Youth in the Philippines suffer from a lack of good role models

Michelle Alfonso and Janet Ricabo, the “Pabebe” Girls, rose to fame a couple of weeks back after a video they uploaded onto the Net, what else, went “viral”. The video wasn’t much of a production piece. It was just a rant clip with two young teenage girls asserting their right to be who they are. The funny thing is that after they were initially embraced by a bunch of popular celebrities as representing an attitude worth emulating, the bigger base of social media users eventually bore down upon the phenomenon with their scathing indictment of the fad.


So here we are. It seems it is the thing nowadays to put up the Pabebe Girls as the model of how girls should not behave. There’s even a hashtag trending on Twitter, #PabebeGirlKaKung (“You’re a Pabebe Girl if…”), where tweeters fill the blank following it with a character trait they find objectionable. For example, according to tweeter @thatpervydude

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#PabebeGirlKaKung you don’t know the difference between looking cute and looking annoyingly stupid.

…the above being a bit more straightforward than this interesting one from @EscuetaFaye

#PabebeGirlKaKung likers mo arabo

(Translated: “You’re a Pabebe Girl if your likers are Arabs.”)

The more general sentiment seems to be around narcissism. Pabebe Girls are apparently derided as “attention seekers” who will stoop to any spectacle of “stupidity” to worship the gods of social media virality.

The fascinating thing about this is how notions of what not to be are such potent guides for today’s youth. If you scroll through the Twitter timeline of the #PabebeGirlKaKung hashtag, you will find tweeters virtually unanimous in citing the attitudes and behaviours that, if you unwittingly exhibit, quickly brands you a pabebe. The timeline is a bible of bad taste, pretty much. That says something about the Pinoy celebs who were quick to run with the phenom.

I wonder then. There seems to be an abundance of anti-role models today but not much in the way of actual real role models — sort of like how Maria Clara who once epitomised the quintessential Filipina finds no heir to that throne today. That’s kinda disturbing. The field is left wide open to “idols” like Vice Ganda, Marian Rivera, and Kris Aquino who step in where society has failed to provide sound guidance to an already massively-wayward society. No wonder bad behavior and loser attitudes rule in the Philippines.

69 Replies to “Youth in the Philippines suffer from a lack of good role models”

  1. I’m not sure how to begin this one however let me try to say my piece as best as I could then.

    These girls video were originally uploaded in Youtube (The cradle of other famewhores such as Jamich and the other Pabebe known as Mamon Girl) and I can think that long before the Pabebe Girls there was Justin Bieber who rose his fame through the said site.

    Point is nothing is permanent in this country and their fame will just go flash in the pan the same way with Bieber.

    1. Yeah I should say animé or sentai series in the afternoon would be great in addition they will not speak Tagalog but English just like the days of Bioman in IBC 13

    2. Agree. The lack of role models in our schools had to push ourselves to pick up and get out from our boring stages of life.

      The one of the reasons we like anime so much and want to put on primetime is because of good writing of story and characters. I guess we can say the authors and writers are the good role models transferring their ideas and visions to the characters he or she created.

    3. Why.

      I’m not really against the idea, but local derp-dubbing and cuts/omissions due to timeslot constraints and censorship would butcher most of them anyway.

    4. Hate to be a stick in the mud, but I fail to see how anime, by and large, can help these youths see the light at the end of the tunnel. A majority of it is quite frankly, base entertainment which titillates (pardon the pun) one’s basest desires. From rom-coms and harems to shounen fighting series, there’s a lot of similarities among the hated telenovelas on an intellectual level.

      Even if the anime contains some deep and profound message or themes, the audience most likely won’t see it past the “cool action” or the “cute characters.” Just being honest here.

      If you really wanna educate, I suggest documentaries. They can be a bit hard to swallow, but on average are of more substance to the mind.

      1. I’m saying this as someone who watches a lot of anime in his spare time so this isn’t an outsider dismissing the medium.

    5. Depends on the “anime” and your target age group IMHO as some animes today tend to have overly complex character. I remember watching some Gundam series where protagonists are too damn “emo” he looks like a sissy, or in another anime series where the anti hero is, again, an emo boy with serious anger issues. Not the best animes to let 7-10 years old kids watch.

