Thursday, October 13, 2011

Free the Philippines!

I am always surprised when some take my writings personally. Perhaps I have been deficient in making clear that I intend to comment on the social integrity of the Philippines, or lack there of. Not the integrity of Filipinos as individuals.

There is a distinction between the character of the individual and the character of the social framework within which people operate.

Take America. Americans are fundamentally good people. They seek to better themselves. They are for the most part good parents. They obey the laws, go to church or subscribe to rational good thoughts, and sacrifice for their country by serving in the military and paying taxes. They contribute their earnest labors to the accumulation of national capital.

Americans are also greedy consumers of the world's resources. They shop like crazy with little regard for the impact the goods they purchase have on the world's well-being. They are wasteful.  My guess is that, collectively, they throw away enough food every day to feed all the squatter's villages in the Philippines. They buy things in order to feel important or look good. They could be giving to charity instead.

So the people are good, but the social framework could use some work to move evermore toward a healthy, vibrant caring society.

When I write a piece about the Philippines entitled "Born to Fail", I don't intend for that article to say to every Filipino "you are a failure". I am trying to express a concept that the Philippine social framework has some inherent problems that work AGAINST the well-being of the Philippines, and Filipinos.

I am FOR the well-being of the Philippines, and Filipinos. And I think Filipinos are fundamentally good people. Intelligent, well-meaning, proud, hard-working. They commit to their family and their community. They are sincere. They are good humored. They sacrifice for their loved ones.

But the Philippine social framework penalizes Filipinos because it suppresses initiative, creativity and achievement. Schools teach kids how to spit back what they are told rather than create new knowledge themselves. The workplace is plugged by the hiring of family and favorites. The Philippines lacks the dynamic of millions of people aspiring to better themselves, prove themselves to the boss, compete for promotions based on productivity, and grow richer in money and capability.  Successful nations instill hope and opportunity, and from that flows achievement. It is in our human bones, this need to grow and build. But the social forces at play in the Philippines suppress it.

It is difficult for citizens to create change. Legislator self-interest is bound in keeping things the same, so that they can win elections and get rich in ways that are open to the powerful but not the powerless. The courts do not give the people a voice in correcting the cheating and wrongdoing that abound. They erect fee barriers and are clogged with delays and inefficiency. For justice to be fair, it needs to be speedy. In the Philippines, it is not. So the people have no direct voice, in law.

The regal attitude of the leadership extends throughout the land to any forum where person A has what person B wants. Too many government offices, retail stores and services vendors are cold, brusque, oand autocratic, scowling at customers.  Doctors refuse to respect that a customer has things to do other than sit and wait for hours on a "first come" basis. There is no drive to put the customer first. And so inefficiency and sloppy service characterize how customers are treated. The citizen is pushed down. Down. Down.

The social framework is oppressive. It is anti-efficient. It is a framework of a society that is born to fail.

How wonderful it would be if fundamentally good people had a chance to excel. Rather than be held back.

  • How wonderful it would be if good kids had a chance to be all that they can be. Rather than drifting mindlessly through a public school system hopelessly over-crowded and under-resourced. Technology provides the means to leverage teaching talent.

  • How wonderful it would be if capable people were rewarded with promotions and more pay, removing the favoritism that plugs all the upward paths with incompetence. Who wants corruption when they have a career?

  • How wonderful it would be if the courts were open to all, efficient and just. Rather than useless at providing the public with a place to redress wrongs and demand change. How dynamic the nation would become if the people had a voice in law.

  • How wonderful it would be if service providers grasped the uplift that comes from recognizing the customer is king. And GAVE respect instead of demanding it for themselves. How refreshing to feel lifted up rather than beaten down.

To President Aquino I would say fighting corruption case by case is like putting a Band-Aid on a heart attack. It is also a negative initiative. Go positive and start building a social framework that unbinds the dreams and capabilities of a good people: Education that teaches kids to aspire. Employment rules that mandate that rewards go to capability not friends, and removes the incentives for corruption. Courts that work, that quickly bring the corrupt and other lawbreakers to account. Customer service that respects Filipinos, and uplifts them.

