The “Culture of Entitlement”…a very negative character of Filipinos

The “Culture of Entitlement”

…a very negative character of Filipinos

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

The “culture of entitlement” has made many Filipinos, especially, the youth, dependent on their expected inheritance from rich parents and generous relatives. The expectation has resulted to their indolence and loss of drive to strive on their own. This culture was never a part of the Filipino life prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. Early Filipinos were expected to work hard for survival because of the striated society. Instead of “entitlement”, the early Filipinos were “awarded” for their hard-earned accomplishments.

 

In grave contrast, the western nations are devoid of the aforementioned culture. In America for instance, soonest as a member of the family reaches the age of 18, he or she is expected to move out of the house of the parents to be on his or her own. And, even children of billionaires work hard to earn their living.

 

In the Philippines, even children of OFWs and those with high positions in private companies and government tend to take things easy as they are assured of comfortable life, anyway. Some of them even lost interest in pursuing their studies, and develop a vice, instead. They are so conscious about the obligation of their parents to support them, by all means.

 

Unless the attitude of dependence or the culture of entitlement is softened a bit, the character of the Filipinos in general shall continue to be on its downhill trend.

 

 

How the Red Tide Swept the Philippine Shores, and the founding of Hukbalahap

How the Red Tide Swept the Philippine Shores,

and the founding of Hukbalahap

By Apolinario Villalobos

During the American regime, the “freedom” that was introduced, developed political consciousness among the learned but poor Filipinos – city dwellers and sons of peasants. They joined hands and welded together the laborers of the city and peasants of the provinces, resulting to the sprouting of labor unions. The consciousness was further fanned by inspirations that came in the form of literary works such as novels and dramas.

1922 saw the organization of “Confederacion de Aparceros y Obreros Agricolas de Filipinas (Philippine Confederation of Tenants and Agricultural Workers), by Jacinto Manahan. It was renamed Katipunang Pambansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (National Peasants Union of the Philippines), two years later. The union joined forces with the already organized Philippine Labor Congress to become the formidable tool of the working class during the time.

Leaders of the Philippine Labor Congress (PLC) attended a trade conference in 1928, in Canton, China which was sponsored by the communists. When they returned, they formed the Labor Party, at the same time affiliating the “mother organization”, Philippine Labor Congress with the Red International of Labor Unions. This move transformed the PLC into a communist-oriented union.

In 1929, disagreements ensued within the PLC on policy matters which led to the departure of Crisanto Evangelista who founded the Katipunan ng mga Anak-pawis ng Pilipinas (Congress of Philippine Workingmen). The other leaders, Ruperto S. Cristobal and Antonio Paguia remained with the PLC. Evangelista moved further on by founding Partido Comunista (Communist Party) with Jacinto Manahan, using the Russian ideology as their model. The Communist Party assumed a tolerable image until 1932, during which the Supreme Court declared it to be an illegal association. This did not deter the party from working with the peasants and laborers discreetly. The members were eventually imprisoned.

Meanwhile, on the same year of 1929, Pedro Abad Santos, who belonged to the cultured and learned class of Pampanga, founded the Socialist Party, together with the “Aguman Ding Maldang Talapagobra” (Workers’ and Peasants’ Union) or AMT. The Socialist Party was used by the AMT as its political arm which did not gain fame until after 1932. It operated openly as it was sanctioned by the government, unlike the Communist Party whose illegality led to the imprisonment of its members.

In 1932, when the imprisoned members of the Communist Party were released, it merged with the Socialist Party. The merging led to the impression that even the non-communist members of the Socialist Party, were also communists. Nonetheless, from then on, the group developed to become a sophisticated working class in Central Luzon, aside from becoming more militant.

When war broke out in the Pacific in December 8, 1941, the Philippines was dragged into it. Later on, the retreat of the combined US and Philippine forces to Corregidor and eventual defeat, throw the whole country into confusion. By instinct, the peasants of Pampanga organized a “militia” to protect themselves against the occupying Japanese forces.

The peasant leaders met in February 1942 at barrio Bakwit, Cabiao, Nuevea Ecija. It was attended by Luis Taruc, Juan Feleo, Casto Alejandrino, Matelo del Castillo, F. Sampanga, Jose de Leon, Lino Dizon, Eusebio Aquino, and Mariano Franco. They decided on a “united front” against the aggressors, with the battlecry “Anti-Japanese Above All”. They laid down their three-pronged policy, as: economic (development of all means of providing the people with sustenance and at the same time to sabotage Japanese effort to loot the country); political (discredit the “puppet regime” and destroy its influence); and, military (harass the Japanese).

