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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has now declared Naga City the Drug capital of the Philippines following the latest ...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

THE PHILIPPINES FOR SALE: How GMA sold the Spratlys to China.

Click on http://laonlaan.blogspot.com/2011/07/spratly-betrayal.html

Tragic unto kinetic

BERNARD KARGANILLA

‘The Bonifacios rendered the ultimate sacrifice of being killed at the hands of their erstwhile comrades in the Revolution.’

COME to think of it, we do have unique tourist spots in this country. Not anywhere near the likes of the Currywurst Museum in Berlin , Germany or the Cockroach Hall of Fame Museum in Plano, Texas, USA.

The Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory in Rome and the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi, India do probably attract the spiritual as well as the mundane. But the Casa Hacienda de Naic now part of the Naic Elementary School in Cavite may be of interest only to Filipinos. Why would visiting Americans from Seattle be concerned with the historic site connected with intrigues, betrayals and murders among Filipino revolutionaries in the 1890s?

The former Dominican Hacienda de San Isidro Labrador gained its Philippine significance when in April of 1897 the chief executive and leading light of the Revolution, Gat Andres Bonifacio, crafted the Acta de Naic (aka Naic Military Agreement), which re-affirmed the socio-political and combat goals of the 1896 Revolution, in this plantation house. This act by the KKK Supremo and Pangulo of the Republika ng Haringbayang Katagalugan was said to be one of the main justifications for the hero’s arrest, trial and execution at the hands of Generalissimo Emilio Aguinaldo.

Although the same place later hosted the establishment of the national Departments of Defense, Finance, Justice and Interior and Local Government, the bad mojo generated by the unjust execution of Bonifacio and his brother permeates. How can Aguinaldo’s "Cabinet of Reconciliation" that was formed in this Casa justify the killing of one of the founders of the Katipunan?

The touring Washingtonians might be mildly curious about the Naic Hacienda House as the site where the red Sun of Liberty flag was designed and approved as the banner of national unity. But can this Cavite historic spot compete for attention with the likes of the Dog Collar Museum, Leeds Castle, Kent in England?

In addition, Filipinos may recall with dread and awe that Casa Hacienda de Naic was converted into an enemy garrison by the invading Japanese fascists during World War II. For which, the building was bombed by the defending Americans and their Filipino allies. Today, the nearby church and the school grounds contain ecclesiastical relics and collectibles and local kids eager to learn.

The delegation from the University of Washington who stopped at and entered the Bonifacio Trial House in Poblacion, Maragondon, Cavite may not have been moved by the drama that occurred in that building. This is the place where one of the architects of the Philippine Revolution, Andres, and his brother, Procopio, were subjected to the indignities of a kangaroo court.

Aguinaldo and his faction, of course, found the brothers "guilty" and meted them the death sentence. High above that town of Maragondon, in the heights of Mount Nagpatong, the Bonifacios rendered the ultimate sacrifice of being killed at the hands of their erstwhile comrades in the Revolution.

This narrative is taught with varying interpretations within the Philippine educational system – a phenomenon that the traveling students from Seattle are welcome to investigate since their sojourn in the Rizaline islands is a requirement of their course on American Ethnic Studies, grappling with the theme of "Education, Memory, Ethnicity."

These students toured the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit where the General proclaimed on June 12, 1898 his dictatorship and the offering of the Philippines as a protectorate of the "mighty and humane North American nation."

The young American travelers also glimpsed the Cañacao Bay, Fort San Felipe, Tejeros Convention Site, and the Battle of Binakayan Monument, among others. In their R&R at Tagaytay City, however, they missed visiting the 41st Division USAFFE Marker and the 11th Airborne Division Marker, which commemorate Filipino and American units that effectively battled the imperialist Japanese in the Pacific War.

Hopefully, the Seattle delegation will learn much about the Philippines through the itinerary prepared for them by the Yslas De Oro Travel and Tours agency.

Meanwhile, the Filipinos in the Philippines can review their own historical sources in their country, thus, avoiding the mistakes of the Revolutionary generation. Among others, they can re-read Bonifacio’s correspondence with fellow patriots and gather the following:

1. The resolve of the towns of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija were meant to be awakened and the townsfolks’ spirit not be "broken by the Spanish advances here in the towns of Cavite, because the Revolution here is spreading and getting much stronger due to the towns of Batangas and Laguna crossing over, and perhaps Tayabas, Mindoro and Camarines will cross over also." [Letter of Andres Bonifacio, Maypagasa, the President of the Sovereign People, to Julio N. Nakpil, Exalted President of the Council in the Northern District, Limbon (Indang, Cavite), 24 April 1897]

2. "It is urgent necessity that you gather up all the guns there, even if you have to pay for them, but they must become the property of the Association so that we may have a real and proper fighting army. If you succeed in effecting this shortly, it will be an easy thing to invade any pueblo and fortify ourselves there in such a way that it will not be easy for the enemy to reconquer the place...The men who know how to set "spear traps" (balatek) for whom you ask I have already summoned from Marigondon, but they have not yet arrived; as soon as they arrive, I shall have them go to your place...Hunt up some brass there and I shall send you cannons and lantakas immediately." [Letter of Andres Bonifacio, to Don Emilio Jacinto Pedernal, Chief of the Army of the North, 1897]

3. "The District of Batangas has organized a provincial government which it places under my orders, according to the four letters I have received. I sent 20 riflemen and 25 Balara bolomen to help them." [Letter of Andres Bonifacio, to Jacinto, Limbon, April 24, 1897]

Probably, the most important points to keep in mind are that Bonifacio and the original Katipuneros carried out Rizal’s "arduous mission" of nation-formation, bannered the ideals of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" and personified hope and integrity in the teeth of enemy attacks and betrayals by faithless comrades.

Bonifacio’s heroism and the Katipunan legacy are worthy of reflection and action on the seventh of July of every year.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Placewell International Services Corporation involved in fraudulent documentation in Human Trafficking

PLACEWELL INTERNATIONAL SERVICES CORPORATION Landbased Agency
S214,217& 218 AURORA PLAZA BLG, ARQUIZA ST. ERMITA, MANILA
Tel No/s : 5267838/5267317
Email Address : PISCO@THE.NET.PH
Website : None
Official Representative : AIDA ESCUETA
Status : Good Standing
License Validity : 3/25/2008 to 3/24/2012
 
Placewell International Services Corporation involved in fraudulent documentation in Human Trafficking case of 13 Filipinos in West Palm Beach, Florida remains licensed in 'Good Standing' in the Philippines.

Placewell also lost a case in 2006 before the Philippine Supreme Court for contract substitution besides acting as the recruitment agency for the problematic Annasban Company in Saudi http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/12/14/10/pinoy-couple-meted-maximum-prison-time-human-trafficking by Don Tagala

After pleading guilty to forcing at least 39 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to work under threat of arrest and deportation, Sophia Manuel and her husband, Alfonso Baldonado, owners of Quality Staffing Corporation Services, a labor contracting company in Boca Raton, Florida were sentenced to maximum prison time allowed by law... the Filipinos came to the US as guest workers in 2007 and 2008... paying up to $5,000 in recruitment and placement fees... case Re: Quality Staffing Corporation Services pages 6 to 10 describes in detail the role played by the recruiting agency Placewell International Services Corporation
More on Placewell and a lawsuit about contract substitution that went all the way to the Philippine Supreme Court in 2006
G.R. No. 169973 June 26, 2006
PLACEWELL INTERNATIONAL SERVICES CORPORATION, Petitioner,
vs.
IRENEO B. CAMOTE, Respondent.
R.A. No. 8042 explicitly prohibits the substitution or alteration to the prejudice of the worker, of employment contracts already approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same without the approval of the DOLE
......Consequently, the solidary liability of petitioner with SAAD for respondent’s money claims continues in accordance with Section 10 of R.A. 8042.

(Looking Back)
More on Placewell & other recruitment agencies, this time in Saudi
Benjie Alcabaza, meanwhile, said her OFW wife fears for her safety as some of her fellow OFWs locked up in the company warehouse get beaten up by the company’s personnel...They were brought in the desert, locked up inside a bus, and through the small holes of the bus, Annasban personnel would throw them lit cigarettes. They thought they were going to be burned alive...Annasban is owned by the "powerful" Al Nasban family, according to Migrante, which includes Engineer Fahad Al Nasban, who is also an immigration police, as its director general. (Source: Migrant group calls for ban of ‘notorious’ Saudi firm for detaining 88 OFWs by Charles Kelly on January 17, 2010 http://www.gmanews.tv/story/185439) third day of staging a hunger strike, five more Pinays in the Kingdom are pleading with the Philippine government to speed up efforts to repatriate them, about two months after they stopped working in protest of what they allege as harsh work conditions.The five overseas Filipino workers (OFW) are all women caregivers employed by the Annasban Group, a multimillion-riyal maintenance and operations firm previously implicated in several other complaints of unfair labor practices... they have been "detained" in the company-owned facility in Riyadh for about two months now, while awaiting results of their request to be sent home. Early this year, 43 other OFWs from Annasban have been repatriated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) also after refusing to go to work on similar grounds. ...The five workers said they are now being forced by Annasban to pay 5,000 riyals (about P61,314) to cover their deployment costs after breaching their contracts...Amid their seemingly hopeless conditions, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and OWWA in Riyadh appear equally helpless, to the point that one official says the workers’ plight may actually be of their own making..."They are at fault here because they stopped work, so all we can do is ask Annasban to allow them to go home," said welfare officer Nestor Burayag in a separate interview. OWWA administrator Carmelita Dimzon said in another interview that the OFWs’ repatriation is "solely" dependent on Annasban...Unless we can negotiate with the employer to issue them exit visas, they can’t go home. Exit visas are the only way for them to be repatriated," Dimzon explained. Annasban had been disqualified from participating in the overseas employment program in 2005 due to a number of previous complaints against the company. The order was lifted in 2008 after Riyadh Labor Attaché Rustico Dela Fuente said the cases had been resolved and the agency had reformed its system of employing OFWs. Records from the migrants’ rights group Migrante International however show that even during the three-year ban, the company was able to recruit OFWs. In fact, Migrante had received requests for assistance from at least 137 OFWs in five separate complaint cases, ranging from contract substitution and illegal extension of contract duration, to prolonged working hours and physical abuse. Annasban hires Filipino workers through recruitment agencies Placewell International Service Corporation, Saveway International, Global Jobsearch Services Inc., United Placeman Philippines Inc., MHHR Manpower Recruitment & Placement Agency Corp. and GMBLT Manpower Services Inc., according to Migrante.(Source: No end in sight for OFW woes in Saudi firm, as more workers plead for help by JERRIE M. ABELLA 03/06/2010
 

Filipinos hired as fishermen in Saudi Arabia seek repatriation July 28th, 2011
Saudi Arabia
Ten overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were told to believe by a recruitment agent that they will work as fishermen only to find out, upon arrival to Saudi Arabia, there are no such jobs waiting for them, according to Migrante-Middle East, an alliance of Filipino migrants group providing assistance to distress OFWs.

OFWs Richard Mendoza, Jose Alforque, Felipe Batinsela, Ronnie Maro, Arden Unsipedo, Redentor Hubahig, Oliver Perez, Isabelo Salbado, Jupiter Lawan, and Henerio Colis –all were deployed, by batches, on 2010 by Placewell International Services Corporation, a Manila-based recruitment agency with branch offices operating in the Visayas and Mindanao.

