Sunday, October 04, 2009

Conflicted/Word Vomit 2/? [To be transliterated in Tagalog]

Hmm, my thoughts have become disjointed and incoherent and are going EVERYWHERE. I guess it's because I think based on emotions? This makes it so much harder to write them down.

So let's see... where did I leave off?

Oh yes. Now changing an entire mindset, which is perhaps the domino which will start the whole betterment and positive development movement, is the hardest to do. Mental conditioning is difficult to effect especially in the adult years, and it doesn't take a scientist to see that.

The Filipino is notorious for having amnesia of both long-term and short-term memory. We take the proverbs "Forgive and forget" and "Start fresh, start clean" a little too seriously. This is one of the saddest things about being Filipino - we, as a nation, forget too soon the grievous sins committed against our people and our country, whether by foreign parties or (and this is where it gets worse) fellow Filipinos ourselves. For starters, we suffered exactly 333 years of tyranny under Spain; today, Instituto Cervantes and the Catholic Church are still around (as much as I believe wholeheartedly in Christ Jesus, it is very sad that many figures in the Church have done things contrary to His teachings through the ages), IBM's Philippine unit hires and trains Filipino call center agents for accounts based in Spain and Latin America, many land, labour and governance problems rooted in politicking Spanish exiles and their way of "running the country" continue to plague us today, and I haven't even mentioned the controversial "Filipinas" biscuits which were said to have tasted good, save for their Oreo-like premise of dark cookies with white filling. Have the Spanish insulares and naturalised Filipinos originally from Spain helped the Philippines? Not really - the capitalist Zobel de Ayala family, for instance, have contributed to the rapid, technologically-driven Western-style development of Makati City, but they have also popularised mall culture and San Miguel Beer to new heights. No-one had heard a peep from them the moment the Ondoy/Ketsana hit, and one friend who found herself stranded in one of the low-end Ayala malls in Taguig City told me that the Ayala personnel were extremely lacking in compassion at the height of the storm.

Oh, alright, I take back my hatred of San Miguel Beer, but then again, I was never a beer drinker as I find it too bitter.

This kind of mental condition could only be sheer stupidity at best. But that is how my brain is conditioned. There is no avoiding it; after all, while my late grandparents fought in their own ways during the Japanese occupation during World War II, I can only be described as a rabid J-Pop fan who is a virtual slave to gyaru fashion. Except I refuse to forget, or at least I grasp at straws and devise ways to keep everything in my memory.

Trust me, it's not fun to focus on the negative like this. But the Filipino likes focusing more on the happy and pretty things than the sad and ugly ones. I know I prefer sleeping in the car than staring the greasy-skinned child wearing tattered clothes begging me to please buy a sampaguita garland, and I know I will much rather read my magazines, newspapers and books in English than the longwinded vernacular.


petrufied said...

Hey Joy, don't be so glum. You need a huggle!

True, we went through 333 years under Spanish tyranny, but it isn't like Instituto Cervantes and the Church are trying to control our country. Instituto, as you know, is actually promoting Spanish and Filipino friendship, so how about looking at it as "mending," even a little, the wrongs done by their forebears?

And, although many might say "the Church is trying to control our country etc etc," let's not forget that the Church (that everyone seems to want to pick on in their FB, twitter etc. for one flimsy reason after another) includes us. Maybe if people stop nitpicking at the Church and remember that they're part of the very same Church, they'll realize how much they can do to help make things better.

While we shouldn't simply forget our tragedies and the wrongs done to us, we also should not waste time wallowing in "what you did to me boohoo" drama. We (both the oppressed and the oppressors) must also learn from these experiences so that when we remember them, we do so understanding how it has made us better as a people, and not with bitterness in our hearts, which, as science has proven time and again, just leads to heart disease.

Ligaya said...

Thanks Nikko. {hugs}

FYI lang I AM doing something about it.

It's just that the following need serious improvement and thought:

1) A few bishops suing ABS-CBN for showing HBO's Big Love, which doesn't seek to glorify a religious lifestyle which espouses polygamy, as it does actually show the difficulty in following that religion-oriented lifestyle and ensuing belief system: --> Very close-minded if you ask me.

2) All things considered, the Catholic Church did not respond as quickly during the onset of Ondoy. I work from the ground and have seen this for myself. The Church took a LONG time to get mobilised as a whole. Groups within the Church did it quicker, but still not quick enough.

3) To a lesser degree, the abuse of some priests of their position. One of my kuyas (cousins) was a sacristan, and he would narrate how the priests could get physical in punishing them for even the smallest transgressions. I thought the Church was trying to improve its relationships with the lay?

I agree that we are a part of the Church, but it would be a sin to absolve the clergy and religious of their transgressions to the lay. It must be a two-way cooperative effort.