The peasant leaders met again in a forest between Tarlac, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija in March 29, 1942, to finalize their organization which assumed tha name, “HUKBO NG BAYAN LABAN SA HAPON” or HUKBALAHAP. Its Military Committee was composed of Luis Taruc, Banal (Bernardo Poblete), Casto Alejandrino, and Felipa Culala (Dayang-dayang). Taruc was elected as the chairman with Alejandrino as his deputy.

Unfortunately, Hukbalahap which was originally meant to fight the Japanese aggressors was discredited due to politics and insecurities of the landlords, pushed to the corner, until it finally went underground to fight the unfair policies of the government. The abused peasants with the grain of communistic idealism already planted in their consciousness had no choice but lean on the support that propped them up since before the onset of the WWII. The events that followed were more than expected…

The Charisma of Pope Francis and the Euphoria of the Filipinos

The Charisma of Pope Francis

And the Euphoria of the Filipinos

By Apolinario Villalobos

The electrifying impact of Pope Francis’ historic visit to the Philippines is such that it will never be forgotten, especially, with the attestation of the Vatican’s spokesperson that it is the biggest event among the papal visits to any country. The euphoric feeling of the Filipinos borders on justifiable fanaticism. The warm reception accorded the shepherd of the Catholic Church defied the onslaught of nature when he said the Mass in Tacloban which was punctuated with incessant rain and strong wind, and in Manila which was heavily drenched with the steady bone-drenching downpour.

The bad weather did not melt the devotion of the Filipinos as they waited even for the fleeting moment to have a glance of the pope along the routes of his entourage. Wheelchaired PWDs patiently waited under the shield of thin plastic sheets. Mothers risked the health and safety of their children. And, elderlies did not utter any complaint as they waited for the pope with their wobbling legs.

For once, the rich and the poor trekked side by side, to Luneta for the concluding Mass, under the rain. The selfie addicts heeded the call not to click their camera during the Mass. The six million pilgrims gave resonating replies as one solid flock, to whatever call was made by the moderator of the occasion. For the first time, perhaps, hosts were passed on by pilgrims from the hand of the priests during the Communion. Putting to action the call of the pope for compassion, some pilgrims gave their raincoat to mothers and children.

The concluding Mass became some sort of a commitment ceremony during which Archbishop Tagle, speaking for the Filipinos, made a promise to go with him to the wherever his mission will bring him. And, in response, the pope asked the Filipinos to carry on the light of faith and devotion wherever they may go.

The pope played his role as Christ’s spokesperson during his visit, with a resounding success. He was a picture of humility since the first day of his arrival. And, his request that ceremonies do away with pomposity, was followed to the last letter. No colorful streamers from government officials and politicians that scream greetings dotted his routes. Most, importantly, the Filipinos behaved appropriately.

Ang Dapat Gayahin Sa Ibang Bansa

Ang Dapat Gayahin sa Ibang Bansa

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ang gobyerno ay kumikilos batay sa mga reaksiyon sa mga problema, sa halip na gumawa ng pangmatagalang solusyon. Ang tugon nito sa problema ng pagsirit ng mga presyo ng bigas ay umangkat pa ng marami sa ibang bansa upang ibentang mura bilang NFA rice. Bakit hindi madaliin ang sinasabing variety ng palay na maramihan kung mamunga ng butil at nabubuhay maski lubog sa baha? Inilabas ba ng Department of Agriculture ang impormasyon tungkol sa klase ng mga palay na ito bilang propaganda lang ng ahensiya? Kung sasabihin nilang walang pondo, bakit nagagamit ang ahensiya upang maglabas ng mga pondo ng mga mambabatas para gamitin sa mga proyektong hanggang sa papel lamang?

 

Ang nakakahiya ay ang pagiging isyung nasyonal ng kamahalan ng bawang at luya, pati sibuyas. Galing daw kasi sa ibang bansa ang magagandang klase na malalaki kaya gusto ng mga mamimili dahil hindi mahirap linisin. Yong lokal na produktog bawang kasi, maliliit na makapal pa ang balat, at may mga ugat pa. Kung ang gusto ng mga mamimili ay yong klase ng inaangkat, bakit hindi ito ang ipatanim ng Department of Agriculture sa mga magsasaka, sa halip na ipilit ang lokal na bawang kahit na di-hamak na mas mabango daw? Bakit ipipilit sa mga mamimili, eh sa ayaw nga dahil maliliit at mahirap linisin. Ganito rin ang isyu sa lokal na luya na maliliit din daw at kung ibenta sa mga palengke ay may mga putik pa, pati na ang sibuyas na may kulapol pang lupa kung ibenta sa mga palengke.

