When we here at Antipinoy come out with articles criticizing the bad traits of the Filipinos, our critics would come at us with the criticism, “why are you so negative about the Philippines? Be positive!” OK, when we try to look at the positive traits, we still come up with negativism. To be fair, it isn’t us here who are negative; the negativity of Filipinos stands out like a sore thumb.
Consider first the Adam Carolla issue. Some Filipinos today continue to flood his Facebook page with hate messages. More positive Filipinos would just ignore this and accept that the Filipinos Pacquiao fans were very negative in using racist comments against Mayweather and the American boxing camp.
Recently, the European Union banned Filipino air carriers from EU airspace. The local Tourism department cries foul. Then lately, some 12 Filipinos were detained at Frankfurt when their flight to the UK was diverted because of the Iceland volcanic eruption. Again, Filipinos cry foul, and Gwen Pimentel urges a complaint be filed. Thus, victim mentality plays up again and the Filipino cries, “why is everyone picking on me,” when in fact they’re being treated just like any other person according to the other countries’ rules. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
What else… Chip Tsao, Teri Hatcher and Alec Baldwin. Do we have to be so balat-sibuyas about what their quips about Filipinos that are based on facts? If we react so violently to their jokes, we’re not just balat-sibuyas (onion-skinned); we’re also negative.
And look at the Noynoy Aquino campaign. Some people buy into the idea that Noynoy is the lesser evil against the “evil” choice that is Villar. They are deceived by the black propaganda, which we suspect comes from the Liberal Party, that if they don’t vote Noynoy, Villar or some other “evil” bloke will take the helm. Now what if Gordon wins, proving all the surveys as flukes? Will Noynoy supporters say that their candidate was cheated? As long as it’s not Noynoy who wins, they’ll say it’s cheating! Now why are candidates other than Aquino so demonized? Fellow blogger Ilda wrote that Noynoy and his camp are so negative. Now when you look at it, it turns out that the people who buy into their campaign are the first ones who became negative!
Negativity is actually one of the great come-ons in Filipino elections. Just say you’re against GMA or any other person in the current administration, you’re seen as a hero. Now if that isn’t negative, then the sky is pink.
Perhaps Filipinos, as well as many others around the world see this as positivism: they buy something on credit. They are confident, or even “positive” about their capability to pay when the time comes. They’ll boast, “I’ll never get into trouble! You’ll see!” But before the time comes, they spend on credit again. And the debts pile up until we have so many Filipinos who max out their credit cards. They run from debts and leave a lot of institutions reeling, which further damages the credit standing of Filipinos in general. Thank goodness I don’t have a credit card.
There is also the tendency for Filipinos to act like Aladdin, believing that everything they want should be given to them. A drifter will bet on the lotto and say, “I’ll win tomorrow, and I’ll hold a drinkout for the whole barangay! Think positive naman!” And when he loses, he’ll say, “oh life is hard, we are so poor and oppressed.” You know a friend cheating at work or school who’ll say, “Lulusot yan (It’ll slip through)! Mag-positive thinking ka kasi!” And when he gets caught, he’ll be all the more negative than a manic-depressive.
The funny thing is this; if Filipinos claim to be positive, why are they actually so negative when it comes to serious issues? It seems that being positive for Filipinos is to escape from serious issues; wallowing in Wowowee, loud videokeing, consumerism, bisyo and partying. They avoid directly facing problems in order to feel good – which can itself cause more problems. But once the problems rear up their ugly head, they get mad and start shifting the blame to others – like the government and foreigners. Not like the government and foreigners are totally blameless… but it’s more like Filipinos have this “anybody but me” mentality when naming the culprit.
From this, can one say that Filipinos are positive? Quite the opposite is true. They are filled with negativity and create a false kind of positive attitude. They think being positive means focusing only on the pleasant and nice things. They don’t understand what M. Scott Peck, Norman Vincent Peale and Stephen Covey implied: one should take action even on the negative stuff to create positive results.
Unfortunately, what we have is a culture of inaction. The negative is there for all to see. So to cope with this, Da Pinoy goes deadma. “Kalimutan mo muna ang problema. Aalis din yan (Forget your problems. They’ll go away).” But then the problems rear their ugly head and make Da Pinoy’s blood pressure rise. “Aalis din yan” is clearly a big ugly myth.
It’s about time to create an effective counterculture (I really love this word) to combat the culture of the false positive. For example, we here at Antipinoy reject the negative campaigning of Aquino and laud the positive campaigning of Gordon. We are against the protectionism of the 1986 constitution which can partially be traced to a negative distrust of foreign institutions, and we promote the more positive action of reducing such restrictions and letting foreign investors come in more freely. We are against the Philippine mainstream media who continue to paint negative pictures about veering away from popular opinion, and promote the more positive action of non-conformism and critical thinking.
In order to be positive, one must first know what positive really is. True positivism lies in knowing the negative and fighting it, not avoiding it. Of course, while chasing after the positive. Unfortunately, as the Carolla affair and the recent spate of foreign bans show, Filipinos do not want to eliminate their negative traits; they instead embrace these and get mad at all those who have a different idea.
For Filipinos to be positive, they must release themselves from the narrow-minded perspectives within their own borders – both territorial and cultural – and embrace what good can be offered from without those borders.
If Filipinos see that their life in the country is so negative, they have no one to blame but themselves.
About the author
Chino is a freelance work-at-home writer and aspiring artist based in Quezon City. He blames the hardship of life in the Philippines on a repressive and uneducated culture, which is also the cause of corruption and dysfunction in the country. He thus makes it his personal goal to oppose and criticize the parts of Philippine culture that he sees as damaging and advocate cultural reform.