The Philippines will never improve while its self-perception is not aligned with REALITY

World class. Tourist haven. Investment darling. Friendly and hospitable people. Heart and a lot of fighting spirit. A positive and happy place. The list goes on and on about how the Philippines sees itself, and consequently, how it would like the rest of the world to see it. To Filipinos and Philippine society, keeping up images and projecting oneself in a “positive” light are of utmost importance.


Filipinos place a great emphasis on how they are viewed by others. The significance of this statement is indeed a lot larger than it seems at first. Once one has lived long enough in the Philippines, however, any positive image you may have will most likely be replaced, if not completely shattered.

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Infrastructure is lousy. Traffic has become unmanageable. Public transportation is running on fumes. We still have a decrepit airport even if we’re not on the 2016 list of World’s Worst Airports anymore. The ongoing bullet-planting incidents, allegedly by airport personnel themselves, are not helping our reputation and image to tourism one bit. We are only too willing to scam visiting tourists because we perceive them as having a lot of money.

The ranking of the Philippines in the Ease of Doing Business index has not only slid down a few places compared to last year, it’s downright pathetic for a country in a region of high-achievers. Corruption, bureaucratic inefficiency, government ineptness, government inability to honor contracts, and the restrictive business environment in the Philippines are some of the factors that negate any “positive” thoughts Filipinos may have about doing business here. In fact, some in the business community have been quoted as saying “It’s no longer fun to do business here”.

As one can glean from Filipinos’ reaction to the World’s Worst Airports and the Ease of Doing Business index, they are more concerned about the rank than they are about the actual improvements being done on the ground.

Filipinos are a friendly and hospitable people, only until you start criticizing anything about them. Regardless of who the criticism comes from, Filipinos will more often than not raise their middle finger whenever they are the target of criticism, or they are put in what they perceive as a bad light.

Believe me, there is a lot to criticize about the Philippines. Both locals and foreigners will agree with me here.

Filipinos treat those outside of clan and friendship lines with utter disregard. The prevailing attitude here is me-first. Regardless of whether Filipinos are on foot, or behind the wheel, they have this baseless sense of being more important than anyone else. Filipinos cut lines, ignore rules and regulations if they think they won’t get caught, and worse, will pick fights and play victim if you call them out on their misbehavior.

Heart and fighting spirit alone do not make a people improve if the brain is not present. There is a lot of fight, a lot of action in Philippine society, but there is also a lot of aversion to thinking, and a thick atmosphere of anti-intellectualism.

The Philippines may be a happy and positive place, only in the sense that Filipinos are predisposed to keeping a smile on their face and keeping a “positive attitude” in the face of adversity, but the state of the country today is hardly anything to be happy and positive about.

Filipinos are too full of themselves and have such high self-regard. What is lacking is any inclination towards doing the hard work of making sure their self-perception and their reality actually match.

It is easier to spin bullshit than it is to build a solid foundation. But true progress and improvement never did come easy, nor did they come by spinning bullshit and believing it.

The Philippines’ nakedness has been called out so many times. Yet it seems like in none of those times has the Philippines ever responded and stepped up to the challenge of fixing themselves. Instead, Filipinos lash out at and blame the one who points out their flaw and makes it their fault for not putting the Philippines in a positive light.

The Philippines is a land of opportunity – a land of wasted opportunity. A lot more will continue to be wasted unless Filipinos get rid of their unnecessary self-pride and self-regard. They must come to terms with the fact that they’ve got a lot of work to do in order to improve the Philippines from the dismal state it is in now.

And no, there will be no hero who will do everything for them and lead them to the better times on his own. Filipinos need to pull their own weight.

[Photo courtesy: and the disgruntled democrat]

35 Replies to “The Philippines will never improve while its self-perception is not aligned with REALITY”

  1. The Philippines will never recover from the 3rd World status Poverty stricken country of 32 years of MADPnoy doing of changing the first world status of masagana99 legacy of our Great nation President Ferdinand E. Marcos, courtesy of the American,Japanese,Malaysians of the economic hitmen of shulzt,bossworth,Cardinal Sin,dandingcouangco,Senatong Alibaba Enrile and his napolis list of money bathub auditors.

    1. I enjoy reading your rants and agree with the sentiment of some of them.

      I would just like to add that a Filipino is all about “saving face.” His legendary hospitality and sensitivity to criticism are all about saving face. So it is with this unrealistic self-perception.

      1. Dick S. O’Rosary,

        That “saving face” you’re talking about is the aristocratic (hambog) syndrome all Filipinos suffer from and it focks up the country.

