Why Pinoys need Pride Deflators

I have already written much on the point that Da Pinoy’s attempt at projecting Pinoy Pride has only served to shoot oneself in the foot. The more Da Pinoy tries to project pride, the more Da Pinoy actually earns shame. Da Pinoys are probably saying, “enough of the shame already, please!” They’re probably sick of hearing me call out against Pinoy Pride, asking them to put a lid on it or at least tone it down by a great deal (Or perhaps they’re just too emotional and easily hurt even if they shouldn’t be). I’m sure I’ve earned the ire of people for my anti-pride remarks. Perhaps they’re wondering if I have anything better to do.

But I still say pride deflators are still necessary. Why?

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Because they still don’t get it. Pride deflating events will continue as long as Filipinos fail to mend their ways.

Basic principle: all the failures and mistakes of our lives are there to remind us of what will happen if we do something wrong and that we should do our best to avoid them and do the right thing. Pride-deflators are part of life. They show us our mistakes. They all teach us that pride can be a real problem. In literature, nearly all classic fictional stories that portray the human condition highlight pride as a common cause of tragedy and disaster.

But why is pride so bad? People really need to be proud, right? Nothing bad happens anyway when one is proud, right?

Wrong. Pride, hubris, arrogance, can lead to actions that harm others. Isn’t Rolando Mendoza’s hostage act itself proof of that? Or Senator Tito Sotto’s futile defense of his plagiarism? Of course, I can say that pride led to the Carabuena slap, or the incident with the woman ranting in the LRT (perhaps it’s also bad pride to refuse the bag check at the LRT station) and those who attacked her online. They are all a reflection of Filipino society.

The obvious reason why pride-deflators are needed: pride itself is a hindrance to doing right. The Greeks have a different word for it: hubris. People have this kind of pride when they’re so full of themselves, want the attention of others and actually want to hurt others while saying they are doing right. Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot I’m sure had enough pride to say that what they were doing (massacring millions of innocents) was right.

But look at it from our side, the pridists say. Our people are wallowing in poverty and suffering. They need something to make them happy. Pinoy Pride is what can cheer them up! Pride puffs up one’s spirit and increases happiness! Isn’t that right?

Nah. Not for me.

Why? Because I believe this:

Pride is NOT a key to true happiness.

Wisdom articles on the Internet and wiser, experienced people that I personally know say almost the same thing: pride does not give real happiness. Many Internet tip articles on happiness don’t include pride as an essential. They give me the idea that we can be happy without pride.

Of course, I agree with the idea that true happiness comes from the inside and is an attitude issue. One of the most common tips I’ve seen is to be happy with what one has. Being satisfied and free of unnecessary want can lead to happiness. Pride is connected with unnecessary want.

Of course, this does not mean that one should be complacent with mediocrity and dysfunction. These need to be addressed and fixed (And not being able to do so does chip away at our happiness, I admit). You’re not being satisfied with what you have if you keep making mistakes and allowing the wrongs to perpetuate in society without complaint. That’s a totally different thing.

But I agree that true happiness is free from unnecessary want — and pride. Besides, aren’t unnecessary want and pride among the causes of corruption?

One popular piece of advice I’ve heard from some people – dapat meron kang ipagmamalaki sa buhay mo (You should have something to brag about in your life). Thus, the lives of some Filipinos are dedicated to finding something to brag about. And if they find nothing, they’ll still brag. Braggadocio for its own sake. This has undone the Filipino once too many times. Besides, if all you’re looking to do is to brag, doesn’t that mean your life is meaningless? Forget something to boast of, forget pagmamalaki. That’s exactly what leads people to the path of hubris and error. Instead, do your best to be upright, so that people can’t find fault in you and bring you down.

So I say, look not for pride, and look at and listen to the pride-deflators in your life. Aside from humbling you, they can teach you to be a better person. And a better Filipino.

23 Replies to “Why Pinoys need Pride Deflators”

  1. “She passes her time at another man’s side. And I pass the time with my pride”. Saturday Night by The Eagles.

    The line and the song is about Pride and it’s cost. And is it worth it? Of course it depends on the situation . But pinoys are not known for their discretion. I mean with the mentality “Basta Pinoy Da Best”, how can there even be a hint of discretion? Maybe it really all boils down to the prayer:

    “God give me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change. The courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”.

    If you think there is value in that prayer, it really flies against the face of “basta pinoy da best'”

      1. Actually two lines I can think of apply.

        You were probably thinking of the last line “You can check out anytime you’d like but you can never leave”.

        I think this line also applies ” We are all just prisoners of here of our device”. Pride is that device.

        They don’t make lyrics like they used to.

        1. Agreed, they don’t.

          It’s more of “love ya, love ya, love ya,” or “baby, baby, baby.” As a result, they keep making babies without the capability to feed them. hehehe

  2. I sense that there is a manufactured attempt at creating ‘pride’ through brainwashing/propaganda, however remote or obscure the achievement rather than face reality, change the culture and put the emphasis on passion, which can then result in achievement and genuine pride.
    Pride per se is the defensive mechanism of insecurity.
    More would actually change if people were ashamed of their politicians, ‘role-models’, extra judicial killings, corruption etc.
    People need higher standards and to gain self respect, and that only comes from within through education/experience and removing the crooks at the top, and not being so subservient/accepting but informed and questioning, which is exactly what this govt is trying to control/stop.

    1. You know, what supports the insecurity angle is what I observe among some pride parades in the United States too. That’s where “gay pride” parades started, along with these pride parades of ethnic minorities, women’s groups and other groups, groups that think of themselves as “marginalized.” Thing is, are they really marginalized? That’s what I think about Filipinos too. They fancy themselves to be marginalized, but in fact they may not be. Hmmm, this might be the germ of another article topic.

  3. Chino,

    I guess what can be readily observed is that when it comes to pride, Filipinos apparently put the cart before the horse. This means that they instill pride, and then go find something to be pride about. Is this perhaps why Pinoy Pride appears shallow?

    I don’t know either if comparing Pinoy Pride to a balloon will hold any longer. It’s supposedly been pricked so many times with incidents such as the ampatuan case and the mendoza hostage case but Pinoys just keep going and going. It seems like the Pinoy Ego is becoming like a rock – hard to break through, and very dense.

    1. I think that is true. What I observe is that elders and other people say, “you need something to be proud about,” as if you’ll die if you have no pride. Naturally, we do have a sort of pride in what we do, but the kind of pride that these pridists promote is hubris. They’re trying to force pride, as if you need it in life. Which, as I wrote above, many snippets of wisdom say, you can do without.

  4. Ironic that as a nation of people calling ourselves, “The only predominantly Catholic Asian country”, we constantly commit the most serious deadly sin of pride.

  5. This makes me think: if Filipinos are Catholic then why are they committing one of the seven deadly sins which is pride? I see what you did there. Pinoy Pride shows why pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Filipino culture in general doesn’t make any sense.

    Sa tingin ko mahilig pumorma ang mga pinoy kasi napapansin ko yun dito sa states. Maraming mga maporma.

  6. I think we’d be better off having self-awareness first–to take stock of our good and our bad traits as a people and work on improving ourselves. Problema marami sa atin e delusional or subscribe to this belief that “if you’re not for us, you’re against us” type of thinking, so that if you criticize, you’re being negative and “anti-“. A lot of people are riding on this “positivity” bullshit that they’ve lost the ability to look at anything in a sober, critical manner (with a view to improve and find a solution) and instead prefer to subscribe to a “happy-happy-joy-joy” thinking that’s almost delusional.

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