True or False: Filipinos are not stupid, they just need more money

The statement may sound like the Philippine equivalent of the African expression “Africa is not poor, it is only poorly managed.” Many onion-skinned Pinoy-pride crybabies out there will find this highly offensive, as if some innocent girl flashed the Nazi swastika emblem in Thailand.

But before taking your protest to the streets, just ask yourselves: How do Filipinos in general fare in IQ rankings? How many game-changing inventions have Filipinos brought to the world’s table? Like that never-ending quest for an Olympic gold, where is that elusive Nobel prize in Physics or Chemistry? That will likely cut the ego down to size for us to begin our actual analysis…

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We are all aware of the link between stupidity and poverty, like a yin-yang chicken-egg tandem whose cyclic tango dance is the root of all “evil” in the country. But does pumping in more money into a Filipino make him smarter? To simulate this and unravel the answer, let us consider three cases:

  1. A squatter winning a 10M-peso lottery: Chances are, the squatter will just squander it on a prodigal lifestyle and unwise spending, as he is untrained in financial management, which is why he is in his situation in the first place.
  2. A congressman who pockets a 3M-peso kickback from his pork: Chances are, he will crave for more as the insatiable desire for wealth takes him down the bottomless abyss of greed and corruption.
  3. An OFW who lands a job in Europe to earn 5x more than his local income: Chances are, he would just send all the cash to a family back home which just wastes the money on mostly unnecessary expenses.

On a larger scale, the Philippines is recipient to enormous amounts of foreign currency through OFW remittances, tourists, and the BPO industry, but it has very little to show for as corresponding output in terms of home-grown technological, academic and military prowess.

But wait a minute, doesn’t money open the doors for a Filipino to get quality education, and with that education empower him to make wise decisions? Not necessarily. How many of our epal corrupt government politicians, officials and workers have Atty., Engr., Gen., or Dr. before their names? Did the education even enlighten them to make the wise decision to not cheat, steal, lie or extort in order to provide quality service to the general public for the good of the nation?

They say money solves everything, but probably not in the Philippines, where an infusion of more money can often lead the Pinoy to make more illogical decisions. It’s like paying ransom to the ASG, only to give them more fuel to buy arms to further take those southern islands hostage.

The problem of Filipinos goes far deeper than a mere lack of money; it is a different breed of poverty. You can have all the money to avail of all the books/training you need to become academically and intellectually enhanced, but at the end of the day, the little things/decisions are what really count for true wisdom.

It is wisdom to decline an offer for a bribe. It is wisdom to return a lost wallet to its owner (with the money intact). It is wisdom to tell the truth even though it would inconvenience you. It is wisdom not to inconvenience your neighbor with loud music or having your dog shit on the sidewalk. Why? Because if Filipinos can only see the bigger picture, making decisions for the common good eventually comes back to you ten-fold.

Take the example of a beach resort in Boracay that was secretly channeling waste into the beach itself. The business owner/manager, who likely had a College degree under his belt, failed to see the bigger picture as money through his business poured in – that polluting the beach would eventually put an end to his source of income when tourists dwindle as they find a cesspool rather than crystal clear waters.

Money can blind even the most intelligent lawyers or politicians to use their superior gray matter for self-serving schemes rather than to build the nation. It can blind a highly educated engineer to cut corners in quality and reliability just to get their secret cut in the project budget. And when the blind move forward, they eventually fall into the ditch while pulling their followers with them.

Wisdom and true smartness/intelligence lie in the small decisions made with the big picture in mind; and the amount of money at hand is inconsequential to attaining or practicing such wisdom. This is what turns a small war-ravaged country like South Korea into the powerhouse that it is today culturally, technologically and economically.

So no; money, dole outs and freebies give no guarantee Filipinos will part from the folly of their ways, even if they earn a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology/Genetic Engineering. But probably this next video can give us a clue to unraveling the 33-billion-dollar mystery question “How do you solve a problem like the Philippines?”

25 Replies to “True or False: Filipinos are not stupid, they just need more money”

  1. No your bunch are pretty stupid unfortunately. You have a very weak school and university system. In all of my years I have only came across two exceptional people of Philippine heritage

  2. Most Filipinos are dysfunctionally stupid; their dysfunctions will never be solved by money. Most of our leaders or politicians are amoral and dysfunctionally dishonest…money will never satisfy them, because most of them are greedy….

