Friday, July 2, 2010

The Vanities of the Philippines

Okay, I've got it. Crystal clear, thanks to a few slaps in the face on and the brutal but perceptive views of The Judge.

Here's my blatantly unstatistical take on things, generalizations so gross that they should be used for nothing other than make you think.

Filipinos come in three basic styles: (1) The Vain, (2) The Worker, (3) The Modern Man.

The Vain

This is an ego-bound person of little consideration for others. It is his way or the highway and money is his prime motivation. Civic duty means little, even if the Vain holds public office; self-gain is what is important, not the people's well-being. We often think of this as a class of oligarchs, who, indeed often fit the picture. But they have already made big money, that's all. The Vain belongs to a much broader class of Filipino and can even be found on common blog sites. You can identify them by their resistance to ideas from others, protecting their home turf as if they were some Ampatuan on a verbal binge. They collect into clans for comfort. In addition to being closed to opposing ideas, they are vengeful. Those on line use name-calling or other deceits to try to demolish anyone who would have the gall to oppose their thinking. Those on land occasionally reach for a gun. If these on-line people had money, they would be ego-bound oligarchs too, although they would mightily contest this observation. You see . . . their MOTIVATION is the same. Self protection, self build up, tearing down the perceived competition. Win, even if the cost is a poorer Philippines.

The Worker

This is a more innocent and committed soul. By innocent, I mean he knows he has no power to leverage, but must feed his family, so he crawls out of bed every day to work the fields, clean the highways, pedal his tricycle, man the call center, or carry the bricks. He laughs easily, especially at the shortcomings of his friends or co-workers, but has a serious edge to what he does. Feeding the family with no assured future is serious business. He may cheat a little around the edges, for, after all, his life is full of drudgery and you grab ease where you can. But he is fundamentally a good man. He is the heart and soul of the nation.

The Modern Man

I haven't really met very many of them, but I think there may be quite a few around. Or they are at least developing, in other countries, perhaps, or through the wisdoms to be gained on the internet. The Man is driven by achievement and fair play; competition, skill, honesty, confidence and consideration of others are the hallmarks of this Filipino. He is a principled person, not afraid of change, and includes kindness toward others among his principles. The Man is often a woman. He is the future of the nation.

Where do you put yourself?

C'mon, be honest now.



  1. I am where change needs to be after reflecting where the past failed. And seeing the vision as broad yet as clear as possible.

  2. Anti-pinoy makes a lot of good points about our media, our dirty politics, and sick culture, but good God they came off to you like a bunch of defensive, obnoxious, self-righteous... Pinoys. And their immediate cynicism against Noynoy (name calling, etc.) reminds me of the worst of Fox News and the Republican parties reaction when Obama won. Glenn Beck would be proud.

    Are they bitter that Gibo or Villar didn't win? Sheesh, the last time people voted for the "lesser evil" we had Gloria for another six years.

  3. Chris:

    The cynicism isn't immediate. Read up articles prior to elections with their analysis and there is LEGIT reason to not expect much out of the new President. Besides as much as you want to accept the wait-and-see stance, Noynoy isn't making it any easier for a rational thinker to do just that. I've actually done what Noynoy has not for his coming presidency and the 6 years coming; prepare myself.

    So I take it you and Joe are the Liberal extreme end? Or is it just an exaggeration like the claims you made.

  4. Listen, this is my opinion (and please, no condescending labels if you can't help it)

    Noynoy isn't perfect, as what many of the cynics have loved to highlight. And trust me, he isn't going to solve our countries vast number of problems in a month. Maybe even a year. A decade under Gloria and Mike Arroyo and her culture of corruption will do that.

    People expecting a miracle worker will obviously be disappointed. Our country is seriously f**ked up. I know that. But I will give him a chance.

    People who love to nitpick will always find something to mock. If you want to throw in the towel this early, great. Keep on readin' the mudslingin' cause hope SUCKS.

  5. Hey I'm not taking away your opinion chris, so take a chill pill alright. I just tell it how it is.

    First off you take a shot at GMA like she was the source of corruption when the pork barrel, under the table kind of politics has been happening since Marcos and even with Cory's administration. Ironically enough, GMA has actually did not undersell or oversold herself. She had a plan, did what she had to stabilize the government as it is and it would just be even better if she could do more. But what can you do since the culture of corruption has existed long before the time of whom you are accusing.

    Second, you are misunderstanding mudslinging with criticism and constructive ones at that. The fact most of the people are socially unaware of what efficient leadership should be means they should demand more out of the leader, considering he was going to give the moon and the stars if he was voted president with no basis for how he will go about to achieve this goal. So certainly he's accountable for setting the expectations too high for something he is certainly not capable of.

    In all it doesn't justify how you can attack the people whom you perceive as criticizing as 'mudslinging' when you are imploring to give him a chance makes about as little sense considering Noynoy has not made it completely clear himself why he should be given that chance, besides the fact he's the president and how he has characterized himself as one to squander his chances to make himself look like a legitimate leader.

  6. Chris, Jay,

    You represent the two sides of the essential debate about how patient or outspoken one is allowed to be,and what tenor one is allowed to take. It is hard for me to judge, because I can be provoked into mudslinging at times. It is a tool to express anger, and to try to open up someone else's mind with a brick between the eyes. But it really doesn't gain much, I think, except making enemies.

    Some mudslingers add to the debate by contributing useful perspectives or information. Others just sling, and don't really add anything at all; just take away.

