Many Filipinos often pride themselves with the idea that the values of old in the Philippines continue to endure. Some people even openly scoff at Western countries, saying that their “liberated” ways has somehow ruined them. But then again, if these people are as decadent as some Filipinos say they are then why is it that they seem to be much more advanced and productive than we are. Then, there are those countries like Singapore and Japan whom we call out on being “uptight” and take themselves too seriously but are nonetheless centuries away from the kind of mindset that we have.
As stated by Dumangsil in his article here, the media is all too often the only authority our brainless masses recognize. For those who cannot understand what is written on his article, I can best summarize it as an expose on how the media is being used by the powers that be to control the countless impoverished citizens of our country. It’s sad to note for instance that more people wept and reacted for a beaten celebrity than the brave soldiers and policemen who fought for the freedom of their country and died at the cruel hands of their enemies. Worst yet, the media continues to corrupt the minds of our less fortunate countrymen with lies and misguided ideas, leading us to becoming a mediocre and stagnant nation of fools, cowards and knaves. While we can’t really blame everything on the media for the multitude of problems that our country is facing, we cannot deny the fact that they aren’t really helping much. Indeed, the Philippine media has succeeded in making the Filipino people oblivious to the rampant poverty, corruption and violence that take place on a regular basis. For reasons that continue to elude me, it seems the big TV networks of the country have convinced Filipinos that everything is okay because we have people like Manny Pacquiao, Charice or Kris Aquino to keep us happy, never mind the homeless and starving Yolanda victims, the lost funds to improve our country and the criminals and murderers who rob, rape and kill innocent bystanders and are still at large.
The media expounds endlessly on values and virtues that Filipinos have and why it makes us superior. Unfortunately, I would like to add that these values and virtues are only presented superficially in most local shows and the idea of morality and its full implications are almost never explored. The Pinoy media likes to talk about being strong adherents to the MTRCB’s rules and regulations and that their shows have Christian values that people should imitate. However, the “virtues” these shows aim to display are at best misrepresented and, at worst, not even fully shown.
Here, allow me to explain:
- What The Media Wants Us To Think: Hope is good and that it will ultimately be what saves us from the perils of the world. In fact, it’s hope that makes Filipinos so special and what makes them superior to all the uptight peoples of the West and the other Asians around them who act like they have sticks up their asses. The fact that unlike those fetishistic Japanese and those grumpy Singaporeans, Filipinos are still able to smile despite all the disasters that have happened to them over the years. See, even after Yolanda, Filipinos continue to smile because they still have hope for the future and it is their hope and that continues to give life to them despite the difficulties of the times.
- What It’s Actually About: Well, here’s the killer, hope really is good; but it’s only good if one is willing to back it up with actions. Hope, with no real direction, is just false hope. In the end, it just becomes misleading and counter-productive. In the science fantasy setting of Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos God (demonic deity) Tzeentch is associated with hope and the delusion he brings to his followers. Based on my observations, Pinoys who like to rant about hope being one of the Pinoy’s biggest assets is really no different from the common Tzeentchan cultist who, despite being utterly screwed in every sense of the word, still thinks that everything is okay and that things are always in his favor. Hope is never enough and like I said, all the hope in the world is pointless if one isn’t willing to fight for it.
- What The Media Wants Us To Think: Faith is the Filipino’s greatest asset. It’s what makes the Philippines so special because we are the only country this far in Asia that is predominantly Catholic or Christian. Surely we are blessed and that we are the apple of God’s eye here in Asia. We’re also a conservative people and we’re nothing like those lewd Americans, perverted Europeans and lecherous Japanese. And even if we’re poor, miserable, hated or about to be killed, it’s okay because the next life will always be better. In fact, screw this life, it doesn’t matter if we can barely afford a meal each day or that I can’t write my own name or that we have more than twenty brothers and sisters living in our little shack because we’re sure to be rewarded in the next life because of our humility.
- What It’s Actually About: Okay, this is probably one of the biggest reasons we don’t really get anywhere in this country. The so-called “wholesomeness” in Philippine TV is a sham when even your afternoon teleseryes contains implied sexual encounters. They often refuse to air shows that get people to think critically and the value of faith is undermined so that people can be better controlled through religious dogma. Faith is about believing in a power greater than yourself and that you are a accountable for your every action. No, faith is most certainly not about placing yourself in the hands of people who consider themselves morally superior because there really is no such thing as “moral superiority”. We are all equals in the eyes of God and equally flawed and sinful. No priest, minister, nun or miko is any more righteous than the rest of us. To have true faith means to do God’s work yourself and not sit around waiting for a miracle to happen or worshiping statues crying tears of blood or the face of Jesus that formed on your bathroom floor.