        Here an example. When a Japanese loses face, he takes his own life. When a Filipino loses face, he takes someone else’s life.


        1. Exactly! Totally unrealistic of a Filipino to care about saving face when everything around him is focked up and it just creates greater focks for him!

          A Japanese man would be more realistic. Shame=death. Nothing could be simpler.

    2. @ Eterio, surely NOT ever a 1st World Nation, NO……if Marcos had not double-crossed the people at Westinghouse(2/3 towards the end.)and a prosperous Middle-Class had emerged….BUT IT DID NOT !
      Wake-up you fool.

    3. Elect digong and get propelled to 1st world status, agree to dictatorship
      Abolish Congress, Abolish PDAF/DAP/PORK,
      Raise the gov’t employees salaries,cops etc
      Create “Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau”
      decongest and decentralized manila’s imperial power in the form of federalism, create very simple rules like fine, loiterers, smokers, crackdown all the crooks in the gov’t(it’s hard but it’s doable)
      in 10 or 20 years we’ll probably be in a good place

  2. The reason the Philippines is not alligned with reality is because its people’s egos are always full from consuming too much ‘Pinoy Pride Chicken.’

  3. …and crime is totally out of control.

    The other day my friend parked his car in Manila and some dude casually walked up to him and said “give me some money now, or I will damage your car when you are gone”.

    Nice country, nice people.

    The death penalty is what this country needs. But not only the law, no, a few executions very week.

    1. Jim DiGriz,

      It is a focked up country, in spite of the people’s claim that the people are friendly and hospitable. In reality, every focking Filipino is out to serve himself (or herself), and will resort to every mean possible to get what they want—even if it means resorting to illegal, immoral, and unethical ways. When caught or exposed of their dirty deeds, they’ll feigned innocence by using this antiquated and overused line. “Pasensya Na Po” (We Beg Your Pardon) as a “get out of jail” card. This is the reason why the Philippines, and its people, are FOCKED UP.


        1. Jim DiGriz,

          “Poor” is deeply-embedded in the Filipinos’vernacular, that justifies their reasons to be envious and covetous of what others have. I invite all these “poor” Filipinos to compare their ‘poorness’ to the people of Somalia or other poverty-stricken and war-torn countries, so they will see what really “poor” means.


        2. You don’t want the poor to act poor. You don’t want the poor to act “aristocratic”. You don’t want the poor to act proud. You don’t want the poor to act dastardly. You don’t want the poor to act selfish. To act covetously. To do this way or that way or whatever else you find poor.

          So what do you want the poor to do, Aeta? In all your vim and vitriol against the poor — our poor — you have never spelled out what it is that you want them to do, a way for them to act that would satisfy you.

          This is your chance. I’m giving you the ball. Now catch.

        3. Pallacertus,

          The answer is so simple and right in front of you, but you wouldn’t be able to see it because your melodramatic rhetoric is adding to your confusion of always trying to evade the truth about our people.

          If you’re poor, accept your circumstances, and let others acknowledge your situation, without your constant nagging to be noticed. Your persistent effort to be noticed just makes you appear “cheesy” and pretentious, by trying very hard to get others to notice you so they can come to your rescue.

          That same “panhandling” stunt had been pulled by our government officials to the international communities before, during, and after the super typhoon Yolanda; and, the same underhanded tactic is being applied today on the United States to come to our aid against China, by pulling every trick in their bags to convince the world that the Philippines is being bullied to the corner, when it’s actually our own people who are bullying one another.

          The ‘I’m poor and a victim of unmitigating circumstances’ tactic is getting way too overused, to the point of abuse, and now gradually being refused by everybody. It’s time our people start “putting our money where our mouth is.”

          If we are going to brag about our “Pinoy Pride” of being a resourceful and resilient people to the global communities, then we need to stop the “I’m poor” act, in need of any forms of assistance from people of other countries, and start learning how to work together as one people and one nation, if we want to sound and look more convincing to anyone.

          Now, is that simple enough answer for you, or would you like for me to break it down even further so you’ll understand? I know you’re going to come back with a long-winded response, so I’ll keep playing the proverbial “small violin” while pretending to be listening.


        4. No need to break it down for me, Aeta — I think I get it. In fact I thought you’d reply that way. You’re not the first person nor will you be the last to propose that the poor shut up their trap and let others count for them.

