Saturday, January 24, 2015

Voting the wrong people deeply-ingrained in the Philippines' electorate

Posted by benign0

The things said about how people vote gets to be confusing because although most of them are correct some are not really exactly what they appear to be. Let me just focus on the other angle of the issue which is seldom talked about nor given more exposure so that we can widen the coverage of the discussion.

When talking about electorate we have to differentiate the classification of voters. We have the masa and the middle class and higher class of the voting public. I'm not saying it's just the masa that is guilty for they will not be able to vote for those questionable candidates without the help of those who are more educated and influential than them.

The criminals and the crooks get voted not because they are worthy but because they already established and enjoy advantage in terms of influence, bailwicks, followers and of course capital. For example, Erap, ousted as president for graft and corruption; elected as mayor of Manila. The same with Gloria Arroyo, tarnished by Hello Garci and corruption; electred as congresswoman. They get elected on pubic office because of the factors cited above and the kind of system we have.

The 'worthiness' of a candidate to the masa is not really about experience or education but how such candidate can be of help to them or how can they benefit from voting for such candidate. The same mentality pervades the thinking of majority of the electorate. How, then, can someone be stupid and dumb if he votes based on his interest and expectations? I'm not saying there is no dumb and stupid voters, for there are many. I'm just saying that most voters have their own criteria and biases as basis for selecting candidates.

The 'starstruck ignoramuses' issue is a different case. Of course, voting for popular movies and sport celebrities per se goes against the grain of how voting should be conducted. Right off the bat, those whose only basis to vote was because of the popularity of the candidate is wrong. No question. But let's put ourselves to the shoes of those who vote for celebrities for other reason. I say that because there are voters across the segment of the electorate who are done with traditional politicians. They have voted for decades and decades for these trapos only to get the same result. And it's getting worse because it's not only the trapos who are lining their pockets now but also their families and relatives. Given that scenario the appearance of celebrities in election ballots is a welcome development for these frustrated and disappointed electorate.

Then there is the nepotism, political dynasty issue, vote-buying and other issues that gives an impression that our electoral system is one that is a non-serious activity.

For me, I think we have to do something with the system that allows those wrong things to happen. Make our system/laws more strict and penalties more harsh. Strengthen and improve the guidelines in terms of qualification/disqualification of a candidate, among other things. Criticize, insult, ridicule and call names people if you must but so long as there is nothing to prevent them doing what they do it would only be an exercise in futility.

Having said that, though, I must admit, it won't be an easy task. 

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Manila street kids and families enjoy P6000-per-night beach resort during Pope Francis’s visit

January 23, 2015
by benign0
Perhaps then, the Philippine government may be right after all. Perhaps government personnel did not, as what was alleged, round up street kids all over Manila and throw them in little cages. No. According to an ABS-CBN News report, the kids and their families were “guests” in a posh P6,000 peso (USD135) per night resort in Batangas.
Nichie Torres, the resident manager of Chateau Royale, said the street children and their families were treated as guests.
Some 100 DSWD staff also stayed at the resort to watch over the guests who occupied a total of 70 rooms.
The resident manager admitted their guests appeared unkempt and wore dirty clothes.
On January 15, two big trucks delivered toys, clothes, and toiletries.
The guests were also kept busy with various activities.
The guests occupied the open field and practically used all the facilities, including the ballroom.
Resort staff said it resembled a huge “family camp.”
The six days were uneventful, except for one instant when two groups figured in what looked like a rumble that was quickly resolved.
The group checked out on January 19, the day Pope Francis left.
On normal days, Manila's famous harbour suffers from an unsightly squatter infestation.
On normal days, Manila’s famous harbour suffers from an unsightly squatter infestation.
According to ABS-CBN News, the information leading to this revelation was “a document from the Manila City Hall wherein the DSWD asked for permission to hold the camp”. A TIME magazine feature cited the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman’s claim that 490 people constituting about 100 homeless families living along otherwise scenic Roxas Boulevard “taken off the street” were “taken about an hour and a half’s drive away to the plush Chateau Royal Batangas resort” where room rates “range from $90 to $500 per night.” According to Soliman, the TIME report continues, these homeless people “could be seen as not having a positive influence in the crowd”.
On the question on whether or not ordinary Filipinos really gave a hoot over where these supposedly non-positive fixtures of Manila’s streets during the Pope’s visit went, the TIME report’s author Charlie Campbell opined…
So where did Manila’s street children go? The truth is that most people didn’t really care, just as long as they did.
But what would one call the P6000-per-night cost of the treat Filipino taxpayers extended to these homeless people? Was it an act of charity? Or was it merely a bald bribe?
The trouble with practices like these is the precedent it could set. Already, Metro Manila is being crushed under the weight of a vast squatter infestation. Many of these illegal residents have, in fact, made their homes on public land. Because most of these residents lack access to basic waste management infrastructure, much of the waste they produce ends up in natural and man-made storm drains, many of which are now hopelessly fouled up.
Indeed, squatters have long been an immense socio-economic problem in Metro Manila, contributing to the chronic flooding and perpetual traffic gridlock that Manila’s legal residents suffer year round.
By giving the VIP treatment to a handful of “homeless” people who would have spoiled the pope’s view of Manila’s “famous” harbour, during the now-concluded visit, the wrong message again is sent to the Philippines’ impoverished masses: Victim mentality pays.

