On what bases do Filipinos harbour “hope” for 2024?

A report on a recent Pulse Asia survey reportedly shows that more than 90 percent of Filipinos face the New Year with a feeling of “hope”.

“Amid the various challenges Filipinos face on a daily basis, most of them continue to remain optimistic, with 92 percent saying they will face the new year with hope. This is the prevailing sentiment in every geographic area and socio-economic grouping,” Pulse Asia said.

Hope in what exactly? Pulse Asia offers no insight on that matter, of course. Its job is limited to collecting and crunching the data and reporting the numbers. Indeed, the responsibility for substantiating any sort of hope lies in each individual. Failing that, said “hope” is hollow at best — a mere prayer and not much else.

Presumably, Filipinos’ hopes revolve around the prospect of seeing greater prosperity in the New Year. A better job, more money, more luck. Except for that last one, it takes skill to acquire all these. So the questions Filipinos should really be asking themselves are:

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Do I have the skills to find a better job or make more money?

Am I capable?

Noted columnist Randy David pointed out what may be a sad indictment of the true nature of this hope writing in his Inquirer piece today how…

Filipinos tend to speak more about hope when they know they have reached the limits of their capabilities. Thus, they hope for miracles—the sudden reversal of a dire situation through divine intervention—because they cannot see themselves as the potential prime movers behind such reversals. Behind this recognition of the limits of their agency lies a basic distrust not just in their own capacity to effect meaningful change, but also in institutions.

Take note of these words: reached the limits of their capabilities.

The word “capability” is key to deciphering the “hope” conundrum because the concept is a pillar of our confronting definition of poverty:

Poverty is a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently incapable of honouring.

This is the main idea in a seminal article that explored the mystery of why Filipinos are inherently impoverished. It’s simple, really. Capability is acquired and applied to resources at hand. Resources alone don’t guarantee prosperity. And so…

Despite the Philippines being host to abundant natural resources, and now, an enormous supply of people, the society as a whole lacks a collective ability to apply this enormous number of people to the task of turning these resources into any sort of valuable economic output of consequence. Instead, natural resources are harvested raw and sold raw — mineral ore, logs, overseas foreign workers. Overseas, these then get turned into iPhones, karaoke machines, those shirts with the Philippine islands embroidered onto their left breasts, Honda Civics, Havaianas, and Starbucks tumblers after which they are shipped back to the Philippines to be purchased using OFW cash.

We then get to the question on whether Filipinos were ever capable to begin with. Much is said about how, in the aftermath of World War II, the Philippines was the richest county in the region, second only to Japan. Why then does the Philippines now find itself way behind — way way behind countries like South Korea which was wracked by war into the 1950s and recently overtaken by Vietnam which only found peace well into the 1970s?

Looking to the New Year, the real challenge for Filipinos is not as much in mustering the “hope” they love to chatter about ad infinitum and more about building resolve to come to grips with what they, as a people, are capable of and matching this reckoning with a more realistic level of commitments. One easy example is population. Sustaining an enormous population is a commitment. Do Filipinos possess the capability to honour that commitment. The evidence at hand to support the evident conclusion is stark.

8 Replies to “On what bases do Filipinos harbour “hope” for 2024?”

  1. As someone who has done my share of surveys as a political consultant over the years, I can tell you a contract for December survey of expectations of “hope for a new year” is easy money.

    Having hope despite chronic poverty is called “coping” and is one of the most admirable qualities I know of pinoys. Turning coping skills into production of value-added products to buoy the economy is what is really needed.

    As a certified teacher who has had many Filipino students I will tell you from experience most are very capable. They are not boisterous or belligerent but are always capable of learning. To suggest they are not capable is counterproductive self-loathing.

  2. Daily reminder here that Failipinos will continually face Benign0’s definition of Poverty if their values or doctrines are not put into action.

    Let that be a challenge to all Failipinos. Earn yourself some respect.

    Happy New Year!

    1. “In 2021, official government statistics reported that the Philippines had a poverty rate of 18.1%, or roughly 19.99 million Filipinos, significantly lower than the 49.1% recorded in 1985.”

      Alaska has a poverty rate of 5.4%.

      For PH Food Security is a cultural imperative and requires leadership to improve governance for Filipino people.

      1. Murphy’s Law here: Food Security – isn’t.

        A systematic fault, lack of modern equipment, or lack of unique local solutions are some of the reasons why Food Security in the Philippines – isn’t.

  3. “Much is said about how, in the aftermath of World War II, the Philippines was the richest county in the region, second only to Japan. Why then does the Philippines now find itself way behind — way way behind countries like South Korea which was wracked by war into the 1950s and recently overtaken by Vietnam which only found peace well into the 1970s?”

    Perhaps the answer behind this question is an invitation for us to reflect on a familiar idiom: “There’s more to this than meets the eye.”

    This article here provides a clue:


    “Since Marcos’s ouster in 1986, corruption has been a standard issue against all his successors. If you check the allegations, the president who comes after the last president seemed to be more corrupt, and he or she in turn is succeeded by an even more corrupt president. So with all the corruption in high places, why is the Philippines still standing, seemingly prosperous?

    “Answer: The Philippines is indeed very rich, considering all the colossal corruption in six decades.”

    Read more:


    In summary, in government, you have issues of leadership, long reigns and perhaps, a significance of note, the policy of continuity.

    In people, you have issues of ‘oddity’ in their sense of identity. This ‘oddity’ results in a lack of collective unity. No Filipino sense of nationhood to rally behind his own people and country.

    GetrealPhilippines, of course, still and will stand by its own thesis on the cultural front… our damaged culture.

    Damaged even more by those ‘global pinoy pretenders’ with their strange cheerleader thinking who can’t think something out of their own aside from what they’re merely told.

    It’s easier to seek exemptions and identify with the champions… KSP to the World!

  4. whitewashed, whitewashed
    we could have allied with the japanese after the gi joes left us dry

    but noooo…

    mcarthur said “i shalt return” and we greeted the mutherfukker with open arms

    1. by “we”, i probably mean only the tagalogs and kapampangans.

      brown nosed white lovers

      im generalizing, of course, but someones gotta own up to all that shit, sure as heck aint the visayans

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