Hanging onto Gilas Pilipinas (and other famous Pinoys) will not uplift the country

A slew of indignant comments raged over Gogs’ insightful article “Why A Smart Gilas Win Means Nothing To Me.” This is the same outrage fadism which flooded my own article “Why Pinoy Pride will not save the Philippines.” Instead of taking the lesson and doing better from it, or even just making some noteworthy and effective counter-arguments, some Filipinos take the article as an attack on them and they counter with insults and anger. There’s even that classic loaded question, “what have you done to help the country,” which is better asked if the asker himself can name something he did.

Perhaps the reason why Smart Gilas’ progress in the games is very important for many Filipinos is because the team carries the country’s name (although they also carry the name of corporate sponsor Smart). They are an official team. So their success or failure in the series is assumed to be the success or failure of the whole country, similar to those who went to the recent 2012 Olympics.

A commenter, matthew habacon said:

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Para sakin these kinds of victories can serve as an inspiration for individuals to aspire for greater things. While I do not dispute na marami talagang maling nangyayari sa Pilipinas, Yung mga ganitong panalo ng isang team representing our country can make some of us want to do better.

While it is a good point, there is still a problem here. It is true that Filipinos need to aspire to do better, but the Gilas team is a basketball team. So will most Filipinos need to do better in basketball? No. You need to do better in school, do better in your work, do better in business, and more. Filipinos can get the wrong idea on “doing better.”

When we say, “do better,” we might have have forgotten other examples like Dado Banatao who founded S3 Graphics, or Katherine Luzuriaga, who helped develop a cure for the AIDS disease. Or even Yelle Castro, who decided to stay a medical professional abroad despite the promise of a singing career. We always look at sports and performing arts figures, we forget those in science, the military, the fine arts, and others who have achievements based on discipline and good behavior.

However, there seems to be another reason for Filipinos to cling on others’ successes. As fellow blogger Paul Farol tried to explain in his article, “Pinoy Pride… sometimes it’s a candle in the dark,” Filipinos try to use others’ successes to divert attention from Filipino faults. Because of the Bus Hostage Crisis and other things I mentioned in my Pinoy Pride article, Filipinos seem to have a bad reputation abroad. Thus, Filipinos try to save face.

Hiding behind the skirts of other successful Filipinos is one way of saving face. If Smart Gilas wins, Filipino fans may say “look at how great the Gilas team is! If they are great, then we are great too! So you don’t have any right to criticize us or put us down!” Unfortunately, this is only trying to make up excuses to deflect accountability and responsibility. If a Filipino abroad uses this argument so say, “you can’t fire me just because I seduced the boss’s daughter! We Filipinos are great, like Lea Salonga and Manny Pacquiao! So you should not fire me or else,” then you know the guy has a screw loose. If only there were no Filipino faults, there would truly be a reason to be proud.

And the ultimate lesson: if the Gilas team wins, it’s not because they are Pinoy. It’s because they are disciplined… which most Pinoys are not. If most Pinoys do not display this discipline, which is demonstrated in following rules and the law, being more frugal with money and being less arrogant and more accepting of criticism, as a few examples, then it has come to nothing. As Paul said, be proud to be a Filipino by being like your Filipino Idol.

And as commenter Amir Al Bahr asked in reply to Mr. habacon above:

Where are the results?

37 Replies to “Hanging onto Gilas Pilipinas (and other famous Pinoys) will not uplift the country”

  1. Thanks for that ChinoF. People will attack anything except the points the raised. I really don’t think basketball’s big boys were trembling in fear with this bracket. Again no other in the country in the world is as tunnel visioned in terms of basketball as us yet it has been 28 years since we are the point where we are at now. Not one heckler in the thread ever addressed that. Even Malacanang’s finest put in their two cents.

    1. I thought sportsmanship was taught in Physical Education in our younger days. Seems some Pinoys forgot their lessons.

    2. Filipinos consistently fail to realize that multiple achievements of individual Filipinos will never equal a grand achievement accomplished collectively. The challenge for Filipinos, then, is to unite for a vision bigger than their tribe, ethnic group, and come together to help each other out. However, it does not mean that everyone jumps onto a bandwagon, or shaming people just because hindi nakikisama, it means coming together despite their differences.

      1. Maybe the same tired call to collective action—a la DPRK propaganda mural—deserves some rethinking. Neither the American Founding Fathers, Enlightenment philosophers, nor the Jose Rizal who read them, would survive the suffocating rhetoric of nationalism among “Pinoys,” including many of those on the GRP’s comment section.

  2. I think it’s fine to be happy for the team and recognize their achievements. It’s just the insufferable chest-beating way that some people do it. Tapos halata naman na ngayon lang sila nanuod. It feeds the superiority complex of some individuals.