Former Interior Sec. Rafael Alunan III did not like PNoy’s speech before Pope Francis

January 22, 2015
by benign0
The following is a copy of a post published on Facebook by Rafael Alunan III who served as Tourism Secretary under former President Corazon Aquino from 1987-1989 then as Interior and Local Government Secretary under former President Fidel Ramos from 1992-1996. Alunan refers to the speech delivered by President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III before Pope Francis during his holiness’s courtesy call to Malacanang on the 15th January 2015.

I would have wanted to hear these opening remarks before Pope Francis:
“A happy good morning everyone. Your Holiness, in behalf of the Filipino people,we welcome you with open hearts to Malacanan, the people’s palace. It is truly a blessed palace, having hosted two of your holy predecessors – Blessed Paul VI (once) and St. John Paul II (twice) – when they visited our shores in 1970, 1981 and 1995. It is our fervent prayer that this will not be the first and last time you will bless us with your charismatic presence Your Holiness.”
That would have upheld the well-known tradition of Filipino hospitality – warm, courteous and welcoming.

And the speech could have proceeded to touch on the beautiful legacy of the Christian faith to the Philippines; the boundless need for moral and spiritual guidance to address the obstacles to nation-building, especially corruption; and gratitude for his visit to shine the light of Jesus Christ on the Filipino people.

He could also have provided a brief history of Malacanan Palace, and if he wanted to talk about himself, he could have touched on that dangerous period in the life of the Repubic wobbly from 21years of malgovernance where he almost lost his life. And he could have publicly thanked the Pope for the ancient maps and cite its significance to our current geopolitical realities (pahapyaw lang).
And he could have ended on a high note about moral recovery and social transformation, with the buzzwords – integrity, social justice and inclusivity – to signal alignment with the Pope’s advocacies. Plus a gracious gesture of placing the State’s resources at his disposal to ensure a pleasant, safe and secure visit.
That would have been appropriate for the occasion. Takes the high road and comes across as presidential that would make the Filipino proud of the representation. And common sense that personal matters are best delivered in private, not before the world stage that diminished the nation.
Sorry, but as a citizen I did not like what I saw and heard, totally unlike what I personally experienced up close during the time of Presidents Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos.
Aside from Alunan, many Filipinos have expressed similar dismay over the un-presidential manner with which BS Aquino failed to step up to a level of statesmanship that honours his esteemed guest. Renato Reyes, secretary general of activist group Bayan said that Aquino “turned the event into a gripe session” and mounted “a conscious effort to regulate what the Pope can see,” presumably over the course of his visit.
Opposition Senator JV Ejercito reportedly described the speech as “uncalled for” and lamented how Aquino “could have acted more statesman-like.”
Malacanang, not surprisingly, defended the speech. According to Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr, “It is a personal testimony of someone who experienced the events he was talking about. It was a truthful statement and there was no other purpose for that speech except to tell the truth.”
[Photo courtesy Noynoy Aquino Facebook Page.]

Why was a private jet needed by government officials during Pope Francis’s visit to the Philippines?