    How many years of foreign aids were we receiving ? Did these multimillion dollars solved our problems ?
    Just take the example of the Typhoon Yolanda Fund…foreign donors contributed multimillion dollars for the Typhoon Yolanda Fund refugees. Did the money even reached one refugee ?

    The Typhoon Yolanda Fund was entrusted to Mar Roxas, a cahoot of the crook , Aquino and Abad. The Typhoon Yolanda Fund just disappeared from the face of the Planet Earth. Now, the crook, Mar Roxas
    is again running for Senator…to continue his crookedness.

    Our OFW / slaves remittances would have made the Philippines, a fully developed country. Most of the OFW/slaves money are pocketed by corrupt and crooked politicians, making them exceedingly rich, thru the DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, etc..,

    Money will never solve the Filipino dysfunction. A dose of reality on them, along with discipline will solve
    their dysfunction. We are a nation of mentally dysfunctional people…we have to admit this dysfunction in our culture and mindsets !

  3. As usual the article is right on point. There is not enough money in the WORLD to help the philippine people. This is a very deep rooted societal problem that must be changed by the philippine people themselves. This society only lives for today and does not ever consider that tomorrow actually come. The Philippines claims to be a morally christian nation, yet, when they leave their churches on Sunday they only care about their immediate family.
    Taking responsibility for ones actions is not within the Philippine thinking and the ability of the average filippino to accept criticism will probably get you shanked in the kidneys some dark night.
    There is no ATTENTION TO DETAIL because the attitude in the Philippines is that “its good enough”.
    Philippino people say they are hard working………….. really…………. my internet was out for 7 days because Filippinos only work 8-5 and not on weekends…………. really??
    All the money in the world will not help the Philippine Society………… what will really help them is a deep introspection of their morals and values.

  4. IQ is genetic.

    Really, this continued masturbation of Intelligence and the lack of considering more important factors is likely why the readers are tuning out.

    It’s not because you’re unpopular or saying things people don’t want to hear. Tons of Red Pill Sites and Channels, Conspiracy Sites, and fucking Nazi websites do that a lot and are only growing because they tell people what they need to hear. You wouldn’t know that, though, since a lot of those sites get banned and deplatformed. Something that has yet to happen to you guys. I wonder why? ?

    And while you do hit the nail by pointing out how many doesn’t fix anything (Communists and Capitalists BTFO) you’re dumb comparison with South Korea is dumb from a cultural and genetic standpoint. You can’t compare high IQ homogeneous Oriental East Asian Country with mid-to-low IQ heterogeneous Malay/indo/Other Asian Country. It’s not a smart comparison, it’s dumb, and taht doesn’t even go into societal trust as an issue.

    Really, you won’t ever know how to deal with the issues our country faces if you continue to delude yourself. So get of your head and learn.

  5. Money represents an external basis for value, but our primary drive and conceptions aren’t materially based. When that drive becomes subordinate to money, then the whole process just degenerates.
    So yeah, in that way, money blinds both the rich and the impoverished.

  6. Good article, but I disagree that “it is a different breed of poverty”. Poverty is the same the world over. I grew up in poverty, and what I see in the Philippines is familiar. The people act and think in exactly the same ways as the poor people I grew up with. They make the same stupid mistakes and produce the same stupid outcomes, over and over again.

    The only difference in the Philippines is that poor-people thinking is so pervasive. Unlike in the West, where poor people are a minority subculture, here, it’s endemic. It’s accepted as normal. As zaxx pointed out, even the “elite” have the same dysfunctional ways of thinking (probably because many of them cheated and lied their way up through the ranks rather than being born into it).

    Can it be fixed? No, I doubt it. Once a society finds itself in a hole this deep, its only route to salvation is likely to be invasion and enslavement. Once they’ve found out the hard way what “freedom” means, they might have some motivation to work towards it.

    1. Marius,
      Even though I tell my pinay FB friends that I am an atheist (some dont even have a clue what that is) at the end of a conversation they always say “god bless you”. Am I bothered by it? No. But it doesnt even come close to how I usually end a conversation (“have a nice day”, “see you later”, “talk to you later”).

      A way to fix the problem is by changing the school books in schools. Why not use the books Germany or France use (translated into Tagalog or into English)?
      I really think the PH education system keeps the population dumb.