    You know what kung hindi na magbabaha dito sa Manila tapos may transit system tayo, doon lang ako magiging “proud to be Filipino.” The question is… when? Or even IF?!!

    1. Chest-beating. I think we should just stop that.

      Just after Iran prevailed, Filipinos started coming out with hate comments. Even the use of Puso vs. Putok is very racist. The way Filipinos handle their sports fandom is full of immature behavior. That also, they should just stop.

      1. In Japanese they call it herazu-guchi (減らず口) – loser’s retort.

        It ties into the Filipinos’ need for perpetual good vibes which I mentioned in my own piece. They comment like that, it makes them feel good about themselves, to the point of putting someone else down.

        Such passive-aggressive behavior is ultimately destructive and makes them look worse than they think. Tsk tsk.

        1. It’s childish. In addition to that, it also very easily spurs this mindless propagation of unsportsmanlike behavior. Too easy, especially for people not prone to um, thinking.

  3. Also when a pinoy made its way through hollywood the pinoy media always broadcast it in the news as like he/she achieved a godlike status then those parasitic pinoy tv stations and celebrities will start jumping in as like they were best friends.

  4. I was about to comment on this:
    “We always look at sports and performing arts figures, we forget those in science, the military, the fine arts, and others who have achievements based on discipline and good behavior.”
    but then you said this (which was the point I wanted to raise):
    “And the ultimate lesson: if the Gilas team wins, it’s not because they are Pinoy. It’s because they are disciplined… which most Pinoys are not.”

    World class athletes are what they are not only because of talent but also and more importantly because of hard work and discipline. So I guess it’s ok to look up on sports stars and those in the performing arts but not superficially. I think the message they should be sending is that race/nationality does not equate/entitle one to success; Rather success is achieved through passion, hard work and discipline.

  5. List of World Famous Filipinos:

    Cheryl Burke – ballroom dancer, participant in Dancing with the Stars[1]

    Ryan “Ryanimay” Conferido – member of Quest Crew and alumnus of So You Think You Can Dance

    Napoleon D’umo – hip-hop choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance since season four and supervising choreographer for America’s Best Dance Crew

    Cris Judd – choreographer

    Charles Klapow – choreographer for all three High School Musical films, The Ice Tour, and The Cheetah Girls 2

    Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval – former member of Quest Crew and alumnus of So You Think You Can Dance


    Luis Ma. R. Calingo, Ph.D. – President, Woodbury University; author, Strategic Management in the Asian Context: A Casebook in Business Policy and Strategy[2]

    Jose B. Cruz, Jr., Ph.D. – Distinguished Professor of Engineering, The Ohio State University

    Ruth Elynia S. Mabanglo, Ph.D. – Professor of Philippine Literature, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching, 1996[3]

    Kevin Nadal, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; author, Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice[4]

    Baldomero Olivera, Ph.D. – Distinguished Professor of Biology, University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah; first Fil-Am member of the United States National Academy of Sciences; 2007 Harvard University Scientist of the Year.[5]

    Rhacel Parrenas, Ph.D. – Professor of American Studies and Sociology at Brown University. World-renowned academic, has delivered lectures at over 100 colleges and universities in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

    E. San Juan, Jr., Ph.D. – Fellow, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University

    Alfredo Alcala – Filipino comic book artist.[6]

    Lynda Barry – Filipino mestizo comic strip cartoonist and novelist; created prototype for TV hit series The Simpsons[7]

    Ernie Chan – comic book artist/inker for Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

    Don Figueroa – comic book artist for IDW Publishing and Dreamwave Entertainment, working on various Transformers titles.

    Rafael Kayanan – comic book artist and master level instructor in Sayoc Kali.

    Nick Manabat – creator of Cybernary, comic book artist for Wildstorm Productions

    Kenn Navarro – animator of cartoon Happy Tree Friends

    Van Partible – creator of Johnny Bravo

    Whilce Portacio – created Bishop of the X-Men, co-founder of Image Comics.

    Romeo Tanghal – comic book artist.

    Leo Zulueta – Tattoo artist[8]

    Tony DeZuniga – co-creator of Jonah Hex

    Alfonso Ossorio

    Paul Pfeiffer – (born in Hawaii, spent most of his childhood in the Philippines) Inaugural recipient, The Bucksbaum Award given by the Whitney Museum of American Art (2000).[9]

    Leo Valledor(1936–1989) – Painter who pioneered the Hard-edge painting style.

    Dorothy Cordova – Activist, professor, Co-founder of the Filipino American National Historical Society.

    Fred Cordova – Author, Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans; co-founder, Filipino American National Historical Society.

