Odd Behavior of Some Filipinos

Odd Behavior of Some Filipinos

By Apolinario Villalobos


There is strangeness in the way some Filipinos behave. Let us take a look at the following:


  1. West Philippine Sea and Ayungin Shoal issues. The Filipino militants, instead of marching to the Chinese Embassy to make protests, persist in breaking the protective cordon at the US embassy and shout obscenities against joint military exercises of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the visiting US forces. It is very obvious that the Philippines is no match to the power of China and the presence of the US forces somehow provides a subtle antidote to the country’s helplessness. During the latest incident at the Ayungin Shoal when two Chinese patrol boats tried to dangerously cut the way of a Philippine civilian ship on March 29, 2014, a Filipino media man reported that the two Chinese patrol boats went away when a helicopter with a US mark, flew overhead.
  2. Capture of the two New People’s Army (NPA) leaders – Tiamzon couple.  The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) again tried to grab the limelight by declaring that it is going to conduct an investigation regarding the “illegal arrest”. The arrest boosted the morale of the Armed Forces of the Philippines which is hoping that it would send signal to the comrades of the couple to lay down their arms, but here comes the commission that has the habit of waiting for hot issues in which it can dip its finger. The commission could illicit appreciation if it will conduct an investigation on the discovered mass graves in Bicol and southern Tagalog, to which rebel “returnees” allegedly executed by their comrades found their way. Perhaps, to complete its nationalistic effort, it might as well check the condition of the cats and dogs of the couple that have monthly food allocation of Php14,000 per month.
  3. Vote buying during election.Bribery during election has become deeply rooted that finding a remedy to such practice is next to impossible. When before, it is done discreetly, today, bag men have the courage to attend political gatherings in broad daylight. The targets are voters belonging to the lower middle classes, or generally, the poor sector. Bribes are accepted, but after the election, the recipients blame each other when the bribing official failed to deliver the promised projects. Bribe recipients even join rallies against corruption in the government and shout “never again”. Another election comes, the same vote buying happens – with even bigger amount passed on to the willing voters.
  4. Lenten “sacrifices”. Weeks before the onset of the Lenten season, meetings to discuss religious activities are held. Street corners for the Stations of the Cross are identified. Participants to the live reenactment of Jesus’ sufferings on His way to the Calvary are likewise chosen. Churches to be visited as a popular practice are listed – the more, the better for the atonement of sins. Homes and sites for Lenten readings or “pabasa” are chosen, complete with singing readers…..and, where to unwind after the “sacrifices”, are painstakingly selected – Baguio, Tagaytay, resorts in Pangasinan, Laguna, La Union, or for the financially endowed, Hongkong, Taipei or Singapore. The “penitents” forgot that a sacrifice loses its meaning and value, if they seek pleasure afterwards.
  5. Abhorrence of “bad tasting” preventive herbal remedies. Some do not have the “courage” to eat or drink preventive herbal remedies despite the testimonies of those who have benefited from them. For them, anything herbal has a connotation of being lowly, no class, poor. But when time came for them to be admitted in a hospital for expensive check- up or worse, operation, they suddenly became “courageous” to borrow money or pawn valuables, all of which could have been avoided if they had the courage to take affordable preventive herbal remedies.
  6. Disgust over vegetables and other “cheap” homey meals. At home, some Filipinos never prepare affordable foods that could have helped them minimize their expense. As with the herbal medicines, for them, vegetables are lowly foods. But these same people when invited to dinners in expensive restaurants that serve “exotic” and “native” foods, swoon to the wonderful taste of pureed squash soup (nilamog na kalabasa sa bawang), sautéed water cabbage (adobong kangkong), yam leaves in coconut milk (laing), pasta with sauce piquantly drizzled with anchovy (bagoong dilis), stir-fried chinese spinach (alogbate), and other foods that they can easily prepare at home.


If only some Filipinos can be their real selves, then, as what a past Philippine president said, “this nation can be great again”. 

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