Filipinos should seize the opportunity to define themselves on their own terms NOW

If there is something deeper that would characterise the last two to three years, it is an increased confusion around Filipinos’ sense of identity as a people. Filipinos no longer enjoy the benefit of being told who they are. This is thanks to the rise of the Net and, specifically, its killer app — social media. On these technologies was kindled an important debate around a notion that had long stood on shaky ground — the Filipino identity. Before social media democratised thought leadership, just a handful of characters stood out as beacons of “national identity”. Not surprisingly, these were cults of personality created and propped up by traditional powers-that-be.

Fortunately for Filipinos, social media had come along to host a more real debate that yanked the rug from right under the fat feet of these historical figures. No longer do Lapu-Lapu, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Manuel L Quezon, Douglas Macarthur, Ninoy Aquino and Cory Aquino collectively hold oligopolies over Filipinos’ historical frames. Not even Jesus Christ could now be held up as the sole redeemer of “sins” by the mighty Roman Catholic Church in the aftermath of the rise of atheism as a perfectly acceptable topic of conversation in polite company. Furthermore, Ferdinand Marcos is no longer Filipinos’ historical “bad guy” as a new generation of young Filipinos begins to challenge the historical dogma that dominates the sparse landscape of Philippine history scholarship. Even Satan hismelf, once feared simply because he is, supposedly, the “Evil One”, has lost his fear factor. That’s because following centuries of fear mongering around the nebulous notion of “evil” perpetrated by the Church, modern-day philosophers now hopelessly struggle to agree on a working definition of “evil”. Indeed, a more modern and better grasp of cause-and-effect has vastly diminished the role of religion and superstition in efforts to explain and come to terms with how the world works.

Unfortunately for Filipinos, on the other hand, this loss (or severe reduction in relevance) of beacons and shepherds to merely follow had proven to be a bit disconcerting. Long-content with behaving like a massive herd of 100 million heads comfy in the false sense of safety in numbers, many are now faced with the prospect of thinking their way through a minefield of ideas. Filipinos now feel lost. This loss of their bearings in the 21st Century sea of ideas is what accounts for the rambunctious nature of today’s “debate”. Those who feel threatened by this heightened debate and challenge to dogma are mainly members of the elite cliques of Filipinos who are heavily-invested in those traditional symbols of “thought leadership” that 21st Century technologies had rendered obsolete. Those who quickly adopted the new tools of the trade and adapted to the more fluid technologically-leveled “free market of ideas” embrace the idea of competing for an audience and, more importantly, competing for an audience’s trust. The emerging losers in this competition — traditional media and entrenched oligarchs — desperately need to evolve in order to survive.

In the 21st Century media landscape, trust is no longer an entitlement. The trouble with traditional media is that it remains addicted to the idea that their lot are entitled to their audience and their audience’s trust. This is evidently no longer the case as we are seeing today. Even before the advent of social media, Big Corporate Media has had to employ increasingly dishonest means of acquiring and securing their audience. They have degenerated from being sober and conservative messengers to the screaming sensationalists that they are today. We see this in the shameful way news is delivered over television today in the Philippines with news programs like ABS-CBN’s Bandila resorting to the use of grotesque graphics and sound effects to augment the shock value of what they “report”.

What the traditionals fail to see in what appears to be a chaotic battle for relevance is that this upheaval is a necessary step that Filipinos need to take to mature into a truly enlightened society. This enlightened society where people learn and undertstand ideas rather than inherit or merely believe them is what will serve as the robust foundation upon which a stronger sense of identity could be formed. Philippine society is in the midst of a turbulent adolescence that it needs to go through to test all options and get a feel for the boundaries on its own terms. This is an era when Filipinos are charting their own course towards the future rather than simply treading a template path laid out for them by traditional powers-that-be. On this new landscape of exchange, former colonial masters and entrenched oligarchs no longer set the agenda nor frame the debate. The conversation goes where free inquiry takes it.

The key to seizing the rich opportunities offered by a citizenry newly-empowered by readily-accessible technology is to learn how to use freedom wisely and with courage unencumbered by the obsolete thinking of people and institutions that are out to control rather than facilitate. It’s time Filipinos seize the opportunity to define themselves today and not just wait for the loudest and shrillest voices to do that for them.

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23 Comments on “Filipinos should seize the opportunity to define themselves on their own terms NOW”

  1. We have now :the social media, the Information Technology, the internet, etc…

    Computers have changed our civilization, our way of life, and our way of thinking. Never before in the history of mankind, that information can be accessed thru a few keystrokes from our computers…

    Any Filipino can be informed easily in a matter of second. The mainstream media, which was used by the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, and other crooked politician to peddle their , “cult of personality” is no longer relevant. Fake news, disinformation and other tools used by the mainstream media to promote their political patrons are not working.

    These political tools are contributing to the demise of the traditional mainstream media !

  2. FILIPINOS FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WHEN THEY ARE IDENTIFIED AS FILIPINOS IN OTHER COUNTRIES. Why is that?

