Huwebes, Hunyo 28, 2012

Opinion on F. Sionil Jose's "Why are Filipinos so Poor?"

Corrupt government.

Untrustworthy politicians.

Not so intelligent teachers.

Poor human resource.


Take a pause, could we stop blaming other people or even ‘factors’? Isn’t it’s just the poor mindset of the Filipinos that makes us poor? I find this article very factual and relevant. Other insights were just overstated but very honest reports. And as I understand in Sionil Jose’s article, he mainly talked about poverty in connection with the ways of living of the typical Filipinos.

“Why then were we left behind?”
Come to think of it, developed countries nowadays are thriving for better living. While here in the country, people were still focused on how to empower and educate our people. Not saying that Filipinos cannot come up with better ideas, but some of us usually end up with “pwede na yan...”.

“Why then are we poor?”
Laziness. In just the first quarter of 2012, it is reported that over 13 million Filipinos were unemployed.
Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey also reported that 34.4 percent of Filipinos aged 18 years old and above were jobless.  young generation is considered ‘tambay’ who really are very unproductive. Aside from being burden to their families, they also contribute to the large number of unproductive people here in the country. Why don’t they just volunteer themselves to work for their families and have at least small income?

Show offs. Filipinos are not just great show offs, we’re also great copy cats. Whatever we see with Hollywood stars’ dresses or Korean hair styles, wait for a week or even just days and you’ll see Filipinos already trying their very best to photocopy foreign looks. There’s nothing wrong with recycling ideas, as long as you could come up with a better one. Sionil’s right, ‘a colony of our own elite’.

Nationalism is inward looking. What we develop now is to be a good follower of the powerful countries.

Loss of ethical  moorings. Is it really to overlook the corruption? Because what’s happening lately was to fight against corrupt politicians. We’re not anymore dogs of the government, even journalists nowadays

If we are to describe Philippine poverty, I think it’s not just a continuation of how common the standard of living was, way back the revolution days. It is also a slow improvement of own personal lives of the Filipinos. Why? Most of us still have these old thinking, “kuntento na kami dito...”, “nakakakainnaman kami tatlong beses isang araw...”, “masayang mabuhay ng simple...”. There’s nothing wrong with these thoughts if we have maintained that standard of living. But a sad truth, obviously we have not.

There are lots of different factors that can affect a country’s poverty. And if people will not initiate for change, who would? The challenge for us is to aim for the best. Maybe we could start not just aiming those typical dreams; maybe we could take a little step attaining them. We could take our part. We could start with ourselves. 

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