Monday, November 07, 2005

WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW



"Upang maitindig natin ang bantayog ng ating lipunan, kailangang radikal nating baguhin hindi lamang ang ating mga institusyon kundi maging ang ating pag-iisip at pamumuhay. Kailangan ang rebolusyon, hindi lamang sa panlabas, kundi lalo na sa panloob!" -- Apolinario Mabini, La Revolucion Filipina (1898)


"What luck for rulers that men do not think" - Adolf Hitler

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Hi All,

It has been discouraging to witness and realize the divisions among the opposition to the regimes that have ruled our homeland. The lack of unity and/or instead concern with personalities seem to demonstrate, aside from the many individual/single issues pursued, the absence of solid understanding that can lead to adequately pursuing and addressing the roots of the present economic and political malaise. 

All the current public demonstrations or rallies appear short-lived and ineffective because they are geared mainly to the ever-changing issues. There is a need to go beyond these well-intentioned but fractured street protests, and such a need demands exposing our fellow countrymen-at-large to critical analysis of themselves and their environment.

There is a need to look inward and realize some unpleasant truths about ourselves as native Malay Filipino individuals and as a society. It involves a "shaking of the foundations" or a "rocking of the boat" since it requires us to question our traditional beliefs, assumptions or notions. We need to seek an understanding of "why we are what we are, where we can or should be headed," and to therefore be able to formulate ways to attain where we can or should be.


Before everything, let us remind ourselves that we native Filipinos have many and known good qualities, just like people of any other country. We all know this fact. However, let us not dwell on them since the objective here is not towards self-congratulations or to hear/read only what we want to.  

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/10/seeing-philippines-through-eyes-of.html)


The task is to highlight our weaknesses so that these may in turn be corrected. I believe and think that only through a critical self-analysis or self-examination (ala preparatory to confession some of us learned in Catholic schools) can we change for the better. I am convinced that such an exercise will allow us to pursue truths however shocking and unpleasant they may be. 

It is only when we have "come of age," when we have come to think for ourselves as an independent people with human dignity, with our own cultural heritage, national pride and sovereignty can we act and work in unity for our own truly, permanent liberation from the dehumanizing conditions imposed by our so-called leadership in government, business and their foreign partners.

If we are honestly concerned with our homeland beyond simply wishing for the better or fatalism, if we want fundamental changes to improve in the long-term the human conditions for the majority of our present and future countrymen in the homeland, it behooves us to do such a self-examination towards self-knowledge and self-understanding, as native Fipino individuals and as a native Filipino "community,"  thus a people, a nation.


To gain self-knowledge and self-understanding, we must look critically at what we are and why, examine the history and nature of our society which must be changed, then determine the direction of those changes. 

Only after having done so can we finally act and enlist the needed energies of that majority to effect such changes for the "common good."

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/rethinking-our-homelands-history.html)


What Are We Today? Why Are We What We Are?


Jose Rizal's analysis in his pamphlet "The Indolence of the Filipino" remains valid today: "A man in the Philippines is only an individual, he is not a member of a nation."  This condition is partly due to accumulated habits of minds and learned response from Spanish, then American colonization and Japanese occupation plus other native factors, i.e. geographical and local cultural factors. 


But more significantly, the existing capitalist economic and political systems, dominated and controlled by family-based oligarchy that profits and leads to a weak national government/state -- in turn has inadequately provided opportunities and thus led to mass deprivation. 

Consequently, we native Malay Filipinos have withdrawn from and become indifferent to our society and isolated ourselves from our fellow countrymen. We have become unable to act together as a people; really unselfish cooperation is seldom possible since individualistic, selfish concerns are our preoccupation. 

(see: http://joserizal.info/Writings/Other/indolence.html)

We native Filipinos are interested in what is going on in public only to the extent that these events/happenings impinge on our private lives. We Filipinos are alienated from ourselves as persons (a true human transcends purely material and physical pursuits, his purpose and interest is reconciled with those of his society, just as society's goals must ensure his welfare). 


