Pinoy pride: Rather than earn it, Filipinos CAMPAIGN for it

For a people who fancy themselves as “humble”, there is not much of that evident in the statements posted by people attempting to refute the ideas presented in my previous article “Do Filipino immigrants really contribute to the greatness of the United States and other countries?”.

It seems the concept of quiet achievement is alien to the Filipino mind. It is easy to admire someone who springs forth a huge result after beavering away quietly in a corner. But it is hard to take seriously a people who do the reverse — talk incessantly about their imagined “achievements” but consistently fail to produce anything of significance at a scale that matches the noise they make.

Perhaps this is the reason Philippine politics is the way it is. Even in between elections, Philippine politics is noisy. The energy being expended by Filipinos, indeed, goes to the wrong outcome. Rather than precious scarce energy routinely channeled to results, it gets channeled towards noise. What a waste.

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Ironic, isn’t it?

Filipinos make a sport of hating their politicians without realising that they behave exactly like them.

For Filipinos, acquiring respect for their ethnic group is regarded as a campaign. Rather than earn respect, Filipinos campaign for it. This is evident in the way even the smallest little wins by individuals who have even the remotest ethnic links to the Filipino “race” (as some Pinoys call their lot) are given screaming media coverage.

Next time you roll your eyes to the heavens after being subject to the next political epal campaign, perhaps take the time to reflect on how many ordinary Filipinos regard ‘Pinoy Pride’ as a popularity contest too. Should the noble pursuit of building national pride be a campaign effort? Or is such a worthwhile initiative really something that should be mounted at a more profound level?

The results speak for themselves. ‘Pinoy Pride’ is like a castle built upon sand. Countless initiatives to promote Pinoy Pride have nothing sustainable to show. The sooner a beacon of fleeting pride is put up before Filipinos’ starry eyes, the foundation crumbles. Think Manny Pacquiao and the pride equity he had all but squandered.

Pacquiao, along with many other such pride tokens have come and gone. And, still, Filipinos are left scrounging around for that elusive national “pride”. It has become one of the world’s greatest mysteries — how a people so hungry for pride remains such a humbled lot to this day.

How then can this cycle of pride bubbling and bursting be ended in the Philippines?

It’s simple, really.

The only way Filipinos can satisfy their debilitating craving for national pride in a sustainable manner is to worship the gods of achievement over and above anything else. This is no easy task. It means a complete overhaul of the way Filipinos think. It means setting the bar high and seeing results as a variable and the standard as an absolute. At present, it is the other way around in the Philippines. The standard is habitually adjusted to suit the result. For example, if an idiot is elected to the presidency, then the standards of what it means to be a good president are re-set to idiot levels.

Filipinos need to wean themselves off their renowned habit of compromising on excellence — to not just pretend to be a great people but aspire to be a truly great people.


Craig Nelson introduces his book Rocketmen, with the story of a 1969 United States Senate briefing (shortly after Apollo 11 landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon) where Fermilab physicist Robert Wilson is asked how a $250 million atom smasher he proposes be built will contribute to the security of the United States. Wilson responded by saying that it will contribute nothing, but that the American people’s capacity to undertake endeavours like those is what makes the United States of America worth defending.

14 Replies to “Pinoy pride: Rather than earn it, Filipinos CAMPAIGN for it”

  1. Benign0,
    pls allow me to take it back one notch and back to the Filipinos instead of the policticians (apologies for my derailment).

    What drives me crazy is the constant posting of religious memes/remarks/posts (making noise) by Filipinos (mostly done by women) but reading further down the line (further down the timeline), I actually see nothing of any (quiet/silent or noisy) achievement in the individual facebook or instagram.

    Maybe this is a chicken/egg situation bec I dont know who started it first.

    I also do remember that I once (in 2010) saw a huge placard/poster (a noisy non-achievement by the same citizen) in a garden (of a citizen) on which was written that the home owner thanked a city counsellor or the mayor for asphalting a village road.

