Filipino “Menial” Mentality leads to Abuses

Photo courtesy of UNTV news

People are so up and about against tyranny in the Philippines recently. They pointed at barangay officials and police beating up and even shooting quarantine violators. The wokes claim the Duterte Administration is a tyrannical dictatorship similar to the regime of Ferdinand Marcos. They always portray abusive behavior as a concerted effort of top level organizations to oppress people, or part of a “dictator’s playbook.”

Dictator’s playbook? There’s no such thing.

What we see is simply the result of incompetence, mediocrity and poor culture manifesting in the field.

Many of these police, barangay officials and other people in the field are what might be called the “menial” (this will trigger some people, but I believe this is still true to life) people – low formal educational attainment, not much education on other things either, just want to pass through life, make ends meet, etc, so they take the “menial” jobs. They’re not like us, the leisure classes who have time to think of “human rights” and try to act like moral police on others’ supposed lack of charity or perceived love for a “dictator.” Some of us might even think of them as “parang katulong lang” (like a housemaid).

Some of them tend to beat up people, including their own families, because they are unable to see any other way to convince or compel people to follow rules or get things done. When things don’t go their way, their usual reaction would be violent. They’re not knowledgeable enough to think out of the box or develop new ways to handle situations. They just follow “procedure.” They just want to pass life by any way they can – makaraos lang. They wish things were simpler and easier, and that a better life could be achieved without much thinking.

The joke going around (or is it?) is that many barangay personnel tend to be former tambays. People who prefer to not work and laze all day. Then they become barangay councillors or patrollers. Some bring with them their tambay culture, and thus tend to beat people up or get mad even if just talking with people.

This could be true even in the US. For example, policeman Derek Chauvin (what a coincidence, if you know the word chauvinism) whose knee-chokehold killed George Floyd was likely that country’s equivalent of our “menial” cultured people. I’ve read that during the Philippine-American War, Americans who committed atrocities tended to be the less educated ones. They may have been racist, but racism as I said is part of cultural practices that mark undesirables in society. You can’t just order them to stop being racist, you first have to convince them that they don’t need to get rid of undesirables. And that’s hard, isn’t it, since all societies seek the removal of undesirables?

Some have suggested that someone with a higher educational attainment become a policeman or “menial” worker. But rarely does it happen, and other people would even discourage it. “Are you dumb, man, that’s the kind of job you want? Use your talents, work in a call center!”

Tyranny is also present in small villages and ethnic cultures. There are likely village chiefs and elders who order families to bring their children to him either to make them slaves or even some pedo fun. There are even villagers who poke fun at and bully fellow villagers who seem weak – isn’t that the theme of many folk tales and Disney flicks?

Remember when it was found that mentally ill people were locked up in cages and left to die during Typhoon Yolanda? Barangay personnel often ordered families to do this too. This is a product of the same mental level. Let’s also not rule out the possibility that abusers could have mental conditions themselves.

I would also say brand of incompetence hounds China. I agree with those saying the coronavirus pandemic and similar things are results of Chinese incompetence. I don’t think they’re smart villains thinking of a plan to conquer the world. They’re more like henchmen in cartoons who mull invasion plans, but shoot themselves in the foot because of inadequate IQ. I don’t think China will successfully invade anyone because of its own incompetence, but indeed, incompetence can cause a lot of effects on the world in other ways.

I agree that we should not be silent about abuses. But I believe that going out in the streets and protesting isn’t the most convincing and effective way to address them. Neither is directing anger at only one “dictator.” Same with pulling down statues of perceived dictators and racists. If you want to stop abuses, it’s not about stopping one man, but a whole bunch of them.

But then again, I believe the real oppressor isn’t one man, a dictator or even just men. It’s not who, but what. Get Real Philippines has always echoed the late Teddy Benigno’s The Real Culprit – culture. The culture of people, what they believe and were taught to believe, their reaction to the environment, their habits, their philosophy in life, their actual behavior and more. It is what makes the Filipino his own worst enemy.

It’s a reminder that we are a third world country (OK, developing… but many Filipinos’ minds haven’t really developed). Many Filipinos, even some who are already educated, still have yet to attain a level of “higher culture.” If they do, they can be more sober, less temperamental and able to react to problems without getting violent.