Our native Filipino attitudes, behaviors and values have been primarily those of the "economic man."  We have therefore measured our relations and our worth in terms of cold cash. Our goals, our happiness,our possibilities as human beings have been reduced to crude economic terms. We strive to enrich ourselves or lives "not by being much but by having much." It is self and family alone that is important. The welfare of others plays, at best, a far second in our activities. That is why the society suffers. This is true as private citizen and/or public "servant." 

We native Filipinos live in a climate of intellectual simple-mindedness. We have developed many escapes which entertain us and at the same time prevent us from thinking of really serious matters. Many of us are too lazy to think. Many of us are afraid to think. The rest of us never learned how. We do not waste our precious leisure worrying about the problems of others or the state of society. 


Leisure time is not seen as an opportunity for meaningful social interaction. Instead, we have the pseudo-camaraderie of numerous social clubs and civic organizations which we join not because we like other people, nor because we believe in their avowed purposes, but because membership will expose us to the limelight, will enhance our public image, will put us in contact with others who can help or be useful in our private pursuits. 

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/10/call-to-historians-history-and-liberal.html)

We native Filipinos are not Filipino enough because we are not original enough. Thanks to our colonial conditioning and western-type/Americanized education, we have developed an obsession for anything foreign or imported that consequently led to the lack of desire for anything Filipino (the Spanish neglect and the "free trade" imposed by the American occupation doomed any indigenous industrial development). We love to imitate ape-ishly everything. We therefore betray our colonial mentality


Caught in a vicious circle, our imitativeness is partly responsible for our failure to become truly autonomous and nationally sovereign. Just as the academian with a foreign degree is accepted without question as superior vis-a-vis a local product, so that anyone who has gone abroad is ipso facto better, more accomplished than the home-grown variety, in the eyes of western-oriented audiences. These so-called "cultured" Filipinos are a breed apart from the majority of Filipinos. Their thought processes are comprehensible only to themselves and their foreign friends.

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/our-colonial-mentality-then-and-now.html)

We as Filipino Christians are not Christian enough. We brag about our being the only Christian country in the Asia. We brag about our crowded churches on Sundays. We brag about the length of our religious processions. We brag about the colorfulness of our barrio fiestas. We brag about the numerical strength of our Catholic majority. 


But until when are we going to remain Christians in name and number only? We Filipino Christians have not attained religious maturity. We are superstitious  we participate in such nonsense as the "spirit of the glass," chain letters, Good Friday penitence  amulets, magic incantations/prayers, etc..ad nauseam. 

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/use-of-religion-for-desperate-times-we.html)

We as Filipino Christians practice "split-level" Christianity. We have not integrated or internalized christian or humanist values in our whole being. We have not gone beyond "externalities," as happens in the Black Nazarene fame at Quiapo or the wiping of San Roque's dog. We go to church on Sundays due to compulsion, not out of conviction. We drift lazily to church, dangle and loiter at the back, walk in and walk out for a chat or smoke. We come to church because it is Sunday and we love the Sunday crowd; or if we do not like the Sunday crowd, we still go lest we be looked at differently.


Our norm of moral behavior is based on the external such as shame or "hiya," "don't get caught attitude," "everyone does it," "ako ay tao lamang," and other convenient rationalizations. Because of our failure (AND the failure of the church to correctly nurture) to internalize christian ideals to become, at least partly, the basis of our actual behavior  we as so-called christian politicians, bureaucrats or plain Juan dela Cruz feel little, if any at all, guilt upon loss of integrity. We feel neither inconsistencies nor hypocrisy.

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/07/filipino-norm-of-morality-vitaliano-r.html and
http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/when-our-religion-becomes-evil-our.html
)


We as Filipino Christians are intellectually unexciting Christians. We never went beyond our small catechism book. We never heard or read about developments in the church such as the Papal Encyclicals, Vatican II, Liberation Theology; we are unaware of the history of Christianity  of the writings of Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Teilhard de chardin, Neihbuhr, Hans Kung and other brilliant minds who wrestled with the rational aspects of our Christian faith. We know nothing about the studies made about "Filipino-style" Christianity by Filipino priests.


