Take stock of the current political landscape today and one stark reality jumps out of the picture: There is no one great leader who stands out as one who possesses a coherent enough strategic vision for the Philippines. Instead of true leaders and statesmen all we have is more of the usual bozos: politicians. Filipino politicians are no more than con artists in suits and barong tagalogs. Their vision does not go beyond duping Filipino voters. Indeed, duping Filipino voters is pretty much the whole point of Philippine politics.
So the lament of the day is that we need a good man (sige na nga, a good woman na rin) who can get things done and see things through in such a way that profits are reaped from that good work over the long haul. Trouble is, smart people and good investors don’t do things for nothing. They want to ascertain whether or not investing time and money in an endeavour will yield results. Even if those results don’t translate to personal benefits, they should be worthwhile results just the same.
Filipinos need to take a more business-like perspective when trying to get good people to work for them. We can’t always appeal to the altruistic or patriotic sensibilities of potential leaders and investors. We cannot always be imploring them to do stuff out of the goodness of their hearts. Even philanthropists, like the average greedy venture capitalist, seeks returns out of whatever entity or project they throw money and time into.
If Filipinos want to build real pride, they should stop begging for stuff and start making deals.
Self-respect comes from knowing that people work for you and invest in you because you have presented yourself as worthy of the resources they are pouring into your cause or plight.
At the moment, all Filipinos have to offer to prospective presidents, senators, and House “representatives” is an entire society that is resigned to a fate of being stolen from without fear of consequence.
So guess what such a society gets for their trouble: none other than a criminal government. And that is what Filipinos are getting today. Filipinos not only elect crooks, they tolerate them through entire three- or six-year terms. They worhship them like gods, write idiotic songs about them, and wave colourful flags at their every prompting.
How can Filipinos seriously expect truly smart people to see it as worth their while to serve them when they constitute an entire society where all the wrong arguments win? Filipinos have built for themselves a perverse flavour of “democracy” and an appalling philosophy around the utilisation of their “freedom”. It is a society where the rightness or validity of an idea or notion is determined by its popularity.
When you routinely see presidents ascending the Philippine throne on the back of a mandate brokered by hollow-headed celebrities, no-substance political parties, election-winning machines, moronic catchphrases, and organised religion, one can’t really expect smart people who aim to succeed on the back of rational thinking, systematic problem solving, root-cause analysis, and the scientific method to find a niche in such a scene.
So to Filipinos who appeal to their best and brightest compatriots to stay and do something for the Philippines because it is the “patriotic” thing to do, hear this: Stop wasting your breath. The call to nationalistic duty has long been worn down to tatters by emo poets. The modern way forward is to present the Philippines as a viable investment to (1) smart people and (2) shrewd capitalists. People who opt out of the Philippines or choose to take their time, money, and lives elsewhere do so because they have a wealth of options. But, see, those are precisely the sort of folk that real winners are able to win over. Losers, on the other hand, end up stuck and partnered in with the desperate — people who are poor in options.
To get the good and real deals, Filipinos have to come to the table in their best suits, hair combed, and shoes shined. Come to a room filled with people who matter in a sando holding a begging bowl and sporting that all-too-familiar victim look and all you’ll get are breadcrumbs or tutong scraped off the bottom of a rice cooker thrown in your face and a Bally-branded boot mark up your ass.
As that character in the movie The Rock played by Sean Connery say…
Losers whine about doing their best. Winners go home and [bonk] the Prom Queen.
Do the maths. It really is that simple. Really it is.
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