Filipino Soul, Part II: The Invisible Beast

This is follow-up to the prior blog about Filipinos “missing the delta drive”.
I feel like I am wrestling with an invisible beast on this subject, one that is real, but I can’t exactly define it.
Nevertheless, I’ve got the spray paint can out aimed at the disturbance, hoping to get some clarity.
Some who commented on the prior article made the observation that it is hard for Filipinos to be inspired about their work because they don’t earn much. So they don’t put much into it. This translates into an inherent laziness and restrains ambition.
I accept that as legitimate rationale for the laboring class not to do any more than is necessary, for when they are laboring, they are sweating aplenty. But that does not explain the shortcomings of professional, business and government workers.
Now for them, the lack of motivation may be the lack of upside growth. Like raises and promotions. I’ve written about the need for Fair Employment laws to put such achievement rewards into the system. You know, look for ways to root cheating and favors out of the system and replace them with rewards for productivity.
I’m not so sure that is really the answer though, to explain the lack of “delta drive”.
In my article, I addressed “soul” because I think the trait, or more accurately, what is missing, seems deeper than the laziness that comes with hard work attached to little reward. It is a vacancy at the core, a missing personal inspiration, a missing personal passion, a failure to be able to connect dots . . . with emotional commitment . . . a failure to say, in the private place that belongs to no one but ourselves,  “I know that giving to the community is in MY best interest”.
Filipinos define patriotism in a shallow way, as waving a flag or cheering a boxer or marching militaristically to the National Anthem. Most are missing the deeper desire to make the country whole through daily acts, like disposing of trash properly or being courteous to other Filipinos. It is not thoughtlessness. It is blindness. It is a missing emotion, a missing commitment to SELF through the well-being of the community.
 I fault educators for neglecting to teach aspiration, courtesy and sacrifice as important disciplines. But then educators seem also to be missing the delta drive, the ability to focus on what would make a difference to their community. They teach the same things that were taught years ago. They appear never to have a brainstorming session that asks, “how can we make the Philippines a better place through what and how we teach?” They don’t have a passion to make the nation better. They just do what they do, and have done for years.
It is not neglect. It possibly isn’t really ignorance. It is simply an emotion and a commitment that is not there, or is drowned out by low self-esteem and the relentless excuse-mongering and seeing of things upside down (seeing ambition or generosity as signs of weakness). It is not laziness, really. It is a missing emotion: “I feel good helping make things better . . .”
The delta drive is passion for the well-being of all of us.
It is deep, it is personal.
It is missing, here, in the Philippines.
8 Responses to “Filipino Soul, Part II: The Invisible Beast”
  1. bubi78 says:

    Most of the Filipinos, who moved abroad, like in America, are able to adapt and thrive in their new found home; needless to say, nearly all of them are professionals and are, for the most part, a cut above the average Pinoy in their upbringing, educational attainment and in their world view. But, then again, millions of skilled and unskilled OFWs are able to adapt and thrive just as well. Is it the indomitable human spirit that enables them to cope in their alien workplace? Is it the aspiration for a better life that makes them endure the long hours, the loneliness and oftentimes the abusive employers? Your guess is as good as mine but the point is these people have had gone through a lot of soul searching and do posses an abundance of delta drive, if you will. I firmly believe that nothing is wrong with the “individual soul,” given the chance a person will step up to the plate and have a go on whatever it is he is asked to do; whether he succeed or not is another matter. The rationalizing, the bad traits, the boorish behaviors, the skewed morality, the culture of impunity and all that are so true; I do agree with you that something is definitely wrong with Philippine society as a whole. Yours is a refreshing and a candid take on what we, the locals, have been inured to through all these years, in fact, we have accepted these as a matter of course. I appreciate and acknowledge your concern, like you a lot of people have sounded the wakeup call before but alas they were all for naught.

  2. bubi78, "… given the chance . . ." Therein lies the way to a progressive Philippines. Giving ordinary people who apply themselves a chance to get appropriate rewards. Right now, those rewards are given to the favored, many of whom don't earn them. It is hard to aspire if you know no path forward, or if others steal your hard work.I accept that my small voice here is unlikely to change anything. Still, I don't mind trying to shout into the wind. It is preferred to beating my head against the cement wall. And who knows what happens if you toss a grain of sand into the ocean . . .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ordinary people (Class C,D even B) lose their will to hope and aspire for better in Philippine society because of the following:1.) Terrible partners or spouses (Thanks to lack of divorce and fear of how they'll be perceived by the clan)2.) Lack of education (Let's memorize 'till we die!)3.) Religion (Very religious without being spiritual, hearing Catholics drone on like zombies makes me sad)4.) Endless contractual jobs (No job permanence means no desire to improve)5.) Forced to provide for the entire clan (I paid for you education, so you'll spend the rest of your life providing for me, bitch!)6.) Stupid media (Do people still read newspapers? One man, backed by Indonesians, owns majority stake of TV media, how scary is that?)7.) Very poor breeding (Brought up to be xenophobic, aspire to be "white", overly-materialistic, treat environment like one big garbage can and urinal)"I accept that my small voice here is unlikely to change anything…"This is the internet age. Glad you're not writing for some sleazy tabloid. If people want answers they'll find it. Don't worry about it.-unpatrioticflip

  4. Attila says:

    Anonymous:If you are a Filipino man than I salute you for being a hard lined objective.

  5. bubi78 says:

    If everybody tosses a grain of sand into the ocean, it might get filled up. What will happen to all the water then? Hahira… just kidding. We do can effect change and we do can make a difference by simply doing what is right. I used to admonish laborers under my supervision that I won’t rehire them if they haven’t upgraded their skills level after two years; I told them to use their break s to practice and learn and I also held impromptu lectures on reading the tape measure, getting the area s and volumes et cetera just to give them the basic tricks of the trade. When I encounter them these days and they say with pride that they have become carpenters, masons, painters and so on, it unfailingly lifts my spirits and it makes me proud and glad that they have taken my advice to heart. One more thing, I always emphasized to them that we do not take shortcuts, ever.

  6. bubi78, nice work approach, self improvement and honor.

  7. UF, nice list. I'm not worried. hmmm, I'll work on a sleaze angle maybe.

  8. Anonymous says:

    After seeing what the Vietnamese, Thais, Indonesians, Singaporeans, Hong Kongese, Turkish (came from Istanbul recently) and even Cambodians have done for their country despite their issues (some are coming off war, revolution and genocide!), it annoys me to no end why WE haven't gotten our act together. I mean, COME ON.Sick man of Asia, indeed. -patrioticflip

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