      1. @Robert: I completely agree that the school system is designed to keep people dumb. There are no doubt a lot of smart kids who go through that system and come out the other end as low-functioning Pinoys, instead of the competent, clever people they were destined to be.

        Unfortunately, there is ZERO chance of adopting (say) German textbooks in Filipino schools. Why?

        Firstly, Filipinos are firmly convinced that they are inherently superior to (say) Germans … which is quite ironic, when you consider that German teachers and textbooks are very sensitive to that sort of misguided idea.

        Secondly, they’ll dismiss those textbooks as “imperialist”, on the basis that (for example) Gauss’s Law were not discovered by a Filipino.

        Thirdly, as noted, the aim of the school system is to keep people dumb. Those in charge of issuing schoolbooks would not choose a schoolbook that doesn’t achieve that goal.

        It will only happen when the Chinese arrive at the gates of Malacanang with tanks and artillery, and tell Filipinos that they’re now going to use Chinese textbooks. That’s not a very good outcome, but it’s better than the current situation.

    2. @Marius
      “I’ve had no money (as in, not enough money for food), and I didn’t steal.”

      “I grew up in poverty, and what I see in the Philippines is familiar. The people act and think in exactly the same ways as the poor people I grew up with.”

      Coming from various posts here in GRP that you’re born and raised in a highly undisclosed European state but is actually an Asian of Indian descent who lived in six more other countries and, as of the moment, resides in The Philippines, whose technical expertise is in field of agriculture and engineering and an employer to several Filipinos, I find your statements above, in connection with what you are now, impressive but surprising!

      I hope you wouldn’t mind, but, under what circumstances you were dirt poor and for how long? You’ve “had no money (as in, not enough money for food)”, but managed to live in 8 countries (Europe + 6 more countries + The Philippines) and is highly educated. These things involved money to achieve, as in lots of money!

      Would you care to share to inspire cause I’m wondering if you’re just someone like Henry Sy whose only claimed secret to success is just hard work, determination and dedication. Please make it real!

      1. >> These things involved money to achieve, as in lots of money!

        I’m old. These things didn’t just drop into my lap.

        You’re slightly mistaken: my lifestyle does not involve a lot of money. It just involves not being an idiot.

        Europe is not a country.

        But yes, I’ve had an interesting life. It’s almost over. By the time I’m finally shot by a rabid nationalist and dumped in Manila Bay, I’ll have had few regrets.

        I was poor until I was old enough to work, which in my case was 15.

        Being hungry is a great motivator. It is not a nice feeling. I decided I never, ever want to be hungry again. And I took steps to ensure that I would not be.

        Here’s the thing: people think that the opposite of poverty is riches. It is not. They are two different animals; different modes of being. They are not “opposites” in any sense. The fact that poor people have no money is a side-effect, a consequence of a specific combination of thoughts, choices, and actions. Having no money is NOT the defining characteristic of poverty. It’s just that doing poor-people things will usually (not always) produce that result. The “not always” bit is interesting, but I won’t ramble on about that.

        You want to know how to be not-poor? Here’s my life secrets:

        – If you don’t even try, you WILL fail (otherwise known as Woody Allen’s “80 percent of success is just showing up” rule).
        – If you don’t actually want to succeed then you won’t.
        – Act with integrity. Do what you say you’re going to do. If you evade work, cheat, lie and steal, you are unemployable (this is, incidentally, the main reason most Filipinos are unemployed).
        – Aim to be more than you are today, tomorrow.
        – Recognize that we come into this world with nothing and leave with nothing. Nobody owes you anything.

        The poor will not be interested in any of this. Their most treasured possession is the right to cheat, lie, slouch around drinking, and complain about how everything is somebody else’s fault. This is more important to them than ANYTHING else. Thus they remain poor, and condemn their children to be poor, too.

        1. I was hoping you’d answer more the part where you finally made the break, being able to work at 15 years old and being able to educate yourself (because education requires money too, unless, of course, the state provided it for you!) in spite of having not enough money for food.

          But maybe the condition of the poor here is different, from where you were, which is tougher, they can’t really rely on the government totally (but the activist poor make it appear that they do!). The poor people here need to be tough like animals, both figuratively and literally. Money for education would be rather spent on food.

          The sad truth is the options are very few to nothing for the illiterate and uneducated (so you’re correct, who wants to hire them, except maybe for some exploitative jobs? or criminal jobs?), especially in the city, which makes many becoming more a burden than a contributor to society.

