On Bitterness: A Monologue

Okay I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the article that praises the Philippines with a lot of “I love the Philippines…” because of its allegedly “good” traits. This is going to be very similar to that.

After reading some of the comments on my latest articles, I can’t help but notice the people who keep insisting that I and many of the other writers here at GRP are bitter. Well, here’s the deal. I don’t know about all the other writers here but I for one am willing to admit that yes, I am a very bitter person.

That’s right, now that you’ve heard that, I am pretty sure that a lot of you are also wondering as to why I am bitter. Well then, that’s the kicker, isn’t it? Well then, this is why I’m writing this in the first place. And before I go on, let’s make something perfectly clear here:

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  • NO, I am not saying that you should be bitter too. This is just my own opinion after all. If anything, you can compare me to Grumpy Bear of the Care Bears, Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh or, alternatively, The Man in Black in the song of the same name by Johnny Cash. You don’t need to imitate me or my sentiments. I am, at the end of it all, just get very easily depressed.
  • NO, I am not saying that you should agree with everything I say. As I’ve said many times before, I am willing to tolerate opposing arguments as long as you too are willing to think the details through and formulate your own opinion or argument with sound judgement.
  • NO, I am not putting you or anyone else down with my articles. This is not about negativity ladies and gentlemen, this is about realism. This is about accepting the harsh realities of our island country so we can face them and somehow change it all for the better.

Okay now, without further ado:

I am bitter because we are, essentially, a “slave race”…

democracyLook guys, the government and media can praise our OFW’s all they want. They can shove in our faces that what they do is noble and a big help to the country. However, let me tell you something else. Something they wouldn’t dare give voice to.

Our OFW’s are all too often stuck with menial jobs abroad. Jobs that the citizens of a given country are too lazy, proud or careless to even care about. The money they earn might be sizeable here but from where they usually work, it isn’t even worth as much as that of a local employee.

Okay, I will agree that there’s nothing wrong with what they do. Working abroad and earning good money to afford a good future for your children and loved ones is indeed a noble cause. However, I have always wondered why can’t our countrymen find equally rewarding jobs here in the Philippines? Why do they need to go to other countries where the laws are all too unreasonable and be forced to do unpleasant or outright dangerous jobs? Why can’t they just work here with their families and have a stable occupation that can promise them and their children a bright future?

The answer is simple: The oligarchs that run the country won’t let them. After all, these same oligarchs are taking down two birds with one stone. They severely beat back against foreign competition (that could probably lay their businesses to waste) and they also gain a considerable amount of money from the cuts they make from the OFW’s hard work. In the end, the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.

The common OFW will probably be forced to work his ass off in the Middle East where he will be occasionally harassed by his employer and be forced to do stuff that will likely be very hard, disgusting, tedious or (as usual) a mix of all three. If he ever gets home (if he isn’t executed and comes home in a box) he will probably be forced to put his kids through the same thing just so they can support the retired OFW’s grandchildren.

I am bitter because the Philippines is “anti-intellectual”…

The Philippines is already known for its rather feudal age mindset what with the Church still being married to the State and our politicians being treated like royalty and our common citizens being treated like dumb peasants. When somebody somewhere (may someone like Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago) rises up with a good plan for the country’s future, just about everyone looks at them with that ever-annoying glassy stare as if they just mentioned Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Let’s put things in perspective, throughout history and in almost every other culture, knowledge has and always has been considered a precious resource. However here, people constantly clamor words like: “Ang dami mong alam!” As if being intelligent or wise is some kind of curse. It’s like we always refuse to know even though knowing  the truth (while sometimes painful) will set us free.

No, I’m not even a smart guy now that I have time to think about it, contrary to what you may think. In fact, I am willing to admit that I was a huge under-achiever in my days at a student. But then damn it, why do we even put our kids through school if we’re going to tell them: “Ang dami mong alam!”

If we’re going to keep electing movie stars, singers, athletes and people who claim they’re some kind of saint, why do we even send kids to school at all? Why make them intelligent when intelligence in the Philippines is ultimately degraded and insulted as if it were some kind of embarrassing disease?