January 22, 2015
by benign0
Following the accident involving a private jet carrying top-ranking Philippine government officials that skidded off a runway at Tacloban City airport, Filipinos are now asking what those officials were doing there to begin with.
Heading the team reportedly tasked “to ensure that the activities of Pope Francis in that city and Palo town would go as planned” was Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa. And…
Aside from Ochoa, also on the 19-seater Bombadier Global Express were Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista, his aide, a Lt. Rafael, Undersecretary Felizardo Serapio Jr., Science Secretary Mario Montejo, lawyer Carlos Serapio, Katherine Andraneda, Col. Oliver Veslino, Major Darwin Sacramed, Chino Romero, Joseph Juico, Gamaliel Cordoba and Lt. Manny Bautista.
The private jet is owned by Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corporation and was chartered exclusively to ferry the above officials to Tacloban where Pope Francis was to celebrate a mass in honour of the victims of powerful typhoons that had struck the city in the last two years.
Filipino politicians headed by President BS Aquino basked under the papal light for several days(Source: @AttyKarenJimeno on Twitter)
Filipino politicians headed by President BS Aquino basked under the papal light for several days
(Source: @AttyKarenJimeno on Twitter)
The Philippine government has been under the gun explaining the vast resources and the over-the-top pomp, ceremony, and disruptions to daily life it had mounted to receive Pope Francis despite the pontiff’s clear instructions that all this was about the poor. Indeed many of the approaches taken by the Philippine government supposedly to make the occasion a “memorable” one for the pontiff involved some questionable measures. Earlier, outrage erupted over allegations that street children all over Manila had been rounded up and thrown into cages as part of a general cleanup of the otherwise squalid megalopolis to prepare for the papal visit. Despite desperate denials coming from Malacanang, the issue has since gone mainstream with no less than TIME magazine publishing a full report on the controversy.
It is hardly surprising that Filipino politicians are clambering all over themselves for a piece of the papal action. Religion has long proven to be an extremely effective tool for herding huge numbers of Filipinos towards political ends. The Economist in a recent report on Pope Francis’s visit to the Philippines notes how the Philippines is beset by “a national penchant for the mass demonstration of faith” and observes the way “Filipinos of all stripes seem to be especially given to turning out in ecstatic hordes, for occasions both sacred and secular.” Furthermore…
What makes Filipinos stand out among Christian-majority populations is their ardent expectation that piety and morality will be rewarded on earth, not just in heaven. Conspicuous among the crowds awaiting Pope Francis were people with various infirmities, expressing hopes that a glimpse of him, or a blessing vaguely waved in their direction, would bring relief. This comes with the popular belief that the pope himself wields divine power. Before Pope Francis arrived, the head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, exhorted the faithful: “Watch the pope passing by. Christ is passing by. Be blessed as he passes by.” The church does not, in fact, say that the pope is Jesus Christ. Pope Francis himself, on learning that roadsides were decked with posters bearing his image, asked that they be replaced with posters bearing Christ’s image.
As with most momentous occasions that visit the Philippines, what happens next remains to be seen. Filipinos are moved to exorbitant displays of emotional fervour whether such events are good or bad — whether they are visits by “super” typhoons or holy men like Pope Francis. The country also has a history of squandering all sorts of windfalls — political, cultural, financial, and diplomatic — and coming out of these pretty much in the same circumstance as it was before these windfalls.
Unless some sort of different way of doing things comes evident following the papal visit, it is difficult to expect outcomes that will put Filipinos on a trajectory different from the traditional one the Philippines has been on for the last six decades.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The problem of the Philippines is Filipinos, not poverty or corruption

Posted by benign0

Perhaps I can help out with this discussion as an outsider looking in. I'm Filipino and a Philippine national, but spent my entire life outside of the Philippines (Africa and USA). The problem with the Philippines is not an intangible noun like "corruption" or "poverty"; the problem with the Philippines is FILIPINOS. We have to stop being insular and realize that Filipinos do not possess the same abilities of self-rule like other peoples of the world. Filipinos, by nature, make excellent learners and workers, but are not inherently capable of being leaders and creators. The Philippines is a society of FOLLOWERS. What good is a society like that when you have incompetent direction to utilize it? Hence, the mass migration of Filipinos and brain drain to countries whose administrative systems and job markets are more vibrant and able. Filipinos have to realize that they're not as talented when it comes to leading and creating. This is an area that needs effort and attention.

