Pride or anger
by James “ Kojak ” Hughs

Some time ago an American TV show disrespected the Philippines by implying that doctors trained in the Philippines were not real doctors. The entire nation rose up in anger. Many refused to watch the TV show ever again.

Not long ago a Korean beauty queen insulted the Philippines by stating that the English spoken and taught here was substandard. Again, the Philippines rose up in justifiable anger.

Many claim that this is “PINOY PRIDE”; actually it is simply anger.

I think many Filipinos get angry because they are afraid what has been claimed is true. Why do I think this ? The proof is all around us.

Filipinos seem to believe the worst about themselves. Some business cabal in Singapore claims the Philippines is the most corrupt Asian country and even President Arroyo believes them. Nobody examines the survey methodology; they just accept it is true. The fact that it is in the financial interest of this cabal to put the Philippines down and elevate their status again does not seem to occur to anyone. The Philippine military is reported to have a 2% drug problem and everyone demanded that the military leaders be punished. When you compare it to the 6% drug rate in the civilian community it is obvious the military leaders are doing a good job and should be praised not to punished. When a list of the top ten worst airports in the world included Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA); we believe it. The fact that NAIA was compared with airports with ten times our annual budget does not seem to be important to anyone.

The question remains, why do Filipinos believe, consciously or unconsciously, the worst about themselves both individually and nationally? I think the cause of this low personal and national self esteem comes from two sources. First, five hundred and fifty years of oppressors telling Filipinos they are ignorant and unworthy had to have a negative impact. They stopped believing in themselves. Nothing can be done to change history. The second reason is something that can be changed. In schools, the media and Philippine daily discourse, Filipinos seem to focus on the negative, creating a self fulfilling failure prophesy. We often ignore how special and unique Filipinos are and always have been. We do not expect success, we anticipate failure. Johnny Depp is a hero and we do not even know who is Vincente Lim. Our kids want to be bloods and crips, a murdering American drug gang and we ignore the brave Filipinos in the Katipunan (KKK). Filipinos know Taylor Swift and Abraham Lincoln but can not identify a few Filipino heroes / celebrities. How can you believe in yourself if your heroes are from other countries and cultures? How can you believe in yourself if you do not believe in your own nation or its people? Study your own history and culture. Look for the positive. Find the truth.

Many Filipinos fear on failure and will not try, when the only true failure is NOT TRYING.

Thomas Edison was once criticized for failing 1,000 times to find a filament for his light bulb. He said, “ I DID NOT FAIL. I DISCOVERED 1,000 THINGS THAT DID NOT WORK”

Filipinos need to look to themselves for heroes. Filipinos need to stop thinking negative and look for the positive.

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