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post Dec 31 2002, 03:42 PM
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Want an honest evaluation of Filipino/Philippine culture? Visit the following site:

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post Feb 8 2003, 12:42 AM
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Pirate Queen

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My brother sent me this through email. It's rather long but you'll find it quite interesting to read. (IMG:http://atenista.net/forums/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)


'The Philippines is a nation of starstruck ignoramuses'
by Don Pedero

Last July 23, I wrote about Nasty (short for Anastacio), a balikbayan from Los Angeles, who, while vacationing in Manila, had nothing to say but negative comments about the Philippines and the Filipinos. The article elicited a deluge of comments from our readers. Though some agreed with his curt observations, most were enraged at the repulsive way he acted and whined.

For me, he was the classic epitome of the "crow perched on a carabao," thinking and acting nauseatingly superior just because he has become an American citizen, inequitably comparing everything here to how they are in the first world. I was particularly irked by his repulsive "know it all" attitude and peeved no end by his irritating Waray-American twang.

Those who have not read that article may access philstar.com and click archives, then select July 23 and click Lifestyle. The article is entitled "Little Brown Americans." As a backgrounder, here is an excerpt:

The next day, I took them on a little city tour and accompanied them to do extra shopping at the duty-free shop. They were to leave two days later for their respective provinces (Randy is from Pampanga, Nasty, from Samar).

"God, ang dilem-dilem naman ditow (it is so dark here)!" screamed Nasty in his characteristic Taglish slang, "At ang inet-inet pa (and so warm)!

* * *

All throughout the day, Nasty complained about everything. He griped that all Filipinos he encountered were dense and inefficient (I hope that didn't include me!); that the traffic was horrendous and drivers "drove like they were late for their funerals"; that the pollution from the smoke-belching vehicles was irritating his dainty, surgically-pinched nose.

He was disgusted that water closets didn't work; horrified that there was no toilet paper in public toilets ("God, how do you people do it?" he bewailed); petrified by street children begging while soaking wet in the rain ("Where are the parents of these kids?" he nagged).

He moaned about the proliferation of slums, people crossing the superhighways ("There should be underground or overhead walkways for pedestrians!" he demanded), the potholes on the streets, the disgusting garbage and filth all over the city, and the annoying floods! And all these he observed in just one day!

Weeks after the publication of the article, I took Nasty's silence to mean that of contempt and anger. I must admit that I didn't care because I was really turned off by his arrogance. The good news is, Nasty has finally decided to break his silence and give us his side, loaded with a big piece of his mind. The bad news is, he hits more sensitive chords and it stings.

* * *

Nasty's E-Mail

Dear Dero,

My Zen master says, "Never fight fire with fire." So, I sat in a lotus position, imbibed the ethereal qualities of cool mountain water and stoically resisted the temptation of answering back to defend myself in rebuttal of your article. I kept quiet while you and your readers had a charlatan holiday, dissecting and fanning sarcasm on my every comment about your country and your people.

I am not mad at you for writing that piece. I was never upset at any point, even after your readers from all over the world e-mailed in their two-cents' worth. In fact, I found it rather amusing and carnival-like.

I even felt happy that people still came to the defense of your Philippines!

If you noticed, I now refer to the Philippines and Filipinos as your country and your people. Every time I went back there for vacation, my Filipino-ness always took the better of me (blame those damn green mangoes smothered with bagoong!) and made me forget that I am, in all reality, what you aptly called a "Little Brown American." I have come to terms with my own identity- I am, after all, an American citizen carrying an American passport!

What precipitated my quick decision to sever my ties with your country (aside from your ***** of an article) were the Abu Sayyaf abductions (que barbaridad!), the Payatas-like downslide of the peso (eat your hearts out, I earn sweet American dollars!), the "devoid of conscience" graft and corruption in your government (this has gone on for the longest time-how shameful!), and lately, the stupid "Juetengate" and juicy but enraging "Boracay" mansion gossips. With all these, who would be proud to be a Filipino? Besides, to tell you frankly, those Erap jokes are no longer funny-they are passe and leave a bad taste in the mouth and heart.