"The OFWs applied at the branch offices in Mindanao and Cebu, where most of them came from, of the said agency and were told that a Saudi-based employer is hiring fishermen," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator.
Monterona said the OFWs were offered a monthly salary of 1,500 Saudi Riyals, roughly equivalent to P17,000. According to the OFWs they’ve spent around P20,000 for their formalities and the agency said a salary deduction totaling to P60,000 will be deducted from their salary.

"We never received a salary as upon arrival to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia we were barred by Saudi authorities to catch fish as it is prohibited. Only Saudis are allowed to do so," the OFWs conveyed to Monterona.

Monterona said since they could not perform their job and no incomes for their employer to be able to pay their salaries, the OFWs were forced to run away from their employer.

"I was told by the OFWs that they have sought assistance from POLO in Jeddah since last year but until now they are still awaiting their repatriation," Monterona added.

Monterona said the OFWs are staying at the consulate-rented flat inside the Hajj terminal in Jeddah.

"The OFWs are jumping from one part-time job to another in order to survive for their daily subsistence, though undocumented, and for them to be able to send remittance for their families in the Philippines," Monterona added.

"Now they wanted to be home. PH labor officials must assist them and call the attention of their recruitment agency and the employer-sponsor and arrange for their exit clearance and airfare," Monterona averred.

"We could not understand why POLO officials in Jeddah could not immediately repatriate them."

Written by:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator

The Philippines, A Failed State


“What the Failed State Index means. The most striking feature of the Failed States Index is in how it is developed. The assessments of the individual indicators and their resulting overall scores are not the work of academicians, but are compilations of vast numbers of global perceptions; among the 90,000 sources are media reports, government and academic studies, commentaries from pundits at all levels, and a whole host of published statistics, all from both inside and outside the countries on the list. The FSI in a very real sense is the view the world– and the country itself– has of the Philippines. TheFSI score and ranking for the Philippines has been, since the launch of the program, a description of the global impression of the country.”

There are 12 metrics used in determining the “Failed State Index”. The higher the score the worse is the country. A score of 7 and above means a serious problem. Here the comparative scores for India and the Philippines. Unlike India, the Philippines is in the list of 60 failed and near-failed states. The Philippines was at No. 56 when these metrics were first measured and this “Failed States Index” list was first published in 2005. The Philippines is getting progressively worse. It went from 56th place in 2005 to 51st in 2010 and is at 50th place in 2011. It is fast approaching Rwanda, Cambodia and Laos who are tied at 40th place in the list.


No. Metric India’s score Philippine score
1 Mounting demographic pressures 8.3 7.3
2 Massive movement of refugees or internally displaced persons, creating complex humanitarian emergencies 4.9 6.5
3 Legacy of vengeance-seeking group grievance or group paranoia 7.3 7.2
4 Chronic and sustained human flight 6.7 6.7
5 Uneven economic development across group lines 8.9 7.1
6 Sharp and/ or severe economic decline 5 5.6
7 Criminalization and/ or delegitimization of the State 5.5 8.3
8 Progressive deterioration of public services 7 6.1
9 Suspension or arbitrary application of the rule of law and widespread violation of human rights 6 7.3
10 Security apparatus operates as a “State within a State” 7.1 8.3
11 Rise of factionalized elites 6 8.5
12 Intervention of other states or external political actors 5.1 6.1
Total 77.8 85


It seems patently clear the country has very little will to reverse its decline into the upper reaches of the list of “Failed State” nations of the world. With 41.1% of all children of high school age unable to go to school, how can it?

Friday, July 29, 2011

The President’s grave sin against OFWs

Written by : RENE Q. BAS | Published : Thursday, July 28, 2011 00:00

EVERYTHING I have written so far about President Aquino’s governance and speeches has been positive and even laudatory. This time I must criticize him and that contributor to the State of the Nation Address who condemned Overseas Filipino Workers. That part of his speech was a grave injustice. The utterances were those of a mean-hearted person which I pray the President is not. I was an OCW in Hong Kong for two decades. My income supported my parents’ household in the Philippines in addition to my own family. I am hurt for myself and for my relatives and friends who are OFWs, some of whom are in Hong Kong and members of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE HK). The latter issued a press release-statement on Wednesday July 27 which begins with this paragraph:
“HK Pinoys hit Aquino’s ‘contempt for OFWs’ in SONA”

“We detest the implication that OFWs chose to serve foreigners instead of their countrymen. We protest the underlying contempt of President Aquino towards migrants who had no choice but to work overseas, separated from our families and communities, because the past and the present administration failed miserably to provide jobs and livelihood and denied basic social services to the Filipino people.”

Dolores Balladares, chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE HK), made that declaration reacting “to the insinuations made by President Noynoy Aquino in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25.” This is what the President said in Tagalog:

Kung magkasakit ka at makita mo ang nars na nag-aruga sa iyo, sa halip na magserbisyo sa dayuhan kapalit ng mas malaking suweldo, pakisabi rin po, ‘Salamat po.’ (If you get sick and you see the nurse taking care of you, instead of serving foreigners in exchange of a higher salary, please also say ‘thank you.’)

I was applauding the President most of the time as he spoke on Monday. But I felt the pain that OFWs the world over must have felt when they heard those words. And the following:

Bago ka umuwi galing esku-wela, lapitan mo ang guro mong piniling mamuhunan sa iyong kinabukasan kaysa unahin ang sariling ginhawa; sabihin mo, ‘Salamat po.’(Before you go home from school, approach the teacher who chose to invest in your future instead of prioritizing her own welfare; say ‘thank you.’ ”)

The mentality behind these parts of the SONA is one contemptuous of Filipinos who are working abroad. It presumes that the OFWs are slaving to serve Chinese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Arab, American and European employers because they unpatriotically love themselves more than their fellow Filipinos back home.

The President’s sentiments?
Is it one of the speechwriters who has this unjust—and wicked—misconception of Filipinos forced to work abroad to be able to support their wives, children and parents? Or are these President Aquino’s own sentiments? I hope Secretary Coloma was just building up the President’s image when he told us in the roundtable here at The Times on Friday that it was the President himself who actually wrote the speech. What possessed Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino to utter those words—even if someone else wrote them?

Those words condemning OFWs became more painful because they were in that part of the SONA in which the President was asking us Filipinos to turn away from negativism.

This is the translation of what he said in Tagalog: “Let us end the culture of negativism; let us uplift our fellow Filipinos at every opportunity. Why are there people who enjoy finding fault in our country, who find it so hard—as though it were a sin—to say something nice? Can we even remember the last time we praised a fellow Filipino? “Let us stop pulling our fellow man down. Let us put an end to our crab mentality. Let us make the effort to recognize the good that is being done. “If you see something right, do not think twice—praise it.”

So why pull down the OFWs?
Other presidents praised the OFWs as heroes. Heroes not only of our economy. But heroes also to their children, spouses, parents and other relatives.

Now, it seems the President wants us to see our sisters, daughters, mothers who are OFW nurses as people who must be despised because they would rather wash the bottoms of foreigners in hospitals abroad than stay in the Philippines where there are no jobs for them.This is a grave matter. It is a sin that in Biblical times would have called for the king to put on sackcloth, sit on ashes and pray for forgiveness.

The President must make amends to the OFWs. He must explain to them that it is not his policy to treat OFWs as bad persons who must be condemned instead of being thanked and treated with affection. He and his Cabinet members must reiterate the established official recognition of OFWs as heroes of our Republic and our families.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dr. José Rizal II on Filipino family values: a source of dysfunction

From my observations, the question is more about the “hot (southern) versus cold (northern)” countries. The warmer countries of Southern Europe have developed cultures that are comparatively more complacent than the cultures from Northern Europe, while those from the North tend to be more focused on solving problems rather than just letting things be.

The Catholic versus Protestant issue is slightly derived from the hot-versus-cold (or South-versus-North) issue because the complacency of the warmer countries of Southern Europe made them stick with their traditional faith (Catholicism), while the Northern countries which are colder ended up seeing “kinks” and little problems with the traditional Catholic dogma (they were Catholics too, originally) and that caused them to question these and find a solution to these kinks and little problems. The solution? Secession from the Papacy and the creation of their own churches.

In other words, the religion aspect is just a manifestation of the North-versus-South and cold-versus-hot divide. Northern Europe isn’t more economically dynamic than Southern Europe because they’re Protestant and that Southern Europe is Catholic. It’s more because Northern Europe’s cold has created a culture that forces people to think, analyze, and plan in advance (to combat the problems of a harsh winter) while Southern Europe’s warmer climate has created a culture that allows people to survive with less thinking and analysis. Essentially, complacency is not harshly punished with death, so complacency can become more common.

This complacency is also what makes people “stick with tradition” even if tradition doesn’t seem to make sense. The Protestants of Northern Europe are essentially people who broke with tradition and created a newer one because they felt that the older tradition didn’t make sense.

Ergo, it’s not so much “Protestant versus Catholic”, and instead, it’s more likely to be “Colder North versus Warmer South.”

Not exactly “Guns, Germs, and Steele.” Jared Diamond was very careful to elaborate in his book (and other essays floating around in the internet and other journals) that he didn’t have that much of a North-South (Cold versus Warm) dichotomy, but instead, his idea centered around the “Eurasian East-West Axis Advantage” and the fact that it was this area that had a huge variety of flora and fauna that proved advantageous to the civilizations that developed in that area.

It is, on the other hand, Montesquieu who makes the North-South/Cold-Warm dichotomy in analyzing societies.

Montesquieu does NOT, however, condemn warm countries to mediocrity. His ideas, in his masterpiece “L’esprit des lois” (The Spirit of the Laws), state that while it is easier for Cultures from Cold Climates have a tendency to build successful societies under a liberal and/or democratic framework, Cultures from Warm Climates can be as successful, but they need to make use of a despotic/authoritarian framework.

This makes sense.

In Cold Climates, people are FORCED BY THE COLD to be self-disciplined, punctual, analytical, long term-planning oriented and self-regulating because without such self-discipline, people cannot easily survive the winters in cold climates where there is an obvious need for stored food, saved/stored resources, shelter/heating, clothing, etc. Lack of self-discipline and all the other types of behavior that lead towards success lead to failure, and thus, end up in death or extinction.

In Warm Climates, people can afford to be a bit more complacent and happy-go-lucky. As such, people tend to be more “puede na yan” and tolerant of irresponsibility and tardiness.

However, the behavior needed for success remains the same. Success is always a result of punctuality, long-term planning, better analysis, better self-discipline, etc. So while the people from Cold Climate Cultures have the natural tendency to have the habits needed for success, people from Warm Climate Cultures don’t. On the other hand, those habits can be developed. But they can be developed through EXTERNAL IMPOSITION FROM AN OUTSIDE AUTHORITY.

In other words, if the Climate won’t force you to do the same things that are necessary for success, then the Government should do so.

In short, the Governments of people from Warm Climates need to be “despotic and authoritarian” in coercing its citizens to behave in “successful ways.”

This is why Singapore (a successful nation from the Tropics) continues to need its “draconian-like” laws and its somewhat “top-down” management approach.

While LKY, his son LHL and the PAP do not always talk about the “Hot-Cold dynamics” (well, Lee Kuan Yew talks about it extensively in his memoirs), the Singapore-pattern is extremely consistent with Baron de Montesquieu’s observations. Likewise, Malaysia has similar ideas (borrowed largely from Singapore as well as Mahathir bin Mohamad’s ideas) in how Malaysia tries to achieve success.