Give good people a framework for self enhancement. Stop holding them back.

Free the Philippines.

Free Filipinos to achieve and prosper.


  1. Joe,

    Your premise that our social framework holds us down is incorrect. You fail to mention that there is a global military industrial complex that conspires to keep many countries (such as the Philippines) from developing. Nothing is wrong with our great culture. We are being suppressed because good Filipino values are a threat to the consumerist economic tyranny that rules the world.

  2. What percent of the population has believes that are similar to Proud Pinoy's? If his views are common than we have the answer to why his country got stuck in the ditch.
    Joe, why not analyze his views and logic? I'm sure you would come up with a fascinating study.

  3. Atilla,

    It is common knowledge our country has been prevented from developing by various empires. It began with the Spaniards, then the Japs, and now, the USA/IMF/World Bank.

    You may choose to be blind to these facts. You may choose to buy in to the propaganda that we have nobody to blame but ourselves. You may choose to be fooled into hating yourself.

    But many choose the truth. The Filipino is a great culture and we shall rise from the ashes after the economies of the west soon implode.

  4. Proud Pinoy,

    I'm a Hungarian from Hungary so you will not be able to use any excuse to criticize me. I'm not just another Kano I don’t have that naive American mindset that so easy to manipulate by someone like you. You ain’t gonna bullish me for sure! The Philippines is not the only country who has a history of wars and occupations. Just do a little research about the history of Hungary and you will see how many wars revolutions occupations etc. devastated it. We also had the Nazis and than the Communist in the last century and we lost 2/3rd of our territory after world war I.
    After learning about the history of the Philippines I can clearly see that we had far more wars and tragedies. However we are not blaming the past and not competing for sympathy and understanding. We are not blaming the Tatars who wiped out half of the population or the Muslim Turks who turned half the country in to a deserted prairie for hundreds of years and the Austrians who crushed our independence wars (more than once) and forced us to be part of their Empire. Do you get it? Don’t wallow in the past and don’t look for excuses. When I hear Filipinos wine about their colonial and feudal past I just shake my head in disbelief. What a nerve! What an ignorance.! Grow up and take responsibility for yourself and stop playing the victim card otherwise you will be stuck in the ditch for a long time cry baby.

  5. Attila, I think I need not do that article you suggested, as you were more to the point, relevant and powerful than I could ever be. I also appreciate knowing a little about your background. It makes your perspectives somehow richer.

  6. ok. so you DON'T believe that parents have it in for their children?

  7. Atilla,

    Hungary? Hungary is irrelevant. Your country is not even in the same league as the Philippines so I will ignore you from now on. Enjoy your delusions.


    Joe has already backtracked on his stupid parents having it for their children statement because, like always, when asked to back sweeping statements with FACTS, he has nothing as usual. All talk, no substance.

  8. If you ever go visit Europe you may want to stop by and see how this irrelevant country was able to overcome the devastation of 2 world wars and the communist regime including a failed revolution in 1956 that was crushed by soviet tanks. The country was bankrupted by the communist but was able to overcome the difficulties and became a modern progressive country, member of the European Union.
    Absolutely no comparison to the sad realities of the Philippines.
    You are right we are not in the same league we just do it so much better than you do, there is really no comparison.

    No reply necessary by Mr. Proud(of what?)Pinoy

  9. GabbyD,

    I don't believe most parents "have it in" for their kids. I believe a great many parents act for their own self-interest first, and the kids' second. Parents who send their children out to fish for the family's food would be an example. Those kids should be in school. For many the reason they are not rests with government because families with little income cannot afford school fees; schooling should, in my opinion be completely free of any fees. However, I also believe few Filipinos have an education about emotions and motivations and how to be a constructive parent at home so their children get guidance, discipline, books and inspiration about learning. They expect the schools to handle everything regarding their kids' intellectual and emotional development. It rather "seems" to me that a good many parents are not that into making sure their kids excel at school, or in life. I admit I have no statistics to back up this observation. I'm sure there are also a great many parents who do care; mainly those who are educated themselves, or who have traveled or have enough money to pay for private school.