No Apology If I sounded brash and insensitive with the way I threw my comments, well, I cannot do any-thing about that because that is the way I am, and I offer no apology. Here, in America, you have to tell it like it is or you'll never be taken seriously. I have learned to drop my "Pinoy sugarcoating" because out here, you get nothing done if you are meek and sweet and pa-api. Hindi puwede mag-Anita Linda dito!

When I commented about your pollution, street children mendicants, slums, potholes, toilets that don't work, garbage, floods, and most of all, the Pinoys' chronic lack of discipline, I was merely putting into words what I saw. I can't blame your being blind about your country's situation.

My Zen master says, "One cannot easily see the dirt in one's eye." I am sure though that you are aware of those sordid details, but have grown accustomed to them (like most Manile?s have). All the complaints I aired may have hurt your pride but what I wanted you to realize is this: The things I pointed out are all symptoms of a failing, falling nation!

Suffering A National Karma?

Could yours be a country cursed with a huge national karmic debt? It could be payback time, you know. Look back into your history, look deep inside your hearts-what could you have done as a nation to deserve this fiasco you are in today?

What you are faced with didn't just happen overnight-it developed and grew into a monster in the course of time. Deeply imbedded in the psyche of the Filipino is the amalgamation of the characters and events that have impacted your lives - Dona Victorina, Dona Concepcion, poor Sisa as well the other hilarious and tragic characters of Dr. Jose Rizal... Stonehill...the notorious gangsters immortalized by your Filipino movies like Asiong Salonga (hmmm!), et al...the killers in your (I thought they'd never end!) massacre movies...those cheap, appalling titles of your movies...those staged "religious miracles" that your naive masses believed...family men with pushy queridas (mistresses)...your crooked politicians, undependable police officers and greedy customs collectors...your bribe-hungry court judges...Imeldific, gloriously smiling and crying at the same time, bejeweled. (How very Fellini!)

What you are is the sum total of your history, your heritage and culture,your education, the crap that your press sensationalizes, the bad icons that your movies glorify, the artificial values your advertising extols, the bad examples your leaders and role models project. What you feed your country's mind is what it becomes. You have become the ugly monster that you've created. You are now crying all the tears your sickeningly sentimental movies wailed out for years and years! Your Biggest Fault If there is one thing that comes to mind, I think your biggest fault would be your individual greed. "Ako muna!" seems to be the national mantra.

The trouble is, very few people think for the common good in a deplorable "to each his own kurakot" festival. Coupled by your crab mentality of pushing down others, this can be fatal. You think barangay, not national. Hello, everybody else around the world is thinking global! Europe is unshackling her national boundaries while you are building fences around your nipa huts.

Do yourselves a favor and look at your nation as a ship. All of you are in it and it is sinking! Realize your oneness-what hurts your brother hurts you, too. Think about the future of your children and the succeeding generations, and do something about it quick before your poor little banca plunges forever into the irretrievable depths of despair.

Star-Struck Nation

You are a nation of star-struck ignoramuses. You are easily awed by your movie stars who are usually nothing but uneducated, aquiline-nosed and light-skinned ******** picked up from some gutter somewhere. I have seen what these artistas illusionadas can get away with. They just flash their capped-tooth smiles and policemen let them get away with traffic violations; they bat their false eyelashes and customs officers impose no duty on their suspicious balikbayan boxes.

Worst of all, with the Filipino movie industry taking a nosedive, hordes of actors and show personalities went into politics. It is, as they say, the next best "racket"-there is more money to be made in the politicking business than in show business! (And what is this I hear that in the coming elections, more are jumping into the arena? Mag-hara-kiri na kayo!) How can you expect these comedians and actors, who only know how to take directions from their directors, to direct your nation? For them,politics will just be an "act". No big surprise here, for they are mere actors with no original scripts to speak, no original visions to share. So what can you expect but a government that is a comedy of errors. Serves you and your star- struck nation right!

