If Filipinos can’t produce results, the least they can come up with is DIRECTION


The din of chatter and news releases about this and that crime suspect, presidential candidate, disaster relief effort, international territory dispute, plus the loud non-stop melodramatic rationalisations issued by a who’s-who of crooked politicians and their lackeys is so loud and pervasive that you could be forgiven for thinking that the Philippines is a hive of “productive” energy. Yet step back and ask whether all this activity is actually propelling the Philippines forward and we will likely get a lot more head scratching than actual answers. The Philippines, unfortunately, is like an inexperienced swimmer who produces a lot of splash but hardly any forward propulsion.

filipino_nationalismPerhaps it is because we are asking the wrong questions. Is it really a question of how much “improvement” a politician delivers within his or her short term in office?

I don’t think so. I believe the key question is no longer about whether the lives of ordinary Filipinos have improved, whether any of the “economic growth” the government crows about ad inifinitum have reached them, or whether any of the relief and recovery resources donated by the international community have trickled down to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan over the term of one or the other president, mayor, governor, or legislator. As far as the earlier is concerned (economic growth trickle down), no one six-year presidential term is long enough to measure at a useful level of precision how much or how little macroeconomic indicators influence quality of life at the grassroots. So there really is no point in engaging in a debate about how much or how little the President’s actions have changed ordinary Filipinos’ lives.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

With regard to the latter — disaster response and recovery in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan — well, how many victims of any natural disaster in the Philippines can be said to have really recovered to begin with? It just so happens that the scale of the disaster and the profile it attained in the global consciousness made the Haiyan disaster everyone’s favourite case study. Filipinos, however, don’t have much of a track record of running back up a hill after being knocked off its top. Rather, Filipinos will bumble and crawl back up said hill over a period measured in the decades. Indeed, when we talk about “Filipino resilience”, this “resilience” is akin more to the slow painful recovery of a man after he is kicked in the nuts. A man reeling after receiving it in the family jewels will likely get landed a knockout punch in the face before he could recover. On the other hand, a pro boxer who rolls with a punch can spring back in time for a counter punch or at least re-assume his fighting stance. It is the latter that one can truly call real resilience.

Much of if not all the problems the Philippines is facing today are not new. Pork barrel thievery made headlines as far back as 1996. Typhoons have been battering the islands for centuries. Big crimes, tell-all whistleblowers, and sensational scandals have attracted countless “inquiries” and “probes” and have been transfixing and entertaining generations of Filipinos for decades. That there is nothing new about the fundamental nature of the challenges Filipinos and their governments face is not much the problem as the way Filipinos employ the same moronic thinking, implement the same pathetic “solutions” said thinking produce, and apply the same stunted learning faculties as these “solutions” fail yet again. Different day, same shirt. And the thing with shirts used over and over again without being washed is that they quickly start to stink.

Unfortunately, Filipinos have a high tolerance for stench. Their politicians stink. Their big cities stink. The many palabas they mount to show the world they are a highly-switched on lot and supposedly all beavering away towards progress “progress” all stink. Indeed, where it all begins — their thinking — stinks to begin with. No surprise then that Philippine history is nothing more than a recurring national déjà vu. Look back 17-odd years ago and you will find 2006’s NBN-ZTE scandal star whistleblower Jun Lozada’s equivalent in today’s Ruby Tuason. Both bozos had a story to tell. Trouble is, they are coated in the same brown stuff they are trying to dish out. Will the crimes that these “whistleblowers” are singing ballads about ever make it to a proper court of law to be resolved the right way? The NBN-ZTE scandal never did. Neither have any of the high profile crimes that persist as curiosities in the nation’s newspapers under the watch of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III. The one Aquino spectacle that actually resulted in some semblance of a “conviction” — the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona — did not make use of a court of law but relied on a bunch of costumed legislators to play Judge Judy for six months. Literally farcical.

So now we get to a point in this piece where we can play Jeopardy and come up with the right question having just faced its answer above.

This question may be the right one, but like its anwer, it is nothing new:

Is the Philippines headed in the right direction?

Quite simply, no. The Philippines is moving around in circles. No surprise there. Hand to heart, we can say with increasing levels of confidence that today’s issues will reincarnate into tomorrow’s unresolvable issues ad infinitum. In short, the Philippines is not only not headed in the right direction, it isn’t moving in any direction.

The thing is, the Philippines’ hope for a better tomorrow lies in coming up with a compelling response for that question considering that it has already repeatedly failed at convincingly answering the other right question:

Where are the results?