      As a child in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I grew up watching cartoons like Bravestarr, GI Joe, He-Man, She-Ra, Thundercats etc. I have mentioned these particular set of cartoon series because they tend to have a “moral lesson” segment at the end of each show where the characters explain the moral lesson embedded within the whole episode.

      I have watched animes and sentai series also but compared to the animes today, they were pretty “tamed” back then especially with the gore and violence part.

      1. Think you got that mixed up. Today’s anime isn’t as violent as it was back in the 80’s. During that time there was free reign to do whatever which led to a lot of, shall we say “experimental” projects. Needless to say, the amount of gore was enough to make the local butcher run for the hills.

        Don’t think those cartoons you mentioned are of any good either. They have not aged well at all and the messages they preach isn’t up to standards of today.I still stand by my position to push more focused educational media.

  2. I really wouldnt know who my role model could be or could have been. It certainly will not be a Dutch celeb or an international celeb. The closest or nearest role model for me would be or could be my dad or my mom.
    Maybe for others it was/is Mandela, Churchill, Martin Luther King or John F Kennedy. But they are all dead and personally I know nothing about their personal and private lives. So that is a dead end.
    My role model must be someone who I look up to and somebody that is still alive. So that also is a dead end (for me).

    I dont have a role model and I still live a comfortable and good life.

    In short, why should I need a role model; what should I need a role model for?

    1. I agree, Robert. Not many worthy Role Models left, and Kennedy, King, Mandela and Churchill are hard to replace, but they teach us what qualities to look for in our new leaders. Sadly the Philippines System is not conducive to bold enlightened thinking unless it directly and immediately benefits the Oligarchs and The Tiny Dynasties.
      I’m optimistic though. The young people are hungry to begin shaping their future, so let’s be on the lookout for them, maybe on YouTube.

      1. Rico,
        I have two “leaders”. One is the dutch king and the other is the dutch prime minister. Hardly role models for me.
        I think the best role model is still science (not science fiction) and what is published in an academic and scientific manner.

        Real role models (aka celebrities) can have dangerous powers over followers. And then the followers may become just copy-cats. Losing their own unique identity.

        1. Thanks, Robert, and I totally agree with your respect for Scientists. I get to work with Research Institutes and NASA, and generally they’re brilliant but seldom arrogant, and enjoy watching their life’s work put to good use. My favorite Scientists are the Professors, who dedicate their time to educating the leaders of tomorrow.

  3. Nature hates a void. Just because past generations have squandered the opportunity to serve as role models of progressive ideas and compelling ideals doesn’t mean young people will stop looking for someone or some movement to fill the leadership void.
    I encourage young people to keep going, keep speaking out, keep posting, be outrageous and audacious. Eventually, young people will choose their own leaders and values that will make the timid, conservative, corrupt and dysfunctional Philippine system irrelevant.
    As for the critics of these girls, you deserve your sad place in history; cheap talk, no action, no value. Go RICO!!!

      1. Yes, Anon, sadly, I look in the mirror and see a wrinkled and bald 68 year old American, but I am pleased that I have raised and educated 9 children who are all self confident, self reliant and self motivated professionals with good values and sound judgement. I always encouraged them not to fear failure or criticism, as those are lessons to learn from. I feel the same way about these young Pabebe girls. If we have issues with the content or presentation, I would encourage constructive criticism, not condemnation. That’s what Role Models should do, which is the subject at hand.

        1. Well Said Go RICO, But As You Stated, You Are an AMERICAN, as am I, We Come From an Entire Country of Morals and Respect, We Started Learning From Our Parent’s Probably About The Same Time We Were Learning To Walk. AND YES-THIS IS A COMPARISON !!, The Filipino Only Cares About THEMSELVES, Parents steal from Their Children and Vise Versa, You Get Where I’m Going With This—-AS THEY SAY” IT’S MORE FUCKED THEN ANY OTHER PLACE ON EARTH IN THE PHILIPPINES”, OH SORRY “MORE FUN”—Yea Right

    1. I agree. They’re being kids for crying out. And as much as I can’t stand these two girls, I sure as hell won’t stop them from doing whatever they want. Again, they’re kids, being kids. Aren’t they allowed to act stupid and crazy at their age? And then the article suddenly drops the names of Vice Ganda and Kris Aquino as if they’re the only personalities these kids are familiar with. That’s the problem with us. We make assumptions about the lives of the poor as we live next door to them, but the truth is we don’t know Jack Shit about their lives, their values, and even the people they look up to.