Catholicism or any religion in itself is not going to save the Philippines. FILIPINOS themselves can only save the Philippines. Filipinos have to re-wire themselves first to do so. One problem with Catholicism (and is probably why Filipinos stick to it) is that it's a religion that permits a very PASSIVE way of living. Catholics confide in that if you adorn your walls with enough images and idols, attend mass regularly, and perform the same prayers and rituals over and over that something good will magically happen. Your faith and your actual actions are separate entities. This way of living gives nothing in the way of personal responsibility. THAT is why corruption and poverty happens; nobody has any incentive to be accountable. What happened in America when it brought in many Catholic immigrants (such as Irish and Italians)? Crime, mobs, corruption, violence.

There are two sides to everyone: a natural side and nurtured side. Both are vital. Why did America turn out to be such a successful society? It's HOW the original American settlers were and WHAT they did with it. They were Northern European descendants who, like their brethren, had the instinct to explore new lands and better their own lives. They believed it was their divine calling to MANIFEST (doing) the Lord's will through their WORK ETHIC. They believed that you become a virtuous human being not by merely what you say, but by what you DO. Their genuine desire to be self-sufficient and self-improving led to the present American nation today. See the difference? Can the Filipino people understand this? Things don't magically happen nor are things magically unfair.

I hope this helps.

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Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Deadly Misinterpretations

January 20, 2015
by Grimwald
Okay guys, I explained in a previous article how a lot of Pinoys get their values wrong. Now, let’s explore the opposite side of morality. Of course, being a predominantly “Christian” country, the idea of the seven deadly sins are shoved down our throats on a regular basis. Unfortunately, more often than not, a lot of people misinterpret these sins or purposefully misunderstand what they actually mean and label people they don’t like with them.
This will be another article with a slightly religious tone so if you’re not exactly inclined for this kind of discussion, I wouldn’t mind if you decide not to read all of it. However, if you do decide to read it anyway and try to understand its essncee, then I will be most grateful. Also, this will be somewhat long so I don’t really expect you to read all of it in one sitting.
You see, dear readers, like most everything to do with religion in this country, the seven deadly sins are also used as a means to control people and as a weapon to be used against those who run counter to one’s beliefs or cause. Using the seven deadly sins, which is actually inherent in human nature, it becomes fairly easy to demonize a person or a group of people because of their association with the said sin. In the meantime, people lose sight of what each sin actually means and how detrimental they are to those who practice them and those who they are practiced upon. A lot of people in the Philippines often forget what these sins even mean and even practice them without knowing that what they do is already wrong and possibly hurting others.

