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  1. Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Not an easy reading…more like a thesis, but this is enlightening and insightful. So for those who want to understand why we are who we are, read on.


    Every time I read or hear about the downward spiral of the Philippines,
    I wonder why. The letter of Fr. Reuter finally made me stop and think
    about it. Maybe because it came from Fr. Reuter. I'd like to share with you my thoughts. Others may have a different opinion. So read on if this subject interests you or if you have nothing else to do. It's quite long.

    The thing about history is that we can always explain the condition of
    the world today by selectively choosing an event or series of events to
    prove our point. I have no doubt about the power of prayer and how God works in mysterious ways. However, the plight of the Philippines today is a result of a complex mixture of immaturity, gullibility, poverty,
    self-centeredness, envy, jealousy, illiteracy (more of lack of
    education), lack of patriotism and short-sightedness --- all because we were shoved into a way of life that was ahead of our time.

    The pinoys are like the poor peasant outside looking into a house of a
    rich man (first world countries) through an open window. The peasant wants what the rich man has and wants to become a rich man. The rich man is rich through generations of hard work, sacrifices and toil. The rich man could have been born rich and raised in the ways of the rich. The poor man could have been born poor. Nevertheless, the socio-eco-political gap between the two distinguishes them like water and oil.

    But who is to say that the poor man is poor and the rich man rich? At
    what standards do we judge a person as being poor or being rich? Who set these standards? The rich? Isn't money and wealth from the imagination of man? Who says a dollar is worth a dollar? Unfortunately in the course of history man has standardized the social standings based on the haves and not the have-nots.

    So how did America, Britain and the rest of the first world become
    great? They went through a lot of pain, suffering, bloodshed and
    self-realization. The first settlers in America were fleeing
    persecution from the old world. Did you know a lot of the first pilgrims died in the harsh winters of America (by the ship loads)? When they arrived there were no houses, cabins, roads or farms. There was just wilderness.

    So the state of mind of those first pilgrims were somewhat in sync.
    They all wanted a better life for themselves. Nobody handed them any relief (maybe food from the Indians). If they didn't tame the land, the land killed them (and a lot of them died). Collectively, they were headed in the same direction. They did not persecute each other because that was exactly what they were fleeing from and they didn't want to create the same environment in the new world. Everyone who went to America wanted a better life (and this is still true today). They made an effort to do things right and they turned to the Bible and prayer for strength. Yes, there were some bad apples but the over all collective consciousness of America's forefathers was to make life better, as a community.

    America had its fair share of growing pains. Police, judges and
    politicians were in the pockets of the Mafia. Slavery, bigotry, gang
    violence and racism scared a growing nation. But yet through it all,
    America is America today. It is a place still viewed by a great number
    of people as the land of milk and honey.

    Britain and the countries who had a monarchy experienced things
    differently. There were countless numbers of battles between the old
    tribes until the strongest, bravest and most cunning (street smart)
    prevailed. Many died. The conquerors built civilizations based on
    what they thought these ought to be. The conquerors had to be the smartest among their peers or else they would not have succeeded in battle. Through out these trials in their history, nature took its course and weeded out the weak in body and mind and favored the strong. Being the strongest and the smartest, those kings of old imposed their will on their subjects. The kings unified their subjects from just being merely members of a tribe to a people of a larger nation. Yes there were persecutions and ethnic cleansing but like it or not those were nature's purification processes. Man's darkest days.

    The sense of belonging, ownership and a better life were key factors in
    the movement towards improvement. Access to a world other than theirs was difficult if not impossible. These young tribes and communities built their culture amongst themselves. To them there was no other world but their own. As other communities got more accessible through the advancement of the modes of transportation, their culture further
    improved as did their way of thinking. Centuries of culture and trade would bring about the first world countries as we know them today. Originally from Europe then transplanted to America.

    The Australia we know today started as a penal colony. Even the rotten
    of the bunch managed to build a nation. But Australia has its heritage
    with the British Empire --- a "civilized" world. I wonder how Australia would be today if the Aborigines were given their independence?

    Unfortunately for the Philippines it does not share the same
    evolutionary path that the first world countries experienced. We did not evolve into a "civilized" society. Civilization came to us when the Europeans arrived 500 years ago. If the Europeans did to the Philippines what they did in North America then the native Filipino would have suffered the same fate as the American Indian. The trade off would be a first world Philippines.

