga tao. It’s Automatic!!!!”

(“MRT is high-tech! Once you enter, you automatically get dragged about by the guys pushing each other to get inside! Exiting is also automatic because it’s as if you’re being dragged by waves of people trying to get out. Sometimes you even ask yourself whether you were able to use your feet or you just floated in and out of the MRT due to people pushing one another. It’s automatic!”)

Filipinos usually get away with such petty actions by saying the following:

“Minsan lang naman ‘to e.” (I don’t do this all the time.)

“Maliit na bagay lang naman ‘yan.” (That’s too small a thing to make a fuss about.)

I would like to remind you, my dear Filipinos, that all of this seemingly trivial mischief we’ve committed throughout the years, those little sins we’ve kept on doing and ignoring because they’re “not that important,” those small stuff have earned us general distrust from the foreign lands.

The Eighth Plague: “Nepotism”

My aunt, the second daughter of my maternal grandmother’s eldest sister, once inspired to work at the Department of Foreign Affairs. By all means, she is more than qualified. She is a multi-linguist with an exceptional educational background, having studied abroad and have even travelled around Europe, thanks to her scholarship. Such an applicant is too brilliant to let go; but then, nepotism. She wasn’t able to get the job.

My aunt has discovered to her horror that most of the job slots were already taken by people who are, well, related by blood. Given that the whole establishment’s being run by family, there’s no way out of this dilemma. She had to find another job. Such is the unfortunate consequence of nepotism, the indiscriminate preference of a person to his or her relative.

Nepotism has been plaguing the Philippine society for time immemorial. Families have been preserving their vital position in the government, by means of the young relative succeeding the old. Dynasties have been established in business establishments, effectively setting up unjust oligarchies in the business sector. Countless deserving people are losing jobs to people who merely have familial connections. Isn’t this unfair? This kind of social framework is reminiscent of a capitalistic framework, where one restricts the production and distribution of wealth to a select few; in this case, the family. Why is this injustice so imminent in our country?

For one thing, it might have something to do with our traditionalistic view of family. Many times our forefathers have drilled this principle deep within our cerebrum; “that blood is thicker than water.” It has been the typical Filipino view that one must put family first in his endeavours, no matter what happens, because family members are supposed to stick together. Is this an evil upbringing? Of course not; promoting unity amongst families is a noble idea, and can strengthen the bonds that link each family member to one another. It’s just that most of us Filipinos tend to misuse this prospect in order to gain advantage over other people.

Some businesses prefer family members who are incompetent and inexperienced over the deserving and intellectual applicants, simply because, supposedly, “blood is thicker than water.” Some people are coerced into looking after irresponsible relatives, coping up with their stupidity and cruelty, just because “they’re family.” Isn’t this kind of relationship parasitic and therefore disagreeable? This is bare-naked injustice, brought about by the indiscriminate misuse of our virtues.
Family is not meant to inflict discrimination amongst our fellowmen. Let us be reasonable here.

The Ninth Plague: “Crab Mentality”

It has been said that we’re like crabs. Why is this so? Is it because we’re actually arthropods? Is it because we’re walking sideways? Is it because we taste good with tartar sauce? Setting my poor sense of humour aside, we have been labelled as “crabs,” not because we’re actual crabs, but in a way that’s not really flattering at all. Not one bit.

Crab mentality is a kind of attitude where we tend to pull down someone who’s making progress, just like how crabs pull stuff with their pincers, in most cases out of jealousy. This kind of disposition is by all means atrocious, and to think that we’re labelled as “crabs” who act like this is simply alarming and disturbing. However, if we take the time to look at our society, no matter how painful it is, people do have a point in naming us as such.

My parents are OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), although my mother has decided to settle down to look after my young sisters. In any case, they were able to meet countless foreigners and fellow OFWs. Through their own eyes, they’ve witnessed how our fellow Filipinos manipulated people to suit their purposes, how they cheated their way to the top. What’s more disheartening is that they also do not hesitate to betray or sacrifice even their fellow Filipinos for the sake of their selfish desires.

As my parents stayed in their apartment, they always heard their Filipino roommates bashing each other with insults, backstabbing one another, and doing just about everything to bring their reputation down. It’s saddening to think that many of us have degenerated into nothing more than impulsive beings, willing to let others suffer just to meet his objective. Recall our unfortunate Filipino friends from around the world, murdered by other Filipinos. Truly, in the course of our nation’s existence, we have become divided and antagonistic towards each other.

My mother once said to me said that it is better to work with foreigners rather than with other Filipinos, as they are more likely to betray you. To actually hear this from her… but experience have taught my parents; actual incidences and personal encounters with our treacherous kin. Harsh it may seem, but I must agree with my mother. After all, our findings were consistent with each other. Looking at our society here in the Philippines, and looking at how Filipinos treat each other abroad, I must conclude that our nation had raised a good number of “crabs.”

The Final Plague: “Dama-slavery”

This might as well be the most prominent plague infecting our motherland nowadays. Countless people have fallen victim to this extremely potent disease, depriving them of the ability to analyze critically, as well rational thinking. Behold the final plague of the Philippines: “Dama-slavery.”

I myself coined this term, so please forgive me if it sounded lame-ass. The word originated from the word “slavery” (obviously) and “Damaso,” the name of a notorious friar in Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere. Padre Damaso is infamous for his sharp tongue, frequently cursing at people whom he doesn’t like. He’s a self-righteous hypocrite who contributed to the ruin of Crisostomo Ibarra, the protagonist of the novel, and a kind, intelligent man. Finally, he did a most despicable act of raping a woman named Pia Alba during a feast and had a daughter by her, in the name of Maria Clara.

Why is the final plague named after a fictional character? The answer’s quite simple. Just like how Doña Victorina manifested in our fellow Filipinos brimming with vanity, Padre Damaso has manifested in our priesthood in many ways. The Catholic Church has always been the center of controversies; priests raping young women (and getting away with it), priests combating corrupt administrations, yet receiving gifts from behind the scenes, priests morally degrading freethinkers and intellectuals, priests meddling with affairs that do not concern them, priests using their influence to affect public opinion, priests acting as politicians, so on and so forth. Truth be told, the Church has deviated from its original purpose of faithfully spreading the Word of God.

Countless times have the Catholic Church brainwashed the populace through misinformation and even threats involving God’s wrath to suit their ideals. Many times have they distorted the truth in order to hide their hypocrisy, especially during the intense debate about the controversial Reproductive Health Bill (I have discussed this bill extensively in one of my previous articles). Over and over again have they criticized the government and blamed them for our impoverished state, when they themselves have done nothing to help alleviate the pains of our people, and when they have done everything to cover up every foul sin they have committed throughout the years.

But despite all of these, many of our fellow Filipinos remain loyal to the Church. Many of us still cling to these “holy” men, fanatically devoting their time and money for the satisfaction and approval of these so-called men of God. They remain blind to the evils perpetrated by the very people who mirror Padre Damaso himself, and, astoundingly, are still willing to put their necks on leashes, serving as the Church’s pawns on their crusade against logic.

