Filipinos should learn to question authority intelligently

Intelligent people can be the worst teachers. They tend to be impatient with their students. This is because they assume that the students will understand what they are trying to say on their first attempt at explaining something. Because it is easy for them to understand things, it can be hard for intelligent people to put themselves in the average person’s shoes and to try and imagine why the latter cannot get the point. If you don’t get what I’m trying to say, just imagine talking to someone younger than you let us say, a teenager, about the facts of life. He might see your lips moving but he won’t actually hear what you are saying because he hasn’t yet fully grasped the meaning of life and his brain is not yet fully developed.


Some students can get intimidated by their teacher and avoid asking a question about the lesson altogether. This kind of timid behavior is especially prevalent in Philippine society because young kids are discouraged from questioning authority. It could be the reason why many Filipino kids would rather dismiss the subjects in school as boring if they don’t understand the teacher. You could call such an attitude a cop out, really. How many times have you heard your classmates at school say that math or philosophy is boring and that they don’t really need these in life? A lot of times I am sure. Students can continue on with the charade of going to school without learning anything even until graduation. Meanwhile, their parents break their backs trying to make sure that school fees are paid on time so their kids can continue with their education. Both the parents and the teacher have big expectations from the students that cannot be met. And the cycle continues for generations within our mediocre society.

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The above scenario is actually the same in the Philippine blogging world. A blogger would publish something he believes in and assumes that the readers will get the point of the article in the first instance. The comment section in the blogsite is provided specifically for the readers to use to either leave a statement about what they have read, give criticism, or ask a question for further clarification.

Unfortunately, in the blogging world, especially in the Philippine blogosphere, there are Filipino readers just like some students in a class, who get intimidated by even simple articles and simply dismiss them as boring, fallacious or misguided just because they cannot understand what the blogger is saying. Because they are daunted by the task of asking the right questions for clarification (perhaps for fear that they still might not get the point after further explanation) they would instead, leave comments that simply attack the writer/blogger — often with foul language.

When a reader resorts to personal attacks, he or she exhibits symptoms of what is most likely to be a deep insecurity associated with an inability to comprehend the message of the article. This is not to say that there are actually bloggers out there who do not publish articles containing fallacious logic. Indeed, the Philippines, has its fair share of bloggers who pretend to be in the know. You can spot bloggers who do not know what they are talking about from a mile away. Just like the students who are daunted by the prospect of asking a question for clarification, bogus bloggers get intimidated by simple questions from their readers. They are also the ones who write articles based on fantasy or fiction and not on facts.

Irreverence to public officials is a good thing.

A few of our readers claim that we are fond of writing hate blogs. This is because we often criticize Filipino culture, and rightly so, because Filipino culture is in fact dysfunctional. Despite all the evidence presented to support that statement, Filipinos tend to turn a blind eye to the truth and often dismiss our assertions. Lately, we have been receiving a few comments which dare say that we should just leave President Noynoy Aquino alone. This request comes mostly from Noynoy supporters and those who still believe that Noynoy will eventually deliver on his promise.

America wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for people who challenged authority and begged to differ. Our style is no different from the style of the late American author and father of political humorists, Mark Twain if I do say so myself. For those of you who are not familiar with his style, Mark Twain famously rebutted, “A discriminating irreverence is the creator and protector of human liberty.” In a career that lasted 50 years, he was famous for making people laugh while being taken seriously for the issues that he raised, from racism (in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) to even speaking against the Spanish-American war in the Philippines. He once wrote about the war in the Chicago Tribune “Why, we have got into this mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater.”

As TIME magazine once said of Twain, “he was the authentic voice of American contrarianism, a man born to gore sacred cows and make rude noises in public, somebody whose idea of humanist piety was to say ‘All I care to know is that a man is a human being – that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse’.”

Thanks to Mark Twain, Americans found it entertaining to talk about certain topics that were otherwise boring to some, in a funny manner — like the subject of politics. Thanks to Mark Twain, Americans now enjoy the likes of Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and the cast of Saturday Night Live. Even the late George Carlin will be receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Thanks to the new generation of Mark Twains, Americans get tickled by the news instead of putting them to sleep.

We at Get Real Post are proudly irreverent because in a truly free society, there is no place for misguided reverence and awe for our public officials. The last thing we need is to narrowly-define our place in Philippine society, especially with a president like Noynoy Aquino who ascended to power thanks to the passing of his mother and whose win in the election is still being questioned by some who believe that the first automated election was a sham.

It is too bad that some of the people who read our blogs dismiss us as hate bloggers. Our blogs are far from being hateful. Everything we write here stems from the mainstream media. If they can call our blogs hateful, then they might as well call what the mainstream media is reporting hate news as well.

Traditional media will quite often report breaking news and then eventually ignore them. It takes the bloggers nowadays to pursue the story, interpret it and do all the things that can possibly turn it into a major event. We are citizen journalists and we take what we do seriously. We are not just doing what we do for the sake of ridiculing Noynoy Aquino and the Filipino people. As Huffington Post editor Ariana Huffington aptly said about their position: “I’d much rather we make our preferences and points of view transparent than pretend we don’t have them.” I tend to agree with her too when she said that you can present both sides of the story but “the truth lies on one side or the other.”

