Thursday, July 6, 2017

Manny Pacquiao highlights the whole problem with Filipinos

It seems Filipino sports fandom had achieved a milestone following the results of Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Jeff Horn by unanimous decision. Unlike in the past when Filipinos were united behind Pacquiao, response to the outcome of the fight is now divided along, you guessed it, political partisan lines. It seems Filipinos know nothing about framing an issue properly using the appropriate mode of thinking. They’d rather delegate their evaluation faculties to inlfuential but agenda-laden people and entities.
And we wonder why Filipinos remain a conquered people even today.
Despite Filipinos’ delusions of “independence”, there is hardly anything about how they think and act that is independent in the real sense of the term. Indeed, the important points that need to be made here are not around whether Pacquiao won or lost or whether Filipinos unite around him or not. The issue here is around how people like Pacquiao continue to determine what Filipinos think.
At the moment, Filipinos are busy trading barbs about how Pacquiao the Politician and Boxer should be regarded. They are basically kicking up a stink over what is essentially a non-issue. If we refer back to the only real principles underlying Pacquiao the Politician and Boxer, we will find that there really is nothing to debate.
(1) Pacquiao is a a popular boxer.
Boxing, like basketball, is the opiate of the Filipino masses. It is a sport that is easy to follow for people who don’t like having to understand complicated rules. In boxing, you basically throw punches at the other with the aim of getting him to succumb to the repetitive concussions caused by your punches before you do as a result of his. Quite simple. Perfect for a Filipino audience. Pacquiao being a champ at this game therefore makes him the perfect Filipino celebrity.
(2) Congress is where laws are crafted.
Indeed it is. Unfortunately, Filipinos don’t really understand this fact about their legislature. For most Filipinos, members of the legislature are people who they expect will dole out money and favours to their constituents. This is the reason why pork barrel politics remains as cancerous as it has ever been. Politicians merely gravitate to the concepts that voters can relate to. Dole outs and favours resonate more to voters than the intellectual pursuit (and actual legislators’ job) of crafting and improving laws.
Again, this is why Pacquiao is the perfect Filipino legislator — because he does not actually legislate. He doles out stuff to, does favours for, and entertains Filipinos.
(3) Voters elected Pacquiao to Congress because they idolise him as a boxer.
And so because Filipinos like boxers and because they lack an understanding of what the job of a legislator really is, Filipinos elected Manny Pacquiao to the Senate. This leads us to the key non-surprise here…
(4) Pacquiao’s current performance as a legislator is substandard.
How can Pacquiao be a good legislator (in the real sense of the role)? He spends most of his energy doing what he does best: boxing.
* * *
Seeing the Pacquiao “debate” under this light, one can tell straightaway that being a Yellowtard, a Dutertard, or just simply a Tard does not change nor contribute anything to the real nature of this debate. Unfortunately, Filipinos won’t let these facts get in the way of a good belief system. Regardless of all of the above, they believe Manny Pacquiao is a good senator. They also believe that how much he deserves the outcome of his last fight depends on whether he supports one or the other political camp. When a people prefer to believe rather than evaluate, there really is not much to debate (in the real sense of that last word).
The good thing about Pacquiao is that it helps those of us who think understand Filipinos better. Take note of the key words in the above principles: popular, laws, idolise, and performance. These four words form the keys to really getting to know what makes Filipinos tick. And what makes Filipinos tick can be summarised in a single sentence using these four words:
What is popular and not what is prescribed by laws guides what Filipinos do, because they would rather idolise their leaders than evaluate them on the basis of performance.
This is the reason Filipinos will always be at each others’ throats — because they do not realise that they are bickering over all the wrong things. This is the legacy Manny Pacquiao will leave Philippine society with — an embodiment of everything that is wrong with how Filipinos regard their leaders, and one another.

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