Filipino society was again aflutter over the now-famous Miss Universe win by Pia Wurtzbach. Of course, it provides a temporary high after all the depressing truths that Filipinos go through every day. However, this was ruined by a report that Filipinos had been bullying Miss Colombia.
Even host Steve Harvey, who made the mistaken announcement, had been the subject of reported online bullying.
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It was like each time Smart Gilas lost to foreign teams. Filipinos (or even self-declared second generation expatriates in other ocuntries) would flood online posts with hate comments in a show of reckless, barbaric stupidity. But here? We won! And yet some Filipinos are so moronically low and flat that they bully even if they win. They have no right to call themselves fellows of Wurtzbach and other achieving Filipinos.
This goes to show that even if some Filipinos become winners, fellow Filipinos will pull them down with their behavior. Filipinos still carry that sense of entitlement that they should be treated like stars simply because another Filipino has become one on the world scene, or that Filipinos should have special treatment no matter what. But it continues to show the mendicant, free-rider, Juan Tamad attitude of Filipinos – let someone else do all the work and ride on them. Many Filipinos also seem to carry that immature belief that if they must be up, someone else must be down; hence, they pull others down. Perhaps it demonstrates the mentality of someone who feels downtrodden (as Filipinos often do): they are so desperate for attention that they lash out or act arrogantly. The person has issues, as others would say.
Many Filipinos depend too much on other people to give them pride that they become complacent, or too lazy to bring themselves pride. It’s time for Filipinos to realize that they can’t just claim the fame of other people as theirs. They should make their own achievements and prove themselves worthy of being the countrymen of the likes of Lea Salonga, the Gilas team, Manny Pacquiao and Wurtzbach.
As I have explained earlier, the above people and more others worked for their own place in the sun. They do not ride on others’ achievements; they do it on their own. It has nothing to do with their being Filipino; they did it despite being Filipino, as I said of Megan Young. Achievements do not need to be something “showbiz” famous. For example, Filipinos like Dodi Banatao, Yelle Gutierrez Castro, Whilce Portacio, and more, are among the people who need more mentioning for doing things like setting up a pioneering chip company or opening doors for fellows into the comic industry. Another example is, some Filipinos recently have been cited as model citizens in California. Filipinos do not need to strive for greatness and fame. Filipinos are not “naturally” great. All they need is to do the right thing and do it right, and that will bring its own rewards.
Filipinos have long held that famous Filipinos are the ones who lift them up. It should be the other way around. We should be the ones who make them smile. Because if all we do is bully others and spread hate comments, or even arrogant declarations of being “proud to be Filipino” with a hint that we put down other nations, we are bringing shame to Wurtzbach and other famous Filipinos who put us on the map.
Lea Salonga has herself criticized Filipinos for being shallow. Many Filipinos like her who have achieved big things have the right to shower their criticisms on us. It’s because they have shown the good examples that we should follow. And those examples should challenge us to do better. Instead of trumpeting “proud to Filipino” and just doing lip service, we should instead be making good examples of ourselves. For example, instead of wanting a demagogue to bring us discipline, we should do it ourselves. Instead of being shallow and intellectually bankrupt, let us be more intellectually mature. Instead of being me-first, we must have respect for the public space. That makes us worth being called fellow Filipinos along with the other Famous Filipinos on the world scene.
We should thank Miss Colombia for being gracious enough to give up the crown and give it to Wurtzbach after the embarrassing gaffe.
We are the ones who should uplift them. The right thing to do is for us to give them pride, and not the other way around. That way, we lift the Filipino image as well, instead of drag it down. Only then can we be truly called world-class.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.