The Self-Defeating Principles Of The Philippines

I had written a rather harsh article here in GRP about the immaturity of many Filipinos and Filipino society in general. Indeed, I must agree with a few commenters that the article was rather extreme because it openly criticized the inherent issues of the Philippines. However, while I do admit that the article must have felt like slap in the face of some people, I feel the need to elaborate further on how I formed the basis of my opinions.

President BS Aquino and family at the Luneta mass celebrated by Pope Francis. What do Filipinos seek?(Source: @NoynoyAquino on Twitter)

President BS Aquino and family at the Luneta mass celebrated by Pope Francis. What do Filipinos seek?
(Source: @NoynoyAquino on Twitter)

Over the years, I’ve come to notice that many Filipinos hold on to vague ideas and principles they don’t entirely understand. Sure, they know what they mean on a superficial level but the meaning of the said ideas and principles often fly way over their heads. I already know that a lot of Pinoys aren’t really all that sharp when it comes to understanding the “spirit” of given terms, but I only know so many people who fully understand the concepts that our society holds on to and places in high regard. In the end, not only do we, as a people, fail to understand the principles we follow, we end up doing the exact opposite of what these principles are suppose to espouse on us.

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Allow me to elaborate further:

The Philippines is a Catholic/Christian Country

This is probably one of the most common things you’ll hear people around here like to say. While yes, the Philippines probably has the largest Catholic population here in South East Asia, we still seem to be behind some of our brothers and sisters in the West when it comes to understanding Christian values. Of course, we’re not the only ones with problems. I mean our fellows in Latin America have a lot of the same problems like corruption and poverty and then there’s the rather rowdy folk of Ireland who are often less than friendly with their Protestant siblings. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that most Pinoys don’t really understand the values often highlighted in Christian ideals. While the Bible does indeed support the idea of being “family-oriented”, many Pinoys take this the wrong way and think that they should only look out for their own family and screw everyone else over. Also of note is how women are often treated in the basic Filipino household and are taught to be submissive to the point of being mere slaves to their husbands. Lastly, there is the way that some people think that being poor is actually a blessing even though the poor of the Philippines are the source of problems like overpopulation, corruption and crime.

While Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines was certainly welcome, will it really have any lasting effect on people? Now that the Pope has just left, will it be back to the same crime and corruption as before? I remember when Pope John Paul II first came to the Philippines many years ago and was welcomed with the same amount of gusto. Unfortunately, very little has changed since then. Only time will tell whether or not Pope Francis’ visit will have any positive effect on the country in general.

The Philippine Media is Child Friendly

I do not know whether I should find this statement hilarious or depressing. Truth be told, while the local media does focus on keeping its programs G-rated, one can also note that many of their shows (even the news) is so simple as if they seem to think that majority of their viewers are children. Indeed, after watching translated foreign films, I noticed that they cut out scenes where the characters make explanations and theories as if they already assume that majority of their viewers will not be interested or will not understand anyway. It’s as if nearly all the programs on local TV aren’t just meant for children but also for adults with the minds of children.

I will also note that the Philippine media isn’t exactly a good influence on children either. As cited by another article by ChinoF, the media seems to show nothing but dysfunction, infidelity and immaturity as themes. Almost all of them are the same save perhaps for the title and name of the characters and they may add the odd plot element every now and again such as a gay adulterer, werewolves, vampires, slime/water/jellyfish (whatever) girls, a robot boy and other even more absurd elements. What’s worse is that these kinds of shows are all that can be seen on TV these days with very little else in between. Despite what the MTRCB might say about focusing on being child-oriented, are dysfunction, infidelity and immaturity the ideas we want to imprint on the youth of today? Is it really any surprise these days that broken families, teen (or even pre-teen) pregnancy and delinquent children are on the rise?

