Filipinos keep bringing up the past but keep forgetting the lessons

Apart from being incessantly butthurt about the past, as GRP webmaster benign0 has pointed out, Filipinos seem to be endlessly stuck in it.

To be fair, it’s perfectly natural to recall the past. In fact, humans do it for a number of reasons. We may want to reminisce over what we once had that is no longer there, or no longer exists. We may want to scrutinize further an event that happened in the past: why it happened, what was the outcome, etc. But for the purpose of planning for the future, we recall the past specifically to take pointers on what worked, what didn’t work, and how to adjust to anticipated challenges. More importantly, we would want to set a baseline against which all future performance and outcomes will be measured.

Critics of current Philippine president Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino had gotten used to his penchant for bringing up the past at every possible opportunity. His last State of the Nation Address was no different. He once again blamed his predecessor for the “mess” he was supposedly left with, yet he continues to use some of the policies that were started before his term. Add to that the fact that he and his administration take credit for them.

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It would be easy to highlight BS Aquino as the ultimate manifestation of this “stuck in past” trait of Filipinos. After all, he won the elections in 2010 on the back of outpouring of sympathy for his mother, Cory Aquino, who died in 2009.

What should actually be given more attention is how little has actually changed within Filipino society in six (6) years, and how the prospects for any change in thinking anytime soon are bleak.

Filipinos supposedly want change, but don’t want to change.

Unfortunately, one of the most pressing things they need to change is how they regard their politicians and government officials. Instead of focusing on platforms and visions for the future, they focus on personalities and idle gossip and show business tidbits. Filipinos keep bringing up past events and issues that, frankly, they missed the boat on.

I find it rather amusing that for all the gung-ho that certain Filipinos show about not wanting another “dictator” back in the presidency, they allowed to sit another one who acts like it. BS Aquino does not like criticism; he thinks that only his way is right, and that if you’re not with him, you’re against him. His yellow horde will ostracize you and paint you as a villain if you criticize him. This almost feels like an informal lese-majeste law; in fact, such ostracism feels worse than being sent to prison.

Continuing with the Filipino fixation on the past, we find that there is a sort of deaf ear to all future generations of the Marcoses. Senator Bongbong Marcos will always be known as “the son of the dictator” and nothing else. Despite his sensible actions on the BBL, Filipinos will never regard him as anything more than “just a Marcos”. They will not give him a chance to show that he is his own man, or listen to anything that he has to say. He will always be asked to account for his father’s crimes up to this very day. And they aren’t about to let it go with Bongbong’s son Sandro Marcos either.

This is nothing short of amusing, because one simply has to ask: what do Filipinos have to show after a 30-year window to hold the Marcoses and their cronies accountable? How many cases have there been, and how many actually led to convictions? Yes, rather than accept the fact that after such a long time, they’ve still got not much to show for it, they would rather stew in the past and blame the people they couldn’t hold accountable.

Where does it change from a question of “another person’s fault” to “what have we done about it moving forward” and “what have we been doing wrong”? For Filipinos, this change of mindset has never occurred; they are stuck at the blaming part.

In this regard, I find the prevailing discussion and “debate” over who the best president rather empty and pointless. Filipinos would rather talk about the “good old days” than talk about the steps they need to do to make days good again.

One would also think that for all the bravado Filipinos have for asking “is there no one else”, regarding prospective candidates for government positions, that they would be more open-minded or more proactive than ever about creating choices other than the usual names or dynasties showing interest. But, alas, every time a new face with good ideas or someone with a less known name but with a good track record comes up, they say the same old thing: “Di mananalo, di kasi kilala eh. (That person will not win, he/she is not well known)”. It’s like they are resigned to whoever decides to run, instead of carving out their own options for whom they want to.

It’s what fellow GRP writer Paul Farol describes as the Karinderya Democracy where people would rather just choose only from the options that are presented in front of them. Whether it’s out of laziness, or convenience, or avoidance of being associated with a perceived losing bet, it is a pattern that has persisted for years – one that will not change anytime soon.

And then, there’s the victim card. Filipinos will always be a victim of injustice perpetrated by other entities towards them. They will never think in terms of “what can be done to keep this from happening again”, but keep thinking in terms of “blaming entities other than myself for the situation we are in”.

Why do Filipinos dwell on the past? Because anything else is too hard. Accepting the reality of the present is too hard. Planning for the future is too hard. Analyzing what went wrong is not only too hard, it also goes against the victim mentality. The Filipino never makes mistakes; he is merely a victim of circumstance, or was cheated.