  10. 40% of 95,000,000 Filipinos are 20-years-old and younger

    45% of 95,000,000 Filipinos earn $1.00-a-day

    Therefore, Philippine government should promote fee-less educational system.

    And, oh, please, let the children wear shorts and cool, airy fabrics to school. Not long pants and acrylic-based fabrics which is not suitable in the Philippines' hot humid weather.

    Give the children free lunch so they'd be "inspired" to go to school.

    Ban religion subjects. Replace them with "Filipinos can do it" subjects instead of teaching Filipinos to pray for good grades. Every mid-terms and finals the school chapels are packed with students praying that they'd pass the exams instead of hitting the library.

  11. More classrooms and more well-paid teachers instead of buying useless military choppers, coat-guard cutters and arms for and by mindless Filipino military.

  12. Definitely, Filipinos breed babies that eventually become failures. Their parents has inculcated in every living, squirming, back-stabbing, squabbling, crab Filipinos that being poor is a bliss because God who was born in a manger to a carpenter instead in a palace has said "It is easier for a poor Filipino to pass thru the eye of the needle than a rich Filipino".

    The Filipino parent also brainwash and conditioned the minds of Filipinos born to fail quoting their God that "the road to heaven is not paved with gold but with thorns" and "life is not a bed of roses". That "wealth cannot be brought to heaven", "everyone is equal upon death" and "those Filipinos who do not share their wealth go to hell because god demand that rich should share it to the unfortunate". Filipino parents further scare the Filipinos-born-to-fail children that God said "ask and you shall receive", "prayers will be answered".

    Every Filipino grow up brain-conditioned to be overly dependent on God. That God is the answer.

    The Filipinos cannot connect their thought processes to their actions.

    The Filipinos are like Muslims that killing for the dominance of their religion is goot, that those who do not see Muslims ways are infidels. These are the Filipinos.

    Once they have liberated themselves of this toxic, corrosive, degenerative religion and rely on themselves more on their God, can separate religion and reality; separate the church from the state is the only time the Filipinos can become free of the fetters of reliance on all-powerful failed God.

  13. Even simple laws in the Philippines cannot be understood in its literal sense because the born-to-fail Filipinos believe that what they see is not what it seems because their brains are washed and fluffed to believe that it is not the correct interpretation. This roots has religious beginning. The bible they are reading is not what it seems. That it should not be interpreted literally. These thoughts are also applied in Philippine laws application and implementation. I have debated with plenty that boils down into Clintonisque, it depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

    I strongly believe that what is keeping the Filipinos from advancing is their total reliance and believe in their failed God.

  14. My parents once sent me Php1.0M pesos to me while I was in America as share of the property she sold. My sister shopped for banks to send it to. She went to Land Bank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Philippine National BAnk and lastly, Banco de Oro. She talked to the managers. The managers told her she cannot send the money because of the Anti-Money Laundering Law.

    I read the law and it says implicitly that she can send the money as long as it is less than Php1.0M. I e-mailed to her a snapshot of the law. She showed it to the managers. And you know what the bank managers said? "It should not be interpreted literally". HAWR! HAWR! HAWR! THEY ARE BANK MANAGERS FOR SATAN'S SAKE !!!!!

    She went to Western Union, dropped the cashier's check. Fill some paperworks and voila ! I got it without a hitch !

  15. This "do not interpret literally" is screwing the minds of the Filipnios and has its root in reading this fairy tale bible.

    There are polls but there are no study why Filipinos think this way. Maybe the pollsters are tired of studying Filipinos because they lie most of the time and they don't even know that they are lying. Lying is natural to Filipinos. There is this expat Filipino who said that on top of salary working in Vietnam he receives ... listen to this .... drum roll pleez ... he receives $7,000.00 (seven thousand dollars) in allowance !!!! I CANNOT COMPREHEND IF THIS IS REALISTIC OR NOT ... IT IS TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE AND HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

  16. There are newsreports who are aggrandizing to oil companies by making them sound charitable "OIL COMPANIES SLASHING PUMP PRICES". I really thought that gas prices are dictated by supply-and-demand and market conditions. Everytime I point this out in the article's comment section IT GETS DELETED.

