How Idolatry Prevents Progress In The Philippines


So people call me out on the harshness of my choice of words, my alleged “arrogance” and my tendency to berate the public figures they worship. Truth be told though, I don’t really blame them. For all intents and purposes, I will admit to the fact that I tend to choose very scathing remarks. Unfortunately, as I’ve already stated, I have no intention of taking back the words I used and while I will take responsibility for my choice of words, I’m not going to revise my statements because many of you have done nothing but prove them true again and again.

Let’s begin by focusing on the word “idolatry”. Actually, I’ve discussed this word time and time again but, considering how utterly stupid people are out there, it seems nobody really paid any attention. Of course, again, all I have to say is: “What can we expect from idiots?”

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Okay, let’s talk about the Bible since that’s what a lot of you like to throw around these days. In fact, one of the few reasons a lot of people voted for Manny Pacquiao despite his incompetence in politics was because he could memorize lines from the Bible as if the only people in the Philippines are Christians and that our social norms are based on the Bible. So okay, can any of you tell me the first commandment among the ten commandments, hmm?

“I the Lord am Your God; thou shalt not have any Other Gods Before Me!”

And yes, God was very serious about this tidbit. You can see how the Big Guy Upstairs got mad about the Golden Calf, that thing called Moloch (which was probably a demon to start with) from the Hill of Hinnom and Baal which the prophet Elijah had to contend against. But then, what do you think the first commandment was really about?

Now, there are a lot of interpretations of it, but I have always thought that it had something to do with obsession. The thing is, what many of us don’t realize, the idea of “worship” isn’t just about another religion. What I’m saying is that, if you’re a Christian, you don’t need to start praying in a temple dedicated to Loki to violate the first commandment.

See, when you become obsessed with something, be it a person or thing, it becomes your god or idol because you place greater value on it than you really should. So, for instance, if you care more about your money than your son, your money has become your god. If you value fame over the welfare of your significant other, then fame essentially becomes the false deity that you worship. Now, if you put more importance in a person or group of persons and are willing to risk the health, safety and general well-being of the people in your community, said person or group of persons becomes your personal divinities.

Now, there is nothing wrong with valuing someone or something. You have to value money because it will ensure your continued survival and a little fame can make a few things a little easier for you. Also, admiring another person is only natural. You can be a fan of anyone you like and you can choose to support them.

Unfortunately, as mentioned, some people go beyond just admiring a given a person and outright worship them. This is especially true in the Philippines wherein there are those who outright see public figures like politicians and celebrities as almost like divine figures capable of anything and will, somehow, solve all their problems for them. They begin to see said public figures as saviors of sorts and start believing that they will somehow save them from their troubles.

While this may seem a bit eccentric, it is essentially our idolatry that dooms us as a people. So you see, idolatry has deeper and more sinister implication than it outwardly seems. I suppose this was why even the Bible is against it.

See, this is what happens:

When you start worshiping another person, you become powerless. That’s right, since you have an excessive amount of belief for a given person, you tend to lose confidence in yourself and accept that you cannot become as great as they are. Truth be told though, while I may seem harsh to my countrymen, I have not given up hope that they might have great potential. I run into amazing people everyday. I meet great storytellers who can put my own stories to shame, artists who are a match for some of the lauded comic artists of Japan or the U.S. and independent filmmakers who are both amazing and inspiring. Unfortunately, even these talented people are overshadowed by the existing false gods of our society and, through their blind admiration, lose sight of who they are and their capabilities.

Take for instance Daniel Padilla who just recycled a bunch of songs that he had so little to do with and yet people worship him as if he was the one who thought up those songs. I don’t know if they got distracted by his face or they simply don’t know any better, but they fail to see that all he really did was rehash pieces of a song that someone else wrote. Few even dared think that they can probably sing better than Daniel Padilla even though the latter isn’t even all that great to start with.

Because of our idolatry, we are only able to follow our society’s heroes instead of working to find the strength to become our own heroes. The potential for greatness has always been within us all but then, due to our blind admiration for others, we forget ourselves and our own talents. Worse yet, we become irresponsible, believing that our “heroes” will do everything for us and provide for us even though we should be providing for ourselves. Due to our idolatry, we hang our hopes and responsibilities on another person rather than take it upon ourselves to do our part in society.

44 Replies to “How Idolatry Prevents Progress In The Philippines”

  1. I hope you supported your claim with socio-economic data. Or would it be too difficult to do actual research on this subject and just put out one’s own opinions? I am sorry but I didn’t see any correlation that idolatry hinders Philippine’s progress from this article. ‘Just saying…

        1. Jim,
          why not in the Philippines?

          In my neck of the woods, it’s ‘refusal to work’ and that will lead automatically to sacking on the spot.

