Anti-intellectual attitude a roadblock to Philippine progress

There is something really strange about Filipinos who look down on intellectuals. Even more bizarre is when the person insulting the intellectuals is a university professor and a so-called political “scientist”. In his article in GMANEWS online, Mr. Antonio P. Contreras referred to those who belong to the elite intellectual class of the Philippines as “bullies” and “insecure”. Contreras arrived at this conclusion after reading a few analyses and comments in various online forums regarding Harvey Campos.

No time for small talk: Singapore elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew

No time for small talk: Singapore elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew

Campos was the Filipino student whose question was shut-down and dismissed for being too personal by former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at a forum held in Singapore. To those who have not watched the video of the incident, be advised that it is one of those cringe-worthy-I-wish-the-ground-would-swallow-him-or-me-up type of video.

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The part that made some people say Campos acted arrogant and stupid was when he insisted on asking the “personal” question again even after Lee politely explained that he doesn’t want to answer any personal questions simply because he didn’t attend the forum to answer personal questions.

But like a knight in shining armor, Contreras came to Campos’s defense. He too agreed that it was a good idea to ask Lee how much his wife influenced his politics:

I would personally be interested to know how in the public representation of such an esteemed, even feared, powerful figure one can be pleasantly surprised to discover a place for an emotion as a loving husband and a doting father.

In other words, Contreras was as curious as Campos to know who was really behind Lee’s strict laws like banning chewing gum, littering in public, and giving lashings to those who violate these laws. Both Campos and Contreras probably would have loved to have heard Lee confirm that, “Yes, it was my wife who came up with the idea of forbidding people from chewing bubble gum after a gum got stuck on one of the heels of her favorite pair of shoes”. And maybe they dreamt of hearing Lee chuckle like one of their beer buddies while narrating how his wife got fed up one day from picking up the mess in the house and told him “From now on, littering will be against the law to help tired housewives!”.

Yes, unraveling the “human” side of Singapore’s strongman would have been quite an accomplishment for Campos. He would have been the “talk of the town”. He would have been hailed as a “hero” by people like Contreras. In fact, it baffled Contreras why the “elite intellectuals” of the Philippines were not supporting Campos “for his boldness to ask what Singaporeans may consider improper, even heretical”.

Contreras wanted every Filipino to stand behind Campos because the latter “was just being a typical Pinoy who would begin an interrogation with a personal note” and because according to him, the question Campos asked Lee is something that is considered quite normal in our society or something anyone would throw at Filipino politicians, really. Furthermore, he said that “the incident between Mr. Campos and Mr. Lee was a case of two different cultural worldviews colliding – one was very personal and the other very impersonal”.

Singapore bans chewing gum while the Philippines bans thinking.

Singapore bans chewing gum while the Philippines bans thinking.

Cultures collided, indeed but until now people like Contreras still don’t understand why. One simply should avoid asking personal questions in a public forum especially when high profile personalities in politics are involved. This rule should apply not just in Singapore but also in the Philippines. One can try asking a personal question but if the person being asked doesn’t want to answer it, one should respect that. It’s called privacy.

I mean, who cares how a politician came up with his or her policies? Who cares if the politician suddenly had an epiphany after an argument with his wife, which inspired him to write his policy? Obviously, Filipinos like Campos and Contreras do. But what’s really more important is to ask how a politician’s policy would work and if it would deliver results that the people want.

The problem with our society is that we Filipinos put more emphasis on the personality behind our public servants. Instead of focusing on what matters, we care more about the trivial stuff, which are irrelevant in our goal to bring our country from Third World to First. We care more about our favorite politician’s girlfriend or wife, what they wear and what kind of car they drive. It’s as if knowing that we voted for someone who is dating a celebrity or someone who is driving a Porsche would actually help us feel secure that the country is in good hands.

A product of Filipino anti-intellectualism: President BS Aquino

A product of Filipino anti-intellectualism: President BS Aquino

This is why every time an incompetent public servant like President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino or any of his staff commits gaffes or worse, violates the law, all they need to do to divert people’s attention from the issue is to publish personal details about himself or someone else’s sex video and voila! People will quickly forget about the issues. It works all the time. This is why our public servants get away with stealing public funds in broad daylight and treat the country like their personal fiefdom. In short, Filipinos love being entertained.