We are so ignorant, thus still childish and immature in our religious beliefs and sentiments, and out of touch with what constitute a truly Christian message. We therefore continue to practice an escapist religion --an opiate of the people, and an economic boon to vendors and other opportunists; and conceive of the Church as limited to what happens inside the church building (these are 16th century concepts).

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/prayerful-filipino-i-think-most.html)


We Filipinos as immigrants in foreign lands are no better as persons or members of our adopted countries  We simply carried or brought over our individualistic, selfish aspirations. Further reinforced by a more materialistic value-system society, we more vigorously pursue purely material objectives, now more easily attained because of better opportunities. We easily forget where we came from because we never appreciated nor understood what we were or what we are as Filipinos, as a nation of people, as human beings. We do not appreciate such concepts/terms such as "human potential," "whole person," or "hierarchy of needs" because of our concentration and equation of "having, as reason for living."

We are happy every time the Philippine peso de-valuates because our dollar converts for more pesos. The fact that the Filipino worker in the homeland will work the same number of hours for much less buying power or work more hours to purchase the same amount of food or clothing does not shock nor cross our minds. We look down at fellow Filipinos who have not been where we had and brag about where we had been, i.e. a cruise, etc. We suddenly consider ourselves as westernized, modern or Americanized although in fact we may have uncritically only copied the externalities of their culture or society.

We even have become prejudiced against Blacks thanks to our ignorance of Black History, demonstrating our intellectual shallowness. We do not appreciate the fact that Black activism for civil rights spinned-off our newly found opportunities. We do not register to vote because we do not see its relevance to us. Our adopted home-country offers us possibilities to grow, to appreciate what a true and complete person is, to approach the realization of our full human potential. 


Unfortunately, just as we were back in the homeland, we are stunted, we do not know, we do not understand what it is to be a total human being, that is, to be a member of a society. Thus, we as immigrants are no improvement to what we were before. Thus, like our fellow countrymen back home, we are still alienated from ourselves and from society.


What is the nature of Filipino society?


As a people we have been deprived for centuries of responsibility for our destiny. Under the Spaniards, this deprivation was open. They ruled, we obeyed. Under the Americans, while we were ostensibly being prepared for self-government and self-reliance, we were actually being maneuvered by means of economic and political pressures to defer to American decisions at the same time that we were being conditioned by our Americanized education to prefer American ways and thinking. 


The result is a people habituated to abdicating control over basic areas of our national life, unaccustomed to coming to grips with reality, prone to escape to fantasies, and a parade of leadership which voluntarily chooses Americanized solutions for Philippine problems. Partly because of our intellectual conditioning and partly for personal expediency since our politicians tacitly recognize the danger of displeasing foreign "friends," especially Americans, Japanese, etc.

Thus we have existed as a semi-ward country, with semi-independent status, our leaders busy with stop-gap measures; our people turning more towards individual pursuits for survival if not blinded by faith that promises that everything will be fine; faith divorced from reality. Objective reality in our society stares us in the face now and we are confused, lost and desperate. We managed to get by before and believed that there is nothing wrong with our society; that the difficulties are symptomatic of progress and economic growth. 

But all these optimistic thinking has been taught us for the last 60+ years.; and yet, the actual conditions for people especially in the countryside have not changed any better but instead gravely worsened, it is still a picture of a society burdened with harsh poverty unchanged since Rizal's time, a century ago if not longer.

It is true that more of us are enjoying the benefits of American, Japanese, etc. gadgetry; we have more TV and stereo sets, concrete roads and buildings. But what of the increasing tribe of the unemployed and underemployed, of the millions of educated countrymen and women forced to leave the homeland for menial jobs abroad, due to successive governments' neglect, corruption and incompetence to govern for the good of the people?