      Also, I even wonder if the guy who wrote this piece can pass as a role model in real life. I’m more appalled at him for having the time to whine about something so shallow and for writing it down in such a pontifical tone.

      Sorry, but Get Real Philippines can be elitist at times.

      1. Elitist “at times”?? Now that hurt. I’d like to think I’m ALWAYS elitist. Elitism is good. People should aspire to be part of the elite — because elite people are superior in every way. The reason Pinoys are chronically impoverished is because they lack ambition and are deficited of the imagination to make good on that ambition. Populism of the sort politicians pander to will never get the Philippines anywhere, because that sort of attitude provides comfy assurance to everyone that being a loser rocks.

        1. @Benigno, that is a load if I ever heard one. An ‘elite’ family like the Binays have nothing ‘elite’ about them, their money is most likely dirty and can not be other-wise.A politician can not get that rich on the pathetic salary that is paid to them. Those kids got where they are by nepotism and scumbaggery, and that is it, they have no talent worth having. Having something given to you by Daddy isnt a talent. I doubt you aspire to that, but If that is really what you aspire to, you will run into the wrong end of a pitchfork one day.
          Being a loser doesn’t rock and it never has. You could not show your readers one person who thinks like that, not one. Not even an idiotic flip-tard is that stupid.

        2. Actually, I agree with benign0 AND The Spaniard, if we can arrive at the proper definition of “Elite”. In my opinion, “Elite” has always meant the “Best and the Brightest” in any field of endeavor, as opposed to those who claim to be “Elite” by birth or family fortune. BenigO is an ELITE wordsmith and can present intelligently on a wide range of issues.
          The Spaniard is also correct. Those Tiny Dynasty Assholes are not Elite or Superior, they just inbreed and take up space.
          I would enjoy watching a few thousand Pabebe Girls mature into ELITE THINKERS and real advocates for change and write the history of the future.

      2. Thanks, Mister F. In reading all the comments, I notice EVERYONE is right, but EVERYONE seem to miss the “ROLE MODEL” point of the discussion. For good or bad, these girls took the initiative and posted a video THAT went viral by saying what was on their mindS. 34% of the population is 14 years old or younger (these girls represent that bracket). If those commenting on GRP could share some time guiding these girls (instead of talking about them), asking for their help in organizing and broadcasting new positive messages, we would be amazed at how fast a positive youth movement can be born.

        1. If those commenting on GRP could share some time guiding these girls (instead of talking about them), asking for their help in organizing and broadcasting new positive messages, we would be amazed at how fast a positive youth movement can be born.

          Nonsense. What do you want people to do? And how do you propose strangers “guide” them? Where are the parents of those girls anyway?

          As if they will actually listen to others. You need to watch their video if you haven’t. This is what they are saying to their critics “we don’t care what others think”. Their arrogance is very evident. They are also at an age when they think they are invincible. It doesn’t help that mainstream media is encouraging their behaviour.

          They just need to cease producing more moronic videos, read books and stop wasting their time pouting for the camera.

        2. Thanks, Iilda. I’m happy to hear from you, as I was drafting a comment to you, proposing some ways to guide these girls in a different direction. My thoughts are to ask Malala Yousafzai to contact them through Facebook or other Social Media. Her story is one of unparalleled courage and she remains focused on inspiring abused and neglected girls to be strong and relentless in pursuit of education.
          I originally thought of encouraging them to make new, positive videos and post them on GRP Youtube, but I think the adults on GRP are a little too judgemental, so I’ll find another forum. As for their parents, I can only assume they are too busy struggling to survive Philippines.
          I have enjoyed your Posts, particularly the one about critical thinking. Thank you.

        3. @Go RICO

          Good luck with your plan. Don’t be surprised if they ask “Malala who?”

          Unfortunately, with the teenagers’ new found fame, they won’t listen to reason from anyone who do not support their activities. Fame is what they wanted and they have succeeded in getting it with their stupid video so obviously they won’t stop now.

          Thanks for reading the articles.