I am bitter because we always miss the point…

Well, here’s this article and this one. Please, if you have the time, read the articles from beginning to end. Now, after that, look at the comments both here and on our FB page. Now tell me, how many people actually bothered to read the articles before commenting?

These are just two examples of what I’m talking about. Here are some more:

We scream bloody murder when someone like Vhong Navarro gets beat up (which is still sad by the way) but brush off the murders of innocent people like the kid who was raped and left to rot in a sewer pipe because she wasn’t famous. About a few years ago, I remember when a lot of people got worked up when Katrina Halili was involved in a scandal (which is also sad) but couldn’t care less about Mei Magsino today who was just trying to do her job as a journalist but was murdered for trying to tell the truth. Then, we all got riled up when a woman was allegedly raped (probably a scam) by an American marine and quickly followed a few years later by a transvestite prostitute who was murdered by another American marine (despite the fact that said transvestite prostitute was a rather shady fellow with some questionable records that were never mentioned), but very few of us are willing to make a stand against China taking some of our home islands and our own president selling Mindanao out to terrorists through the BBL.

So yeah, I think the examples speak for themselves. I don’t think I need to elaborate further.

Please people, it’s 2015. Let’s put an end to the nightmare of poverty and corruption in our country together. Time for all of us to wake up.

18 Replies to “On Bitterness: A Monologue”

  1. Let me tell you something,brother: Balanse ang mundo. Hindi lahat ng bagay ay aayon sa kagustuhan mo. Palaging may kompromiso sa ayaw at sa gusto mo. Yes,people here are leaving for “greener pastures” abroad. But,please,don’t berate most of them by saying they have menial jobs and such. Most of our compatriots who chose to leave aren’t all blue-collared or unskilled types. Yes,it’s true that oligarchs rule this country but don’t you forget that discrimination towards our people are also rampant overseas in any kind of profession which does not make it any better. I know Pinoys who are actually good but can’t go up the ladder simply because,well,they are non-white or a minority. That’s a fact. Yes,our media is also fucked up. Very fucked up. I refuse to watch any local TV at all except for the news,which is also fucked up. Ted Failon trying to hose down the President on his morning radio talk show,which the Lopezes has ties with Cojuangco family probably going back or even before the Martial Law era. Isn’t that ironic? Vicky Morales was in the same picture in a party with Jeanne Napoles and yet their team’s motto is “Walang kinikilingan. Walang Pinoprotektahan. Serbisyo totoo lamang.” Man,those people make me laugh.

    1. About your first lines: oh jeez it’s the “joining the bandwagon of some other country’s sins” justification excuse. Don’t you have anything new to discuss instead of that old spiel? Balanse ang mundo kamo? So you prefer that one country must always suffer like hell like the Philippines and syria? And no I’m not saying that we must be all perfect people. Everyone in the whole world are corrupt yes. It’s how you minimize it that matters.

  2. commenting as a foreigner

    1.it’s not you, filipinos are generally melodramatic , just not to outsiders.
    the “bitterness” is part of that

    it’s like why the honkies are deemed mercenary, the taiwanese insincere, singaporeans emotionless

    2. the following is melodramatic and a very good example

    NO, I am not saying that you should be bitter too. This is just my own opinion after all. If anything, you can compare me to Grumpy Bear of the Care Bears, Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh or, alternatively, The Man in Black in the song of the same name by Johnny Cash. You don’t need to imitate me or my sentiments. I am, at the end of it all, just get very easily depressed.


    3. I honestly do not see any realism , it used to be obvious but not just you, almost all articles these last few months is bash filipinos, bash filipinos, make cheap insult about the president using his name , bash filipinos

    not just you, the entire site has been that way.


    4. you realised bangladesh and indonesia sends manpower overseas too right, mostly menial and in slave like conditions
    yet they do not see their people/race/nationality/ ethnic group as a slave race/people
    in singapore particularly, indonesian maids outnumber filipinos yet only filipinos are synonymous with “maid”
    because why? pinoy pride?