    Jay, I don't know what a liberal extremist is, unless it is a rebel hiding in the mountains and bombing corporations or something. A conservative extremist to me is like an Islamic terrorist.

    I would confess to liberal leanings -- being sympathetic to the "people" -- but I worked my whole life at a big corporation, so I understand the motives and benefits of competition and the drive for profits.

  7. Joe,

    May I suggest a few more categories?

    1. The sheep -- this type of Pinoy does not think and he/she prefers that other people do the thinking for him/her. They lack intellectual curiosity and almost always defer to people with fancy titles. They are easily swayed, like coconut trees in a storm.

    2. The Lost Soul -- this type of Pinoy is in such misery that instead of trying improve his situation, he drowns himself with San Miguel Beer. This type of Pinoy essentially has a good soul but he is just tired of all the B.S. So he just wastes away at your local beerhouse, waiting for armageddon so he can finally give his maker the finger.

    What type of Pinoy am I? I dunno. Let me describe and then you decide.

    1. I am a libertarian.
    2. I slant towards the Austrian School of Economics.
    3. I accumulate most of my wealth as a "passive investor" guided by the Graham/Buffet value investing method.
    4. I am a Buddhist
    5. I have no vices
    6. I am physically fit and excercise often (last bloodwork shows optimal health numbers)
    7. I am in the upper 5% of the wealth bracket (USA).
    8. I occasionally poke fun at Pinoy bloggers for their naivite but I have stopped recently for I no longer find their ignorance amusing.
    9. I dont really give a sh!t of what people think about me or how I should live my life.

    See you in the States.

  8. Pinoys4Paul,

    A pleasure to meet you. I like your credentials, and the way your brain works. What line of work are you in? I was a banker, often miscast, as I think I am possibly libertarian, as well. I can't exactly find the right box to fit into. But I endured, for this reason or that.


  9. Joe,

    I am in Tech, educated as an Economist, but an unapologetic capitalist by heart.

    You see, I am not sure where I fit in your categories. I do work hard and believe in fair play but I also have no allegiance to the "concept" of the Philippines so does that disqualify me as your Modern Man? I cannot definitely be "the future of the nation" if my allegiance is to the Constitution of the United States. Yeah, the constitution--not to a race, not to a culture, not to a religion, not to a language--but to an idea! Isn't that what makes the United States so unique compared to other countries?

    Not anyone can be Chinese. But anyone can be an American.

  10. Pinoys4Paul,

    You have advanced ahead of Modern Man, as I expressed it. To set aside one's national heritage for another shows a level of independence and courage that few achieve.

    You fall into the most prized community of them all. Unique, with Honor. The total population of your community is precisely 1.0.

  11. Let us look at it in Galileo's perspective views. His certainly not Nostradamus, but with his brilliant thinking, (I've said, "brilliant thinking," a "brilliant mind" can lead us into deception...) to look at at the future and beyond, was very scientific. He was also condemned by the Roman Catholic for being...,(well, that's another story...)

    "remember, politics was part of the scheme, for getting him chastise in the first place."

    All together now, say it slowly "po-li-tics..."
    Let me continue on...[...]

    Anyways, Galileo was an astronomer and an inventor. But he also studied human behavior(s) that concluded in this manner. He begins by
    venting his frustrations against this "popular reasoning" and noting that.

    "The deeper I go in considering the vanities of popular reasoning, the lighter and more foolish I find them. What greater stupidity can be imagined than that of calling jewels, silver, and gold "precious," and earth and soil "base"?

    Then proceeding from this condemnation, Galileo introduces the economic concept of scarcity and illustrates its role with imaginary construction of a world with equal amounts of soil and jewels.

    "People...ought to remember that if there were as great a scarcity of soil of jewels or precious metals, there would not be a prince who would not spend a bushel of diamonds and rubies and cartload of gold just to have enough earth to plant a jasmine in a little pot, or to sow an orange seed and watch it sprout, grow, and produce its handsome leaves, its fragrant flowers and fine fruits."

    Galileo then goes on to diagnose, criticize and even psychoanalyze the "vulgar" man who are mesmerized by the paradox of value.

    "It is scarcity and plenty that make the vulgar take things to be precious or worthless; they call a diamonds very beautiful because it is like pure water, and then would not exchange one for ten barrels of water. Those who so greatly exalt incorruptibility, inalterability, etc. are reduced to talking this way, I believe, by their great desire to go on living, and by the terror they have of death. They do not reflect that if mens immortal, they themselves would never have come into the world."

    Let me conclude with this, Galileo himself seconding his student's motion: Maybe such a metamorphosis would not be entirely to their
    disadvantage, for I think it would be better for them not to argue than to argue on the wrong side.

    Where am at with this, it's a great PARADOX...!

    On the hindsight, there is this one individual at Anti-Pinoy, which I find ridiculously very funny. But, at the same token, no constructive
    input for our Filipino Society. Rather, constant negative attack of its premise.

    No improvement there, and consistently adds insults, to the commentator. Why do I find this individual so hilarious, it's just me...!

  12. ME,

    Thanks for the wisdom of Galileo, and, for the battles I occasionally wage at AP, the recognition that others see things funny too. Regards . . .

  13. to Pinoys4Paul : Who is Paul? You mean Paul McCartney, Professor Paul Hottelling of the University of South Africa, ir Paul Hontiveros of Davao?

  14. Peter, Paul and Mary?
    Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul?


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