Lea Salonga labeled crab by crabby Filipinos

front_lea1It all started with that tweet by Lea Salonga regarding the day Filipinos supposedly celebrate their Independence Day:

Our country is not yet debt-free, poverty-free, crime-free, or corruption-free. So what are we free from exactly and why do we celebrate it?

Much like Kate Natividad pointed out earlier, I don’t see what exactly it is about the tweet that riled up Pinoy “nationalistic” sensibilities.

Since it didn’t seem clear to those “followers” of her who reacted, Lea had to clarify subsequently that it was a rhetorical question – one that is not expecting an answer, but is usually used in generating further discussion on topics related to those already brought up.

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The only discussions it really generated were how Lea is considered a crab, and how Lea has the gall to question “Philippine independence”.

Now, crab mentality and crab are words used rather liberally in the Philippine setting. To explain it in the simplest terms possible, it’s the mindset of “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” Filipinos seem to use it in the context, however, of their taking as an offense fellow Filipinos not joining their feel-good moments. Yet they find nothing wrong with discrediting or tearing down someone who has achieved through merit, or has enough initiative to question prevailing wisdom, or suggest new ideas in place of obsolete or outdated ones.

That’s the crab you’re looking for. Ironically, it’s the crabby and crab mentality-stricken Filipinos who labeled Lea Salonga a crab for “spoiling” and “questioning” their feel-good, proud-to-be-Filipino “independence” moment. Furthermore, they dragged her down to the level of ad hominem, hypersensitivity, and point-missing that Filipinos are comfortable with.

Indeed, there’s a lot to question about June 12, 1898 marking the Philippine “Independence Day”. Especially the fact that not long after, we became a colony of the United States. And that whether or not we were deserving of or ready for independence, the US granted us “independence” on July 4, 1946 simply because they could.

My takeaway from Lea Salonga’s tweet is that we should basically be asking ourselves as a people: what have we been doing with our “freedom” and “independence” ever since we “gained” them? Put it into the context of our being a US colony during the 1900’s , and we should also be asking ourselves: “why are we celebrating an ‘independence’ we didn’t even earn by ourselves?”

So, what DID Filipinos do with their “hard-fought” independence and freedom? Essentially they used it to give rise to a new form of “colonizer”, one whom they haven’t been able to get rid of since 1946:

Filipinos themselves.

Filipinos used their freedom and independence to run themselves to the ground, along with the land they live in. They used it to treat each other – those outside clan or kinship lines – as dirtily and disdainfully as only they could. They used it to elect government officials, who for the most part, were and are still unwilling to put national interest above their own. They used it to allow corruption, crime, debt, and poverty to run rampant at all levels of society.

One need only look now, almost 70 years after 1946, to see what the results have been of Filipino independence. On paper, Filipinos are no longer a colony of any other country. But they are prisoners of their own shortcomings, failures, and cultural dysfunction as a people. These are shackles that are not easy to break out of, made even more difficult by the fact that Filipinos still continuously deny that their culture and country needs serious fixing up.

Ignorance is bliss after all; but at least, according to Filipinos, they are free. Free to do whatever they want, except criticize and analyze Filipino cultural dysfunction. And that’s all that matters for them as they sink ever deeper into a pit which gets harder and harder to get out of with each passing day.

68 Replies to “Lea Salonga labeled crab by crabby Filipinos”

  1. Bravo, Fallen Angel! I like you line: ‘What have we been doing with our “freedom” and “independence” ever since we “gained” them?’ Lea Salonga was simply, frankly said the truth. Filipinos should drop the “pride,” stuff. Instead of “Filipino pride” it is wiser to focus on what we do in our daily life on “Filipino Grace” e.g. the grace given to each Filipinos in Philippines or in abroad, & contribute for positive changes in the current society we live in and get rid of any disgrace (that includes the negative mentality and vices).

  2. They need more people like Lea, willing to speak out against the nationalist BS. PH is as about as free as a dog in the the dog pound

  3. Yeah, I almost got into fight with my grandmother and my father about why Pinoys celebrate 1898 when it’s so damn obvious that we only got it on 1946.