        4. Hi, Ilda. I would be shocked if they did know who Malala is, they’re at the clueless stage now, but this will pass (God willing). Agreed, the girls got their fame, and they’ll need to keep feeding their egos, so I thought some positive international exposure might help. We’ll see. True enough, I enjoy your posts. The ones on Critical Thinking and Greece mirror our intentions to help build self reliance in the Philippines, as the Politicians are too self absorbed. If I may, I would like to ask your perspective on issues from time to time, your input would be valuable. CHEERS.

  4. 1) If Philippines have this kinds of kids today, whoa! I think I want to support home schooling. I was inclined to support it before but my hesitation is, as one analyst said, the child may be deprived of his/her chance to learn to interact; build and improve social skills. I agree that that is equally important.

    But now I think I will be more hesitant for my child to build relationships with such classmates. At least, if he’s at home, I can “filter” his friends. In times of massive, uncontrolled influence of media in the minds of almost everyone, especially the young ones, I am more inclined to put my child in what he might call a dungeon until I am confident that I have fortified his skills to discern (which could be around 18 or beyond). I simply cannot afford to risk it.

    As a would-be father, you cannot blame me if I will be imposing “martial law” in my household: censor-media, propaganda, impose early curfew, etc. I cannot entrust the young mind of my would-be child if he will be surrounded by thoughts like this that, sorry to say, could be equated to a mind of a pervert.

    2) “#PabebeGirlKaKung likers mo arabo” – Is this something they are proud of? Flattered about? Because if it is, they might want to reduce their exposure in the internet. Better be careful on the eyes that are looking at your pictures online. (Oh those unresolved rape cases in the Middle East…)

    3) Where are the parents of this minors? I mean when was the last time they saw what their children are doing? Or they too are taking this lightly or worse supports it?

    Have this parents asked themselves: “If I let my children play like this, what would they be in the future?” or “If I let my kids be influenced by these celebrities knowing how they speak and live their lives, how would my child end up?”

    Sorry because to me if you let your kids be exposed to this kind of media, it is no different to feeding them to the predators.

    4) Finally, I cannot help but blame the parents for all of these mess. Children have their curiosity to fulfill and the media has their business to grow (is it fair for me to say greedily?). Somewhere in the connection between the media and the children, the parents should guard. We cannot rely on the TV networks to control their products, as well as the government, and we certainly cannot trust the skills of our children in choosing who will be their influence.

    What I am afraid of is if we cannot rely on the parents themselves too. If that happens, who are going to turn to next?

    1. Vincent, I can certainly understand your concern as a “Would be Father”. It is the scariest responsibility you’ll ever face. I raised lots of kids and it never got easy, but it’s great fun. Good luck!!! However, may I suggest that while Martial Law and filtering out the entire outside world seems logical, it will eventually drive both you and your son crazy.
      My son and I developed a trust factor early (when he was 3) . I would let him explore everything and make mistakes so he could develop his values and judgement. We would discuss the good and bad side of every issue. Kids are born to learn, parents can only show them how to learn and to protect themselves; spot and avoid the scams, listen to other view points and analyse their value. In short, he learned how to become a good man and he taught me how to be a better father. Sin and the internet will outlive us all, so best we prepare our kids to learn dignity, integrity and NEVER, EVER compromise principals. GOOD LUCK, VINCENT.

      1. Thank you Go RICO. As a soon-to-be-parent I have this tremendous feeling of uncertainty as early as now that is why I want to raise my walls as high as reasonable because I don’t know how many or how big the enemy would be. I’ve seen parents who were successful with their kids with their lenient approach to them while I’ve seen some couples who failed to raise children as responsible and disciplined individuals despite all the guidance and support. It is as if their kids are really meant to take the “undesirable” road.

        In any event, I still will do everything I could so that my kid will not be influenced by this kinds of peers and the current media.

        I too once held to the principle that all I can do for my children is advise them; guide them. At the end of the day, it is still their choice that matters. However, all of that is changing. I just realized that the feeling is truly different once you get in the situation. Who knows, and I hope, it may not be bad at all when the time comes. Until then, I don’t think I can resist being an authoritarian. Not with all the devils and monsters outside.