    FILIPINOS do not want to look like Filipinos. Filipinos feel dismayed if their Italian is not Italian enough or their French has heavy accent more so English.

    Filipinos do not want to be identified as Filipinos. That is why they have aisles and aisles of skin whitening creams like industrial-strength Eskinol skin Whitening Lotion with Papaya Extract.

    This is not a show of patriotism or nationalism towards their looks and skin color. THEY HATE THEIR LOOKS AND SKIN COLOR that is why Vicky Belo is making a lot of money. My Pinay GF, just for the fun of it, called Vicky Belo clinic to set an appointment. She has to wait 2 and a half years for skin whitening and nose job.

    WE WERE JUST LOLing !!!

    1. WHY RETOUCHING FILIPINO FACES AND SKIN COLOR IS NOT GOOD.
      1. When the retouched Filipino produce babies they will look the original mum or dad
      2. What is best is marry a white foreigner
      3. Or, go to hated China for DNA-engineering. THIS IS THE BEST!

      Else, if they are poor, LOVE FILIPINO FACES LIKE A MOTHER SHOULD because it is the only face they got.

      This is what I have been telling my Pinay GF over and over again until she doesn’t talk to me. Love your face … think like a colonist … like your skin color … enjoy your language and/or dialect … be patriotic … be nationalistic … BUT DO NOT LIKE FILIPINO CULTURE … those dancing on the streets … which is now boring and in vogue …

      I took her to Chiang Rai and Bangkok on two occasions for their water festivals SHE IS LIKING IT. She asked why Filipinos do not have water festivals. It is fun. It is cool. It is like being a child again. SINULOG and THAT dancing event AT KALIBO AKLAN is now blase and boring. IT IS NOW EVERYWHERE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

      *** CAN’T THEY BE MORE ORIGINAL FOR ONCE? ***

      1. Originality is a quality pinoys are allergic to. They idolize and even take pride in whatever beauty pageant. I rarely see a contestant without some European name or non malay features representing the Philippines which I know is not typical of the Philippines.

        They get some foreign show and dumb it down with Tagalog dubbing . Pinoys feel they have to inject their own distinct baduy into something, Baduy is about as original as we get.

        Pinoys like to think they have this monopoly on basketball “puso” and yet can not make a dent globally in the only sport they care about. They love to brag the PBA is the first pay for play league in Asia yet they can’t dominate even the region to save their lives.

        They elected a president with zero orginal ideas and nothing to show for half a century of being on this earth except dead parents. Oh he used symbols from the 80s in 2010 and the uneducated and uninspired ate it up. When his term expired, his would be successor just campaigned on the platform that he worshipped the non original guy and his fans were so butt hurt he lost.

        The one dominant super hero comic artist here just ripped off Wonder Woman and Plastic Man and he is worshipped. Originality is non existent.

        1. I will gloat whenever I want ( since you seem to know I am gloating) . I stated FACTS. Try it sometime before you call someone a snowflake. All you did was call me names and give some lame link I won’t look at since you didn’t bother disproving anything I said. Call me snowflake all you want and whatever opinion you want by avoiding my statements. Come over hear and make me enjoy your lame link. Go ahead call me more baseless names. I notice you have been doing that in other entries to other people. KSP is the root of all evil.

        2. As a Pinoy with a confused sense of identity, Gogs is allergic to originality himself.

          He only knows and writes about foreign films, foreign music, foreign sports, foreign personalities, foreign art, foreign cultures, foreign etc…etc… in a supposed discussion site about the Filipinos and The Philippines.

          (Paradoxically and it’s funny, American Oratio seems to know more and writes more about The Philippines than Gogs.)

          His KSP identification with what he writes about, in his mind, is his redemption and source of bragging right.

          The only time he writes about his own is when he is disowning it.

          However, one fact Gogs’ colonial mentality can’t escape is his ZERO contribution reality when it comes down to his claim of originality being a Filipino… obviously being of no value to the larger whole.

        3. Gogs does not have the frankness to admit his state of Pinoy neo-colonial mindset that he had to use and drag Ilda into the scene. And for what?! For nothing!

          Well, you can just go over the body of work of them two and soon find out that it will neither change nor save anything for Gogs.

          Ilda with her excellent submissions tackles real Philippine issues while Gogs, prefers to populate a Filipino discussion blogsite with purely everything foreign of what he, in his fandom, wants, then injecting some pinoy bashing along the way, for effect, just as an excuse, to sort of honor that lacking Philippine connection ingredient.

          To illustrate:

          Ilda can be straightforward and crystal clear with her attacks on Filipino films with the end objective for the improvement of, you guess it, the same Filipino films.

          Gogs, on the other hand, being a true agent of colonialism, is rather pretentious, presumptuous and vague in declaring, “In my soapbox that is called Get Real Philippines I champion a few causes and one of them is preserving the classics.”

          But a champion of what exactly? His conceited entitlement is legendary in scolding a taho vendor who happens to pass by his place, obviously just trying to make a living, because he considers it baduy! The poor vendor, for whatever significant things that Gogs has that he lacks, can be considered a real champion provider for his family.