        2. They are much to lenient here. Usually no one get fired here right away. It’s always countless warnings and other dumb shit. That’s one of the reasons why most people don’t have proper work ethics. In my book they would be fired too. But Filipinos have no balls and there is always drama about her having children and how kawawa she would be if she would lose her job.

        3. Jim,
          she (or he) is playing with fire. For her (or him) there are 10 others who would kill to get her/his job. So, no mercy, she (or he) is fired (on the spot).

          So this ‘idolizing’ doesnt lead to progress but for sure it leads to losing one’s job. No tears here. Its just a matter of the right priorities (progress or no progress).

        4. By the way Robert, to give you an example how things work here. I attended the hearing of a criminal case in Court up North. After the first hearing the Judge was asking the defense if they would be available on a certain date for the next hearing. The defense agreed to the date, but the prosecutor said: “Sorry you honor, but that date is not good for me.”

          “Why”, the Judge asked.

          The prosecutor said: “You honor, that would be the day after our town fiesta and for sure I will be drunk, so I can’t go to court the next day.”

          The Judge replied: “Ah I see, well we can’t have that. Then let’s look for another date.”

          This is a true story. Only in the Philippines!

          P.S.: In a hilarious turn of events the prosecutor was killed in a car crash one year later while driving drunk.

        5. I am an Amerikano who has been living in the Philippines since 1961 so obviously I love the country. So my criticism is only out of love and desperate desire to raise this beautiful place out of the pit it has spiralled into since WWII.

          For one thing the work ethic is absolutely DEPLORABLE here! Customer service is NON-EXISTENT!!!! And that is because Pilipinos permit being abused by anyone and everyone!

          My nephew purchased a tablet that did not charge properly from the beginning, kept refusing to fix it for 3 months saying there was “no one there” every time he attended the shop. After 3 months they told him the warranty had expired. The warranty was for 1 year! I asked him why he let them get away with such bad treatment. His amswer “Because I did not want to embarass the store manager”. Damn! He paid Php7K for a defective product and allowed the company to abuse him. A complaint with the DTI resolved that easily.

          Then there is the emmense privledge we have in the Philippines at places with high prices who report profits year after year such as, Smart, PLDT, Meralco, etc., where we stand in line and wait and wait to pay our hard earned money to make such companies richer!

          Dont get me started on ANY business cashiers!!!!! There we stand in line longer than it took to shop for the item(s) we are paying for while the 2-6 (count them!!! Reminds me of the racist joke about how many Polish does it take to change a light bulb….well, if the shoe fits!) People behind the counter move way, way, way slower than a snail, turtle or sloth! OMG! The more people behind the cashier counter the slower they are since they must confer with EVERYONE on such matters of earth shattering importance as how to use the credit card machine or what to do if your item does not have a bar code (heaven forbit! This causes a complete shut down of the cashier for 10-20 minutes). I can’t believe that large companies such as SM, Metro, Pure Gold, etc put up with such incredibly slow work! I have even witnessed a cashier count the change )Php275) before giving it to me SIX TIMES! All management seems to focus on is hiring the lightest skinned people. Amazimgly ignorant!

          While these things I have mentioned are petty nusances, they clearly demonstrate the over all problem that keeps the Philippines in a third world position although the economy is advancing very, very well. If a person from outside the Philippines such as myself finds this attitude at best irritating; at worst downright enraging, imagine what the rest of the foreign born people’s reaction to the terrible work ethic here is! Believe me, we KNOW time is money! Time is our most valuable commodity and we do not appreciate sheer PERCEIVED stupidity and laziness wasting our precious time. So they most certainly do not want to invest in a country where they see people behaving like they are stupid and lazy. Not saying Filipinos are stupid or lazy. I KNOW that is not the case at all. Besides, as a foreignerI would be out of line, misunderstood and called to task if I said that. But give me a break here! IT SURE LOOKS LIKE THAT on the surface!!!!!!

          A far as idolatry is concerned, I agree totally with the writer of the article. I think the saddest aspect of this is the kids who watch the lewd dancing, talking and skanky clothes of many women on popular TV shows and try to immitate that. Sayang!

          The priorities and values here are all screwed up.

          Wake up kababayans! You are selling yourselves out!!!!

        6. Queenie,
          My personal experiences are rather more positive; I dont hope bec I am ‘white’. On the other hand, I got frustrated many times on other occassions.