          But doesn’t this “acceptance” — this letting others identify who the poor are — this washing of hands off even the (what I would think human) desire to identify oneself — doesn’t this strike you as supremely passive? For all your revulsion against what the poor do as I’ve enumerated above, they at least do something, they at least choose to be, even in ways repugnant to others, in an effort to live a life not completely repugnant to them. The whole notion and process of “accepting” as you use it strikes me not as a way of life — not a way to make do given your circumstances in life — in its passiveness it strikes me as an order for the poor to marginalize themselves still further, in effect subjugate their wills to yours, since clearly they cannot contribute — but you, you obviously can.

          A death wish in its essence, but not for you — for THEM. In the repeatedly demonstrated fact that you can plumb wax with sheer hatred, in attacking the poor, but have no clear program on how the poor can contribute to nation-building — apart from the imperaitve that they work together as one people and one nation, never mind what for — I find sufficient grounds.

          So ends my long-winded reply. But would it please you to know that I once thought this when I was bit wetter behind the ears? Train of logic largely similar, but then I was a poor Pinoy myself, realized I bit my ass thinking that way, and in any case it was insufficient as a plan of action.

          Just so you’ll have something other than the world’s smallest violin to play along with as you read on.

        5. Gerry, in Antarctica only a few scientists live there. At least they’re well-fed and don’t have backstabbers for colleagues or Oedipus for an audience — owait, we’ve still got climate change deniers. So rolls down the damned stone — or the dagger raping the mind’s eye — Jocasta, Jocasta, let down your hair —

          — where was I? Yes, Gerry, even in the Cold War there was no such thing as a 4th world. And even if there were, no need to use their poor to trivialize our poor. And before you copypaste links, I’m fully aware that the term is at least in Wikipedia. People suffer, no need to compare and contrast. Being poor is not a Trivial Pursuit question.

        6. we cannot blame the poor for having a hellish life with a very narrow hole to escape poverty, they have long been poisoned for decades so they do not have the intellectual capacity to question and be aware of what is really going on and why they live in hell, well hopefully if there’s a selfless and honest leader who can turn government downsideup a simple solution should suffice like creating a ladderized program that will teach the poor how to fish in a goodway

        7. Pallacertus,

          You really have a focked up way of twisting what others said to fit your delusions; and, you won’t take everyone’s advice even if they overwhelmingly agree your rationale is focked up.


      1. “For all your revulsion against what the poor do as I’ve enumerated above, they at least do something, they at least choose to be, even in ways repugnant to others, in an effort to live a life not completely repugnant to them…”

        Bullshit all the way. What “choose to be” are you talking about? More like resigned to their fates and drag everyone along to their misery is more like it. You’re starting to come off as the village idiot in this site, Pallacertus.

        1. To be = to exist. I thought arranging the sentence that way would make its meaning obvious in that context, but then the phrase is seldom used in the matter these days.

          Of course if you want to see it that way, then it’s valid for you, ye opposable digital digit. But of course their lying and cheating and stealing as Aeta condemns can be viewed in more than one way, since no one thinks the system we all live under and ascribe to is not brutalizing and inhumanizing to the have-nots. It’s all a matter of angles, all matter of whether you think you share something with them or not.

          (I’m an archaic anachronistic logorrheic sopshit sophist, please forgive meh .)

  4. The only way to better/improve yourself is: to face your own Realities. We can delude ourselves; deny our dismal conditions. However, our Realities stare back to us. We cannot hide from them.

  5. Philippine economy:

    You have two cows. You hire four employees to milk them ans a security company to guard your property. One of the employees milks the vows why the other three are busy chatting on their cell phones. At the end of the day the milk and one cow have been stolen.

    1. I have a better scenario: for every 3 bottles of milk produced, 2 make it to the employer’s inventory, while 1 disappears into oblivion, while the security guard makes sure no one gets caught.

  6. Perhaps Pinoys have always idolized Americans and their fun-loving wild wild west ways.

    We have cloned or Americanized ourselves that leading to the deterioration of Filipino values and loss of identity…thanks to the addictive American media.

    Now Pinoys believe we can live like Americans…lahat panay sarap na lang.

    Nothing wrong with enjoying masarap…the problem is they think its free and can be had cheaply.

    So if it is cheap and free, why work hard to get it?

    Nothing is free.

    The reality is that Pinoys sit back and enjoy a fun and relaxed life, make a fool of themselves, live in their cheap make believe world…

    …as long as somebody else is paying for it.

    1. Pinoys have idolized an illusion of TV Americans- which have nothing to do with reality. Most Americans are very serious and hard workers. Most have no time for ” fun ways”. Except in the movies- and then, it is a job, too.

