I recently read some responses to an essay assignment by a Philipppines school teacher to her 8th and 9th grade students. The assignment to the class was to answer the question: “What is the best the thing I have done for my country?” One of the students responded in her essay with “I actually don’t know because at my age, it is impossible to do something big. Then I realized it isn’t important on how big it is. I think the best thing I’ve done for my country is to be proud that I am a Filipino.”
Two things struck me about this student’s response and hit home like a ton of bricks. First thing was the claim that “It isn’t important on how big [my contribution] is” and secondly, “The best [I can do] is to be proud to be Filipino!” In reality, the repercussions of this mentality permeate deep into Philippines society. Being married to my wife for over 32 years, and living in and around Filipino societies for many years, I can attest to to this rather unremarkable trait of mediocracy. After leaving the Philippines, it took several years for my wife to reprogram her mind – restructuring the simplistic trains-of-thought nurtured upon her through her formative years… albeit with some coaching on my part. These days though, my wife thinks more like I do and now realizes the insecurities that are imposed upon Filipino society from an early age. Even living among Filipinos in the first world we can witness some of the same attributes of Filipino-borne stubborness, although many do adapt their way of thinking over time. Some don’t!
Pinoy Pride or Filipino Pride is a supremacist outlook on being Filipino and is an expression of Filipino Ultranationalism. Pinoy pride is an assertion that the people and culture should promote the interests of the Philippines by developing and maintaining a national identity based on shared characteristics such as language, race, religion, political goals or a common ancestry.
I personally see the good and the bad here. While Filipinos cope well in the midst of natural disasters and other major calamities, and being able to maintain a resolute attitude amidst such trials, Filipino resiliency is definitely a good trait. Familial closeness and love, also good. Everything else… not so much. Some even go as far to say that Filipino society (as a whole) is racist and discriminating.
I recently came across the below article in The Daily Sentry, where the author shares a Filipino blogger’s sentiments on why Pinoys hate discipline so much.
Pinoys’ Lack Of Discipline: Our Stumbling Block To Progress
From self entitlement to utter disrespect of the law, we Filipinos seem to be very good at lacking discipline. A blogger shared his sentiment on why the Pinoys hate discipline so much. Is it a matter of “Pinoy Pride”? Or are we simply too selfish to change?”
In an article written in the site Get Real Philippines, the writer shared his experiences with fellow Filipinos displaying their lack of discipline. From the girl who namedrops her politician friends just to avoid the lines, to the family who displayed utter disregard for cleanliness in a public place, to the father who teaches her son to urinate in public, we are all guilty of lacking discipline at one point in our lives.
It is quite ironic that we Filipinos have been clamoring for “change” and “discipline” among our top leaders yet we ourselves couldn’t even attempt to change ourselves. The blogger said that the main reason that Filipinos are stuck in a state of mediocrity is the fact that we “talk peace and have a gun”. We clamor for change but when the change requires us to give up our enjoyable destructive habits, we cry foul.
Another roadblock to our progress is our hollow arrogance that is more popularly known as Pinoy Pride. The feeling of self entitlement and the need to brag even if we have very little or nothing to brag about. The stubbornness to change simply because we enjoy our deviant behavior. The superior feeling that we deserve special treatment, and that the laws are good only if we’re not affected by it.
Walk The Talk
Finally, the blogger reminded us that regardless of who wins in the coming elections, our nation would remain stagnant if we wouldn’t change ourselves. If we are all too stubborn to shun discipline, then our nation will never escape the cycle of self destruction that we are all in. Change has to start from the common people. More importantly, it has to start from the man in the mirror – you.
You can read the blogger’s original post at getrealpost. In that post the blogger describes his own experiences and disbeliefs. As someone who lives in the Philippines, I am witness to all that he points out, and almost on a daily basis. For those readers who have never spent much time around Filipinos or in the Philippines, this all might be a shocking revelation. It may just be that this “Pride” is one of the reasons the Philippines has always been locked in a state of mediocrity and a cycle of self-destruction. To those of us who have lived with it for any length of time, we would probably all agree that the “attitude” must change before anything else will. Until then, we are all forced to take the bad with the good.
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