People come and go. Governments rise and fall. Disasters (natural or otherwise) happen and leave their effects. In this regard, the Philippines is not much different from other societies in the world.
What distinguishes us is how we react. Despite knowing some things happen cyclically, rather than improve their response, it seems Filipinos collectively would prefer to go around in circles.
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The cycle of rearing Pinoys
Starting from the family, Filipino children are reared to obey their parents unconditionally. Children are still seen by some families as property of the parents; they can do whatever they want with and to these kids, even to the point of humiliating them and eroding their dignity.
Normally, kids are encouraged to be curious about their surroundings, and ask questions to get answers. But it seems that there are still quite a few among the Filipino grown-ups who don’t like entertaining questions from kids. Some of the grown-ups think that being unable to answer a question is a loss of face. Some probably think that asking questions disrupts the air of “harmony” or “bliss”. Still others may think that kids should concetrate on being children – property as defined previously.
Worst of all, certain Filipino grown-ups who do unacceptable things to/in front of their children don’t own up and apologize to them. Rather, they scare the kids into saying nothing, or else the young ones face risk of physical harm.
In short, certain Filipinos don’t treat children with respect for them, but rather treat them with the respect which puts children “in their place.” Anyone who’s been told, “bata ka pa, wag mo muna isipin iyan (you’re too young to think of such things)”, could attest to this.
When these Filipino kids grow up, most of them may do it to their kids because it’s the only way they know. Or worse, because they feel the need for “sameness” or “retribution” towards their kids. These are the type of people who strengthen the case that Filipinos should stop having children they can’t raise properly.
This manner of rearing and molding young Filipinos continues in our universities. It is obvious from the collective state of Pinoy society that students are taught what to think, and not how to think. Especially with schools run by religious orders, feeding them political dogma is but an easy, extra, small step when you’re already indoctrinating them in religious dogma.
And what happens to the “leaders of the next generations”? They wil simply keep on the tradition of dogma in the Philippines – their elders will shove their beliefs down on them, the students will be discouraged from thinking, and thus become additional bricks in the wall.
The cycle of reacting to unfortunate events
A few factors come into play when talking about how Filipinos react to unfortunate/unforeseen events:
1) Some view natural disasters as “tests of faith by God”
2) Most Filipinos don’t plan for the future.
3) If a good idea is someone else’s Filipinos will find a way to take credit for it, or discredit that idea by discrediting the people attached to it.
With that, Pinoys follow a predictable cycle:
1) Observe cavalier disregard for their environment.
2) Get hit by calamities.
3) Smile, grin, and bear it, then finally;
4) Blame the government for not doing something.
Filipino government officials, on the other hand, follow their own cycle:
1) Disaster preparedness protocol/infrastructure are not given the proper budget.
2) Legislators ignore preventive measures if there is no way to insert themselves into the picture.
3) Local unit suffers avoidable damage in calamities.
4) Legislators conduct hearings on why they were caught unprepared.
The cycle of victimhood
No discussion of Pinoy culture is complete without mentioning their penchant for victimhood. Filipinos, quite simply, don’t recognize personal accountability; to them, their misfortunes are usually someone else’s fault.
If you failed to prosecute an opponent, they cheated.
If you lost a competition, the other party cheated.
When your opponent gives as good as he takes from you, your voice is being “stifled”
Do Filipinos truly want to change their society, truly for the better? Then they need to improve on how they do things for the next cycle.
Otherwise, Pinoys are just spinning in circles. And they keep coming back to the same thing over and over again.
Photo credits to 350.org
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