What of the peasants too for whom the future also holds nothing but the desperate search for food and security that occupies them today? What of the young whose talents are wasted for lack of opportunity, deficient education, malnutrition and ill-health?

And all the while a few rich, native Filipinos and foreigners: local foreigners - Americans, Chinese, Koreans, Australians, etc.- have essentially taken over our economy to further enrich themselves, to avail themselves of our women, national resources and patrimony. These foreigners who do not identify nor work for the common good, except for their common good as a ruling elite/class. 


Their continued and ever-growing affluence assure the further degradation of the common tao. This fact has slowly lead our homeland to a society become like a Latin American "banana republic" of the recent past. 

The only good part seems to be that as life becomes deeply unbearable, our cynicism will turn into more dissent and our indifference which hopefully will give way to an active search for real alternative approaches to our problems.


Where do we go from here?


Political freedom is meaningless unless it is based on economic freedom, for the basis of political democracy is economic democracy. Thus, our fundamental task is economic development that will provide as many Filipinos as possible their essential human needs. Mere quantitative accomplishment in roads, buildings, production, GNP statistics, etc. do not constitute development nor progress if the overall result is to make the few already rich, foreign and Filipino, richer and the Filipino majority, poorer. 


The true measure of economic development is found not in how rich the rich are nor even how rich the country is, but in the well-being and degree of economic security of the majority of the native population.

(see:http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/can-we-have-real-democracy-in-homeland.html )

If our aspiration is for the prosperity of the majority, then our goals must be categorized precisely as nationalist , i.e. nationalist industrialization and a modernized agriculture for the benefit of the many. These goals would seek to do away with the 60+ years of neo-colonial nature of our economy, which is the main obstacle to our national economic and political development.

However, Filipino nationalism is not a simple love of country. It is beyond simple emotionalism, beyond the wearing of the "barong," the singing of the national anthem, of saying "I am a Filipino."  It is beyond such superficialities. Anyone can say he loves his country and not even try to do something for it and its people, in whatever small way.


Instead, nationalism is a point of view. Filipino nationalism is characterized by an attitude AND behavior which insist that the power of the sovereign state must be based and exercised by native Filipinos, that economic power be lodged in the native Filipino people.

(see:http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/what-is-filipino-nationalism-mrs.html )

Since economic power is political power, it is imperative that economic decisions and control of power be wielded by native Filipinos
. Since a program for true economic development through industrialization and modernized agriculture must be geared for the native Filipino, the latter should be deeply involved in such a program. A program that is planned, designed, controlled and implemented by non-Filipinos will not surely be bearing fruits for the Filipino majority.

Our Filipino nationalism will be protective within our borders, and will not deny the national interests of foreign countries in their own borders (firstly, we do not have nor will have that capability). Our Filipino nationalism will have us live in harmony with other nationalists because all nationalists can work out a plan of co-existence. Those who have carried out their nationalism beyond their borders, i.e. Japan and Nazi Germany in recent history, or the USA in post-WW2 era, were/are ultra-nationalists; more aptly, imperialists.

Filipino nationalism sees that the interests of the G7 nations, their TNCs are antagonistic to the long-term interests of underdeveloped nations such as ours. Therefore, any government politician, native Filipino businessman and/or technocrat in our homeland who support and help implement policies that only welcome and further strengthen foreign control of our economy and exploitation of our national resources/patrimony and people is not working with Filipino nationalism in their hearts and minds. 
In short such a native Filipino is a Filipino traitor. 

In contrast, a nationalist government will encourage the spread of nationalist consciousness --via mass nationalist education-- among the majority of the citizenry so that it can have an effective mass support to bravely pursue nationalistic economic and political goals.

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/globalization-and-underdeveloped.html, and
http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/08/neoliberalism-and-global-order-noam.html )


Do we need foreign TNCs ? Do we lack capital? TNCs supposedly bring managerial talent. In reality, we have enough native managerial and professional talents to effectively and efficiently run business and manufacturing enterprises. As to capital, we should note that for decades, foreign companies have been practically hoarding out immense profits. 