My Zen master says, "Give unto Caesar what is due to Caesar, but keep Charlie Chaplin on the silver screen to make us laugh." To survive, you must teach your citizenry to say no to three things - no to drugs, no to stealing and graft and corruption, and no to artistas in politics. I hope you've learned your lesson by now. (Yours is the only country where Mexican soap stars are received like royalty in the presidential palace. How shoddy! God forbid-Fernando Carrillo might end up being your next president. At least he has great abs and doesn't wobble like a penguin when he walks!)

For those artistas who honestly believe that they can make a positive difference in the Filipino masses' life, they must first study law, business and public administration, and immerse themselves in the life and passion of Mother Teresa. Politics is not an art for dilettante artistas to dabble in. It is called "Political Science," hello?!

Educate Your Masses

Educate the masses - especially your electorate. What you need is an intelligent vote aside from, of course, intelligent candidates. The University of San Carlos in Cebu City, founded in 1595, and the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, established in 1611, are the oldest universities in Asia, and are even older than Harvard. But the standard of Pinoy education has deteriorated so much that the Philippines ranks among the poorest in the educational hierarchy of Asia.

Education, education, education-that's what you need in this age of information, information, information.

If all your social, religious and political sectors don't sit down now and decide to take the Right Way, the Philippines and your children's children will be grand losers in the worldwide rush to the future. Education is one sure way to salvation. Teach what is right, good, beautiful and beneficial.

Downplay all negativity if you cannot eliminate it altogether.

The Ideal President

I've got news for you. (As if you didn't already know.) No matter whom you put up there as your leader or president, it will be the same banana. Even a holy man can turn into another J. E. (Judas Escariot) for a few pieces of silver. Kumpares, alalays, relatives and cronies will encrust like flies and maggots on his cordon sanitaire. And it will be the same despicable "Sa amin na 'to!" hullabaloo all over again.

Take an advice from Aling Epang: "Pumili ng matanda, mayaman, mabait, at madaling mamatay." Get a president who is old - so that he is full of wisdom, rich - so he won't need to steal more money, goodhearted - so he will render heartfelt service to his people, and is in the sunset of his life - so that he will think of nothing but gaining good points to present when he meets his Creator. And may I add: At iisa lang ang pamilya! This is, of course, asking for the moon. Just pray fervently for an intelligent leader with a pure heart who genuinely loves the common tao!

Magpakatotoo Kayo! Wake up and look at the real you. Enough with looking at your reflection in glorious, self-embellishing mirrors. The tropical sun can play tricks, you know. Do not wait for darkness to fall before you take that much-needed long, hard look at your real situation. Magpakatotoo kayo, ano? This isn't a wake-up call-it is the final alarm!

Save the ship while you still can. Don't wait till your people have no more dreams left to hang on to, no more hope to sustain their broken spirits. I came home, spent my penny-pinched savings so that even in the minutest way I could help your bruised economy. Your politicians sit on their fat,farting butts and get balatos (kuno!) in the millions. Receivers are as guilty as the givers. Now, tell me, who is really nasty?

I Have Made My Decision; So Should You.

My Zen master says, "Life is all about decisions, not choices." I have made a decision which I know will be very hard for me to keep- You will never hear from me again (not in this vein) and I will not even think of visiting or buwisiting your Manila ever. This is my way of letting you know that I have given up on you. Bahala na kayo! Only you can help yourselves because at the stage you are in, nobody would want to help you. My Zen master says, "You have to fall to learn to rise again." How much lower do you want to go?

Anyway, regarding the Philippines as a tourist destination, you have a lot of cleaning up and face-lifting to do before foreigners would dare go to your islands again. The Abu Sayyaf episode has done your tourism industry more damage than you could ever imagine, and it will take a long time before the world forgets. (By the way, your tourism projects are lusterless and have no global impact. If you want real business, spruce up your infrastructure and do aggressive marketing on the World Wide Web!)