    Alex S. Fabros, Jr. – Historian, professor, retired U.S. Army officer; Documentaries: “Filipino Americans: Discovering their Past for the Future”,[10] “Unsung Heroes”; historian, “Filipinas Magazine”;[11] Historian and Guest Curator, National Steinbeck Center’s “Filipino Voices: Past and Present.”;[12][13][14] and winner of New American Media’s “Ethnic Pulitzer Prize”.[15][16]

    Byron Acohido – 1997 Pulitzer Prize awardee;[17][18] prose novelist.

    Dani Dumuk Aguila – First non-white member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) to receive “Ink Bottle Pin Award”, 1992[19]

    Natasha Brown – Anchor, KYW in Philadelphia

    Cher Calvin – Anchor, KTLA Channel 5 Los Angeles

    Howard G. Chua-Eoan – News Director, Time Magazine

    Delfin F. Cruz – Publisher, Philippines Mail, 1931-1995[20]

    Veronica De La Cruz – MSNBC news anchor

    George Estrada – Professor of Journalism, Humboldt State University; author, I Have Tasted the Sweet Mangoes of Cebu; former reporter and columnist

    Emil Guillermo – award winning journalist, writer, and broadcaster. First Filipino American to anchor a regularly scheduled national news program, NPR “All Things Considered,” May 1989. Winner of American Book Award, 2000.

    Kristine Johnson – Anchor, WCBS-TV New York

    Lloyd LaCuesta, television journalist, KTVU South Bay bureau chief

    Claire Leka – Former CNN business reporter

    Michelle Malkin – Commentator on FOX News, author

    Jean Martirez – Anchor for KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles

    Cheryl Diaz Meyer – 2004 Pulitzer Prize Winner[21][22]

    Libertito Pelayo – Publisher and editor-in-chief, Filipino Reporter newspaper.

    Maria Quiban – Meteorologist & news anchor, KTTV/KCOP-TV in Los Angeles

    Victoria Recaño – Correspondent on such programs as The Insider and Inside Edition.

    Frances Rivera – Journalist and television news anchor for Boston’s NBC affiliate WHDH.

    Corky Trinidad – Honolulu Star Bulletin editorial cartoonist, 1939 – 2009

    Jose Antonio Vargas – 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Journalism for his work with the Washington Post; DREAM Act advocate; “illegal alien”[23][24]

    Mona Lisa Yuchengco – founder, Filipinas magazine.

    Simeon R. Acoba, Jr., JD – Former Associate Justice on the Hawaii State Supreme Court[25]

    Kiwi Camara – Attorney; youngest person to enter Harvard Law School

    Tani Cantil-Sakauye – Chief Justice of California

    Peter Bacho – Author of the American Book Award winning novel Cebu

    Evangeline Canonizado Buell – Author, 25 Chickens and a Pig for a Bride: Growing Up in a Filipino Immigrant Family[26]

    Cecilia Manguerra Brainard – Author of When the Rainbow Goddess Wept,Magdalena

    Carlos Bulosan – Author, America Is in the Heart.[27]

    Regie Cabico – Slam poet and performer.[28]

    Gilbert Luis R. Centina III – Novelist and award-wnningg poet.

    Melissa de la Cruz – Author of teen lit series The Au Pairs, The Ashleys, and Blue Bloods

    Vince Gotera – Poet and editor of the North American Review

    Jessica Hagedorn – Playwright and author, Dogeaters, The Gangster of Love, Dream Jungle

    Tess Uriza Holthe – Author of When the Elephants Dance

    Ma. Luisa Aguilar Igloria – Award-winning poet
    R. Zamora Linmark – Author of Rolling the R’s

    Aimee Nezhukumatathil – Award-winning poet and professor

    Barbara Jane Reyes – Poet

    Al Robles – Activist and Poet, author of Rappin’ With Ten Thousand Carabaos in the Dark

    Randy Romero – Writer

    Eileen Tabios – Poet.

    Alex Tizon – Pulitzer Prize Winner.

    Jose Garcia Villa – poet, writer, generationalist; pre-Beat Generation influence.

    Joan Almedilla – Broadway actor, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables (musical)

    Jose Llana – Broadway actor, Drama Desk Award Winner.

    Deedee Magno – Cast member, national touring and San Francisco cast of Wicked; former mouseketeer

    Ralph Peña, Founding member and artistic director, Ma-Yi Theater Company

    Diosdado Banatao – Silicon Valley Engineer and businessman

    Caterina Fake – Half-filipino co-founder of Flickr and Hunch.[29]

    Eddie Flores Jr. – President and co-founder, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue[30]

    Pearlasia Gamboa – Greengold Ray, investment and banking fraud, former president of micronation of Melchizedek

    Josie Natori – Founder, The Natori Company

    Loida Nicolas-Lewis – Chairman and CEO, TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc.

    Peter Valdes – Co-founder, Tivoli Systems Inc. (an IBM Company).