          We can’t expect intelligence but some are smart, street-smart or con wise guys! There are others though who may have been successfully lucky to uproot themselves up from poverty!

          But hey, thanks for opening up!

        2. @jack: there was no ‘break’. It was a slow, difficult process, over many years. When I was a teenager I was doing menial, low-paid jobs – because those are the jobs that a teenager is capable of.

          That’s not to say I didn’t have opportunities. I did. But I earned them. Opportunities are a finite resource, and they are almost never given to people who won’t do something useful with them. And you usually only get ONE chance. If you mess it up, whoever gave you the opportunity has no incentive to give you another one.

          Poor people almost always have a get-rich-quick mentality. They’re always looking for some scheme that will produce the maximum possible result for the minimum effort. In fact such things do exist – but ONLY at the top end of the skill curve. You have to be a very, very accomplished person to make this work. Ordinary people (and I include myself in that category) do not have access to this route.

          As for the poor in the Philippines having a tougher time: I don’t think that really true. Of course if you’re poor, it’s a hard road, but the world today has never been more favourable to those who want to improve their lot. The most obvious modern innovation is the Internet. You don’t need to pay university fees to learn anything anymore. All you need is a cellphone (or a few 10-peso coins for the internet cafe). You can learn anything you like, for free, from professionals. A lot of high-end universities put their lectures on their websites. Khan Academy has structured courses. Bits and pieces of this and that are all over YouTube. And what do “poor” Filipinos do with their internet access? Fuck around on Facebook.

          In fact, Filipinos have some advantages that they would not have in The West. For example, most people in the provinces own land, or at least have a family member who does. One thousand square meters can bring you a significant income if you are prepared to educate yourself and work hard.

          Of course not everyone can be highly-educated, but even someone with a low IQ can do well, within his limits. None of the “rules” I set out mention intelligence. Even someone uneducated and not-very-intelligent can be a valuable employee if he is at least honest, hardworking, and willing to learn some skills. The “street skills” that Pinoys value are often precisely those that prevent them from getting anywhere: for example, they think it’s immensely clever to stop working as soon as the boss isn’t watching. Getting fired then comes as a complete surprise to them.

        3. @Marius, sorry, but the last paragraph on your comment makes me doubt if you really spent time knowing the poor or if you were one of them at some point. Most of them wouldn’t survive or make it as far as they have if they were as bad as you describe them. I may not be as educated or learned as you, but it doesn’t take much to figure that out.

        4. @Klara: what do you mean by “make it as far as they have”? The poor, by definition, have made it NOWHERE. They have spent their entire lives in the same situation.

          You are correct that mere survival actually requires a lot of hard work. However, the point I was making was twofold:

          1) the poor exert effort in the wrong directions. For example, they’ll spend an hour every morning moving the dirt from one side of their house to the other side, and then setting fire to a pile of leaves. If they didn’t have such a rabid fear of green things, they could avoid that work altogether by growing a lawn. Or even better, they could spend that hour cultivating vegetables instead of cultivating bare dirt and mud.

          2) The poor often use what smarts they have to AVOID making progress. Apart from the “hahahahaha aren’t we clever, the boss isn’t watching so we can just goof off now” thing (and don’t tell me that doesn’t happen), the worst manifestation of this is stealing. Every businessman I’ve ever met has an endless fund of stories about thieving employees. Sometimes it’s grand theft, but mostly it’s P20 here and P50 there. They think the boss won’t notice – because THEY are clever and the boss is stupid. Poor people will say “oh, we have to steal because we’re poor”. No. You’re poor because you steal.

          In other words, the poor don’t make good use of either their work and their brains.

        5. @Marius
          I’m just trying to make sense of what you’re saying, particularly the mindset. I’m not even in a position to defend the poor. But if we leave out factors that could effectively explain the problem, then what’s the point? Disproving each other by giving actual encounters is also futile. I’d be more interested to know what gets them through their situation. Maybe that’s what still prevails in them.

        6. @klara: explaining the problem does not necessarily lead to a solution. More often than not, explanations are confused with excuses: the poor have this problem or that problem, therefore they cannot be blamed for being poor.

          This entirely misses the point. As you correctly said, the only important question is this: what can be done? In other words, if we cannot change the past, where do we go from here?