Truly, the Church have sowed something so malevolent in the minds of our people; ignorance.

Stop pressing the snooze button in your alarm clocks, my dear Filipinos. It’s time to wake up. It’s time to stand up and start doing something for our collective progress. It’s time to break free from our fantasies and silly ideologies and approach our problems with a clear and rational mind. It’s time to bring our fullest potentials, my dear Filipinos, lest we be consumed by the deadly plagues of the Philippines.

115 Replies to “The Ten Plagues of the Philippines”

  1. Arche, I find it slightly amusing that you and I have articles whose titles have biblical connotations within hours of each other.

    I was going to say that an 11th plague be added: general insecurity, but I guess it falls under the victim card.

    1. Haha, yes, I must say that it is an interesting coincidence.

      Well, yes, it does fall under the first plague. Also, adding an 11th plague might kill the parallelism between the biblical plagues and my article. ^^

      1. Arche, will you mind if I quote snippets from this post in a future article? I think it will add body. Of course, I will give credit to the man who loves coffee 😛

    2. Excuse me for butting in, but I think crab mentality and general insecurity go hand-in-hand. The average Pinoy will do backstabbing damage to his fellow just on the basis of feeling intimidated “baka masapawan ako!” (low self-esteem issues)or not wanting to be left out”ayokong mapagiwanan” or sharing his own misfortune “bakit ako nahihirapan, sya hindi, dapat pareho lang kami”.

      The Filipino monkey actually have less and less to be proud of.

      1. bulutongboy,

        I thought about it a bit after I posted the comment above, and I came to the realization that at least 4 of the plagues mentioned above are manifestations of this “general insecurity”: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 9th.

        The following statements below describe how I think insecurity fits in, as thought out by a plagued Filipino:

        1st: I am insecure about losing my “self-respect” and “pride”, so better to act like a victim.
        2nd: I am insecure about not feeling good about myself all the time, even if for the wrong reasons
        3rd: I blame everyone else but myself for certain events because I am insecure about mapapahiya
        9th: similar to what you said above, “di ako pwede malamangan!”

        Insecurity is actually lack of self-esteem, but Filipinos can blame 300++ years of being a colony only up to a certain extent. Looks like the backbone never really grew.

  2. Spread this good news of salvation lolz

    Seriously, the Lord is getting disappointed with most of the leaders in the Philippines. They should realize those lolz

  3. it is unfortunate that lots of pinoys would go tl;dr on this, as anti-intellectualism seems to be the general norm with the great majority.

    1. Now that I think of it, it does feel sad, ma’am. However, I still keep my hopes up somewhat… that people might take their time and read through my text-walls. ^^

  4. excellent piece. brilliant. i encounter almost all of these everytime i walk out the door here, and it’s sad. with all the morons chismising on fb you would think that more of them might read this…alas, the ones that need to read these articles won’t. MRT?? lmfao

  5. The nth plague of the Philippines… Mr. BS Aquino. For all his evil examples. For all his lies, false slogans and promises. For his continuing use of black propaganda, hate-think, trial by publicity, fabrication of evidence, false witnesses, use and abuse of the machinery of state and intentional use of mob rule. His coddling and protecting cronies and friends of the “K” kind. His hypocrisy and double standards and his continuing attempts to achieve absolute dictatorship at the expense of freedom and our democratic way of life.

    1. The nth plague… Lest we forget. Mr. Aquino’s abnormal, obsessive focus on his perceived enemies by past association and present opposition. To his excesses, abuses, major boo boos, secret plans and friendly relations with the enemies of the state and finally, his failure to address the problems of government and the affairs of state.

      1. Well, it can be argued that PNoy’s presence is a manifestation of the 4th plague. After all, PNoy can be considered as a celebrity what with the irrational hype over his candidacy following his famous mother’s death.

    2. What is this obvious anti-Aquino bias? And which candidate in the 2010 presidential elections would you have preferred to have won? And you wouldn’t want GMA to be prosecuted for her high crimes and corruption?

      What absolute dictatorship are you talking about? I bet that in 2016 PNoy would willingly surrender power to his elected successor just as Cory Aquino did in 1992.

      Yes, you are exhibiting “crab mentality.” When someone in leadership actually tries to clean up the government and implement good governance, Filipinos are prone to criticize and pull that leader down. It is rather ironic that it is the international community that is beginning to recognize PNoy’s achievements as evidenced by the stock market reaching record highs and the impending credit upgrade of the Philippines by international credit agencies.

      1. Obvious troll is indeed obvious.

        BTW, I’ve voted for Gibo Teodoro because him, including Gordon, are what the country REALLY needs: men who had CONCRETE vision. On the cases against GMA, most of them are based from allegations and hearsays, revealing the fact that you are so EMO over FPGMA claiming that she ‘stole’ YOUR money, which is the government’s money to begin with.

        Yes, he’s going on absolute dictatorship. Noynoy wanted to control the executive, legislative and even the judiciary just for selfish reasons. And that was proven when he is the chief instigator of the impeachment trial, especially the bribery in the Congress. Yes, maybe he will willingly surrender, but the damage was done. If Cory was a bad leader then Noynoy is worse due to his mental condition.

        Fact: Crab mentality is for CRAB PEOPLE. I tell you the truth: good governance alone can’t even lead to progress (that was evident during Cory’s regime). It is very ironic that most of PNoy’s achievements were mostly from the past administration which he takes credit from it; the stock market is getting high yet the GDP rate is 3.5% as opposed to the 7.6% rate during Arroyo’s term. Worse of all, you get it all from Inquirer and ABS-CBN, which is always BIASED over PNoy.

        If you love incompetent nutjobs who wants to seek vengeance instead of moving forward and wants to destroy the country altogether, then I feel sorry for you. In short, you want to make yourself feel better.

        1. Did you just call me a “troll”? I’m disappointed because in this forum, I thought it might be possible to debate the issue without engaging in ad hominem attacks.

          I heard Gibo Teodoro is competent, but too bad he became associated with the hated Arroyo regime. Why was it that Arroyo had the worst approval ratings among Philippine presidents in recent memory?

          The facts speak for itself when Arroyo created a special district in Camarines Sur so that her son could retain his congressional seat without displacing a loyal supporter. Wasn’t that rather self-serving, not to mention perpetuating political dynasties?

          How is it that Arroyo’s loyalist candidates in 2007 obtained a straight senatorial sweep of the elections in Maguindanao, that is statistically improbable? Oh, and please don’t even get me started on the MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE, the worst massacre of journalists in history. Are you suggesting that the families of the victims of this Massacre simply move forward with their lives and NOT seek justice??????????

          Was the GDP growth rate during ALL of Arroyo’s term 7.6%??????????