Contreras was correct in saying that Campos was just being a typical Pinoy, indeed. But, this “typical Pinoy attidude” needs to be eradicated. Otherwise, we will forever be focused on trivia like people’s personal information and circumstances, which all of which are irrelevant to the issues surrounding our country’s march to progress.

Unfortunately, Contreras’ long-winded explanation failed to convince a lot of his readers. Despite calling the country’s intellectuals all kinds of unflattering names like “mayordomo”, most of the feedback he got from some of the country’s “intellectuals” still say that Campos was wrong in asking Lee a personal question. Sadly, Contreras, the professor and political scientist still insisted that those who disagreed with his views are just being insecure about our culture and engaging in self-flagellation. Never mind that personal questions have no place in a forum where serious issues are being discussed.

Obviously, arrogance is another Filipino trait that we need to get rid of as soon as possible.

Contreras has an issue with his fellow Filipinos who criticize their own dysfunctional culture. He also has an issue with foreigners like Lee Kuan Yew who criticize Filipino culture. Contreras does come across as someone who is unwilling to accept that there is a problem with our culture. Someone who is unwilling to accept his weaknesses along with his strengths is someone who will not evolve into a better person. Regrettably, there are many Filipinos who do not want to accept our weaknesses. No wonder the Philippine society has not evolved into something better.

It’s only in the Philippines where intellectuals are ostracised. That could be the reason why some folks would rather go with the flow than risk being shamed for using their heads.

58 Replies to “Anti-intellectual attitude a roadblock to Philippine progress”

  1. With us everything is an issue. How dare Lee Kuan Yew not to answer the question of this peckerhead? This is a prime example of our false Filipino pride.

    Intellect also is criticized in the Philippines because the mop rules. They rule on who is voted into office. Politicians like to portrait themselves as being “one of the boys” and voter like it. Erap is a good example of that and it made Bush President of the USA. Gore was perceived a nerd, Bush the guy who everyone wants to have a beer with. It’s the same crap here. It also has a lot to do with envy. Filipinos in general have a problem with someone doing better or knowing more than they do.

    1. Sa kasamaang-palad, politicians must appease the voters with such trivial concerns sapagkat it wins votes. Iyon ay katotohanan ng pulitika. Gayunman, those efforts alone do not diminish the competence or intellectual capacity of such politicians, as long as they are only tactics to draw the interest of voters who would otherwise be oblivious to them.

      Nga pala, sila Estrada (not counting his acting career and scandals) at Bush had sufficient executive experience to prepare them for the presidency. Also, Gore would have been president, if he won the electoral vote. Gayunman, recall that he did win the popular vote. Samakatuwid, hindi tamang-tama ang iyong punto that it was such trivial matters which largely affected the outcome of their election or non-election, kahit marahil that may not be the case with America’s current president, Barack Obama.

  2. Is contreras watching too much telebasura in which the elites are always evil? Political scientist and professor indeed he is pero sayang naman ang pinag-aralan nya. Ang tanda na nga pero parang isip bata’t inutil pa rin ang utak nya. What a moron this “professor” is.

  3. That’s the problem with pinoys and its gossipy culture. Lee Kuan Yew is a world renown leader. Wish we can have a leader like him but its not going to happen.

  4. While I agree with the salient points of the article; overlooked in all of this is the original question itself. The REAL question was, “Who really is running the country, you or your wife?” That is a political question, not just a personal question.

    1. Poorly delivered, but still, it was an inappropriate question to ask, and it even implies some sinister intentions on LKY’s end. Meaning, it was still based on tsismis. He was right to rebuff it.

    2. whilst i agree that it is a political question, to what end does that question point? it is a pointless question. regardless if it be the man or his wife pulling the strings, the result is one.

    3. At face value, the question could be construed as a sincere one. After all, there is an old saying that “behind every man’s success is a woman.” However, ChinoF may be correct that there is something more to it, something sinister.

      Whatever the case may be, I think that it was inappropriate for that particular forum and since Yew did insist that he did not wish to answer such a personal question. However, I also think that such a public figure as Yew should expect those type of questions and simply answer them, which could only put to rest any potential “sinister intentions” suspicious people may have.

  5. Good article. As for Contreras, he obviously reflects the state of our political maturity. The poor idiot just wants to be entertained.

