(This post was published on my personal blog on April 29, 2010, so the TV shows I mentioned are outdated. I also edited the original post to make it relevant.)
Why I Became an Anti-Pinoy
(or Why Agua Bendita is Better than The Last Prince)
Welcome to the world of fantasies, where most people spend their time watching shows that seem to not run out of cliche plots. I have no intention of mentioning the upcoming 2010 Philippine elections; it just so happened that my views have changed not because of the Internet, but mostly because of reality kicking in. The latter applies more, for I was able to recognize my country’s flaws and compare it to one of the most livable countries in the world—the place where I now live. I could imagine some people would say, ”You traitors!”. Just because I live in a better country doesn’t give me the right to condescend my fellow Filipinos. In fact, it’s the other way around. I learned to understand the Philippine history, culture, and society from the perspective of a Filipino living in another country. This is why I became an Anti-Pinoy.
When I arrived in Canada a few years ago, everything was refreshing. The air was clean, there were trees in every street, and the cars on the road were following traffic. At first I thought it was because of the snow, that the surroundings was white and clean. But then I realized that there was more to it. This was not just a new country—the people, culture, and laws were very different. It was huge change from the typical and Filipino lifestyle that I was used to.
Jetlag was one thing; but homesickness was worse than that. Despite getting used to living here with an Asian market just two blocks away from our house, something was still missing. I think this is how it feels—after years of living in one place and you move to another you realize that something is missing.
But because I had to grow and adapt, I learned two things: discipline and responsibility. Two traits that all Filipinos need to practice. Without these two, a country wouldn’t progress. South Korea wouldn’t be the world’s leading manufacturer of major companies if it wasn’t for their discipline, perseverance, and nationalism. I know that Filipinos can be disciplined, can persevere, and can adapt. But sometimes, Filipino pride goes too far–so far that other Filipinos would blame other people’s actions that results into a humiliating act.
There is nothing wrong with being nationalistic and patriotic. I’m all for it because I also do it. But to reach a consensus? Filipinos are not there yet. The people needs to change. And this change involves the impending elections on May 10. I’m not going to dictate why you should vote for my preferred candidate. Instead, I will tell you to vote who you like not because of their popularity, winnability, or lineage, but because of what they have done and what they can do more. A citizen has the right of suffrage so as much as you can. Go ahead and practice it because this is not for just you, your families, nor your future generations, but for your country.
I learned that a person can change if the person initiates the change within oneself. However, in order to change oneself and others, there should be conditions and restrictions implemented so that discipline and responsibility will take effect. And who will enforce these “rules”? It can be yourself, a friend, your parents, the company CEO, or the leader of your county, as long as these laws are for other person’s best interests at heart.
In a perfect world, there is no perfect leader who tells you what to do because the reality is, they also think about themselves and how they would benefit from their position. There is no perfect person who can change overnight and be all saint-like. It takes practice and experience to be a great leader.
So, let’s set aside those overactive imaginations (which should be in our dreams, actually) and pointless shows. Time to wake up and smell the garbage.
There you have it, my friends. One proof that I have changed after living in another country for two years. Two years. It took me two years and a blog to realize these unacceptable truths about myself as a Filipino and the people. It’s quite disappointing that somehow, I’ve lost my faith to my fellowmen. I’m not saying that I hate the Philippines, because I still love it, and it will probably never change. I guess the country and its people need a lot of tweaking to run again.
For the record, I have never seen the TV show Agua Bendita. I just saw this ad on a Filipino newspaper. I’ve seen The Last Prince, when our TV provider offered a 3-month free preview of one network a while ago. When I saw it, I thought it was so bad because it was hilariously good.
I wrote this post because I was inspired by Anti-Pinoy. It’s a blog about the Philippines and its dysfunctional culture, politics, media, and society. I read this blog because I want to get a different view of things—that is, from a critical (and harsh) perspective. I’m not lying when I say that this website is harsh. It’s not for the overly sensitive and patriotic Filipinos. I also recommend Get Real Philippines! where they talk about harsh truths.
Because I wrote this more than 4 years ago, I forgot why I wrote this essay. I wouldn’t even call it an essay; it’s just an opinion piece because the May 2010 elections was coming and I was reading a lot of Anti-Pinoy.
What I find interesting is that looking back, it’s amazing how I still feel the same way about the Philippines today compare to when I wrote it four years ago. What a difference four years can make.