Filipinos need to learn how to think: Thinking 101 in three convenient lessons

The last couple of weeks has seen circus following circus kicking off crescendous waves of crocodile emotions that swept many Filipinos off their feet. One good thing coming out of that is that it brought to fore some really key features of the dysfunction that underlies the Philippine National Thinking Process. Below, for the reading pleasure of some folks who made chumps of themselves over the last couple of weeks, are some important lessons to learn.

* * *

Do your homework.

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In short, understand first the underlying conceptual frameworks.

The noise created around the so-called “plight” of the 190-odd Ateneo de Manila University faculty members who were being targeted by a modern-day Inquisition led by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is a good example. Some armchair “activists” were quick to wax poetic indignation about these “victims of primitivism” in the academe who had allegedly made known their stand on the Reproductive Health Bill within the premises of the Ateneo while conveniently forgetting that the Ateneo is a Catholic learning institution that describes itself as being “loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

Self-described “activists” of secularism conveniently forget that in a secular state such as the Philippines, there is an even more fundamental choice most Filipinos are able to make — whether to remain Catholic or not.

Be consistent.

Otherwise, learn when to shut up in times when silence is the dignified behaviour to apply. There is an old saying: When you always tell the truth, you don’t need to remember what you said. Bayan Muna partylist Representative Teddy Casiño conveniently forgets he is a representative of his comrades-in-partisanship when extending his crocodile condolences to the family of the late Secretary Jesse Robredo. Bayan Muna, if we recall, reportedly called for Robredo’s head to be served on a platter over charges of corruption under his watch the allegations of which were, at the time, still being investigated.

That report, funny enough, also mentioned how some congressmen who also hail from Robredo’s hometown in Bicol chimed in on Bayan Muna’s witch hunt. Interesting when one considers that Robredo’s uncle, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte happens to be a congressman and kababayan and has another nephew, a certain Jojo Villafuerte, who was also running for the Naga City mayor seat back in 2007. The elder Villafuerte is also seen to be the man who thwarted efforts to get Robredo (who, at his death was working under an “Acting Secretary” capacity) properly instated as a legitimate Cabinet member.

Know who your boss is.

The Philippines is a free country. We are able to choose who we work for. Unfortunately, the 190 Ateneo faculty members facing the Inquisition conveniently forget who their boss is. Not to worry. They are in good company. President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III sometimes exhibits a bit of confusion around that area as well whenever he seems unable to decide whether he works for his Uncle Peping or for the Filipino people who he calls “his boss”. The venerable Teddy Casiño too. His classy Pontius Pilate act on his own politburo demonstrates that great men like him also forget who their bosses are. So don’t fret. The greatest amongst Pinoys do suffer a bit of selective amnesia every now and then.

* * *

Sometimes it is the simplest lessons that one would think they would have learned way back in Kindergarten that trumps in substance any so-called “education” that earns some bozos a few acronyms after their names.

21 Replies to “Filipinos need to learn how to think: Thinking 101 in three convenient lessons”

  1. It is that easy to tell words that seems to contradict with our previous statements or behaviors according to certain situations. It is good that we have intelligent public observers as these changes in someone’s opinion is mostly committed by those who are in politics especially here in the Philippines that politics is mostly driven by sweet-talk but mostly action-lacked, blame games, crocodiles show and left to right boasting. Integrity is very important especially when we know that somebody’s recording and taking footages of our actions. Most of the time, it is better not to say anything at all than saying something that could destroy your reputation.

  2. Benign0

    The statement signed by a total of 192 (159 plus 33) ADMU professors was doubtless uncalled for, since the signatories are all respected professionals in their various chosen fields, most of them holding PhDs. plus an additional 33:

    Hence, to avoid the possibility of being mistakenly perceived that their intent was to provoke, confront or even challenge and embarrass officials of a University that employ them (their “boss”), the basic sense of propriety should have moved them to issue the statement — not as “the undersigned individual faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University” — but in their equally effective professional capacity as, say, historian, economist, theologian, psychologist or other field of endeavour.

    In fact, I initially thought that the defiant stand of the signatories in the statement and their resistance was merely a RESPONSE to an attempt by ADMU officials earlier to influence the faculty concerning their view on the RH bill. But, after having read the Statement, it turns out that they had not been provoked at all. In fact, I learned later that they had issued a similar Statement sometime in 2008.