So, for a better look, I’m offering a look at each of the seven deadly sins, what they entail, what a lot of people think they entail, what they actually mean, examples of the sin in action and how to handle them. Now, please take note, I am not trying to demonize the said examples. After all, I do commit similar things every now and again. Instead, I am merely trying to humanize the said examples and explain to those who are reading this why they are wrong. The goal of this article is for readers to understand the seven deadly sins, why they are deadly and perhaps neutralize their effects on oneself and others. This article is about humanizing and NOT demonizing examples.
So, without further ado:
  • Definition: Wrath is best defined as unthinking anger and hatred. Among the seven, it is probably one of the easiest to define.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK It Means: Getting angry at someone is a sin. Hating someone is a sin. “Haters gonna hate.” Or so they say. Then there’s the utterly silly concept of: “Make love not war.” (Then I guess it means we should just have sex with terrorists and extremists.) Being angry makes you negative, as a lot of these happiness addicts might tell you, and that you should be happy all the time. We here at GRP get a lot of flak and accusations of being “haters” because of the way we criticize politicians, celebrities and our society in general. In fact, anyone who gets in the way of the festive moods of Pinoys are automatically labeled as “haters”.
  • What It Actually Means: Unfortunately, the idea of wrath goes a little deeper than what most people tend to think. Wrath is about unthinking anger and hatred after all. It’s about hating something with no clear reason as to why. Bearing grudges is another aspect of wrath as it prevents one from improving oneself and bettering the people around him/her. Grudges trap you in the past just like depression and will blind you to the more important parts of life like love and true happiness. However, I will again expound that simply being angry or critical of something or someone is not wrath especially if there is proof to back it up and a willingness to allow for change. Remember, we here at GRP are willing to accept criticism as long as it comes with sound reasoning, logic and judgement.
  • Examples: Religious extremists and terrorists are probably the most blatant example. After all, these are people who are willing to use their religion or cause to justify their reprehensible acts against other people. However, an often overlooked example would be trolls. Yep, the same people who often like to accuse us or other people who zealously defend their “idols” from harmless and constructive criticism of being “haters” without first trying to understand what was meant in the first place. What do terrorists and trolls have in common? Yes, that’s right: insane troll logic. Just as extreme Islamic terrorists and other religious radicals use their religions to justify their atrocities, many trolls simply use their rather unique way of thinking to bash critics of their idols which they often take literally as gods.
  • What To Do About It: Like a few previous articles state, being emotional isn’t in and of itself bad. Having emotions is just a sign of being human after all. However, due note that letting your emotions control you is an entirely different matter. Before reacting violently to any statement or situation, it is often best to consider the issue first before making any action. Also, let go of your grudges. While you may have your reasons, letting them linger in your heart might prevent you from seeing the bigger picture and stop you from improving yourself and becoming a productive citizen.
  • Definition: Overindulgence in one’s achievements and potentials without sound logical grounds.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK It Means: Most Pinoys think of Pride as something similar to “kayabangan” (boastfulness) and often accuse anyone who is noisy, can speak English fluently or willing to present a problem logically is boastful. Presenting facts and evidence often intimidates most Pinoys who have been caught in the act of a crime or anything inappropriate so their sole response is to often call out their critics and accusers of being “know-it-alls” as they cannot rationalize their acts.
  • What It Actually Means: Pride is about holding oneself in high regard without any real reason for doing so. It’s what fuels the concept of “Pinoy Pride” as we have very little to be proud of yet are still adamant about our sense of entitlement. Also note that boastfulness and boasting is about claiming to be capable of something yet not have the facilities and fortitude to back up said claim. Pride is, as some would say: “Biting off more than one can chew.”
  • Examples: BS Aquino’s ironclad refusal to apologize about the bus hostage crisis a few years back is a blatant example of this in action. What’s worse is that he seems to be waiting for everyone to just forget about the incident (including the offended party) despite the fact that the issue was worsened by the way his cronies and the media (who is also under his thumb) mishandled the whole affair. “Pinoy Pride” is a wonderful example of this sin as we tend to exaggerate our achievements despite the fact that we’re nowhere near the standards of countries like Singapore or at least have good national and cultural integrity like Thailand. The thing is, we lay back and let life pass us by as a people and get mad when other countries (who work their assess of all day) call us “indolent”. Sweeping our mistakes under the rug such as when certain officials attempted to hide the poor, starving children of Manila from Pope Francis during his visit and hoping he wouldn’t notice is another example as it shows just how superficial our sense of honor really is.