With TNCs, our people have only experienced massive layoffs, witnessed the ruthless closing of native manufacturing facilities or buying off of such facilities, and the creation of a small, native middle class whose self-interests understandably are tied up to the foreign entities rather than indigenous growth. 

With mainland China becoming the "factory of the world," we saw the demise of whatever nascent industrialization and essential agricultural production we have. What we have left are TNCs with their native partners amassing the best lands and planting for exports, for conversion to golf courses and other entertainment/sports for the wealthy and foreigners, all the while pushing more people towards impoverishment.

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/globalisation-is-recolonisation-asia.html )


How do we enlist the energies of our people?

As alluded to, we need to gain mass nationalism. We need to have a strong, brave and nationalistic leadership in government and business. For us Filipinos who are seriously desiring a radical change of direction need to start with ourselves. We need to restudy and overhaul our passive, fatalistic, tradition-oriented attitudes. We need to be politicized (not limited to participation in elections, which are shams and charades for foreign consumption), but in terms of a consciousness of our right to a better life, an awareness of our power to achieve such a goal by united action, a sense of duty to participate in nation-building ultimately for the common good.

It is only through mass education for nationalism, political and social consciousness can we critically understand "what's going on" and therefrom effectively dissent and work for fundamental, radical changes in our government, business and society. It is only through the nationalist alternative that we Filipinos can regain our honor as a people and be a true nation AND achieve the well-being for the majority.

(see: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/what-nationalism-good-article-by.html alsohttp://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/05/impediments-to-filipino-nationalism-to.html )


"The selfish spirit of commerce knows no country, and feels no passion or principle but that of gain" - Thomas Jefferson, 1809

"The chief business of America is business" - President Calvin Coolidge, 1925

“Nations whose NATIONALISM is destroyed are subject to ruin.” - Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi, 1942-, Libyan Political and Military Leader

"Those who profess to favor freedom
and yet deprecate agitation

are men who want crops without
plowing up the ground;
they want rain without thunder and
lightning.
They want the ocean without the
awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one
or it may be a physical one

or it may be both moral and physical
but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a
demand
It never did, and never will." – Frederick Douglass
,
American Abolitionist, Lecturer, Author and Slave, 1817-1895)


‘I helped the poor and they called me a saint, I asked why they were poor and they called me a Communist’ – Brazilian Bishop Helder Camara


- END OF POST -

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Hi All,


The below link will show a short list of my past posts (out of 540 posts so far) which I consider as basic topics about us native (indio)/ Malay Filipinos. This link/listing, which may later expand, will always be presented at the bottom of each future post.  Just point-and-click at each listed item to open and read. 


Thank you for reading and sharing with others, especially those in our homeland.

- Bert

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16 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:09 AM

    I disagree with your degradation of religious beliefs of people within the Philippines as "superstitious" and "nonsense." Just because Filipino Christians don't practice Christianity according to your definition of what real Christians are, does not mean that you should degrade it. Christianity in the Philippines is known for being a blend of Christian and indigenous spiritual beliefs. This is how the indigenous people incorporated Spanish Catholicism into their own worldview. Just because you disagree with a few of these beliefs or practices does not mean that it is okay for you to degrade the entire belief system.

    Prior to the arrival of Christianity, the inhabitants of these islands were "animists", for lack of a better term. Millions within the Philippines continue to practice this. Their conception of power and spiritual potency is highly different from yours, such as the belief in the power of amulets or special prayers. However, that does not give you the right to degrade them just because you believe in different things. Why is your conception of Christianity superior?

    Because, by default, you are also degrading the spiritual beliefs of non-Christians in the Philippines, such as the various indigenous groups of the Cordillera or the lumads of Mindanao. Their belief systems include many practices/beliefs that reflect those practices of certain Christian Filipinos which you are demeaning as "superstitious" or "nonsense."