The key idea is that the Philippines needs to get its act together by focusing on ensuring that those behavioral “basics of how to achieve success” are instilled in the Filipino People. Competence, Self-Discipline, Economic Focus, Continuous Improvement, not resting on one’s laurels, etc are necessary.

Sadly, most of the Filipino People continue to prove to the entire world that they would rather be monkeys and proto-humans than successful and civilized Homo sapiens sapiens.

- - - - - - - - - -

Miriam, I’d say that in the case of Malaysia, Mahathir’s policy wasn’t so much “discriminating against the Chinese” as it was “making space for Malays/Bumiputras to have the opportunity to work alongside the more hardworking Chinese.”

For sure, the system in Malaysia entailed affirmative action in favor of the “indigenous” Bumiputras, but Mahathir’s vision for this wasn’t meant to “put down the Chinese to raise up the indigenous.” It was borne out of the fact that the Chinese population in Malaysia is huge enough to be able to rely on itself. As such, it is big enough for a Chinese entrepreneur to hire only Chinese workers/staff members. One of Mahathir’s contentions was that the Malays/Bumiputras needed to have direct exposure to how the more economically-successful Chinese worked and did things. But unless there would be opportunities for mingling in the work environment, the Bumiputras would not have direct exposure to the work ethic of the Chinese. That’s why the affirmative action scheme was put in place: Companies needed to hire a mandatory percentage of bumiputras , and the end result would be that eventually, bumiputras would be able to directly observe and imbibe the work ethic of the Chinese (and Indians).

In most other areas, Malaysia followed Singapore’s model: strict implementation of laws (albeit not as easy to control as Singapore), economic focus, etc.

In Truth, Marcos’ martial law wasn’t wrong by itself. The Philippines could have pulled itself together if Marcos actually saw it through and did the most important thing: delivered on the Economy.

Unfortunately, Marcos’ economic policies were flawed. He borrowed massive amounts of money which he pocketed, and some which he distributed to cronies for them to “develop the economy.” But he chose the wrong cronies: majority were incompetent and had no real intention of developing the economy. Many of them only put up façade companies that were there as fronts, but they didn’t make any money and didn’t have any real operations. By the time the loans were due, Marcos had nothing to pay and in the end, the repercussions of not paying manifested themselves in currency devaluation and economic collapse.

That was truly the one mistake of Marcos: having the wrong economic policies or implementing his economic policies wrongly by choosing the wrong cronies.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Hung Hang, The air-conditioner is indeed one of the greatest inventions. Lee Kuan Yew himself praised the air-conditioner for its ability to counteract the “misfortune” of being in the tropics, and as such, his memoirs and other speeches actually reveal him to be very Montesquieuesque.

You need to read my exposition carefully, though. It seems you missed a lot of points: Temperature is a strong determinant for the kind of culture produced in a particular region, not a “strong determinant for a country’s progress.”

Montesquieu’s views made it extremely clear that he never condemned “hot countries to mediocrity” because he said that cultures from hot climates can still compete with the cultures from the cold climates if their governments are strict and disciplinarian and induce them to develop a strong work ethic (possibly through coercion).

Did you look at your examples? Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam… Are those countries as Free-wheeling and Liberal as the Philippines?

Obviously not!

They’re countries that have implemented Montesquieuesque ideas so that the relative complacency developed in tropical climates would be counteracted by disciplinarian governments that properly manage the people in a top-down fashion.

You should have also looked at the obvious cause-and-effect exposition I made on why most Protestant countries in Western Europe are in the North and why most Catholic countries in Western Europe are in the South. Religion, per se, is more of a correlated symptom that goes along with the climate of a country. A people’s character is often determined by the type of environment that people develops its culture in. People from colder areas that experience winter tend to become more serious, more planning-oriented, and more self-disciplined because those traits are necessary in order to survive winter, while People from warmer areas that don’t experience cold winters (or have no winters at all) tend to become more complacent as compared to the people from colder areas because the milder climate does not require them to plan as much. (In the tropics, you can find food anytime and anywhere, unlike in temperate zones where there’s nothing to find during winter)

The fact remains that culture develops over centuries, and the recent pervasiveness of airconditioning technology in the mid 1900′s is not enough to change the tropics-based cultural tendencies of Filipinos which have been around for millennia.

In the end, religion can have an influence, yes. But I also need to make it clear that most of our ideas about comparing Protestant and Catholic come from attempts in the past to correlate economic performance with culture, such as the work of Max Weber. The problem I see, however, was that no attempt was made to go even deeper and look at the fact that in Western Europe itself, this Protestant-versus-Catholic dichotomy also roughly coincided with the Cold North versus Warmer South dichotomy.

By looking at both, we do find that they are related. I posit that Protestant countries turned Protestant because they’re from the Northern part of Western Europe: their people saw problems with certain aspects of their older Catholic faith and decided to do something about it and rectify such problems according to their own interpretation. Catholic countries in Western Europe remained Catholic because they’re from the Southern part of Western Europe: their people probably saw some problems with certain aspects of Catholicism but STILL DID NOT do something about it and thus were more tolerant of the status quo (aka “complacent”).

In other words, the work ethic may still have been influenced more by the underlying effects of climate as Montesquieu clearly presented. Of course, there will be influences from religion as well. Some Protestant groups might have been more predisposed towards wealth accumulation than Catholics, for instance, due to certain teachings (prosperity gospel, for instance or ideas like “God favors the hardworking”) But notice again that where Protestantism first developed and became common in Western Europe was precisely in the colder Northern regions, while Catholicism remained strong in the relatively warmer South.

(We could argue that a Catholic Spaniard who converts to a Protestant sect that heavily emphasizes a prosperity gospel may end up becoming richer than a Catholic Spaniard who remains Catholic. But then again, maybe that first Spaniard who converts to the prosperity gospel Protestant sect already exhibits traits that make him more predisposed to success to begin with: he was willing to make a major change in his life by conversion. That “major change” idea is an indicator of a willingness to turn around one’s life. Then again, it’s still worth looking into the origins of the sect: Was it developed in the warmer South or in the colder North?)

As such, there is strong reason to review Montesquieu’s views on “hot-versus-cold.”

By the way, Confucianism is NOT a religion. It’s a philosophy.

- - - - - - - - - -

Miriam, I’m very happy to see your views here. We’ve read a lot of the same stuff, it seems. And yes, I have read Stanley Karnow’s “In Our Image.” (In case you haven’t read it, look for a copy of Dr. Mahathir’s “The Malay Dilemma.” It’s essentially Dr. M’s “Get Real, Malaysia” mega-essay.)

One of the best things I first gathered from it when I read it more than 15 years ago was the idea that it caused “confusion” for Pinoys that the predominantly Anglo-Saxon Protestant Americans tried to impose their Anglo-Saxon Protestant Ethic and Northern European-derived Democratic ideals on a predominantly Catholic and Hispanicized Malayo-Polynesian people.

The other key idea there too was that Karnow revealed that his personal friend Benigno S. Aquino, Jr aka “Ninoy” was actually a fan of Lee Kuan Yew and did not necessarily disagree with Marcos’ authoritarianism. Ninoy even said that if he was in Marcos’ place, he’d have probably done the same. The main complaint Ninoy had was what I mentioned earlier: That Marcos failed to deliver economic prosperity and material progress to Filipinos. Truth be told, people actually tend to tolerate authoritarianism if it delivers. Marcos failed to deliver (on what else? THE ECONOMY!), and that’s essentially what got him out.

You are right also in looking at the fact that many of those more progressive countries in Latin-America have elites that are largely European-stock and thus have the same (or similar) intellectual life that is open to ideas. The Filipino elite (oligarchs plus the unintellectual “intelligentsia”) is composed of people who would actually be middle class if they were in the First World. They don’t have the ability to really think in real rational terms. All they can do is follow other peoples’ ideas.

As for Vietnam, it has to be mentioned that Vietnam’s culture is essentially Chinese-derived. They were a Chinese vassal-state (with some political autonomy) for a little over a millennium. That very long time of being highly influenced and in contact with the Chinese made them develop a solidly “Chinese-derived” culture which the more recent and short-lived European colonial period could not erase. Contrast that with Filipinos who were essentially fragmented small primitive tribes not under a strong central authority that would build up a Civilization with stone-based architecture for the longest time, you can see why it was easy to replace the older culture with a newer “more superior” one.

With the French (and other Europeans) going into Vietnam, they had what was essentially a strong Chinese-derived or highly Sinicized identity that had the trappings of Civilization. That’s why it was much harder to “erase” the Vietnameseness of the Vietnamese. The gap between the level of civilization of the Vietnamese and that of the foreign colonizers wasn’t that “wide.”

Truth be told, it’s not so much the “originality” of the culture that is the issue. Vietnamese culture is essentially Chinese-based (even reaching Qing Dynasty influence), just as Korean and Japanese are Chinese-based (largely around the Han, all the way to the Tang, and pre-Ming dynasty influence) in terms of culture. Thais do not have an original culture at all. Instead, what we all refer to as “Thai Culture” is essentially Khmer (Cambodian) culture which the Thais (or the “Siamese” as they were earlier known) adopted for themselves in a similar way that the Romans adopted Greek culture.

Whatever it is, all these cultures stuck to what they defined as “their culture.” Nevermind that they were initially BORROWED (or perhaps imposed from outside) from foreigners, the Vietnamese, Thais, Koreans, and Japanese essentially identified with the cultures they made their own and by the time they came into contact with Westerners, they were well aware that who they were was defined by the culture and the cultural trappings and manifestations (clothing/costumes, art, music, architecture, etc) that they had made theirs. (The Japanese, during the Meiji Restoration, decided to REDEFINE THEMSELVES into Westerners who just happened to be of Asian racial ethnicity by adopting Western systems, clothing, architecture, technology, etc, turning them into Asia’s most modern nation and first non-white country to be invited into international diplomatic leagues such as the Treaty of Versailles and practically be treated as equals of the Whites.)

The Philippines is in a major rut because our elites are of low quality. (I really mean it when I say that they’d be Middle Class in the First World) That’s why they’re “oligarchs” (few who lead) instead of “aristocrats” (The powerful Best). Go to our universities, listen to the way most of our academics reason. Low quality. They even spend a lot of time making up lame excuses for why they were “justified”‘ in voting for an incompetent person into the Presidency. All the Philippine Intelligentsia seeks to become good at is pambobola and sophistry instead of finding the Truth.

Hyms, Yes, Montesquieu’s “L’esprit des lois” (The Spirit of the Laws) was very voluminous and “comprehensive.” He talked a lot about comparing societies versus others and cultures versus others. He also looked at the whole idea of “proportionate rewards and punishment.” He saw, for instance, that if all crimes were punishable by Death, then the crimes would become more and more heineous. If the penalty for hiway-robbery and murder was both Death, then hiway robbers would rather kill their victims, knowing that these victims could later identify them and get them convicted and killed. Since the penalty for murder is the same as robbery/theft: Death, then what’s the use of keeping the robbery victims alive? Montesquieu observed that this was how the laws worked in China: proportional punishment. Hiway robbers in Imperial China may have robbed travellers, but they never killed them, since killing them would have meant death, while merely robbing didn’t translate into Death.