    The Filipinos back then were tribal folks living in huts and the
    Europeans "civilize" an "uncivilized" people. In the center of all this was the Evangelization of the Gospels. Another way of life (and religion) was imposed on the Filipino natives. We were taught that to be "civilized" we had to talk like the visitors, wear their clothes, eat their food, live in their houses, use their things, study their books, follow their laws and leaders, live and think like them. The Filipinos were "discovered" and as a result our natural evolutionary process ceased (or maybe went into hyper speed).

    Since the new culture imposed on us was not our own, we did not have
    ownership and a sense of belonging. We live and talked like the
    visitors but we were never considered one of them. We never understood the "why" behind this new culture because it was never ours to begin with. Why did we have to wear their clothes in our hot and humid environment? Why did we have to build houses that looked like the European's? Why did we have to pledge allegiance to the king of Spain? Why did we have to eat Paella? We were just told to do so and do so we did. The colonial mentality set in. be continued

  2. Join Date
    Jun 2005

    So why can't the Filipinos just get rid of the colonial mentality and
    move on? We cannot get rid of the colonial mentality because there is
    nothing for us to commonly fall back on. What was the Filipino culture before the discovery of the Philippines? We were dispersed tribes. There was no one Filipino people back then with a common goal/vision/experience that united enough individuals to the point of creating a cultural wave large enough to withstand the onslaught of the colonizers.

    A tribal people was thrust into a "civilized" world and was expected to
    embrace a foreign culture(s) as their very own. To add salt to injury,
    the Spaniards did not institutionalize "education." The Spaniards came and did not see it fit to establish a cultural and educational system that would have formally brought the native Filipino up to speed with the developments in the West. If they did then we would all be speaking Spanish right now. They came and lived like they were in Europe while the native Filipino simply followed what they were told to do.

    Then our own age of enlightenment arrived. We finally realized that
    this is our land and not theirs. The struggle of the revolutionaries
    began. But then unfortunately before the revolutionaries had enough
    time to impact the whole country, the Americans came. And yet another
    culture imposed on the native Filipino. Although the Americans
    institutionalized education in the Philippines, we were taught the American way of life and not the Filipino way of life.

    The occupation of the Japanese in the early part of the 1940s did
    little to our Americanized mind set. We just got beaten up by the bully of the block. Well big brother came back and kicked out the bully from our backyard.

    Then something happened in 1945 that further stressed or even confused
    the Filipinos sense of identity and purpose. We were given our
    independence by the Americans. For centuries we just did as we were told and then suddenly we were suppose to govern ourselves in a civilized manner that we as a people did not fully grasp and understand. Did the average Filipino back then truly understand the concept of democracy and the huge responsibilities (and accountabilities) that come with it? I don't think the vast majority today comprehends the true essence of democracy. How much less back then?

    So if we ask ourselves who is the Filipino we cannot help but trace our
    history. Prior to 1945, we were not Americans. Prior to the Americans, we were not Spaniards. Prior to the Spaniards we were a dispersed number of tribes living in huts clueless of one another. In less than a generation when we finally got formal western education (not our own), without a cultural identity holding and binding a diverse people together, we were now expected to govern ourselves in the arena called the civilized world. That's like giving a loaded gun to a child.

    Just being granted its independence and not yet meeting the standards
    set by the civilized world, the Philippines had simply become a third world country. With no sense of national identity, communal and cultural ties with the people living in the 7,100+ islands that make up the Philippine archipelago, what did the Filipino people do? We governed our lives as we knew best, as dispersed tribal people.

    People in Luzon have no commonality with the people in Mindanao.
    People in Quezon City have no commonality with the people in Makati. And this is true for most parts of the Philippines, if not all. Yes we have lots of relatives in the provinces but that is all that we have, relatives. We do not share something deep in the core as a people.

    So we live like tribal folk with no sense of national unity. We know
    what the words mean but as a people we cannot identify with it. Well, not yet anyway. Now that we have been brainwashed into what at civilized first world is like, we all want to get there quickly. And we do it not as a people but as individuals and individual tribes, taking the shortest possible route.