- What The Media Wants Us To Think: Oh! Here’s the best of all! We Filipinos, after all, are a “romantic” people. Don’t you know that love makes everything better? Never mind that the guy you fell for is a criminal or psychopath who rapes and eats babies because love conquers all! Never mind that the girl you love is a materialistic and prudish twat who likes to hurt children because love conquers all! Never mind that we’re homeless or can’t even afford to feed just one of our twenty-four children because love conquers all! Remember that all those good stories end with love and love always equals happily ever after. Why, in all those films with John Loyd Cruz, Sarah Geronimo, Coco Martin, Angel Locsin, Piolo Pascual, Bea Alonzo and Anne Curtis, doesn’t everyone find love in the end and live happily ever after? Look at Dingdong and Marian, didn’t they just have a wedding straight out of a fairy tale? They’re probably enjoying their happily ever after even as we speak! So c’mon, let’s make love and be a family even if I’m just fourteen and you’re just twelve because then we can have our happily ever after.
- What It’s Actually About: Okay, hands down, I’m no expert in this topic but I have observed so many problems this country faces because of our misguided ideas on love. As Dumangsil said in his post, everyone seems to think that everything ends with love even though in real life, it’s quite the contrary; everything begins with love. It is the love between a man and a woman that creates a new life after all. Unfortunately, the media glosses this over in order to highlight the feel-good effects of romance instead of the responsibility that comes with true love. Love isn’t just about one’s emotions and that finding someone in your life might require a little practical thinking as well. I note all the unwanted pregnancies I’ve encountered so far and I’m beginning to think that all our “romantic” sentiment in the Philippines is nothing more than just the kind of “love” that horny teenagers feel. Love is seldom the ideal slush that is presented to us in most Pinoy romantic comedies so one shouldn’t put too much stock in them. Love is all too often ironic in and of itself and love almost always comes with a sense of humor as one commenter had mentioned. It’s not that perfect princess or that prince charming you should aim for because those images are probably just their “public” appearances and that they might be really different people in real life. Love is kind of funny in that you might just find the person you’re looking for might be under your nose the whole time. Maybe the princess you’re looking for might actually be that quiet but cute girl in the office next to yours. Your knight might even be that plain-looking but hard-working guy who just lives next door. If you want real love in your life, I strongly suggest you ditch local romantic films and teleseryes and what they often have to say about the subject. Love is best experienced for yourself.
- What The Media Wants Us To Think: Ooh! Ooh! Filipinos are one of the happiest people in the world. We’re always smiling. We’re always smiling even if bad things have happened to us. Just look at our president, he was smiling even after that horrid hostage crisis, he was smiling even after Typhoon Haiyan hit and he’s still smiling even after those 44 police officers and soldiers were killed. Filipinos are like our president because we are all always smiling. Therefore, we are a happy people and we’re always happy even if bad things our happening to us!
- What It’s Actually About: Happiness isn’t just about smiling. Yes, you can smile, but are you really happy inside? Anyone can smile, actually. A common citizen, a politician, a police officer, a soldier, a porn star, a rape victim, a dog and a crocodile (permanently) can smile, but do they really mean it? In fact, to say that Filipinos are a happy people because they smile is very erroneous, to say the least. It would be better to surmise that we are a nation of “Stepford Smilers” because it is only our faces that smile and not our hearts. Here is a comment from a Russian friend that I have that would be better suited to expressing what I mean here:
“Americans say that we Russian people are a grumpy people because we not like to smile not like Filipinos who smile all the time. But I like to think, ‘why smile when nothing funny’? We Russians are like that. We do not like to smile when nothing funny or when not happy. To smile even when bad things are happening is crazy, like your president. There he is smiling like idiot when hostages get killed because of him, he still smiling after storm come and destroy cities and he still smiling even after police and soldiers are killed by terrorists. A Russian who smiles when he find dead body of homeless boy in the street after winter is crazy and sadistic. Tragedies never funny and not something to smile about.”
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