It’s a really good read. Lots of insights. Of course, in light of today’s findings, the understanding of certain phenomena needs to be upgraded. But overall, it was very sound and logical. Lightyears ahead of the kind of thinking that modern day Pinoy so-called intellectuals are capable of. (Save for the real intellectuals who make antipinoy their home who – sooner or later – should be discovered for being the real intellectuals they are and dislodging those pretentious fools who populate Philippine universities and Pinoy newspaper columns.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Dysfunction in the Filipino Family

We often wonder what went wrong with the Philippines. Why is it that Filipinos, even if they know what’s wrong, continue to do it, even willingly? They go ahead and hit on other women or men even when already married, and fall into petty crime even though they know the jails are overcrowded. Even on things not related to crime, Filipinos fail to practice good common sense and would rather do what they feel. They still do stupid things like max out their credit cards and feed the whole barangay during a fiesta on borrowed money. Then they complain that life is hard. But why do they still do it?

I’d like to venture a daring proposition: it’s all because of our Filipino family values. They are flawed and cause us to take the path of self-destruction. I will thus make the case that some of our Filipino family values are among the cultural baggage that we need to dispose of.

History

Our cultural values can be traced to the teachings of the friars or prayles of Spanish occupation, who exercised an iron hand over Filipino values then. Whatever they demanded, the people do, or else the people go to hell. But whatever they demanded was not always for the benefit of the people.

Filipino family all right… looks family… kasi where’s daddy? Tsugi?

We know today how the friars of those days bedded young and pretty maidens (A Cojuangco ancestor helped smuggle these women into friars’ private quarters), giving rise to the many mestizo people among our population. But they also taught people that they should obey authority – even if the authority abuses them. Jose Rizal attacked the teachings of the friars in his books. He knew that the values taught by the friars were meant to contain the Filipino people, preventing development of intelligence and reasoning, keeping the Filipinos in slavery. The friars basically caused the Filipinos to be dependent on them.

Thing is, if the friars are now gone, why are people today still bending to their manipulation? Why are they sticking to the “values” that the friars taught their clueless ancestors? The problem is now with the people themselves, not the friars anymore. They have forgotten that the friars have left.

People are still taught to conform, not just because it is fashionable, but because conformity has been seen as a sign of morality. Somehow, Filipinos have the sense that being “in” is a sign that you are a good and compliant citizen, and “alternative” styles or lifestyles are immoral. They have been deceived that conformity to society is a sign that you are a moral person.

Authoritarianism

BongV had an excellent exploration of the subject in his article stating that our dominantly authoritarian parenting style tends to produce wimpy children. Now, I felt that there was much more I could add. The basic Filipino family values are based on conformity, and often it is conformity to anything. If you differ, you are considered a disobedient whelp, or sutil. You must conform to the will of your parents, such as dictating the college course you should take; so it you don’t follow, you are sutil.

But not only conformity to supposed values is a problem. Even conformity to culture. Not only will Filipino parents encourage, or even force, their children to obey others blindly. They may even encourage children to follow fads. For example, if they see their children as different from their peers, such as not watching Wowowee like classmates do, for preferring manga art to basketball, the parents will call their children sutil, stupid, disobedient, walang pakisama, selfish, or what abusive word you can think of for children. Parents also do this probably to avoid their children bringing them shame. They may even dictate or criticize the tastes of their children (“this is what you should like,” “rock music is from the devil!”), and thus take away any notion of responsible individual freedom.

Mano… overrated custom of respect… and submission… to elders

Even bad habits are sometimes passed through authoritarian means. Some ridiculous fathers will even chide their sons for having only one girlfriend, and will goad them to try and gather a harem. Not only will the fathers boast to fellows about their harems; they may even boast about their son’s harems. But even without authoritarian means, there are the comments and payo (advice) of the parents that tell a child to conform and be like everyone else, and that being different, even if it is right, can lead to shame or hiya.

Sometimes, these “values” are used in a manipulative way. I remember watching an old documentary on child labor in the Philippines. A man who was interviewed, probably the children’s employer, was asked whether he thought child labor was wrong (the labor was unloading sacks of cement off ships). He just kept on saying, “(ander sila ng mga magulang nila) they are under their parents.” Authoritarianism was used to maintain child labor. It’s in scenarios like these that children need to learn the value of assertiveness – that they have the right to say no.

Consumerism

One of the most common payo (advice) that parents would give children is, “study well, get a good job and a high salary, so you can buy good appliances and toys for your children.” This seems like a good, harmless adage. But there is a lot of harm in this payo.

Firstly, this reveals the highly consumerist nature of our culture. Filipino families continue to have the dream of upward mobility. But they don’t just want to manifest it; they want to show it. They want to have the latest gadgets, the coolest designer clothes, know the latest songs, watch the latest shows or even travel all over. Same as described above; not being “in” can be seen as a moral lapse.

Also, having all the consumer stuff is seen as a sign that you have worked hard for it. So when you don’t have the consumer stuff, you are seen as not hardworking and morally lapsed. Thus, the people who work hard and don’t spend so much on consumer goods are wrongly accused of being lazy or having no good dreams in life (That’s how some Filipinos see the industrious Filipino-Chinese!).

A seeming must-have for every consumerist Filipino family

In addition, the above payo also teaches children to be employees – and not pursue higher dreams of being an entrepreneur or self-employed person. Parents are teaching their children to be subservient or submissive, and discourage them from challenging the more likely fomenters of stagnancy in the country like our local elite. It’s as if the values taught them were meant to prevent them from growing and doing something good.

Let me quote something from another of my articles that demonstrates consumerism:

For example, imagine yourself as a working class Filipino, eldest among the children, with a job and salary. You arrive home after work, and you hear the screams of “where are our French fries!” from your siblings. Your parents, who are already senior citizens, will demand, “when are you going to bring us to Boracay?” When you reply that your salary is too low for that, they’ll scream, “then go abroad!” You’ll go abroad, you earn enough to send them to Boracay, but your family goes there without you. Lugi ka. Add to that the hassle of going abroad, adjusting to another country and culture, separation from your own, etc.

Families are forced by this pursuit to live beyond their means. When the parents or children come home to their families, their symbol of love is consumer goods. But when hospital bills come, or the credit card bill collector comes knocking, somebody gets troubled, and family tensions grow. Families would like to say that “we will bond together through hardship,” but the reality is that families in hardship are more likely to be dysfunctional.

The oligarchs or big businesses like consumerist families since these families consume their products. The 1950s depictions of “happy” families in media were associated with consumer goods. Most of the children who grew up during this time are today’s parents or grandparents, and are likely the ones goading their children or grandchildren to bring in consumer goods from abroad. Thus, our families are drawn into consumerism and further into poverty.

Teaching the Wrong Thing

Sometimes, a child would tell their parents about a friend who invites them to cheat at something, such as get a school paper from Recto. To their surprise, the parent says go ahead. “But isn’t cheating wrong?” asks the child. The parent, in their usual know-it-all swagger, says, “No, that is how you get ahead in life.” Perhaps an additional reinforcement from the parent would do it: “Look, people get rich by cheating.” And people wonder why corruption is so rampant in the country!

Another faux pas for parents is when they forbid the children from something, but they do it themselves. They tell their children not to smoke or get drunk; but they do it themselves. When the children happen upon them one day and complain about the parents’ example, the parents just throw their weight around and shout at or even hurt their children to be silent. Another dysfunctional family in the making.

Apo, don’t play in the street… wetaminut, si lola pa rin nag-aalaga? Where’s parenthood?

There is also the use of tall tales to confuse children. For example Benign0 would recall the grandmother who told her granddaughter about how humans are born, “galing ka sa pwet”. Like the tales of St. Peter playing bowling to explain thunder or may duende sa bakuran (dwarf in the backyard) to keep them from being naughty, parents confound their children about the birds and the bees. Sex education is sadly an area where Filipino families are lacking, because of absurd conservatism. And thus, our population grows like ants.

Nepotism is the obvious fault of our local Filipino families. When you have a business and are looking for the right person for the job, Filipinos often look within the family. Or even family friends. It’s not a fault by itself to consider someone because of familiarity or connections; but it is when you choose that person or service because of those connections and not because of competence.

A Testimony

Just to show I’m not the only one thinking this way, I decided to use the story of commenter Ben, who described his experience with families of differing values, to demonstrate my point. He commented in response to BongV’s posting of an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” which featured Filipino cuisine, and upon seeing a Filipino family in the episode that seemed to show these issues in parenting:

“When I came to the Philippines and met with my family from both sides, I saw a big difference comparing where the “Filipino” culture is more dominant.

On my mum’s side, family times and Meal times are a lot more noisy and discussions are very frequent. This was because of the fact that my cousins on that side are well educated and sort of “Westernized.” They dont conform to much of the Filipino society and they dont watch local channels. This made them easier for me and my brother (who grew up in Aus) to associate with considering there was no tradition in demanding respect from older people (po and opo and mano mano and such) and we felt more comfortable because it just felt like we were talking to just the same old group back home in Aus.

On the other hand, my dad’s side, which has more of an aristocratic vibe, it was very quiet, comfortable and sometimes they were unbearable to be around. I’d hear the older people get pissed at kids who forgot to say opo, I’d be required to make mano to everyone and the worst thing about it, meal times were so fricken QUIET! As in no talking… And this was what I saw in Augusto’s family. This is the Filipinized family. Their past time is watching Eat bulaga or Wowowee or Game KNB or MTB (back in the day). They made kids dance the ocho ocho and perform for the elderly and some kids hated it and some loved it. It was so uncomfortable.

What I noticed too is that on my dad’s side, people are so easily offended. And I guess that’s one of the reasons why people were so quiet during meal times – they were afraid to offend someone on the dining table.

When it comes to small family gathering like in the scene in Augusto’s family’s house, another key point would be that there was a foreigner amongst them. Filos hate to make themselves look bad, esp the older generations. If the kids make them look bad in front of foreigner, they get banished to say the least.”

Thanks, Ben, for sharing this. And I’m sure you’re not alone. A lot of Filipino families are like his dad’s side – cold, anti-intellectual, loveless and materialistic. It shows the things that are wrong with the Filipino family. Dick Gordon said the country is dysfunctional. It’s probably because the Filipino family is dysfunctional.

It’s a good thing that the side of Ben’s mom shows better, proper family values. This is what today’s Filipino family should emulate.

The Filipino Family – a Destructive Institution

Way I see it, our family values were really designed to make Filipino families broken and dysfunctional. The Filipino family was sabotaged from within. Whatever the friars or other influencers planted in the Filipinos, the Filipinos never bothered to remove. Even if told that these were tools of deception, they still clung to these false values!

The Filipino family’s intrinsic intolerance against nonconformity causes people to not reach their true potential in this country. Thus, they seek it elsewhere. This is probably one reason why droves of people go abroad; to be “free” from this inhibiting culture. The Filipino family is clearly one of the tools to perpetuate a defective culture onto its people. The way the people vote, the rampant corruption, and people’s bad behavior and bad attitudes toward life – they reflect the state of the family. The arresting of the family has resulted in the arresting of the nation.

My sociology teacher said that the most violent institution in human society during peacetime is the family. This is because of domestic violence, “spanking,” and all that. But in another sense, in the Philippines, the family may be the most destructive institution, because all the dysfunctions of authoritarianism, nepotism, slave-mindedness, backward traditionalism and even corrupt practices stem from it.

Only upon dumping obsolete family ideals can we have more Filipino families as happy as this one

You know, if Filipino society wants to weed out corruption, the government is the last place to start. The right place is the family, where it starts. We clearly need to reform traditional family values. But how do we make these reforms? I’ll be sticking my neck out when I say that children can “go against their parents.” But there are parents who can certainly change their parenting style and teach their children to be more assertive. BongV’s article on assertiveness has all the material to help teach children the right values.

