Philippine society is living off unearned pride bought with false achievement


Groupthink for the sake of “stability”? That might work if you are a Germany or Japan — or even a China or South Korea. But this is the Philippines. Filipinos got groupthink all wrong. Whereas the other successful collectivist societies groupthought their way to scientific, technical, and economic achievement, the Philippines degenerated into a sad orgy of obsessive mutual assurance that their delusions of greatness reflected reality.

Thus, people who insist that agreeing to get on a partisan bandwagon for the sake of creating some sort of perception that Philippine society is “stable” and that its politics is one that fosters “unity” are nuts. Investors don’t kiss just because the lipstick is glossy red (or classily matte-finished). They take a peek under the hood before they buy dinner for two. Only fools fall for the come on of loud empty promises and primary-coloured one-coat paint jobs. Those are the types who raise the bonnet too late to discover the reconditioned diesel engine clanking away underneath leaking buckets of oil.


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The trouble with the Philippines is its fatal embrace of civilised history’s worst sort of thinking — unearned pride bought with false achievement. This is a society suffering from a virtually-intractable condition. Despite the latest social media technology at their disposal, Filipinos have failed to mount enough intelligent challenge against that thinking. Worse, the cancer of celebrity culture had hijacked the minds of even the most educated members of Philippine society. It does not help that Filipinos routinely confuse showbiz creds with thinking chops. Most baffling of all, they also confuse education creds with wisdom creds.

This describes the dangerous situation Filipinos find themselves in. An abject inability to produce original thought and innovative ideas leads to a habitual latching on to comfy symbols and notions. Indeed, the idea that elections are always about “good versus evil”, for example, has stuck in the minds of Filipinos since the early 1980s so much so that this false dichotomy has become entrenched as the core of Philippine society’s bipolar mental condition. When the national political “debate” has degenerated to this stone-age level of reasoning, there is no room to enrich the political discourse any further — which is why empty administrations devoid of clear vision and direction routinely follow Philippine presidential elections nowadays.

In that empty culture, people who beg us to simply get along with one another just as emptily cry out.

Groupthink surrounding a fatal kernel of infantile reasoning has doomed the Philippines even as groupthink around a rich core of innovative reasoning has turned other societies into high-achieving collectives. On that bit of historical insight, Filipinos once saw democracy and the freedom to “debate” as their salvation — a means to break the monopoly of centuries-old inbred ideas that infest their society. Alas, rather than come out enlightened by a flood of new notions, Filipinos merely came out even more confused. Open debate, free inquiry, secularism, critical thinking, even gay marriage are notions that routinely paralyse Filipino minds today. No surprise there considering that this same paralysis has all but created the perverted form of democracy Filipinos practice today.

In the same way, simply opening up an economy that failed to prosper on the back of domestic industry will only further crush its industrial spirit, so too will giving “freedom” to a society that failed to prosper under the more traditional authoritarianism that’s been tested over millenia. The cultural cores of Japan, South Korea, and Western Europe were shaped by many centuries of absolute rule before they became the “open” societies that they are today. They succeeded under one system then transformed into another to continue that track record of success.

The Philippines, on the other hand, embraced “freedom” and “democracy” jumping off a Zero track record of greatness forged under more traditional pre-democratic approaches to governance that are no longer politically-correct today. Much the same way, it embraced economic “globalisation” after failing to develop a robust and indigenous capability to create and grow domestic capital. Both cases are cases in point of the results of the classic folly of building a house on a sand dune. Freedom without discipline and an abundance of options without imagination are poor foundations for a productive adulthood — which is why the Philippines, despite being an independent country since 1946, remains the same stunted adolescent society toddling along wailing about its victimhood while the adults towering above it discuss the nuances of their technological future. It is because Filipinos lack both essential ingredients — discipline and imagination.

When you cannot apply a bit of restraint in the face of desire and habitually fail to conceptualise a better future despite your wretched state, you end up leading a life of repeatedly entering into commitments you are inherently incapable of honouring. In short, the Philippines is a vast embodiment of the classic poverty equation. Filipinos need to abandon that comfy equation and start adopting the still mysterious wealth equation that transformed other societies into the great ones Filipinos can only longingly look to with pained admiration.

18 Replies to “Philippine society is living off unearned pride bought with false achievement”

  1. benignO,I recently awakened n became aware of everything that I have done in my early years (17) I’m a freshman student in college…and I realized I f-ing wasted my childhood…and I’ve been reading and keeping myself informed about the “real” situation of our country n the world…. My duty is to study n develop myself physically, intellectually, skillfully, creatively, and more for 4 years just in time for grad then get a job n earn a decent income …after that I’m going to do my duty to my nation: save it. I have read in some comments that it is too late to save the people, that we are too dumb to think for ourselves because of “certain” factors you n other bloggers here have mentioned over n over again. I don’t want our nation to is all we have…we have everything that we we must awaken the people…but the question…do we still have time? or we should make time? I don’t know what will happen in my college years…but I’m going to do my best to make up for lost time…I’m going to awaken my generation through the things I’m about to do…surely I won’t be able to keep it to myself..everything will have an impact…I’ll make sure I’ll have an impact in my campus before I graduate…so before I do all that n I know it going to be hard but I will strive…so do we still have time benign0? How about to the readers? do we still have time? if not..can we make time?