    The Filipinos live in a world not of their own making. It is a world
    imposed upon them by the "civilized" people of the West. A world whose
    rules, conduct and standards are dictated by the Westerners. A world
    that says a better life is a Western life. But are Westerners to blame for imposing their way of life on the Filipinos? I think not. Nothing
    could have stopped the colonization of the Philippines. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

    In my opinion, the difficulty the Philippines is facing now is due to
    the fact that we are still operating like individual tribes. We live in a "civilized" world but think and act like tribal folk. Since as a
    people we have not culturally evolved into this "civilized" world, we have little respect and understanding of the responsibilities that come with living in a "civilized" world.

    The Philippines is going through its growing pains. This is our
    initiation into the "civilized" world. These are our baby steps towards national unity. Some blood may have to be spilled and heroes sacrificed. This is the era when our national consciousness starts to take shape. This is the time when the weak shall be weeded out and the strong shall prevail. A lot may not see it but I think this is the beginnings of a great nation.

    We were not given a chance to evolve as a people in our own way. We
    were thrust into the "civilized" world and are now taking a crash course in Civilization 101. It will take time. Possibly a very long time since the rules of engagement in today's "civilized" world are different from when the first world countries underwent their baptism of fire.

    So should we worry that the Philippines is going down the tubes? I
    think not. The Filipino people may be slow in learning its lesson but it is a lesson being learned. There will only be political stability once the Philippines reaches a certain level of maturity as a people. And maturing as a people takes a long time, especially when this "civilized" world is someone else's doing.

    It's been a little over a generation since we were given our
    independence. The state of our national consciousness is like little
    sapling in a forest. It'll take years, decades and maybe centuries
    before it becomes a full grown tree.

    So for those of us who see the glass as half empty and whine because
    doom is upon us, I say: Yes, we will suffer. Many will die hungry.
    Fortunes will be ruined and made. People will take to the streets. Wars will be fought. Battles won and battles lost. Politicians will come and go. Gasoline prices will go up. Scores will leave the country. Some will come back. The population will grow. The Peso will devaluate. Foreign investors will take out their money while others will pump in more. Natural disasters will ravage the country. Many more good and bad things will come to pass. And through all these our national consciousness will take shape, mature and unite us as a people. Only then will this great nation take its proper place in the civilized world.

    What should we do about it, one might ask? Hey, that's another topic
    all together (probably the more important one). We individually know what to do but we lack the national consciousness to do it as a people.


    *Name withheld*

  3. Join Date
    Nov 2002
    We seem to have adopted many bad traits from the foreigners. Most of us are lazy, arrogant, self-centered, and wanting only money. That just about explains our current state.

  4. Join Date
    Mar 2005
    we can only achieve peace thru war. baka yan na nga next step natin to teach us all a lesson not to take for granted what we have right now, which is freedom.
    Last edited by oldblue; October 23rd, 2005 at 06:34 AM.

  5. Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Yes our problem is deeply rooted in our culture. Tamad, Crab mentality, alang disiplina to name a few.

    And we're fun of choosing the underdog no matter what the background. We easily forget good people worst we love bad people who pretends to have reprented from their past misdeeds, and we take life as if its like in the movies "stupid masa". That's why most of our politicians are crooks.

    However, the most alarming is the attitude of the masa. These people are a catalyst to a civil collapse in a few years time. Imagine, a poor family barely making Php 250 a day without permanent job can barely support a family of tree. But if you are going to count the number of sibling these people raise, you'll be astonsihed, they can afford 12 litters! gezzz... and what will become of these kids in the future? you just can't imagine.

    And why do politician love them, because they can be bought. No wonder why rallies now adays have no bearing at all, its not because of their cause but because everyone knows that the masa participating in the rallies has a tag price.

    I used to be poor, very poor 3 years ago. But I never gave up, I prayed that God have mercy on me, while at the same time doing the best I can for my family. God is so good... God is so good...

    If only the masses have the same drive, I think we'll have a better Philippines.

    God Bless everyone!

  6. Join Date
    Mar 2005
    But if you are going to count the number of sibling these people raise, you'll be astonsihed, they can afford 12 litters! gezzz... and what will become of these kids in the future? you just can't imagine.
    each of them will make 12 more. it will be exponential ... :hungry:
    Last edited by oldblue; October 23rd, 2005 at 06:47 AM.

  7. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    some of the things i would like to happen in the country:

    - taxes should be imposed to all including the poor
    - PUV drivers must pay income taxes once they renew their licenses every year
    - only people who paid religiously their taxes for the last 5 years has the right to vote.

  8. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    you guys really like to talk about this stuff, huh?

  9. Join Date
    Jul 2005
    so... many.... words.... :p

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