    The Philippine Media is totally screwing the minds of the Filipinos. They are making the oil companies as charitable institutions.

  17. did you ask these parents why they choose to no send their kids to school?

    how did you arrive at these conclusions?

    i'm not asking for statistics. i'm asking you about your life experience.

    i'm a middle class filipino. your description is not my experience. but maybe you know/have met/spoken with other people. i'd love to know that.

  18. The is only one way to free the Philippines: We cannot be truly free unless we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Any suffering experienced in this material world is nothing compared to an eternity in heaven.

  19. Gabby,

    Come on dude. You sure you're not the foreigner and Joe the middle class filipino? A little talk with the maid, driver or yaya should give you some insight.


  20. GabbyD, my experience is the underclass that lives in my neighborhood, and my prior residence in a fishing village. Do you know what percentage of the Philippines population belongs to the underclass, rather than your middle class, or the rich class?

  21. Mariano, so many fine thoughts there.

    I appreciate that your Englichstes contains the correct spelling of acrylic, for mine would need a spellchecker. Isn't that insane? Acrylic school uniforms? Imagine the cost of buying millions of uniforms that aren't good for the humid tropics.

    "Filipinos can do it!" classes. Yes, yes, yes! Teach aspiration and competition and confidence. And teach the joy and riches that come with being smart. You and I can figure that out. Why can't the geniuses who manage education?

    Rather than building classrooms, how about applying technology (tablet computers networked on the internet) so kids can learn at the coffee shop or table under the mango tree?

    God is definitely interpreted poorly in the Philippines, where people are told to suffer rather than figure out a way out of suffering.

    Perhaps Clinton studied in the Philippines, and that is how he knows "is" means whatever you want it to mean, whether it is against the law or not.

    My Land Bank branch requires that people sit in rows of chairs, with the chair at the end of row 1 being next up at the teller counter. The teller calls that person up for service. All the customers then get up, move one chair over, and sit down. The whole room does that, about 50 people. Then the next person is called to a teller and the whole room moves again, one chair at a time. I want my money, so I have to get in that crazy child's game. I don't know whether to laugh or cry as I get up, move my ass, get up, move my ass. I guess they can't afford little plastic chits with numbers on them, to give to customers as they come it. They certainly know how to humiliate their grown-up customers by engaging them in an obedient child's game of musical chairs. Autocratic dumbos . . .

    "they lie most of the time and they don't even know they are lying" Bingo. The morality and psychology of the Philippines in 14 easy words.

    As to media companies making the oil companies appear charitable . . . could it be that the media companies are owned by the same oligarchs that run the oil companies? Inquiring minds wonder . . .

  22. here's the problem. you are alleging MOTIVATION on the part of the parents.

    did you talk with them? ask them about their experiences?

    i know a few poor people. i "know" means, i count them as people that i have conversations with.

    NONE of them fit your "me first before my kids" motivation.

    now, i was expecting you to tell me you've had conversations with people on WHY they decided what you say they decided.

    but i didnt read that. i just read that you lived, there were poor people.

    that doesnt add anything. i know all the stats you are referring to. i can always THEORIZE about why those stats came about.

    now, are YOU theorizing? guessing about why you see what you see?

    or did you have a heart to heart with these people? to really KNOW their motivations (as opposed to "deducing" their motivations by observing the fact that many kids dont go to school)

    if you tell me that you have spent time talking with them, and they TELL YOU that they PUT THEMSELVES FIRST before their kids., THEN there is something to this.

    but if this is just a guess, then its less interesting.

    now, which is it?

  23. GabbyD, it isn't a guess. It is an observation. And NO parent would admit to putting themselves ahead of their kids. I see kids working when they should be in school. How do you read that? If it is not interesting to you, it is no problem with me. Frankly, I am highly interested in the well-being of Filipino kids. I'm surprised you can't read that into my words, instead of engaging in these relentless challenges. I don't know what you want, actually. For me to know you require proof for every word that is nebulous to you? Gadzooks.

