Why I Think ‘Nice’ No Longer Works For Filipinos

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So, did you think the match was over? Did you think that I just had three scathing articles to offers? Well, guess what. It’s far from over. Believe me, I’m just getting started and you ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s a lot more where my last three articles came from and we’re barely even done with the introductions!

So, are you ready for round 4, people of the Philippines?

You better be!

Now, based on the overwhelming reactions to my previous articles, I can’t help but notice people saying stuff like: “You’re so mean, can’t you say your criticisms in a much nicer way?”, “There’s a nicer way to criticize others you know, why do you have to be so mean?” or simply “You’re too serious with life, you should let people entertain and enjoy themselves!”

Well, here’s my answer:

Because nice won’t work on typical Filipinos. See, when you try to be nice, they either get the wrong idea or ignore you all together. I’ve already written something like this before and I can see that it didn’t really work very well because, again, I was being a little too nice at the time. So as before, I won’t be going easy.

However, this time, I’m going to try another approach. I think I’ll just tell a story. After all, I know that stories can be more educational as they are both informative and entertaining. If you recall the Bible after all, even Jesus and the prophets occasionally used parables in order to drive their points home to illiterate or stubborn people.

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So let’s start:

There were once two girls who were best friends. Their names were R and L (sorry, I’m not feeling very creative right now) and they loved to party because, after all: “Girls just wanna have fun!” As students, they would spend all day and all night partying and, because they were both very rich, they had little too worry about when it came to their basic needs.

However, because they indulged in partying a little too much, they often went to school late (if they even went at all, that is), overlooked assignments and projects and almost always failed exams. Both their grades were abyssal and their teachers made no effort to hide that from them and contacted their parents about them. Shocked, the parents of both girls decided to talk to the teachers about the low grades of their daughters.

R’s parents spoke to the teachers in a civil manner. While they were certainly upset over their daughter’s standing in the school, they were determined to understand what actually happened with their daughter’s studies. When the teachers explained to them their daughter’s habits and lifestyle preference, R’s parents decided to have a word with her when they got home later. In their house, R’s parents told her that while it wasn’t bad to party, there were still many things in life that she had to consider. She needed to think of her future because, her parents reminded her, they wouldn’t be there forever and that, sooner or later, she would be on her own. They told her that she could still party if she wanted to, it’s just that, she would need to make adjustments and prioritize her studies if she wanted to have a good future that she could really enjoy. Their conversation ended with R’s parents telling her that the teachers were often right and, even if their corrections sounded mean, they only wanted her to improve her performance and, even if she chose not to obey them, she should still respect them and hear out everything they had to say.

L’s parents were utterly furious at the teachers for giving their daughter such a low grade. How could they fail her exams when they paid top dollar to the school? When the teachers tried to explain the situation to them, they wouldn’t have any of it and went on to even accuse the teachers of being insecure and envious of their daughter’s wealth and beauty. When they got home, L’s parents told her not to take what the teachers said too seriously and that it was they the teachers who had the problem, not her. They told her to continue as she did because they were rich anyway and had little else to worry about in life. Finally, they told her to “never stop partying” because she had a right to be happy no matter what other people told or thought of her. If anyone tried to correct her and her lifestyle, those people were just being envious and bitter and had no right at all to talk to her that way because she deserved to be happy.

Life resumed for the two girls and L resumed her lavish lifestyle as did her parents. R changed though as she took her studies a little more seriously this time. While L continued partying as her parents did, R began to take things into perspective and began to take an interest in her studies. Of course, R still partied as hard as she did before only this time, she also set aside time to study and think about her future. L, on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered to changed anything as she believed that she had every right to party as her parents had said.

Then the hard times came and both R and L’s families lost a considerable amount of their wealth. Because they spent more time on partying and buying luxuries and because they knew little about how actual business works, L’s family slid into poverty in the course of a month as they couldn’t even be bothered to change their lifestyle which was defined by parties and vacations. R’s family, on the other hand, were quite practical and managed what meager budget they had so they could at least survive comfortably and keep R in school.

L soon noticed the way R had changed and talked to her about it. R then told L about what her parents told her. She also said that it would be best if L also took her studies a little more seriously as it could also improve her life. L didn’t wait for her friend to finish and just slapped her in anger. How dare R correct her about her lifestyle. L walked away from both R and their friendship and refused to speak to her since then.

After years passed, both R and L went their own way. R went on to become a doctor as she understood the idea that a society improves when its people are healthy and that people should receive a regular checkup so they can be sure that they always stay healthy. L, her family now destitute as both she and her parents focused more on partying than saving money, was reduced to becoming a stripper or exotic dancer as she had little choice in career paths and didn’t want to make any adjustments in her life.

