Thursday, 12 July 2012

A Damaged Culture - James Fallows 1987

This whole essay was taken from an article written almost 25 years ago just a year before my baby brother, Paul, was born.

I was 10 years old then... Naive, filled with the excitement that comes with a promise of new government and change.

My heart sung praises when my Lolo was taken from us because I know as a believer, that his mission on this Earth was done and completed. The sudden realization is now that the Legacy has passed, what is to be my response?

I was communicated that awesome dream... a dream of a First World Philippines.

If anything this article encourages me and makes me cringe at the same time. Fallows said in his article:

If the problem in the Philippines does not lie in the people themselves or, it would seem, in their choice between capitalism and socialism, what is the problem? I think it is cultural, and that it should be thought of as a failure of nationalism. (emphasis added)

Fallows explored the cultural genesis of the Pinoy Ethos,  giving rise to some realizations.

  1. Elitism is self-perpetuating
  2. A pervasive attitude of dependence (be it to well to do relatives, kids or the Americans)
  3. The Pinoy Spirit is incredibly resilient
In this social reference the "Resilience" of the Filipino Spirit is all about our ability to rise up over ALL obstacles, to make the best out of every situation. As Fallows has observed:
The people of Smoky Mountain complain about land-tenure problems-- they want the city to give them title to the land on which they've built their shacks--but the one or two dozen I spoke with seemed very cheerful about their community and their lives. Father Beltran, the young Dominican, has worked up a thriving business speaking about Smoky Mountain to foreign audiences, and has used the lecture fees to pay for a paved basketball court, a community-center building, and, of course, a church. As I trudged down from the summit of the mountain, having watched little boys dart among the bulldozers, I passed the community center. It was full of little girls, sitting in a circle and singing nursery-school songs with glee. If I hadn't come at the last minute, I would have suspected Father Beltran of putting on a Potemkin Village show.
At this moment, I know I have had some setbacks from writing quality WoW Gold making and Tanking posts. I just moved jobs and I am still getting the hang of commission only wages, my Lolo passed away and I am recovering from a bad spell of the Flu. Times like these are draining enough as it is, but I always take heart. Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." There is something about my faith that strengthens my soul to keep going. This is the same quality that my Lolo has encouraged me to pursue. A strong character that is imbued with tenacity and perseverance is definitely needed to reach the next level. ACTION.

The dream is alive in me again. I know that the start is just around the corner. A strong network of people looking at the same result will eventually give rise to the momentum needed to shift mass apathy into a nationalistic action to eventually, a First World Philippines.

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