  24. ah, so it IS observation.

    i dont mind that. you are free to conclude/"guess" what you want when you see your environment.

    but what i am saying is that ascribing motivation to people (parents) requires MORE information.

    surely, if i dont know you, but i ascribe to you motivations that arent yours based solely on our interactions here, then that would be, AT BEST, inaccurate?

    if i want to know your motivations, i ASK YOU. i'll say, hey joe, what do you think about X?

    this is what i have been doing for the past day and a half.

    i could have skipped that, and concluded after obvserving your writings.

    but NO. i want to give you respect, and know that people are complicated beings, who face complex decisions.

    right? that basic respect for other people.

    all i am asking is that we extend that same respect to ALL PEOPLE. including the poor.

    again, this isnt PROOF. i'm NOT ASKING FOR PROOF. all i want to know, is whether this is a conclusion based on observations, or based on more indepth info gathering.

    i think this is important. alot of people say this and that, and thats fine. but they say it AS IF they know more than anyone else.

    if they did know more, then that would be a contribution to the debate. but if you dont, then that guy's opinion is as good as any other.

    "I see kids working when they should be in school. How do you read that?"

    i see that too. EVERYONE SEES THAT. the question is how to read it. its complex. and certainly, i'm not sure that "parents are selfish" is enough to explain it.

  25. GabbyD:

    So what you are saying is that in order for someone like Joe to write a blog about his experience it is not enough that he is using common sense he also needs to read some in depth social, scientific studies. Otherwise he may end up insulting the poor people of the Philippines? Where are you from, what planet or should I ask under what rock did you just climbed out from under? If you haven't noticed yet, Joe's opinion is much better than the other's. He has the education, the intelligence, the objectivity, and a good heart for it. You, on the other hand, don't have good common sense. You can't break off from your limitations. You are trapped like many of your fellow Filipinos. What are going to write to Joe next? Let me guess: You think you are God?

  26. attila,

    i think he (joe) can do what he wants, reach whatever conclusions he wants.

    BUT if he wants to ascribe motivations (with certainty!), he should have more information.

    he could say "i think.... because i see....". thats an opinion, and anyone can have one.

    BUT when says" i see... therefore IT MUST BE that ...." requires more work.

    thats the opposite of "god" -- it at least acknowledges the LIMITS of making observations.

    also, i'm NOT ASKING FOR STUDIES. or statistics.

    but has he tried TALKING to them? asking them? getting to know them?

    its not about insulting filipinos per se. its about PEOPLE. i think all people deserve at least a presumption that things are more complex than what appears.

  27. GabbyD, you want it done your way, write your own blog and stop trying to make me walk your kind of line. If you don't appreciate what I write simply don't read it. If I make a specious argument that lacks facts, cite the facts that condemn the argument, don't make me run around compiling useless information that you, personally, want. I'd rather spend my time figuring out what something means.

  28. really? i'm surprised that its OK to ascribe motivation to people without more information.

    i'm surprised that its OK with you.

    i thought this would be a variant of the GOLDEN RULE. (which i thought is universal, i.e. something we can all agree on).

    that is-- if you dont want other people to assume your motivations, then dont do it to others.

    so, joe, to be clear: its OK for you to say that parents are "selfish" (in the way u described them above) because you observe that the kids dont go to school.

    so IS IT OK for other people to judge (with certainty) in in other ways by looking at your decisions and lifestyle?

    this is the implication of your argument. is this what you want?

  29. oh, just to finish...

    coz if this is what you want, then we will have a world that is not very friendly or useful.

    everyone will judge books by their covers.

    i thought this was a bad thing which we must avoid?

  30. GabbyD

    I'm starting to believe that you really mean well. It is the way you process information is how we differ. I assume it is a cultural thing between us. I also honestly believe that the type of thinking you and many Filipinos have holds you back from moving your country ahead. We are from very different cultures. A journalist of Filipino descent jokingly told me once that the Filipinos are "misplaced" westerners. Yes it seems that way first but the more I learned about the the way Filipinos think the more I see how it is not true. We don't have as much in common as I thought. We have major differences in the way we process info and deal with reality. My question to you is how it's working for you?