    And they have a nerve of calling me unpatriotic. Better than being called an ignorant in history.

  4. “but at least, according to Filipinos, they are free. Free to do whatever they want”…Correctly said! Despite having guidelines, ordinances and laws, yes, the Filipino is absolutely free to do whatsoever he wishes even if it goes against the law. Rich or poor it does not matter, both are guilty of hideous acts. And that surely calls for a celebration of independence, indeed! I absolutely agree with all your points. The Filipino sinks deeper and deeper into that mud pit. Pity for they do not realize there is no way out. Listen / read the daily news and it won’t take a minute for one to realise how deep in shit we really are.

  5. Ugh… *sigh*

    Sadly, while I certainly agree with your point Fallen Angel, there will be those who will continue to miss the point of even articles like this one. I’m sure some of them will even take one look at the article you have here, skim it without really reading it all (let alone understand it), and react like a bunch of disappointed spoiled brats. I’m betting that they’ll even call you, Fallen Angel, a “crab” after just glancing at your article.

    Typical Pinoys have a long, sad history of missing the point. They always go for what’s flashy but irrelevant over what is subtle but certainly essential. It’s like they’ll complain that a bulldozer isn’t pretty even though a bulldozer isn’t MEANT to be pretty in the first place.

    For the common Pinoy, it’s always “ME, ME, ME!” and no sense of the “Greater Good”…


    1. I’d have to agree with you Grimwald. When I started reading the GRP blog, I am able to see very intellectual comments, and those that actually point out valid arguments. But now *sigh* I see a lot where some commenters don’t even get the point of what the writers here are talking about and just suddenly starts trolling. These are usually those who are butthurt, sensitive, Pinoy praydist zealots. Not to mention that jerk imposter of Domo.

  6. It may be a Hyperbole Statement; that Ms. Lea Salonga was trying to express.

    I believe in facing our Realities. No country is ever : crime free; corruption free; or free from stupid political leaders.

    We got our independence, fighting against Spanish Rule. Then, Spain sold us to the Americans thru the Treaty of Paris. The Americans came to colonize us; because , they were “scammed” by Spain. We became a Commonwealth part of U.S.A., like Puerto Rico, today. The Japanese Imperialists invaded us…we fought against them. After Japan was defeated. America granted us “indepedence”, but with a price: we have to accept the Laurel-Langley Agreement. Giving full rights to the Americans, to exploit our natural resources, for many years.

    We are not really free, because , we depend too much on the U.S. Our political leaders, are “free” to Steal from our National Treasury. They are also “free” to do “political zarzuelas”, at our expense. They are “free” to do their own things; and we elect them over, and over , again…

    We are not free from our : ignorance, stupidity and apathy…if this is what Ms. Salonga means; then, I agree with her…

  7. Insecure people only eclipse your sun because they’re jealous of your daylight and tired of their dark, starless nights.

    It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and I’m just a kitten.

    1. “Beyond me”. That’s where your problem is. It seems simple concepts are beyond your comprehension skills.

      There simply is a lot to be said about Lea’s post and the reaction of people like you to it. Too bad I am too busy to write my own take about the issue but definitely, there’s more to be said about it.

      1. Oh wow, it sure is GRP’s style, assuming that everybody is stupid and dumb but them eh. “beyond me” means inconceivable because it is already beyond logic.

        Do you guys, have nothing more to write about? How about, solve over-population, pollution, livelihood or anything that might help our people?

        1. Sure, those topics are worth writing about. However, it is my opinion that the main problem in Philippine society is patronage politics. You see, we have a lot of world class architects, engineers, doctors and all kinds of experts but you won’t see them in charge. Unfortunately, those who have connections to the top will get the most important jobs that affect millions of Filipinos. Just look at Transport Secretary Abaya. Why he is in that position when it’s so obvious he can’t do his job? He’s there because he is a friend of PNoy. Do you see where I am getting at here?