We must remind people that the “friars” are gone – and should not be revived. Catholic priests and authorities, highly conservative religious and other parties cannot dictate your personal values. A person must now evaluate morality based on not one religion or school of thought, but on universal principles of ethics and a study of each and every belief system.

We also have to draw from other countries on values. Now why should we draw from other countries? Isn’t that “un-Filipino,” some may accuse? No. In fact, it may be better for our country. We need to acknowledge that the Philippines does not have a monopoly on what is right or wrong. Heck, our “Christian” values come from abroad.

We need more anti-traditionalism and liberalism. We need to shake off the chains of bad family values and restore the Filipino family in this 21st century.

P.S. One teacher ask me, “Mr.P unsa diay nang subservient?” My answer is kind of base on harsh reality but not mean —- kanang sunda lang kay maoy ingon sa AMO( with illongo accent of the word AMO).


About the Author

ChinoF

has written 38 stories on this site.

Chino, a freelance writer and aspiring artist, believes that Filipino culture is dominated by backward, repressive, corrupt and defective elements. Thus, if you want to correct these problems, you often have to go against what people believe as "right" and is accepted in Filipino culture. You also risk being called "anti-Pinoy" this way, even if you're not. But he takes the risk anyway. Hence he feels at home in this blog site. Chino is also a former Google Answers Researcher who went by the username techtor-ga.


47 Comments on “Filipino Family Values: A Source of Dysfunction”

  • Ms. Mike Portes
    Ms. Mike Portes wrote on 5 May, 2011, 21:48

    A sense of responsibility and the ability for critical thinking are taken away at an early stage due to our dysfunctional culture.
    Filipino children are not the kind to tell on their elders. Doing so is a sign of disrespect but it also takes critical thinking to the back seat when parents become authoritative. Such parenting model discounts the ability of children to discern right from wrong. The implementation of “Spare the rod and spoil the child” should not undermine the intellect of a child regardless of age. Parents do not own their children but mere stewards of a life entrusted to them.
    The most poignant in the daily operation of a common Filipino family unit is the dependence on the mother or in her absence, the eldest female child or a helper; Discounting the valuable lesson of shared responsibility. It is no wonder that a lot end up as free loaders and would rather have it easy at the expense of another.
    Self-sufficiency, hard-work, excellence and intellectualism are hard finds in a population drowning in commercialism, consumerism and mediocrity.

    [Reply]

    MrsRumja Reply:

    Right on!

    [Reply]

  • rubberkid wrote on 5 May, 2011, 22:29

    “You know, if Filipino society wants to weed out corruption, the government is the last place to start. The right place is the family, where it starts”

    This is so true. I am really thankful to my parents for not condoning “corruption”. When I was at the proper age to get a driver’s license, most of my friends went through fixers and “other channels”. But my parents insisted that I fall in line and take the exams. I was emabrassed about this since I happened to apply for a license at the same time with someone I know. It was only after a few years that I realized that it was the right thing to do and that my parents were right.

    Aside from the example above, there is also another thing I would like to emulate from them – they are entrepreneurs. My father retired early and set up a business. Now, I am still in the rat race but I plan or checking out early and set up my own business.

    [Reply]

  • ChinoF
    ChinoF wrote on 6 May, 2011, 2:34

    Quite a timely revival of my article, relevant today as well. Today, however, after more examination, I believe mass media helps disrupt proper family values. How ironic that a station with the name “Kapamilya” would actually be teaching wrong family values to the children, such as “it is noble to be poor,” or “the rich are corrupt,” and all that.

    [Reply]

    kickapoo Reply:

    Friars dati, Media naman today. So if Rizal were alive today, he would be criticizing the media huh

    [Reply]

  • concerned_citizen wrote on 6 May, 2011, 3:56

    I’ve always questioned the fact that we must be unconditionally obedient and respectful to our elders despite them being in the wrong. It’s such a shame that our dysfunctional family values are deeply embedded in our culture of mediocrity and passivity. Keep the insightful articles coming.

    [Reply]

    rubberkid Reply:

    Yes, we should obey them when they say you shouldn’t wash your hands after ironing, not to take a bath at night and to always put a ‘bimpo’ on you back whenever you play outside.

    [Reply]

    SIlentCrow Reply:

    “I’ve always questioned the fact that we must be unconditionally obedient and respectful to our elders despite them being in the wrong.” -concerned-citizen

    Well said. This is a quote to remember.

    [Reply]

  • lo wrote on 6 May, 2011, 18:40

    The Japanese family has an even more intense authoritarianism. In Japanese culture, you must always obey and submit to someone higher than you. Doing otherwise would tarnish honor and give shame. Yet look at how progressive Japan has become. How can that be?

    [Reply]

    Dark Passenger Reply:

    Maybe because Japanese parents, no matter how authoritarian, teach their kids positive values like honor, discipline, hard work, and all the other great things the Japanese are known for. If they are taught to obey and submit to a higher power, that higher power most likely deserves it. Unlike here, where elders demand respect even though they haven’t earned it.

    [Reply]

    lo Reply:

    If that’s the case, then simply being an authoritarian family or being submissive to the higher ups does not mean heck anything so claiming that this is a dysfunction is stupid. The problem lies in the thinking of the parents not authoritarianism or conformity since the Japanese are the masters of that and their society, arts, and economy have progressed to a high level.

    [Reply]

    superlucky20 Reply:

    I am thinking the same thing. Chino is painting matters too generally, like every Filipino family is like what he describes.

    Dark Passenger Reply:

    I think authoritarianism and conformity do have their negative sides and that there’s nothing stupid about citing them as a dysfunction, especially in the Philippine setting. Maybe the blogger simply failed to expound on it. As for the Japanese, I think it’s their character as a nation and as a people, individually and collectively, that their progress can be attributed to, rather than (or despite) their being authoritarian/conformist.

    Matt Reply:

    But they have complete freedom by 18. In our country, you would still see 27 year olds still clinging to their moms etc. Daddy’s girl or Momma’s boy. So on and so forth.

    [Reply]

    Rico Reply:

    whites demand freedom when they reach 18…

    but more are having an abortion, sex is just a casual act even with friends, so many single parents, most are just high school graduates.

    nasa tao na iyan, hindi sa values ng Filipino.

    [Reply]

    lo Reply:

    And it’s exclusive to the Philippines? You don’t see those in the US? sigh… Please think outside of your tiny world of Philippines.

    [Reply]

  • MKDL Studios wrote on 6 May, 2011, 22:07

    It is jarring that patriarchs of Filipino families treat their offspring as their property, much like the gentlemen of the Elizabethan era who valued women as property and not complete human beings.

    I think that for parents to forbid their offspring to ask about the favorite things of the latter’s friends would be somewhat disturbing. I didn’t want my personal preferences to be dictated to my friends, not even my proposed and developed characters for my film, TV drama, video game, and animation projects, some of them obviously inspired by real people and other characters from fiction. This is my design philosophy on my characters: they don’t have to be cardboard caricatures nor portrayed as lesser than human.

    Enough with the mediocrity garbage — let us be badass! Are we still living in a 1950′s American suburbia sitcom?

    [Reply]

  • Hyden Toro wrote on 7 May, 2011, 13:15

    After more than a century, that the Spanish Friars has gone away….we are still in Hangover, of their Bad Behaviors of Duplicity and Manipulations, passed on to us…wittingly or unwittingly…
    Just read the novel of Jose Rizal: “Noli Me Tangere”; and you will understand the mindsets of the Spanish Friars; imitated by Indios, like you and me.
    A married woman with an impotent husband; went on devotion to the Virgin Mary, in order to have a child…The woman became pregnant; not because of miracle by the Virgin Mary…but because of her sexual relation, with the Parish Priest, named Padre Damaso. The woman bore a child, named: Maria Clara…The child was a pretty Meztiza…because, she was a daughter of a Spaniard: Padre Damaso, the Parish Priest…However, the mother, maintained, that the Virgin Mary, gave her a miracle, not the Priest…Filipinos delude themselves, afraid to face their realities…
    The only way we can change the mindsets of Filipinos, is to Bring them, to the Awareness of themselves…Our family values are upside down…our leadership values are inside out…Our children are under slavery of these dysfunctions, passed on from generation-to-generation. Unless, the vicious link is broken: we will remain, where we are…

    [Reply]

    manzi

    manzi Reply:

    that’s the miracle of the blessed turkey baster.

    it happened many years ago when a certain “celestial” being needed a surrogate womb to nurture a clone in which to implant his consciousness and go on a suicide mission. but the twist was that he didn’t actually die after the suicide mission. he took medication to make it appear like he was dead and then disappeared without a trace. totally badass..

    the fan fiction addendum was he signaled the mother ship for a ride home and was promptly picked up by a tractor beam. his surrogate human mother was picked up a while later after he was debriefed by the original.

    it’s like james bond meets dr. who. and they say sci-fi didn’t exist before the renaissance. noobs..

    to quote nora aunor: “Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao! Tayo ang gumagawa ng himala! Walang himala!”

    [Reply]

  • Ming wrote on 7 May, 2011, 20:40

    “Even bad habits are sometimes passed through authoritarian means. Some ridiculous fathers will even chide their sons for having only one girlfriend, and will goad them to try and gather a harem.”

    Not only fathers, even neighbors do this too >_>

    [Reply]

  • charta wrote on 8 May, 2011, 9:08

    I do admit, back then. I keep on blaming the “fat, feeble-minded” Spaniards, as well as them politicians, on the trash heap that the Philippines has become. Well, it turns out to be only part of the equation.

    A huge chunk of blame turns out to be closer to home.

    Only recently did I notice that on these past years of my life, I wasn’t really going through life by my own free will. I was blindly following what my family wanted me to do. In as simple as the way I drive (my dad is an aggressive driver, yet he blatantly denies it), to the “bleak” future in store for me simply because “I haven’t graduated while all my batchmates already have” (a large percentage of them ended up as either nurses or call-center agents, despite them enrolling in varying courses. Yeah right.). Heck, I can’t even comment on Noynoy’s major blunders if one of my aunts (who was really proud on voting him) was around.

    As I read this article, I’ve finally realized that my family is more dysfunctional than a typical Filipino celebrity family, and they’re not even aware of it.

    [Reply]

  • Atroxxx wrote on 8 May, 2011, 15:25

    “Only upon dumping obsolete family ideals can we have more Filipino families as happy as this one” – for me, a good start would be in the families that you yourself would be having in the future. each of us can start w/our own children :)

    [Reply]

    mayang Reply:

    I agree with you. Tolstoy observed that, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

    Where I come from among my relatives and neighbors the mano-po is the younger generation’s way of expressing genuine respect and affection to the elders. It is always done with a light heart, and the elder will bless the one who takes his/her hand to the forehead, delighted to return the affection.

    It’s important to ask also these : Why did your parents tend to be authoritarian with you, and their parents to them before? ; Why is so much material possession so important to me? ; What is the deep reason behind why OFW’s are crazy about the pasalubong and the balik-bayan box? – - and others similar that will lead us to look at the roots of the dysfunction

    [Reply]

  • superlucky20 wrote on 10 May, 2011, 7:01

    I don’t see what’s wrong with Augusto’s family. I really don’t. They may be boring or even corny but I don’t see how that equates to the present state of the country. If the Aussie inspired family is more animated at meal times, so? What then are you trying to say? That families more disrespectful of elders are more prosperous?