  6. Great article as usual Ilda… It reminds me of my American uncle from Texas. God bless his soul. Why are there people who are anti-intellectuals? Blame it more on human nature. The human condition of anti-intellectuals is multi-faceted. Most are envious of this God given gift… brainy minds! We have also the bullies who think they know everything to cover up for their incompetence or just being plain dumb. The worst anti-intellectual is the “dictator” type. This type of anti-intellectual believes he is always right and tries to control the minds of people brighter than he/she is. The “dictator” type tries to force his/her ideas down our throats and into our minds. The “dictator” type likes to deceive and confuse people. This type also hates intellectuals with a righteous cause. He/she hates being questioned. He/she attacks the intellectuals because of a false aura of superiority. They hate criticism even as they wallow in their incompetence. May the anti-intellectuals vanish from the Philippine scene. The old baldie by the stinking river is the best example of what an anti-intellectual is in our less than improved society. Oh yeah… He hates to be criticized!

  7. Typical Pinoys are a product of decades of brainwashing. That there are no boundaries regarding Freedom/Democracy. That all of us are special, we can speak, think, and do whatever we want because we are “Democracy”. We have lost the point of reason, wisdom, and ethics because of this.

    Just look at ABS CBN, they made the nation panic over “psoriasis” in other words “galis”. Are they held responsible for their blunders? No, because of the Freedom of the Press, they are just reporting as they say they are.

  8. Yes, I have noticed that engaging the intellect is a rare activity in the Philippines. In fact the average IQ according to latest statistics is 86 — quite a sad number, thus it’s no surprise that the average citizen is void of sound reasoning skills, i.e. logic. With such underdeveloped minds, how can we expect sound judgment and decision-making in the country? What we have is a majority population comprised of impaired thinkers, not much different from alcoholic thinking, the only difference being that alcoholics have an excuse for their irrational behavior and thinking — they are under the influence of alcohol. The average Filipino, on the other hand, suffers from retarded intellectual development, though not a permanent or irreversible condition. It just takes education and willingness for the individual to progress and most importantly to realize that there is a problem.

    You are right that there is much preoccupation with personalities in Philippine culture, so much that principles are compromised, overlooked or forgotten. There must be a way of incorporating the practice of upholding principles when it comes to public policy and government administration. But if public officials themselves are suffering from impaired thinking, then perhaps what is needed is a type of mental, emotional and spiritual rehabilitation similar to drub rehab programs. In essence, the country is led by a bunch of delusional clowns leading a majority of clown followers.

  9. Great to see a positive article. The Philippines is an odd place, where things happen for no understandable reason. Personally, I know no other place on the planet like it. Certainly a place as desperately failing as the country is, needs some sweeping changes and overall a good hous ecleaning. It won’t happen overnight and will take a generation, at least. But the sooner some REAL changes in the thinking of the av. Jaun happens the better, stop littwering would be a good start. Just dont do it.
    Get someone to take charge of the out-of-control electricity corporations and ratchet down the prices so MAYBE someone can afford to start some manufacturing facilities that can operate competitively. Just do it.

    and so on, positive steps after positive steps can be taken to improve the country and there is no real reason for the place to be so god damm screwed. Just do it.

    1. Yes it is certainly an odd place, wherein other countries are progressing in terms of society’s intellect (maybe not north korea), We are going backwards. The point I disagree with you is that it will take a generation to change our ways. I believe it doesn’t need that long, We only need to put brilliant leaders in place (which is so damn difficult it seems). Everything else will follow. Also I can’t agree with you more on starting the manufacturing industry, which is the only way to get our of this economic rut.

      1. @ Dirch, it needn’t be the leaders of gov’t. to make the changes BUT rather the school-teachers being able to get acroos an education to children in classes that are not over-crowded and under-funded. Parents that are not absentee parents and that can instill values in kids that are worthy operational vehicles to live a productive adult life with and the like, u kno?
        Also, the countries leaders are such a bad example for any child to aspire to that getting rid of them is just as good an idea as any that can be offered,LOL!
        Just getting rid of all of them is such a good idea IDK why it has not happened…YET.

      2. I agree that electing good leaders is part of the solution, nguni’t naisip ko si Jerzy ay tama when he implies that good leaders can also emanate from the schools and homes in the form of good teachers and parents, especially the parents. Gayunman, I also think that as individuals, we can serve as good role models for others. Simple things as throwing our litter in the trash can or not bribing our police officers (after committing a traffic violation) can inspire good conduct in others. Samakatuwid, a political and cultural change is necessary.