Of course, I would gladly reverse my decision if someone offered me exclusive lordship over lotto, bingo, jueteng, pintakasi and the jai alai.Think about it: this will be to your advantage because I never give tong or blood commission to anyone! (If only your president used the millions he received from those gambling lords to build homes for the masses, you wouldn't have any more squatters. Huling hirit: defrost those Marcos billions, pay off some debt, place the rest in high-yield investments, feed your hungry, and spread bounty and joy to every Filipino! Are you stupid or what? - That's your money sucked from the blood of your people!)

I have made my decision, now make yours. I would hate for the day to come when I'd have to say, "I told you so!" Good luck! (You need it.)

An ex-Filipino,

J. Anastasio "Nasty"

P. S. My Zen master says, "Vox populi is not always the voice of God."

P. P. S. Come over to L.A and I'll show you a great time!

P. P. P. S. Our friend Randy says hello! We will be going to Vancouver to feast our eyes on the colors of autumn. Wish you could join us.

P. P. P. P. S. The new Miss America, Angela Perez Baraquio, is of Filipino ancestry. Dero, her parents hail from Pangasinan just like you! But keep in mind that she is an American (in case some wise fools over there claim her to be Filipino like they always do whenever someone becomes successful).

Wait for the girl to say it- don't put words in her mouth!

P. P. P. P. P. S. Mabuhay kayo (SANA)!

P. P. P. P. P. P. S. Sa totoo lang, MAGDUSA KAYONG LAHAT! (Don't you just love my Waray-Kano accent?) He-he-he!

- Same

* * *

My Short Reply

Dear Nasty,

Thanks for your e-mail. I swear you sort of stole the words from right under my tongue. Now, I am utterly speechless.