  • What To Do About It: They say that “actions speak louder than words” and one must do what they can to better present one’s actions to others. Do rather than say so that people will know that you’re willing to back your claims rather than assume that you’re just boasting. Anyone can claim to be capable of climbing Mt. Everest but only so people actually can. Also, avoid talking too much outside a given topic (I know this from personal experience) unless spoken to or required to as this does make you look like a “know-it-all”.
  • Definition: The desire for earthly pleasures. In short, the need for sex and a luxurious living. After all, “lust” in Latin is luxuria, which means “luxury”.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK It Means: Looking longingly at an attractive member of the opposite (or even same) sex is evil. Wanting to have sex is evil. Making yourself look attractive is also evil. In short, SEX IS EVIL. I have often heard this underlying silliness in a lot of arguments between couples. I have heard one party claim infidelity or even outright adultery after their partner simply glanced at an attractive person.
  • What It Actually Means: Desire is actually a powerful creative force. It’s what inspires many artists to create breathtaking works of art. Lust is just a less-controlled form of desire and is deeply ingrained in the human psyche and makes any attempt to control it just worse. Simply glancing or even smirking at another attractive person doesn’t classify as infidelity so long as it isn’t acted upon and your loyalty remains squarely with your current partner.
  • Examples: Well, adulterous people of both sexes are an obvious example, but a less mentioned instance of this are stalkers or people who are simply too obsessed with one person. I once knew a guy similar to another person mentioned in a previous article about Marian Rivera who was obsessed with Angel Locsin this time. While I would only call the guy of “average” looks at best, his unhealthy obsession with the actress has prevented him from finding true love with another woman (who was quite pretty in her own right) who had feelings for him. What’s worse is that he honestly seems to think that Ms. Locsin would probably fall head over heels for him should they ever talk in private, despite the fact that she probably has to budget her time properly for her own love-life, let alone meet anyone else in private.
  • What To Do About It: Again, I would ask one to think properly before reacting to this kind of impulse. Remember, you can use the same kind of energy that lust provides to make something more positive. Try applying what it gives you in doing something creative like singing a song, telling a story or painting a picture and you’ll see just how talented you can really be. As for those who are obsessed with certain people of either sex, please come back to reality. I’m not saying looking at a hot girl (or hot boy, if you’re a girl or of another orientation) is bad, but let’s keep things into perspective. You have to think about whether or not that person is truly worthy of your attention and if it’s even practical to have a relationship with them.
  • Definition: Desire for another’s goods. I mean hey, sometimes other people get the good stuff first.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK It Means: More often than not, Envy is a common accusation people throw around to defend themselves when criticism is thrown at them. Like being labeled as “hater”, as mentioned above, being labeled envious is something that is tossed around a lot because a lot of people don’t want to be criticized for their mistakes and wrong way of thinking.
  • What It Actually Means: Envy is all about coveting your neighbor’s goods. It’s about wanting something that someone else already has. It can be a lot of things really from wanting your friend’s new Mercedes Benz to wanting how popular he/she is with the opposite sex. Of course, it’s part of human nature and, what people don’t understand, is that envy can even be a positive force if used properly. Giving into envy is similar to giving into despair which also has ties with the idea of “sloth” as mentioned below.
  • Examples: Jealous partners are one good example of envy in action. Crab mentality is yet another, more destructive example as it prevents any progress. Envy and crab mentality are two of the biggest reasons why even the best and brightest of this country remain unknown and obscure to the rest of the world. As mentioned above, envy also ties in with people who are despondent because one reason for despair is believing that you can never be good as someone else.
  • What To Do About It: Envy can also be used for more positive outcomes. Sometimes, you can use your envy, your desire to be like another person, to make yourself just as good or even better. So instead of giving into crab mentality and trying to pull that person down, why not just make yourself a better person to match that person and inspire others to follow you.
  • Definition: Desire for earthly possessions. This is similar to lust, in a sense, but this is more about material wealth rather than an abstract concept like pleasure or luxury.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK It Means: I hear a lot of people saying that: “Money is the root of all evil.” While money does in fact cause a lot of problems for a lot of people and has been the reason for a lot of conflict and hatred in the world, there’s no denying the fact that you still need money to survive. Nonetheless, a lot of Pinoys who hear that a person who wants money is automatically labeled “greedy”. What’s worse is that they also label people who just want to save money as “greedy” as well even if saving money is usually more practical.