 

Ang Taiwan, China at South Korea ay biglang lumago dahil sa teknolohiya. Itong mga bansa ay nanggaya ng mga pumapatok na cellphones, na nagsimula sa Yuropa at Amerika. Sunod na ginaya ang ibang produkto tulad ng mga signature na apparels o damit at accessories, mga bag, at kung anu-ano pa. Sa pagkaalam ko, merong nanggaya din dito sa Pilipinas, pero hindi umubra dahil mas mura ang bayad sa mga manggagawa sa China. Pero, hindi ito ang ibig kong sabihing gayahin. Ang tinutukoy ko dito na maaaring gayahin ay ang pagkapursigido nila.

 

Naging pursigido ang mga Tsino (Taiwan at mainland China) at Koreano na umangat ang ekonomiya nila, kaya lahat ay ginawa upang makagawa ng paraan upang kumita ng maayos. Hindi sila umasa sa pag-angkat, lalo na pagdating sa mga produktong agrikultural. Nagtanim sila at nagbenta sa ibang bansa. Kaya nakakagulat malamang sa Taiwan, halimbawa ay mayroon na ring mga pananim na niyog. Dati, malaki ang kinikita ng Pilipinas sa pagbenta ng buko sa Taiwan, subali’t ngayon, naiba na ang takbo ng kalakalan nito.

 

Bumabaha ang malalaking palengke sa Maynila ng mga gulay na galing sa ibang bansa, tulad ng repolyo, malalaking labanos na animo ay upo, kamatis, sibuyas, pati na mga prutas. Ang Department of Agriculture walang ginawa kundi tumunganga sa mga pangyayari. Sa halip na sakyan ang pangangailan sa mga ganitong klaseng produkto dahil nakikita namang mabili, ay nagpaubaya na lang ang ahensiya sa pag-angkat. Marami tuloy ang nagsasabi na sa mga inaangkat, may mga taong kumikita ng malaki. Ang tanong sino sila? Basta ang alam ng lahat, hindi yong mga nagtitinda sa mga bangketa ng palengke na gamit ay bilao o naglalatag lamang ng kalakal. Hula ng iba, yon kayang mga nakaupo sa mga opisinang aircon?

The Filipinos…

The Filipinos…

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

We, Filipinos are a God-fearing people. Despite differences in faith, we are bound together by this fear. While other countries are reeling from suicide bombings, nothing of this sort has yet, been used by “local” terrorists in our country to send a strong message. But we have Abu Sayyaf kidnappings, a ragtag band of former Moro separatists that are just moving around in pockets of small areas in Mindanao, despite which, the military cannot suppress. There must be a reason for that…a “big” reason.

 

We, Filipinos are a forgiving people. We welcomed back from their exile, the family of the once-hated Ferdinand Marcos, our very own dictator, even allowed them to run for government posts. We are not even consistent in hating erring government officials, because that small spot of pity in our heart always prevail at the end. Our “ningas-cogon” culture that makes us excited at the first salvo of hideous issues, make us indifferent after several days of gaping, thereby, preventing us from sustaining violent reactions. Even the EDSA People Power is no more, as it has become an image of shame in the eyes of the serious Filipino revolutionists, who consider it as a movement of the rich and the political turncoats, a sad realization, and unfortunately, late in coming.

 

We, Filipinos are a neighbor-loving people. We allow even the unscrupulous hauling of black sands from some shores of northern Luzon, leaving gaping holes reminiscent of moon craters. Our enterprising neighbors from China are nonchalantly hauling off part of our beloved land, as if it is their own. Is it a sign of what is forthcoming? We even let our foreign neighbors denude our forests of precious hardy trees. We welcome with open heart the junks, especially, the electronic waste of our high-tech neighbors. We welcome their pre-worn clothes. We welcome with excitement the sub-standard gadgets assembled by their factories that employ cheap labor. Their cotton buds and toothpicks even fill big spaces of shelves in shopping malls and groceries! Practically, malls are filled with their stalls and manned by our pretty girls whose take home pay is not even enough for three meals a day. By the way…they also own the malls! Our being considerate is such that, we allow them to earn in our country and let them remit their earnings to their savings account in their beloved homeland. Thanks to the guy who pawned our country in the globalization chess board!