    [Reply]

    rubberkid Reply:

    Family members older than you aren’t always right, you know. I don’t think it’s a sign of disrespect if you disagree with your parents. Maybe ‘disrespect’ is what parents call it if you don’t agree with them just to make you shut up.

    Example:
    Parent: “Anak, wag ka maghugas ng paa pagkatapos mo maghuba ng sapatos. Mapa-pasma ka.”
    Anak: “Di totoo ang pasma.”
    Parent: “Maniwala ka sa akin. Mas matanda kami sayo. Be respectful to your parents.”

    [Reply]

    superlucky20 Reply:

    That’s not the point. The testimony about Augusto’s family above (and Chino agreed) clearly states that the more animated Aussie-Filipino family is better than the stiff Filipino family of Augusto. In what way? I ask. And Chino even had the gall to presume that Augusto’s family is “cold, anti-intellectual, loveless and materialistic.” How the hell did he know that? Does he know Augusto’s family?

    The example above is laughable. EVERY family in the WHOLE WORLD is like that! Parents ALWAYS assume they know more than their children. I don’t see why this is exclusive for Filipino families.

    I just like to take issue with Chino about his piece. He obviously hates Filipino family values. And a majority of Filipino families indeed have flawed values. But then he assumes that EVERY Filipino family value is faulty and degenerate. He obviously doesn’t know which to keep, which to blissfully ignore and which to amend. His ax to grind against our values doesn’t make him very credible. It just makes him look absolutely bitter.

    [Reply]

    lo Reply:

    It seems people like rubberkid here has become a slave to AP bloggers. Remember people. Be open minded. Don’t “automatically” believe or follow the AP’s blogs. Think about it first. You should look into it deeply or else you’re no different than those Yellow hordes.

    rubberkid Reply:

    I have been subscribing to that idea long before I ever read an AP post. I am talking through my personal experience. I believe that kids shouldn’t follow blindly as to what their parents say but should have a say as to what they want in life. Parents should also understand that they cannot live their lives through their kids. But don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to your parents but that the relationship should go both ways. Parents listening to their kids and kids listening to their parents is a healthy way to really keep those family ties strong.

    I have been brought up in a family where even though I am the eldest, I am not always right and hold no power over my younger brother. My younger brother can push me around and my parents won’t scold him for the reason that I am older than him but because it is just plain wrong.

    In the case of my parents, they never insisted I join this club or that club. Or even decided what course to take during college. We had a good discussion and they supported me in my choice but gave me advice as to what to expect and insisted that I stick to that decision and do good in my studies or else they will give me hell (I decided to take up engineering at DLSU with a CAP educational plan so I had to make sure I don’t flunk a lot of subjects).

    My parents also did not tolerate cheating and giving teachers “gifts” just so I could get into the top 10 so I had to really work hard to get good grades compared to my other classmates who just gave my teachers a box of chocolatest to get a passing grade.

    I can say that these past experiences and the way I was brought up give me a certain bias as to the kind of environment kids should be brought up these days.

  • superlucky20 wrote on 10 May, 2011, 7:13

    Chino hates his own family and wants us to hate ours as well.

    [Reply]

  • puranzu wrote on 10 May, 2011, 9:49

    In China, being an asshole to your child comes from the concept that the worst thing that you can do is give your kid a big head, because he’s going to get his bubble burst. It’s not just fear of looking prideful, which is a big no-no in Chinese culture, and protecting your kid from disappointment, but also fear of complacency. This goes as far back as Confucius. 2,500 years, in other words.

    So for 25 centuries the thinking has been, if you tell your kid he’s good at math, he won’t try to get better at math, because what’s the point? You already told him he was good at it. He’s clearly done! I’ve mentioned above why this is wrong, but as an additional example, have you ever known a kid to stop making new drawings after you’ve told them their first crappy drawing was great?

    It never ends.

    As kids, we want to do the things we’re good at. Tell us we’re good at art, and we’ll make art. And thus we’ll get practice at making art.

    Chinese parents don’t start out wanting to pop their kids’ bubbles. They’re human parents. They have instinctive urges to tell their kid they are the best kids ever, and that their stupid painting is a work of art, before they catch themselves realizing what a disastrous thing they almost said. The very thing that everyone around them tells them will ruin their child! ****!

    Praising kids excessively is like the bogeyman of the Chinese parent world. Pretty much nobody does it, so no one’s ever seen what would actually happen, and all you get are scare stories about what will happen if you try, like, “I heard Mrs. Li’s sister praised her kid too much one day and he dropped out of Harvard to become a hobo.”

    Chinese parents do love their kids, obviously, but have been told for centuries that they shouldn’t use empty words to tell their kids so, and should instead put their money where their mouth is, literally. A traditional Chinese dad shows he loves his child by making a lot of money to support the kid, so an American-born child can be confused and hurt when her dad never says “I love you,” or “Good job,” and her Chinese-born father will be confused why his kid isn’t touched when he volunteers for overtime. Moms also will show their love through their salary these days, as well as the traditional favorite, food.

    [Reply]

    mayang Reply:

    Wow .. so it’s like that .. no wonder they are so hard working. I wonder if our psychologists already know this. Especially those working for elementary schools. And then if they could have regular connections with parents ( :-) but I’m not being realistic pala, money-matters again ) .

    Child-rearing is the most important area that a society should look after, or everything falls apart more sooner than later. Your comment also points to the fact that not all [groups of] children in the world may be subjected to the same “psychology”, hence if our trained psychologists are adept at “western” concepts only then that won’t be enough.

    [Reply]

  • Lei Ortega wrote on 12 May, 2011, 22:12

    True.

    [Reply]

  • Aegis-Judex
    Aegis-Judex wrote on 12 May, 2011, 22:23

    In traditional Flip families, what are children if not mere extensions of their parents’ wills, nothing more than puppets?

    [Reply]

  • Zadkiel wrote on 15 May, 2011, 20:12

    this article forgot to mention that some parents even stop working when their children starts working. those who delegate their obligation to feed their children.

    [Reply]

    mayang Reply:

    …the Juan Tamad Syndrome… But I also know of adults who are really industrious and I think there are provinces where the locals are really known for being hard-working. I mean those that really have that as their way of life and so is enjoyable to them. It would be interesting if an objective statistical finding could be had in this area ( :-) money-matters na naman) so that at least there’s a reference for saying if this “pagka-pabaya” is just due individual differences or is a cultural phenomenon.

    [Reply]

  • Jake wrote on 18 May, 2011, 21:29

    I’m sorry, I’m a foreigner who has lived here for years now, and this seems like the proper forum to get this off my chest. This is how the Philippines wants to be viewed by the world; “A poor but happy conservative family oriented Christian nation”, but in practice it’s something very different.

    In regard to family; what I see in reality is that one person will be primped and primed in a family to go through higher education for the sole purpose of supporting everyone else. In theory, it’s supposed to be just for the parents not to have to worry about retirement, but in reality this poor soul ends up supporting more people than one income is even capable, stretching out the income like butter on a hot piece of toast. A combination of guilt and masked threat (if you don’t do this, you’re a greedy selfish Scrooge, and the family will disown you) keeps them from breaking away from this cycle. For this reason (and not because life is better abroad per say, despite popular belief), many professionals long to work abroad and escape the financial death grip of their family.
    “Manopo” is a nice ideal that may have been practiced at one time, but in reality I rarely ever see. The children I see now aren’t taught anything useful by the parents (that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not much). Both middle class and squatter children alike are deprived of discipline and upbringing. Studies have shown that children with authoritative parents are much happier than children of authoritarian or permissive parents, and Filipino parents usually fall into the latter category. Instead, they can scream, cry, throw tantrums, and walk around everywhere without any pants on, and basically be ignored by their parents until they do something to annoy them (middle-class children are usually dressed well, but middle-class is the minority here). They learn how to shout “Kano” and “Give me money” at foreigners, or scream curse words at each other, but things like “Please”, “Thank you”, and “Excuse me” are generally alien to them. With the small middle class, it’s common that the parents will make a feigned effort to teach their children manners when in mixed company, but it’s obvious by the reaction of the child that this is not the daily routine for them. A standard way of modifying a child’s behavior is to point out that some random stranger (policeman, guard, foreigner, etc.) will scold them if they don’t stop. Which, apparently, means that the parent doesn’t feel that he/she has the authority to correct their own child. Which leads me to the next topic of respect (or should I say lack of respect for self and others).

    Respect; Filipinos in general don’t have respect, they have pride. Self-respect and pride are two different things. It’s the Filipino dream to get rich beyond their wildest dreams to buy insanely vast amounts of things they felt deprived of when they were children (e.g. Imelda Marcos), show everyone in their barranggay their worth (through material possessions, and of course by making shows of wealth by bringing their family nice a “Pasalubong”). This behavior is often confused with gaining self-respect, but is actually immodest pride.
    The combination of pride and lack of self-respect causes them to also treat others with a lack of respect. When the opinion of another conflicts with their own, it’s common practice to shuffle off the others opinion with a sarcastic remark, threat, or even actual violence. For example, an individual or group’s desire to listen to absurdly loud music at any time of the day or night is far more important than any other individual or group’s right to have a peaceful night’s sleep or quiet time in their own home. There was a case in Bukidnon recently where an elderly man was stabbed and then had his head smashed on a rock for asking his neighbors to reduce the volume. The lack of respect is also shown on jeepneys, where people feel that it’s their right to force their way into the seat closest to the exit despite the fact that a lot of other people had been waiting for that seat for a long time. They also feel that their nicotine cravings and desire to have it satisfied at that moment are far more important than the other passengers’ right not to have to breathe cigarette smoke (and in spite of the fact that it is illegal). Once again, asking someone to put out a cigarette will be met with a violent reaction. If not just a very angry scowl and refusal to comply, it could even escalate into violence. A particularly evident way of proving the contempt that most Filipinos have for “Rules” would be to place a sign that says “Bawal mag-ihi dito” or “No parking” and see if that isn’t the place people will choose first for parking and peeing
    It is particularly true in the case of a negative opinion in regard to the Philippines; If a foreigner criticizes the Philippines way, they are met with one of the above reactions. “If the Philippines is so bad, why don’t you go home?” is the most common reaction, but can even take the forms of things like “Better watch what you’re saying if you know what’s good for you” or something of that nature. Even the educated minority have a long list of excuses for wrong behavior; “This is the Philippines” they seem to feel is enough of an answer. “Yeah, it’s just uneducated people who do that” is the more common one, not really acknowledging that it is a really big problem that needs to be addressed or that the uneducated (as they say) are the majority. Similarly, balikbayans (Filipinos who have worked abroad and then come home) or even educated locals who have the guts to speak up about the gross injustice are accused of being against their own country and people. I, like them, just want to see the country improve, and I have given a great deal of time to studying about the Philippines (History, languages, etc.). I did this out of respect for the place I live. I am not anti-Philippines, I am anti-criminal. I want to see a place where the person who is in the right is not placed in the wrong, and the loudest most belligerent are not rewarded for their loud belligerence.

