Some racially-oriented collocations you may have stumbled across would include German engineering and Japanese precision. It gets amusing though when you see those words lined up with our very own Filipino Pride. Are you ready for a deep dive into the cultural DNA behind these either tech-generating or -consuming nations? Let’s go for a quick spin…
The Japanese come from a long cultural tradition of precision and accuracy: their artworks draw from a very fine array of color definitions, origami involves the precise craft of paper folding to bring about 3D creations out of 2D material, and even their architectural woodwork requires precise pieces chiseled to perfectly match and fit with each other like complex interlocking Lego blocks. The best camera makers are Japanese brands because producing lenses that can direct light at precision angles belongs to a people who can handle micron-order intricacies.
Germans even prior to the age of the dreaded Panther tanks, U-boat submarines and Luftwaffe fighter planes during WWII, have been renowned for creating the most complex state-of-the-art machines. Today, Germany exports every sort of sophisticated machine/equipment: from pick-and-place printed circuit board assembly equipment and cutting-edge CNC 3D milling tools, to textile machinery for manufacturing intricately designed fabrics and lithography equipment for nanometer-order chip manufacturing.
In Japan, their RED series includes 46 hues, with just a couple below to name a few.
Tokiha-iro: Ibis wing color
Sakuranezumi: Cherry blossom mouse
Chōshun-iro: Long spring (season) color
Karakurenai : Foreign crimson
Enji-iro : Cochineal red/rouge
Kokiake : Deep scarlet
Jinzamomi : Thrice-dyed crimson
Mizugaki : Water persimmon
Umenezumi : Plum-blossom mouse
Su’ōkō : Sappanwood incense
Akabeni : Pure crimson (dye)
Azuki-iro : Red bean color
The traditional colors of Japan are a collection of colors traditionally used in Japanese art, literature, textiles such as kimono, and other Japanese arts and crafts. In the Philippines, it’s simpleng buhay with just a choice of pulang-pula, pula or maputlang pula.
Japan’s Toyota started out as a textile manufacturer, when in 1924 Sakichi Toyoda invented the Toyoda Model G Automatic Loom. Expertise in machinery spun off to cars when Toyota automobiles was started in 1933. Toyota Motor Corporation is so huge today it already has an entire city near Nagoya to its name.
Meanwhile on the European mainland front, Germany stands out as the supreme automotive superpower. A simple search on why German cars are so successful will land you at Quora, which explains why these former “Barbarians” (as the Romans called them) are now the kings of the road (while Filipinos stuck in their own world thought the Jeepney was the title holder).
Vivek Tulja, Aerospace Engineer/Scientist, Satellite Communication Expert says…
Germans practically pioneered the modern automotive industry. Here are some of their key inventions:
- Otto Cycle: A thermodynamic process invented by Nikolaus Otto, a German engineer. Petrol (gasoline) engines used in modern cars run on Otto cycle. Otto cycle – Wikipedia
- Diesel Cycle: Invented by Rudolf Diesel, another German engineer. The so-called diesel engines used in heavy vehicles, submarines, and industrial applications got their name from their inventor. Diesel cycle – Wikipedia
- Wankel Cycle: A rotary engine invented by Felix Wankel. Was used in Mazda RX-7. Wankel engine – Wikipedia
Modern automobile was invented by Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, and Wilhelm Maybach, all German engineers. They were awarded many patents in the later part of the 19th century. The company that manufactures Mercedes-Benz cars (Daimler Benz) gets its name from its founders. Mercedes-Benz – Wikipedia
Back in the 1920’s, Germany had more than 75 automotive companies. Most of them either died or were acquired during the economic turmoil of that era. One of the companies that survived and did rather well is BMW, which was originally started as an aircraft engine manufacturer (hence the name which means Bavarian “Engine” Works) but soon diversified into motorcycles and cars.
In Japan, the “monozukuri” (making things) culture is so deeply ingrained in their national psyche. Only in recent years have Maker Spaces and Fab Labs begun to catch fire across the globe. Finally some ripples of the wave (albeit late) have begun to reach Philippine shores.
When you ask a typical foreigner what comes to mind first when “the Philippines” is mentioned. In Japan or China, typical passersby would say “Bananas”. In chilly northern Europe they would say “Beaches”. In the US they will likely remember “Imelda Marcos” for her famously absurd collection of shoes.