          Talk to me about a PNoy dictatorship when the Philippines NO longer has the freest press in Asia;
          … when he has decided to stay in power past his 6 year term;
          … when Arroyo has spent years languishing in a tiny cell in Laur without a proper trial;
          … when Martial Law is declared and all other branches of government are shut down;
          … when leading opposition members mysteriously disappear or are assassinated on airport tarmacs while being “protected” by thousands of government troops
          … when saying something against the government is a de facto death sentence (i.e. salvage victims)

        2. @juan carlos

          For a start, can you expound further:

          “Why was it that Arroyo had the worst approval ratings among Philippine presidents in recent memory?”

          Otherwise, STFU!

          And explain also where is the fact of this ine –

          “The facts speak for itself when Arroyo created a special district in Camarines Sur so that her son could retain his congressional seat without displacing a loyal supporter. Wasn’t that rather self-serving, not to mention perpetuating political dynasties? ”

          And what is this –

          “Was the GDP growth rate during ALL of Arroyo’s term 7.6%??????????”

          Linawin mo kaya then we have a discourse.

          Sinisindak mo kami as if you really have something that we don’t know. Nakakahiya nga, baka ako lang ang nagtyaga sa iyo.

        3. @juan carlos:

          Sorry, but you sir, are an *****.

          “Why was it that Arroyo had the worst approval ratings among Philippine presidents in recent memory?”

          -Simple: most of the surveys and approval ratings are BIASED. People blamed GMA since the media highlighted her faults and made her supposedly anti-masa, while the media who are allies with the Aquinos won’t look critically on their mistakes, including the current president’s ineptitude.

          “The facts speak for itself when Arroyo created a special district in Camarines Sur so that her son could retain his congressional seat without displacing a loyal supporter. Wasn’t that rather self-serving, not to mention perpetuating political dynasties?”

          -Very flawed argument you have there. Please tell that to the Quimbos, the Tupases, the Binays, and even the Aquino-Cojuangcos themselves a.k.a. the Kamag-Anak, Inc.

          -Another stupid argument on the 2007 elections and the Maguindanao Massacre: the former were mostly based on allegations and hearsays; the problem of idiots like you that you take it as ‘truth’. On the Maguindanao Massacre, think about it: it would never be a talk of the town 3 years ago if they were ordinary people. And those kind of political killings exists long before GMA came. And then you love the fact that the former president is also charged on her involvement on the massacre filed by none other than a sadist named Harry Roque; I pity on the families of the victims because they never use their BRAINS. That is, what I call, RIDICULOUS.

          I tell you the truth, kid: Justice is true, and truth is justice. There is no justice from vindictive and malicious minds. And please, don’t take sensationalized news with important information. Unfortunately, that’s part of our dysfunctional culture, which you always defend.

          -The GDP growth rate happened in 2008, but I just want to tell you that despite all of the controversies, GMA did better compared to Noynoy. What do you expect from a nutjob anyway?

          -Hehe, TBH you’re just a idiot who keeps on defending your precious incompetent president, even he will resort on spewing nonsense.

          You need to know this: “Greed and Betrayal”, authored by Cecilio Arillo, is a great read, exposing the anomalies not just from Marcos, but also from Cory and Ramos. But the biggest hardhitter is to Cory. Yes, she finished her term, yet she had left much damage. She ruled as a dictator, worse than Marcos. She spent 1 trillion as opposed to Marcos’ 20 billion during his 20-year rule; the Mendiola Massacre is a scheme made by her family to stop the distribution of Hacienda Luisita; yes, we have a free press yet takes away our economic freedom. She gave ABS-CBN back to Lopezes and Inquirer also supported her. Those 2 media companies became the family’s propagandists; worse, she is busy paying her media friends to make things look good in her term so asshats like you will believe in the Aquino magic and hype; Arroyo being languishing in jail without a proper trial (if there is, it will be TRIAL BY PUBLICITY) is what YOU and your fellow vindictive morons wanted, thanks to being brainwashed by the Yellow Horde; and the assassination of Ninoy wasn’t of Marcos’ doing; it was some involvement from his family. And to tell you the truth, the number journalists killed during Cory’s rule increased by 2; Marcos has 33 while Cory has 35.

          Noynoy’s version of Martial Law will be a retarded one; he wants to control all branches of the government by installing his KKK (kamag-anak, kaibigan, kakampi) in government offices. He even wants to put Justice Carpio as CJ not only it was Carpio’s ambition (becoming PNoy’s lapdog) but to stop the distribution of Hacienda Luisita (IYAN ang puno’t dulot ng impeachment trial!) Continuing demonizing and chasing his enemies in order to hide his mistakes and his incompetent whims. And who says “when saying something against the government is a de facto death sentence (i.e. salvage victims)?” At least what Marcos wanted is discipline and the leftist insurgency is rampant during that time. Our freedom of speech returned after Marcos left but look at what happened? The oligarchy takes away our economic freedom! And it will happen due to the president’s mental condition. Oh yeah, opposition figures are assassinated even during Cory’s rule but the worst of all are innocent farmers. Makes sense?

          Since you can’t take the heat, please don’t reply anymore. Mapapahiya ka lang. 😛

        4. Though I may not agree with juan carlos, I don’t like how you just called him out a troll. That isn’t mature for someone wishing this nation to be more mature and sensible. Have a degree of reason and modesty and show that you are capable of being dignified in fighting off the enemy. Please, these antagonistic remarks will put off a lot of those who would have potentially be convinced to change their old mindsets and reform anew in a more sensible light.

          If we have to say bluntly about the muck in this country, you don’t have to call out a name at someone as insipid and immature and as childish as calling someone a ‘troll’. We can point out all we don’t like about a group of people, but if someone in this blog is participating in the discussion just leave out the word ‘troll’ unless this person reasons like a jejemon like Vincenzo.

          Juan Carlos on the other hand, has stated his side reasonably, without sounding off like a real fan of P-Noy. Call someone a troll when that person is really deserving of it. Not this guy, alright? Otherwise, you just sound completely obnoxious and embarrassingly infantile.

        5. @christy:

          I may agree with you, but I thought this guy is blaming Marcos and Arroyo even though he wants to make a healthy discussion.

          It seems he wants to tell me that the Arroyos are ‘evil’ and wants me to believe in hearsays. Whaddya think?

      2. I just want to comment on the comparison of PNoy and GMA…

        I think most of you are working in the private sector, well, I am working in the government sector, a GOCC wherein we are not funded by the national government. Last night I saw in the news that the unemployment rate in our country decreased by 0.2%. I want to give a very violent reaction. How could that happen? Don’t you all know that Pnoy is pushing the closure of unprofitable government agencies? He really doesn’t get it at all. They are government agencies, not profit-oriented multinational corporation. Every government agency is unique, no two agencies perform identical functions. If one agency closes, its function will close as well or other agency will took the responsibility, giving way to more corruption, since the fund will also be transferred to

        One thing that GMA accomplished in her time was giving every government employee a 10% increase compounded yearly for 6 years (from 2007- 2012). And that is what you call helping the Filipinos directly.