  10. Never have I seen such a country such as the Philippines wherein if you are unique in such a way (intellectually-superior for example) without being a jack-ass, people will ostracize and criticize you because you are not “one of them” no matter how nice you are.

    Let’s face it, our nation would rather get f’k many times by the same politicians who over-promise and under-deliver than those who are sincere (some of them, I hope) to serve the people without being “epals.” We only base leaders based on popularity than those with real intellect. Our education system is so substandard that fresh graduates are, until now, having a hard time landing on a job.

    This all boils down to uplifting education by the government but I highly doubt our president would be jealous of people who will be intellectually-superior than him.

    1. In a Goon (Mafia) Society like the Philippines – people will simply group together to gain majority, to rule over minority and abuse that power. Thus, people (including Leaders) simply join a Group for protection, to be stronger and to be spoiled in many ways = lazy & idle mind or anti-intellectual attitude ( incompetence). The Goon concept applies to Religions, Politics/Government, Media, Showbiz, Sports, public or private sectors.
      As a result, our problems cannot be solved and conflicts will happen if the common interest of a certain group clashes with another group (Disunity amongst us because we are Divided).

    2. but of course, the society has long been brainwashed into thinking that the poor is always oppressed and must assert their will in any way possible. i once heard a lady say “eh ano kung walang pinagaral si Erap? sya ang gusto kong manalo, sya ang iboboto ko. ipakita natin na ang masa ang masusunod”. i love how it all turned out to be. same person was the first in the neighborhood to join the “protest” that ousted his fave actor. ironically, same person was seen in the house of Erap after he won Mayor elections quite recently, asking for balato.

  11. He ask a Typical Showbiz (mababaw) question to a Great Leader in Serious Forum.
    It is a clear example of an IDLE or LAZY Mind we now have in our society. Originating from the spoiled Leaders in government, authority in private & public institutions, media, religion, or Role models, etc.

    And Corruption in my definition is the rest of anti-intellectual attitude and a product of an IDLE or LAZY Mind, selfishness/greed and materialism. Because obviously corrupt people/Leaders do not realize the consequence of pocketing public funds or receiving bribes. Money should be circulated around to create more business opportunities, employment, expenditures and to fuel the economy.
    Jessie J “PRICE TAG”
    “It’s not about the money, money, money. We just wanna make the world dance.”

  12. Thank you for showing us a fine example of anti-intellectualism. Ngayon, may panahon kang magbasa ng ganitong articles try mo naman magbasa ng children’s books. Step by step lang, hanggang sa kaya mo nang intindihin ang Noli Me Tangere. Go, kaya mo yan!

  13. Looks like there was supposed to be a jejetard’s post here but it got deleted fortunately. Jejemons are NOT intellectuals. In fact, they are the opposite of intellectuals although it seems that malacanang really is skimping on the intelligence of their flying monkeys that they keep sending here just to be shot down and killed.

    1. Oh, jejemons are intellectuals…they’re so good at being stupid that they have a Doctorate degree for that.

      I was just going to use the adjective “retard” but calling them that would be an insult to mentally-retarded people.

      1. Retarded is a fitting word for them although like you said, calling them retarded IS indeed an insult to retarded people everywhere.
        Mentally challenged is what I would call them instead.

  14. It was when, the reign of Cory Aquino. That the Filipinos began thinking that way. Cory Aquino and her son, daughters, had never had any high educational attainments; inspite of their wealth. No accomplishments worth mentioning. So, she asked, her business/political cahoots…to produce and market a Myth on her and her family. She put the picture of her husband, on a 500 pesos bill. She named the Airport, Ninoy Aquino. She built a monuments, after monuments; glorifying “EDSA” and her husband, Ninoy Aquino…she even have National Holidays on it… She named government buildings to her husband; etc…If you look closely on the life of Cory Aquino. She was a pampered daughter of a greedy and covetous family. Who coveted the farm lands in Tarlac. And made the people farming their lands: their Peasant/Serfs. Cory Aquino was a pampered housewife. During her term as President; she had to rely on people, to know what to do…The same as her son, Benigno Aquino III. No high education. No good accomplishments. A pampered son of a rich family. The Aquinos built a Myth on themselves, as Heroes and Saints.