    5.these oligarchies must be great businessmen if they’re powerful enough to keep out MNCs from coming to the philippines .
    why do so many businesses go to china then?
    thailand? malaysia? because of a severe lack of powerful oligarchies?

    do you know i can walk on the streets in the poorest quarters in thailand, china, EVEN MALAYSIA and use my smart phone safely , openly without it being grabbed out of my hands in the next 5-10 mins
    I can’t say that of Makati
    my pouch would get grabbed off then moment i unbuckle it
    my gold chain would be grabbed off me in a jeepney by the guy trying to alight

    that wouldn’t happen to me in india , not saying it wouldn’t but not at the same frequency.


    6.The common OFW will probably be forced to work his ass off in the Philippines where he will be occasionally harassed by his employer and be forced to do stuff that will likely be very hard, disgusting, tedious or (as usual) a mix of all three. he will probably be forced to put his kids through the same thing just so they can support the retired OFW’s grandchildren.
    EVEN if he stays and on top of that there’s rampant corruption and even discrimination from other filipinos

    I was told if i walk about philippines I would be robbed, me specifically

    I asked why?
    “because you’re fair skinned people will think you’re rich”
    huat da fug is that supposed to mean?


    7. quite frankly bashing people and criticising their faults is anti intellectual
    and the vibes so far from what I see, GRP treats the poor as dumb peasants

    there should be more articles analysing the candidates, and what philippines/filipinos need instead of racist comments against your own people.
    8.“Ang dami mong alam!”
    is a cultural saying, it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to buy it and take as gospel truth
    it’s like the same guy borrowing money, never returning yet promise he’ll pay you tomorrow.

    9. but very few of us are willing to make a stand against China taking some of our home islands

    philippines doesn’t really have a realistic chance of retaining the islands
    and the irony was it was the philippines govt who provided a foothold in the region for the chinese against the will of the other asean members

    1. “not just you, the entire site has been that way…”

      but of course. if people come here expecting the same BS mainstream media is spouting about the “much-maligned” pinoy then people are in the wrong site. that’s the confounding thing about most visitors’ complaints in this site since this started. there are plenty of feelgood alternatives out there and this is simply a minority. if people just take the time to read the mission statement of grp, all these futile demands for so-called “supportive and patriotic” sentiments and articles would be put to rest. we already have an overdose of bullshit positivity from mainstream media. surely a small counterpoint to that overwhelming deluge is, at the very least, allowable.

    2. “quite frankly bashing people and criticising their faults is anti intellectual”

      then again maybe that is what is needed to wake us up from the state of stupor we are in. wallowing in shit and loving it.

      anti-intellectual? not by a long shot. not when the so called intellectuals are the ones who are blind to what is going on around them and most do not even give a damn. just a bunch of NIMBY’s who think they are doing great because nobody is telling them they are actually getting it in the behind.

      the truth hurts and when it starts to hurt maybe, just maybe, the Filipinos begin to notice and do what needs to be done

    3. @oldbread
      Thanks for taking the time. It is always interesting to see a comment from the outside looking in. There has to be a unique lesson from it.

      1. “.. melodramatic.” You are not the first one who said this. And I have always wondered why we are so. Is it because of our colonial past? Or, is it because of our mixing religion with superstition? Is there an advantage in being more secular? Or, is it because we are people of islands as opposed to people of continents? Is this the reason why we tend to be myopic, always just looking at ourselves, being surrounded and insulated by seas and oceans, instead of having a global outlook? Our media and literatures are almost all melodramatic, and we love importing shows (Mexican and Spanish telenovelas and half of Korean TV series) that are more melodramatic than our local shows. So, should media just be reflective of what the people is and furthering the society towards this road? Or, should media serve as a tempering medium in this regard? Or, do we just accept that we are genetically wired to be so? As in any character trait, there are advantages and disadvantages, so the question is: how do we use this as a positive trait?

      Now, this is something worth looking at. Maybe, you could help. But before I get more melodramatic, let’s move on.

      2. Interesting that you should cite the example as melodramatic. I agree that bitterness is part of being melodramatic. But, I see the cited paragraph as more apologetic. Filipinos try to avoid direct confrontation. This is because psychologists say Filipinos in general are passive-aggressive — of course, in varying degrees. Now, if that is also being melodramatic, then I will agree with you.

