Many Filipinos are too lazy to think and this is demonstrated in their voting habits and approach towards people. They think of the first name that comes to mind, or that is more familiar. There’s often no bother to dig up the history of the person. They probably assume, ah these guys will automatically do the job anyway, because they are famous names. Thus, we end up with other people lamenting, “why did these guys get voted?”
This belief in famous names is not just an effect of starstruck ignoramusness. Or rather, part of the starstruck ignoramusness is that Filipino culture promotes breadlosing; they want to live on hand-outs Juan Tamad-style. Connected to this behavior is sucking up to people who they believe can give them this, plus other favors.
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In this time of Covid-19, there’s that obvious PR machinery buildup for Pasig mayor Vico Sotto, even to the point of making that premature and juvenile call for him to go for a national office. Still more starstruck ignoramusness (but most likely trolls), but it could mean the “opposition” is dropping Leni as their banner-holder and are looking for someone with more charisma (i.e. showbiz appeal) to be their figurehead.
But aside from this, fixation on famous names brings up another part of the Philippine psyche. Filipinos see fame as part of the road to getting the Juan Tamad lifestyle. As a result, there is a lot of crazy behavior Filipinos drag themselves down to just for this. For example, dumb Tiktokers, Filipinas leeching off foreigner husbands and that Filipino maid in Singapore who donned her employers’ clothes without permission.
Heroes’ Descendants Baloney
There are self-proclaimed descendants of heroes. Some believe that these people should continue to lead us, because, as the myth goes, “talent/greatness/put-in-your-magic-trait-here is in the blood.”
But being a descendant of a hero does not make one a hero; in fact, they can be the opposite. They become government officials and get embroiled in corruption. Even when not in government, they can still get into trouble in other ways.
It’s annoying when a descendant boasts his “hero heritage,” implying that he is always right and he is superior to everyone. That is toxic entitled arrogance. Even if he is a descendant, he deserves no honor. It’s better to avoid people like them.
We have to stop believing that greatness, talent, intelligence, good character and such are genetic influences. Rather, they are the result of decisions people make. Leadership is not destined, but earned.
I also understand that some descendants carry the name and feel that people expect of them to be a “hero” in their own way. I call baloney on this. Nothing of the sort should be expected of them. And they should stop assuming that they need to live up to their own name. Just living a decent private life is better.
When I voted in the 2016 and 2019 elections, I decided to look for unfamiliar names and research on them. While I still put in a few familiar ones, like Dick Gordon, I believe I should have gone for all unknowns but with specific platforms I like, such as charter change. Better to have those people than familiar ones who don’t know what they’re doing. I have willingness to try unfamiliar ground in elections, and perhaps other people should be encouraged to do the same.
Resisting Others’ Charms
I also implied in a past article that we should learn to resist the charms of other people. Filipino culture teaches us to give in to bola-bola and be taken in by others. Perhaps some misanthrope tendencies should be taught more widely. Teaching our kids not to trust strangers should be supplemented by teaching them to be careful of the charms of other people. Helping in that would be teaching them to avoid wanting to please people or seeking validation.
We should also learn to stop being taken in by someone’s appearance. We should remember sayings like, “beauty goes only skin deep,” which is often proven in divorces by men from their lovely but toxic wives (or perhaps some would like to cite Mocha Uson). Same with someone who is a “young politician.” Oh c’mon, you think being young means being untainted? You obviously haven’t learned of corruption in Sangguniang Kabataan.
We should excise this tendency to follow famous names and teach resistance to it. Wokes and commies keep on crying “revolution,” but the kind of revolution they want is stupidity and bunk. A real revolution would be getting rid of our showbiz ignoramusness. We’d best get on it now.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.