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April 06, 2005



at the rate things are going, we might as well follow what the reverend jonathan swift wrote about in his satire ``A Modest Proposal.'' opps... :roll:


The population is exploding, therefore, neuter the buggers who breed like rabbits. That's getting real?

My problem with this site is how it gives the impression that Philippine problems arise from some fundamental flaw in the Filipino "character" (whatever that might mean) and especially, the character of the Filipino poor. The colonial experience, the dictatorship, the landowning elite, the structural defects that perpetuate corruption are somehow not party to the present problems; it's how we ARE, or how the poor ARE, that's to blame.

Well, if the problem is ontological, we can't really fix it, can we? Neutering would indeed be a logical solution.


Carla -- I think you have been in the UK too long, you're the only Filipino I know who would use the word "bugger". To be fair to "get real", they are trying to look forward to the future so perhaps it is not part of their brief to dwell on the legacy of colonialism or the dictatorship. There are plenty of people doing that already and there is not much you can do about colonialism now. The other two issues you mention--the continuing dominance of the elite and the structural defects that perpetuate corruption--are much more current and I agree that they probably do more to hold the country back than defects in the "national character" (whatever that is). Still, the social and political institutions of a country and the national psyche perpetuate each other I think. For example, the Philippines' rigid class structure will remain as long as people accept it as "natural" and most here people do. Filipinos are fatalistic: poor people think of themselves as the "poor" and see no hope of personal advancement. Yet until people drop this idea of a fixed universe in which everyone has his/her own place, until the deference of the "yes mum, yes sir" culture is sent to the dustbin where it belongs, the social structure will remain unchallenged. So, while I agree that the problems are largely structural, the structures will not change until people change their mindsets. Yet people will not change their thinking while the structures are in place. Who can break this vicious cycle? That's the key question.


Renan -- ha, ha. The fact that an 18th century satire is so relevant to the 21st century Philippines ought to tell us something don't you think?

Peter Barbera

It is a well known fact that nations with high poverty rates also have large birth rates. With the poverty level of the Philippines at about 74 percent,it is not surprising that many familes have 6 to 9 children. The increasing number of children provides the family with the stability of having a form of social security. It is like buying a lottery ticket. Your odds increase with the more tickets you buy as your odds will increase with the more children you have. Eventually one of those tickets will win you and one of those children will become successful.

Daniel Machanik

The Philippines has some very nice places to visit and many of the poor people there are friendly and honorable. Unfortunatley, the level of corruption there from politicians, law enforcement and the media is so widespread that the country as a whole is really quite hopeless. It's very sad that they always look to outside forces to blame when really a good stare in the mirror might reveal that many of the problems there are internally driven. Foreign investors have been flocking away from the country in record numbers with good reason. Daniel Machanik



Long time no post!

I've set up a Wiki facility to see if I can get the best minds in the blogosphere to collaborate on a single "Solutions Manifesto" to address the fundamental issues of Philippine society.

Wiki technology is an open source application that is Web-based and allows anyone who logs on (even anonymously) to edit content directly. The application manages version and provides the Administrator some ability to control access and content; but all-in-all, it is open for all and the resulting content will merely reflect the quality of the contributions.

Check it out here:


If you click "edit page" on the left sidebar, you will be taken to a page editor facility that provides a WYSiWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) environment to edit and save that page. You can even add pages if you want.

Hope to see you there!


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Thanks for this post. The timing could not have been more perfect.


"sorry, we can't find the wiki you're looking for" it says.

I may not be as intellectual as you guys but can't I see some insight of what you're discussing there??

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of course, many people are working to hide all this information, is like a big lie, to the rest of the world the country is a paradise, but when you are inside, you discover a real hell in some parts.


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