    Good manners and right conduct, character education and values education are, of course, school lessons that are best taught, not by professionals holding PhDs, but by teachers with a BS in Elementary Education.

    Note, in particular, that CBCP is not conducting an “inquisition” here. Far from it; rather, what they are performing is “the right and duty” of Bishops over a “Catholic University,” the ADMU, since “the Bishop has a responsibility to promote the welfare of the Catholic Universities in his diocese and has the right and duty to watch over the preservation and strengthening of their Catholic character” (Part II, Art 5 (2), Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 1990).

    I’m with you, Bening0: ADMU is a recognized “Catholic University” whose “Catholic teachers are to be faithful to, and all other teachers are to respect, Catholic doctrine and morals in their research and teaching” (Part II, Art 4 (3), Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 1990).

    So, you’re right, the signatories should amend and reissue their statement as a collective Letter of Resignation.

    1. @Domingo, yes as you so very well put it succinctly here…

      Hence, to avoid the possibility of being mistakenly perceived that their intent was to provoke, confront or even challenge and embarrass officials of a University that employ them (their “boss”), the basic sense of propriety should have moved them to issue the statement — not as “the undersigned individual faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University” — but in their equally effective professional capacity as, say, historian, economist, theologian, psychologist or other field of endeavour.

      … there would’ve been no problem if they had done it the way you suggested above, and they would have had a more sound basis for challenging any citation from the CBCP on grounds of academic freedom had they done so in the name of their professions rather than in the name of the Ateneo.

      Great insight! 🙂

  3. agree naman ako kay benigno pero sana e tigilan na niya ang pagtatago sa likod ng mukha ni jimi hendix at ilantad na niya ang sarili niya. Napakaironic lang kasi nagrarant siya tungkol sa mga so called armchair activist pero hindi niya alam na isa siyang armchair columnist hehehe

    1. Question: How much did you pay to get in? This blog site is about exchanging ideas. You want faces go to a pay dating site. Why single out benign0 for what you think is not his real face? Very very few people here put a real face. No one owes you anything on this website. Now scuse me while I kiss the sky.

      1. You are right Pareng Gogs, and besides putting a real photo of a real person there will not guarantee it’s authenticity unless you already saw him personally. Besides, noone can compel anybody to reveal his real identity. If don’t like the contents here, we are free to ignore and just leave. Just a piece of advice.

    2. Parang yung ibang “Kristyano” na, mas gusto mapanood ang mga Bible stories, kesa basahin ang Bible, tapos sasabihin hindi nila maintindihan ang Bible kasi napaka-cryptic. Kaya nga sa Bible, “It is written…”, “Nasusulat…” The focus is about the message, not the messenger. Peace.

    3. What a pathetic attempt at trolling. Just like your kin Fishball, you completely miss the point of this blogsite. Word of advice: don’t try to trifle with GRP if you can’t walk the talk.

  4. This is GRP not Facebook. We are here to discuss/exchange ideas not look at each other’s face. That is something you learn when the only way you use the World Wide Web is looking at photos of other people.

  5. God gave human beings the power of a sentient consciousness in analysis and reasoning. He also gave us the freedom of choice. It is a pity that a portion of the populace of the world including the Philippines are shackled, controlled and manipulated by their fellow humans.

    Thus we have experienced extremist ideologies, fanaticism, opportunism, manipulation and control from those false leaders or prophets who stifle and control the minds of others.

    Benigno is correct in speaking his mind about the political, religious and other circuses that blind men to the truth. The truth shall set you free!

    We as individual thinking minds can shake off the shackles imposed by those who would control our minds. We must see through the fog of gimmickry. chicanery and falsehoods in order to be truly free!

  6. This is Philippine politics. There is no party loyalties on politicians. Their loyalties are their stomachs. They are good in giving Circus Shows, to people. However, the Circus Shows, do not accompany Bread(rice); as in the old Roman Empire. I have no quarrel with the Catholic Church. However, it should think itself, that we are now in the modern times. Where the increase of population far outpace, food production. This is aggravated, by the Feudalism condition in our country. The Oligarchs own mostly the agricultural lands. The common people own only a small plot of agricultural land. Food Riots are on the way…

  7. A good reading related to this post is this post from


    Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

    The most important lesson in statistics is widely ignored, especially by the mass media: Correlation between two things does not prove that one causes the other. For instance:

    Virtually all heroin addicts drank milk regularly as children.