      1. Filipinos will embrace any culture–whether real or not–as long as it will help make them look glamorous, intelligent, and affluent.

  7. Filipinos are friendly and hospitable as long as money flows from your pocket into theirs. Try changing the direction of the flow and watch them run away.
    There are hospitable Filipinos- or they were so back in the old times. Now, you need to go to the deep provinces to find them.
    The Aeta are one such Filipino. They are nice with no need of a handout. They like you just or being you. They share what they have. Too bad they are so poor.

  8. mumbay,

    “Filipinos are friendly and hospitable as long as money flows from your pocket into theirs. Try changing the direction of the flow and watch them run away.”


    The Aeta people are poor because our fellow Filipinos are ashamed of them and have kicked them in the corner to be forgotten, because our indigenous Aetas’ unappealing look and lack of social ophistication will not help raise our modern countrymen on the pedestal of social regality.


  9. Everything in this article is just damn accurate. It’s pretty shameful right? Our country has a fairly stable goverenment (in the sense that we don’t get coups every few years or so) and more freedom of speech compared to our other ASEAN neighbors for example yet we abuse these good things we have to the point that foreigners and yes, even locals are turned off by this country and we have both the ruthless people in the government and the leftist side to thank for that. They seem to be the only privileged ones when it comes to being able to do a lot of things with this country – from destroying it to manipulating the masses.

  10. The issue of ‘saving face’ means nothing to the thieves that run the biggest criminal syndicate in S.E.Asia,it doesn’t!
    it is a malady that effects only the ‘MASSA’.

  11. Analysis of most commentator mostly base in metropolitan manila, that is the norm in that place, however if you try to travel to the province, barrios, and villages you will see a different Filipinos. In metro manila is a rat race survival of the fittest while in the village it is an easy going life everyday and they are happy of what little they have.

  12. This hits the nail in the head. It just boils down to the fact that Filipinos are the most narcissistic people in the world.

  13. Here are some reasons how those ‘turkeys’ that we call leaders have taken the country to where it is today.. this ‘sh*t creek’ we can’t seem to wade out of.

    1) Most Filipinos are functional illiterates even as the country’s ‘literacy’ rate is at 95.3%. Most sales clerks have had at least a year of college; most bus and jeepney drivers have been through high school; all the Armed Forces and Police personnel are high school graduates or better. These ranks do not yet include the government and private sector operatives;nor the teachers.. all of whom have college degrees. I suppose all these help achieve that 95.3%% figure. The problem, however, is that after school, this vast army of ‘literate’ persons stop learning. There is a dearth of anything to read that might enlighten and enrich their minds. The little that there is, in the way of reading material, is aimed at the ‘inteligentia’ who can appreciate and afford these trade journals, books and magazines. There, too, is a lack of public libraries.. even in most schools. Through no fault of theirs, the young Filipino mind stops to acquire knowledge after school.. and begins to deteriorate. With the population’s age median of below 24 years, this is such a pity.
    2) Schools’ curricula do not emphasize Civics. This is elemental to learning how to behave in a society. A good dose of Civics in schools, at all levels, could go a long way towards promoting civil discourse and unselfish inter-personal relationships. Civics is the foundation of politics and political choices.
    3) Movie and TV entertainment leave a lot to be desired in content and programming; and, as an industry, are missing out on the opportunity to uplift the viewers’ intellect. The mind-numbing inanities that are palmed-off as entertainment only serve to blunt and cripple already susceptible minds; and, movies that cater to the public’s voyeuristic appetites, definitely weaken and desensitize even stronger minds. These industries are, today, singularly driven by ‘profit’.
    4) Government officials and all politicians are probably aware of these problems, but are not inclined to do anything about them. They seem to be preoccupied solely by the ‘shelf life’ of their positions and/or by the next election cycle. This, of course, is motivated by the desire for more personal wealth. The more cynical among them would even welcome a ‘status quo’.. even encourage clueless, but popular movie and TV personalities to join their slates.. promoting, thus, a country-image of being totally about “Show-biz and Politics”…”Politics and Show-biz”, and guaranteeing a trajectory towards permanent mediocrity.
    5) The present system seems to have become a treadmill that the country is chained to. If one thinks that the country could not sink any lower, just remember.. ”ignorance often begets more confidence than does intelligence”. It’s a terrifying thought, but with ‘turkeys’ leading us, we will never soar like an eagle.

    I do not pretend to have the answers. I would say, though, that to someone perceptive, the inverse reciprocals of the foregoing points might be worth looking into.

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