 

We, Filipinos do not want to quarrel. Our president says so, that is why, whatever our neighbor China does to our territory will just be lodged at the international arbitrary court. Our government does not want to quarrel with China, a reason why, it freed the Chinese poachers of turtles based on the provision of the international law of the sea that China does not even recognize. Yes, we are that considerate. Instead of quarreling with China, our leader showed graciousness by just talking and talking and talking…..endlessly. Yes, with eloquent orations, he preaches about international laws that China does not recognize, about his trustworthy support staff, about the improving economy, about the completion of school buildings and sufficient books for students, about the fast moving construction of relocation bunkhouses in Tacloban for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. Oh, by the way, among those that his mother did first and foremost when she replaced Marcos as President, was retrace the steps of their Chinese ancestors that led to a province of China known for its authentic Chinese cuisine, a show of goodwill that the Chinese loved! This gesture must have been embedded deeply in the consciousness of the present leaders of China, qualifying their thought, that indeed, the Philippines is part of China. That is why, they started filling up atolls in the western seas purported to be within our territory, for their airstrips. We just gawk – with our big American brother, his hand on our shoulder!

 

We, Filipinos adore the white skin. We allow the Americans to use our bases at our expense, despite their non-committal stand to favor the Philippines on the issue of the West Philippine Sea. This adoration blinded us from seeing the truth about the one-sided agreement with them that could turn the northwestern shores of Luzon, as well, as Palawan island, into battlegrounds. Not only are the white Americans do we adore. We also adore the Korean novelas and Korean boy and girl bands. Our teens scream wildly to express their admiration during the performances of these bands. The mothers of these young Filipinos even patiently toe the line for tickets to K-band concerts many months away, yet, never mind losing sleep while waiting for the ticket booth to open the next day. The Koreans are, without question, white in complexion unlike the brown Filipinos, and our teens adore their cross-dressing, orange hair, yellow hair, get ups as colorful as curtains. We love the white-skinned singers from America, the likes of Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift, while world-class brown -skinned Filipino singers are left on the sidelines unnoticed.

 

We, Filipinos are a happy lot of people, that is why we find happiness in seemingly endless texting, in browsing the internet. Yes, we love gadgets that give us high-tech happiness. We love to flaunt them around, especially those whose costs are equivalent to at least two months of our salary. We love to drive cars, though we can barely afford the rent of the small apartment that accommodates our family. We love to fill our small abode with electronic gadgets purchased using the plastic money – credit cards, practically, leaving us with almost nothing for other basic expenses every end of the month. And, when due dates for settling accountabilities come, we love to wonder why we failed to set aside something for the electric bill, water bill, etc. 

 

We, Filipinos are a resilient people. We can withstand the onslaught of calamities, a character that made those in the government think with a wicked smile that even without the tax money that should have been spent for our rehabilitation, we can still manage to survive, so they diverted the money instead – to their pockets. Their smile became bigger with the thought that billions of donations are still lying around, waiting for their taking.

 

We, Filipinos love dogs, cats, pigs and bacteria. We always leave spoonful of food for them on our plate every time we eat  in public places.  And, we are proud to show this kind of love to those who eat at tables next to ours, hoping that they will do the same.  This act of love is also being done by some considerate Filipinos at home.

 

Yes, we are a unique people…the Filipinos!

Ang Ugaling Gaya-gaya

Ang Ugaling Gaya-gaya

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Madalas binabatikos ang ugaling ito ng Pilipino. Masakit  mang aminin, ito ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit nahihirapan tayong umusad patungo sa mas maunlad na pamumuhay.  Subali’t hindi naman lahat ay may ganitong ugali. Yong may diskarte na hindi nanggagaya, sila yong umaasenso at sila ang ginagaya ng mga naiinggit sa mga tinamo nilang tagumpay sa buhay.

 

Noong nauso ang negosyong tapsilog sa Dongalo, Paraῆaque, at dinagsa ng mga kostumer maski hatinggabi na, may nanggaya, tapsilog din daw sila ng Paraῆaque, pero ang pwesto ay nasa Pasay. Meron pa ngang sa Caloocan naman ang pwesto. Noong nauso ang ensaymada ni Niῆo Muhlach, marami ang nakigaya at nagbenta rin ng kanilang ensaymada na “melts in the mouth” din daw na tulad ng kay Muhlach. Yong iba, pati kulay at disenyo ng karton ay halos ginaya. Noong nauso ang lechon-kawali, marami ring nagsunuran na nagsilutuan din ng pata at liempo ng baboy sa kawali.