Also, after reading this, I’ve come to think about whether or not we are portraying children in a positive light. While I do see some fair treatment of them on TV, there’s still no denying that we make fun of children at every turn with programs like Goin’ Bulilit and movies like My Big Bossing that make children look like the slave/toy of adults. There’s still the underlying feel that children are merely objects compared to the adults of any show and are only there for the entertainment of the adult cast and audience. I often long for the day when there will be a local TV program that will be able to accurately depict the life of street children.

The Philippines is a Developing Country

I have occasionally met critics who cite that the Philippines is developing. However, here’s the rub: Developing into what? Are we developing into a first world country or are we developing into a grim dystopia? That is the question I’d like to ask these people about the country.

While I have seen some, note some, positive changes in the country, these are mostly small and superficial and can hardly be called a victory for the the Philippines. Whatever positive development the country undergoes, it’s quite clear that only a small number of people will benefit from it. If anything, these so-called “developments” only drive a deeper wedge between the upper and lower classes of the Philippines. The Philippines already has a “feudal” mindset with political dynasties being all the rage in this day and age but these “positive” changes might even outright make the Philippines a literal feudal country.

For instance, if there are economic developments, take note that prices and taxes only go up and the common citizens are often barred from whatever benefits these may bring. In the end, the rich only get richer and the poor get poorer. If we want lasting change in our society, then I think we should make “developments” that benefit all just as South Korea made changes to its system that benefited the country as a whole rather than just focusing on just the upper echelons of society.

I do not make my statements lightly. I do not criticize to put the hearts of Filipinos down. I criticize because I think we can and should be better people. We have so much potential as a nation. Let’s not let it go to waste.


66 Replies to “The Self-Defeating Principles Of The Philippines”

  1. One thing I’d like to add in regards to the media being “child-friendly”. I’ve noticed that most shows portray rich people as “evil”, whereas the poor are “innocent victims”and I think this teaches a wrong message to young people. Already, we have adult pinoys who have a victim complex and false sense of self-entitlement believing that the rich are the reason they’re poor and that the rich owe them. And because of the media, this thinking is being encouraged not only to the adults, but to kids as well. Add to the fact that you almost never see rich, or even middle class children in these shows.

    1. Indeed, the easy dichotomy between rich crooks and poor saints lacks subtlety or shades of grey — there will always be dicks and jerks whatever one’s station in life is — but 1) this is hardly merely a Pinoy matter (though you might be implying that much here), and 2) no one can contest that you can do no wrong doing wrong while rich.

  2. Perhaps I can help out with this discussion as an outsider looking in. I’m Filipino and a Philippine national, but spent my entire life outside of the Philippines (Africa and USA). The problem with the Philippines is not an intangible noun like “corruption” or “poverty”; the problem with the Philippines is FILIPINOS. We have to stop being insular and realize that Filipinos do not possess the same abilities of self-rule like other peoples of the world. Filipinos, by nature, make excellent learners and workers, but are not inherently capable of being leaders and creators. The Philippines is a society of FOLLOWERS. What good is a society like that when you have incompetent direction to utilize it? Hence, the mass migration of Filipinos and brain drain to countries whose administrative systems and job markets are more vibrant and able. Filipinos have to realize that they’re not as talented when it comes to leading and creating. This is an area that needs effort and attention.

    Catholicism or any religion in itself is not going to save the Philippines. FILIPINOS themselves can only save the Philippines. Filipinos have to re-wire themselves first to do so. One problem with Catholicism (and is probably why Filipinos stick to it) is that it’s a religion that permits a very PASSIVE way of living. Catholics confide in that if you adorn your walls with enough images and idols, attend mass regularly, and perform the same prayers and rituals over and over that something good will magically happen. Your faith and your actual actions are separate entities. This way of living gives nothing in the way of personal responsibility. THAT is why corruption and poverty happens; nobody has any incentive to be accountable. What happened in America when it brought in many Catholic immigrants (such as Irish and Italians)? Crime, mobs, corruption, violence.