        1. That’s the whole point of closing those “unprofitable government agencies” if we are to assume (and it’s that far-fetched either) that the King in Yellow is greedy for money then in his point of view they are useless. Also he may paving the way for total control of said agencies it like a building demolish it then build a new one that is more one’s liking. Am I correct in saying that there are some people in said agencies that have links no matter how slim to GMA?

  6. Celebrity plague is a concern if they focus on pa-pogi. This is not true to Pacman. And please don’t underestimate his intellect although his education is not that great. Compare his deeds to his constituents and his predecessor who ruled his province for 25 years. That you will know the difference. He is more capable in his position than Pnoy.

  7. And I take it that the people voted him into office because of his competence, yes? ^^

    Oh, and I would love to accept your assertion about Manny’s competence as “true,” to spare myself from a tiresome fishing expedition, although a few sources will be most appreciated.

    Anyway, allow me to cross-examine this part of your statement.

    “And please don’t underestimate his intellect although his education is not that great.”

    Funny, because I actually didn’t. What did I say was anti-intellectual? The act of voting someone who is clearly detached from politics into office. Does this imply that Manny is stupid? Not necessarily. ^^

    You can vote Einstein into office. Einstein isn’t stupid. But it’s anti-intellectual all the same, because his job is clearly detached from politics. Even he himself admitted this fact when he refused to work as president of Israel, despite the demands of the populace.

    So we can apply the same chain of reasoning on what I said was insulting to the credibility of the government; that people whose jobs are clearly detached from politics can be voted into office without ado. Can you see where I’m going, sir? The people are making the government look as if anybody can enter it without breaking a sweat. No wonder the PH government is becoming the laughing stock of society.

    I would really love to hear from you that the people voted Manny because he is well-educated, and that he has the capability to bring economic reforms to his province, and not just because he’s a boxing champion. This is the primary point that I’m tackling; that Filipinos vote people into office not because of their credentials, but because they’re famous.

    Remember, this is not a rant about Manny Pacquiao. This is an extensive critique of the Filipino mindset. The context of one’s arguments matters greatly in an intellectual discussion.

    Have a nice day, sir. -sips espresso-

    1. Your reasoning comes dangerously close to why we have political dynasties.

      Ideally, the reason why there are fixed terms in democracy is so that every willing citizen may have his/her turn in leading the society. One may come from any profession and one’s experience will be beneficial to government.

      Unfortunately, this ideal is again perverted by what you call Celebrity Syndrome. So when ideally there is not much requirements for elective posts aside from age and citizenship, the reality is that, to get elected, one would need to achieve a certain level of fame either by one’s own labors, by association, or by financial power.

      This happens because one ideal requirement of democracy is not met: a well-educated citizenry.

      1. Good morning. ^^

        My argument does not in any way imply the validity of your typical political dynasty, whose existence is also based on the celebrity factor of the candidates. How you came up with this conclusion piques my curiosity.

        Never did I criticize the freedom of the people to vote. It is their right. What I do take issue is how the people think when they vote. There is a noticeable difference between the two. What I discuss is the negative consequences of the Filipino’s voting mindset. ^^

        Now, upon reading your third paragraph and ending sentence, I might have to ask you this question; are you even disagreeing with me?

        If you’re thinking that I’m undermining the people’s right to vote, and that I’m supporting political dynasties, I must assert that you, good sir, are sorely mistaken.

        1. As a whole, yes, your comment is a critique on the voters. We have no disagreement here.

          I should’ve specified that I take issue your idea of certain “jobs being detached from politics” which I think implies that people with these jobs should be discouraged to run for public office. This would also imply that there are certain professions that are better qualified for public office, and this is similar to saying that certain families are worthy for public office.

          Please clarify if this is not what you mean.

        2. Okay, to finally put the crux of our disagreement to rest:

          What causes you to misinterpret what I’m saying is that you’re directing my critique away from its intended recipients (the Filipino people) to the very people they vote into office. Anyway, to business, yes.

          1. I am not in favor of banning showbiz personnel from running into office. This is a part of their freedom. Therefore, I won’t go out of my way to personally discourage such people from running. However, I still retain the right to criticize the voters as I see fit, for voting someone simply because he or she is famous. I’m not attacking the personage of the candidate; I’m attacking the mindset of the voters for the way they think.

          2. By default, there really are jobs that are specialized for the tasks assigned to government officials, like being a lawyer or an economist. However, this isn’t a bad thing.

          3. “…and this is similar to saying that certain families are worthy for public office.” – Non-sequitur. This does not follow from no. 2. This is because you’re introducing a new variable; a group of human beings which changes the context of the argument.

          Economics and law more or less complement the requirements of being a government official. Does this automatically imply that anyone who is an economist or a lawyer is a good government official? Not necessarily, my friend. In effect, you have changed the context of your argument by introducing humans, which will also affect its validity.

          So, yes. What you said was not what I meant at all. I don’t undermine the people’s right to vote, and the freedom of people to work as government officials.

        3. I see your point now, thank you.

          I’d just like to add, elected officials have the prerogative to seek advice and assistance in matters that they are not competent with.

    2. Another thing to have an issue. While not criticizing the choice of whom to vote, but you kinda wonder that do these voters really learn from their mistakes? I mean if say voters choose a celebrity for the past 5 times and they ended up as failures you’d think that the lessons have been hammered into them, know what I mean?

  8. we might end up like Sodom and Gomorrah and He will choose the “right” persons to escape and rebuild our nation again.

    1. We just have to do it ourselves. Unfortunately, waiting for that “He” of yours will never happen. That is the same threat used by the conquering clergy in plague no. 10. Those same clergy still exists today and succeeded in making these nation a quasi-theocracy bordering on the Taleban mold.

  9. This is what I’ve observed most of the time on our kababayans –

    “Kapag ayaw may dahilan, kapag gusto, may paraan”.

    The worst is the peer pressure (sikat si kapitbahay at si kaopisina or talagang dapat ang tuwid na daan) and comprehension (si Tuñing Taberna na ang may sabi nyan, taga ABS-CBN yan).

    1. Just because I don’t agree with you, you would tell me to “STFU”. That sounds really, really mature, doesn’t it? That’s how dictatorships come about … when people with opposing views are silenced.

      I said the facts speak for themselves … SWS surveys had Arroyo CONSISTENTLY as the most unpopular president in recent memory. Moreover, somebody claimed earlier that the economy was booming all the time during Arroyo’s term, that’s why I asked if GDP growth was always 7.6% EVERY single year of her term.

      Lastly, what do I need to explain about the new congressional district in CamSur?

      Btw, I don’t give a damn whether people like what I say. I must say however that I may disagree with other people, but I would never tell them to STFU, as if my own point of view is the only right view. Being willing to see things from other people’s perspectives is a sign of maturity, openness and kindness.

        1. Trosp,

          Yes, you did tell me to “STFU”. If you want me to check my reading comprehension, make sure your grammar is perfect as well. The correct statement is: “Hey man, did I not tell you to shut up?” Don’t forget the question mark in the end.

