When I saw this article shared on my Facebook feed, with the title "I Hate Filipino Culture", I had this feeling I would like it immediately.

Link >>> Internet Jaywalking: Replies to comments on “I hate Filipino culture”

Guys, don't bash yet, okay? I like it because it's a thought I've had since coming back to the country after years of being abroad, and as someone who's been to different places, I know how messed up our country is.

"Ironically, Filipinos are very sensitive when it comes to issues about their own race. When a biscuit was named after us, a lot of people were offended. And when Claire Danes made some negative comments about the Philippines, she didn’t only receive hate mail, our government actually banned her from ever entering the Philippines. That’s just embarrassing. Who the hell elected emotionally insecure kids to run our government?"

The author mentioned the fact that we Filipinos are just too sensitive. He has a point there. And just to add to his views, I think it's our strong ego that gets in the way. We're sensitive because we feel like it's another person's responsibility to compliment everything we do or say. We regularly need praises just to feel good about being what we are, "Filipinos".
And about having babies run our country, yeah. We share the same ideas.

"I hate wowowee and eat bulaga. I hate their brand of humor. I hate the way the members of the audience bounce up and down and laugh like escaped mental patients as they sing their favorite novelty songs. My blood pressure shoots up whenever I hear novelty songs like “itaktak mo” and “boom tarat tarat”."

This guy just keeps reading my mind. I feel embarrassed for those people acting foolishly on TV, and worse, there are foreigners present at the studio and there are those also watching from abroad! I can just imagine them thinking how stupid we can get just for fame and money. Novelty songs also just make me want to hide under a blanket and wait for the song to end. There's nothing witty about them, and the lyrics are just too awkward to sing and dance to.

"I hate our religious zealotry. When faced with a challenge most Filipinos would reply with “If that’s what god wills, then let it be” or “Let’s leave it up to god”. Why take action at all if god will determine what’s going to happen anyway? If something good happens to them, it’s because of god’s good will. If something bad happens to them, it’s also because of god’s good will. It’s a win-win situation for god and a lose-lose situation for Filipinos."

Honestly, I disapprove of this section altogether. It's not that I'm religious, but when we say that we "leave it up to God" it just means we trust Him to maneuver the direction we're taking. It doesn't mean that we won't do anything and literally laze about and wait for everything to just happen by themselves. Of course, we're all different in how we act on circumstances. One can choose to blame the government, while others blame God. I just find it disrespectful that one can actually blame Him for their own doing. Fools take things too literally, and yet they point fingers at others when they fall.

He also pointed out that if God determines what happens, what use would it be to take action? Well, it's how God works. We need to seek Him with what we do, and then He'll determine what's a fit result. That's why we see challenges as building blocks. God allows them to happen for us to develop faith in Him. (This part alone might require a separate blog entry.)

About his idea of a "lose-lose situation", I disagree. The people in this country rely on their faith for almost everything, so if they thank God for their blessings or blame God for their hardships, then it's not a loss for them at all.

"I hate it that the word “ambisyosa” or “ambisyoso” has a negative connotation here. Our society dictates us to conform and not to stand out. Our society stifles creativity in the name of practicality. Our society suppresses assertiveness and encourages submissiveness –Kids can’t argue with their parents and students can’t argue with their teachers. We’re raising generations upon generations of drones and servants when we should be raising thinkers and leaders. I actually think that our schools are making us more stupid." 

My exact thoughts out on the WWW. I definitely share his opinions on this one. Ambition isn't a bad thing, but what we do to get what we want make it so. I think of myself as ambitious with a lot of ambition, but staying in the country and being ruled by know-it-all's isn't one of them. Yes, as early as now, I'm thinking of leaving the country - and I'm not even finished with college yet.

I've had problems about "laying low". Even at school, I try to keep everything a steady, relaxed pace, but the moment I see something wrong, I just can't wait to prove to myself that I can do better than a teacher, for example. I respect my teachers, but it bugs the hell out of me when they don't value our opinions. Some see us as mere blank slates, incapable of taking in information. We aren't stupid.

I find it annoying when teachers make the mistake of pretending they know something when in fact, research (with the WWW's help) slap their "facts" in the face.