    There are two sides to everyone: a natural side and nurtured side. Both are vital. Why did America turn out to be such a successful society? It’s HOW the original American settlers were and WHAT they did with it. They were Northern European descendants who, like their brethren, had the instinct to explore new lands and better their own lives. They believed it was their divine calling to MANIFEST (doing) the Lord’s will through their WORK ETHIC. They believed that you become a virtuous human being not by merely what you say, but by what you DO. Their genuine desire to be self-sufficient and self-improving led to the present American nation today. See the difference? Can the Filipino people understand this? Things don’t magically happen nor are magically unfair.

    I hope this helps.

    1. Yeah I agree with you. The Philippines is still new to this whole “independence” thing and I really think the Americans should’ve run our country a bit longer. Compared to other countries that have had centuries to millenia of experience running their land, we unfortunately only have barely past 100 years.

      1. Australia gained federation (their version of independence) in 1901.

        South Korea came out of the rubble in the 1950s.

        The Philippines could’ve been a prosperous country by now and being “young” isn’t really a great excuse.

        1. It was prosperous for a time (1950’s), but it fell victim to greed and abuse from the ones who were supposedly tasked to lead the nation. The Philippines squandered its status.

      2. Yeah I agree with you. The Philippines is still new to this whole “independence” thing and I really think the Americans should’ve run our country a bit longer. Compared to other countries that have had centuries to millenia of experience running their land, we unfortunately only have barely past 100 years.
        Our ‘youth’ on independence issue is not really the main reason as to why we are what we are compared to those other countries ‘specially’ selected to fit against us.

        I’m really surprised that up to this moment nobody but nobody even remember what we’ve gone through in the past. I don’t know if it’s out of sheer ignorance or plain laziness or the pump of adrenalin of excitement to see how bad we are standing side by side with other countries is just too much. 🙁

        I mean, 350 years of Spanish rule, people. 50 years of American occupation with 10 years of Filipino-American war, where US troops first used tactics such as strategic hamleting and scorched-earth policy to “pacify” the natives. Anybody remembers those events? Anyone?

        How about the Japanese occupation? The martial law years through 20 years of Marcos dictatorship? Anybody aware of the communist rebellion and Muslim insurgency?

        Gosh, people, we have been through hell and back! We’re still down and we’re still no match with those compared to us but, given those tough times, catastrophe, calamities, wars, hardships, which should have took us out a long time ago, we’ve manage to survive and evolve and still sweat it out there.

        We are not in the best of shape but we are not worst either. Be glad on that fact. 🙂

        1. No, I am not glad that the Philippines are mediocre in the macroscopic world stage. Cockroaches can live through a nuclear strike, but they’re still cockroaches nonetheless. Lowly vermin. You’re glad Filipinos are that?

    2. I must agree. The problem, I think, is that a lot of people still believe in BS like “magic”.

      I am a practicing Catholic myself but I think that you can never please God and help society with just words. ACTS are also very important.

    3. The problem with the Philippines is FILIPINOS.
      That line came from somebody who spent his entire life outside the PH. Not a single second nor even a glimpse of the Tarmac of NAIA via plane stop-over. Zero visibility, so to speak. It’s like somebody who lives in the slum area of Manila telling the people of Alaska how to manage the snow around their house. 🙂 Terrible.

      We do not possess the same abilities of self-rule like other peoples of the world.
      Well, we have had an organized gov’t. since the declaration of independence in June 12, 1898. In 1946, we became independent and from then on up to now we have a functioning Republic headed by a president. If that is not self-rule I don’t know what is.

      Filipinos, by nature, make excellent learners and workers, but are not inherently capable of being leaders and creators. The Philippines is a society of FOLLOWERS.
      Again, there is a taint of ignorance in that declaration. Let me just give a very, very, very short list of examples of Filipinos that disproves the guess statement above.

      José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896) was a Filipino nationalist, novelist, poet, ophthalmologist, journalist, and revolutionary. He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines.[6] He was the author of Noli Me Tángere,[7] El Filibusterismo,[8] and a number of poems and essays.