Dwell on the past, and you lose one eye. Forget the past, and you lose both eyes. Filipino society has been described as one of “the blind leading the blind”. Unfortunately, the Filipinos do not seem keen on taking and remembering lessons from past mistakes anytime soon.

15 Replies to “Filipinos keep bringing up the past but keep forgetting the lessons”

  1. Filipinos keep bring up the past of President Marcos Corruption and the killing of Ninoy Aquino for 29 years, whose two assailants where Sgt Martinez and Rolanda Galman was the puppet of Danding Couangco, who created the the Controversial files…

    1. @Eterio:

      Who cares who killed Ninoy Aquino Jr. He is a political scammer.

      His murder case is like those unsolved murder cases in our country, like: the Dacer-Corbito case; the Mamapasano massacre; the Maguindanao massacre; the Hacienda Luisita massacre; etc.Do the lives of these massacred people matter? Of course not; no monument; no airport; no buildings; no streets; etc…are named after them. They are nameless and faceless people; who have also families and love ones…yet, to the Aquinos and the rest of of our political leaders: they do not matter…because, they are just common people, like you and me…

      1. people like you doesn’t really care,it doesn’t matter to you at all, as what you said, you are just common people, so what the fuss bro?

  2. The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open.

  3. Intelligence arouses fear and respect, the lack of it keeps one on the narrow minded road of disrespect, stupidity and inferiority complex.

  4. Remembering the past is supposed to be productive if you use it intelligently. It not only bring back good and bad memories….it is productive when used as a reminder of bad results so that one would not make the same and to improved on the things that produce good or perfect results…Most Filipinos use it as such , I , myself is one of those . For lack of good paying jobs , I mean lack is , jobs that pays fair for the amount of work one was task. I observed that Filipinos rather talk and gossips stay home or hassle other people for money, they lost the will of finding work to better their life’s so they talk about other people and all the things that you can think of nonsense subject just to stay busy or sane and forget for a moment the mess they are in finding money to feed their family…..and so climbing up the ladder of leaders who has nothing to think about except how to get money on the funds that they control that belongs to the country…..the difference of the Filipinos over seas working in other countries …is they Got a job that pays decent enough to have hope …..that motivates them to keep striving…..does OFW’s gossips and talk about nonsense…..very seldom they do for they are busy making a living,,,, they have a future…in the Philippines they lost hope and those who unfortunate to stay ,,, they know their future is hopeless, because there are 10,000 competting for one good paying job…and the leaders or future running leaders,,,,, can you tell what’s in their minds on whyyyyyy they want to be in position of running the government…….?????? It does’nt required a rocket scientist to figure that out…..You are in a loop inside the Philippines that you cannot do anything about ,,,,so get out of there and survive ,,,,, feed your family….that is what the reality right now…..the next president…….hmmmmmm…good luck Filipinos…..what is needed in the Philippines are good paying jobssssssssss for its people…..

    1. Say, what does it require to get a good paying job in the Philippines? And how much is the ideal pay if you possess more than a college degree and with 1-year experience qualification?

      1. A good paying job is any job not only a college degree that can feed yourself , pay a decent apartment and have enough left for you to save and get ahead..example in the U. S minimum wage in Oklahoma, Nebraska the mid west, considered non industrial state meaning poor state . Fast food workers,, earns $8 an hour = $320 a week minus tax = $270 is the take home pay, cost of one bedroom apartment is $500 + utilities = $590 a month…he will have $610 left half of what he make a month, a janitor earns the same…an expirienced teacher elementary makes minimum $ 50,000 a year triple of what a server makes…college graduate…that will keep you working , you will live a decent life…factory workers make more….FACTORY WORKERS….are the money makers 60 % of Americans including me are the middle class Americans…and the big tax payers…that what Philippines needed factory workers that pays good…..Companies moving to China for cheap labor are the killers of jobs , now the Philippines can compete with China…..why are they not investing in the Philippines for its cheap Labor which are Filipinos are better workers…….I DO NOT HAVE AN ANSWERE FOR THAT??????WHY THEY PUT THEIR FACTORIES IN MALAYSIA! SINGAPORE VIETNAM! INDIA, THAILAND! ETC…..why they are afraid to put their factory in the Philippines……??????you can ANSWERE that question because you are there….Me I can see it from the outside… because. The politicians wants the right porsiento commission% like all who are in position….what does it do the countries with factories ?????? They put it on countries who do not ask for such a huge fee, like Vietnam , Malaysia, Thailand Korea, …that is your problemmmmmmmin the Philippines….PHilippines is a poor country not too much natural resources no competing products…to sell….what he has is a good quality workers….that’s willing to work if you pay them fairly…a college degree in the Philippines with one year experience is nothing if there is no workkkkkkkkk. It’s is known that the Philippines is the sick corrupted country in Asia…No one will put their factory in the Philippines if it’s leaders do not change….President Aquino started the change and you can tell how the international community reacted positively….YOU Better continue on the Tuwid na Daan for thjs momentum will not be forever….that what is President Aquino legacy …..YOU pray to God that the next president will continue on and not be corrupt for this is a good chance to keep going….Ignorant people who said there is no progress in Aquinos 6 years terms are those that is corrupt that their commission stealing was interrupted…..if you go back the old way like in Marcos regime……..?????? Filipinos are committing suicide….investors willllll runnnnnnnnnnnn like before…and you will stay as third world country…