        2. @Juan

          Really, you have a comprehension problem. This is my STFU comment –

          “For a start, can you expound further:

          “Why was it that Arroyo had the worst approval ratings among Philippine presidents in recent memory?”

          Otherwise, STFU!”

          Did I tell you to outrightly STFU?

          About my grammar, it’s not my strong point and I don’t deny it. I want to express myself and my poor grammar will not be a hindrance.

          I write to express. Not to impress.

          Of course, for you, grammar has to do with comprehension. For me, grammar has nothing to do with comprehension.

          I will prefer to be grammatically incorrect than your better grammar but poor comprehension.

      1. You lost your total credibility when you mention the SWS surveys because they are owned by friends and relatives of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan. In short, BIAS.

        On the 7.6% GDP increase, it happened in 2007 to 2010. We should be grateful because Arroyo saved this country from the global economic crisis.

        There’s nothing wrong to see things from other people’s perspectives but stating FACTS more than rhetorics, and conspiracy theories and crap.

  10. For as long as we continue not to accept these plagues and just treat them as sociological issues by the academe and those in the comfort of their ivory towers, we will never move ahead. The hard part is how to get the majority of the populace be educated and informed followed by electing a leader that will lead, unite and inspire.

  11. Superb article. Thanks for republishing it.

    One of the observations it took me a while to arrive at is how Filipinos look at almost every interpersonal engagement as a power struggle, where one person tries to one-up the other person, even if that person is a friend. It may be something small (“why did you pick THAT color?”) or something big (an attorney holding his hands over his ears, or a senator ranting about an attorney holding his hands over his ears). The gaining or losing of face is sometimes very subtle, but it is there in almost every conversation. Check it out on the blog threads here. Almost everyone writes in win/lose style. For me or against me. “Agree with me or you are an idiot.” Seldom is respect shown for someone who comes down with a different readout on a complex issue. Seldom is the response an interested question, “how did you come to that conclusion?” Rather it is you are wrong because you see it differently than I do.

    “I am right because I think it.”

    No wonder so many Filipinos are slow learners and unable to adapt to new ideas. They don’t search for, or reject, information that exists outside their preconceived notions.

    Your “crab mentality” comes closest to defining this, but the condition is more refined and pervasive than we westerners could possibly comprehend.

    1. I disagree that Filipinos are slow learners and unable to adapt given that the overwhelming majority of OFW’s are able to become successful abroad.

      On the other hand, you make an astute observation regarding the “power struggle” aspect of interpersonal interactions of Filipinos. This is probably related to the high regard of Filipinos for their pride and “saving face.” Your observation though makes sense in the context of a Filipino who feels he/she is dealing with someone who is his/her equal or subordinate.

      I think another significant character flaw of Filipinos is the utmost and unquestioning deference to authority figures, whether they be celebrities, bosses, priests, etc. Consequently, even if the latter were spouting stupid, inconsistent and anachronistic ideas/orders, the average Filipino would probably agree and comply. This phenomena is most likely related to the fact that Asians in general are NOT as upfront as Westerners. Nevertheless, there is great value to respectfully and tactfully speaking one’s mind if called for.

      1. @juan carlos,

        What is your definition of being successful (given that the overwhelming majority of OFW’s are able to become successful abroad.).

        A company abroad (outside the Philippines) will most likely pay a lot more to that OFW and they (the OFW) will probably send most of it back home to support her/his family. Pls give me the job titles that OFW are engaged in to really see if they are that succesful. How many OFWs do maiden’s work, how many OFWs work in factories? How many OFWs are in middle or higher management jobs?

        OFWs can only be labeled succesfull by the amount of money they will send back home to the Philippines but that is not a guarantuee that the OFW has a high-esteemed job.

        1. Unlike you who define success based on a person’s job title and salary, I view success based on the challenges OFW’s face and overcome when they arrive at their countries of destination, including (but not limited to) the following:

          1. language/cultural barriers. Even “low-esteemed” Filipina maids in Singapore on average quickly pick-up Chinese and begin tutoring kids under their charge in English;

          2. separation from family/community/social support;

          3. on occasion, abuse from employers;

          4. racial/ethnic discrimination;

          5. and the list goes on.

          The fact that the majority of OFW’s overcome these challenges and are able to support their families from even menial jobs speak to the resilience, adaptability, intelligence and sacrifice of the average OFW.

          You may NOT esteem the jobs that OFW’s take, but I do honor and recognize their hard work, sacrifice and success against all odds. By the way, there is DIGNITY in honest labor, whether that involves the work of a maid or a CEO.

          Speaking of my own family, let’s see: they are MNC executives in SE Asia, engineers/physicians/nurses/teachers in the U.S. and Canada. Therefore, an average OFW is certainly NOT a slow learner or unable to adapt to new ideas as Joe claimed.

        2. @juan carlos

          I was even shocked to see at NINOY airport (or was it another Filipino airport) that OFWs had their own line/row at security and custom checks.

          OFWs only exit by the grace of over-population and not having enough jobs in their own country. So if their parents didnt pro-create that much there wouldnt be a need for them to go overseas. So botton line is we can objectively blame and accuse the parents. Do you think I will pro-create knowing there are no jobs available for my off spring in my country? My parents told us they want us – kids – to have a better life than they ever had. Thats the mentality that is needed for progress.

          They will struggle bec they feel the pressure of the need to send money back home bec they (the daughters) are the only ones. And bec of that pressure they will keep on struggling (which they will never admit) and they will keep on working while any other sane person would have quit. I think its torture to put people up to go overseas only to send money back home.

      2. @juan

        Have you stayed in Singapore for at least 5 years?

        I have stayed there for that length of time and I can discuss you what I’ve observed with OFW particularly the maids.

  12. You hit the nail on the head Joe.

    All the more it is credible because you are “from the outside looking in”. That makes it all the more objective.

  13. @Arche,

    Under which plaque falls the following:
    To apply and get hired as a DepEd teacher one can only be “married”, “single” or “widow”. If one is living together (unmarried) one will not be hired (or will be expelled/fired) even when that one may be the best teacher. In any first world country one’s marital status is subject to one’s privacy, one’s personal identity.

    Like I stated in many other Blog’s in this website: the Philippines live, breathe, act, think, behave still today as we – Dutch – lived 50-60 years ago.

    (Sunday 11 March 2012 at 02.04PM dutch time)

    1. I’d say it’s a manifestation of the tenth plague, Dama-slavery. After all, the Catholic Church in the Philippines isn’t exactly in good terms with such people. Know that it is also more or less the backbone of morality in the majority of our schools, giving our curriculum a subtle yet strong religious zeal.

      Needless to say, couples who fall short on the 7th Sacrament might be seen as “immoral” and detrimental to childhood values by religious standards.

      1. Arche,

        Very well said but even as married person I can do a lot immoral stuff and using my marital status as “cover”/alibi. Actually I dont need any “status” to do immoral things. It is crab (the way DepEd thinks) or will they install CCTV in my house and place bugs so they can watch me all the time? “Big Brother is watching you”?.