      Emilio Famy Aguinaldo QSC PLH[d] (22 March 1869[c] – 6 February 1964) is officially recognized as the First President of the Philippines (1899-1901) and led Philippine forces first against Spain in the latter part of the Philippine Revolution (1896-1897), and then in the Spanish-American War (1898), and finally against the United States during the Philippine-American War (1899-1901).

      EDSA – Epifanio de los Santos y Cristóbal (April 7, 1871—April 18, 1928) was a noted Filipino historian, literary critic, art critic, jurist,] prosecutor, antiquarian, archivist, scholar, painter, poet, musician, musicologist, philosopher, philologist, bibliographer, translator, journalist, editor, publisher, paleographer, ethnographer, biographer, researcher, civil servant, patriot and hero. Director of the Philippine Library and Museum in 1925.

      Carlos Peña Rómulo, QSC PLH (14 January 1898 – 15 December 1985) was a Filipino diplomat, statesman, soldier, journalist and author. He was a reporter at 16, a newspaper editor by the age of 20, and a publisher at 32. He was a co-founder of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, a general in the US Army and the Philippine Army, university president, President of the UN General Assembly, was eventually named one of the Philippines’ National Artists in Literature, and was the recipient of many other honors and honorary degrees.

      Alejandro Melchor (1900-1947) was a Filipino civil engineer, mathematician, educator, and member of the Cabinet of the Philippines. Melchor was known for designing the pontoon bridges used by the U.S. Army during the Second World War. According to [1], Melchor’s work “contributed significantly in winning the war for the Allied Forces”. Melchor also attained the rank of colonel.

      Rafael Montinola Salas (August 7, 1928 – March 4, 1987) was the first head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). His tenure started at the agency’s inception in 1969 and ended with his sudden death in 1987. Prior to accepting the UN post, Salas served as executive secretary to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.

      Francisco Sionil José (born 3 December 1924) is one of the most widely read Filipino writers in the English language.[1][2] His novels and short stories depict the social underpinnings of class struggles and colonialism in Filipino society.[3][4] José’s works—written in English—have been translated into 22 languages, including Korean, Indonesian, Czech, Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian and Dutch.[5][6]

      Ernesto Mangaoang (1902 – 1968) was a Filipino American labor organizer. A communist and longtime leader of immigrant Filipino laborers, Mangaoang was closely associated with Chris Mensalvas, and was a personal friend of the famous Filipino American intellectual and activist Carlos Bulosan.

      Take note, that’s a very, very, very short list belying the guess statement above. I can go up to the present but it’s going to eat too much space.

      This is already too long. I’ll continue for more of the same. 🙂

      1. Catholicism or any religion in itself is not going to save the Philippines. FILIPINOS themselves can only save the Philippines.
        Religion don’t save countries. It’s suppose to save souls. And Filipinos need not save the Philippines for they are busy saving themselves. The Philippines, contrary to your view, is alright. She doesn’t have problems other countries don’t share. It may vary in degree and form but it’s all the same. In fact, other countries have problems that we don’t have.

        There are two sides to everyone: a natural side and nurtured side.
        For an outsider, who is practically coming from a very weak side for lacking concrete basis there could even be than two sides. Remember the shotgun theory? One blow will get everything? Like a wild guess? That is how an outsider gauge something he is out of. And frankly speaking, any output coming from that process would be a very lame theory.

        Why did America turn out to be such a successful society?
        Why come to ‘successful’ theory already? Why start from the end? You start from the very beginning. Did the US and PH share the same origin, geography, history and people? Did they start at the same time? Did they have the same objective from the very beginning?

        Those are the basic data that you have to make before making a comparison, a credible one at that, especially if your intention is to highlight the weakness and deficiency of one of the parties. It is very important that you do that because you are an outsider. You have no idea what the inside is.

        How can your Filipino audience understand you when they know you have no experience of what you’re talking about aside from having a Filipino gene in your body? How can you teach and talk about basketball when you are paralytic?

