Filipinos: Stuck on the Superficial

I have always thought that, one of the biggest problems with the typical Pinoy mindset is their obsession with what is superficial over what takes on a deeper meaning. I remember Kate Natividad writing an article about how Filipinas can contribute to smartening up the population by choosing to bear children for the smarter population of the Philippines but I replied (sort of) with another article on why (while certainly good intentioned), it will never work in the Philippines as long as its culture of stupidity and madness remains intact. See, it’s not so much that people don’t want progress, it’s that they don’t know what it means to be progressive in the first place.


As stated many times before in many other articles and comments, Filipinos only see the superficial part of things but fail to recognize their deeper meaning. They see something with a nice cover and decide to take it even though when they don’t clearly see what it’s actually about. I have seen this kind of behavior in young children but I can certainly excuse them for being children and not being mature in their mentality. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the typical adult Pinoy.

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Confirmation? Okay, here’s what I’ve observed:

Adapting Western Principles

Okay well, in any other case, I might think of this as a good thing but it’s quite clear to me that majority of Pinoys don’t really understand the deeper meaning of many Western ideas. For instance, freedom is all too often equated with doing what one wants regardless of the consequences even when it is actually about being free to make choices and knowing what one’s choices actually entail. The idea of authority or leadership is thought of as someone else who will do everything for you including that of thinking solutions for your problems even though its clear that these are things that you should be solving yourself.

Many of us see how “nice” these principles are, what with sticking to a presidential political system and continuing our stance on what we think of as “democracy”. Unfortunately, few of us pay attention to what makes these principles so successful in the first place. Just because they look good on another country doesn’t necessarily mean these same ideals will work for us especially when we don’t even understand their spirit to begin with.

The Superiority Of Light-Skinned People

Well, let’s get real here. Pinoys tend to think of light-skinned people as beautiful and superior. This is true enough with our media and the reality that majority of our celebrities are mostly half-breeds. Of course, we can always blame this on our colonial mentality. Over the years in the course of our history, it has been imprinted in our psyches that Europeans and, subsequently, Americans are superior and all of them are undeniably white (at least at the time anyway). That is why, I think, we see light skin as a sign of superiority.

Unfortunately, again, we fail to see why Europeans and Americans are progressive and more prosperous than the Philippines. We simply see their light skin as what makes them superior and not their self-discipline, dedication to success and their eye for detail. We fail to see that being light-skinned has very little to do with one’s success in life and that it is essentially self-efficiency and determination that can make one truly successful.

12 Replies to “Filipinos: Stuck on the Superficial”

  1. If we fail to realize our full potential as human beings, we live more on an animalistic level. This is fine for dogs, cats, and chimpanzees but doesn’t work quite so well for women and men. Without the capacity to freely shape our own lives, much as a sculptor might carve stone, we inevitably slip into negativity and depression.

  2. Start a business for Skin Whitening…you will surely have many customers, in the Philippines.

    It was imprinted in our colonial minds, that White Skin , means “superiority”. The Spaniards, were white skined, the Americans who came, as colonial masters, were mostly White skined.

    It is in our subconscious minds…this “white skined superiority” mindset. It is only when you are exposed to a multiracial workplace; that you can see that the color of your skin, does not define you mental capabilities or intelligence.

    Going to a multiracial university, also open your eyes of this “white skin superiority” syndrome…

  3. If whites are “superior” it would be because it was white European heritage that spread the tenets of modern civilization and a progressive society around the globe. It’s just tragic that the Filipinos never took any real advantage of the beneficial aspects from their longtime Western colonial status.

  4. The Incas, Aztecs, etc…in South America, were great people, also. The Chinese has even a greater civilization, than the white people. The Hindus (bombays), were great builders, and great people , also.

    So, greatness has nothing to do with race, or color of your skin…

    1. We know of the Incans, Aztecs, etc. and their once great civilizations, but where are they now? And what examples do you have that the Chinese have a “greater civilization than white people”? Besides, I don’t see other nations adopting Chinese or Indian standards of society. But to get back on topic…

      I’m talking about the tenets of modern civilization and nobody brought that more to the world today than the European. Actually I’m not even trying to use race or skin color, these are really just circumstantial in this case. These people just happened to be a certain color, but color is not the reason for their success.

      Filipinos, in particular, need to be influenced by the standards and principles of others and efficiently utilize those ideas for themselves and the betterment of their country in an ongoing disciplined sustained manner, and not just take such practices at mere surface value just because everyone’s doing it or looks good.

  5. These great people, did not spread worldwide their civilizations…but,these were great people, with great civilizations…

    1. Very true and I don’t disagree with you on that fact at all, but I’m focusing on today’s world and who Filipinos should be learning from and become inspired by in order to succeed. Also, it is even more essential for them to understand the underlying reasons why and how adopting such standards and practices will lead to progress, not simply just adopting them for the sake of doing so.

  6. Sell Skin Whitening products that should not only have a skin deep effect but should also penetrate to as deep as the souls of the Filipinos to make it effective. Hehehe.

  7. Being stuck on superficial is not that bad when the rest of the country is such a wreck. Hotties will be Hotties and want to be Hotties as long as they can be. So why not?

    Being stuck on stupid is much worse and that being addressed may serve a better purpose.

    1. Well stupid goes well with superficial. What I’m trying to point out above is that typical Pinoys don’t bother to know what things like “democracy” or “liberalism” are actually about and the responsibilities they entail. Instead, they just think they sound cool and take them anyway without bothering to check the kind of responsibility required for them.

  8. @ Grimwald, oh yes. I totally agree. BUT, these days in other countries in the West, for example, what is going on is not ‘democracy’ and especially in the USA where both political parties serve the USA Corporate interests and no one else’s, screw the actual citizen,yes? AND even worse, USA Corporations in the USA are now granted the same ‘rights’ (and are protected under the ‘Bill of Rights’) as actual citizens.

    This will eventually happen in the Philippines as well, except the ‘big boys’ in the Philippines will be pushed aside,maybe they’ll get a cut of the action(maybe not too!), when and if a huge oil field us struck off of the Shoals in the WestPhilippines/South China SEA. Watch, the avg. Filipino will get the usual FITA, no lube, but the ‘big boys’ will too.

    As for liberalism,its dead…..especially in the West. Check out this recent editorial by a true Patriot of the USA:

    This is a pretty accurate assesment of what is happening on a global level,right now….and its unbeknownst to many Westerners and almost all Filipino’s. You will maybe even thank me, the guy is a former Wall St. Journal editor-in-chief and the Father of ‘Reaganomics’ as U.S. Treasury Secretary under Ronald Reagan. An older Man now,I know he is not lying as he has nothing to gain by it and loves the country he was born in. Shame is, he no longer recognizes it.

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