          For me, the dysfunctional behaviour of Filipinos is more important to highlight. Once you correct the behaviour, the solution to all those problems you mentioned will come.

  8. Our main problem is not merely patronage politics but uneducated and ill-informed masses that don’t care and don’t understand politicians. If you even think that by pounding on one issue over and over would help them understand, you need to dig deeper to understand the cause of the problem.

    1. The behaviour of the “uneducated” or “ill-informed” masses you are talking about is also the result of patronage politics. Most of them simply emulate what the elite are doing. To cite an example, people like Jim Paredes and Leah Navarro exhibit irrational behaviour that the masses think is acceptable. Those two Aquino supporters keep telling the public that PNoy is “honest” and the “best” despite all of the violations and indiscretions that has been happening during his term. Unfortunately, the gullible members of the public believe their lies that’s why PNoy continues to do what he does uninterrupted.

      Get it? 😉

      1. Are we going to argue about which comes first, chicken or the egg here? Lacks of education makes people gullible and would believe everything they hear from anyone they thought is smarter than them hence the election of unqualified crooks. The sad part is, we cannot even fault them for being gullible and stupid. If you want to change how the people think, start how they view their religion. Almost all catholic countries are suffering from poverty due to over population.

        1. At least the “uneducated” have an excuse. What’s Leah and Jim’s excuse? I know. It’s patronage politics. They are also arrogant. They can’t admit that their idol is incompetent and vindictive. Too bad the “uneducated” believe people like Leah and Jim.

          Sigh…you are definitely part of the problem because you refuse to admit to dysfunctional behaviour of Filipinos. Too bad.

        2. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Catholic countries suffer from poverty due to overpopulation? You’ve got the whole thing backwards. You claim that lack of education is the problem, and obviously you’re part of that statistic. Typical Filipino.

        3. Are you guys self-haters?
          “Typical Filipino?”
          “Refusal to admit dysfunctional behaviour of Filipinos?”
          Wow. And here you go posting how “arrogant” Leah & Jim are.
          Hmmm. Something’s amiss here don’t you think? Maybe a mirror?
          Diba Pinoy tayo lahat? How about let’s start with changing what a typical Filipino is: masipag, magalang, matalino, mabango, malinis at naliligo araw-araw kahit mahina ang tubig.
          It hurts to read these types of comments, being a proud Filipino myself. Kung pwede lang magbenta ng self-esteem sa Pinas. I am proud to be a “typical” Filipino… And it hurts to see my own Countrymen lambasting the ideal.

        4. @Madam Charing

          A typical Filipino is someone who refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem in Philippine society. For example, someone who doesn’t think Leah and Jim are arrogant is a typical Filipino.

          How about let’s start with changing what a typical Filipino is: masipag, magalang, matalino, mabango, malinis at naliligo araw-araw kahit mahina ang tubing.

          Unfortunately, those are not the traits of a typical Filipino. If majority of Filipinos were actually “masipag, magalang, matalino, mabango, malinis at naliligo araw-araw kahit mahina ang tubing”, the Philippines would not be in such a mess. In fact, the country would be enjoying First World status by now if those traits were inherent in most Pinoys.

        5. @Madam Charing:

          What he means about the ‘Typical Filipino’ is more of the dysfunctional part.

          It’s really sad that you’re actually missing the point.

        6. @GioGio or to anyone who thinks that:

          “…the ‘Typical Filipino’ is more of the dysfunctional part.”

          Hindi ba pwedeng yung normal or unimpared ang “typical filipino” at yung dysfunctional ang “untypical” na mga filipinos? (Is this GRP judgement a proven fact – supported with a case-study and/or a national statistical survey – or just an opinion?!) Ilan ba ang ilan out of the 100 Million population of the Philippines? Just sayin’!