        1. Hey. I couldnt help but to comment as your discussion is very interesting to me. I, too will be a mother soon expected to give birth this october. I currently have a 9 year old niece who is very much exposed to media. Sad to say that children behavior are drastically changing due to the influence of media. My niece was raised by my brother and her lola since she was born and so she has been very spoiled. At the age of 8, she had her own cellphone and ipad because she learned from school that it was “uso”. Its sad because with all the stuff in social media plus the shows she see on tv, its only making her attitude worst. At first, she started taking a lot of selfies. Her lola said it was okay so I didnt do anything about it. After a while, to my surprise, she started taking photos of her O.O.T.D (outfit of the day). Take note that she was just 7 when she started doing this. Now, she is nearly 9 and I am absolutely worried because she has learned to act like a total nightmare.

          Anyways, Im getting paranoid like you on how I should raise my soon-to-be-born child. I hope we dont mess things up. Specially for me because this one is going to be my first child.

  5. Sa PaBeBe House ng A-Bias-CBN maraming kabataang pinoy ang walang pakialam at di n’yo raw kayang pigilan!

  6. Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

    1. EXACTLY RIGHT, Apprentice. Rizal was and remains larger than life. I researched Rizal before coming to Philippines, and found he has left an enduring mark. Families sacrifice everything to ensure the best education possible for their children. So, I agree, Rizal was transformational.
      Like too many things, however, education in Philippines has been reduced to just another business and a series of fees, but that’s another discussion for another time. VIVA RIZAL.

        1. No, I was referring to what Philippines Colleges and Universities are forced to do.
          The SUCs always request P 50 – 50 Billion but they always get P 35, so they need to add too many fees. The students and their parents struggle to get an education.

      1. After knowing that Rizal did not write “Sa Aking mga Kababata” I pretty much took all those Rizal stories with buckets of salt. He is a national hero after all, so gross romanticizing and mythologizing has pretty much gave the mainstream young Rizal biography the same content and historical accuracy as a Greek myth.

        The boy Jose Rizal is no role model, but the adult one is. His writings and lifestyle as an adult are far more noteworthy, accurate and useful for our current times.

        1. Thanks, Lemnemonic. Like I said, I had to study available info. I guess Rizal’s story has been edited over the years. Maybe it’s time to look for a newer Role Model.

  7. When my former partner wanted to apply for a job as teacher at a DepEd-school, she told me that (DepEd) teachers are not allowed to live together. They either have to be single or married. That sounds to me as a real role model. Although what I think is far more important is to have the best teacher in front of a class room. So I guess its matter of setting the right priorities and to set them straight.

  8. You might be a Filipino IF:

    You show up with a shovel in hand when someone says ‘there is Gold in them thar hills !’.

    You have a relative slaving away in another country that says he/she is NOT a Filipino.

    You are feeling that you have no future and are stuck on an island in the middle of an ocean….and its sinking.

    You pick the pockets of…..

    Get the picture? Not pretty.

    Only the one youngster,on the left, is cute too.

  9. With role model, like the Whore : Kris Aquino. I am not surprised why our young girls are behaving in wayward ways.

    Garbage in; garbage out…in the CyberSpace…

  10. 1. You don’t like it, don’t watch it.
    2. You have nothing good to say… Just don’t say anything…
    3. Mind your own businesses!!!

    It is a free country… Like they say your freedom ends before it touches the tip of someones nose…

    1. Media is used by Aquino to Dumb the Filipino voters. This is the reason, his sister: Kris Aquino, who is a Whore is an active participant in the YellowTard Propaganda media.

    2. 1 I Agree
      2 Define “Good” because objective criticism in this country is treated as something “bad”
      3 But this affects me because it affects my children

    3. @Aaaaan

      You are wrong. Those who object to this kind of behaviour need to be vocal lest the majority of the youth think this Pabebe is now acceptable behaviour in Ph society.

      Yes, they are free to make a fool of themselves but others are also free to criticise their appalling behaviour.

      It’s one thing for these kids to create and upload a video on social media but it’s quite another for mainstream media to give them more exposure. It encourages them to continue doing what they are doing.

    4. “It is a free country… Like they say your freedom ends before it touches the tip of someones nose…”

      yeah, and the appalling stench of this type of bullshit is already up to my nose so i guess i’m justified to say that stunt stinks and encourages the further dumbing down of a dumb populace. these morons make johnny knoxville and the rest of the jackass crew seem like MENSA members by comparison. and the pinoy media laps it up.