          “I think the saddest aspect of this is the kids who watch the lewd dancing, talking and skanky clothes of many women on popular TV shows and try to immitate that. Sayang!
          The priorities and values here are all screwed up.”

          Queenie, in my neck of the woods this is common practice since decades. What we used to say is “if you dont like to see it, then dont watch”.
          Every time that I see a pinay at a beach (fully clothed) it reminds me of a Muslim woman.

    1. Research and correlation data are bullshit when it comes to the Failippines; they can be–and will be–fudged. Just look around you at all the hypocrisy in the country, and you can see what idolatry has done. Fliptards will still live an arrogant and selfish life, regardless of their religious affiliation.

    2. Q: How can you tell if a GRP article is a Grimwald article?

      It’s poorly written?


      For any given article on a given day on GRP, I’ve got a 50% chance that it’s a Grimwald article – so just hedge my bet and say yes?

      Not wrong, but this isn’t a Yes-No question.

      I feel agitated, pained in abundance, and like my world has been ripped from beneath my feet?

      He wishes.

      No references or data except where linked to himself?

      Ding ding ding, you win a Panasonic Projector and the DSM-V.

      1. In that case, you’re welcome to read the articles of other contributors who, I must admit, are more the journalistic type than yours truly. I do openly admit that I am a troll.

        1. You are ok in my eyes, Grimwald. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but many people are judgemental, malcontented haters. Don’t mind them. They live in their own teensy weensy hellish fish bowl!

      2. Agree with you, Fracs. Just cannot stand “bloggers/writing” without strong arguments and pass it off as well-accepted facts. The “pen” is a very strong tool.

    3. How about the sick idolatry of children in the Philippines. It’s already abnormal and unnatural how children are worshipped here. So that is no hindrance to progress???

  2. Figurines, ceramics, breakables…, yes that’s what people worship in certain religion(s). Magellan sought a place to hide from the powerful storm… and the inhabitants of the island(s) became the accidental recipient of what they have to say…

  3. I think what is wrong with organized religions, they have a myopic view of the truth, that is why people either become idealist or extremist. It’s harder to accept the truth in order and its true sense. Mostly are blind followers which has cause division among society,instead of unity which is the basic foundation of truth. Morals should unite people to the truth rather than inciting chaos and division. One cant choose religion over Morals since it is diametrically opposed to the truth.

  4. “When you start worshiping another person, you become powerless. That’s right, since you have an excessive amount of belief for a given person, you tend to lose confidence in yourself and accept that you cannot become as great as they are.”

    The problem with idolatry isn’t so much that people expend confidence in aspiring to be like their idols, like energy in a closed system. The real issue with regards to Filipino society is that the cultural narcissism that drives us as a collective, that same drive that explains the materialistic and shallow nature of the celebrities we self-nominate, allows Filipinos to identify common traits between themselves and the celebrity in question.

    “I, too, have Filipino blood!”. And so the narcissist plays narcissist and protects its ego from undergoing the pain of change, content with the idea that aspiration = motivation. More accurate to your statement, idolatry ensures that no worthwhile energy is expended and that the system is able to chug along perfectly.

    This pathology isn’t exclusive to Padilla-worshippers at all. Narcissism has an unnerving way of explaining the behaviours of Dutertards, Mar-tards, the politicians themselves, the mainstream media (especially TV-based), and absolutely with the blogging “alt”-media foundry. Remember that narcissism isn’t the same as grandiosity here – it is only the catchy shorthand symptom. Filipino narcissism is just individual projection times the population divided by total population access to mainstream media/the Church/the internet.

    “What can we expect from idiots?”

    If they’re people raised on a healthy regimen of 50% shame and 50% narcissism, projection to the very core, no exceptions.

    “Actually, I’ve discussed this word time and time again but, considering how utterly stupid people are out there, it seems nobody really paid any attention

    I may be paraphrasing here, but isn’t madness is writing the same blog post over and over again and expecting different results?

    No, madness is expecting attention and a medal for it.

    1. It’s not that I want attention, it’s just I’m really disappointed in how apathetic Pinoys are but then cry like babies when the proverbial shit hits the fan…

      1. so you’re venting, and that’s fair game. Why then do you write like you’re trying to make a logical argument?

        1. The only thing logical about the Failippines, which is basically what I believe Grimwald is alluding to–is the blind faith stupidity of the Fliptards.

      1. Narcissism–with idolatry being one of its side traits; not only in religion but also in status and material possession–is rampart among Fliptards.