Years of asking this question has yielded zilch. So the next best relatively easier question is the earlier, and something that we could at least ask a sitting president to facilitate an answer being imbued in the national consciousness: the Philippines needs to be pointed in the right direction.

Ok, sige na nga, no need for results for now. Filipinos have long complained that this expectation is simply too hard to live up to. So at the very least, we should develop a clear view of what direction we are headed.

Anyone? Anyone?

Considering that I’ve waited 14 years for the question on results and got nothing, all I can say now is that it will be just as interesting a journey seeing if a direction at least will emerge as a result of all this debate.

30 Replies to “If Filipinos can’t produce results, the least they can come up with is DIRECTION”

  1. It is very sad to hear you wasted 14 years of your life trying to get results and got nothing.
    Maybe before you die the pnoy will gain a their own direction, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    The people don’t know any better, they love the PI, right down to the pagpag.

    Oh and if they do elect Kris Aquino as president, maybe you should start advocating the masa to all make wooden boats and sail out of this hell hole, but as I said, I doubt they will learn, they love the life they have too much.

  2. Most of the serious problems facing the Philippines are the same ones facing most countries in the world: climate change, diminishing resources, and the deepening divide between the rich and the poor. They defy easy solutions and are beyond the resources of most countries to address. The one thing they seem to have in common is that they are symptoms of overpopulation.

    Regional consolidation and eventually one world government seems to be the only direction that makes sense. Reproductive freedom is no longer viable. Each region must be given birth quotas; depending on its ability to sustain its population.

  3. The Philippines is heading towards the right direction already. All we need to do is to be patient towards that goal. Nothing comes as easy as 123. PNoy and his administration is doing what they can to solve these web-like problems hampering the growth of our country. It’s normal that we have issues and opposition movements because we are still a developing country. Other third world countries are suffering the same under such circumstances. But ours is much better at the position right now.

    It takes years to develop one country. Maybe we were stagnant before as what other world leaders and economic experts perceived us to be but now they have changed that outlook. They say that we are now moving forward towards progress as others called us “A Rising Star in Asia” or “World’s Fastest Growing Economy” among others. I believe in this administration of PNoy and I hope the next president in the next elections will continue what he has started and done so far.

    1. Honestly these slogans of “hope for the Philippines” and “being patient” don’t mean anything. History has proven it so.

      Frankly only one president in recent history gave us a taste of what Filipinos could eventually be (he had a full term, btw), and even this was squandered.

      You look at the “right direction” of the country only through economic eyes, but as benign0 has already emphasized in so many articles, this is nothing compared to the cultural decay the country seems to intentionally flog itself with.

      1. Pnoy has been our president for 3.5years, very short years to judge. 6 years is not even enough to solve all country’s woes since we are living in a democratic country where we follow certain due process and technicalities in different fields and that would take too long. He was there with too much backlogs left from the past administrations. You can see that through the records of every department since he took the seat in 2010. Example is the DepEd. We have had shortage of classrooms and teachers. They were basic problems not solved in the past. Now they are almost fixed.

        You can see the gradual difference. We have to look at the specifics. What were the improvements and accomplishments in every department, bureau and office in the last 3.5years of the administration in comparison to the past records? The current administration can present you with clarity if you go for the records. We don’t have to look at the problems of the country as a whole since the president and his cabinets composed only of small parts. We have to ask also the LGUs; the governors, mayors, councilors etc. They also have independent powers and agendas for their constituents and scope of responsibilities of their area. What have they done so far since they also contributed to the development or downfall of our country?

        As a whole, we are stable amidst the US and European crisis. The world leaders and economic experts local and international have both agreed that we are moving into progress. You can compare our outputs based on facts and figures produced by economist to the other third world countries especially in our neighboring countries in Asia, we can see that we are not behind except of the FDI since our laws are different than theirs but as a whole our economy is stable and vibrant.

        We still have a lot to do to attain such a middle-class country like China but we are going there. The reform has been started just few years back, less than a decade. This, I would like also to say to Jiro, Bjorn and Eislet who made rebuttal to my previous post.

        1. Verbal diarrhea does not hide 27.5% unemployment.
          Emergency meeting of the cabinet yesterday where they sat on their a$$ and scratched their heads, or should that be the other way round, and haven’t a clue how to create jobs, or reduce poverty.
          3.5 years and still not off the starting blocks. Amateurs

        2. Alright then, Unemployment is up these days if that was SWS got from its surveys even I would say it’s still lower than country’s history of unemployment rate.