        Robert Haighton, 48, atheist, dutch, unmarried but involved with a woman living in the Philippines.

        1. Well, that’s the RCC for you, sir. The notion of matrimony as a basis of morality has been subtly ingrained into the psyche of the Filipinos, making its way even to the educational system. Amusingly, what it produced wasn’t discipline or good conduct, but discrimination.

          Haha, Big Brother, nanotech surveillance, a truckload of conspiracy theories comes to mind.

    2. If I were asked that question, I would have responded, “PERSONAL: none of your business what I do in my bedroom.” Consequently, I may never get hired as a DepEd teacher. In that case, I would start my OWN private school. The Philippines would be a much better country if that is the attitude (i.e. take charge of my life, nothing can stop me) of the average Filipino.

      1. @juan carlos,

        My partner (not married) specifically told me that even after being accepted/hired as DepEd teacher, they (DepED or the school board) might/may/will track you down (check on you regularly) to see if you are really living as a “single” person (if that is what you filled out on all the application papers). Hence my earlier statement “Big Brother is watching you”. This way of dealing with ones personell reminds me very much of the (former East German) Stasi methods.

        1. I’d attest to that strange DepEd fetish for hunting down unmarried female teachers living-in with foreigners. But strangely, they won’t do the same for openly gay men living with their lovers, because “it’s discrimination”. Almost like the old SturmAbteilung trumping on Jews as “degenerates”, but letting Ernst Rohm have his way with strapping young men.

        2. @Don,

          That is 100% pure unadulterated hypocrisy and discrimination. Are you sure about that (gay being left alone and not hunted down)? Maybe its time for a gender change plus new sexual preferences for my partner.

          I’d attest to that strange DepEd fetish for hunting down unmarried female teachers living-in with foreigners. But strangely, they won’t do the same for openly gay men living with their lovers, because “it’s discrimination”. Almost like the old SturmAbteilung trumping on Jews as “degenerates”, but letting Ernst Rohm have his way with strapping young men.

    Crab mentality

    Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless “king of the hill” competition (or sabotage) which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is that of a group that will attempt to “pull down” (negate or diminish the importance of) any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, conspiracy or competitive feelings.

    This term is broadly associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a unified, long-term, constructive mentality. It is also often used colloquially in reference to individuals or communities attempting to “escape” a so-called “underprivileged life,” but kept from doing so by others attempting to ride upon their coat-tails or those who simply resent their success.[1]

    See also
    – The Dog in the Manger
    – Prisoner’s dilemma
    – Tall Poppy Syndrome

    1. ^

    This sociology-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

  15. @Arche,

    Pls, no need to address with me “sir”. I regard/see you as my equal, as a human being. Using words like that creates distance; putting an unpersonal touch to your message/post/statement as if I am not in the same room where you are. Pls address me with my first name any next time. No Kuya, no Dong. It will make the world look a lot friendlier. Thanks.

      1. @Arche,

        No offense. I just wanted to make things clear. We westerners are not into “respect” unless one really earns/deserves it by personal/individual achievement(s). Me being maybe older than you is NOT an achievement. It is not granted nor given that an older person is wiser or better.

    1. Nice calling out the folk who call you “sir Robert”. I had to rub it down to my own Filipino staff to stop calling me “sir” or “boss”, and I got my own Filipino supervisor to get used to me calling her by her first name, so that she now flinches when I call her “baas” or “memsahib”.

      I can smell a Senior CEO’s poop in the lavatory, and guess what, it smells no different from my own. Most Filipinos would like to think that “boss’s” or “ma’am’s” turds have a lemon-fresh scent and would fawn over them. I’d step back and say, “the only difference between you and I, is pay grade.”

      1. @Don,

        Everytime you call me sir I look behind me thinking my dad will be there (stolen phrase from the Hollywood movie “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore & Jack Nickolson).

        Doing business on a first name basis is introduced here in my country probably since 1980s (maybe even earlier). And that includes regardless of job titles/functions.

        I know when I attended Higher Vocation School (students’ age: 17 years old and up) we already addressed all our teachers by their first names.

        The scent/smell of pee/poo is no different.

        Now pls tell me how to address you Mr./Sir/Dong/Kuya Don? (lol)

        (Monday 12 March 2012 at 4.59PM dutch time)

        1. Plain, regular Don will do. Only my younger siblings call me “manong”, and while I do have older cousins, we all acknowledge that it would be pointless addressing them with terms addressing age. Although teenagers where I grew up call me “Uncle”, which I think is quite respectful and inoffensive. Here’s some insight: When something goes wrong, most Filipinos who would call me “sir” won’t look me in the eye and try to fib out of a bad situation, but those who don’t will present a coherent reason for failing something. But the ones who say “sir” would spread rumours afterward; while those who call me Don would ask for feedback afterward.

        2. @Don,

          okay from now on I will address and call you Don.

          I dont like people talking about me behind my back. So hence I like them call me just Robert (and Rob will do as fine). Man, I have experienced so much hypocrisy. It really drives me nuts. I am really glad and happy living in my country (the Netherlands). My partner (35 from Cebu) always tells me that I am a priviliged guy. Well all I can say is that we were there too (in similar conditions as the Philippines) but then my country evolved and progressed. Compared to the Philippines I live in total freedom and even compared to many western countries I would still say the same (living in total freedom).

        3. Funny thing is, “Don” is a highly esteemed title, especially in places with Spanish influence, equivalent to “Lord,” I think.

        4. “Don” is short for something else. If I wanted to be exalted, I’d rather be called “baas”, “sahib”, or “sir”. I have the means and measure to make people call me baas, sahib, or sir, but it’s a pointless exercise. I demand candor, and candor can be acquired by addressing people by name.

      2. While I had no ulterior motive whatsoever for affixing “sir” in referring to Robert (“sir” is my masculine “darling” or “sweetie”), it does interest me seeing you guys offer your perspectives when it comes to stuff like this. Well, we all learn something new everyday. Thank you. ^^

        1. @Arche

          Not sure how to read your above statement. But I think I will read it as a compliment (but not sure). Anyway, my sincerest apologies for going off topic very easily. One thing can so easily lead to another.
          My fingers itched many times bec I want(ed) to write my own blog here about how I look at the Philippines and what I think is needed to change it for the better. On the other hand, while doing that, I am also afraid to miss the point bec of lacking the real in-depth knowledge, feeling, intuition, history of the Philippine society. In other words, I do not qualify to be an expert.

          Many people coming from my country accussed me of visiting the Philippines with my Western mind/thoughts/ideas/ideology (while they think and say its better to go there with “tabula rasa”) and I have also been accussed (by a dutch person) of being naive.

          So maybe bec I am a foreigner I might be objective but in reality I am not bec I bring my own (western) thoughts with me (what else can I do, right? Or can I empty my head, empty my soul, empty my spirit and emptymy brains when going there?)

  16. @Aegis-Judex,

    “Tell that to the average Pinoy.”