    I would never answer questions about what me and my wife, are doing or have done. It is VERY RUDE to ask such questions. Contreras, may have an education. Or call himself a “professor” and “political scientist”. However, he lacks common sense. You may have the education. But, you lack the common sense to think analytically.

    It is sad that such a country , glorifies mediocrity and “go with the flow” laziness…

    1. @ HT, U know its good to hear that. The question about what did take so long to get the gov’t. relief efforts going is not a bad question to ask at all. It should not even have to be asked, the gov’t. should have spear-headed the efforts and instead let the International community come to the rescue. That in itself proves what a PATHETIC bunch of losers they are, all of them. Each and every single one of the reprehensible politicians who act as if they are the gifts of human-kind, when in fact they are just vermin that escaped the noose.
      it is really sad that anyone in the entire country gives a sht about these idiots and their personal lives. Who cares? I never bore people with pictures of my family coz no one gives a shit, and at least I know it.

      1. @ JT Jerzy:

        We are in the Pacific Ring of Fire…we are in the Pacific typhoon belt. Because of the Deep Oceans surrounding us. They know that, we are visited by typhoons every year. Yet, they have no plans, to warn/protect the residents in times of catastrophe. They play politics, even in times of catastrphes. What kind of people are these…don’t they have any conscience, to help their fellow Filipinos???

        1. That is the really repulsive part, they do not. and then the politicians try to play their indifference to the peoples plights off on each other, while accomplishing nothing, and the people really really suffer.
          The leaders need to be replaced, no shit, they just gotta go.

        2. Exactly, we need continue writing/posting to remind people, pressure our government & world to seriously take action Climate change.

          Hazards brought about by Climate Change & our Geography is imminent and will worsen @ a bigger scale & interval. Still people/government may not take it seriously until they actually face death brought by nature’s wrath.

  15. “The more dominant a ruling class , the more obvious it becomes that the social order over which it presides turns into an impediment to human liberation , the more society and culture is taken over by anti- intellectualism , irrationalism, and superstition . And by the same token , the more difficult it becomes for the intellectual to withstand the social pressures brought upon him, to avoid surrendering to the ruling ideology and succumbing to the intellect workers comfortable and lucrative conformity.”
    Paul baran
    Professor of economics – stanford

    In essence, in a dysfunctional society, the intellectual trades truth for comfort, the masses are content with soporific subservience , and the price to be paid is little in the way of change, creativity, challenges, or contribution.
    The intellectual property of a nation is devalued, and without replenishment risks bankruptcy.

    When the news repeatedly features a president pnoy aquino opening a petrol station or a fast food outlet, meeting a beauty queen whilst ignoring yolanda victims, and who will only answer questions pre-submitted by text, then “He’s a man who is lucky to be President. He is a man who is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things”.
    Christopher Hitchens ( on george bush)

    1. Magandang punto, nguni’t grossly exaggerated ang mga punto ni Hitchens. After all, Bush was the first president to hold an MBA, which was from Harvard Business School.

      1. Seperate issue, but hitchens was an oxford man and although based in US for 20 years, didn’t like bush for his foreign policy in particular.

  16. Thicalled is is too dizzying for me. The discussion keeps on going around and around. Somehow I get the point of the discussion. So Lee Kuan Yew doesn’t want to answer personal question posed by a so called Filipino “intellectual” being supported by Singapore government to improve his being “intellectual”. So what’s the big deal, in the final analysis it is a matter of communication, how you are able to evoke proper response from your subject. Obviously, he has failed to get that from Mr. Lee. Precisely, I suppose he is improving his skills and knowledge in Singapore. I am glad he tried to engaged Mr. Lee in a conversation, and I hope he learned something from it. That should improve his level of “intellectual”. I suppose we all (including “intellectuals” can learn something from the incident. It’s no big deal, really. Let it go.

  17. Some recent articles contain a common thread – ignorance is bliss, change is resisted, intellect is envied, innovation is in short supply.

    In the corporate world intellectual property is king, you are paid to both ask and answer tough questions, change is the only constant, and there no heroes just achievers.

    IBM filed 6,000 patents last year, and Microsoft 2,500.