          The government is still there. I would judge PNoy administration only after his term. Now the big chunk of P2.2 trillion budget is focused on addressing poverty reduction and job creation. Jobless Filipinos should also think and work hard for their future.

        3. @jigs

          “I would judge PNoy administration only after his term.”

          You are one dumb pinoy. 3+ years into his term and you are saying that he can undo that 3+ years in 3 years? 6 years isn’t even enough for a competent leader. Just what the hell do you think he is? God? Imbecile!

        4. Joeld

          Now insulting me does not even make you a better one. You only think of quick results and instant magic. Huge problem can be solved in a gradual way especially if it’s rooted years ago. That would also depend in a country’s set-up. Ours is democratic presidential government type and we follow outlaying and tedious processes. Radical change and reforms of our country in general is not possible. It would take decades of continuous improvement that can be attributed by both government and its constituents’ efforts. I bet you haven’t read history books. First world countries today and Newly Industrialize countries spent decades in order to achieve where they are now.

          In our case, as I said earlier, you have to check the records of the departments and offices under the current administration as to what improvements they have achieved so far in contrast and comparison to its predecessors. That should be your measurement of judging a public’s official. Yes, PNoy government cannot solved country’s troubles within his term nor it would do the same to the other so-called “competent ones.” But he can minimize those wounds which caused our country’s sickness. Now that’s what he is doing amidst of oppositions.

        5. @ jigs

          As I expected, more excuses and more BS. You really think this is about me being better than you? You are such an idiot, repeat, AN IDIOT. This is about your yellow masters screwing up this country for the last 2+ decades, and all you can come up with are those BS excuses and more BS from your revisionist history and BS documentation/records. This country is being brought to the ground by your yellow masters and no piece of paper telling us otherwise can change that REALITY.

          The bottom line is this… it is mainly because of people like you that this country is being effed from behind on a 24/7 basis.

          You are a waste of taxpayers’ money. You are a disgrace to the human race, lowest of the scums of society.

        6. Joeld

          Lol. I just read ad hominem than sound argument. Grow up! making this personal only proves how biased and narrow-minded you are.

          Mind you, I read history books both local and international and also contemporary ones, they sounded more logical than you.

        7. Philippines unemployment highest in asia.
          You are too ignorant of even basic facts.
          Read and learn.
          I have no time for idiots either.

        8. Lol. That problem was unstoppable since the last decade because of uncontrolled populations and lost of opportunities.

          3.5 years is peanuts compare to almost 10years.

        9. @jigs

          Why should I waste time proving a point to one who is obviously just here to enforce BS? You are one persistent little bas…rd! You want me to spoon feed you with real data? (note real data)

          Narrow minded? Says the one who just looks at things through rose colored glasses. You are a waste of time and space, too.

        10. OK present me a reliable source based on facts and figures and not opinionated ones or get lost! go away and never come back to the Philippines again.

        11. Keynes would be beyond you, you so start by reading a simpler economics primer

          The Armchair Economist by Steven E. Landsburg :
          Landsburg is a gleeful and aggressive contrarian who is especially good at showing how people make dumb mistakes when they hold forth on economic matters they know nothing about.

          Books are as useful to a stupid person as a
          mirror is useful to a blind person.

          Get an education rather than display your sheer stupidity.

        12. @jigs

          Source? LOL. 27.5% increase in unemployment is all over the news and you are asking for a source? Somebody give this guy his medications.

          I am not even in the Philippines, idiot.

        13. @Jigs, do not listen to the idiot Libertas. He thinks he is sooooo smart that he alone could do better than all the politicians put together.

          The fact is Jigsy, they are a bunch of thieves and there are some people around here that think GMA was not a thief/crook/scamm artist…even after her husband sold those helicopters back to the people, got caught doing it, but since he never signed the final piece of paper(bill of sale) was not imprisoned.
          The 1st gentleman, if he can be called that, took the ca$h though…he surely did.

          So look before you call Aquino anything but what the rest of them are…AND…get a grip on reality. They are all criminals, and Libertas is a douchbag that thinks because he quotes JM Keynes(and others) he is intelligent.NAH!

        14. @ jerzy, gerry, gill , jerk, amanda, paranoia, cory lover, etc

          The village idiot has her knickers in a twist, again i see.
          Come back when you have something original or interesting to say! Irrelevant rantings and puerile attacks seem to be all you are capable of. You can be swatted like a fly anytime. The bottom of the heap, hence the anger. Just too simple and transparent.