Send my regards to Randy. Wishing you the best!
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Posts in this topic
benign0   An honest evaluation of Filipino/Philippine culture.   Dec 31 2002, 03:42 PM
jmal   Galing! Binatukan yata ako ng...katotohanan?   Dec 31 2002, 09:38 PM
mac_bolan00   hey benignut! expanding our horizons, i see. that'...   Jan 2 2003, 09:05 PM
benign0   That's right. You should check out my What's New ...   Jan 3 2003, 01:01 AM
mac_bolan00   for some reason, people here in A.net are better b...   Jan 3 2003, 01:16 AM
Dearth   Yes, we have the attention spans concurrent with n...   Jan 3 2003, 03:14 AM
benign0   I'll just have to come around to bump this thread...   Jan 3 2003, 06:48 PM
jjlorenz   This should gain more exposure. This neo-conservat...   Jan 3 2003, 09:42 PM
mac_bolan00   not the west and the rich per se but rather their ...   Jan 3 2003, 10:01 PM
benign0   Care to cite a few examples of this common sense ...   Jan 3 2003, 11:56 PM
mac_bolan00   look at me. i don't let other people's stupidities...   Jan 4 2003, 02:30 AM
benign0   But that's the whole problem isn't it. We're so n...   Jan 4 2003, 04:24 PM
mac_bolan00   wrong. there should be more people like me and les...   Jan 6 2003, 04:14 PM
benign0   In reality there are very few like myself. There ...   Jan 6 2003, 05:32 PM
mac_bolan00   the trouble with you is you insist on living in th...   Jan 6 2003, 06:31 PM
benign0   This part I agree with you. We are increasingly l...   Jan 6 2003, 07:05 PM
mac_bolan00   let's just say i wear two hats these days: a commu...   Jan 6 2003, 07:16 PM
jjlorenz   As a Filipino who already lost his Philippine citi...   Jan 6 2003, 07:40 PM
benign0   First of all, I'd like you to cite one instance w...   Jan 6 2003, 07:45 PM
benign0   The reason most of the advanced countries you cit...   Jan 6 2003, 08:03 PM
mac_bolan00   you'll do well to stay away from anything relate...   Jan 7 2003, 01:54 AM
benign0   Why is that? This sentence is one big motherh...   Jan 7 2003, 03:02 AM
mac_bolan00   randian objectivism seems to insist on a strong go...   Jan 7 2003, 03:57 AM
benign0   In other words you're an anarchist, right? But h...   Jan 7 2003, 02:19 PM
mac_bolan00   i had to let you post a couple of times to underst...   Jan 7 2003, 04:28 PM
mac_bolan00   sunuvasock!!! the site you mentioned was started b...   Jan 7 2003, 04:37 PM
benign0   Why would he use your handle as a goecities accou...   Jan 7 2003, 04:48 PM
benign0   I know you've already confirmed its existence in ...   Jan 7 2003, 05:14 PM
mac_bolan00   first, mr. get reel, it's closer to your nature ...   Jan 7 2003, 05:40 PM
benign0   Now now. No need to get hostile here. I'm just pr...   Jan 7 2003, 06:07 PM
mac_bolan00   you're the one who started this mac_bolan00 websit...   Jan 7 2003, 06:21 PM
benign0   Very well. Shall we consider this topic closed? I...   Jan 7 2003, 06:41 PM
Leia Castaneda-Anastacio   I was intrigued by mac_bolan00's statement, which ...   Jan 7 2003, 08:12 PM
benign0   Hey Mac-dude! Are you going to reply to this sinc...   Jan 7 2003, 08:22 PM
mac_bolan00   i said i study objectivism at the same time i'm cu...   Jan 7 2003, 08:31 PM
benign0   Hope you don't mind if I butt in: But doesn't t...   Jan 7 2003, 09:48 PM
Leia Castaneda-Anastacio   Do workers in a communist society really keep the ...   Jan 8 2003, 06:27 AM
mac_bolan00   when you're planning, you don't have to stick to...   Jan 8 2003, 05:17 PM
Leia Castaneda-Anastacio   How odd that macbolan00 chosen to zero in on an is...   Jan 9 2003, 03:10 AM
mac_bolan00   so it is then. you may have found my last post odd...   Jan 9 2003, 05:00 AM
Leia Castaneda-Anastacio   Thank you, mac_bolan00, that was very helpful. I t...   Jan 9 2003, 09:45 AM
benign0   In plainspeak, you are therefore undertaking to d...   Jan 9 2003, 03:03 PM
benign0   WAIT NO MORE! :bounce: Teddy Benigno, our new na...   Jan 10 2003, 03:50 PM
benign0   Just dropping by to bump up this thread. ;) Hey ...   Jan 20 2003, 10:20 PM
mac_bolan00   what's there to write about, benignut? our last ex...   Jan 21 2003, 01:09 AM
benign0   Woo hoo! Look who's ready to rock-n-roll again! ...   Jan 21 2003, 03:39 PM
mac_bolan00   thought so myself. i'll bet you'll be bumping this...   Jan 21 2003, 05:33 PM
benign0   Another one of your famous one-liners? Seems lik...   Jan 21 2003, 05:47 PM
benign0   Things are happening! Our education system has be...   Jan 31 2003, 05:06 PM
