Denial Syndrome: The Biggest Filipino Big Problem

The Philippines has always been saddled with many problems ever since its inception. Of course, just about every country does after all. However, it becomes more than a little frustrating when so few of our problems have been addressed let alone solve. True enough, modern technology has come to the Philippines in full force, helping some people on an individual basis but has failed to really improve us as a people in any way. As a matter of fact, as I’ve said in a lot of my previous articles, it has only served to make things worse. Unfortunately, few are aware of this and even among those, only a precious handful are actually willing to do something.


I remember Benign0 mentioning something about Scandinavians being a much happier people compared to Filipinos. This is of course quite ironic since Pinoys like to smile all the time. However, as pointed out here, the Pinoy smile isn’t meant to display happiness but is used to cover up the dysfunctions inherent in both individual Filipinos and the society they live in. Sadly, as I have come to realize, there probably aren’t many who are willing to admit to this aspect of our culture and would probably prefer to pretend that they are indeed happy even when their home country is under the threat of natural disasters, foreign invasion and terrorism.

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What’s even sadder is how many Pinoys confuse “positivity” with saying only good things and “negativity” with harsh criticism. Indeed, in our often misguided efforts to look “positive”, we resort to dishonesty (as stated here) and delude ourselves into thinking that we are “happy” even when we clearly aren’t. At the end of the day, we simply sweep our problems under the rug instead of making an active effort to solve them and violently lash out at concerned people calling us out on our bullshit.

The truth is, the kind of “positivity” Pinoys can be more accurately called “denial syndrome” as it is less about actual happiness and more about pretending your problems don’t exist. Ladies and gentlemen, it is this aspect of our culture that has allowed many of our dysfunctions, some of which has existed for centuries now, to continue to the present day. One reason why we even call ourselves “Get Real Philippines” is because we want Filipino society to simply accept and come to terms with our failings as a society so that we may eventually find a solution for them and improve the Philippines.

Here’s what’s really happening because of our “Denial Syndrome”:

We Create Unnecessary Angst

While Scandinavians do possess a different culture from our own, I think one reason they’re happier as a people is because they’re more honest with themselves. Many of my friends from Sweden, Norway and Denmark are very open about the topic of sex and all that it entails unless of course there are children among us and, at that point, they themselves will try to redirect the conversation to more wholesome subject matter. See, from what I’ve experienced, Scandinavians simply take things as they are. They don’t try to cover it up or make it look like something it most obviously isn’t. Sure, they sometimes use “politically correct” terms like erotica instead of porn but I’m sure everyone agrees that erotica is also a form of porn (of better quality perhaps) unlike many Pinoy producers who simply insist: “It’s not porn; it’s art!”

Remember what I’ve said about perversion and, as some studies have confirmed, by suppressing our sexual natures, we essentially just rub salt in our wounds metaphorically. What’s worse is that, because our approach to religion is less about spirituality and morality and more about superstitious dogma, we vilify and demonize aspects of our personality instead of coming to terms with them.

Our Problems Will Persist And Worsen

The thing is, when faced with problems, we aren’t the kind of people who step up and solve the problem ourselves. Instead, our automatic response when faced with a challenge is smile and pretend nothing’s wrong instead of think of a way to finish the task at hand. When faced with criticisms, particularly harsh ones, we instead resort to attack the messenger with ad hominems instead of first listening and considering the points they are presenting.

It is this mentality that has time and time again defeated us as a nation and prevents us from ever achieving our full potential. Unless we learn to actually face our problems as they are, we will never really find a way to solve them and do away with them for good. As long as we simply keep smiling like idiots instead of actually thinking about viable solutions to our country’s problems like traffic, corruption and the possibility of a hostile takeover, then I assure you: We’re pretty much screwed as a country.

Look, I’m not saying that you should stop enjoying yourself or watching AlDub. What I am saying is that we still have priorities, responsibilities and problems we have to face sooner or later. We need to face them before they destroy us completely as a people and, believe me, they already are.

No One Will Want To Help Us Anymore

Remember that there’s a line in the Bible that God helps those who help themselves. Unfortunately, Pinoys often ignore this because they find it easier to simply beg for help instead of fixing the issue themselves. The Philippines is still largely reliant on foreign trade to even just provide a living for its people. However, its self-important culture also looks down on foreigners proper and the constitution itself prevents them from ever prospering in the Philippines.

We like to pretend that we’re an independent country with a self-efficient society but the bottom line is that, unless we can accept that we’re just another impoverished, third-world country under the threat of terrorism and other nastiness, then we will always be an impoverished, third-world country under the threat of terrorism and other nastiness. What’s worse is that we have to ask ourselves what we need to do once our long-term foreign allies face problems of their own.

I often worry that, because of our passive-aggressive attitude towards them, they may eventually give up on us and leave us for dead…

17 Replies to “Denial Syndrome: The Biggest Filipino Big Problem”

  1. How can you solve the biggest problem of the Philippine which is poverty when there are not enough jobs to go around. And everybody talking about all kinds of problem and not demanding from the government to creat jobs for the people .

      1. Agrarian Reform can only work if the land is still a farmland, and not some “concrete wasteland” full subdivisions,high rise condominiums, resorts, shopping malls, and other commercial properties.

      2. It can also only work if the AR department is not staffed by people who are ignorant hicks and hopelessly corrupt.

        Cezar: I’ve said this before, but it is not the gov’ts job to create jobs. It’s the gov’ts job to let the people work unhindered. Big difference.

  2. >> When faced with criticisms, particularly harsh ones, we instead resort to attack the messenger with ad hominems instead of first listening and considering the points they are presenting.

    I like this part Grimwald. I actually called someone out for a grammatical error in their comment sometime back, and I got some quite butt-hurt reactions.