    Fritz Friedman – Senior Vice President, Worldwide Publicity Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (Sony Pictures) and former State Commissioner for Asian Americans [31]

    Sheila Lirio Marcelo – Entrepreneur and founder of Care.com.

  6. Is this a joke? I’m not sure. “world famous” ????? World famous means people other than filipinos and some americans have heard of them. Just so you know there is plenty of world that doesn’t live and breathe good ol US of A.

    I must admit there is an impressive list of dancers,cartoonists and poets. Impressive in number. Not sure of the world beating quality. Only other point worth making is actually a question. Are these people filipino who grew up in PH? Are they americans with some or all filipino blood? Becuase if it’s the blood that counts can you tell me who to give credit 2 for my 2 university degrees? My father was born of russian parents in Shanghai and my mother in Australia to english and scottish parents. Personally I like to take credit for the hard work I did and for being born in a civilized country that gave me the opportunity.

  7. Well they are Filipino. I am just sharing the accomplishments of our brothers and sisters.

    Bruno Mars, Vanessa Hudgens, and APL are just from the entertainment industry. I want to give our fellow Pinoys a list of role models from other professons because we all cant sing as good as Bruno Mars.

    1. This is my very point. Sorry they are not actually (many) Filipino. My first post was a bit sarcastic. Bruno Marrs is not Filipino. He grew up in Hawaii and for all intents and purposes he is american. Having Filipino blood doesn’t make him Filipino nor does it explain his success. My very point about my own ancestory. I have russian, english, scottish (and for all I know other bits of junk DNA) blood. So when I say I’m very well educated, had a very successful career to what should I attribute it? I was born and raised in Australia. Should I say proud to be Russian, British, Scottish? It’s bullshit. In my country we have immigrants and descendants of immigrants from all over the world. The generations born there consider themselves nothing but Australian while perhaps acknowledging “yeh, the old man is Greek”. They won’t say “my dad was Greek and therefore so am I …oh and by the way that’s why I was successful”.

      1. I know people born to Filipino mothers and Australian fathers….trust me, they don’t think of themselves as filipino. Some having visited family in PH swear they will never visit again.

    2. Bruno Mars and Vanessa Hudgens are Americans. They have only partial Filipino blood, and it has nothing to do with their achievements. APL, Pinoy indeed, but did his countrymen appreciate him only when he made it big in the US? I already gave Dado Banatao as a role model, there’s Whilce Portacio for comics, and there are more indeed.

        1. BTW, you can’t be proud of what you didn’t ACHIEVE, idiot. You were born a Filipino, much like I was. Hence we both cannot take ‘pride’ in something we were put into.

          “Pride should be reserved for something you achieve or obtain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth. Being Irish isn’t a skill… it’s a f*cking genetic accident. You wouldn’t say I’m proud to be 5’11”; I’m proud to have a pre-disposition for colon cancer.”

          So, how can Bruno Mars take on the late great GEORGE CARLIN? 😀

        2. But Bruno said its okay to be proud because of Filipino talent (see vid below)

          Who should I listen to? You or BRUNO MARS? Who are YOU?

        3. @Fact Check: So Bruno Mars’ OPINION matters to you?

          I wanna ask: in what way we should be proud of? ‘Filipino talent’ can’t even contribute to our society and can’t even uplift our economy as well.

        1. So who should I listen to:

          1. Bruno Mars


          2. Some “anonymous blog poster” in GRP named Wintersoldier

        2. “Small minds discuss PEOPLE. Average minds discuss EVENTS. Great minds discuss IDEAS.” -Eleanor Roosevelt.

          So who should you listen to:

          1. Someone who wants you to ‘feel good’


          2. Someone who wants to open your mind and to think critically?

        3. So are telling me I should not listen to Bruno Mars inspirational interview.

          I should listen to some guy I don’t know who posts using the username WinterSoldier?

        4. You’re attacking the PERSON and not the message. Also, you missed the point about Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote.

          What do you think?

  8. Sablay kasi ang Pinoy Prde e.

    I remember Ayrton Senna to the Brazilians. Whatever Senna achieved during his lifetime, for sure the Brazilians were proud of him. People around the world looked up to him too. But that is as far as it goes for them.

    For Pinoy Prayders, they take this pride to a whole new level. As in the case of Pacquiao, a true champion. Pinoy prayders will insist on inserting the word Pinoy to that. The whole world also looks up to him, but pinoy prayders will insist that they be treated the same as pacquiao because he is the same as them, a pinoy. As if there is some sort of Pinoy DNA which gives them that pacquiao strength. superior to other races. What a load of bull crap.

  9. Respect is earned, not given or demanded.

    Sa post mo pa lamang, alam ko na agad kung anong klaseng tao ka.

    BARBARO. -_-

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