  • What It Actually Means: Greed is actually all about “excess” rather than the simple need for money. After all, too much of anything is never a good thing. It’s not money in and of itself that makes one evil but the need to acquire more beyond the bounds of practicality and violating the safety of yourself and others certainly is. Greed isn’t just about wanting money, it is also about wasting it. Accumulating wealth but being unable to part with it in times of need is another good representation of what greed actually means. You save money for a reason after all, not just for the sake of the money itself.
  • Examples: Well, there are plenty of politicians who fit this very well. However, another not too well-known example of greedy people are compulsive gamblers as they needlessly waste money in the hopes of gaining more. Some of these people have even sold their own homes, vehicles, family members and even internal organs just so they can gamble more in the hopes of winning back all they had lost.
  • What To Do About It: The desire to accumulate wealth and save money isn’t really bad in and of itself. Just remember why you’re saving money in the first place. If you’re thinking too much of your money to help your kid who’s in the hospital then you, sir or madam, are “greedy”. You save money to spend on important matters such as when you have friends or family in the hospital or special occasions like wedding, baptisms and funerals. Also, don’t give in to people calling you “greedy” just because you don’t want to treat them to lunch on a daily basis. Greed is about excess, not practicality after all.
  • Definition: The desire for rest and ignoring work.
  • What Most Pinoys THINK It Means: Wanting a break means your lazy. Sleeping a lot makes you lazy. Sitting and thinking while everyone else is doing manual labor is lazy. It’s that simple. As if thinking in and of itself is actually doing nothing even when planning is always essential to any kind of activity.
  • What It Actually Means: Sloth actually runs a lot deeper than just being “lazy”. Sloth is about being idle and doing nothing when your energy could be better devoted to doing more constructive and positive things. Also, sloth ties in with despair just like envy mentioned above. Sloth can be easily associated with depression because most depressed people tend to think that anything they do will mean nothing in the long run so it’s better for them to not do anything.
  • Examples: Sloth isn’t just about people who sit around and do nothing, it’s also about people who sit around and think nothing. Remember, it’s not just about the people who don’t work, it’s also about the people who contribute nothing to society and continue to be a burden on our already dwindling resources. Alcoholics who simply prefer to drown their sorrows instead of solving them, poor people who just blame the government for their problems and do nothing, rich people who just lament about the situation of the poor but choose to do sit on their butts and people with access to considerable resources but refuse to explore and exploit its more positive and constructive aspects are all examples of people being slothful.
  • What To Do About It: Everybody gets sleepy and everybody wants a break every now and again. But come on, you can’t take a break all the time and think you’ll still get fully paid for it. If you want something for yourself and if you want to make yourself a better person then get up and do it, stop wasting your time and the time of others. The world does not care about your woes and if you don’t do something soon, it will proceed to flatten you and everything that you care about.
  •  Definition: Overindulgence in earthly goods and pleasures
  • What Most Pinoys THINK It Means: You are a glutton if you eat too much. You are a glutton if you think of food all the time. People say this as if to say wanting to eat, in and of itself, is evil.
  • What It Actually Means: Again, it is not that simple. Wanting to eat is a natural drive ingrained in the human psyche just like the need to breathe and procreate. There’s nothing wrong with that. What is WRONG is eating TOO MUCH. What is wrong is eating too much when there are people out there who could be starving just as you chow down on that last mouthful. Also, eating too much to your own detriment is a form of gluttony as well and it’s not just about food. Any substance like alcohol and nicotine are dangerous to the body and consuming them with abandon is a sure-fire way to get yourself killed in the long run.
  • Examples: Gluttony isn’t just about those who eat too much but also those who overindulge in substances like alcohol and nicotine as well as those who abuse narcotics. Also of note, now that we’re on the subject, I’d also like to mention a certain celebrity couple who got married quite a while back in December. While it’s true that they spent their own money, did they really need to be so extravagant and have to broadcast it to the rest of the country despite knowing that there are still starving people in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan? That 12-foot-cake, which was shown on every TV throughout the nation, is a slap in the face of every Typhoon Haiyan victim who can barely afford to feed his or her family 3 meals a day.
  • What To Do About It: Sharing your blessings is one way to prove that you’re not a glutton. Reaching out and sharing what you have with others who may need it more is probably a good place to start if we want to bridge the ever growing gap between the rich and poor in the Philippines.
My point is simple, while we can’t really rid ourselves of the seven deadly sins because they are ingrained in human nature, it is entirely possible to work with them towards the common good