Intelligent people can be the worst teachers. They tend to be impatient with their students. I can’t blame other people who get impatient with Filipinos because it’s really hard to teach them the real meaning of democracy and freedom of speech. They would much rather stick to allowing themselves their small place in Philippine society, from which they regard their public officials with awe. And that is part of the reason why the public officials in the Philippines get away with almost everything — even murder.

15 Replies to “Filipinos should learn to question authority intelligently”

  1. Ilda, thanks for this article. Yes,Americans have fun with Politics and Politicians. In the US, criticizing the Government is not only a right, it is an obligation. As an American in the Philippines, I marvel at how seriously Filipinos take their Politics, but I am truly amazed at how seriously Filipino Politicians regard themselves. A Filipino version of SNL, Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert would be be a success, but couldn’t survive the weekly “Liable Suits” filed by self-righteous Politicians.

    1. Correct, Bill. Even an innocuous comment on FB is enough to trigger a Hatfield vs. McCoys blood feud that spans generations.

    2. @ Bill, Asians , and especially Filipino’s, are extremely easily offended. They take everything as an insult, even when none is intended.
      Its like a ‘bunch of pussies’. If I had reacted this way growing up, instead of letting it go, or dishing it back, the beatings/abuse would never have stopped.
      It has never gone over well when pointed out to the few Filipino’s I’ve said this to, but the point was made… and the reaction to it? Well, it just proved my point.

    3. Actually in the mid-1980’s there was a TV show on Philippine TV akin to Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show.” It was called “Sic o’Clock News” with Jaime Fabregas and his always-late co-anchor (forgot her name). It didn’t pull punches when criticizing the first Aquino administration, despite the fact it was on IBC (a gov’t station back then).

      I would love to have some form of that show back on Philippine TV, if it had its no-holds barred approach to politics and government.

      1. Yup, Sic O’Clock News was great! I remember the time that they parodied Gringo Honasan (Gringo Ho Nasaan?) after he went into hiding due to the failed coup d’etat. Too bad, today’s shows are all about mistresses and mermaids. Sad.

  2. Centuries of colonial slavery definitely affected the way we think – hence, the majority of Filipinos shying away from questioning authority. If you do try to challenge that norm, you’ll be branded as disrespectful and a rebel. Our national heroes would definitely kick themselves for freeing a nation that values mediocrity and anti-intellectualism. And as always, the majority of the nation will get butthurt over this article.

    1. And the country’s education system reinforces this BS, thru its emphasis on rote memorization instead of development of critical thinking skills. Pinoy culture frowns on students who question the teachers/professors.

    2. The countries National Heroes would throw up in their graves if they only knew the half of what is going on. WHAT a Shame it all is.

  3. Thank you very much for this article. If not for the writers in this website I would still be blind to the deficiencies in our country. I must admit that some of the points that the writers here have pointed out haven’t even crossed my mind. Please keep writing and may the odds be in your favor.

  4. First, the Filipino bloggers and blog writers have matured , already. Most know what they are writing and talking about. Most are well informed; and some have produced excellent articles, on the level to the international standard.

    Jesus Christ used “parables” in teaching the common people, during his days here on Earth. Please write simply, with words and sentences, that can easily be understood…watch also you grammar…

    Remember, your education , and IQ/EQ are not on the level of most readers.

    Especially those YellowTards, and their Chief YellowTard, himself…use humor…it is the spice of your articles and your blogs…

  5. A blind person can see that the Philippines is ,as the author stated, a ‘mediocre’ society. BUT, it has great talent pools of musicians and math students, unlike many Western countries who have almost none of the two talents just mentioned.
    The facts are in and the ‘system’ is corrupt as a cancerous lung of a life-long 90 year old chain smoker,
    If and when a collective of people are mad enough to do what needs to be done, then and only then, will the change that needs to occur in the country actually occur.
    AND it certainly will not happen by asking questions.
    Unless it is something like:”Where should I put this..” type question.

    1. Western countries have no talented music and math students? Where are you getting that info? Please, provide me examples of Pinoy maestros and mathematicians that can put Europe’s and America’s counterparts to shame.

      1. @Serge, NO ONE said’Western countries have no talented….’ NOR did anyone say, ‘Pinoy maestro’s put Europe’s and America’s counter-parts to shame’, NO ONE. I happen to know that almost none of the kids in the USA these days can competently ‘PLAY’ a musical instrument.(Compare that to Quba or Venezuela where over 90% of the kids can actually ‘PLAY’ an instrument competently, IDK the stats for the Philippines). On the other hand I have seen with my own eyes Filipino’s earning $5/night crank out the lead to ‘Highway-Star’ as easily as if they were eating breakfast. Musical competency is not encouraged in the Western schools.Computer literacy is a must though.
        Take a look at the collective MATH scores on SAT tests of Kids in USA public schools, they are pathetic. AND SERGE,take a look in the bars in S.E.Asia, ask the musicians where they are from…The Philippines, most will say.I’ve seen and done exactly that.
        Now, without resorting to sounding like a racist, most people are intelligent enough to know why the USA’s public school students, as a collective body of people, score as they do.
        OR DO I NEED TO SPELL IT UT FOR YOU? You mis-understood my first comment, so it will not be a surprise if you ask.

      2. You are right Serge! The Western world has WAY more Classical conservatory centers than the Philippines, if I’m correct 😛

  6. You said the “I ” word. But this society does not value it. Not in books, not in TV, not in movies and definitely not in the ballot box. So it won’t happen.

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