    It was just my honest-to-goodness intention to help raise our level of English in the country, but it seems your statement is just so true. Is this the essence of Pinoy pride?

    Like in the army, we watch each others backs. And iron sharpens iron. I correct you and you correct me – that way we move forwards and progress as a team/society. Seem Pinoys want to stay stuck in the shit-hole of their own making.

    People, next time – when someone corrects you, just swallow your stinking pride, say “Thank you” and give your warm smile of appreciation.

    1. If not that, at least listen to them and consider their words carefully. If someone insults you and says you have B.O., you can choose to snap back. However, when said person is gone, try smelling your armpits and decide whether or not you’re using enough deodorant.

  3. It is easier to Deny that problems exist; than work for solutions , for these problems. The Aquino administration’s way of solving problems: Blame it on people. Blame it on the previous administration. Blame it on Marcos, who had been dead for thirty years.

    Our political leaders are too lazy to work for solutions. However, they are eager to feast on the Pork Barrels, DAP, PDAF,etc… given by Aquino. Aquino used our tax money, to bribe these politicians, to further his political agendas.

    1. It not only Pinoy who uses dap and PDap to get rich . It is been going on since Marcos time. We are just lucky to uncover it through greedy Janet napoles . What a luck . The greatest thiefery of the century and nobody convicted and they will go free ..

  4. @ Grimwld. its true, no one is coming to the rescue next typhoon happens. After the theft of the relief supplies and the money being stolen by the gov’t., the word is out…..DO NOT SEND MONEY TO THE FAILIPPINES…it will be stolen by the government.

  5. I had a former friend, who was suffering from stage four cancer. What he did was Deny, that he had cancer. He told me: “by denying my cancer, the cancer will go away”.

    Unfortunately, the denial did not worked. He passed away a month later.

    “It is in accepting your illness, that the healing process will begin”. This is what my nephew, who is a practicing Psychiatrist, here in the U.S., told me.

    So are we as people. It is in Accepting that, our country has many serious problems, that were mostly caused by our irresponsible political leaders. From there, we can Heal what ails our country now…

  6. We mute the realization of malevolence – which is too threatening to bear – by turning offenders into victims themselves and by describing their behavior as the result of forces beyond their control.

    1. They will smile and welcome you aslong as long as you are providing something, the minute you arent or your back is turned you will be the stinky white ghost of the west named Joe

  7. Your article was doing well until the last paragraph. Why did you have to talk about the bible and god? You’re about to tell people that the answers to their problems are in the bible lollll. That’s a terrible reference. No wonder why Filipinos are so backward. Keep your personal folkloric religious believes out of this. The main reason why Scandinavian countries are progressive is mostly because they are not religious. They are pragmatic. Pragmatism is the key ingredient to build a strong and healthy society. Filipinos are the opposite of pragmatic. They are emotional, religious and animist.

  8. Hello. I ‘m from Canada and I spent 2 months in the Philippines (went in different places in Luzon). I must to admit that I got a HUGE cultural shock about many many many different aspects of the Filipino culture. I was very naive before going there because I was thinking that the Philippines was a civilized country… HELL NO!!!! Absolutely not! There are some Filipino individuals who are more civilized than others just like here there are some Canadians who act like assholes but in general I’m sorry to say that the Filipino culture and mentality are very primitive. There are so many examples. Where should I start? During my very first day in the Philippines, someone has recommended me to go in the wet market of Tarlac. Ok, great! I LOVE MARKETS!! I thought I knew what a wet market was because we have some here in Canada. Like the St Lawrence Market in Toronto. In my mind a market looks like this:
    So let’s go to the wet market of Tarlac. Once I arrived there, I received a fucking uppercut in the face in terms of cultural shock because that ”market” was nothing else than a nasty and stinky chaos and I still don’t understand how can it be legal to sell and buy FOOD there because It was so nasty. I can’t describe a place like this. It was A MESS!!! There was a huge and heavy smell of dead bodies in putrefaction. I don’t know if I’m an asshole for saying this but nobody in the west would imagine that a place like this exists on earth cuz it was too disgusting and unethical. Here’s the market I’m talking about:,120.5895506,3a,75y,36.75h,85.17t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1snG9Mx06w0tMsZLW7unVjig!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    So the fucking asshole that I am got the brilliant idea to go inside that wet market to see what’s going on in this disgusting place. DAMN!!!! That was not good. I saw many absurdities. I will never forget this… There was a butchery stand where they sell dead meat that is not refrigerated at all. They keep rotting meat there now matter how hot and humid the temperature is ( if you get sick with this meat, then just go puck yourself because it’s not our problem). There were tons of flies flying around that meat but what got my attention was a butcher man of about 45 years old who was laterally sleeping on a counter full of blood with his smock with tons of flies flying around his legs right in front of the costumers. Nobody was surprised nor shocked to see something like this except me. Apparently it’s common and normal for employees to sleep on a counter in this place ( I saw people sleeping at work so many times in the Philippines). But I was not used to this so I got so shocked!!!!! I asked to the scammer woman who was working there how come there’s a guy whose sleeping on a counter like this in front of everyone, and you know what she told me? He’s sleeping cuz he’s tired cuz he woke up early this morning. HE WOKE UP CUZ HE’S EARLY!!!! FUCK ME!!!!!! I saw everything now. How fucking disillusioned is this? That was my first official encounter with the Denial Syndrome in the Philippines but not my last one. I started to realize it’s impossible to tell the truth to Filipinos. They deny problems all the time and find strategies to pretend that everything is fine lollll. According to many Filipinos, there is only problem in this country and it’s me. It’s my fault of things are going so bad there because I talk about these problems. The real problem is always the person who mention them. The butcher man woke up early so he sleeps on the counter. So what?

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