    In the whole of the philippines just 165 patents were filed last year, and that was a 25% decrease on the previous year, despite patents worldwide increasing at their fastest rate ever. From virtually zero patents filed 10 years ago thailand, indonesia, vietnam all now outstrip the philippines by far. I suspect there is a correlation with FDI.

    “Residents of China filed, worldwide, applications containing almost 650,000 industrial designs in 2012.
    They were followed by residents of Germany (76,369), the Republic of Korea (68,737) and the USA (45,245)”

    Patents increasingly represent future product/revenue streams and are a good indicator of a innovative culture and a key component in corporate acquisition/investment decisions but also give an insight into the creative wealth of a nation.

    Reliance on other countries to do the thinking combined with a copy cat culture is neither sustainable long term nor something to be proud of.

    Emerging countries know that innovation can contribute significantly to inclusive growth and have corresponding strategies in place.

    Pnoy aquino and his fellow anti-intellectuals clearly don’t know one end of a bell curve from another.

  18. Just to put some context into what I’m going to say

    I’m a Singaporean.

    To Singaporeans, … I have to scroll up to copy paste his name , Campos. He was a nobody. He might as well be faceless. People hardly remember him by now in Singapore.
    He was nothing more than a joke of the week here.
    An individual who made a joke of himself by trying to use flattery on the wrong man
    ( there’s a high chance it might have worked on the rest of the ministers)

    Not representative of his people or nation.

    How the heck is this still a national and social issue a month after it surfaced?
    He’s a product of the higher education here, but you guys are pissed with him as an “intellectual ”

    Isn’t that ironic?

    1. @ Oldbreadstinks:

      Some of the Filipinos, like the YellowTards, are making the issue…making mountains out of anthills.
      These Filipinos are rabid followers, of Aquino, who himself is mentally retarded. Most of his followers are also mentally retarded and ignoramuses.
      It is also one way to divert the attention of Filipinos, of Aquino’s incompetence, laziness, irresponsibilities, etc…
      Please take note, there are Filipinos, who are GRP Bloggers. That do’nt share the views of these YellowTard Filipinos.

  19. Why do our society have an anti-intellectual attitude? And as a result Philippines have Incompetent & Corrupt Leaders.

    1. Leaders nowadays only need to portray an image of being good or clean (Facade only). To be President, you need to be an opposition & always accuse your predecessor as being corrupt/bad to gain people support and stay in position/power.

    2. Religion also has a tendency to spoil Leaders or Role models in many ways – relying purely on God”s blessing. Hence, an easy life results to false public service due to no effort/work = Lazy & Idle Mind (incompetence : lack if vision/poor logic/no-sense of observation/lack of imagination & creativity).

    3. In a Goon (Mafia) Society like the Philippines – people will simply group together to gain majority, to rule over minority and abuse that power. Thus, people (including Leaders) simply join a Group for protection, to be stronger and to be spoiled in many ways = lazy & idle mind. The Goon concept applies to Religions, Politics/Government, Media, Showbiz, Sports, public or private sectors. But conflicts will happen if the common interest of a certain group clashes with another group.

    4. Majority of our President/Leaders (in Government or Congress) are ff.: a. Lawyers-whose nature of work are disputes of legal matters (negative).
    b. Popular Actors/celebrity – whose nature of work is movies/TV/media.

    We need Leaders from other professions like the ff.:
    a. Architects/Engineers – whose nature of is to Create/Build (positive) b. Doctors – (Dr. Mahathir) who cured & made Malaysia a very healthy (wealthy) nation.

    5, Corruption in my definition is the product of an IDLE or LAZY Mind, selfishness/greed and materialism because corrupt people/Leaders do not realize the consequence of pocketing public funds or receiving bribes. Money should be circulated around to create more business opportunities, employment, expenditures and to fuel the economy. Jessie J “PRICE TAG”
    “It’s not about the money, money, money. We just wanna make the world dance.”