        1. You cannot be serious as to why they do not. Look at your constitution. Incidentally China’s wages are higher than Filipinos. Foreigners are given disincentives to invest , other nations do the opposite. Check the world bank report for the number of restrictions put on foreign investment. If foreigners came into the Philippines then your 300 families might lose their wealth and influence, The average Filipino might realise what they have been missing in terms of work conditions and services.
          Your shops might start having a variety of goods in stead of the same old dame ole thing.

  5. The past is History…it is for lessons, that mistakes committed, in the past should never occur again. However, if we dwell in the past; we cannot Live in the present. Life is lived in the Present. Tomorrow is out of sight. It may or it may never happen.

    It is the “victim mentality” and “fatalistic mentality” that hinder Filipinos to progress.
    “The country is poor, because of Marcos, Arroyo, Estrada, Ramos, Enrile, etc…”…”I cannot do anything, because of these past people”…says Aquino. So, he sits doing nothing.
    Aquino never think that it is his: incompetence; lack of program; lack of vision; mental retardation; mental issues; too dependent on people;etc…that are the causes.

    Blame Game is easier. Show people that your parents are “Heroes and Saints” is better. Distract people from your laziness and incompetence is better. Have ABS-CBN as your propaganda machine is better.Anyway, you will give the owners juicy government contracts. Make the Filipinos as Dumb as they can be is better.

    Our leaders are our own enemies…no other…and we are willing victims…

  6. [However, as a people and a nation, we have so very little to show in terms of collective achievements.]

    That us about to change. The PH will be known for the brand “Zaxxun”, our answer to Korea’s Samsung brand. I was interviewed by Samsung lately to work at the heart of their R&D center in Seoul. But I didn’t get in, even with the recommendation of my good Korean friend who heads LSI R&D for Samsung smartphones. So I said to myself “if you can’t join en, beat em”. I’m currently in dev stage of a zaxxun robot (microcontroller + servo motors).

    The zaxxun brand is an open brand. Feel free to use the name and symbol – apparel, food, tech, and even institutions like schools and hospitals. The trademark is registered but I am giving it to all my kababayans to use as much as they want. It also stands for the zaxxun creed, which I want the next generation of Filipinos to take to heart. I took everything I saw to be the secret of the Japs and compressed it into an 8 line creed, with the addition of some Christian values.

    I plan to go to 3 schools soon to conduct a zaxxun creed memorization contest. I plan to fund the prizes. It’s payback time. The country gave so much for me – esp. Free education up to post grad. I want to give back.

    This is my vision:
    PH national brand = ZAXXUN
    PH national creed = Zaxxun Creed

    Unity is a fortress. riZAl mindset revolution for the dual-X termination of corruption and incompetence – the UNited movement. You are all welcome to join the next revolution in commemoration of our national hero who started it all.

  7. Alas, the article is a perfect example of what it is criticizing. Is there anything in the article that shows a way forward other than pointing out all the things we are not good at? He feels there has been no progress in 6 years, but there has been more progress than he thinks in the past 30, you see he forgot the past as well

  8. Add to that is the filipinos belief of good vs evil thing, if Mar Roxas wins the Presidency in 2016, that would mean a combined 24 years that we have fallen prey into our self-proclaim saviors (Cory/FVR and Pnoy/Mar) that doesn’t get our nation anywhere, they would have already beaten Marcos’ 20 years if that happens. On Bongbong Marcos, yes, we will be missing out a potential great leader because our countrymen won’t allow it to happen, and unlike other such qualified candidates in the past, Ping Lacson, Gilbert Teodoro and Richard Gordon, BBM is in a disadvantage only because he carries a Marcos name.

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