Of debates on ‘kababawan’, ‘kayo na matalino’, and all-around Pinoy apathy

There’s a perverse type of pleasure people with a lot of time in their hands derive with simply prowling the endless frontiers of cyberspace in search of “worthy” causes as a platform to give people a piece of their valuable opinions on things. Or for some, just grabbing the popcorn and soda to simply sit back and watch an online fray like any other reality TV spectator; flaming/trolling every once in a while to keep the game going.

Just take a look at any forum, web groups, and online comments on any write up and one can immediately see a treasure trove of verbal sparring matches, arguments, and pissing contests that range from the stupidest, outlandish premises to brilliant, well-thought out expositions that can sometimes be a lot more elucidating than the main write-up that the argument sprung from.


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Of late, those types of debates attracted the usual crop of first-time visitors to GRP because of the controversial topics that the writers have presented. As always, when the topic is centered around media and showbusiness—a sensitive spot for most Pinoys that can only be likened to stirring a hive of angry wasps—the predictable knee-jerk reaction of the majority who read them is to cry foul at the perceived slight on their right to enjoy what they want to enjoy.

Valid reactions, of course. One simply has to put himself in that situation and imagine being told by someone that what he likes is utter crap. But therein lies the difference between liking crap and knowing it is crap and liking crap and insisting it is anything but. And the point of the articles wasn’t even about that kind of debate. Sure, examples had to be given, generalizations to be thrown, but at the end of it, the bigger picture is that the discussions were never even about the specific shows that the people were so busy defending to death: But at the type of activities where Pinoys invest time, attention, and even outrage.

Of course everyone’s for a chance to de-stress or have the freedom to enjoy whatever piece of escapist fare one has at his disposal for a brief respite from the abysmal reality that is Da Pilipinas. People need to do that to keep their sanity, and no one is questioning that basic right. The length of time and effort to sustain the escapism, however, is where things get a little dubious. Everything else takes a backseat to the escape, and not unlike a junkie who’s in a constant doped up condition, everything is suddenly a-ok even when things around is anything but.

Several comments on the articles were downright fatalistic and defeatist that they highlighted the points raised by the very authors they were attacking. Like how giving attention to the everyday problems and tribulations the average Juan is facing would ultimately be useless because, well, that’s how things are. But again, as what Ilda has written:

“The good news is, if Filipinos work together towards these common goals, they will find the solution to their problems sooner rather than later.”

One can’t help but compare that type of resolve to the overwhelming capacity of a group sharing one goal like the recent INC movement that brought the administration to its knees because of an organized effort to mobilize its members. But most important of all, is that these were people who shared a single purpose and righteous indignation to whatever cause they believed.

Now translate that very same awareness and outrage to the 25M tweets and impassioned supporters of a loveteam and aim that type of statistic to the very evils we complain about day in and day out, then maybe we could get somewhere.

It comes down to a simple question: What can we do to rouse the very same passions we have for our favorite showbiz pastimes to elevate ourselves to a better life by being aware and being proactive about our roles in society?

19 Replies to “Of debates on ‘kababawan’, ‘kayo na matalino’, and all-around Pinoy apathy”

    1. zaxx,

      Write, write, and write more “In Your Face” articles and comments like these on Get Real Philippines and similar blogs. What our “lethargic” people need is to be woken up from their mental slumber, annoyed, and irritated, by constantly being reminded that their ‘stupid’ way of life does nothing but destroy their country and allow it to be fleeced (raped) by the oligarchs.

      It’s as simple as that.


      1. Aeta, Filipinos are zombies! You’ll need lots of firepower. relentless fearless zombie fighters like Milla Kovivovich are what we need to bring the stupidity in this country to tolerable livable levels. It’s a battle for the minds of the next generation; the current generation of Corruptors is almost hopeless

        I agree – annoy them till it hurts. Then maybe 1% of listeners will take notice. Maybe well get 25M tweets if we hit them where it hurts the most – an attack on Phil pride maybe?

        My other strategy is foreign blood. Inject as much first-world DNA into this cesspool society till we dilute the stupidity enough to come up with a next generation that has some semblance of intelligence

        Btw Do you happen to be Robert Heighton under a different user name?

        – common sense for Pinoys

        1. zaxx,

          No, I’m not Robert Heighton; I’m my own name. I also agree with everything you said.