    I try to convince my partner almost every single day of the fact that there are more and other ways to show/pay respect to human beings. Especially to those who are older (or should I type “elder”?). No dad, no mom, no god’s mother, no granddad and no grandmom are all known. If they were then their off spring would be perfect kids. And I mean PERFECT. Well if those kids were perfect then there would be no need for websites like this.

    So in short: I am against any form of respect displayed and portrayed by words like Ate, Dong, Kuya, Nini, Tita, Inday (including the Mano Po) bec they first have to earn and deserve my respect.

    1. That’s the way! My grandparents often said “We want you to be better than us, so stand yourself up, look people in the eye, and don’t get crap from anybody”. And these people never went to university.

      And none of that Mano Po either. My old people asked for hugs and kisses from loved ones, and offered handshakes to strangers. In the latter case, it was still “look people in the eye”. And they were Ilocanos and Igorots.

      1. Don, wow you said it!!!

        LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE!!!! Otherwise you have something to hide.

        My parents always wanted us (my 2 sisters and me) to have a better life than they ever had. Unfortunately, I dont see that attitude in the Philippines.

        1. @Don,

          I even read on another website that parents dont want their kids to talk back. They probably mean (not to) object to the parents’ thoughts and orders/demands. I think that is absurd bec of new insights the kid’s objections can be very valid and have merit. In the end both the parents and the kids can learn from those new insights.

          Unfortunately, I dont see that attitude in the Philippines.

        2. That would be the very conservative parents who think that children have nothing to offer in terms of ideas or at least a different view, but won’t offer any life lessons. These are the same parents who would claim that learning English is a waste of time, or that the Japanese today are the same Japanese of 1941.

          Perhaps I was plain lucky that my old people encouraged me to learn things and talk with me about what I learned. I know for sure that Filipino parents would send their kids to college to learn something that the child will use in taking care of their parents later (i.e. nursing job, so the daughter can go overseas and send money back).

        3. @Don,

          Why is it always that the daughters have to take care of the old folks (at least financially by sending money back home?). Pls let their sons do something similar like that. Why does the daughters always have to do the “dirty work”. In my country daughters will not accept it to be send overseas to earn money for that reason. Sorry but they are (too) assertive for doing that. Thank god. Those dutch daughters will tell their parents that Jimmy (the son, sibling) can do the same.

          My partner and I talked about this strange phenomenon (sending money back home). And I told her that I will not allow her to send money from me to her parents. Why? Bec I would feel used for only that purpose. I am sure if her parents (or any parents for that matter) can sustain NOW then they can also sustain in the future. Parents should take care of their kids not the other way around. Otherwise the concept of pro-creating gets a dark, strange, selfish connotation for me.

          Could lead to a nice few new Blogs/topics here:
          – Do Pinays pick foreigners as prospect partners out of real love or for escaping poverty and sending money back home?
          – Why are there no Pinoys (or hardly any) that want to escape the country and therefor want to marry a foreign woman?
          – Why is there always such a big huge age gap between a pinay and the foreigner? In most cases the pinay could be the foreigner’s daughter
          – Why does a foreign guy “falls in love” with a pinay and why cant he find his soul mate – match – in his own country?

          Get real? No, wake up!!!

          (Tuesday 13 March 2012 at 8.50PM dutch time)

        4. @ Robert,

          I would say that daughters who go overseas are either more enterprising, or love their parents more, for better or for worse. Conservative families would like to keep their sons around to “perpetuate the family name”. They won’t admit it, but they’d actually treat their daughters as expendable. Notice that if the son turns out gay, he suddenly has the freedom to leave the parents’ tight control over his life.

          As to Pinays picking foreigners, some do it out of real love, some do it to leech money. Depends on how ignorant the parents are, I guess. The really ignorant ones believe that white skin = wealth. That attitude grows on the daughters as well.
          Pinoys who do marry a foreign woman are those who are assertive and smart, but you would have noticed by now that they are far and few in between. These are the guys who won’t let race get in the way. But I personally think that some of them only do that for “trophy hunting.”
          If you find an old foreigner and young Pinay, it’s pure economics: She gets money, he gets a caregiver.
          And if the foreign guy can’t score among the women of his own country, … only the foreigner can answer that. But if I find a mate who isn’t Pinay, it’s because I find the foreign woman has characteristics not found among the Pinays I know.

        5. @Don

          “If you find an old foreigner and young Pinay, it’s pure economics: She gets money, he gets a caregiver.”

          You make it sound like a kind of business deal or like a employer-employee-relationship. Should I pay for the s*x as well? Or is that part of the package? What happened to true romance, what happened to “pride & dignity”

          I guess that makes me different then. I wasnt and am not looking for a caregiver. I can look after myself otherwise I would have died many decades ago and also thanks to my parents who raised all 3 of us (my 2 sisters and me) to be (financially, mentally & emotionally) independent and responsible.

          I am not part of the old-school so my partner can work to earn her own money like anybody has to in this (western) world.

          This mentality (sending money back home) is also part of why the Philippines do not progress. That mentality is a disease with no speedy cure in the near or far future. More individualism would lead to a more efficient country but by taking care of the parents nothing will change. Parents should be taught to pro-create responsibily and not in name of the bible.

          Pls tell me why I should give the money I worked so hard for to my partner so that she can send that back to her family, her nieces, her cousins and who knows more? I am NOT responsible for her family.

        6. (You make it sound like a kind of business deal or like a employer-employee-relationship. Should I pay for the s*x as well? Or is that part of the package? What happened to true romance, what happened to “pride & dignity”)

          You would be surprised as to the fate of pride and dignity here in the Philippines. Are you familiar with the term “kapit sa patalim?”

          (I guess that makes me different then. I wasnt and am not looking for a caregiver. I can look after myself otherwise I would have died many decades ago and also thanks to my parents who raised all 3 of us (my 2 sisters and me) to be (financially, mentally & emotionally) independent and responsible.)

          The challenge at this point would be to educate the schmucks who think otherwise.

          (I am not part of the old-school so my partner can work to earn her own money like anybody has to in this (western) world.)

          No comment on this. 😉

          (This mentality (sending money back home) is also part of why the Philippines do not progress. That mentality is a disease with no speedy cure in the near or far future. More individualism would lead to a more efficient country but by taking care of the parents nothing will change. Parents should be taught to pro-create responsibily and not in name of the bible.)

          Seriously, does the average Pinoy have to take “Go forth and MULTIPLY” literally? Three words: What. The. Hell?!

          (Pls tell me why I should give the money I worked so hard for to my partner so that she can send that back to her family, her nieces, her cousins and who knows more? I am NOT responsible for her family.)

          Huah. It somewhat bugs me that traditional Pinoy families consider the children as mere extensions of the parents. As if said children are mindless automatons?! Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!

        7. Robert,

          Thanks to my grandparents’ sacrifice and hard work, they were able to send ALL their kids to college to have a better life than my grandparents ever had. My grandparents only finished high school at the most. Please stop stereotyping.