Some may ask, how do we make this happen? Webmaster Benign0 said companies are able to implement culture change programs with success. I myself wonder why hasn’t anyone tried that kind of approach to society.

Others would say, education is the key! But what kind of education? Formal education gives no guarantee of a sound mind. Take note that leaders of terrorist groups are often educated people, so some argue that formal education has been poisoned with something that makes people destructive and hateful.

Filipinos seem to be more educated by mass media and popular culture these days. Most local TV tends to educate people to follow their foot and have what they want, even if they step on others in the process. This is why some celebrate the signing off of ABS-CBN from radiowaves, although I believe there is a better way to hold the TV company accountable for its trashy content. Nowadays, though, we have the Internet to provide alternatives, which even poor people can access these days.

Hopefully, more new media reaches families to help them develop resistance to popular culture, be more open to changes to values, and cut down “tambay” or “menial” culture.

To end, I say no, we are not in a fascist state. It’s the same old third world Filipino incompetence that plagues us. Now people will tell me, “stop blaming the people for what is the leaders’ fault!” Wait until you meet kamote drivers on the road or the mugger on the street, or even an NPA operative who wants to kill you on the spot… let’s see if you can tell me the same thing again. And remember, it’s not impossible for “menial” people to later become politicians.

24 Replies to “Filipino “Menial” Mentality leads to Abuses”

  1. I’d still say that free access to high quality education is the key.
    The philippines spends the lowest amount of its budget in the entire region on education. That says a lot.

        1. Well many companies already hire people who have completed just basic education. Besides, do you need a college degree for a job such as a delivery driver, garbage collector or traffic enforcer? Often, these kinds of jobs just need job-specific training. But they are also the kinds of jobs that need more respect from us leisure classes.

        2. @ChinoF:
          You didn’t answer my question.
          If a poor average person wish to get a college degree then he/she can’t if only basic education is for free.
          Don’t poor, average people deserve to have a chance of getting a degree?

        3. Many Filipinos are highly educated, even with multiple degrees, but it doesn’t guarantee economic security. We put so much value on education but do not know how to use it. How is it that we’d rather tolerate dehumanizing jobs/
          inhumane conditions than enable people to live better.

        4. @TW
          The less quality of education it is, the more meaningless it is to having one.
          The fact that many rich people get their education from abroad or from exclusive private schools tells us how bad it is and how low-educated filipinos are in general.

          And education is not only for economic security reasons, it is also for enlightenment: It makes people make better choices in life. Being more prepared for anything that comes along. Don’t you agree?

        5. A college degree is not an entitlement. One could argue though that education isn’t an entitlement at all. But I’ll just hand it to those with the proposal that free education can keep kids of out of trouble. When it gets to college, it’s to prepare near-adults for jobs with highly specific needs. If some institution, such as TESDA, provides free specific courses, that’s fine. But in the end, I’ll base it on the principle that nobody’s entitled to anything.

          And yes, having education and a college degree guarantees nothing. It just increases chances at something, but rarely guarantees anything, when you see so many graduates unable to find jobs these days.

        6. @ChinoF
          My opinion is that everyone should be “entitled” to have the chance of getting a college degree.

          In your opinion what about human rights, civil rights? Aren’t people entitled to be treated accordingly?

        7. It’s a problem of neglect in public schools. I know it firsthand. We barely had books and they make students copy so much that there was little room for actual discussions and interaction. There’s a tendency to not take school seriously.

          I agree, it’s not only for economic reasons. But It doesn’t make sense to have high literacy in a populace that suffers so much poverty. And I don’t think anybody enlightened would want a superfluous lifestyle anyway. If people are able to make better choices, there wouldn’t be this “class war” going on.

        8. Human and civil rights aren’t entitlements. I distinguish rights from entitlements. Entitlements are when you want or need something, you force it from others. Rights are when you have the right to resist or refuse that person demanding something from you.

          And what TW said.

        9. @TW
          “And I don’t think anybody enlightened would want a superfluous lifestyle anyway”

          It doesn’t take people wanting a superfluous lifestyle to make the country a better place.

          “If people are able to make better choices, there wouldn’t be this “class war” going on”

          That is just it! People today are not able to make better choices. So there is this “class war” going on today.