Slowly, R regained the wealth her family had lost through her efforts as a doctor. Soon, she became head of a hospital because even when she made a mistake, she was always ready to listen to the corrections of her superiors. As her parents had said, not all of the criticisms aimed at her were correct and only some of them were even remotely nice, but she listened anyway and thought them over before making her decisions. While she didn’t follow all the corrections given to her, R nonetheless thought about them, allowing her to make better decisions and fix her mistakes before things became worse.

L, on the other hand, got worse and worse. Being an exotic dancer isn’t all that simple as it turns out. Of course, being an exotic dancer wasn’t just about looking good after all, it also meant that you actually knew how to dance. L was so accustomed to having a maid to apply her makeup that she didn’t know what to do now that she had little access to both. When the other dancers tried to help her and teach her to improve herself and her performance, she would get angry as she would think that they were talking down to her. Worst of all though, she never changed her lifestyle and continued arriving late and often got into a fight with management. Eventually, things got so bad that she eventually resorted to prostitution just to survive.

By some stroke of luck, the two friends eventually reunited but this time under sadder circumstances. As it turned out, L became one of the patients in one of the many hospitals that R owned. The particular hospital that L was confined at was reserved for AIDS patients and it was here that she encountered R again. While the two regained at least some of their lost friendship, L could only lament that if she had at least accepted some of the criticisms aimed at her all those years ago, maybe their reunion could be happier. Or better yet, had she listened to what R had to say from the very beginning, maybe they could’ve stayed friends.

***

So you see ladies and gentlemen, I’m not telling you not to have fun okay? You have every right to be happy and enjoy yourselves from time to time just like anybody else. Heck, I myself am a hardcore gamer and spend a considerable amount of time adventuring with friends and guildmates in various MMORPGs. However, what I’m trying to say is that while escapism may be good and, in fact, essential to living a happy and healthy life, we shouldn’t allow our lives to revolve around them.

Also note that while criticisms can be harsh, just as my friend Sean Akizuki says here, we have to at least listen to them. It doesn’t really matter whether their right or not, we should at least be willing to see what they’re about before reacting immediately. Now what we choose to do about them is best left to us.

Of course, I’m expecting that some of you here still won’t get the point. That’s why I’m telling you now that we are by no means anywhere near the end of this match. There are more rounds to come.

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15 Comments on “Why I Think ‘Nice’ No Longer Works For Filipinos”

  1. Yo, Grimwald!

    I like your article. Actually, I have read your “beatdown series” and much more. You are my favorite writer here in GRP.

    Enough of my flattery.

    May I suggest that you should proofread your articles? Perhaps a round of editing, revising and double-checking will do.

    I also write similarly-themed articles, just so you know.

    P.S. Paano pala mag-apply dito sa GRP?

  2. THAT IS TELLING THEM…Mr. Thaddeus Grimwald…That is telling them!

    However, I doubt, if your message and parable, will ever penetrate their “Thick Skulls”…Filipinos are full of: Pinoy pride; self righteousness; dysfunctional mindsets; etc…

    The last time a good Person did that teaching; to change his peoples’ ways of thinking; was tortured and crucified, by his own people ; he wanted to teach…

  3. Speak the truth in all things, and speak the truth with love. No one likes a nasty-ass, they are like rats! not even other nasty-ass’s like them.

    There are many ways to live life, and having fun is one of them. All things, but in moderation…is a good rule of thumb to live by.

  4. hey Grim…i like your idea of hitting them hard and then following up with parable-like article…i have lots of ideas in my head that i would like to put to paper but just don’t have the same talent you have…two thumbs up for you

  5. Great piece! But I’m afraid it’s falling on deaf ears. Those people live they way they do because they want to. Change takes effort. You can’t just sit around all day drinking Red Horse and Tanduay and blame someone else (your Government) for all your shortcomings. Change requires personal responsibility. Keep preaching though brother, you’ll reach a few who really do want change.

  6. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

  7. In a mass consumer based economy, run by a corrupt government, with officials in the pockets of greedy businessmen…”nice” or “pa-cute” sells.

  8. Oh yes, in the other article about “stupidity….” along with the glorification of mediocrity in the media…they are money makers too.

  9. Nice cute little short story there Grim. I guess R stands for Ms. Right who did the right thing and L for Ms. Left who got left behind.

    Anyway, the fact that you ended with something like “so the moral of the story is…” means you are addressing little children – very much befitting the 3rd grader mentality of the general Pinoy audience.

    Everything needs to be explained or else they won’t get it. When will Pinoys mature enough to analyze and think on their own? Maybe we should stop the spoon-feeding memorization type of education, and bring it to the next level. DECS??? – hope someone’s listening.

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