A Fatal Lack of Principles

“Hindi nakakain ang prinsipyo.” (Translation: You can’t eat principles.)

I think that any change in Philippine politics will be superficial for the most part until the larger portion of its politicians and citizens learn to adopt the right set of principles and grow enough balls to stick to them no matter what.

But if there is one principle that most Pinoys have adopted and practice consistently, it is the principle of making going around the rules or breaking the rules beneficial.

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Source: http://mobilehomefamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/bawal-umihi-dito.html

Source: http://mobilehomefamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/bawal-umihi-dito.html

Thing is, most Pinoys just won’t admit it but they actually admire and sing praises to people who demonstrate that “the rules” don’t apply to them and then publicly break those rules.

To a certain extent, rule breaking is equated to “machismo” (ultimately masculine);  being “malakas” (which can be translated as being protected or favored by someone with power or being someone in power); or being “ma-utak” (which can be translated to smart or clever).

It is because of the fact that that I see rule-breaking as the norm for Pinoy behavior that I believe that new legislation or even a shift to a whole different set of rules will achieve substantial change.

One argument I’ve seen over and over again is that “system change will lead to culture change” — and indeed, it sounds just about as smart as “walang mahirap, kung walang corrupt”.

Why so?

Simple.  In order to assume that changing rules will change behavior and therefore culture, you also have to assume that people follow rules.  In a case where people do not follow rules, then it becomes logical to assume that behavior will not change and therefore culture will not change.

24 Replies to “A Fatal Lack of Principles”

  1. In this day and age, Filipino politicians are only really interested in the talking points for use in the next election. The Aquino administration’s behaviour demonstrates that winning elections has replaced principled leadership as the contemporary political raison d’etre. And raising campaign funds has come to dominate the activity of elected representatives with the future prospect of getting their hands on millions in pork. There’s little tactical thinking and virtually no strategic planning or critical reflection.

    1. I gathered that President Magsaysay was a decent leader of his time. Is there any other time when Filipino politicians were not interested in the talking points for use in the next election?

  2. And of course there’s the appeal, as an elected official and/or government functionary, of conciously disregarding rules and regulations that apply to the normal citizenry simply because they feel they are above the law in their position.

  3. Does this happen only in Manila? This doesn’t seem to happen in Subic… This doesn’t happen when Pinoys arrive in the US, or in most other foreign countries for that matter… Is this a “cultural thing”? You can pee anywhere in public while in Manila. You can throw your trash out on the street, no problem… but not in Subic… Why is that?

    1. It’s a cultural thing…Subic has been occupied by the US forces so rules are thoroughly enforced unlike in Manila and in many cities in the Philippines, therefore foreigners and locals alike eventually adapted themselves to the law.

      It’s sad to see what kind of nation the Filipinos are, given the fact that we’ve been colonized thrice and still we are a suffering and an “enslaved” nation due to our lack of discipline and incompetence.

    2. I agree with rsbarreto… It’s just the culture, it’s in the implementation. Just take Marikina and Davao for example. The local government were able to impose ordinances which the people really follow.

      Wala kasing ngipin ang batas… Lahat nadadaan sa lagay lagay at palakasan.

  4. ^ And there are da Pinoys who keep on the defensive whenever they get caught in the act. Maybe the reason why the majority act like that is that they lack the good role models that will show them how to follow rules correctly.

    Not to mention the fact that the majority of da Pinoys hate change. They hate change so much that the mere idea of changing their much beloved status quo will throw them into ballistic fits of fury.

  5. This article has fatal lack of observation skills.

    Yung urinal walang pong tubo, so kahit umihi ka sa urinal kakalat sa sahig, wala yung drain papunta sa sewer line. Tatalsik lang sa damit at kakalat yung ihi sa semento. Yun po yung PVC na kulay itim.

    He is actually a courteous guy who doesn’t want pee where the lady is walking.