          Then it must mean that you have a different definition of what entitlements are than many dictionaries like I guess that is your entitlement to have so.

        10. I agree that formal education is a privilege, not a right. It’s something you work for, not handed to you just because you want it

        11. @ChinoF

          in some countries it is both a privilege and a right.

          So you do not want basic education to be free for all or what?

        12. Situation: Doctors could not figure out what’s going on with a patient. Somebody without an advanced medical degree has an idea but hesitates to tell. Either for fear of rejection or the concept is not known yet in medical studies. How does this apply in the issue of whether education is a privilege or a right?

        13. Maybe you guys see it differently.
          But there’s a difference between having a chance of getting an education, and getting an education. Inwhich there is no contrast between a privilege and a right in regards to having a chance of getting an education. It is both a privilege and a right.
          If you mean having/getting an education, well, that’s another story.

          So when you ask that question then you must clarify what you mean by “education”.

  2. There’s lack of mutual respect and plenty of hierarchical mentality. Which is more of an outcome of how society is organized. Parents treat their children as less beings.. The ‘comfortable’ class see the menial class as dispensable. We’re being shown how all that can change in a heartbeat.

  3. what is meant by your tyeanny? is it cruel and oppressive goverment rule or cruel and oppressive people?

  4. The “Tambay Mentality” of Filipinos is ingrained in their mindset…remember, when Dr. Jose Rizal, defended the “Filipino Tambays”, with an essay of : “The Indolence of the Filipinos”…

    The Spanish colonizers, may had observed the , “Filipino Tambays” and the Filipino women, picking lice on each other’s heads, and gossiping at the same time…The Spanish colonizers, were also acting like bullies and kings to the colonized Filipinos. The Spanish priests , abused their position , by making pregnant many Filipino women. Sexual abuses were common , by Spanish priests…this is the reason, we have many “Filipino mestizos and Filipina mestizas”…

    The Spanish colonizers were the “low lifes” in Spain…so they were: thieves, crooks, bullies and criminals. The country’s national treasury was always empty…can you see the parallelism of our leaders to the Spanish colonizers? Crookedness, with self respect, was their mantra…

    You can read all the “stupid attitudes/mindsets ” of Filipinos, in Dr. Rizal’s novel : “Noli Me Tangere”…my favorite character in the novel is :”Pilosopong Tasio”…maybe many of the bloggers in the GRP are “Pilosopong Tasio”, me included, but not any YellowTard or commie.

    The mindset of the Filipinos will take many generations to change to a better one. Let us all begin with ourselves !

  5. Is there an article on this site that discusses how education and learning is not considered a basic right? Or is it the funding aspect that’s problematic?

  6. You are assuming a “perfect world scenario” where all the people are rich and educated. Never gonna happen. Kung walang tambay, walang utusan. Naiimagine mo ang Barangay as “useless” kasi nasa Maynila ka. Punta ka sa probinsya and liblib na lugar or kabundukan, dun mo maaappreciate ang Barangay. Natrigger ako sa sinabi mo na “parang katulong lang”. It perfectly describes how you think. Wag mo kong itulad sa iyo. Kung gaano ka mangmaliit ng kapwa mo. I remember a scene from “Train to Busan”: sabi nung matandang kupal sa bata: “Pag di ka nag-aral matutulad ka sa kanya”. Sabi naman nung bata: “Sabi ni Mama ung nagsasalita ng ganyan eh masasamang tao”. Well, ikaw un. Kung tingin mo barumbado na ang mga tanod or barangay, punta ka ng US. Makikita mo ang taste of true police brutality. Malalaking tao pa sila. Mga 6 footer. Sa pulis, bawal po ang matalino. Meron na pong jurisprudence diyan na nagcontest ung isang matalinong tao bakit di siya napromote, nadiscriminate daw siya dahil matalino siya. Ang sabi ng korte, requirement sa pulis na bobo sila kasi most of the time, nakatulala lang sila sa hangin. Sa security guard, meron pong IQ test kasi pagka sobrang matalino ka disqualified ka kasi mababagot ka sa trabaho dahil nakatulala ka lang buong araw. Dinamay mo pa ung call center. Ang call center hindi po pang matalino. Tapunan lang yan ng latak ng lipunan. Odd jobs din yan no different sa fastfood, grocery, hardware.

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