 

Ang matindi sa ibang gumagaya, tinatabihan pa ang ginagaya. Kaya hindi kataka-taka na may mga lugar sa Maynila o saan mang lunsod o bayan sa Pilipinas na hili-hilera ang mga pwesto ng barbecue, bananacue, pares, lugaw at iba pa. Katwiran ng mga nanggaya, mas marami, mas masaya, parang sinabi nila ng hindi diretsahan na may karapatan din silang magbenta ng kaparehong kalakal, kaya ang sinabi na lang na dahilan ay para masaya daw! Hindi nga naman obvious ang pagka-inggit.

 

Ang ganitong ugali ay nakakaapekto din sa pagkatao ng ibang Pilipino, dahil ayaw nilang patalo. Gusto nila, kung ano ang nakikita nila sa iba, meron din sila. Nangyayari ito kalimitan sa mga biglang-yamang mga tao dahil pakiramdam nila, kaya na nila kung ano man ang gustuhin nila sa buhay dahil may pera na sila. Delikado din ito sa isang banda, dahil sa kagustuhan nilang mahigitan ang ginagaya, ang kalabisang natamo ay nakasira sa kanila.

 

Tulad ng kwento ng isang babae na nainggit sa kapitbahay na nagpalaki ng dibdib ng katamtaman lang naman. Nagpalaki din siya, pero mas malaking di-hamak kaya ang nangyari ay para siyang may dalawang lobo sa kanyang harap na nagpaliyad sa kanya. Ewan lang kung hiniwalayan siya ng asawa niyang nagtatrabaho bilang seaman, dahil tingin sa kanya ay trying hard na exotic dancer sa isang beerhouse, dahil nagpakulay pa ng buhok.

 

Yong isang kwento naman tungkol sa isang babae na nainggit sa kapitbahay na nagpatanggal ng matris na cancerous. Ang nainggit, nagpatanggal din, hindi lang matris, kundi obaryo din – nalamangan niya ng isang organ ang kinainggitang kapitbahay. Ibinalita pa sa mga kaibigan, tingin tuloy sa kanya, babaeng kulang-kulang!

 

Pati sa pag-alaga ng hayop, may mga nagkakainggitan din. May isang kapitbahay na kinainggitan dahil sa binili niyang malaking asong St. Bernard, ang nainggit, bumili ng kabayo. Yong bumili ng pot-bellied pig, ang nainggit bumili ng barakong baboy na bulugan may dalawang bilog na kumakampay sa pagitan ng dalawang paa sa likod…panalo ang nainggit na kapitbahay, dahil napapasaya niya ang mga kapitbahay tuwing iwo-walking niya ang baboy niyang bulugan sa loob ng subdivision. May nagkakamali pang nagtatanong sa kanya kung magkano ang singil niya sa serbisyong pakasta ng baboy niya!

 

May isang nainggit sa kaibigang nagpa-tattoo ng kilay. Nagpa-tattoo rin siya, subalit dahil allergic pala siya sa chemical na ginamit, nagka-keloid kaya ang mga kilay, tattoo na, naka-alsa pa. Pati ang maliit na kalapating tattoo ng kaibigan sa kaliwang braso, kinainggitan. Nagpalagay din siya, sa magkabilang braso pa, at hindi kalapati, kundi malalaking agila! Naging talk of the subdivision siya, kaya panalo siya.

 

Sa seryosong usapan, nakakainggit ang pag-usad ng mga kapitbahay nating bansa tungo sa kaunlaran. Napapag-iwanan ang Pilipinas maski man lang sa larangan ng turismo na siya nating kayang ipamayagpag, subali’t sa puntong ito, halos ay nauungusan na tayo ng Vietnam at Cambodia. Noong panahon ni Marcos, tayo ang ginagaya nila dahil napaunlad niya ng kung ilang laktaw ang turismo sa Pilipinas. Ngayon kabaligtaran ang nangyayari.

 

Nakakalungkot isipin na ang isang bagay na mahirap gayahin ng Pilipino ay ang disiplina. Marami na akong nakausap na kababayang madalas bumiyahe, tungkol dito at ang sabi nila, nakakapagpakita ng disiplina ang ilang kababayan natin kapag sila ay nangingibang- bansa, subali’t kapag nasa Pilipinas na, mahilig siyang “magpalusot” kapag may nalabag na patakaran.

 

Maganda sana ang panggagaya kung ang ginagaya ay magagandang kaugalian na makakatulong sa pag-unlad. Subali’t nakakalungkot isipin na kung minsan, ayaw nating tanggaping tayo ay nagkakamali rin, kaya ang matuto ng tama ay masakit sa ating kalooban.