    How would you feel if I told you that your act of praying to your God is "nonsense"? Or if I said that your belief in the spiritual power or message of Jesus is "superstitious"? Or if I said that believing in anything supernatural is also "nonsense"?

    Those extra beliefs which are heterodox to mainstream or orthodox Christianity - or your definition of what real Christianity is - are still the special and personal beliefs of people. They should be respected as beliefs, just as people should respect your supernatural beliefs in the Christian God. Because there are those who consider all of Christianity itself to be "nonsense." That's not very nice of them, is it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your response. At least I know one person read my posting.

    I do not intend to demean (nor claim superiority in beliefs)though that is the usual reaction I get from fellow Filipinos. But if that is how I am interpreted, so be it.

    I conceive of religion to have a positive function in the material betterment of society and I find that our Filipino variety of catholicism since 1521 or so have not worked as such, but was and still is, largely a reactionary social institution; Filipino Catholicism, as in Latin America, has demonstrated what has been tagged as "opium of the people" by Marx during the 19th century Europe.

    If a religion contributes positively to the material betterment of the majority, it's good; if not but instead is a supporter of the status quo, actively or through indifference, it has to be removed or changed from within (if its followers start thinking and examining their beliefs).

    European Catholicism and that in USA have greatly changed, if not rejected most Catholic teachings, especially after the Enlightenment and/or Vatican II and does not function as a reactionary insitution.

    My right to speak against Filipino catholicism or any subject matter, to dissent/criticize,is a basic human right or see the UN Declaration of Human Rights (in my blogsite).

    And one does not have to be nice especially on serious matters. Just honest.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous7:20 AM

    In the book "Pasyon and Revolution", Reynaldo Ileto investigates the beliefs of the "masses" of Filipino Christians. Their beliefs were a blend of orthodox Christian and indigenous spiritual beliefs. However, this "Folk Catholicism" was used to galvanize the masses into rebellion against the Spanish and American colonial governments, and even during Marcos' time. True, the official Catholic Church authorities usually represent the preservation of the unjust status quo. However, the "Folk Catholicism" of the masses is another story. Beliefs in anting-anting or other beliefs that are indigenous to these islands were often incorporated into the movements toward rebellion. Francisco Dagohoy of Bohol, for example, who led the longest rebellion during the Spanish colonial period, constructed his last name from "dagon" (word for "anting-anting" in the Cebuano language) and "hoyohoy" (gentle wind). Amulets have been used as a source of power during battle against the colonial authorities.

    I guess some consider it to be make-believe or superstition that there would be spiritual power in such things as "anting-anting", but those honorable and brave men and women who fought against colonialism and the unjust socioeconomic order in this archipelago believed in it. And I honor them and respect their beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have no quarrel with those beliefs of ages ago and surely their beliefs then opened their minds to their current realities. We can not judge them by our present milieu.

    My opinions are those of today's so-called (Filipino)Christianity that still carry these cultural baggages that NOW are more of a detriment to present socio-economic progress.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Naime Simon6:31 AM

    Helo Sir/madam
    Peace!!


    Wow! i like your articles its realy nice..

    Allow me to just add something about a Filipino shoud
    know.

    I have been here in the Philippines for seven years
    involving in youth and social work among the poor and
    previliged. I realized that many of your people dont
    have the sense of discipline and honesty. For instance
    just simple things about followig the trafic role,
    some drivers dont care..even the priest deny ordinary
    people placing in front of their car " Priest on
    duty"..so that police would let them pass violeting
    roles that are meant for every citizen no matter what
    class people your are. " there is No discipline"

    Another simple thing about taking care of the
    environment and even streets. Many people dont care to
    keep the place clean after use. They live their trash
    makig the place so dirty. "There no discipline"

    Sir, if you come to Japan...Japan is a clean and
    well disciplined country..we dont say alot thing but
    we simple do what is right and for all people. Many
    Filipinos come here look for job and they apprciate
    our country because or government give them what they
    need and they dont go back to the Philippines...