    I will stick to my principles of no pee on my shoes in this case thank you.

    1. That was not the point of the article. Sure, maybe there could’ve been a better picture to point out rule-breaking, but please don’t judge the article’s essence because of it. Besides, it’s not a damn photo essay, the topic wasn’t solely based on the given picture.

    2. See, your comment actually demonstrates my point about “rule following”.

      Apparently, people aren’t aware that there is a rule against pissing in public.

  6. Interpreting the picture properly would be this: While the construction of the MMDA urinal may be dubious, it’s no excuse for a the guy to not look for a bathroom (which may actually be nearby with a little walking), instead of adding to the filth already there. Doing it even with women going around, that’s a complete lack of discretion. Lots of dysfunction is demonstrated here already. No concern for other people. Gog had an article on it before. Pinoy Pride, I guess.

      1. Quoting me far outweighs any typo. Not that I am that quote worthy. Still wrote that almost 5 years ago. I remember because I saw it on my way to Star Trek movie. If I recall bus ride going back guy was smoking INSIDE the bus. Remind me again why I have to be proud to be pinoy???

        1. “Quoting me far outweighs any typo.”

          You’re so POSITIVE. Really.

          Hmm, why do we have to be proud to be pinoy… maybe those politicians asking for special treatment can tell us.

          “Do you know who I am?”

  7. We simply don’t have the discipline on ourselves. Just look at the people driving on the highway; the don’t follow traffic rules. Once caught violating the traffic rules. All they do is grease the policeman or people in charge with bribe…

  8. The pinoys, basta makakalusot…..

    For the pinoy, never mind rules, laws and regulations, the top government officials get away with much more lawbreaking, anyway. Why should the common pinoy care?

  9. If when people are told that they are this and that over and over again, they end up believing it and remained, then perhaps it’s time that good Filipino traits are highlighted. Harping perpetually on the negatives loses it intended positive impact. Endless negativity degenerates to rant that really only serves the ranters. After all, if change is the goal, they why keep stating the same things over and over again then expect a different result?

    1. If when people are told that they are this and that over and over again, they end up believing it and remained, then perhaps it’s time that good Filipino traits are highlighted.

      Huh?! That’s a lot of BS. A lot of Filipinos are arrogant enough to believe that Philippine society is better compared to others. They are also not open to any suggestion or recommendation to improve and change their dysfunctional culture.

      1. Filipinos know there are problems as they were told by Dr. Rizal more than a century ago. The information superhighway makes it possible for more Filipinos to be exposed to the problems. They have been very patient; the last thing that should not be done is rush them. In the process, it may be more useful to speak of potentially bright destination than rant about past transgressions and backwardness.
        Dr. Rizal had shrewdly exposed the bad Filipino traits (since many still preaching the same, maybe it is easier to criticize) the more difficult challenge is to talk about the positives. Dr. Rizal tactics of exposing the bad was used against Spaniards. All taken into considerations, it did not really accomplish his intended goal.
        Now, should Filipinos use a different tact since the issue is no longer foreign domination? After all, a change sparks by hope and excitement maybe better than a change triggers by anger and discontent.

  10. I think it is worth mentioning the honesty of that Filipino cab driver from Las Vegas who found and returned $300,000 cash left in his cab by a well known poker player during rush hours before Christmas.

    The owner awarded him $10K, $1,000 from his employers, a most outstanding employee and exemplary citizen awards from his employers, the City Mayor and city council of Las Vegas.

    “Fatally” good news. LOL!!! What is not news is this stupid couple who posted themselves on the web where the woman claimed she had a 3 hour non-stop multiple orgasm she almost ended up in urgent care hospital. “Fatal sex”? Viagra maybe?

  11. dalhin lahat ng pinoy na walang disiplina sa ibang bansa para matuto at matakot na sumonod sa batas. bakit kaya kapag nasa ibang bansa alam mong nasa ibang bansa ka.

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