    5. To Aaaaan:

      1. “You don’t like it, don’t watch it” – Like I said in my previous comment, this is similar to “if you don’t want to inhale smoke, don’t breathe.”

      2. “You have nothing good to say… Just don’t say anything…” I very much would like to hear this being said to you by your younger sibling (assuming you have one) or by your child(ren) (assuming you’re a parent) when you’re scolding them.

      3. “Mind your own businesses!!!” – Oh I’m willing, very much willing to keep out of this issue. However, I have younger relatives, friends and their children who are slowly being swallowed by this system of stupidity. If I am absolutely alone, a hermit with no loved ones, this could be applicable.

      “It is a free country…”- You are correct but incomplete. Indeed it is free but that freedom should be followed by responsibility. If I say I have the freedom to put speakers in front of your house,turn it full volume premised on it is a public space and I have that right to do so, how would you feel?
      I am a citizen of this republic and I certainly am entitled to certain rights and freedom as much as the people you apparently are defending. And if I think any of my rights and freedom is being violated or about to be crossed, I am ready to avail whatever defense the law allows me to have. And the freedom to express it I’m sure is one of them as I am exercising it now.

      “Like they say your freedom ends before it touches the tip of someones nose…” – I don’t know with that but if I noticed that another’s freedom is nearing my space, I will remind that person that his right is about to exceed its limits.

      I am alarmed with the understanding of some Filipinos of what is right and freedom. They seem to define is as “I can do absolutely everything.” Mind you, some businessmen and professionals with their shining credentials have the same thoughts – especially politicians.

      According to Edmund Burke,”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – You decide what do I mean writing it here.

  11. I agree, however, I believe that these girls do not represent the entire Filipino youth.. Also, we can’t just blame it to famous personalities alone. In this era, it is now we, netizens, who have the biggest contribution to the trending topics.. Let’s admit it, we share stuff that we find funny, interesting or annoying even without considering how these things will influence the young audience..

  12. Seems to me that the Filipino net fame scene is just as bankrupt and stunted as the rest of its show business. To these kids, the only way they can garner attention is to look like a fool as much as you can.

    Just by searching around youtube, I found videos where people gained notoriety without pulling down their dignity and reputation. Movies, music covers, sports etc. It’s a whole smorgasbord but alas, these children just can’t get out of their “comfort” zone.

  13. This is exactly what happens when you take out sentai and kamen rider shows in national television. You are left with terrible shows with the loosest morals.

    Half-joking aside… Current Philippine National TV has become a wasteland. Nothing but Celebrities, Telenovellas and trite. So if you’re looking at the TV and wanting someone to emulate… you are looking in the wrong place. Just like black people, if we Filipinos want good role models, we should look up to other races or even fictional characters!

    Which is why I mentioned the Kamen Rider and Sentai series. Because they may be campy, but they at least teach good morals and it actually has a story.

    Unfortunately, picking a good role model is now an alien concept that will guarantee you ire from your peers. But… will lead you to a better road than what they’re travelling on now.

    1. KR 000 is not even enough because of timeslot, horrible dubbing, and less airing time packed with endless ads. And how I wish we get the Super Sentai back, not the stupid Power Derangers.

      1. As I love both Sentai and Power Rangers, why can’t we have both? Are you calling me ‘stupid’ because of that? That’s so lame.

        RPM is much better than Go-Onger, story-wise. And Dino Charge is more watchable than Kyoryuger. If you want to bring Sentai back, please reconsider because Sentai right now went downhill after Gokaiger.

        Can’t wait for the Ninninger adaptation… 😛

  14. The rise of the pabebe girls with Mamon Girl included proved one thing: social media and television has reared up its ugly head. Personally, I find Janet and Michelle’s video a little annoying, and honestly, I am more annoyed with Mamon Girl. I hope being cyber bullied has taught these girls a lesson – think before you click; but then again, my gut tells me Mamon Girl is to be the next fame whore Mich Liggayu. I hope Janet and Michelle’s parents have learned a valuable lesson from this experience too, and that they would exert a little more effort on how they raise their kids.