    Why is it the common practice to try to shut up the voice of someone who has a valid complaint and violate his/her right to speak up, and instead either take sides with the rude (or even downright criminal) either actively or by default of just asking the one who has complaint to just take the abusive behavior quietly?
    An example of this is a dear friend who decided to retire in the Philippines and bought a piece of beach front property (in his wife’s name, of course. Foreigners aren’t allowed to actually own property) and was assured by the ex-mayor that this would be a quiet spot with many educated neighbors. What he wasn’t told was that the next driveway over was an empty lot which was being squatted by a woman who somehow had turned the beach which she didn’t own into a bamboo resort who blast “Videoke” at all hours of the night. The actual property owner took action to close of road access after the squatter tried to sell the legitimate owner’s land with a fake title. So, the squatter intrudes onto my friend’s property on a regular basis now, even having dozens of jeepneys parked on his private drive and then cutting across two other private properties to get to her “Resort”. That’s not even mentioning the “Guests” who stare at him in his own home, shout racial slurs at him, and steal his fruits (some times even forcing their way into his gate, damaging it in the process). Surely he has a reason for complaint. Do you know what he’s told? He’s told that he shouldn’t react when they do that because “They will get mad”. One night, some “Guest” got their cars locked in because one of the other legitimate land owners locked the gate to the drive. So, a “Guest” who was supposedly a policeman threatened her with violence if she didn’t get up at 3:00am and unlock the gate for he and his companions (as if it were her responsibility).

    Displays of emotion mean everything. Even if one is in the wrong, they will be perceived as being in the right or at least being excusable if they just cry when being questioned about it.

    That is just the tip of the ice burg. Poverty isn’t really the problem, the problem is the incorrigibly stubborn, backward, criminal behavior that the majority of people display that makes being poor an unbearable living hell. If you want to think of Philippine tourism as a business, then the Philippines is your place of business. Tell me, how well can a business do if the shopkeeper threatens, bullies, intimidates, ignores, or ridicules any customer who voices any desire for the establishment to be clean, safe, and the service to be friendly?

    I won’t even get into the topic of death as it goes into an even more dicey topic in regard to the absurd way that time and resources are misused here (e.g. it’s perfectly practical to spend a typical year’s wage to party for two weeks without regard for tomorrow).

    Incidentally, I lived in a Muslim community in Mindanao before, and I had more problems with the so-called Christians than with the Muslims. I have been the victim of violence on several occasions, and none of the perpetrators were ever Muslim. Not that Muslims can’t and don’t commit crimes here, but they are often the media focal point for all the problems in the Philippines. Most of the problems in the Philippines have nothing whatsoever to do with Muslims, and Mindanao is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Davao has it’s problems, but it’s the over-all best retirement city in all the Philippines (in terms of peace and quiet, low crime, low air and noise pollution, proper city planning and construction, prices of living, and general politeness of the locals).

    In regard to who’s fault it is, the Spanish are not here any more. The Philippines has to take responsibility for its self. Getting drunk of a never-ending cycle of debauchery isn’t taking responsibility, it’s hiding. Every so often, the Philippines is briefly awakened from it’s fantasy and forced to see the reality, but quickly blames someone else and goes back into the same cycle.
    Gutuerte did a good job in Davao, and if you lived there before and after his stay in office, you would agree with me.

    A good first step in improving the Philippines would be an entertainment and media overhaul: Hiding in a world of superstitions and catholic propaganda isn’t going to improve people’s education or attitudes. To make things worse, constantly placing the white mixed-blooded Filipino as the ideal role model is not only ridiculous, it’s destructive. The people in these “Novelas” are animalistic, corrupt, backstabbing, selfish, conniving, mentally unstable, and rich. Knowing that Filipinos look up to the rich deliberately places these kind of amoral monsters as role models. In fact, everything that is traditionally considered moral and right is being thrown in the garbage by the entertainment here. Shouldn’t the entertainment teach people to look up to people who have moral integrity and display the kind of values that would build a society and its economy? In addition, shouldn’t the pure Malay Filipino be treated as just as much of a symbol of beauty in the Philippines as any other kind of Filipino? Teaching the majority that they aren’t good enough as they are can only bring bad results. Sales of “Whitening products” doesn’t do anything to build society or economy. Low self-esteem/self-respect causes social and economic problems.

    [Reply]

    Dark Passenger Reply:

    Thank you Jake. You took the words right out of my mouth.

    I love the Philippines, but I hate the typical Filipinos. You know, the ones who break all the rules and then justify it, the ones who get defensive and absolutely can’t stand any kind of criticism no matter how constructive and for their own good, the ones who practically shout to the world that they are proud Pinoys and yet they worship light-skinned people on TV, the ones who pray pray pray and blindly follow God/Jesus/Mary/Joseph/saints/martyrs/Pope Benedict/CBCP and yet do nothing to improve their own lives, the ones who have a dozen kids so they’ll have lots of people to support them in their old age and even before they get old, the ones who keep blaming everyone else for their own misery, the ones who feel so sorry for themselves and always play the victim card…I’m sure there are more I haven’t mentioned.

    The Pinoy condition is terribly frustrating. It’s like you take him by the shoulders, make him face a mirror, shake him real hard and say “Wake up! This is who you are and it’s not a pretty picture.” And his typical response will be any of the following:

    “You don’t like it? So stop looking at me.”

    “How dare you! The mirror is defective! It’s not my fault!”

    “God made me this way. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

    “So sorry! It’s because I am poor. Have mercy!”

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    I just want to clarify that I don’t hate anyone. My wife is a Philippine citizen and so is my daughter. I just want to see the Philippines be a better place. I feel that I am a part of Philippine society as much as any Filipino, not a guest or visitor. Since it’s not officially against the law to speak an opinion that’s contrary to the popular one, I am saying it in a forum that seems open to hearing it.
    I teach my daughter her mother’s dialect along with English. I’m not a fluent Tagalog speaker because I have never lived in Southern Luzon, and so I don’t feel qualified to teach her Tagalog. I help my wife unlearn the habits that she learned as a child, like throwing her wrappers or bottles on the ground when she’s done with them. Both my wife and daughter know to hold on to it until a trash can is available. I tell them to respect the Philippines. So, I don’t want my grievances to be confused with being “Anti-pinoy” or “Anti-Philippines”. I want to be treated fairly by others and not discriminated against for the color of my skin or country of origin, just as any Philippine citizen would expect if they were to immigrate to another country. My comments are against rude, obnoxious, criminal behavior, not the Philippines or Filipino people. There is room for an infinity of different personalities and cultural values. Conforming to a standard of basic manners and concepts of right and wrong don’t destroy a culture. If anything, they beautify it.

    OK, whether or not you are Christian, let’s use the golden rule. If you wouldn’t want someone to do something to you, don’t do it to someone else. So, when other Filipinos generally find something rude, obnoxious, or unfair, then it’s not a question of cultural differences. It’s a question of moral values.

    Filipinos hate when other Filipinos cut in line. They may be too “Huya” to say it out loud like us foreigners who are used to having the right to speak up for ourselves, but they are seething inside.
    Filipinos hate having to die or lose loved-ones in death because of poor planning and shoddy workmanship. I think it’s pretty universal. They just don’t realize that they deserve better.
    Filipinos hate being made late for work by jeepney drivers who don’t care about anyone else or their timetable and think that by burning gas and hogging a supposed golden spot blowing smooches at people a half a kilometer down the road who are showing no interest in boarding their jeepney is going to save them on gas and get them more passengers in the long run. Few have the guts to speak out about it, but they sure don’t mind murmuring under their breath and then blasting the driver one he gets out of ear shot.
    Filipinos hate it when someone tricks them into buying property that they the buyer doesn’t really own. It’s not the victims fault!
    Filipinos hate it when a jeepney drives by and belches a thick black cloud of smoke into their faces. They may have become passive about it, but you never seem them sniffing it in with delight. They hate it as much as any foreigner.
    Filipinos (who don’t smoke) hate it when someone sitting right next to them (and down wind) lights up in an area that’s clearly marked “No Smoking”.
    Filipinos who work for a living hate being kept up all night by people who think that life is just one big “Piesta”, it’s not just foreigners.

    There are lots of other things I’m sure Filipinos would hate as well if they knew anything different or were in the shoes of a visitor or permanent foreign resident, but I’ll stop there because I did say that we’ll only count the things that only other Filipinos dislike having done to them. Filipinos who have worked abroad and actually have experienced discrimination surely should certainly be able to sympathize, but some times they don’t because the discrimination they face in other Asian countries is different than what your average “Joe” faces in the Philippines.

    I don’t believe it’s unreasonable for a foreigner to expect to be treated with fairness and basic human dignity when they are in another country. After having so many of my friends fall victim to scams by Filipinos, I get tired of hearing about how us Foreigners are here taking advantage of Filipinos. It might happen, but more often than not it’s the other way around. To begin with, the system is not set up to allow a foreigner to take advantage of a Filipino. The system is pretty bias against non-Filipinos, and we are often reminded that we are second class human-beings (e.g. “A Filipino is worth dying for”, see 500 peso bill).

    I came here after studying Tagalog for a year (but never practicing it because Filipinos in the United States seem adverse to using it), researching the culture as best I can, and with the intention of making a positive contribution to a poor country. I only regret that I couldn’t believe negative reports I heard about the Philippines because it seemed so absurd as to be purely invented and I only paid attention to the positive propaganda. I had no reason to believe negative comments about the Philippines because I worked with many Filipinos back home and they were fine outstanding citizens whom I had nothing but respect for. So good was the impression they made on me that I felt that they must have come from a pretty great country.

    Nowadays, I rarely tell people this because I get verbally slapped in the face when I do. It seems that anyone who would think about coming here with a good intention is stupid.

    Anyway, I met a nice girl, had a horrific first two years of marriage before she finally started seeing my side of things, had a daughter together, and I am raising her to love and respect the more positive aspects of her culture. Even if I return to my country, I will never teach my daughter to hate the Philippines. It’s part of who she is.
    Most of what my wife used to fight about is why I didn’t want to pay workers who didn’t do what I hired them to do (apparently I was supposed to pay them just for showing up or else I am greedy and selfish), not being happy when people overcharged me or shouted at me in a sarcastic tone, etc., etc.
    There definitely was a turning point when she applied for a government job, and they kept implying that she didn’t deserve a job because she was married to a foreigner and had everything she needed (based solely on seeing her family name on the resume). It’s unfortunate that we had to be united by be equally discriminated against.

    I should leave this off on a positive point, though. I am proud of the way they have cleaned up Davao. It’s not perfect, but it’s an example of what your country could be. Don’t believe all the negative propaganda. It’s a great place to visit or live, as long as you’re not a criminal.

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    I wanted to apologize for my poor spelling. I am typing in a hurry some times. I also want to apologize for misspelling the name of Davao’s former mayor (Duterte, not Gutuerte).

    mayang Reply:

    Hello. What you wrote is very refreshing. Thank you very much.

    I have this crazy theory that basically says our values (I’m Filipino) went berserk through inputs from about the start of Spanish colonialization. That is, Filipinos could handle society-trade-culture well before the influx of the show of too much wealth. The Chinese, Arabs, and other Asians were here before the Spaniards, and historical records relate of honest business dealings. There was free enterprise and sophistication as well. The crucial factor was that (here’s the heart of my theory) Filipinos have a particular way of looking at / assimilating things into their core of values, a “world-view” (for a lack of term, but could work), such that this world-view was not discriminating and in fact easily accepting of other people’s “kina-iya” (the “what-the-other-one-is”; I have a feeling you understand that Hiligaynon term, because I can’t think of an appropriate English word.) This “world-view” was not able to process very well the sense of self importance and superiority that the Spaniards exuded (there was the spirit of triumphalism with them, which was connected with their having brought Christianity and “civilization”, but that is another branch topic very broad enough by itself). That is, the Filipino’s world-view is basically non-competitive and pliant (just look at how he is adept at languages and accommodating in genuine personal relations) so much so that it got mangled by a sudden blast of “force”. I’m sorry I don’t know the technical terms because I’m neither a historian nor an anthropologist. What interests me now is the fact that with the new global culture, with all the hypnosis of the attractiveness of skin-deep/material possessions perpetuated in mass media and recognized by distinctive sounding award giving bodies, the Filipino would have very little chance of correcting the ills of his society unless he goes back to who he really is. He has to find out how his mind works. He has to regain the confidence of dealing with the world in his own way.