  5. From my (secular) point of view, idolatry can be taken of two sides: a person who merely wishes to be like his/her idol, or one who struggles to be or surpass their idols. MOST Filipinos are content with just wishing (di naman masamang magarap di ba) and carry on with their sorry little lives and have little to no impact in general. Others take the bull by the horns, bite the bullet and if by some random chance it connects, ends up the next [insert big name here](its so hard to find a pinoy who made his name in science, i cant even name anyone from the top of my head, which couldve been a good closing note. and before some of you start mentioning agapito flores, armando malite and the lunar buggy inventor, they (or their achivements) are just as real as santa claus and the easter bunny)

  6. Fuck daniel padilla man, and i do thank kabunyan i havent been in the ph for years and have never heard any of his songs

  7. I strongly agree with the observation of the writer of most Filipinos’ perchance for idolizing politician or whoever they fancy. Most Filipinos indeed put into their idol’s hand the responsibility of making their own “dreams”come true and would even create illogical fallacies to justify their “idol’s” failure to realize their “dreams”. As an educator, in time, this idolatry will pass away, as everyone gets better educated, better read, better observers of human behavior, and better “reflective” of their own selves..and of course, these thing come as one turns older…Oh, well.

  8. The YellowTards practice Idolatry…They worship the Aquinos as the Demigods.

    The Aquinos also practice idolatry. They put their pictures in the currency. They name buildings after themselves. They put monuments of themselves, for people to appreciate, or even to worship.

    There was a King in the old Empire of Babylon. His name was : NEBUCHADNEZZAR. He built the , Hanging Garden of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of world. However, he was responsible for the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

    He went insane, and became like a beast, eating grass.

    So, if you worship yourself, more than your God and practice Idolatry. You may end up like: Nebuchadnezzar…

    1. Hyden,
      I know we are talking about a religious country (the Philippines) but what is more important for me is common sense (and common knowledge and knowledge). So, I will not say I worship myself but I will tell you that I do love myself more than I am able to love an imaginary thing. Common sense and religiosity doesnt mix together. Let alone knowledge and religiosity. They are contradiction in terminus.

      When I dont love myself, how can I love another person? And if/when I love something called god and beside that thing love my own partner, I consider that as cheating. Three is a crowd, 2 is enough. And I prefer loving real living things.

      So those who really do worship that thing called god, that is something that really doesnt lead to progress.

      1. @Robert Haighton:

        Whatever your belief is; it is your own. If it works for you, then, practice it.

        We have all our individual differences…

        What may be “food” to you…can be poison to me !

        Let us just respect each other’s beliefs.

        1. Hyden,
          you dont have to respect my belief-system. I will never ask to be respected. My pay grade is enough.

          For sure, I cant respect a belief-system based on air, fakeness, emptyness, lies.

        2. Hyden,
          Pls let me elaborate a little. And pls dont take this personal bec it aint about attacking you.

          If/when I will/would ask others to respect my belief-system, its for me like asking a person NOT to attack it. In such a way that I dont need to defend myself.
          No, I take the opposite side. Pls challenge me and ‘fight’ my belief-system based on facts. This approach can only lead to me opening my eyes, that I am wrong (about everything or about a few or just one issue).

          So again, pls always challenge me. And dont take it for granted.

    1. @Robert Haighton:

      Everything is relative in our consciousness. I cannot understand what you had gone thru, in your life; to have your present belief. Besides, we are all different: in thinking; in education; in culture; in the way, we were brought up.

      Let us leave things where they are…let us respect our individualities and uniqueness. There is only one Hyden Toro, in this world. The same way, there is only one, Robert Haighton in this world.

    2. @Robert Haighten and 121Hyden007Toro78987.99: I found ur interaction interesting and positive. At first I thought u bith were full of it. But as I read I think u r both intelligent well meaning persons. What a pleasant morning read! Glad I stumbled on ut! Cheers!

      1. @Quenee Makulit:

        Thanks. spread the words that, we have good blog interaction at GRP. Please participate also in the web blog interactions. We teach each other. We learn from each other. We have a venue, where we can sharpen each other’s wits.

  9. The vanity of intelligence is that the intelligent man is often more committed to ‘one-upping’ his opponent than being truthful. When the idea of intelligence, rather than intelligence itself, becomes a staple, there is no wisdom in it.

  10. You, the writer of this article and the admins of this site are also guilty of idolatry. Praising yourself as if you’re all that superior and spending your time being condescending.

    BTW, how come this rubbish site that claims to be a ‘voice of reason’ but actually a noise of confusion become a gospel site?

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