  31. Attila, I agree that GabbyD means well. His observations on other blog sites call into question the thinking of writers, as he has done here. My frustration is that he(she?) won't let go of a point that is more to the credibility of the writer than the pros and cons of the argument. So the conversation gets "hijacked" and we end up doing the cultural ring-around-the-rosy, both parties talking, the other not hearing. Listening, yes. Hearing, no.

  32. huh?

    this is not about your credibility. i believe everything you say!

    my point is that it is a BIG "CON" to you argument that you ascribe motivations to people without basis.

    actually, after this (too) long of an exchange, i'm reasonable convinced that you are "theorizing", since you have not asserted you actually spoken to any of the parents you sought to criticize.

    theorizing is FINE. 100% ok. as long as we are clear that is what is happening.

    the problem is that your declarative sentences are filled with certainty that you dont actually possess.

    thats a problem when you are saying that the REASON they dont go to school is because parents are selfish....

    ...when you dont really KNOW that!

    for example, i can "theorize" about you. but i think thats quite unfair to you. hence, i want to ask you point blank.

    i think the poor DESERVE THE SAME TREATMENT.

    dont u think so? (am i alone in believing in the golden rule???)

  33. Sigh... OK here's one for the guy living under a rock. I've employed at least 3 girls who were made by their parents to drop out of high school.


  34. GabbyD:

    Yes, you may be right that we don't always know the exact reason why the parent would want their children quit school or not let them advance in their studies. All we know that it is happening based on Joe's and others observation maybe including yours. However knowing the culture, the thinking of your people, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out and make an educated guess why they do it. You are in the Philippines or at least born and raised there. You must know the general thinking and values of the poor people. Let me help you out and give you a hint: Isn't it a common belief that having many children is the poor man's life insurance policy. Isn't that selfish alone?

  35. joe,

    get a life? wow, thats a rather extreme statement for someone who's only desire is to set the record straight.

    note that you havent really responded to any of the points i've raised.

    to summarize: should we give them the same consideration we expect for ourselves?

    is this a bad thing? what am i missing?

    i go "on and on" because there is NO RESPONSE to this.

    i go "on and on" because this is the least we owe each other, right?

    cmon, please tell me i'm wrong. i feel i entered a weird world where its OK to just make judgements about people based on what we see...

    for example, would it be OK for me to think ill of you because you flipped me off with your "get a life?"

    btw, if the golden rule isnt "a life", i dont know what getting a life means...

  36. Joe,

    Gabby is right, you shouldn't be making these sweeping generalizations. Next thing you know,you'll be telling people that it's Ok to swim in a pool of sharks. But hey, studies have shown that not all sharks are man-eaters.

    Yes it's common knowledge that many parents in the Philippines will make their kids drop out of school to work as house maids. You know, so they can send money to support the household.

    It's also common knowledge that many parents in the Philippines, groom their daughters to marry well off men or foreigners, to take the whole family out of poverty.

    But since you haven't talk to all the parents and asked what their motivations, aspirations, feelings and what they had for breakfast, then your just making a sweeping generalization.

  37. Anon, a "sweeping generalization" to me is just a part of the thought process. It is how I get from thinking about what I suspect is a problem (kids not being encouraged to stay in school, learn, be something other than a laborer) to a solution (use technology to solve the problem of not enough classrooms or teachers). I hope you are not telling me I should not look for solutions to problems. However I do it. If you disagree with the principle that kids should be given the opportunity to be all that they can be, then we have little to talk about. We see life and the goals of life differently.

    For those of you requiring facts, go ahead and look them up. I don't mind. But don't expect me to be your laborer, wasting time dredging up details when I could be writing or thinking.

