Yes. Everyone but you knows they can. The human capacity to repair itself and to learn and grow is almost limitless. Repair connotes understanding why something is broken. If a house built in sandy foundation collapses and the owner rebuilds it in the same place without addressing the sandy foundation, it will collapse again. The damage done to our culture our spirit our national prude and our sense of self-worth over a 500-year non-stop brutal colonization was so severe it left us with foreign-based sense of self.
Almost every Filipino will agree to this false statements: "Americans are better than us". "Spanish and Europeans are better and more beautiful and more cultured than us". It is false in the sense that these clear facts were forced on us by these colonial masters. Not that we are somehow genetically inferior, genetically uglier, genetically dumber than they. When they lorded it over us they made every effort to eradicate everything that was good and beautiful snout us and our culture... creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that is now our national condition.
That national condition of inferiority is real but need not be permanent. It is obviously real given the fact that the Netherlands, a tiny nation of 17 million people has hundreds maybe thousands of world renowned artists, scientists, philosophers, writers, poets, doctors, etc. just in the last 300 years. The Philippines with 100 million people has almost none. It was made by the colonizers a cultural, intellectual, philosophical, artistic, economic, social wasteland.
We are a god-fearing people who fear god more than we love our own people. A people who understand overpopulation because we see its dire effects every day. But we're rolled up into a ball of immobilizing fear unable to take action against these irrational fears. We find it very difficult to rid ourselves of the vestiges of colonial control that are a ball-and-chain attached to our legs.
Now here is the one immutable fact. When it comes to pure intelligence. To capacity for creative thought and actions, we are no more or no less than Americans, Spanish or Dutch people. But they have intact cultures and intact sense-of-selves and are able to create and to dispense around the world the many fruits of their vast creative powers. They have their Goyas, their Rembrandts, etc. There isn't a single Filipino world-renowned pianist, cellist, violinist, There are a few in pop-culture. Only a few, a small handful of Lea Salongas and not much else.
Not because we lack the capacity. But only because the will has been beaten out of us by our past masters... and by our present masters who continue to use all the same tools of control tying them to our past masters. The peopl can and will cut those strings. It will not be pleasant. It will require another "Cry of Balintawak". It will require month upon unending month of "The Days of The Guillotine" when the people finally decide to take back control over their own miserable lives.
They were destroyed. Not completely but at least partially destroyed. An amputated leg or arm is a partial destruction that until recent medical advances, had catastrophic effects. Blindness is a partial destruction with catastrophic effects. A bullet in the brain can destructively change a person for life. Five hundred years of brutal colonization will result in a national Stockholm Syndrome where the mind warps and views the oppressor as its savior.
The Philippines is a dysfunctional nation. " It is our mindset, our mentality, our culture that is dysfunctional and need urgent reform". This statement is so obviously true that it cannot be denied. This statement generates two questions.
"How did it get this way?"
"Why did it get this way?"
These questions get to the heart of the issue that some of us have been harping on for so long. The Philippines is the one nation that suffered longest under brutal colonial rule. It suffers from a condition akin to the "Stockholm Syndrome" where the severely abused clings to the abuser and adapts himself into what he thinks the abuser wants him to be.
Everything native has been expunged from Philippine culture. Every Philippine cultural icon has been replaced by Spanish and American culture. This truth goes all the way into fundamental concepts of right and wrong. Fundamental concepts of art and beauty. The "mestiza" face has replaced the Filipina face as the standard of beauty.
Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian and Indian people outside their big cities can still be seen wearing traditional dresses. Musical and other local artistic forms are present in every other Asian culture... and almost completely absent in the Philippines. The Philippines has been subjected to cultural genocide by its two colonial masters.
The Philippines remains a colony. The Spanish imposed on the Philippine nation two separate and equal governing structures. The civil structure led by the Governor General and held in place by military force was under Madrid rule. That governing structure disappeared after the Spanish surrender. The second was a clerico-religious governing structure enforced by bishops and priests and was under Vatican rule (via Madrid). That colonial governing structure remains firmly in place.
The United States granted the Philippines nominal independence in 1946. But it kept "puppet-strings" in place that permitted Washington to move every part of the Philippines that was deemed important to the US under firm American control. This included the right to maintain extra-territorial military bases in the country that exceeded by much the Philippines own weak military infrastructure. The Philippines continues to be almost fully dependent on the United States economically, militarily and culturally.
We have to learn from other peoples who also suffered from "Stockholm Syndrome" under colonial or neo-colonial rule. In the 1960s African Americans began to develop their own cultural icons to bring back ethnic pride. "Black is Beautiful" was one such icon. The "Afro" look was another. A different cultural standard of beauty in music, the arts, fashion, etc. came out of "Black Pride". The Filipino has to develop "Filipino Pride" and cut himself loose from his attachment to the cultural icons of his colonial masters.
One of the most virulent Tagolog insults is "Puta ang ina mo". The word "puta" is a Spanish word. There isn't a Tagalog or Visayan or Hiligaynon word for "puta". From the fact there was no word to describe it one can conclude that prostitution as a business form did not exist prior to the Spanish conquest. This is not saying that the use of sexual favors to secure protection or advantage over others, did not exist. But the business of prostitution was one of those violent Hispano-American cultural abominations that came into being as a way of imposing cruel colonial power over the people.
"Your women are our playthings". Philippine women have to be instilled with pride. Even the many prostitutes need to be rehabilitated and brought back out of the depravity they are in and into the sunlight of a sane society. All such cruel structures of domination must be removed and destroyed.
Graft and corruption is an important part of the problem that must be addressed by the people. This may be the easiest part to address. Openly, visibly and publicly execute a few of the worst grafters. That's all that needs to be done to address that problem. Because the other problems to which I alluded to are much deeper and more ingrained and much less obvious. But their importance outweighs graft and corruption.
The Philippines is a beautiful country with some of the most beautiful, some of the kindest, some of the most generous people on earth. It ought not to be difficult to instill pride onto this race of people. The start-off point needs to be the cutting of all those strings that permits the colonial powers (the USA and the Vatican) to move their Philippine marionettes and make them dance to their tune at their say so.
The wealthy must invest their money in the Philippines. Anyone caught salting money abroad should be treated as the worst grafters are treated and must face the axman's wrath. Pride in the Philippines has to extend all the way into modern industrial and economic structures. Force capitalists "to make things in the Philippines because our people will not buy what is not made in the Philippines".