    Therefore, drinking milk leads to heroin addiction.

  8. It is a pity that intelligent analyses of political events like this are not in the menu of mainstream media. Sadly showbiz news are given more weight in this country.

    Many Filipinos are fond of proclaiming their opinions hoping to prove intellectual sophistication. Little they realize that in so doing they only highlight their ignorance.

    Perhaps some people have a flawed understanding of their basic liberties. While we are assured freedom, such is not absolute. A teacher is free to voice his opinion but should NOT drag others, much less the institution he serves. Perhaps these teachers forget that Ateneo is a university that promotes values formation guided by Catholic principles.

    Defenders assert that faculty members enjoy academic freedom hence they should not be sanctioned by making a public stand. They forget however that the same freedom is also guaranteed to the University as an academic institution.

  9. I am a Filipino, proud
    …yet suffers, too

    By Apolinario B Villalobos

    “Let us not lose hope…”
    This I have to say first
    For if I won’t, but instead
    Put that line at the end
    I will be stirring your anger
    That I will just regret later.

    When foreign people
    Set foot on our sacred shore
    Our ancestors welcomed them –
    Not just with smile
    But warm embrace
    Showed them kindness
    Showed them love –
    The way of Filipinos
    As the whole world knows.

    The Chinese brought pots and silk
    Gave names to our islands and islets,
    The Japanese brought their skill
    And goods of steel,
    Spain sent forth Christianity
    Tainted with gracious civility,
    The Americans brought more-
    More than what we could muster
    And all of these-
    Supposed to enrich our culture
    But instead, defiled our identity
    Stained much of it with sheer gravity!

    I hear Filipinos speak English with a twang
    But should not be, when they speak our language –
    Filipino, the rich language of every Juan.

    I see Filipinos enjoy foreign food, every bit of it
    But should not be, when they push aside
    Our own sinigang and pinakbet.

    I hear Filipinos sing foreign songs so soulfully
    It’s just nice, but not when they despise
    Our own that should be sung with dignity.

    Deep inside, I suffer as I see and hear them
    I know that just like me, others out there
    Are gritting their teeth but can’t do anything;
    Proud as a Filipino, yes I am
    But so many things are left undone –
    Things that our heroes in the past have begun
    They who put color
    To the vivid pages of our history;
    Things that should have been done
    By our heroes of today
    But who died just when a new light
    Started to shine on our democracy.

    Leaders, policy makers, lawmakers…
    Are they…really?
    They who warble promises
    And steal the people’s money?
    Paid with lofty sum from the coffer
    Where money for those who suffer
    Should have come
    Should have been done
    But only the few – these warblers
    Enjoyed no end, they who are supposed
    To be brimming with wisdom!

    After the father, comes the wife
    Then the daughter, and the son
    Not contented, the cousins and in-laws
    All in the family, to power they strut
    With a taunt in their face that says:
    “What are we in power for,
    And you with money has none
    Eat your heart out, here we come!”

    Rain that used to bless the earth
    Filipinos now desist
    Especially those who live
    Along the river banks of the cities
    For with it comes the flood
    A curse that only the Bible says
    Shall wipe out sinners
    From the face of the earth;
    But why…the floods?
    Simple: the money for saving projects
    The conscienceless –
    Unscrupulously pocketed!

    Innocent lengths of asphalted roads
    That for long defied the trash of nature
    Helplessly wrecked by greedy contractors
    So that low-grade fresh overlay can be spread
    Later giving up to rain’s patters
    And treading of cars, trucks, and all…

    Even the precious school books are not spared
    By purported educators blinded with greed
    Seeing to it that new ones, yearly will be printed
    Exam questions, at the end of every chapter
    Are cleverly printed!
    So then, closing school years would also see
    These books so dear, become useless –
    Thrown to the garbage, not to be used
    By aspiring younger brood of the family.

    I am pained by the sight
    Of plates at restaurants
    and food stations of the malls –
    Half –finished food left with pride
    By those who seem to say
    “I am rich, I can squander money”
    And who never thought
    That out there in the dumps
    Some brethren try to salvage morsels –
    Precious food that could be stuffed
    Into their guts so they can live
    Better than nothing, or they’re dead.

    I said in the beginning of this:
    Let us not lose hope…
    But wish for the best
    If we strive together
    And do what is right
    Then new life for us
    Will be in sight!

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