The poor of the country for example say that they are oppressed by the rich. Some liberal or anti-Catholic or anti-religious groups would point to Carlos Celdran’s case as showing that they are being oppressed by the Catholic Church. There are those saying that China, Malaysia, and other countries (including the Illuminati and other supposed secret world agendas) are oppressing the Filipinos. Soon, it will turn out that everyone says they’re oppressed by everyone else in the Philippines.
Thing is, are Filipinos really oppressed?
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I don’t think so.
I think Filipinos are imagining themselves as oppressed in order to get special treatment.
One of the funniest incidences of “oppression” is when a Filipino in Australia wanted a local woman to take down her car’s plate. The plate had the name “Kiki,” which was the local woman’s nickname. The Filipino complained about being “offended” by the name, because in Tagalog language, it means the women’s genitals. However, the complaint was denied (rightly, in my view), and even the local Filipino community discouraged the complainer. Needless to say, this was an out-of-place brow-raising by someone not in their element (In Tagalog, umaasta na wala sa lugar). Well, the Filipino in this scenario may not think of themselves as oppressed, but some might. Sorry, if you’re offended by a local being themselves in a peaceful manner, it’s not oppression at all. It’s more like opportunism.
In another blog article, I wrote that Pinoy Pride initiatives rise out of the imaginary notion that Filipinos are under attack. But way I see it, they are just attacking themselves. Filipinos are the ones declaring themselves inferior, and then imagine someone else saying it, like a foreigner. Based on this schizophrenic fear of a delusional enemy, they embark on Filipino Pride programs to try and push up their image. But these programs may involve covering up or denying the mistakes of the Filipinos. Thus, they actually end up pulling themselves down further.
Sometimes, even the supposedly oppressed themselves become the oppressor. A Filipino nurse, Jonathan Aquino, was caught slapping an elderly Alzheimer’s patient in the US, and was promptly jailed for it. Now if this is your idea of an “oppressed” person, then you probably have a delusionary mental illness.
I recall being told in grade school about Filipinos being banned from a certain shop in Hong Kong. “Filipinos not allowed.” Surely, some will raise hell over this, calling it “racism” or “oppression.” But my teacher explained that most of those caught stealing from the shop were Filipinos! Thus, what will the shop owner conclude? That Filipinos are mostly thieves? Even if that is not the shop owner’s thought, he will just avoid the risk by banning Filipinos altogether.
Is this being oppressed or stupidity?
We have women’s groups like Gabriela in the party list slots in Congress upon the impression women are marginalized. I disagree. If women are marginalized, we would not have had two female presidents in this country. We also have a lot of female businessmen and leaders in the country. I heard that business and work opportunities for women in the Philippines are better these days. So how could they claim to be oppressed?
I agree with fellow blogger Paul Farol when he claims that the poor are no longer being marginalized. Instead, it is the middle class that is being marginalized, thanks to laws that take the hard-earned money of the middle class and give it to the lazy among the poor who disdain work and seek dole-outs. This can be seen in the policies of the RH Law and CCT, and more. Thus, the dysfunction of Philippine laziness is compounded rather than solved. Add to that the poor money-handling habits of Filipinos, whether here on home soil, or abroad.
Sometimes it pays to distinguish between claiming to be marginalized and asking for special favors. But perhaps the “marginalized” themselves are unable to know the difference — or pretend to not know.
Perhaps these days, with a democratic system being used in the country, we would expect Filipinos would apply it properly and take the right steps to bring themselves out of hardship. But, no. Filipinos are still in hardship… as if they embrace it. Of course, there is the natural hardship life brings. But Filipinos are actually inviting and keeping hardship on themselves with the choices they make.
Perhaps Filipinos are saying that they are oppressed in order to draw pity, and thus, waiting for someone to give them dole outs for it. This is the flaw called Sense of Entitlement, something that columnist Cito Beltran hammered to bits eloquently in his article titled Ours is not a Beautiful Mind. Indeed, the Filipino mind is not beautiful, because it is dominated by pride, envy, sense of entitlement and other terrible flaws that may very well be the true causes of our national ails.
I do notice in other countries is that some people who were historically oppressed still insist that they are oppressed. But the thing is, despite some remnants of discriminating thinking still present, it is accepted that they have better opportunities in recent times, so they should play their cards right. And if they don’t, they will only become like their oppressors. For example, in South Africa, Apartheid ended in 1991 and celebrated oppositionist Nelson Mandela became leader for a time, but it turned out that his government was riddled with corruption too.
But this is the Philippines. We have our own class of bigotry, which is called KSP.
Filipinos should drop the idea that they’re oppressed by others in the world. They’re not. They’re oppressing themselves with bad values, bad tradition, laziness, lack of thinking, sense of entitlement and other deadly faults. Thus, the country remains dysfunctional, as Dick Gordon described, and we won’t get out of being dysfunctional unless we learn to accept our own faults and work to improve ourselves.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.