  38. my problem isnt even about generalizations.

    this is a bigger issue-- joe, you "guessed" at motivations for these parents, without getting a feel of what their options are.

    this is a fairness issue. i'm not asking you to come up with details if you dont want to.

    i'm saying -- IF you dont want to, DONT make insinuations about people's motivations.

    at best, that's counterproductive. here's why. lets say you are wrong about ur belief about parent's motivations.

    but for somereason, other people believe you. what kind of policy comes from the finding that parents put themselves before their kids?

    would it then be OK to separate kids from their parents? what about forced abortions? or if u dont have the stomach for that, a response might be: its useless! pinoy parents hate their kids. just ignore them.

    see? the "conclusion" of "parents are selfish" leads directly to policy options.

    hence, its important to think about our conclusions carefully, or at least be cognizant of their limitations.

    but joe, simple question: dont the poor deserve the same consideration we give to each other all the time?

  39. GabbyD,

    Policy follow-through: (1) make education mandatory through high school and levy fines or other punishments on parents/guardians who abuse their children by allowing them to skip school, (2) make public education completely free of fees and stop requiring uniforms so that that the poor have an equal opportunity to compete for a good education, (3) include subjects such as "character, competing for jobs, discipline, and ethics" in the curriculum so kids understand the importance of their behavior, learning and responsibility, and (4) provide simple guidelines to parents about how they can help their children grow richer through education.

  40. on (2):

    DepEd: No more uniforms for public school students
    By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
    First Posted 14:51:00 06/03/2008

    Filed Under: Education, Government
    MANILA, Philippines -- All public elementary and high school students will no longer be required to wear uniforms, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus announced on Tuesday.

  41. "(4) provide simple guidelines to parents about how they can help their children grow richer through education."

    ok. so this is what i'm talking about...

    you are assuming (correct me if i'm wrong) that if parents are selfish, they do so because of ignorance. they DON'T KNOW that education is good.

    again, i dont think you have enough information. lets say you're wrong.

    at BEST, if you operationalize this, nothing will happen because they already KNOW that.

    see? my point is simple. how about allowing for the possibility, and little intellectual and moral consideration that they may not be complete idiots? idiots?

  42. GabbyD,

    Interesting, that directive about no new uniforms. 2008. That's excellent. I still see a lot of uniforms in the public schools; perhaps they are hand-me-downs.

    I don't think parents are idiots. I wonder why you feel a need to twist my words that way.

    I think many parents never sit with their child and read or help with homework; many because they can't afford books and many because they didn't go to school and CAN'T read or help with the homework. Many because they are busy caring for 5 to 10 kids and don't have the time or energy to nurture their children. You wish to defend the status quo on parenting and education, that is fine. Many do, obviously.

    My perspective comes from the heartache (and anger) I get when I see a child not in school on a school day, for whatever reason. And when I think about 45 kids per classroom (a "fact" for you to dine on; along with the shortage of 54,000 teachers and 64,000 classrooms and the thousands of schools without water or electricity). I wonder how parents stand for it, knowing that their child is going to be given a bad deal.

    My four-point policy follow through, offered as an alternative to the sarcasm you threw up, includes a plank for parents because I suspect (a guess; no statistics to back it up) that many would not understand the new curriculum, and many are not aware of the vital role the parent can play in instilling excitement about learning. Some I suspect (guess) just wash their hands of a child's intellectual development and figure that is the school's job. I personally think home life determines success as much as school. If I am wrong, what is the harm making sure parents play a constructive role?

    And yes, it is obnoxious of me, with my one child who gets read to daily, and can afford private school, and has a library of 50 books at the age of three . . . to stand apart and cast judgment. I suppose you feel it would be more constructive if I sat silent. Then you would not have to feel any . . . what . . . shame? . . .anger? . . . envy? . . .that millions of Filipino kids don't have the same advantage. Not even close. No books. Never read to. And parents who don't care, or can't care, for reasons other than being "idiots". Well, maybe there are a few of them, too. If I sat silent, you would not have to work so obsessively to defend the way things are.

  43. Joe,

    So interesting to see that you have to explain in detail and give GabbyD a list of reasons why and how parents fail their children. GabbyD and other Filipinos know this already. You didn't say anything new. They just think differently and they end up loosing focus.
    They are like a derailed train.

  44. Attila,

    Train wreck, hah. I think a lot of it is defensiveness against an outsider having a critical opinion.


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