        Some may agree with what you said not because it was true but because you just echoed their own theory. That’s how bandwagon is created. It’s not about the truth but about the tune.

        Anyway, I’m sorry to say but you failed to help for the simple reason that your theory failed to advance the discussion in relation to the issue of this article.

        I suggest, you make an effort to be with the people/country you formulate your theory for and get the substance of their existence. That way, next time, there would be credibility in what you’re going to say because you are no longer a bystander from a distant shore. 🙂

      2. Then why is the Philippines still a messed up country? If all the facts you stated apply….why the hell are we still messed up?

        The problem of the Philippines are the Filipinos! Most don’t think…never learned to think, never were tought HOW to think! Our High School is a joke, our Collages are a joke…..

        Filipinos are sheep, kept dumb, numb and hearded!

  3. Hey, dude, I don’t think you need to be apologetic about being “harsh.” Heck, some people find it harsh being told they have a pimple on their face, when they actually need to know it. Because life is harsh by nature.

  4. I agree with you. We as a country have a habit of stereotyping each other. Isa din ung nahihiya tayong gumawa ng mabuti kasi sasabihin ng iba pakintang tao lng while making a fool out of yourself and doing bad things make you cool. We are impatient. Trading short term goals over long term, because we can’t wait for the results. And also the ideology that grown ups are always right.

  5. The last sentence says exactly what I have seen happening in the R.P., the future is being stolen by the people that run the country and the people do nothing to stop it.

  6. We are a Christian country; but we never practice, what Jesus Christ had taught us.

    Catholic religion was brought here by the Spanish colonizers. We were Animists , before the conquest.

    The media is used by politicians to promote their own political agendas.

    When I was in the Philippines, it was taught to me that the Philippines is a developing country. Up to now, it is still a developing country…

    It is still a Feudal Oligarch state…

  7. The problem with you bashers of Filipinos are you think your country is better than the Philippines for the simple reason that Filipinos are poor. Every country and every society have its own problem, even the most advanced and powerful. Yes, some of your observations might be true, but what matters is the faith and the culture. You think you are richer, we are happier, you think you are more sophisticated, we are happier having simple needs, you think you are more intelligent, that is a matter of perspective. In the end what matter is are you happier living in your country or are we happier living in ours.

    1. There are people here who live in the Philippines, you know. People who are upset that the Philippines is… well, the Philippines.

      (Needless to say, I’m one of them, though it doesn’t show as much as the other regulars because of my optimism and contrarian streak.)

      Objectively speaking, what is there to be happy about, living (or trying to make a living, or even just trying to live) in this country? Sure, it’s not Syria or Yemen or Myanmar or Mexico or Zimbabwe, but this isn’t Arcadia either (or even if it is, et in Arcadia ego). Between the lack of a cohesive national tradition and the desperate poverty of mind and pocket (what, being poor is romantic? ibahin mo ako!), you can hardly say that only your subjective happiness matters.

    2. So because you’re happier in your country your poverty and squalid condition is acceptable? Is it really more fun in the Philippines? Just have faith and a very forgiving culture. Take no responsibility and keep electing thieves that Rob you blind. Blind faith really goes far in this happy fun country.

    3. But of course. Filipinos always need to point out that something or someone else is as bad or worse than them at something
      every time they’re targets of criticism. It’s their instinctive excuse for not needing to do anything about their faults.

    4. A person who is happy while there are young prostitutes, toxic waste and people dying from not having enough medicine to get treatment is a selfish person. He will not be able to help humanity. If he is happy while others get cancer from pollution, while evil goes on in the government and people’s money is stolen, then that person is again, totally selfish.
      And I don’t think anyone here is engaged in a sausage contest of the ” my country is better than yours’ variety.

      1. Mumbay,

        “person who is happy while there are young prostitutes, toxic waste and people dying from not having enough medicine to get treatment is a selfish person.”

        What do you want me to do? To cry, while there are young prostitutes, toxic waste and people dying from not having enough medicine to get treatment?