      3. Realism or not, I see this site as a small (a very small one, in fact, though it is the superstar in the blogsphere) counterweight to the mainstream media, specifically the predominant ones, that just kowtow to government lines in subtle and not so subtle ways. Bashing Filipinos will have to intensify in the lead up to the presidential elections in 2016. The choice of Prez, VP, Senators, etc in the last three presidential elections have simply been terrible — it went from bad to worst. And, every time after the elections, a good many just could ask how such came to be even if we already knew the answers. It has something to do with the system, selfish ends and irresponsibility. You probably can’t appreciate the terrible feeling for we are aware that there is a pool of managerial talents, perspicacity, and statemanship that is available out there, but will never be Prez, VP, senators because of the system and apathy among others. More Filipinos will simply just have to be more assertive, short of a revolution.

      4. Yes, we know that Indonesia, Bangladesh, etc outnumber us in sending maids abroad. But, we moan, lament, and cry about this for a good percentage of this lot are graduates of a teaching and nursing courses. They should be home teaching in local schools or caring for the sick in baranggay medical facilities. But, the salaries of these professions in the Philippines are not even enough to take care of a Pitbull or a German Sheperd even if they wanted such pets. So, in their desperation, they end up as domestic helpers abroad forgetting their noble profession. ADB says that 40% of government budget end up in kickbacks and corruption. That is enough to make teachers, nurses, and policemen be the highest paying jobs in civil service, but it is not. Melodramatic? No, it is the reality. Realism in organic, vivid, more HD, colors.

      5. Every economy has a set of oligarchs. It is simply the Pareto Principle, that 20% of the population will just simply have 80% of the wealth while 80% of the peopke will have to compete for 20% of the wealth. And that is just how things are whether you are talking of a capitalistic market economy or a controlled Marxist system. And, the Philippines can’t be an exception. It is incorrect to say that we have a feudal economy because oligarchs want it that way. No, a majority of the oligarchs don’t want it that way if only they could be continually assured of a level playing field. Meddling in government, or government meddling in business, carries a lot of uncontrollable parameters, and no business would want that. But, business has to step in because of the vacuum that the voters themselves create. Filipinos have so far been gullible to media created personalities who are more often than not puppets of vested interests. (Refer back to item #3 above) If you are in business, what will you do if that vested interest happens to be a competitor? So, we complain that we have a government that is NOT by the people, for the people, etc. But, gosh, it is our own undoing as voters.

      6. Yes, petty crimes, and not so petty, have been on the rise particularly in Metro Manila and other major cities despite all the window dressed statistics of the police. It is funny that the slogan, It’s More Fun in the Philippines, won second prize in one of the most pretigious award giving body related to ad campaigns. It was cited for being the most creative as well. Hahaha, they probably saw its double meaning. Well, what can I say, PNoy’s PR team must be experts in double talk. Whatever, petty crimes negates all of the million dollars spent on ad campaigm. I agree you can walk anywhere in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chang Mai, Penang, KL, Singapore or Hong Kong, and you feel safe because they have organized the tourist police force so well. Metro Manila does not even have a shade of that, and there is the risk that a particular PNP officer may even be xenophobic. I also won’t mind roaming around Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Busan, Taegu, Shanghai, Beijing, Jakarta, Surabaya, and even Denpasar. Just looking at their disciplined looking policemen, you already feel safe and confident. I would have second thoughts about Mumbai, New Delhi, and Madras, and would prefer staying in my hotel room, unless necessary, in Calcutta and Karachi.

      There is nothing personal about targetting Caucasians for they are 98% sure they are foreigners. It is simply that with Asian looking tourists, they are not that sure if they are visitors or locals. And, the likelihood that foreigners would have more cash and the latest gadgets is higher than the locals who would just have maybe 30 or 50 pesos, just enough to get him/ her home via the MRT or jeepney. Yes, sad but true, foreigners are walking ATMs to these criminals.

      Philippines has to do something about this, or it can forget the tourism business, or any foreign direct investments. Agree, this is a priority even before any ad campaign or infrastructure improvements. Marketing mix involves price, place, promotion and product. If the product is lousy, affordable prices, exotic places, and creative promotions will do you no good.