When you claim to be a "teacher" of a subject, you have to prove that you are qualified for it. In one of our English classes, I had a teacher who kept insisting that she was right. Her oral speaking was okay, but her grammar... not so much. I remember sitting in class and listening to my classmates get on her good side for the sake of grades, while I was just there trying to pass time away. (I'm not saying I'm an expert though.) It annoys me how terrible a teacher is with a subject and still pushes his/her lectures on you. Just so you know though, I got excellent grades in her subject.

However, there is a positive thing about schools in the country, and it's that you get to think about changes you could do for the school. When I'm not listening to another boring, nonsense lecture in class, I'm forming random ideas in my head and laws that could be useful when implemented. Maybe that's why I joined the Supreme Student Government (SSG) in the first place. Unfortunately, I've currently lost interest in their affairs. It's just been disappointing.

"I hate the lack of respect for human life. I hate the way people would make more children than they can feed in the hopes that those children would generate them some money in the future. It’s a reproductive strategy that is reptilian in its primitiveness. Higher animals like the great apes and dolphins produce just one offspring at a time and nurture it for years and years with care. Same is the case with more developed civilizations. We, on the other hand, produce armies upon armies of generic offspring and leave them to fend for themselves, the way insects and reptiles do. Why wouldn’t we? Our religion says contraception is evil. No one will question the word of god. I hate how religion has so much power over the state. "

Yes and yes. When a couple who can't even feed a single child make five more, I feel extremely disappointed. How are they supposed to raise six kids in that condition? And the kids - think about the kids! I feel pity for those who can't go to school, live a decent life, and those who hunger every day. When I see street children, I feel like hunting their parents down and shouting at their faces. What in the world were you thinking, producing kids who you leave to "work" on the streets day and night? These kids would ultimately grow up and start the cycle over.

In Oman, I learned about their law that only those who can afford it can have several wives and kids. Wouldn't that be useful here in the Philippines? If you can't provide for your family, you're not fit to have one. That may be harsh, but it'll definitely provide change.

"I hate the fact that so much of our lives revolves around idolatry. I hate the fact that Filipinos can’t tell the difference between what is real and reel. Why did people vote for Lito Lapid and Erap? Because they killed a lot of bad guys and saved a lot of good guys in their movies. Politicians bombard us with intellectually insulting, emotional arguments and shallow entertainment because truth of the matter is, most Filipinos are shallow people. And for shallow people, you don’t need to present intellectually gripping arguments or detailed blueprints. You just need to appeal to their emotions. There was one episode of Dong Puno live before where a woman from the audience was asked if endorsements from actors would influence her vote. With a wide smile on her face, she wholeheartedly said She’d vote for any candidate whom “Juday” endorses. While jumping and clapping like a crazed lunatic of course, the way eat bulaga and wowowee people do."

This just gets better and better.

I admit that I'm a fan of local celebrities like Sarah Geronimo and Maja Salvador, but I'm not blinded by my admiration. If Maja decides to advertise, say, Mrs. Villar for the upcoming elections, it doesn't mean I'll be voting for her too. I have a mind of my own. Besides, a temporary relief from poverty isn't worth the following years of being under an incapable leader. That's the problem with people these days. A candidate gives them a few hundred pesos and they give their vote. When that candidate wins, they expect more money, but of course, once they're in position, they won't care about "lesser people" as much. This is why education of of great value. We need voters who can decide past their emotions and the green-eyed money monster.

After reading that article, it's given me more reason to strive harder and be in a position where I can change even small aspects of our culture. I'm not perfect, but to want to change a society for its own advantage is a start. There are numerous things left to change.

In Naga City, for example, rules about crossing pedestrian lanes aren't practiced. Every time I would cross the street on one, I've had to stop for the tricycles, jeepneys, and PUV's to pass, when pedestrians were made for people to safely cross the street! It's a simple rule to follow, yet a lot of people don't care. I make sure the tricycle driver hears my comments when they pass by.

The fact that jeepneys wait in almost every area for passengers also irks me. Isn't it obvious that when someone wants to get on, they'll signal for you to stop? You don't have to keep stopping at every person standing by the side of the road. It's just annoying. I've experienced riding a jeepney here in Naga three times already, but I'm not excited to do it again. It makes a 30-minute travel an hour. It's not practical time-wise.

I guess I could go on and on with ranting, but that wouldn't be a great way to spend my birthday right?

Have fun changing the world, folks.