    I hope some serious cultural/anthropological researcher reads your comments because it sounds concise and in-depth enough for me (why don’t you write a book on it? :-) ). I hope that my theory would be noticed as well. If there has been no study that sounds like it then I hope someone who has the expertise checks its soundness (I even thought of brain study being connected with it, memorybank-wise, for the fact of having lived in such non-threatening climate over generations.)

    One area that can have a tremendous impact on the Pinoy’s recovery is Education. But of course, every aspect/sector of society is interconnected with each other and the threads of cause-effect are so entangled that all we can perceive now are just hysterical protests reflecting corporate confusion: there’s no common agenda for a practicable dialogue. If it weren’t for the NGO’s/non-stock-non-profit’s and the likes (including just individuals) doing their stuff consistently there would almost be no spark of hope left. (Many religious schools are fine, but there’s also something wanting in our sense of religiosity — which is again another major branch of discussion.)

    I’ve lived in Midsayap, North Cotabato and it’s a very memorable place. It’s been good re/interacting with you (and with the others with the same mind, too). Thanks again.

    DaVinci Reply:

    Mayang – i found something for you. See this site.

    http://korakora.org/sulatin/archeology_of_self_lasay.pdf

    good content.
    good bibliography. see footnotes.
    clear. easy to read.
    makes sense.
    PARA SA LAHAT ‘TO.

  • Bai wrote on 12 June, 2011, 5:42

    I can cite C.S. Lewis’ small book “Mere Christianity” as a good non-doctrinal non-dogmatic reading on Christianity – if anyone can cite others then I’d be happy to know of it. C. S. Lewis was a British philosopher-teacher and was an atheist, so that makes him more qualified to convince than others. {btw, he wrote `The Chronicles of Narnia´, to make him attractive to the young ones :-)

    I’m curious about the fact that Christianity has been cited as the perpetrator of Capitalism in that it encouraged self-reliance and industry, especially during the Industrial Revolution. What makes this discussion complex is that Jesus, who was a Jew, was strongly against gaining profits. Also, that Capitalism cannot be taken as just a singular entity because it has several facets. So whenever we mention it, the particular facet that is meant has to be specified. That will make the speaker’s stand clearer.

    When Gandhi said he liked Jesus but did not like Christians, this should make us wonder what is wrong with our Christianity, not only in the Philippines but in the entire globe. Those who can distance themselves from the picture are more able to see its entirety, and Gandhi was a lawyer, was in Africa, struggled against British power, and lived out his convictions with an impact only few can parallel.

    Jesus and Gandhi were pro-poor. They loved the poor with passion, they did not ridicule them because they couldn’t see their own situation clearly, but instead in persistently peaceable ways they urged the people to strive to think for themselves. If adults know how to think for themselves then they would be competent parents to their kids who will one day become parents also. But as things are rolling all the time, our way of attack to our society’s problems should be many pronged and simultaneous. It is a bit nonsensical to be attacking just the state of economy, on what the government is and is not doing about it, because this machine is generated by none other than individual wants and wishes. If each of the individuals cannot define their stand in relation to the others’ standing next to them then the check and balance against corporate or mob-thinking disappears, and, yes, respect for oneself and for others will not even exist.

    As it was said, each of us look at the outside world through our particular windows, which first needs to be cleaned so that we see more of the beyond. From our differing positions we will perceive differing pictures. Unless we collate all these differing perspectives we would not be able to get the entire picture, of the real thing. What we need now is to listen and be respectful of the many voices that are willing to talk. Respect begets respect, openness likewise. Brashness and flippancy may attract only the same into the talks.

    …..daghang salamat…..hapi Independence Day sa atoang tanan!!

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  • DaVinci wrote on 12 June, 2011, 9:37

    Bai, ba’t ka Capitalism dyan eh Authoritarianism dito..heheh..hwag ma.offend..
    Ah, kinukonek mo siguro sa Consumerism. Di nga magkalayo.
    Atheist pala sya noon. Philosopher pa. May mga Pilosopo ba tayo sa Pinas? (((Sa SVD daw meron. Matingnan nga. Nang mabawasan pagka-ignoramus ko.)))
    Dapat kasi magka-akbay yan sila ng mga Teologo.

    Hey,James,good insight. I would buy your book. Hope you and other foreigners who can say as much get together and have an “authoritative” volume(of the positive nuance). Any of these can publish it: U.P. (non-sectarian), Ateneo (Jesuits, education focus), SVD(R.Catholic, missions focus), NCCP (many “Protestant” denominations,national), WCC(non-R.C., worldwide). Since you have nice Pinoy friends in the States, they can contribute,too. Would make your work a sort of a study from a distance. The heftier the better. Can greatly help local academicians.

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    DaVinci Reply:

    Jake pala, hindi James. Sorry, Jake. Slight memory gap. I really hope your comment does not go to waste. Thankyou.

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  • Jake wrote on 14 June, 2011, 7:35

    Mayang, I wanted to address your comment first.

    It made my day to read your reply. To know that there are Filipinos out there like you, or to be reminded from time to time, is also refreshing. You’re also very astute to have noticed which dialect I use most.

    Well, first of all, in regard to history, I am not an anthropologist, but it has been my hobby for nearly 12 years. Not only do I credit the bible as a legitimate historical resource, I compare nearly every other historical resource I study with it. In 12 years, I have never found when credible, sustainable history has come into conflict with the bible. Particularly the book of genesis which was written by a person who lived much closer to the times of the things he wrote about than we. Just discussing the flood account until his time would be like discussing Filipino history for us. It may not have been in his life time, but he certainly would have had a better perspective than we. Perhaps even documents that have since been long destroyed. Particularly interesting is the account of the three sons of Noah. (Bear with me here, Mayang, but you touched on a subject I am well familiar with).
    To be sure, if you compare any countries history (including the history of that country from the perspective of its neighbors), you will always find some striking similarity to something found in the genesis account. In many cases, they are myths, exaggerations that are so unbelievable as to never be seriously considered as true history. However, if you compare the imagery in the myths with the bible accounts and other supporting historical and archeological evidence, you will find that they all have a common origin.
    One example I love to use is the Chinese and Miao flood accounts of Fohi and Nuwa which claim no connection to biblical history what-so-ever. I won’t go into the details for the sake of time, but it’s really striking. Not the exact details, but the images, events, characters, their actions, and the time period it was supposed to have taken place.

    In regard to race, if you believe as I do, there is no such thing as a pure race. We all came from the same stock. Natural changes, genetic mutation, superstitions and cultural standards of beauty, and conquests have changed the face of regional humanity many times over, but the basic traits of three brothers are innate in all of us. They all HAD to have intermarried at some point back (as is evident with Mongolic and Celtic peoples who both find common roots with a mixture of Scythian and Altaic peoples found between the steppes of Russia and Central Asia). Come on, haven’t you ever looked at a some foreigner and thought that there was just some little something that reminded you of someone else you knew who had no foreign lineage as far as you knew?

    I have come to believe that the original stock of Malay people who came to the Philippines were both Canaanite (Hittites who either came by sea, or migrated from Central Asia [Khittai ], and Sinites who we know better as the Chinese) and Cu****es (Davidian peoples who resemble various other aboriginal groups like the Japanese Ainu, Papuans, South Indian and Australian aboriginals, and of course the Aetas and Ati of the Philippines). Despite some negative mentioning of Hamitic peoples in the early Hebrew writings, there are also positive references to Hittites. Uriah the Hittite was portrayed as an honorable man. The Maltese are living modern examples of people who come from Hittite stock mixed with Greek. The Maltese were mentioned favorably as being warm and hospitable in the latter Greek language books of the bible. This only makes one point. People’s behavior is not determined by their blood lineage, but rather people choose how they will behave.
    Coming into a more modern form of history, one famous Canaanite city was Sidon, which fell to Alexander the Great. However, Canaanite seafarers were spread well into the Americas by then (as is evidenced by the linguistic similarities between ancient Sumarian and Modern Nahuatl and even Filipino on the level of vocabulary). Great achievements have been attributed to Canaanite people. Indeed, Philippines own pre-colonial writing system can be traced to Sanskrit, which is its self traced to the Proto-Canaanite alphabet.
    Since the Khitai and the Scythians were neighbors, and Kingdoms as far east as Korea’s Silla show influence from the Scythians, it is logical to conclude that they may have even intermarried at some point. If so, neither the Canaanite Malays nor the Irish who claim Magog and Gomer (two of the sons of the oldest son of Noah, Japheth) can claim to be purely of any race at any point in their history. Indeed, Mayang, education can help change viewpoints, if only there are people willing to dig deep, learn, and pass what they know on. Not just facts, but inherent values with it. The Hittites and Sidonians were indeed deeply commercial and accustomed to dealing with and adapting to foreign customs in their seafaring businesses, and I agree that the Spanish conquest did leave Filipinos born into that system lacking for a core cultural value of their own.
    An unfortunate truth is that bad associations do spoil useful habits, and evil DOES beget evil. It is a truth I struggle with every day of my life. If you met me on the street, you would not recognize me on any given day. At times I am seething with anger at the inconsiderate or even hostile treatment I receive from others, which I’m sure they picked up from someone else. I don’t want to hate anyone, only the bad things they do. I’m so glad for your encouragement. It is a great motivation for me to try to keep a good attitude. Perhaps the early colonial Filipinos struggled with similar feelings toward their overstayed guests.

    Bai, all I want to say to you is that Jesus was not only in favor of the poor, but also the rich. If you read the account of his life, you will find that he did not advocate either poverty nor affluence. He advocated love of God and Neighbor. If we lived by his standards in the Philippines, the poor would neither resent the rich, nor would the rich look down on the poor. The rich would give back to the community, particularly those who cannot support themselves (blind, lame, elderly, orphans, etc.), and the poor would give their honest best when working for the rich. One of the things that made Jesus different from Ghandi was that he was apolitical. Something that few of his followers practice. He didn’t try to change the political system of the time as many wanted him to (by trying to make him a king), he got to the core of the social problems, people’s hearts. The religious leaders wanted him dead because they thought he was threatening their positions, but in fact he was advocating obedience to law to the best of one’s ability as long as it didn’t cause a moral conflict (for example, you are ordered to torture someone which was not a part of the true Jewish law, you should disobey no matter what the consequence). The emphasis was on individual responsibility and meditating on the reasons for obeying a law rather than blind conformity.

    DaVinci, thank you very much. I don’t think I’ll be trying to change the system, nor do I think I can. I will struggle to keep my principles in tact in this trying situation and speak about it to other who have a willing ear like yourself. Thank you for the encouragement!

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  • Jake wrote on 14 June, 2011, 7:47

    *lol* I just read my comment and noticed that the name “Cush” was censured. I was completely unaware that that was considered a profanity, but I apologize for any misunderstanding. I was referring to the second born son of Ham son of Noah, not any form of profanity. :-/

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