        1. You could contribute a little something to the community. Be it volunteer work, donations or what have you. We don’t need to resort to complete apathy just because we are “outsiders.”

        2. I do “voluntary” work (but I call that a hobby).
          Does donating to Greenpeace qualify? Does donating for cancer research qualify? Or are that only 1st world problems/donations?

          So in short I dont do much for the community because I do it in “silence”

        3. Good for you then. Not trying to be confrontational here, it’s just that your earlier comment kinda rubbed me the wrong way (not to the extent of oversensitive, types. you know who they are.) It’s even better you don’t go out to parade your doing said philantrophy.

        4. Sid,

          Late November or December 2013 we had a national TV broadcast solely focused on collecting money for the victims of Hayian.
          I didnt donate to that cause and I even told all my friends to not donate as well.

          Now you may guess why we all (my friends and I) didnt donate to that particular cause.

          If I am not mistaken the total receipt of gifts/donations were about Euro 35m. Seems much maybe, but its just Euro 2 per capita)

  8. Grimwald,
    after spending 6 years (since 2009 and counting) in the Philippines (as a foreigner) I dont know what your basis/foundation is for your last remark: “We have so much potential as a nation.”
    Because I didnt find and didnt see the potential, unfortunetely.

    1. We have good, if not great, minds here and there and a wealth of natural resources.

      You can say that, metaphorically, we have considerable reserves of ore. Unfortunately, we squander that ore instead of turning them into something worthwhile. Do we use that ore to make swords, plows, frying pans or paper clips? No, we use them to make metal toothpicks!

      1. The country has the resources but if you don’t have enough brains because everyone who does is trying to leave the country, you end up with subpar product. Ever wonder why “made in Philippines” isn’t synonymous with quality.

        1. The country has the resources but if you don’t have enough brains because EVERYONE WHO DOES IS TRYING TO LEAVE THE COUNTY….
          Growing up in the ’80s that was a very popular line. Everybody’s leaving; there’s nothing here, it’s a sinking ship, etc.

          And here we are, 2015, still, everyone’s trying to leave or have left. Obviously, the ship’s still afloat and there still nothing here. Is that bad news or what? I don’t know.

          Frankly, I’m just waiting for a new slogan or line to come out because those good ol’ caterwaul is getting to be boring. 😉

      2. Grimwald,

        Let me first tell you this. Every time when I talk about my country, it does not imply that I feel superior about my country compared to the Philippines.

        But every time I walk into a brick wall when talking with (most) pinoys & pinays. They seem to have a diagonal opposite emotion, point of view(s), ideas, traditions, culture etc.

        And every time when that happens, I think to myself “now why am I living in a rich, advanced, liberal, liberated, free country?”

        Let me give you one simple example: Every time when I speak with a young Phili lady (single, seperated, widowed or whatever) all she wants is a kid (even if she already has one or more) and get married. As if that is the only thing she lives for and that only that can make her happy.
        To be very honest, I think such thinking is just mental poverty. And it is very sufficating.

        I really dont know how parents raise their kids and I dont know what school (education) is adding to that but maybe its time to look outside the box. Might be very refreshing.

        1. Yes. I understand that part.

          Do take note however that I still think we can save our skins if we can get our facts straight. Unfortunately, I also kinda doubt we, as a nation, can get our crap together in my lifetime.

        2. Robert, the women you speak of are doing a basic instinctual human behavior… self preservation and survival. In the hopeless and helpless Philippines rat race that will only get you nowhere, the possibility of a career that will sustain you through your lifetime and retirement is basically nil. Their only hope is to marry out of poverty or to have someone with them as they both stuggle to painstakingly try to get out of the quick sand that their birthright gave them. In the Philippines, you’re borne into a faith and more importantly a caste system of rich, poor or worker bee. Opportunities available are limited by your network and connections. One can only aspire to step up and out of their lot in life and marriage is the quickest means of upward mobility.