          The State, the Government and the People simply cannot be generalized into one. A State with a CRAZY Government supported by a dysfunctional poseur half-baked Elite cannot be blamed to the entire citizenry! When the Yellow Power Grab happened, the outside world saw it as a National Statement of the Filipinos. But in reality it’s NOT! It’s just for those rabid power-hungry politicians and profit-hungry capitalists and their portion of civilian supporters who collaborated with those Powerful Corporate Alien and their Economic Hitmen!

          You see, the problem and confusion, happens when you generalized! And as if a GRP Regular is a different breed (but in reality also a filipino, therefore a part of) he/she will not acknowledge that he/she belong just the same to the very group that he/she hatefully described as such.

          BUT, then again, you will say, as always…TADAAAHH!!! “…you’re actually missing the point.”

        7. Well, the Japanese and German people are often referred to as an industrious people. But that does not mean ALL Japanese and German individuals are industrious.

          That’s what is meant when one refers to a set’s collective properties. It refers to the emergent character of the set but does not necessarily describe individual elements of said set.

  9. Ms. Ilda is right. And Magz this site is not for solving problems for the country. It’s a site where journalists like Fallen Angel, Grimwald, Ms. Ilda write their honest opinions about the state of our country and what the appointed government officials are doing about it. The aim here is to make Filipino readers realize that there are flaws that need to be worked on in order to contribute to the nation’s progress. Let’s stop the habit of attacking the writers. You can ask questions but not attack the persons themselves. A person with enough common sense, I believe, would automatically realize that the article is there to serve as an eye-opener.

      1. You are welcome Ms. Ilda! I just can’t stand it when people attack well-meaing citizens who are doing their best to impart knowledge.

        I like reading articles here. One cannot get this much honesty not even on the news. I salute everyone here in getrealphilippines.com. Keep up the good work!

        1. Some people can’t focus on the message so they attack the messenger. Same thing happened to Lea.

          Thanks again!

      1. Says the one who is not blind, Magz.

        Alex and Ilda have already explained the problems in terms you can understand but you still refuse to acknowledge it. It’s not us who understands the problem that has the problem but simply it’s the likes of you.

        And heck, why do you still pretend that this ain’t the issue yada-yada and all? It’s because truth hurts. That’s your coping mechanishit.

        1. Another dog trying to defend it’s master?

          Look at my posts dude, I know we are in a deep shit, but you guys fail to see the cause of the problems and keep bitching nonsense LOL.

        2. @Magz

          Please do not push your luck. Maintain civility in the discussion or your comments will be placed in the spam folder.

        3. @TotoroKujo

          The guy is rude. Even when I politely responded to his questions, he was still defensive. Multiply his attitude by the millions and what you get is Philippine society.

    1. Thank you also Alex for thinking of me as a “journalist” like Fallen Angel and Ilda. However, I see myself more as some sort of high-functioning troll than a journalist.

    2. @Alex

      “…flaws that need to be worked on…”
      “You can ask questions but not attack…”

      By now we know the flaws, you have any suggestions on how it (the flaws) should be worked on?

      1. Andami sana @Kayo-Kayo. I believe in the old saying,”If there’s a will, there is always a way.” But the methods should fit the flaw that needs to be worked on.

        What is most needed is the degree of commitment each Filipino is willing to give.

        Get their commitments, brainstorm, and execute the plan.

  10. The uneducated and ill-informed are more than fifty percent of our population and that’s the real problem. If you want to go after Jim and Leah, go girl!

    Get it? Got it? Done!

    1. Sigh…do you even know what “uneducated” and “ill-informed” means? It means they are gullible enough to believe in the likes of has-been celebrities like Leah and Jim.

      Feeling ko lang you just want to have the last say even when what you’re saying doesn’t make any sense anymore.

    2. So you obviously don’t know what being “uneducated” and “ill-informed” means. Gees…no wonder you can’t get the point.

      You can’t put all the blame on the “masa” when they are being fed garbage everyday by the educated people in the media especially celebrities like Leah and Jim. 😉

    3. Sorry, son. But you’re totally missing the point. The so-called “uneducated” and “ill-informed” are the ones who are easily fooled by the media and for extent, the likes of Leah Navarro and Jim Paredes.