    I hardly dont understand why there should be too much
    difficult here in the Philippines...you are good
    people ad christians as you are, you should be better
    than us in discipline, honesty and even economically
    and morally. It seems like Your God has given you too
    much grace but you dont know how to use it correctly
    for the wellfafe of the common good.

    I agree with you.. The political sitution
    today...there are something wrong with the leaders and
    the people who have chosen the kind of leaders we
    have. Whom are you blaming ? No one...Its just
    reflects the kind of people you are..Many people lack
    honesty and discipline in this country.. Many are very
    good christians and very riligios but when it comes to
    concritization of chrisitan values into actual
    life....is not so visible...


    thanks sir

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is common knowledge that corruption permeates throughout the country. From the politicians to the common people. The root and solution of the nation's myriad ills are embedded in corruption, its acceptance by the entire citizenry and its obvious resultant effect of lack of discipline by its people. Why is this so? As they say, the fish smells from the head. The country needs to change its corrupt political leaders or perhaps the supposedly democratic government system adopted from the U.S. simply is not effective in a nation where the majority of its citizens are below poverty level and uneducated. They have chronically been exploited by its leaders and most of them don't even know it. The spiritual and religious beliefs are strong in the Philippines but I think it's high time that the country strengthen education for all its citizens. So many are illiterates and their leaders have not even entertained the notion that it is their uppermost responsibility to educate them by offering free education up to High School as being done in most progressive and developed countries. By having an educated citizenry, the poor people will be elevated from poverty, the country would have better-skilled laborers, it would attract foreign investments, and the people would be better informed and would have the courage and conviction to elect highly-qualified and honest leaders (not just movie stars, celebrities and descendants of past leaders).

    Tito Fernandez

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  7. I am so pleased to come across your site.You articulated everything i think of about our culture.I grew up feeling very isolated especially from my own family because my thought process is different from the majority....

    I so get it!.Your purpose is not degrade but to FREE our people from archaic religious beliefs, traditions and superstitions and everything that caused division, discrimination, inequality, spiritual slavery, disharmony, disunity , corruption, stagnation and so on..

    For nearly 4 decades, i was very critical of everything...i stirred the pot, rock the boat, did not believe in praying for my daily bread...did not believe in hell and punishment...refused to feel guilty of the so called "original sin"....and passionately thought i could free my family members whom i love dearly from their addictive dysfunctional relationship with one another which is influenced by the culture. The culture is the prison with invisible walls. It is hard work and very painful to escape from it.It's even more painful to see them going about in circles in it. But I gave up now after almost 40 years.I am now an outcast...

    Enlightenment is a very lonely road to travel, but the Spiritual Freedom at the end of that lonely road is all worth it...*hv*

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  8. Bert, I get it!..I truly get it!...Your message is loud and clear. You purpose is not to demean nor degrade, but to free our people from archaic religious beliefs, traditions and superstitions..

    Cultures and organised religions are the prisons with invisible walls that is why those who are "locked up" since birth don't realise that they are imprisoned. Many, desire spiritual freedom. But who would want to leave their loved ones behind?..

    Enlightenment ( escape from the bondage of spirtual slavery ) is a very lonely road to travel. But the reward is spiritual freedom. It is awesome..Freedom is not for free, one actually needs to work very hard to free self.

    thanks,
    hv.

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  9. Hi Hazelvee,

    Thank you for your two feedbacks which I truly appreciate.

    I do not know why you said you are an outcast; different maybe.

    It is true that enlightenment may lead to some loneliness; but it is only a phase/stage in the life of a "thinking mind" and will come to pass; you will surely come to know or meet people who are with similar outlook/open-minded.

    One of my thoughts decades ago --during my 20s-- was that "I flatter myself for being misunderstood." So do not feel bad; mature minds will understand and accept your being different.