        3. You know what Flipped Out?

          Take a look at American basketball, American baseball, European soccer. Where do you think most players come from? Most (if not all) come from broken families, poor backgrounds. They have a basic talent (a gift, if you will) and by practising each day they are able to step out of poverty by becoming very good athletes. It is their drive to succeed. Now I am just wondering why that never happened/happens in PH? Bec they lack the stamina, they lack the drive or they just simply lack any talent?

          When YOU talk about marriage giving an opportunity to escape poverty then pls think about this: A rich boy marrying a poor girl (or vice versa) wont stand long. Believe me a marriage only works if there is an equilibrium. And I dont mean monetarily wise, per se, but more on the mental side.

          There needs to be (almost a perfect) match, a click and chemistry.

        4. To add,
          as you know PH is the only country on this planet/earth that has no divorce law. So in the end, its very easy to divorce. Hence marriage is not beatifical.
          and if I would marry in PH and stay there for the rest of my life, I can still pack by bags and leave (her). So there is always an easy way out.

          Last but not least (and only if I am correct about the following). A marriage taken place in PH is not even recognized by my government as legal and official. For dutch laws I am still considered to be single and eligible to marry in my own country.
          To make it official and legal I first have to file/report the PH marriage in The Hague.

        5. Such a breath of fresh air! A lady who wants to be a wife and a mother. Rather than a career b**tch we have in the West.

        6. “A woman who wants to be a wife and a mother.” is killing for a romantic relationship. And BTW why should such a woman go to school and get a good education?

          You should join IS (Islamic State)!!

        7. You have to understand that not every women in the world adheres to the mantra of, “I am woman! Hear me roar!” feminist thinking just as much as not every woman accepts the traditional housewife babymaker role. I won’t go into the extremity that Mumbay went, but Asian culture, Filipinos included, are inclined to more conservative traditions which means a nuclear family. There is nothing inherently wrong or right with this lifestyle as long as you don’t force these to everyone. Saying this sort of choice is a mental poverty is a disservice to those who prefer the traditional, simple way of life. Isn’t that rather hypocritical for someone who hails from a “progressive and liberal” nation?

        8. Take a look at American basketball, American baseball, European soccer. Where do you think most players come from? – Robert
          You know how big the sports market of the US and Europe is? The world.

          The market of PH? PH.

          Again , sorry but I have to call it as it is: lame comparison due to malice.

        9. Jameboy,

          after reading your comments, I just start wondering:
          – what do 11, 12 year old boys do in their spare time?
          – I am sure people in your country also watch NBA, FIFA World Cup soccer (and other sports broadcasted on TV). Is there no one who says: “Thats what I want to do/become when I am a teenager, adoloscent”?
          – what do Phili dads do with their Phili kids when those kids are still young? Or are those dads siting on their asses during the weekends? How can I (as Phili kid) be proud of my own (phili) dad or mom?

          For such reasons I am totally against that stupid Mano po. There is no reason at all to respect Phili parents. How can I look up to my (phili) parents?

        10. Jameboy,

          Many European soccer competitions have many players coming from (poor) African countries. So it is possible. Those African players are motivated/driven by money and status but most of all by the love for the sport. Many African players started playing soccer on their bare foot (they couldnt afford buying soccer boots/shoes). And of course they all started playing for their local amateure club around the corner.

        11. Robert, you didn’t acknowledge my question and answer response. Anyway, let me acknowledge yours.

          Like dads in other countries, PH dads also spends time with their kids. They also wish the same wish, hope the same hope. The best for their kids. But the reality on the ground is different. Sports wise, ummm, especially NBA? PH dads are realistic not crazy. Soccer? There is a potential, though it will take time and things falling in the right place.

          Now, how does ‘mano po’ got in the conversation? 🙁

        12. Don’t worry Robert, with regard to soccer, we’ll get there eventually. We’re just a baby on that sport. Give us a couple of years more. 🙂

        13. Apologies for the typos.

          Pait too long. I would like to witness it (no sarcasm).

          Pls dont wait too long. I would like to witness it (no sarcasm).

