“Hindi naman siguro fatal iyan” (It’s not fatal anyway) – Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) head Emilio Abaya’s words, when asked about the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila. Abaya later clarified that “not fatal” means “not burdensome to the daily lives of the people.”
Oh, if he only knew. He apologized eventually, after citizens called him out on his insufferable and callous remarks.
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If only I could say that the utter disregard for the well-being of the ordinary Filipinos is something relegated to their government, I would. But alas, that is apparently not the case. After all, the character of the government merely reflects that of the people who elected it.
Let me ask: how many of us have been in arguments like the one shown below, especially for those who are motorists?
Person A: Hey, watch it! We almost got into an accident!
Person B: May nabangga ba? (Did we get into an accident?)
Person A: That’s not the point! You should be more careful!
Person B: May nabangga ba? Wala. O, ano nirereklamo mo diyan? (Did we get into an accident? No, so you shouldn’t complain!)
Sounds all too familiar to many of us, I bet.
The principle of “no blood, no foul” is at work here in Filipino society. As long as one’s not hurt, as long as one’s alive, he/she has no right to complain. And if one of the parties does die? Well, he/she can’t complain anymore. Pasensyahan na lang. Convenient, isn’t it?
What is the part of this mentality I find most disturbing? Because there is no full-blown incident, the typical Filipino thinks that there’s nothing wrong with the way he does something. He keeps teasing fate; eventually his luck will run out and when an incident does occur, he will claim it is the fault of the other party. Worst case scenario, he loses his life.
There is no reflection on “why did that happen” and “what can be done to keep it from happening again”; there is only “no harm, so there’s nothing wrong”. There is no sign of having learned any lesson; there is only hubris enforced by a lack of personal accountability.
I’m not allowed to complain because nothing happened? What if something does happen? What if someone dies? I’m still not allowed to complain?
Yes, in Filipino society complaining is generally unacceptable. You should just grin and bear it. Because, after all, you did not die right?
If you die, pasensyahan na lang. Ang tanga-tanga mo naman kasi eh. (If you die, sorry. It’s because you were stupid.)
If, as a Filipino, you see nothing wrong with such a prevalent and chronic attitude, then it should come as no surprise why your society is such in a decrepit state.
Wala pa naman nangyayari sa akin eh. (Nothing’s happened to me yet.)
Aantayin mo pa ba may mangyari sa iyo bago ka kumilos? (Are you going to wait for something to happen to you before you do something?)
Hay, mga kawawang Pilipino nga naman, di na natuto… (Sigh, pitiful Filipinos, they never learn…)
[Photo courtesy: martoccio.com]
А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.