    1. That’s a noble goal — to do your part to help the country. There is always time. It’s a matter of using it wisely. The challenge there is finding the most effective approach that suits your unique personal circumstances and the resources you have at your disposal. Key there is understanding how much you can realistically do given your resource constraints.

      I’ll disagree slightly with that other statement of yours, that the Philippines is “all we have”. That is true as far as the Philippines being the only Filipino nation. But in terms of it being a home, well, millions of overseas Filipinos have proven that there are lots of countries around the world willing to offer smart and hardworking Filipinos a home too. In short, home is where you find it.

      1. Thank you benign0…n your right too..about what a home is…I’m going to do my best to make this nation the best home for us Filipinos…n for others too…I just hope we’re going to achieve it before the “elites” of the world starts making a mess…

  2. Confidence cannot escalate to arrogance, it only happens if the blood of pride is running through your veins.

  3. It is the “Collective Unconsciousness” of Filipinos, that is working against all of us. The Culture, the Political Dysfunction, the Culture of Corruption, the Culture of Political Entitlements, the Culture of Political Patronage, Political Family Dynasties, Provincial Political Warlords, Feudalism, Oligarchs’ Greed, False Heroes, No Visionary Leaders, Brain Drain, etc…we confuse “Globalization” with being OFW slaves.

    The sum total is our inability to “Get Over” our own weaknesses. And resulted into Dysfunction in our political and economic system, and the country, as a whole.

  4. A monumental task awaits the people who really try to straighten the ‘Republica de Pilipinas’ out. It is so fucked up, so literally screwed into absolute mind-numbing poverty that to pull the nation out of the shit-hole it is stuck in (and heading downward inside of ) may be to much for any one generation to straighten out. A multi-generational approach might get the ball rolling but each month that goes by as the nation stagnates into festering maggot shit, it just gets more and more hopeless and less and less likely to change anything that actually could make a difference.

  5. Hi guys. As my first post, I would like to say that the Republic of the Philippines is just almost too messed up beyond repair and recognition.I say “almost” because there is still a ray of hope. The secret to change is through a revolution. Something similar to what Rizal did a hundred years ago in awakening this subset of the Malay race is about to happen. People like you and me who care enough to see change are catalysts for this transformation that is about to occur. It will be a tidal wave of enlightened minds. These minds are the elite force battling it out amidst the raging waters of corruption and incompetence. These minds not only posses the intellect but also the heart to see true substance in what we label Filipino. Our pride will no longer rest on the banana or mango as our primary product as a nation. We will begin to produce products that show technological prowess and intellectual creativity. We will showcase to the world that Filipinos can produce the likes of superior brand names like Toyota, Samsung, and Apple. We will become a society of order and discipline. A little salt is all it takes to add flavor to an entire dish. Don’t underestimate the power of unity. Keep it up GRP! May God bless our homeland!

    1. @ Zax, sounds grand, but…….
      A massive shift inwards to develop what could be a titanic manufacturing success COULD and should happen, but it is hindered by governmental red-tape (ever try to open a business there?), by the ENRON electricity scam(highest electricity rates in the world) that seems to never end as well as capital to lend to the ambitious entrepreneur that has yet to appear in the archipelago.

      Faith without works is dead.

      1. There are solutions for that but we lack the action for it to happen…so the question is how? How can we make it happen? They won’t listen to us but if we can somehow eliminate those hindrances…boom…I say. I mean…something like the Basco reforms certainly did “something” the Philippines in the near end of the 18th century correct me if I’m wrong…so I think…for the red tape…we just have to to influence our people to vote for the right candidate for 2016 who has the right platform for those hindrances…now…advertisements anyone?

  6. There is always an antagonist in any plot. That’s what makes the struggle in the story even more challenging. If we can produce a world class manufacturing enterprise and a tech brand we can really proudly call our own “made on the Phil” despite all the red tape and high electric rates, then we can start talking about pinoy pride. There’s a way to fix corruption and red tape on the Phil and I know how to do it. I will give the secret formula to only those who are desperate enough to ask me. Btw this is not a joke or scam. Freely I have received so I freely give. Any takers?

    1. The “Antagonists” are out there and they will desperately do “everything” in their power to preserve the status quo..hehe… Yeah we have the solutions…You know how? I’ll take you on that gamble…I also have some solutions myself too…if your willing to listen…we just have to act on it right? And I’m desperate…not only me…but all of us who are sick of the bull@#!Q!