Despite all the poverty of material to show off, Filipinos will insist on Filipino Pride as the national collocation. Why the obsession on pride when there is hardly anything of intelligence, skill, and monumental achievement we as a people can really put forward before the international community?
Could Pinoy Pride just be like a form of national lipstick trying to mask cracking and bleeding lips that form the gateway to teeth that have not even been brushed and through which the tongue curses and defies those in authority? Could Pinoy Pride be just a desperate appeal to being accepted as a normal (in contrast to subhuman) member of the Homo sapiens species? Or is Feenoy Fried just an inflated colorful air balloon that purports to show some semblance of volume, loftiness and massiveness when there really isn’t anything much inside?
Why did the Philippines end up like a slowly deflating party balloon after the United States just after WWII cut us off from their umbilical cord? It’s likely that Filipinos have been too engrossed about their delusional struggle to regain political power, so that when they were finally set free they never got weaned out of that laban “revolutionary” yet colonial-dependence spirit.
Filipinos never really took the time to seriously reflect and focus on investing towards developing a national culture centered on tapping local creative talent and ingenuity and combining those with available and emerging technologies. They never got to plan out a national strategy or roadmap centered on first empowering the people with a culture of making and perfecting things, and turning that national mindset towards making things more efficiently (engineering) and effectively (business, money making engines, factories) to eventually create job-generating brands worthy of display in the international market.
The biggest conglomerates in the country would not dare venture in manufacturing road-worthy cars, smart phones, computers, submarines, rockets, and microchips. They would rather take the easy route to making money: good old Rent Seeking. San Miguel Corporation has turned its eye towards building highways/skyways and airports, and like NPA rebels are happy to collect “revolutionary tax” from each person to pass through their inconvenience-alleviating “investment”. (Why not assemble EV cars or produce lithium batteries?) The land-guzzling SM group is now into making high-rise condo units. (Why not venture into creating the Facebook platform or Amazon cloud of the Philippines?) All just easy money siphoned off flowing OFW/BPO/tourism cash without really tapping into our young promising pool of Filipino ingenuity. That’s why native Filipinos never really grew their engineering spine and precision DNA.
Even Filipino film makers can hardly produce the quality of graphics that can be presented before an international audience. We are stuck in the kilig (giddy feel), poverty porn, and elicit relationships genre, simply banking on the hybrid Latina looks of Julia Barretto and Liza Soberano. Whereas, erstwhile war-torn South Korea is now producing the likes of Space Sweepers and Okja which showcase the caliber of their likely Silicon Valley trained graphic artists.
So you’re a Filipino. Unfortunately, there really is not much to be proud of as a typhoon/volcano/earthquake- and activist/terrorist/rebel-ravaged country, or as a visa-restricted passport holder of those far flung struggling “China-bullied” islets in the East. We are only proud that (no different from sewer rats and roaches)… We Can Exist with or without your AID, and that we have survived one major calamity or disaster (natural or man-made) after another – surviving with a smile or a song, as a testament to Filipino resilience.
Without Filipinos making their own tech products and producing global brands the whole world will run after like an Apple iPhone/Samsung Galaxy smart phone, we shouldn’t really be parading Pinoy pride around the way the LGBT community (adherents and promoters of dysfunctional disgusting same-sex copulation) seeks and demands public acceptance. It only makes us look pathetic. When we express and brandish Pinoy pride through our capacity to simply BUY and IMPORT Audi sedans and Lexus SUVs from Germany and Japan using our much-deserved hard-begged OFW remittances (because these products of excellence are simply too difficult to make), we should really begin to look for professional help and question our national sanity.
If just one Filipino multi-billionaire with the wherewithal to impact the local industrial landscape will stumble across this article and make the game-changing decision to become the “Vingroup” or “Samsung” of the Philippines, this country will have some ray of hope of not slipping behind Laos and Cambodia in the next lap of the ASEAN grand-prix race. When an esteemed educational institution like UP or Ateneo can come up with just one domestically produced killer product developed using their ultra-high vacuum molecular-beam epitaxy equipment, then probably there is a silver lining.
Would it be too much to hope something will change within our short soon-to-end lifetime? If not, then good luck to the next generation of happy-go-lucky Mabuhay Islanders; you’ll definitely need truckloads of it.
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