  20. It is not unexpected that the philippines has a lowly national IQ average of 86 ( america had an average of 80 in 1932), – , and like the US is dragged down by the majority of anti-intellects who contribute little but reap the benefits of the few, but the real concern is that in the philippines it is not increasing, and certainly not compared to its ASEAN neighbours.
    Singapore – 108
    S. Korea – 106
    (US – 98)
    Cambodia – 91
    Thailand – 91
    Indonesia – 87
    Philippines – 86

    More disconcerting is that there is no coherent education strategy to improve IQ through its component parts – creative thinking, problem solving, logic etc., and as most educational psychologists will state, such skills must be embedded/learnt from the earliest possible age.
    And of course it is not only education, but also nutrition, parental upbringing, cultural/media influences, role-models etc which play their part

    The lack of investment in/importance on human intellect is reflected in a culture ( political and business) where cronyism and mediocrity, rather than meritocracy, is the order of the day, and where a divided society with a pool of low skilled low paid labor is good for oligarchs/monopolies.

    With an average of 86 then 2 standard deviations means 95% of the population does not even achieve a 120 rating – e.g chief justice sereno scored 109 – not enough to get into a good western university ( average 120), oxford (125), let alone a leading law firm ( average 135), and no chance at microsoft ( average 140), or a surgeon ( 160) – ateneo average 105!

    Pnoy aquino is circa 100 – 105 IQ score, so understandable why he cannot do the job, and was happier/more suited in his career as a farm manager/administrator in the family business!

    Senator Lito lapid for president and congressman manny pacquaio vice-president. Such intellectual politicians.

    1. All telenovelas , game shows, Kris Aquino’s antics, singing contests, wowoowee shows…etc…made Filipinos dumb and dull… Dumbness and dullness are glorified in our country.Lying is valued in politics… I’ll vote for Mama Dionisia Pacquiao for President….Kris Aquino her Maid-in-waiting…Mar Roxas and Binay…her Mascots, Pnoy Aquino her Court Jester…what a dumb country we really live in!!!

    2. @Libertas:

      The U.S. has an average I.Q. of 98. However, the U.S. has a secret weapon. It is called the H1-B visa; or the “Genius Visa”…If you look in the PhD classes (not the Pnoy Aquino PhD type)… in any good U.S. University. You’ll find 60% of the student in such classes came from foreign countries; 40% are born in the U.S. However, after graduation, these foreigner students, are offered H1-B visas, and path to U.S. citizenship. When you come from a Third World country, and is offered with such offer; together with high pay and working in a good company like: Apple Computers Corp., Microdoft Corp., General Dynamics Corp., Raytheon Corp., Boeing Corp., etc…it is an offer you cannot refuse…

      1. It’s a two edged sword for US

        US companies benefit short-term by recruiting from a global talent pool, but also knowledge/skills are transferred back to the home country, and china, india, and s korea do this, particularly in the high-tech IT sector. It is one reason why india is moving ahead in the high value BPO/KPO sector as they move up the value chain into advanced applications. S korea is also learning fast how to harness/exploit knowledge beyond manufacturing of smartphones etc.

        A country can start to lose its competitive advantage especially when that is ‘built’ on innovation. China has moved along the spectrum from copying to adapting and now is starting to create.

        The chinese govt select and pay for the best to study abroad but in return they have to work for the chinese govt for 3 years, and then can work wherever/whatever they want

  21. This is the big problem ever since. Since poor leadership contaminate it’s own people.
    A good focus of how country develops and progress not blaming the people residing in it.
    Yes , the US depends on the H1-B, meaning most of it’s Phd holders are from other countries including the Philippines. But let’s not talk about IQs. We got child genius of 12 years old entering college not college but the premier college here in the Philippines. What would I like to say is that, the Philippines got to have a solid plan for development. Not a classroom type of government. Different teachers entering a school room with different subject to teach.
    Meaning, though a changing president, the Philippines should focus on one goal of development.The president has nothing to do and should not interfere with that plan.
    Some genius mocking the Philippines even write the Philippines with small letter p. Fuck your ass bitch.

  22. Personality si first and foremost for a leader. A leader is a person, therefore personality of the leader is paramount in chosing a leader. Person, personality, not animal or nincompoop. If you choose the right leader everything else will follow and fall into place. The problem therefore is the chooser, the elector, the voter who cannot discern the right leader to choose. Very many Filipinos are low in that aspect. They are like that because they have not been trained how to discern what is good or bad for society as a whole. Patronage is perpetuated because of power hungry and greedy politicians, so we get bad leaders. People who try to empower people to think, to know their rights, to improve their lives, people who try to help people assert for their rights are generally branded as leftists, subversives, activists. We do not know how to discuss to arrive at a solutions to common problems for the good of all. It is always them or us, using people rather than loving people or caring for people. Right leader, good leader will govern well, set up systems that are beneficial to all, rather than just for a few to enrich. We are a million people that can easily be fooled by bad leaders. The ruling elite kill thinking and assertive people. So we are in this pass.

