Pinoys Need To Learn The Meaning Of The Word “Indignation”

Today, Thaddeus Grimwald is going to teach you a new word: Indignation.

Say it with me now: In-dig-na-tion… Indignation!

Do you understand what it means though? Well then, this is what this article is for, explaining to you the definition of “indignation” if you don’t already know what it means.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more


The thing is, even with fellow Filipino English-speakers, I still rarely hear the word being used. Indeed, for many, “indignation” might even seem like a “big word”. You know, one of those words with a very deep meaning that can potentially make the noses of dumb Pinoys bleed because of their apparent sexiness.

Well then, let me define the word for you:

“Indignation” is a negative emotion similar to anger or sadness. It is also similar to the emotion known as “outrage” but “indignation” goes a little deeper. However, the most important thing to remember is that while “indignation” might be negative, it is not altogether a harmful emotion.

See, “indignation” is being angry or upset when you see something wrong is being done. A good example would be getting angry when someone, especially a stranger, starts threatening or hurting your loved ones for no apparent reason. Another good example would be being enraged or furious when you see politicians spending your hard-earned taxes for frivolous or nonsensical pursuits.

However, what often happens is that a lot of you fail to understand the difference between “hate” and “indignation”. While somewhat similar (emphasis on “somewhat”), hate and indignation are actually quite different. Hate is a very personal negative emotion and focuses more on an individual. Indignation, on the other hand, is about disliking and criticizing an act. For instance, while you may bear no ill will towards a young thief who is probably only committing crimes because of poverty but you still probably won’t appreciate if the thief stole your phone or jewelry now, would you?

[pullquote align =”right” size=”16″]Hate is a very personal negative emotion and focuses more on an individual. Indignation, on the other hand, is about disliking and criticizing an act.[/pullquote]One reason I’m raising this topic is that there are so many of you out there who mistake our criticism of various individuals, be they politicians like President Aquino or celebrities like Vice Ganda as “hate”. The thing is, I for one, don’t really hate them. At least not personally, anyway, as hard to believe as that may seem to you. Indeed, if President Aquino was a responsible and mature leader, I might actually respect him. If Vice Ganda stuck to cleaner forms of comedy (perhaps similar to British gay comedian Stephen Fry) and stopped bullying people and trivializing things like rape and suicide, I might even like him. But, from what we can see, that’s not the case at all and that’s what’s making me, as well as majority of the GRP writers here, very upset with them.

From what a lot of you say: “You should just leave them alone because they’re just having fun!”

Well, let me ask you this: If President Aquino and Vice Ganda started raping a child on live TV, am I supposed to just change the channel and think nothing of it? Am I just supposed to “let them be” and not judge them even if it’s clear that they’re violating someone’s rights? You tell me…

There, I hope now you know the meaning of the word “indignation”…


12 Replies to “Pinoys Need To Learn The Meaning Of The Word “Indignation””

  1. New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations here used to make me ‘indignant’ that so much hard-earned money was being spent on producing explosive sounds – even in broad daylight – supposedly to drive those nasty evil spirits away, at the cost of, at last count, 145 injuries to hands, face arms etc.
    But now I am beginning to see the error of my ways, and how judgmental I’ve become, and so having come grudgingly to accept that this is part and parcel, warp and woof of what this culture is all about, and all in the interest of having ‘fun’.
    So who am I to begrudge these dedicated diehards for having fun?

  2. Well most of our fellows do like superficial things. And when they see something they didn’t like they bite like rabid dogs when they see the mail man delivering the mails 😀
    Like when I talk to someone and it didn’t make sense to them they just spew out “EDI WOW” or “IKAW NA” without even trying to understand anything at all.

    1. ‘EDI WOW’, ‘IKAW NA’, ‘PAG MAY TIME’— People who use these phrases screams ka.cheapan all over them! Cant stand em

  3. Whatever you want to use the word : “indignation”…our thieving and lying politicians cannot understand it, or refuse to understand it.

    We should vent our indignation to what they are doing…DAP, PDAF, BBL Law, Pork Barrel bribery, overstatement of scholastic achievements to get elected, the disappearance of the Typhoon Yolanda Relief Funds, etc…

  4. I was expecting that Grimwald would dwell on the need for Filipinos to be more indignant about what obtains in the country today. Instead, we got a primer on how to view his blogs.. ‘hate vs indignation’. This is not to say that an exercise in vocabulary is not useful.. because it is.

    For so long, the Filipino has been dealt with by their government in a manner that can only be described as cavalier, indifferent, aloof and even contemptuous. And, condescendingly, this same government praises the Filipino as patient, forbearing and resilient. This cycle has been repeated over and over by all administrations.. from the much ballyhooed ‘Great Society’ of Marcos, to the present ‘Matuwid Na Daan’ of BS(Pnoy) Aquino.. and the results are remarkably consistent. In the countryside, the man behind the plow is now joined by his sons..behind their plows. In the urban centers, more and more men and women are lining up for menial jobs abroad.. just to get by. All the while, the rich and powerful seem to become richer and more powerful. The poor and the weak have simply become poorer and weaker.
    Clearly.. patience, forbearance and resilience do not work. Clearly.. it is time for some other visible emotions and attitudes. We must show ‘Indignation’, ‘Annoyance’ and ‘Outrage’. A strong message must be sent to these government big-shots that we as a people are fed up; and, that a lot more is expected of them.

  5. Bad luck with women is a determined man’s road to success. For every affliction, he makes, out of indignation, yet another advancement in order to exceed the man that the woman chose over him. This goes to show that great men are made great because they once learned how to fight the feeling of rejection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.