raggster   /me walks into the thread, looks around, and shake...   Jan 31 2003, 09:28 PM
aoi   Highly interesting and thought provoking messages ...   Feb 1 2003, 03:41 AM
benign0   Thanks for your interest and, yes, we need to dis...   Feb 2 2003, 12:11 AM
mac_bolan00   for once i agree with you. kill this entire genera...   Feb 3 2003, 05:20 PM
benign0   You do your thing and I'll do my thing. I think ...   Feb 6 2003, 04:23 PM
raggster   oooohhh, he called mac a communist! this thread ju...   Feb 7 2003, 02:20 AM
cami   My brother sent me this through email. It's rather...   Feb 8 2003, 12:42 AM
benign0   Thanks for sharing this classic piece of literatu...   Feb 9 2003, 08:03 PM
cami   It's MS. Thornclaw, thankyouverymuch. :D   Feb 9 2003, 11:21 PM
benign0   Ooops. It's funny but I was just through a simi...   Feb 10 2003, 02:49 PM
mac_bolan00   an old one... at least folks in the philippines...   Feb 10 2003, 09:00 PM
benign0   But then more harm is done casting stupid votes ...   Feb 10 2003, 10:10 PM
blukatips   Here's a lighter side and EVIDENCE of Filipino c...   Feb 13 2003, 09:59 PM
benign0   The achievements of a minority few does not absol...   Feb 14 2003, 03:16 PM
mac_bolan00   anong klaseng ka-engengan naman ngayon yan? the me...   Feb 14 2003, 06:39 PM
benign0   On the contrary I think I am being perfectly cons...   Feb 14 2003, 06:57 PM
blukatips   Is there a distinct FILIPINO-style democracy sens...   Feb 17 2003, 05:21 PM
benign0   Aren't we experiencing that "distinct FILIPINO-st...   Feb 18 2003, 02:19 PM
aoi   Hello guys. I got this article from Inquirer. Th...   Mar 11 2003, 02:23 PM
raggster   okay, i think i've seen enough. everyone knows we...   Mar 11 2003, 04:15 PM
victory_fils   Well said, raggster. Sagot ng iba: Others ca...   Mar 11 2003, 04:27 PM
mac_bolan00   oh don't mind me. i'm busy forming another (short-...   Mar 11 2003, 09:45 PM
benign0   What do you expect people to do? Serve soup to b...   Mar 12 2003, 02:15 PM
benign0   A N N O U N C E M E N T ! ! Get a load of the lat...   Mar 12 2003, 03:33 PM
raggster   that's rich. i tell you to get off your electronic...   Mar 12 2003, 05:03 PM
benign0   This is a discussion forum last I heard. What els...   Mar 12 2003, 10:36 PM
mac_bolan00   attaboy, benignut! teach raggster the finer points...   Mar 13 2003, 12:38 AM
benign0   What's the matter? Too embarassed to come back t...   Mar 13 2003, 02:05 AM
raggster   if you actually do something worthwhile, then it's...   Mar 13 2003, 07:14 PM
benign0   What you see is what you get. As far as you know,...   Mar 13 2003, 10:51 PM
mac_bolan00   i'm sad. so very sad. because i haven't warned rag...   Mar 14 2003, 02:03 AM
bbarra   Here's today's (3/13/03) article about RP in the N...   Mar 14 2003, 07:39 AM
benign0   Why? Are you insinuating that Mr. raggster is i...   Mar 14 2003, 02:32 PM
benign0   I read another article that cited the recession-p...   Mar 14 2003, 03:02 PM
bbarra   Benign0, .."last bastion of affordable leisure..?...   Mar 15 2003, 06:51 AM
raggster   why, oh why do i get more brain fart? (by the way...   Mar 15 2003, 07:06 AM
bbarra   Benign0, further more...while your criticisms are ...   Mar 15 2003, 12:29 PM
benign0   I agree with you. Apologies for the misunderstand...   Mar 15 2003, 07:06 PM
benign0   Maybe because you ask for it. We'll see how l...   Mar 15 2003, 07:22 PM
benign0   What "bright side"? Why don't you point our sp...   Mar 15 2003, 07:40 PM
benign0   A N N O U N C E M E N T ! ! Get a load of the la...   Mar 16 2003, 08:22 PM
broadway   i wanna shake my head in disgust just like raggs...   Mar 16 2003, 08:33 PM
raggster   Why Doesn't benign0's Analysis Work? An Initial A...   Mar 18 2003, 01:35 AM
benign0   oops. [ March 18, 2003: Message edited by: benign...   Mar 18 2003, 04:31 PM
benign0   Lovely. I leave it up to the reader to validate...   Mar 18 2003, 04:31 PM
mac_bolan00   oh rag, incorrigible or not, it won't matter to m...   Mar 18 2003, 05:17 PM
raggster   no matter. as it stands, his website contains qu...   Mar 19 2003, 04:54 AM
benign0   Amen to that. ~~~ And is there anything about ...   Mar 19 2003, 02:30 PM
raggster   thank you for verifying my statements. you'v...   Mar 19 2003, 04:44 PM
benign0   That's what I'm working on. I'm still at the top ...   Mar 19 2003, 06:18 PM
raggster   the above reply of benign0 begs the question of wh...   Mar 20 2003, 05:24 PM
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