    1. Like Jessi Slaughter before them, this is an after-effect of popular media. Tragic, but preventable with effort.

  15. When I was in my elementary years in the ‘60’s the Hippies and the Yippies fascinated me. I heard about LSD, heroin, and marijuana. There were songs of Simon & Garfunkel, Peter, Paul & Mary, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Rollingstones, and Elvis Presley, to name a few. Later I learned that they were questioning the status quo of the “establishment” – the British and the American youth, later the American youth questioning the “justification” and “legitimacy” of the American involvement in the Vietnam war. I read about Angela Davis, an American black revolutionary who was a former student of Osborne U., of the burning of the ROTC building at Penn State U. as written by Michener, of the Plaza Miranda bombing which almost wiped out all the LP candidates (when LP was then a viable party with good reputation) and only Ninoy Aquino was unscathed because he was not there. I saw on the cover page of Philippines Free Press Sergio Osmeña, lying on his hospital bed, pointing to the Malacañang, where Marcos and his family lived with a caption of something like he was charging ExPres. Marcos as the perpetrator of the bombing. Of course, we learned of later facts, which somehow now make us doubt as to “who” the real perpetrator was. Then there was Art Linkletter who mourned for the suicide of his daughter due to her involvement in drugs.
    Then there was pre-Martial Law when everything was almost in chaos but I found that period “challenging” because it challenged what I believed in, what the government was supposed to be, what was “burgis” and what was “masa”…. the bureaucrat, the Marcos-US dictatorship. The silent Martial Law years when many of my school mates just disappeared. Then Cory years with all the coup-d-tats and government instabilities. Then government deteriorated and just deteriorated together with the media reporting. The number of Pilipino OFWs increased, families degenerated.
    I read somewhere when I was in the elementary years that “the youth always need something to bite into.” They will always challenge adult authority, the status quo, the “establishment”…..until they discover that they have a “force” to contend with, not always giving in to them, “something” to “discipline” them, somebody to firmly say “no, you are only up to this and not beyond it,” because they will keep on pushing & pushing if not given “limits.” Then they will discover that in life there are “boundaries” which will serve NOT to imprison them but to protect them. That’s why we have rules and laws, whether written on unwritten in order to preserve peace and order and instill discipline.
    In one psychology book, I read that children should be disciplined while young because once they go past the age of 15 years and still undisciplined, they will become problematic adults, mostly lacking in responsibility and accountability, always wanting to satisfy the “here and now” and could not develop “deferred gratification.” As the term suggests, there are many things in life that one wants or needs so much but has to put the desire aside or wait for the proper time that it be “gratified” or one has to work hard for it in order to attain it. But not so now, with all the “instants” in the world – from noodles, to coffee, and even relationships (the term – “friends” but not yet lovers but having sexual relationships already). So, this “pabebe effect” has no place in growing up the right way….. young people should NEVER be “spoiled brats” because being irresponsible is NEVER a desirable behavior. Ok, young lady, try marrying a spoiled brat of a man and what do you get, a passel of kids and no food to eat? Or young man, try marrying a spoiled brat of a girl and imagine what kind of a married life you’ll get. Suppose, you both are spoiled brats, imagine the scenario. NEVER look up to movie personalities to model your life. Carve your own niche. Study hard, work hard, be honest, don’t plagiarize your reports and homework, if you’re a student….then be the best student around, if not the best then just be good. Be a good kid in your home too. Obey authority unless it oppresses you. You will find it easy to be a good citizen in your adult life if you obey your parents. Then develop critical thinking so that you will not be easily duped. Attain wisdom and discernment and ask these from God.

    “Pabebe” is cute but I say, it’s stupid. Be a critical thinker, then you will be called smart. Smart is better than cute, anytime.

  16. Oooops, sorry if I sound like a pious minister or priest or a guidance counselor but when I was growing up I had no role model. I simply studied the best possible I could, worked hard the best possible I can, honest in my studies therefore never cheated in exams, tried to read all my references for my reports and homework & summarized them in my own words, obedient to my parents, did my household chores without being told, read as wide as I could, discussed with family members and friends about issues. I am happy that my school did not espouse any philosophy except academic freedom, tried to expose us to many schools of thought and ideas, so each one developed his/her own philosophy of life by his/her own way of analyses & syntheses. The analyses and the syntheses arrived at took a long time and refinement after school was over, and into the workplace, along with one’s own faith in God, relationships established (whether good or bad), wise & unwise decisions, mistakes made, one’s aptitude & general outlook in life. Indeed learning is a lifelong process.

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