      7. Well, they may not be dumb peasants, but they certainly think they are victims of whatever, I don’t know.

      Does it indeed bring about negative vibes? I don’t know, man. First, if they don’t like the article, then they can leave pronto. Second, the site has the most open combox; they could always attack anything they disagree with. Third, the articles can be, and have to be, negative if you are up against apathy.

      Racist comments? Yes, maybe we have to be more careful so that we may not be carried away. But, I still see them as just passionate comments.

      8. No comment. I really have to think here whether it is cultural, or indeed, anti-intellectual

      9. Well, Gloria was able to hold China at bay by offering them business opportunities and preferential and personalized treatment…. until PNoy came who has the simplistic worldview of foreign affairs as being just black and white. I can assure you it was not GRP that started calling PNoy’s government as being that of a student council level — even if none has yet specified whether it is that of high school or college.

  3. Here’s my take on this Grimwald,

    You, like the rest of the writers of GRP are all bitter because all of you placed almighty standards on to our country and its people which we cannot attain at the moment and end up really disillusioned and disappointed and start blaming everyone and rant about the Philippines being the worst civilization to ever exist on mankind. GRP is not promoting realism but cynicism. You can insist all you like but this is how I see it.

    1. I believe having a high standard is good. If people will settle for less then that’s all they’ll get (and as we can see we’ve been receiving that for decades now because people refuse to up their standard). If people will turn a blind eye for people’s mistakes and poor performances then they won’t care to improve (you only have to look around you to see the result of people not wanting to improve). Take away its people the Philippines will stand out because it’s a really rich and beautiful 7100+islands surrounded by bodies of water. But we’re all here already and people think they have only themselves to serve, that the road for progress is not something one need to put a great effort into.

      1. Having a high standard is good but it should be realistic and attainable. You cannot expect the Philippines to become a superpower like the US and China for the next 5 years ala ‘The Great Leap Forward’. We have to play by the numbers and do it step by step.

        1. The first step would be addressing the main problems in the country, isn’t it? And we’re not moving forward from there because people refuse to see that they are part of those problems.

    2. Carlo, here’s the thing. If one does not set high standards upon oneself and continuously increases those standards, then one becomes complacent with one’s own circumstances and lack of achievements compared to others.

      I don’t believe GRP writers are bitter per se, they are just calling things the way they are, and it is refreshing to see that there are Pinoys that don’t “bury their heads in the sand” but see things for what they really are.

      To say “which we cannot attain at the moment” is mediocre and is adding to the problem mate. Why not aspire to be something greater ALL THE TIME and get rid of the “pwede na yan” mentality?

      Just my two cents.

      1. My statement on “which we cannot attain at the moment” does not mean mediocrity. It means we should know how to set our goals right.

        You cannot ask a 3 year old child to write an essay when he/she is still learning how to read and write.

        I’m more of a left-brain person and I believe we should approach our problems scientifically and set our goals in order.

        Bill Gates didn’t thought himself on becoming the world’s richest man right away when he founded Microsoft. He just wanted to get a job on a company that makes computers and calculators. When he attained his goal, he sets on his next objective and the next and so on and so forth…

        We should take it one step at a time to make the Philippines a great nation.

        1. Before you can address any problem you first need to know that there is a problem. I personally think GRP is giving you the picture that there is a really big problem in our country, it could look like Filipino bashing/hate but ain’t it all true what they say in their articles?

  4. Bitterness is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. That’s how Failipinos and the Failippines are, and will be like forever.

    Unless one bastard will do multiple nuclear strikes on this country, make it uninhabitable for centuries, and send it back to the Stone Age.

  5. OMG, Grimwald, the Philippines is somewhat a “hopeless case”, the economic basket case of Asia. The government is Feudal Oligarchy; and its people earn their livelihood as OFW (I am one of them)…there are no jobs, because all those politicians do after being elected, is to give a good “political zarzuela” show. Aquino, the mentally retarded and mentally depressed President is selling us to the MILF/Al Queda/ISIS; like his grandfather, Benigno Aquino, Sr. , sold us to the Japanese Militarists.

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