    1. Hi Robert,

      Please and thank you are two powerful words you should learn to use. You mentioned that the home owner thanked the city mayor or whoever for fixing the road, then bless his soul, and thank you for your comment.

      1. Vince,
        I really dont know how to read your comment. I seriously dont.

        But pls let me explain something to you. Every city’s department has a budget and with that budget the head of the department has to do things. One of these things is fixing city roads to make life more comfortable. And its also in favour of the local economy to fix roads (in this case probably from a sandy road to an asphalted road). Citizens wont put a placard in their garden for thanking the counsellor. That would be stupid to do. Its the counsellor’s task and duty to do it. Otherwise, I may move to another city/town/village and my wealth will be spread there. Its the city counsel’s job to keep the city prosperous.

  2. Here’s a true story I’d like to share. I was part of the international council at my university and we had a downtown parade where students from different countries would participate. The idea was that one country would be represented by one student carrying their home country’s flag. I couldn’t carry the Philippine flag because someone else had already taken it.

    So on the night of the parade we saw everyone and their flags marching, but then to my surprise the Philippines were being represented not by one, but by multiple Filipinos carrying multiple Philippine flags instead. I’m standing there thinking “What the heck are they doing?” The other students from the other 15 or 16 countries were following the rules, so why did the Filipinos have turn around and overrepresent themselves like that? Bunches of Filipinos would gather at the corners shouting “Yeah, go Philippines! Pinoy Pride!” it just felt very unsettling and undeserving. I don’t know what exactly makes Filipinos think they’re even qualified to be doing things like this.

    Believe me, this isn’t even the first time I experienced this. Where I live there are multiple groups, organizations, and associations dedicated to Fil-Am unity and promotion of Filipino identity and culture. I won’t go into detail about those but to me it’s just so weird. It’s like they want other nationalities to just automatically acknowledge and respect them. Stop making so much noise.

    1. Kinda deflecting low esteem by showin pride in numbers.
      Author is right that citizens must have a change of vision and choice of leaders.

  3. All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.

  4. If you have no “Pride” left; you find someone with some “Pride”, and attach yourself. There, you can identify to have “Pride”, also. And, tell it to everybody, that you have an “Attached Pride”…

    This is how lazy people; and people with no initiative, can have accomplishments…

    Pride Filipino way…

  5. Please find Philippines, Tagalog or Filipino in the map as linked in>>

    That is if you can find it. Click link for it is a good info, and draw your own conclusion relative to above subject matter. (Hint: Even tiny Singapore is in the map.)

  6. The Philippines is notable for 2 things and 2 things ONLY. A Filipino living IN AMERICA invented the Yo-Yo, and Filipinos killed Magellan.

    Damn you can’t even make a decent hot dog in this country.

  7. Hi,

    Just my two cents worth.

    A lot of what you said are true, but they have no relation to one’s pride of country. To be honest, your previous article “Do Filipino immigrants really contribute to the greatness of the United States and other countries?” sounds really stupid, lacks intelligence and understanding, and down-right discriminatory. Stereotyping has no place anymore in this time and age. Filipinos are as different from each other as the clothes you wear everyday. It’s so narrow-minded to measure a person’s contribution by race or to measure the contribution of one’s race. And just to remind you, except for the native Indians, everyone is a migrant in the US.

    Second point, pride means two things. Positive pride is the ability to enjoin, celebrate, and love one’s achievement. Negative pride is the opposite of humility. The Pinoy pride in your topic is of the former. It is not something you can earn like respect. Pride for country comes from within, it’s either you have it or you don’t. It is regardless of how other people feel about it. It’s being truly happy for your brother who just graduated from college, regardless if half of the neighborhood hates him.

    Just like in any other country or race, there are both positive and negative things happening everyday. Politicians steal, others really serve. Some people are assholes, others are angels. The same person might even be both an asshole and an angel depending on the situation. I agree that everyone, regardless of race, should strive for excellence, not just for one’s self, but for the greater good. So when someone from your family, or group, or country excels, I just hope that you will have this pride so you can truly understand what is this thing as Pinoy pride.

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