      2. Kulas, I have been writing here six years and I have never heard of you till you started calling me elementary school recess names and yet I am supposed to conform to you??? You obviously have not read .00001% of what I wrote. No wonder you defend obnoxious taho vendors who do not pay taxes and do not care about peace, quiet, tranquility, etiquette and order.

        Who hired you to be my program director? What you call disowning is my way of identifying what keeps pinoy culture esoteric to the baduy. The only country in the world where basketball has a monopoly on attention and resources and pinoys do not contend at all. You want comfortable lies go to Rappler and the tabloids. I speak the truth. Pinoy content is focused on the feeding the baduy and no one else cares. Yet you want me to care. My time, my decision. Out of curiosity, who does listen to your advice on what to focus on since that seems to be your goal. For me to conform to you.

        1. And what do we get with such a reply? Gogs arrogance delivered NOTHING!

          The only message I’m getting from someone whose record of ZERO societal contribution is clearly nothing more than just an egocentric self-congratulations and nothing more!

          Gogs is GRP’s version of Anastacio aka Nasty personified, “the classic “crow perched on a carabao”, thinking and acting nauseatingly superior” just because, in this case, he happens to write for GRP, “inequitably comparing everything here to how they are in the first world.”

          Gogs’ objective is questionable, his end game is FANDOM!

          I also speak the truth!

          “Filipinos should seize the opportunity to define themselves on their own terms NOW”!

        2. I really find it strange somebody who comes out of nowhere from the word go wants to put the shackles on me. Defines my contribution and wants to redefine my parameters. Who else have you done your consulting gig for? I should be kissing your feet since so far you have not sent me a bill.

  3. Pilipinos have awaken from the yellowtard oligarchs family of marcial bonifacio aka ninoy aquino the madbomber of Plaza miranda and late Santa corykot mahjong of the Catholic church of late Cardinal Jaime Sin(kasalanan) who connived with Mark malloch Brown smartmagic of comolect commissioner andres bautista the chef of lenilutong lugaw(stew) that fooled and dumbdown pilipinos for thirty five years of hacienda luisita self interest of a malaysian pilipino, whose unworthy life is not worth dying for,.

  4. You can only identify yourself relative to a larger unit, and that larger unit can only define itself through its individuals.
    If such is the case, then it would be intuitive and practical for me to strive and fight for the welfare of that which I’m a part of.

    You define yourself through recognizing and identifying with other people’s being.

    1. As far as I’m concern there are only two worlds one can choose to be a part of, the world of the elite or the world of the ordinary people. I choose the latter because it is the world where the opposite of God lives, and that is Human.

      1. How can one with such a crucial role be inherently ordinary? It’s a defective mechanism if you have to manage and thrive in complexity. So does limiting excellence to a few… And can’t we have higher aspirations be pragmatically realized?

        1. Hence the construct, stereotypes, in psychology,
          People tend to follow others and lead a mediocre lifestyle, which is tried and safe.
          A role is only crucial towards its relation.

          And how do we measure success and ideals in relation to this?
          Well, having enough food to eat and water to drink are necessities.
          If your relationships with people define you, paying attention if you are with the poor or the rich and acting in respond; then you are a follower of some sort.
          Beliefs tend to be very powerful and self-limiting. Being able to create something unusual and new is extremely rare, not always rewarded outside of the self, and very exhausting.
          And even if the country goes to hell in a handbasket, it may not matter a lot in connection to finding the self ideal.
          If mediocrity is a wavelength, you can be rich in terms of having more money than you necessarily need, and still live a life of incompetence in relation to my ideals.

        2. Ordinary people is my model of what being human is because obviously I can see them as human and there is no complexity in that. I cannot make God as my model of being human because I do not know what he/she look like, trying to make God as a model of being human, now there’s a complexity.
          If you want people to have higher aspirations, then make them aspire to become more human because human have brains and start using it, God don’t need it because He/She is God.

        3. uh…There is a fallacy in what you believe in? How can you follow something, and at the same time, having no knowledge of what it is fundamentally prior? It makes you sound like a blind follower.
          Well, whatever it is that makes your boat floats…
          Personally, I prefer people who are introspective and challenge their beliefs and question their morals (not that i care so much regarding this.).

          Most people don’t care about this self ideal unless you are with them, and they benefit towards its realization in a handful of ways.
          For instance, desires to feel connected and to belong to a group; and in response, contradicting, and be in conflict of an ideal that’s subjected within the self…
          A desire to be dutiful further muddles the disorder.

        4. @unonw:
          Knowing ourselves is something fundamental to how we function in relation to everything else, and the basis for accurate judgment and action. We are evidently inclined to find meaning and sense, and we need to improve as we go along— so we can go further. Even as we get overwhelmed by cues that systematically ruin and muddle that process, we can actually choose the better influence.

  5. Personally, and just my observation, I’ve never been with people who are so easy to deal with. A human (my idealized version, at least) can’t be ordinary unless you don’t know them personally and very well. What exactly is that higher self? To serve others is simply idealistic.

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