      Just take a look at Noynoy and the Aquino Propaganda Machine. And since they worship them as demigods and such, no wonder why would they vote for them. You connect the dots.

  11. I like Leah’s tweet as it gives independence and freedom a more profound meaning. However, I disagree with this post bashing on Filipinos. Can you name any country, society or culture without fault? I hope Fallen Angel is not a Filipino. Otherwise, talangka din sya!

    1. There is no perfect country but we are one of the worst. Our country was once called sick man of Asia and still is.

      Crab mentality means, If I can’t have it, no one will. So, to use the phrase to describe Lea’s intention is incorrect.

    2. Indeed there’s no perfect country. Yes. But a well-behaved country? There are bunch. Japan, Germany, Sweden… Why can’t we follow that? Oh I get it. It’s because they’re not perfect, they have SINS OF THE PAST and shit and it’s not worthy of the Peenoises’ attention.

  12. Filipinos need to stop saying things such as “We’re not the only ones with these issues!” or “Other countries aren’t perfect either.” This brand of thinking is just an excuse to sugarcoat our own problems and shifts any blame or responsibility away from the matter at hand.

    1. You were not banned. You were warned. There’s a difference. I guess even that you can’t understand. Tsk tsk.

  13. Stupid. It is bloodhound dogs that track and hunt people. Plus it is spelled ‘greyhound’ not grayhound and those dogs are used for racing. You could use some ‘education’ yourself. Fail harder.

  14. Hahahaha. What was your point of attacking everyone here, Magz? I forgot. You’re exhibiting traits of a cornered beast and no one was even trying to get you cornered.

  15. there’s a lot out there who have this habit of shooting the messenger…not even understanding the context of the message and they are off attacking the messenger..it doesn’t matter who said or wrote what..the important thing is the message..if you want to go for it, then attack the message…disprove it if you must or lend credence to it…agree or disagree with the message..your truth maybe different from his own..however you view the message, killing the messenger ain’t gonna change anything

  16. I’m siding with Magz here. I’m reading vile and demeaning comments towards him/her rather than a helpful and respectful discussion & idea-sharing – more like a power trip rather than a sensible debate. And oh my, it’s nasty how you talk to & attack Magz. Magz is taking the high road by not being nasty back against the pack. Isn’t this supoosed to be a forum of ideas, and not foul remarks? Anyhoo. My opinion about the article is I agree with Lea’s idea but I think it was just too harshly worded & emotionally charged. If she said that “Independence is not a one time historical event, but an ongoing process. It may be from a colonizer, or from other new forces that the world or the country ifself has brought on himself: corruption, poverty, ignorance.” eh di walang usapan ngayond dito (lol). But having lived in China for 8 years, I think we should be thankful for the freedoms that we enjoy daily in the PH. MIGRAINE and stifiling ang socialist states, and so glad and thankful for our democratic system no matter how dysfunctional it is (not to mention it still has a lot to improve) #canIhearanAmen

    1. I don’t see anything nasty about the way this “Magz” is being treated. The discussions here quite simply just blunt.

      As for being “thankful” about these “freedoms”, well, some people use that argument to tell people to desist from any remarks that may be perceived to be “negative”.

      Just be thankful and stop being negative.

      Therein lies the reason why the Philippines is a chronic failure of a nation — because rather than deal with the negative aspects of its situation, Filipinos prefer to pretend these do not exist or, worse, to regard them as things to be “thankful” for.

      1. They just called him/her pathetic, and “typical Filipino”. Nasty noh?
        No one said to stop being negative. I was using China as a comparative reference to make the situation not too bleak for Pinoys. But I do agree with your point about not shoving the problems under the rug & be too lax about it. Positive reinforcement (I think) can help move our boat forward.

        1. But here is something amiss: China, despite being a socialist state, is a rising economic power. Same goes to Vietnam. Dahil open economy sila.

