Is “Nice” Necessarily “Good”? My Question To Common Pinoys

During my teenage days, I took a liking for superheroes for a slightly darker bend. I never really liked Superman since I can’t really bring myself to find anything interesting in the life of a “perfect” person and I lost interest in Spider-Man when he became the posterboy for good-looking pretty boys at least here in the Philippines. As for superheroes here in the Philippines? Well, that’s probably a rant for another day as that will probably make this article too long.


Anyway, when it comes to superheroes, I’ve always preferred those with major issues like Batman, the Punisher or Spawn. While yes, these so-called superheroes border on becoming villains sometimes especially with the last two, one cannot deny that they will at least do their best to get things right even if it comes at a terrible cost to them. You see, even if Bruce Wayne, Frank Castle and Al Simmons are psychologically damaged (and also spiritually damaged as with the third case), they still have a fairly intact sense of morality and do most of what they do, no matter how terrifying it may seem, for the greater good. They also make no attempt to hide their darker aspects with Batman relying on the fear he creates to frighten criminals, the Punisher brutally killing possibly equally brutal criminals and Spawn relying on his demonic powers to battle supernatural threats to mankind.

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Now, what does this have to do with real life, you may ask?

Well, remember my articles about Bong-Bong Marcos and Rodrigo Duterte? There we go. Now, I’m not saying that they’re the real good guys in this country or that any of you should vote for them. In fact, if you really ask me, I’d advise you to abstain from voting as I have lost all faith for the brand of “democracy” the Philippines allegedly has. However, if I really have no other choice in the matter, I think that Marcos and Duterte are quite possibly the only candidates that have any real qualities of a leader.

The problem with the common Pinoy is that he can’t tell the difference between who is “nice” and who is “good”. As Benign0 here states in his article, most Pinoy politicians are either sincere or competent and can never be both. While yes, I can say that both Marcos and Duterte may have resorted to questionable methods for the greater good, none can deny that they still did what they did for the “greater good” and have some positive results to show for it. Many other politicians like to pretend they are good such as Binay giving away freebies and Roxas who likes to direct traffic or deliver goods whenever the camera is on him but are probably anything but.

Look, the thing is, the media likes to present to us the idea of “all-white” heroes who are paragons of humanity and are men and women of courage and righteousness. Unfortunately, if you really pay attention to history, “heroes” are often deeply flawed individuals who try to work towards the common good. They are seldom perfect with some working out of self-interest at least initially (Oskar Schindler and Abraham Lincoln) or those who use questionable methods (Alexander the Great and Nobunaga Oda), but their actions often lead to better outcomes in the long run.

People who are truly good don’t need to waste time to make themselves look good, they just do what they think is best…


11 Replies to “Is “Nice” Necessarily “Good”? My Question To Common Pinoys”

  1. Vote for Kardong Kalabaw. He is the “best choice”…he is better than : Aquino, Marcos, Roxas, Duterte, Grace Poe, Escudero, etc…

    Kardong Kalabaw cannot direct Traffic like Roxas. However, he can carry many bags of Onions; with or without cameras flashing around him, for photo opportunities. He never lie, like the rest of the politicians.

  2. Good post, Grimwald. It made me think back to who my Superheros and their characteristics, actions or words that inspired me. Pres John F Kennedy was my hero.

    He challenged us to 1) “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe” and that 2) “civility is not a sign of weakness” but 3) “sincerity is always subject to proof”.

    Basicly, be a “NICE GUY but TOUGH MAN”. Of course, we all knew his morals were questionable but JFK’s principles were never in doubt.

    Of your choices, I’d go with Duterte. Shaking up the Oligarchs and Tiny Dynasties would be great for Philippines, and his “No Prisoners No Mercy” approach to corruption would help unify the 99%.

    1. i’ll go for the “The Dark Knight” if he runs for the office as well.
      I believe that the foundation of a nation is it’s people. we need to start nurturing our people first like a good parent who supports his kids: food, education, shelter and discipline.
      We need to support the basics:
      law enforcers / army – peace and order (diplomacy)
      teachers – education
      farmers – food (agriculture)

      here are some of the Dark Knight’s words:

      “We need to create an environment where an individual with so much talent can function.”

      “Good governance is good business.”

      The Dark Knight in the senate hearing (rice smuggling)
      “The trouble with us in government is that we talk too much, act too slow, and do too little. let me ask, don’t we? I heard it ones said that what this country needs given the prevailing conditions is not more laws but more good men in public service. let me ask again, do we subscribe to that?”

      1. Hi, Andrew. I agree with all your points. In my opinion, people are exhausted from the endless hope and disappointment cycle. Judging from Davao, Duterte delivers progress and prosperity.

        However, he may need to outgrow his vigilante enforcement system and deliver at least some due process BEFORE execution.

  3. Being too nice is a sure recipe for being walked on all over an NOT getting anything done. I never give a project to a nice guy. An asshole jerk who raises hell makes the best project manager or contractor.

    1. Thanks, Add. I took your advise and followed the link. I read it 3 times, and it’s great, very inspiring.

      Like benignO, however, I’d like to see some specifics on the implementation, beginning with how to reorganize the DOE / ERC so it works for the People.

  4. Nice + Good = Dead.
    Jesse Robredo is the ultimate example of why that formula won’t work in government. Ever.

  5. The Paradoxical Commandments

    People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway.

    If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.

    The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.

    Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway.

    People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

    What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway.

    People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway.

    Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.

  6. Unfortunately, in the Philippines, being a backstabber is the only way to prosper in the government. Ironically, being a paragon on and off the media will only net you disaster from fellow politicos, who will no doubt bring you down.

    Perfect example of this, fictionally, is Ned stark. Whose upright personality got him killed in king’s landing by conniving groups. People like Tyrion, who are devious, are the only ones able to survive and prosper.

    Real life example? As another commenter points out, there’s Jesse roberdo where being nice + good is a waste government wise. historically, the only person I know to be devious enough to bend the government was Joseph Stalin. Who started out as a secretary and manipulated his opponents into destroying themselves and each other thanks to him “muddling up” records and orders.

    To survive in the country, you need to be devious. As sad as that sounds.

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