        8. @Robert,

          Well, if you found true love with a Pinay despite the odd culture gap, congratulations. I’m happy for you and I hope I get the same luck.

          I arrived at the conclusion that old foreigner/young Pinay = economics out of observing my expat retiree friends. All of them except one got financially squeezed by the woman’s habits and her extended family’s expenses.

          You are under no obligation to send your money to anybody. Nobody can make you, and you really shouldn’t. Spend your income on what you see fit. Don’t fall for the trap of their putting it on your conscience. Stall, stonewall, be unavailable when they ask for money. But make a point being cash-less when they ask. I would go so far as to disappear with the wife. You have a life to live with your wife and it shouldn’t be tied to her family.

    2. Let’s not get carried away here and advocate removing all trappings of respect for authority in society. It is one thing to say that it is alright to question authority figures; it is another to say that authority figures first have to earn and deserve my respect.

      Do you expect parents to be friends with their kids or be actual parents? When the immigration officer tells you to hand over your passport at the counter, do you ask why? Should you address the judge in court “dude”?

      1. What’s wrong with earning respect from others? You seem to assume that without respect there would be outright anarchy. Of course not! The usual interaction would require common courtesy, at the very least. This would still let society function. Courtesy would also mean you recognize others’ role in society, like you would an immigration officer or a judge. You don’t need respect to play your part in the interaction: handing over your passport for inspection, addressing the judge as “your honor”.

        Respect comes later. It is a deeper understanding and appreciation of other people: this immigration officer is a hard worker, this judge is honest and fair.

        As for parenting styles. That’s a different topic altogether. The rule of thumb here is go with what works and acknowledge that there are other styles aside from what you know.

        1. So, if you can address the judge “your honor”, why don’t you want Filipinos to use the terms “tita, kuya, etc.”? Aren’t you being inconsistent there?

        2. There’s no inconsistency. You again seem to think that addressing relatives with “tita”, “kuya”, etc. implies respect. No, this is just a social norm.

        3. @Peste,

          It drives me crazy, thats all (the constant usage of Ate, Dong etc) while here in the western world its just your first name. Or in case you dont know the person Mrs or Mr. But I was more refering to the usage of Mano Po. But I think this aspect has been covered long time since.

  17. The first step in improving ourselves, is to know our weaknesses and change them. The article is well written to describe us, as Filipinos. We have a defective culture…we have defective traits, that stagnates us.
    If you want to study more about our Subconscious mindsets of Filipinos…Study the Works of the great German Phychologist: Carl Jung, on the Theory of Collective Unconscious mind…it will help you understand the Filipino defective mentality…the “Herd Mentality”…

    1. @Hyden Toro,

      Thanks for the recommendation re Carl Jung’s book.

      But I like to hear it first hand from the people themselves. Probably they can explain it to me much better. I asked my partner many times to explain me things happening in her country. In almost all cases she responded “I dont know” which is hard to beleive for me.

      I think it has to do with the fact that Philippine people accept everything and therefor never ask themselves the “why”-question. So every kind of behavior (even what we would call stipud/dumb behavior) is for them normal and accepted/acceptable. And thats because they were taught (brain washed/indoctrinated) to NOT embarras people (hiya). Hence there will be no evolvement (evolution) and no progress what so ever.

    2. I’m still in the dark as to why the local priests would encourage people to worship a hunk of wood and block traffic for miles around. Emphasis on local priests. The foreign-born Belgian priests made more sense re: secular matters. Local priests go bible-crazy when they don’t get their yearly dose of traffic-jamming processions.

  18. @Peste

    according to Wikipedia, Don can mean:
    – Don (given name), a short form of the masculine given name Donald in English, also a masculine given name in Irish
    – Don (honorific), a Spanish, Portuguese,Italian, and Filipino title, given as a mark of respect
    – Don, a crime boss
    – University don, in British universities, traditionally, a head, fellow or tutor of a college
    – A resident assistant at universities in Canada and the USA.

    I wonder what Don will have to say about all these and if he can disclose which belongs to him.

  19. @juan carlos,

    I was only disclosing what I saw, witnessed & experienced (without any exceptions) first hand during my 2 visits to Cebu. And it keeps on going through social media like Facebook

  20. @Don

    I think I found true love but there is still some doubt (in my end). No matter what and regardless of nationality my first next step will be “living together”. I know thats not really done for Filippinas but I cant possibly take the big step (marriage) after only visiting her twice (so far). That would also not be the norm in my country. After living together for a few years (at least 1) we might consider continueing it or maybe a civil wedding. A church wedding is a bit hypocritical for me to do (being atheist).

    1. You would be surprised with the “living together” part. There are Philippine couples who live together without getting married, especially among younger people and in the cities (not necessarily the hometown of either partner). I can cite many resons for this, but I think that the primary reason is that people are now more mobile, and can maintain personal relationships away from their parents’ oversight.

      Besides, more and more people are looking at the economics of wedding ceremonies. Although priests say weddings should be simple, church administrators (and ironically that includes the same priests) would seriously like to charge for weddings anyway. Of course, there is the glamor side of weddings that has a ready market and vendors (another strange Western habit taken up by Filipinos).

  21. @Aegis-Judex

    “You would be surprised as to the fate of pride and dignity here in the Philippines. Are you familiar with the term “kapit sa patalim?””


    “Seriously, does the average Pinoy have to take “Go forth and MULTIPLY” literally? Three words: What. The. Hell?!”


    (Capitals used to make it more readable, hopefully)

    1. “Kapit sa patalim” (grasping at blades) is a term denoting desperation, something like a rat chewing off its own foot to get out of a trap. In this context, Filipinas who marry old/frail/abusive foreign husbands do so because they’re really desperate to get out of poverty. Although I think it’s more like the family would pimp the girl out to the foreigner against her wishes, so they use the foreigner as an economic lifeboat.

      Also, I think Filipinos are just plain too horny and use the “go forth and multiply” phrase as a convenient excuse to cover stupidity when confronted by people who ask why they have too many children. Although of course the priests would just as conveniently accept that excuse.

  22. I agree with all the points you mentioned. It feels good that you expressed what I think. As being a half filipino, filipinos are really defensive when they hear the reality about the country. They don’t like to be criticized even if it’s for the best of the Philippines.

    What can we do to improve the mentality?

    1. What can we do to improve the mentality?

      We need to have real humility as oppose to false humility. When we accept that we are not the best at everything, we can deal with the reality that we have to do something about our own shortfalls.

      We also need to take responsibility and not put all the blame on the government. Like what I said in my previous article: it is the people’s lack of attention to how public servants do their jobs that is the reason why public funds gets mismanaged. In other words, people’s apathy and indifference to how the country is being run is the real cause of corruption and not GMA.

      Here’s a link to my article:

      Ten reasons why Filipinos blame Gloria Arroyo for everything

  23. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  24. “Isn’t this unfair? This kind of social framework is reminiscent of a capitalistic framework”

    I’m sorry but it is not capitalism. It’s kinda like corporatism.

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