The Crabs Among Us
By Apolinario Villalobos
It is disheartening to note that there are some people who delight in the downfall of others. Worst, these same people cause such downfall, themselves. They cannot bear to see others succeed. In any way possible, they exert some efforts in uttering remarks to discredit the success of others. These people should leave to others what they think they cannot accomplish. They should realize that not everybody has the same talents, abilities and capacities to have the same success in life. Not everybody can be a mayor, doctor, teacher, priest, soldier, businessman, etc. Success can be equated with happiness in what one does. There should be contentment in what one has happily accomplished and not grumble at what others have attained. Competition is healthy if done positively. This is where learning from one’s failure and the success of others come in.
In a conversation between two radio program anchors, they mentioned about an actress who got angry because her Production Assistant (PA) who is obviously prettier than her was taken in for a very short role in a TV episode. Instead, of encouraging her PA, she fired her. In an office where I worked as a consultant, a hardworking staff assistant was fired by his manager because the Vice-President of the company never failed to mentioned the staff assistant every time he held a meeting of managers, for working hard while maintaining a low profile, reporting on time and maintaining a perfect attendance despite floods, giving a hint that the said guy is worthy of a promotion. The VP was implying that the managers should do the same. The staff assistant was fired by his manager for a flimsy reason. Before the VP knew it, the staff assistant was no longer working in the office for almost two weeks. The staff assistant was hired by another company as supervisor.
The diminutive Osang, the Filipina working in Israel as a care-giver showed the world that Filipinos are at par with international singers, by coping the first XFactor – Israel championship, despite her being an alien to that country. If Osang will join a singing competition in the Philippines, will she make it? I doubt… In so many local competitions, the “judges” give preference to the “face” of the competitors, the external personality, not the talent. Take note that judging is subjective, and judges can always have a reason or two not to favor the “real” talent. This is the reason why Charice Pempengco did not win the local competition that she joined years ago, but won the approval of the world when her talent was showcased via the internet. Charice do not have the face that merits a second look, compared to the winner of the competition. Had Lea Salonga not joined the “Miss Saigon” and later another Broadway production “Les Miserables”, I doubt if she was given the recognition in the local show business industry despite her having a good voice. She has that not-so pretty face compared to other local show business personalities, by Filipino standard, as some local journalists would say to which her fans disagree. The recognition that she fully deserve is anchored on her being the first “Miss Saigon”, important role in “Les Miserables” and flawless voice, and such recognition was first given to her by a foreign company, with the local admirers joining the wagon later on…yes, only later, when they have no choice but give her the long overdue accolade. Without those foreign exposures, she could have just been another Filipino singers. This is the sad situation of the local show business industry – pulling down deserving talents and wait for them to be recognized abroad before given a due, belated recognition.
While having coffee in the canteen of a university where I delivered a speech on tourism, I overheard a group of students crowding a nearby table about their classmate whose blogs were earning many followers and likes. One of them remarked, “let us not like or follow his blogs, if we do, the more that he will become popular and brag about his blogs”. The rest agreed to the suggestion. One of them even suggested to make negative comments about the blogs using a username not familiar to the blogger. This is one of the many stories of woe that sadly cram the nooks of learning institutions, cradle of learning for future and responsible citizens. Others involve baseless disclosure to teachers about plagiarized thesis materials and purported cheating during exams to put classmates in a bad light, I was told about this by a student that I befriended in my effort to learn more about their behavior.
My commentary on the state of our educational system written in Filipino elicited a remark pointing at my failure to conjugate a verb. Instead of taking the context of the commentary in its totality, the commentor, a teacher, mentioned such flaw, perhaps to show that I have no right in blogging such material and such effort should only come from a teacher like her. I clarified that what I wrote even defended the poorly- waged teachers some of whom, those assigned in remote areas of Mindanao, are exposed to dangers. She failed to get through all the sentences which I painstakingly developed to make them “conversational”. Example of this is “ punta ka rito”, instead of “pumunta ka rito” , or “kanta ka na”, instead of “kumanta ka na” It is the trend now, even with the English language, an example of which is “thanks for the invite” instead of “thanks for inviting” or “thanks for the invitation”. Had I wrote my commentary in the strict “balarila” way, my style would appear “trying hard”. She pulled me down, instead of pushing me on to come out with more of my observations regarding our rotting educational system that require children to drag bags that overflow with books to school, among other things. That was my purpose which she failed to perceive.
The success of others should be taken to mean that the number of people who need help is diminishing. This thought should give us a consolation. If we cannot be instrumental in helping others, we should be happy for the success that they honestly earned in their own way. Most importantly, we should not expect a payback or returned favor, in exchange for the help we give others that spelled their success. Instead, they should be encouraged to pass on to others the favor. It is through this simple task that we can spread the goodwill. Never should one ever think of pulling anybody down so as to impede their success in life because of jealousy. Praise and encouragement should be given to those who deserve them, as an impetus for them to go on. Instead of pulling others down, the attitude should be that of pulling them up.