    Regards,

    Bert

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  10. Hi Tito,

    I agree with your understanding of our society. It is clear that education is a high priority; but that education must not be limited to establishing a career or providing vocational skills. We need also education for nationalism, which I have touched on in other postings.

    Thank you and regards,

    Bert

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  11. Anonymous3:36 AM

    Hi Bert,

    Thanks for the truth on our deep-rooted problems as a country, people and individuals.
    May we start to work in our own individual capacities and collective efforts towards a true Filipino nationalism. With the new leadership that we have now, I do hope, as a government staff, that we will be moving forward towards a better Philippines, better Filipinos and better individuals. It will be a long process but if we pool our dedication and commitment to achieve the nationalism objective we shall overcome and emerge victorious.

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  12. Anonymous7:28 PM

    I just want to simply comment about the discipline of the Filipino society in general pe N. Simon. Yes, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and Canada are probably the cleanest place I visited (if you stay away of China Town district, please no comment). This is not because of discipline but rather enforcement of the law. In Singapore if you throw away cigarette butts (they provide asthrays on the street) or spit out chewed gum and get caught, you will pay an arm and a leg. Who enforces law in the Philippines?

    Corruption in the Philippines. I have first hand experience in 1968 and lately a few years ago. I will tell you about the 1968 experience because this the lowest of the low. I was a young High School grad trying to get a Lisence to become a Security Guard. I know that I did not have enough money but then I have to give 50 cents so that the clerk will process my paper. That is only one stage of the process. I can't remember how many signatures I have to get. This is the time when only pay 10 cents for jeepney ride. The others I would not rather publish.


    Bert remember me? Ding from Maryknoll Reunion.

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  13. Hello Ding,

    Of course, I remember. I sent you your pictures a few a weeks ago. I also remember your plans for Mabitac.

    Ideally discipline has to be internalized. During the Marcos Dictatorship, discipline/order were enforced and many supported him;but obviously, Marcos only used it to gain initial support for his grab for power (of course, with US support due to his Vietnam stance for his own profit -a mutually beneficial arrangement for US-foreign policy/interests). In the end, his ploy did not work becomes discipline was externally enforced and his regime exhibited the same abuses, lack of discipline and corruption.

    Our history of corruption is long. Given that majority are in poverty with all its negative consequences (with few exceptions) plus the absence of positive role models in the leadership/rulers, lack of discipline and corruption prevailed and will prevail.

    A drastic reform, I say bloody revolution is a necessary evil though not a guarantee for good. A revolution will only provide a window of opportunity for change. And we need a nationalist revolution, neither communist nor anticommunist.

    Easier said than done of course. I have discussed these topics in more details in my past postings.

    Regards,

    Bert

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  14. Anonymous9:33 AM

    masaya akong nasumpungan ang site mo. marami akong gustong sabihin kapuri-puri pero sa susunod na lang dahil gabi na. Magpo-post ako bukas

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  15. Horacio A. Frigillana12:16 PM

    Dear Sir Bert,

    I have browsed your write up regarding Filipino Nationalism and have a bird's eye view on the failure of attaining "Filipino Nationalism" one hundred percent.

    One aim of the present Philippine Government is to generate as many job opportunities here in our country, but most of the learned professionals are already employed abroad. This government program would perhaps succeed at a certain level by giving or implementing restrictions for our new professionals to go abroad to seek for greener pastures. In order for the program to succeed pay standards must also be raised in order to be competitive to that of the salaries abroad for a particular profession.

    My niece is to join an Oratorical Contest and the theme is " Nationalism Demands That Filipinos Strive To Be The Best" ie, in any profession a Filipino takes.

    I would like to request permission from you if it is possible to take excerpts from your write up.

    Thank you and more power to you.

    Respectfully yours,

    Horacio

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  16. Horacio,

    I do not know if this will reach you since you used a no-reply address instead of your own.

    YES you are free to take excerpts.

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I welcome all comments but will NOT publish those from "Anonymous" Users. We are in a democracy, do not keep your head in the sand. (Vulgar: Do not be a chickenshit.)