          My conclusion, unfortunately, is that very little can be done for the adults. It is very, very hard to change the way a grown man or woman thinks. Virtually impossible, in fact. Since faulty modes of thinking are the root of the problem, faulty behaviour cannot be fixed, at least not without great effort. One of my “life rules” that I mentioned earlier was: do not attempt to help people who do not want to be helped. If people want to live in misery and degradation, let them be. Just ensure that their toxic behavior does not poison the society around them.

          It would be far easier to focus on the kids, as I’ve said before. Kids are very malleable. If it were possible to decrease the influence of their stupid parents and expose them to different influences (intelligent teachers, mentors, or just generally-successful society) they would learn by example how NOT to behave.

      2. @jack: a few other random thoughts as they occur to me.

        – Be indispensable. Have skills that people value, and will pay for. If you do not have skills, make it your mission in life to learn some, and to be an expert at them – not just “good enough”.
        – Do not be too proud to be the guy who cleans the floor or makes the tea.
        – Be kind to animals. People who are cruel to others (including to lower lifeforms) will fail at everything they do. Nature takes its revenge upon them, and they are shunned by right-thinking humans.
        – Understand that everything you have ultimately flows from the ground that you stand on and the sun above you. The Earth is the source of life. Disrespect it, and again, nature will take its revenge upon you.
        – Remember kindnesses done to you, and if you cannot pay them back to the originator, pay them forward to someone who needs it.
        – Do not try to help people who do not want to be helped. Like a drowning man, they will pull you under with them.
        – Treat your body well. You only get one. When it’s broken, nobody will replace it for you. Eat real food, and exercise. Protect yourself from injury: if you have a physical job, invest in proper clothing and equipment.

        1. @Marius
          About the ‘excuses’ part, it’s apparent that the excuses can come from any side.
          It just makes me wonder— perhaps one who is more capable should have less excuses.
          And solving something probably involves an understanding of how it came to be.
          But that’s just me. I appreciate your replies though.

  7. Well, I always believe that money represent something someone work hard for as we always hear from any hard working Pilipino, “pinagpaguran ko yan”. So before you can earn money , you have to spend something that is given to you by nature(or by God) and that is, your labor. “trabaho ka muna”.

  8. There are smart ways to success but no short cuts. Becoming successful is a process, and it’s important that one moves through all the required steps. One cannot buy or bribe one’s way to success; it needs to be earned.

  9. You nailed it: “The problem of Filipinos goes far deeper than a mere lack of money; it is a different breed of poverty. You can have all the money to avail of all the books/training you need to become academically and intellectually enhanced, but at the end of the day, the little things/decisions are what really count for true wisdom”……well, that is really it. As the motivational speaker Jim Rohn put it failure is the result of few errors in judgement repeated every day.

  10. Pretty much the same disorder that a lot of ex-Colonies have, we were given everything and we squandered it, much like the “Four Generation Inheritance of Wealth to Poverty of Families”, First Generation works hard and builds his home, Second Generation inherits it and does continual work and acknowledges the values of his forebears, then problem arises when the Third Generation inherits everything but is not taught the values and is inclined to work because everything was provided, then lastly the Fourth Generation inherits little to nothing while working and living in squalor.

    Can’t see the Government even if given all the money and time in the world to fix this problem unless certain freedoms are suppressed, and it will get bloody if gets to that.

  11. We have a corrupted and largely unchallenged system designed by the few who’s greed seems to know no bounds. Who, without a second thought, destroy the lives of thousands of their countrymen for a few pesos. For them it’s important to keep the poor as poor as possible, and uneducated enough they can never pose a threat to their mostly useless family’s position. Then tell these eternally poor & uneducated people to be proud of this their nation, and to never say a bad word against it otherwise you’re a bad Filipino. Hey presto, a messed up system that keeps the idiots we see on election posters in their lucrative and designed-to-be-corrupt positions! And these people strut about with so much arrogance it should make good people want to vomit. Yet for all their self-righteous arrogance they are, on the whole, utterly useless, utterly pointless, of no value to the nation. The laborer on Php350 a day actually achieves something…

    1. YOU ARE CORRECT, but the Country is severely screwed up and is in never ending poverty due to the poor thinking they need to be like the rich….NO, its exactly the opposite.

      I can only say that anyone with enough brains to figure out that the Country is screwed(HOLY SHIT IS IT !) is smart enough to know that they MUST get out of the country if they ever want to have anything worth having.

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