          And yes, we enjoy our freedoms daily yet many Filipinos abuse those freedoms. Speaking of independence: when the Spanish left and in 1942, the country ‘gained’ the independence, what did the Indios do? Latch on to the mestizos and others who had the land and resources! Wow, way to earn the independence with such empowering actions!

          Oh right. The democratic system in the Philippines. Hate to tell you this but that kind of system is flawed and dysfunctional as it also promotes corruption. And it doesn’t even work. You connect the dots.

    2. Freedom? More like freedumb. I’d much rather be “controlled” if it means I’m fed, secure and stable in my lifestyle. True “freedom” doesn’t even exist in the political sense.

      The Philippines is more of a kleptocracy with the “freedom” to use and abuse those without power. They’re just subtler about it. What else is the main driving force of the massive flight of your countrymen? That’s a food for thought.

  17. I’m sorry to break it to you GioGio but China is one f*cked up nation despite its economic success – all propaganda work by the powerful communist party To tell the world how great of a nation they are but reality is, they are brutal to their own people & to each other (no one trusts anyone) & how the gov’t. keeps them blind and stupid. I don’t want a world ruled by China that’s for sure. You think it’s nice & shiny? Try living there for almost a decade lol.

    But please do share with us how you think what will work for our country’s progress. I already shared my voice. Intrinsically, i know mababait ang mga Pinoy and would like to reinforce the positive qualities of our national identity and not the bad parts… Like I said marami pang maiimprove pero if we attack each other wala mangyayari..i think the world has enough arrogant pricks, know it alls & bullies (i.e. China), and the least we can do is work together and iligpit na ang mga kontrabida. 🙂

    1. That’s sort of the irony you highlighted. China does not pretend to be anything that it isn’t. If it is brutal to its citizens, that is because it is, in fact, an unabashedly communist totalitarian country.

      Compare that to the Philippines. Proud to be “free” and “democratic”. But its government and ruling classes are just as brutal and apathetic to the suffering of its ordinary citizens as any.

      Are Filipinos really mabait (“nice”)? That’s quite debatable. We are amongst the most divisive and tribal of societies. In Pinoy communities in the US, Canada, and Australia, Filipino communities are known for their backstabbing members and intrigahan. It’s so toxic that most Pinoys who are not into the whole pataasan ng ihi scene avoid these communities like the plague and prefer to just assimilate into the broader community of their adopted societies.

      It takes an ounce of assholery to beat “bullies” like China. The reason they are strong is because they are ruthless. What have Filipinos gained from the perception that they are mabait? It may be a virtue individually, but as a collective, it makes us a flaccid state, forgiving of its most heinous crimes and thieving politicians while being hopelessly defenseless against foreign aggression and woefully dependent on old colonial masters.

    2. And speaking of “mabait”, let me reiterate Lee Kuan Yew’s words:

      “It is a soft, forgiving culture.”

  18. My opinion -.June 12, 1898- first independence day. Freedom from? Spain.why not? Poland is 1918, but partitioned later by germany and soviets, remained soviet for another 70 years, regained independence but still celebrate the 1918. Estonia 1918, occupied again, regained later
    July 4,1946-philippine reclamation of independence.

    Not expecting answer? Well here is my answer cheers

  19. The mentality of the general public ( Pilipino’s )has reached a point of dysfunction but, a few ( GRP and it’s commentators ) has created a profound understanding and acceptance of the ills of the people. I believe everything begins with you ! Choose to remain ignorant and indignant of the times, reality, status and situation generates a more difficult atmosphere. Choice of voicing out the ills of each citizen and creating a new society of disciplined, intellectual, optimistic and progressive citizens will give a slight chance of change. And “IF” it snowballs into a full pledge society of functioning individuals, then the real “People’s Power” happens. This site does promote intellectuals, patriotism and discipline in understanding and acceptance. I wish these ideals and people continue with baby steps. I might just be still alive to witness and be part of it ! In this world of technology advancement, there really is no more excuse for “Ignorance” unless the older generation thinks forward thinking will destroy the very essence of being a Filipino in culture and tradition.

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