          This is not a digital asylum for mentally challenged remedials, and her imaginary friends, or weirdos with drug/personality problems.
          Now go and suck your rattle, or run crying to mummy.

          Your lack of education is your problem, no-one else’s, and try an english course to expand your limited vocabulary.
          There are 200,000 words in the english language, not 200.

          So odious.
          Grow up and man up, or remain a ridiculous little joke.
          Bye bye.
          Don’t speak again. You are not worthy. No-one is listening, or even laughing at you anymore, just bored.

    2. Um no.

      I’d like to think this “rising star in asia” and “growing economy” is because here in the private sector, we work our asses off and give up sleep to get more and more business coming in.

      I’ve hired about 300 people q4 – q1 2014 alone and this government had nothing to do with it. we’ve managed to do this with foreign investment DESPITE our clients’ fears of philippine politics, only because they believe in the value we put forth as a team of professionals overshadows that. we’ve managed to hire and retain these employees DESPITE the fact that daily they risk their lives commuting while thieves pick them off in buses on the way to work. we manage to stay profitable DESPITE this ridiculous price hike on electricity and profitability translates to the business surviving.

      So no. It is NOT PNoy and his administration because this government has done nothing but make actual progress for someone like me, a business leader in a corporate setup, difficult.

      What do you mean “be patient towards that goal”? Being patient was not the answer to achieving OUR goals as a business. We called out each other’s mistakes, we were hard on ourselves, we pushed ourselves to exhaustion. We did not tolerate weakness. We had to do all this because we had to swim against the tide.

      Huh. “Patience.” Please.

  4. The Philippines is headed in a direction, oh yes it is…straight…down the krapper and into the sewer.The stench, pervasive and un-relenting, runs the length of the entire country.

    Nothing has changed in decades. The problems the country faces, as complex as they are, all stem from political corruption at every gov’t. level.

    The country is fucked and it won’t be un-fucked any time soon.

  5. the philippines is the same. the mass in it so freakin crazy. dont know what they are doing to help their country. dont really know how to get a life! people in this country should get a life. governement should get a life. healthy life. honest life. stupid people in this country. hopeless. this country may look civilize due to people using gadgets or technology, but their attitude is somewhat barbaric. they like using, depending for their own benefits. in a family, one or two is the provider, the rest are depending. somethign wrong with their way of living. something wrong with their living system. they love to spend money a lot but forget how to earn it. they are into vices and forgetting responsiblities or priorities. hopeless. hopeless people are so inside this country. they count on anyone to help them.

  6. Pnoy aquino, in his credit grabbing style, rode an economic wave which was not of his making and is now playing king canute trying to keep back a tsunami of criticism, as even non-economists start to realise that there was no plan, and still isn’t, simply desperation in finding any and every excuse.
    Economists will also say that the signs for more future problems are clearly there, but are being ignored.
    The malacanan propaganda machine touted stock market increases and jobless growth as indicators of success. Suddenly silence as the chickens come home to roost.

    1. Cory aquino betrayed the country, and people power, with her false promise of land reform.
      Pnoy aquino continues and repeats the process, with false promises and abject failure.
      Like mother, like son.
      Both also ensured no economic liberalisation or political reform would happen.
      Both purely served landlords and self-interest.
      The mainstream media now do not mention the ongoing machinations in hacienda luisita.

      And very interesting/telling that the corrupt virginia torres – ex lto, and best buddy of pnoy aquino is now working for hacienda luisita trying to get the lands back. Bunch of thieving hypocrites, and murderers.

      The cojuangco-aquino road is a road to hell

  7. ” If there is no Vision, the people perish…” this passage came from the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament portion of the Bible.

    Our leaders have no vision for the country and its people. They have visions for themselves; to establish Feudal Oligarchy; visions to hold on their Hacienda Luisita and develop it…to make themselves richer and richer; vision to establish family political dynasties, to rule over us; vision to plunder the national treasury.
    Or simply, they don’t know anything about vision.

    This is the reason, we don’t have direction. We voted incompetent people. It’s like “the blind leading the blind…” as Jesus Christ had preached; so we all fall in the same pit.

  8. DAH, he went that way!

    What? he went that way……oh,ok….

    the country is not getting anywhere because the people who run it would be shit outta luck if the people started to prosper..

    U see boys and girls, rich people need poor people to exploit so in order they can be able to stay rich!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.