        2. Pasensya na po… isang normal na Pinoy lamang po ako… isang baguhan at nagtataka lamang (huwag n’yo po sanang masamain kung marami na rin pong nagtanong… kung may naisulat na rin po ditto, paki-turo na lang)… nguni’t para po ‘atang ang hirap lang intindihin na kung ang nais natin ay ang maunawaan ng lahat ng Pilipino ang gusto nating ipahiwatig at ipahayag dito, bakit sa lengguwaheng banyaga naman ang instrument ng pagsusulat?… Marahil, ayaw ninyo lang pong insultuhin at hayaan ang kakayanan at talino ng mga sumusubaybay ninyo… Kung kaya’t, maaari n’yo po bang ipaliwanag kung sino po ba talaga ang sinasadyang mambabasa ng mga artikulo po dito?

        3. Salamat,

          The answer–at least from my perspective–is simple. It’s better to observe things from foreigners and Filipinos’, who’ve spent considerable in the Philippines and abroad, point of views.

          These observations are coming from a global angle (outside the box) instead of the other way around, to keep things in perspective and not on a personal level, where they can get out of hand; and, using a language (English) that everyone can–and should–understand for its richness, in describing the issues that are taking place in the Philippines and its people today.


        4. Hey Salamat sorry to tell you but not all people here are not tagalog ultralist like you. We speak different language and the common ground as they say is English. Look at your sentences, there are even English words in it and some bastardized (FILIPINO) versions. So please stop shoving your lovely and limited language. We are not fond of it.

        5. Aeta, maraming salamat sa malayang pamamahayag at sa inyong tapat na pananaw. Maiksi man, nguni’t maganda ang mga punto ninyo at salamat sa paglilinaw ng perspektibo ninyo. Galing na rin po ako sa labas at nakapaglakbay na sa iba’t ibang lugar, na-ikot na ang mundo. Sa mga magagarang siyudad, at gayundin sa lugar ng giyera at sakuna dala na rin ng trabaho (kagagaling ko lang ng Iraq po ako ngayon)… kung kaya’t mabilis ko pong maunawaan kung saan kayo nanggagaling.

          Hayaan ninyo lamang po akong magpaliwanag na marahil ang katotohanan po natin ay sadyang hindi lang po talaga mapupuwersa ang mga tao kung hindi rin po nating kayang bigyang halaga ang kasalukuyang lengguwahe nila. Marahil ayaw lang nating bumaba dito, dahil ayaw nating hayaan ang pagkalugmok sa mababaw na balitaktakan (tulad ng nararamdaman ng manunulat nitong artikulo). Subalit, sadyang marami po talagang hinahamon ng buhay at edukasyon…

          Hindi ko na po pahahabain pa ito. Marahil ‘nga ang isinusulong ninyo ay ang palawigin pa ang kakayanan ng mga sumusubaybay sa inyo na itaas pa ang antas ng kanilang pang-unawa sa pamamagitan ng Inggles at magbigay halimbawa ng mas mataas sa antas ng diskurso at diskusyon. Kung gayon, mabuhay po kayo.

        6. Salamat, I would rather that the Filipino language be killed already. It is divisive, and stifling. Filipino languages should be “archived” already. When you travel around a lot, be it business or pleasure, I bet you you’d be extremely thankful that the locals can communicate in English. So much is lost to language barriers.

          Imagine doing business in Vietnam, you armed only with Tagalog, they only with Vietnamese. Say goodbye to that business op and just keep it as a dream.

          25M tweets – that’s 1 in 4 pinoys? Should we assume another 1/4 absorbed with kababawan from all the other channels combined? That’d mean every other pinoy being kept oblivious to urgent issues.

        7. Aeta, haha I’m actually wondering if Salamat understood your reply in English. I agree with what you said. But hey – not so bad of a command of English for a native Aeta.

          There’s been some clamor for using Tagalog every now and then.

          Salamat, on my end I prefer to use English owing to its far richer superior depth of vocabulary. Tagalog doesn’t even have words for “cute”, “convenient”, “precision” and “quantum electrodynamics”. How am I supposed to express myself effectively?

          I am also a proponent of bringing back Filipinos’ level of English to that in the days of my parents – boy were they good grammarians.
          Good for Call center industry and OFWs right.

          lastly Tagalog is good for singing but not for written text. I man – what a chore to write all those repeating syllables like ” sa pamamagitan ng” — when you can simply and compactly say “by”.

          Hey don’t say I’m a colonial imperialist – I’m just following the national hero’s example: Noli and Fili in Spanish right?