    2. Robert, don’t compare opportunities available in the USA or Europe coz Filipinos are limited to what is in the Philippines and even the impoverished populations in the USA do not make it to the NBA. My point is that marriage is the best course of action readily available to them. Whether the husbands stay or not doesn’t matter. We are talking of a fast solution to an immediate problem.

      1. “…that marriage is the best course of action readily available to them. Whether the husbands stay or not doesn’t matter. We are talking of a fast solution to an immediate problem.” => I am completely lost now.

        What is the solution? Solution for what? Especially if after X-years I pack my bags?

        No my friend, marriage is never a solution to escape poverty. Financial poverty is something else than mental & emotional poverty.

        1. Aren’t you trying to understand the psyche and thinking of women you meet. I’m not saying its right or it will work but it’s their belief and for some who married foreigner or rich men it became their golden ticket out of the cycle poverty.

        2. Flippe Out,
          I have been busy to understand the psyche and thinking and mental of the Filipina for a lot of years now. But I am failing still to do so.

          Let me disclose a secret to you. I myself come from a traditional family. That means a full time house wife (my mom) and a bread winner (my dad). For their generation that was all very normal. But 20 years in to such a situation, I asked myself: “Is this it?”, “Is this how my marriage must look like?” It looked quite boring and dull to me.

          All my mother was doing, was doing the grocery shoppings, cooking, cleaning and raising 3 kids. Only during the weekends, my dad became active in the household.

          So, I told myself: “never”. So I was 20 years when I drew that conclusion (maybe even earlier, I cant remember exaactly).

          What I want to say is this: although my parents were my role models in a way, I will not copy everything they did.

        3. No my friend, marriage is never a solution to escape poverty.
          Not for you maybe but to others, it is.

          It’s like saying robbing will not solve your hunger. True, but the hungry ones do it anyway because they get to eat.

          It is wrong but one has to survive. It’s a dog eat dog out there. If you are weak and indecisive you’ll end up as somebody’s pulutan.

  9. I agree with much has been said on this article but I find posts like this hanging or unfinished. Yes we do have a problem, but pointing out a problem wiill not help a great deal and just comes off as “reklamador”. What we need is concrete and feasible solutions and as holpless as it may seem I always dream of a better Philippines.

    Also for those who criticize the Catholic way of things. you may have been misinformed or going to the wrong church. Faith is always manifested through ones actions. As St Paul said “Faith without action is dead”. For me personally I go out of my way to help and educate the less fortunate kababayans about how to be a good Catholic which means to be responsible of every little action in your work, family, and to God.

    And to Robert for the potential you did not find, you should check out the number of foreign companies investing on the brain power of the Philippines and you will see that we are at par or even better than US/Eueropean counterparts.

    1. Teach people to be a better HUMAN BEING, not Catholic. You don’t need a nebulous concept riddled with archaic mythos to become a good person. And we all have our roles to fill. This site alone has already laid out pointers on how to make the country a great one, but it seems it needs to be said ad nauseaum because people like you only listen to what you want to hear.

      As for investments, besides BP and call centers, what else have these investors staked on? R&D? Manufacturing? Haven’t heard much of those going on in PH?

      1. Teach people to be a better HUMAN BEING, not Catholic. You don’t need a nebulous concept riddled with archaic mythos to become a good person.
        But to where or what will you base your ‘teaching’? Another religion or new spiritual concept or basic common sense?

        1. Simple human morality and logic. If there’s any belief that I follow, it is humanism and no one can teach yourself better than yourself. Sadly, too many would rather have someone give it to them on a musty old tome or an hour of sermon. I can hardly count those sorts as “human” more like a drone.

    2. For me personally I go out of my way to help and educate the less fortunate kababayans about how to be a good Catholic which means to be responsible of every little action in your work, family, and to God.
      So do you do that because of your faith and not who you are? I mean, does doing good has to come or be processed by faith first before we do it, or does it come because we know that is the right thing to do?

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