    2. Great apprentice! OK, I’ll let you know my little secret on solving this titanic problem called the Philippines. First I need to take you on a journey. I am a believer in abstraphysics. The basic principle is that “all that you see in the physical world originated from the abstraction plane – the plane of the mind”. The reason why this country is so broken is because the minds of the inhabitants are FUBR! So it all starts in the mind – fix the mind, and you’ll fix almost every other problem in this society (crime, poverty, corruption, red-tape, pollution, traffic, etc…).

      Now GRP is doing a great thing – it is identifying the problem with the Filipino mind. But that’s only halfway to solving the problem. There’s a lot of talk (blah blah), and that’s good. But we need to take ACTION. To fix the Filipino mind it will take will power and commitment. Now the first milestone is to fix the minds of everyone here in GRP.

      I have identified a primary mental defect in most Filipinos. It’s called corruption. The antidote to corruption is living out honesty and integrity in everything we do.

      So I propose to everyone in GRP to memorize this slogan and repeat it daily until it totally absorbs you –> “I am incorruptible. I bribe no one; I cannot be bribed!”

      Print it on a shirt and wear it around. Post it on your walls. Make bumper stickers. Tell your friends you’re an elite member of “The Incorruptibles”. Form a cell and recruit your apprentices. Convince politicians, teachers, policemen, janitors, etc. to join your secret meetings.

      I think that was a mouthful, so I’ll stop at that for now. But the journey is exciting; I’ve actually begun to take the journey since last year. You will begin to see massive changes.

      May pag-asa mga kababayan. Hindi pa tapos ang laban. Ibabagsak natin ang mga kurakot sa kanilang mga entablado. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

      1. The Incorruptibles..the meaning is solid… Can we translate it into a different language? Like Latin,Spanish, German, French or an awesome word in Filipino? just look at our historical revolutionary organizations…KKK=Sons of the nation…La Solidaridad = The Solidarity And the catalyst for the renewing of the minds of the Filipinos….La Liga Filipina= The Philippine League…they got awesome names and through their works…it revolutionized the minds of our people…just look at their aim…they strategized and TOOK ACTION w/ conviction and commitment…and re educated the Filipinos…and when they lost all hope of the spanish gov…they decided…”Let’s do it ourselves!” we must return that VIBE Zaxx!!! It shall be the key…and if the options are exhausted..lets also plan for an anticipated armed revolution…because its inevitable if the present gov is unwilling…but we MUST at all COST AVOID IT…now…who wants to JOIN the organization? The name is cool..but we’ll work on that…anything synonymous to being incorruptible?

      2. Within these halls (the edges of our smartphone screens) we are planting the seeds of the next Filipino revolution. The revolution of the Filipino mind. That’s the only way to save this country.

        Grimwald might have cool name if you want an alternate for Incorruptible. I envision solid incorruptible Filipinos filling every seat in the government within the next 30 years. By then we’re gonna look like Singapore.

        Under the emblem of each of our incorruptible officer’s seat of power will be our slogan: We bribe no one; We cannot be bribed. How’d you like that for a change!

        Hey Apprentice, take the lead in your campus. You can form a fraternity that will later become a political party. You can try a Tshirt campaign to get media coverage. I like your valiant spirit of ACTION . I m getting tired of just complaining and blah blah. Let’s DO something that will make a difference for a change.

        1. I have my goal to be a Renaissance man- Competent in all fields of knowledge and skills on a deadline of 4 years. Being a renaissance man means limitless personal development…Once I have attained that…I will share my knowledge to anyone willing to learn and we will continue to evolve together creating new ideas and solutions and taking action decisively and of course through my personal “goal” I will meet lots of people which I will help in bringing out their potential creativity and make them aware that they have a choice to what they want to do and commit themselves to it 🙂 I will set an example. I will also revolutionize and make our newspaper like GRP and advertise it so cleverly that every just got to read it 🙂 I will pierce their minds and souls through my words and pen 😉

  7. Agreed. great nations were built on different levels and systems of governance. to me, there are stages that a nation should undergo before achieving progress. Culture and habits are reformed then enlightenment is achieved at the last stage.

    1. Yes…we must set the example for our countrymen and show them “we” and “they” can “do” “something” and save ourselves from this mess! ITS NOW OR NEVER…The Modern Illustrados must take action NOW…reforms won’t come…trust me…if it does…all the benefits goes to them anyway… So “we” must take action NOW guys! we already know every problem in this NATION! and its root! We have the solutions but the people are not awakened…”We” must do all our power to recreate the awakening of the Filipino people pre- Philippine revolution and hope that the outcome will be peaceful change like Gandhi’s and not Bonifacio’s…this, of course should be prepared for too….in case all options and ideas are exhausted and are physically harming and making our people suffer…but as long as there is no violence…onwards w/ the Awakening…I’ll start w/ my campus…since I’m a Freshman college student! Do your part guys!!! as soon as “we” can organize ourselves into a “visible” group….we can awaken our people and enrich their minds and skills and spirit!!

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