          That’s why I wrote the modern day sequel in English

          Rubbing it in till it hurts…


    2. JustinD, zaxx, sadyang mahirap lang po sa aking magsulat ng derechong Inggles dahil ‘eto na rin ang kinagisnan ko. Totoo po ang mga sinasabi niyo, at ito po ang dahilan kung kaya’t andito po ako at nagbabasa. Hayaan ninyo at susunod, palalawakin ko pa ang aking bokabularyo.

    1. donny monyo,

      I can’t. The article is good and brings up good point. However, something compels me to elaborate even more—for Filipinos who are still in denial, defensive, and simply don’t want to change their ‘country-destructive’ ways. I hope you understand and you’re not one of those Filipinos I’m talking about. Thank you.


  1. haha the discussion on the comments thread here is already so off-topic Benign0 might ban us.

    With all due respect Mr. author I agree with your article, and I really do hope you find the secret formula to getting 25M tweets for GRP.

    Sorry but it seems GRP articles & topics lately are simply knee-jerk reactions to what’s going on among stupid Pinoys. I mean do you have to get your cue every time from stupid Pinoys on what to write about? Sadly GRP doesn’t really steer the ship at the helm on what should be the buzz in Phil society.

    It’s like GRP looking at AlDup with jaws dropped saying “Wow howdtheydothat”

    I also suggest that rather than rehashing and riding on an already worn-out topic on kababawan, it would be great for this site to put more variety on the range of topics. Recently just too much attention on media.

    I mean there should be some program and game plan. How about writing one articled at a time about every bullet point I listed in the modern-day Noli:


    It just feels GRP is passing on what can be a golden opportunity by just following stupid folks do their stupid stunts when it can actually be doing more to be a society’s game changer considering all the traffic it gets.

    Who knows – you may get 25M tweets someday and come to challenge ABS-CBN and GMA in their own game.

    Dream big - think big (Zaxxun Creed)

    “It’s better to aim for the moon and hit a bird, than to aim for a bird a hit a rock.”


  2. What the Bloggers and the Blog Article writers are doing; are what you are telling us.

    It takes time to awaken people; especially the Filipino people, whose mindsets are already desensitized by the Aquino Propaganda Machine; sexual perversions of all kinds; idiotic shows ; thieveries; corruption of all kinds; dictatorship of Aquino; “teleseryas”, etc… It is hard, but it is not impossible, that they will be awakened.

    The Roman Catholic Church, that had been aggressive in removing , Marcos, and installing the Oligarch: Aquinos; is now silent…a deafening silence. Inspite of the fact, that these glaring evil that prevail in our country.

  3. I think it’s a herd mentality…

    You know how when one person thinks something is “cool” or fun, you, the person nearest that one really feels he has to be part of it? It is reminiscent of peer pressure in the developmental aspect, people want to be “cool”, so they think they have to like the same things.

    And if they get attention for “being cool”, i.e. someone fanning the flames, then that’s going to set off a chain reaction.

    One personal example would be the 1 Million march way back when someone had the bright idea to organize a rally/march via social media…it caught on, and people were all passionate at the rally, you could see everyone’s enthusiasm.

    However, since no one really supervised (or wrote very strongly about) that passion, it died down. And then…we’re back to square one.

    It’s an idea, though. Many people have the mentality of teenagers, and thus have to be treated like teenagers as well (e.g. constant monitoring, supervising what they do.) Sad, but true.

  4. Here’s what I noticed why “kababawan”, este, Pastillas and AlDub became very popular and got 5M & 25M tweets respectively. First of all, it was popularized by a show that has many followers and expert celebrities (TVJ, Vice, Jose, Wally etc) who knew how to stir a gullible crowd by weaving stories and remarks that will endear their show to these people. Then a number of regular individuals started a group and make it their life’s mission to spread the word and events on Pastillas, Kalyerserye and Aldub. They never fail to provide info, updates and will leave a teaser every time for the followers to wait for. Then the whole mainstream media dipped their hands on it and make the most of what they can get from it. The result is ALDUB Nation and stupid Pastillas pa more circuit. I think for this same reason INC always had successful rallies. They have a group of people that make sure their followers know what’s happening and what’s to be done. They press them with information they MUST subscribed into.

    Now imagine if the show with many followers is educational or politically involved and there are group of individuals who’ll get together and make it their mission to spread the news and provide updates and info to get a big crowd involved with economic problems and development and the mainstream media also get their hands on it? The problem is most of these people are our leaders in the government busy being corrupt; with exemption of GRP group and the like, the rest of our Philippine intelligentsia are just busy being productive or reaping profits; and our education sector aren’t working to make higher education dominant in our society.

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