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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Filipinos need to stop whining about their pride…

Instead, they need to step up and substantiate such pride with actual accomplishments that collectively, they can be proud of.
The Pinoy Pridists, as fellow GRP author ChinoF likes to call them, descendeden masse upon his article “Why Pinoy Pride will never save the Philippines”.The nature of commentary left there brought to light that many Filipinos are apparently confused as to what pride they should have and what they should not.
They consider Manny Pacquiao winning a boxing match, Jessica Sanchez or Charice earning accolades, Erik Spoelstra’s team winning the NBA Finals, or Lorna Schofield becoming “the first Filipino American federal judge in U.S. History”, all abroad, as sources of good pride. On the other hand, instead of ignoring statements that are supposed to mean absolutely nothing, Filipinos react with rage to jokes from Katherine Ryan, observations about the Philippines from Claire Danes, Jimmy Sieczska, Marion Barry, Alec Baldwin, and even statements that weren’t even made in disparagement from Lucy Liu, Taylor Kitsch, and Justin Bieber, just to name a few.
Even the article itself was perceived as one big FU to Filipinos as a whole.
If the statement describes something true but undesirable about Filipinos, analyze it, do something about it, other than whine. If it’s not true, simply ignore it.
Pinoy Pridists will claim that Pinoy Pride makes them feel good, and that it inspires them to strive for more. Ok, then what? Where are the results of such “inspiration” derived from the “accomplishments” of their countrymen? How come despite such numerous opportunities to be “inspired”, Filipinos have yet to refine their society and culture to minimize the effects of their dysfunction?
Pride gets you only partly to your destination; the rest of it is achieved through working smart. Predictably, Filipinos have been shying away from the work part for quite some time, much less work smart; and they’re still looking for that hero who will lead them to the promised land, yet they expect said hero to spoon feed them and do everything for them too.
In case no one has noticed, Pinoy Pride is held up by accomplishments of individuals, and it is being masqueraded as one big achievement that applies to all Filipinos as a whole.
Yet Filipinos still scream for validation from non-Filipinos that they possess good qualities.
Such Pinoy Pride bolstered by numerous small achievements does not make a big one. Nick Joaquin had already expressed such in his seminal work A Heritage of Smallness that a collection of small things made out to be a whole does not equal a colossus with an inherent structure:
We could bring in here the nursery diota about the little drops of water that make the mighty ocean, or the peso that’s not a peso if it lacks a centavo; but creative labor, alas, has sterner standards, a stricter hierarchy of values. Many little efforts, however perfect each in itself, still cannot equal one single epic creation. A galleryful of even the most charming statuettes is bound to look scant beside a Pieta or Moses by Michelangelo; and you could stack up the best short stories you can think of and still not have enough to outweigh a mountain like War and Peace.
To quote GRP webmaster benign0, a litany of little achievements perhaps stands tall like a pile of sand that crumbles when taken to the task of bearing a load. Compare that pile of sand to an engineered structure of trusses of equal height — perhaps one tenth the mass of said sand pile, but 100 times more stable. And in the same vein, pride built on a pile of individualachievers stacked on each other can never be truly equal to pride based on something that was built through a collective effort.
No wonder Filipinos cling to Pinoy Pride; anything bigger than that goes against their renowned heritage of smallness and is too hard for them. Ask them to account for what their pride has accomplished collectively, and you will get head scratching (kamot-ulo).
As examples, Japanese can be proud of building a disciplined society, Germans can be proud of their engineering prowess, Singaporeans can be proud of building a prosperous society. When it comes to the Philippines, what have we collectively built up on a grand scale, that we can show proudly to the world?
So far, what Filipinos have built collectively is easily defined by three (3) pillars:
1) Pwede-na-yan, the mediocrity mindset;
2) Bahala na the fatalistic approach to life, and;
3) A culture of impunity
Is this what we want to be proud of?
Pinoy Pride is but a patchwork, temporary distraction to the Filipinos’ problems; it cannot be considered a solution because part of it involves rejecting any and all attempts to improve. Thus, like ChinoF has pointed out,it is part of the problem.
Pride can keep you going, but working smart and self-respect will get you even further.
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