  23. There are two possible sides to this issue; the leader as a figurehead of a model citizen, and the separation of private life and public life.

    I think that the manner of life that a leader lives is also important for a nation. Ideally, a leader of a nation is not just an officer of a function, position, and authority. A leader must also be an officer by example, a practitioner of his or her own virtues. By what reason would validate a leader from his or her own moral responsibilities? Why would a leader have any reason to forsake his or her own personal kingdom – his or her own self – and still consider himself or herself as a competent leader? In the context of the article, Campos should have accepted Lee’s refusal to answer his question. However, the idea that personal lifestyles are just trivial details is not completely believable; a leader must practice what he or she preaches.

    The negative aspect of having no separation between private and public life is that the leader becomes a puppet to himself or herself, to the office and to his or her own ideal. The issue would be consistency, and not privacy; private issues must not exist in contradiction to the public self. Integrity is good, but integrity is demanding.

    The opposite of this idea is the separation of public and private life; what the leader does in public is what matters, and private details are no one’s business. This kind of practice protects the individuality of the leader, but to combine private life with political power is dangerous, I believe. It is easy to break integrity because private things are private, and the people may find trust in the officer, but not in the person. This may be a very practical approach, but it leaves a vacuum of trust, ethics and morals in the minds and hearts of the people, which can be exploited by others willing to be moral, ethical, and trustworthy examples. If democracy is to be followed, a productive leader that gains no confidence from the people has two ways to control: fear, and benefit. The leader must control forcefully in order to overpower the vacuum of trust, ethics and morals. In such a democratic setting, a leader that becomes a figurehead can use the people to challenge for power, and this becomes a source of unrest.

    But I do not think that everything about public-private separation is negative. There are private issues that are indeed private issues, such as husband-wife sexual practices, choices of vacation spots, choices of education, etc. These choice can become public however, in the issue of integrity. An example would be discouraging travel to a certain region yet going there as a family, citing personal reasons and claiming “none of your business”.

    I believe that the best approach to personal details would be those looking to details that matter to integrity, morality, ethics, personal responsibility and management. Husband and wife issues are personal details, and what goes on is largely private. But if a leader abuses his or her spouse, this becomes an issue because a private action has violated integrity, morality, ethics, and personal responsibility and management. The character of the leader is at stake; how can the nation trust a wife-beater or a husband-abuser? If everything is about benefit, what about the spirit and the intention of the law? Then everything becomes oriented to benefit, and reason suffers.

    Apologies for possibly necroposting; this article appeared on my fb update and I think it is of good nature for me to contribute a rather lengthy comment.

    I apologize for overlooked grammatical errors.

  24. the problem is about too much application of humility by the luzonians. parang humble epek ng mga celebrity at political personalities natin. ung rule na kelangan na always be humble at all times to the point na kahit anong ibato na questions sa iyo, eh kelangan sumagot ka with humility kahit sobrang babaw na ng tanong sagot ka pa rin. remember the case of Ricky Lo with Anne Hathaway? same shit happened with Ocampo and Lee Kuan Yew.

    if you are in front of an intellectual and the topic is not about family, then you need to abide by the rules of the room. tsk tsk. parang ung post na “bawal magtapon ng basura” pero dun pa rin nagtatapon. may panuto na nga gagawin pa rin.

  25. Filipinos are against education and intellectualization. They have no idea what happens in other countries and they are not interested. They are ALL lairs, cheats and will never change. Therefore, they have no chance of coming close to being like Singapore. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not know the true Filipino culture, which is one of ignorance with complete reliance on God and jesus to make things right. This country is a hell hole and Dan Browne was is the entrance to Hell.

  26. Some valid, interesting and honest views expressed here.
    Enjoyed them tremendously. I personally find the gap
    between rich and poor in the country disturbing. Trickle-down
    economics does not work…it makes a small number super rich and the
    rest of us very poor. And religion should have no place in politics.

    1. People generally see us as ignorant and arragont and
      I think we have to reverse this perception. Intellect is
      good. Abnegation of the intellect by religion is a serious
      problem. Maybe that’s where the root of our problem is.

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