Grimwald is an Eldritch Abomination from another dimension. He came to the Earth in search of tasty minds to devour. Unfortunately, he found himself in the Philippines which seems to be devoid of rich minds to prey on. However, he seems to have found GRP and his appetite is growing...

Homophobia In The Philippines And Why It Persists To This Day

January 21, 2015
by Grimwald
Homosexuality is probably one of the most polarizing topics of today. Just mention the subject in a given community and you’re likely to end up with two large groups with one being pro-gay all the way and the other openly demonizing the other as hateful sinners. If you’re lucky, you might get one or two smaller groups who instead support moderation but that will likely be a rarity. More likely than not, there will just be two groups; one pro and one anti.
Over the years though, the media has been making claims about breaking the barriers between the homosexual and heterosexual community. Unfortunately, while some progress can be seen from time to time, much of the stigma still remains and it’s sad to note that there are still quite a number of homosexuals and bisexuals who refuse to come out of their closets because of how society might view and react to them. While there may be many who support gay rights, it comes into question just what being gay actually means in our society and what people expect of you when you come out of your closet.

While I am not a member of the LGBT community, I have many close friends among them who openly lament on how society often misinterprets them. To this day, a good number of them still stay in their closets although some of them do have more or less transparent closets for those willing to look hard enough.
An example of such an incident was when I was running on a treadmill with one of my said gay friends. The treadmills in our gym come with cable TVs so we can watch a TV program while running. As my friend changed the channel, he somehow found the movie adaptation of Zsazsa Zaturnnah, the one with Rustom Padilla who changes into the said superheroine who was, in turn, played by Zsazsa Padilla. My friend sighed suddenly and simply turned off the TV.
Later that day, I spoke to him and asked why the movie saddened him so much even though it was supposed to represent the gay community that he was a part of. He answered me with a weary sigh and told me that while a lot of local films and TV programs use homosexual characters, few of them are ever really portrayed in a positive light and are almost always the stereotypical flamboyant gays Filipino society is familiar with. I asked him about many of the LGBT-oriented films and shows that are produced of late and it seems that all of them are disappointing to the LGBT community and he went on to note that programs of this sort only serve to further the misunderstanding between homosexuals and heterosexuals.
For instance, while Zsazsa Zaturnnah did depict the plight of a common homosexual hairdresser, my friend notes that this already creates the impression that all gays are hairdressers and make-up artists. It annoys him to no end when people ask him to help them “touch up” for a given event as he only knows a passing on how to actually apply make up. When the people ask for his favor don’t end up with the look they want, he is often called out and even told: “Akala ko ba bakla ka, dapat alam mo iyan!” (I thought you were gay, you’re supposed to know how to do it!) Also of of note is the fact that the main character in the movie is able to transform into a female superhero which seems to imply that all gays want to turn into women (and possibly all lesbians want to turn into men). However, should you ever meet my friend, he makes no effort to look or act feminine and, based on my observations at least, wouldn’t look out of place in the higher echelons of the Italian Mafia.
My friend also mentioned the TV series “My Husband’s Lover” which has also been discussed in some previous articles and comments by ChinoF and FallenAngel respectively. Just like what FallenAngel said, my friend also said that the show had plenty of potential. There were probably few broadcasting companies out there who would openly tackle the topic of homosexuality and how it affects our society. Unfortunately, the show was made to fit the similar vein of just about every Pinoy TV series out there with the main topic mostly being about adultery and dysfunction in the family. As my friend said: “This show could have shown people something different. They could’ve made us (gays) look like real human beings for the first time and not the usual Barbie-doll wannabes they usually associate with us. But then I saw what the show was really about. Ultimately, the show failed to humanize us and make us sympathetic to the audience. Instead, they showed people that we are indeed a scourge to society and possibly dangerous to this country’s so-called values. In the end, they just showed the world that we could become home-wreckers, making the way people see us even worse.”
Then our conversation drifted over to Vice Ganda, his antics and his films and my friend only sneered. Again, it was apparent that Vice Ganda is just another misleading example of what being gay is all about. According to my friend, Vice Ganda’s jokes might be okay with a select audience such as when in a gay bar but they are not something you’re supposed to air on live television where other people can see another person being ridiculed and might be something imitated by children. He also seems to condemn the Praybeyt Benjamin films as it fails to create any alternate view of the homosexual community and sticks to stereotypes rather than fully exploring what it means to be a gay person in the military and that the films could be could be considered open insults to both the LGBT community and the Philippine military.
He tells me that the film V for Vendetta presents a fairer interpretation of gays even if the Wachowski Brothers and James McTeigue didn’t exactly get all of their information right. Despite the crew’s mishandling of historical facts, my friend praised the film for presenting homosexuals in a very humanizing light. It showed audiences that gays and lesbians were like everyone else with their own interests and opinions and only differed in who they preferred to love. He also went on to tell me that Stephen Fry is a superior comedian to Vice Ganda because he manages to make fun of himself and his intended target without looking too silly in the process.
With the opinions of my friend and my own observations, I can tell that it will still be somewhat difficult for homosexuals to integrate themselves into mainstream Philippine society because of what’s expected of them. The media’s depiction of LGBT individuals often fail to accurately present to audiences what it means to be homosexual and further ostracize them from society.
I think that if we want equal rights for everyone, then I think it’s time we started treating each other as equals.


Grimwald is an Eldritch Abomination from another dimension. He came to the Earth in search of tasty minds to devour. Unfortunately, he found himself in the Philippines which seems to be devoid of rich minds to prey on. However, he seems to have found GRP and his appetite is growing...