Filipino ethics: inside out


“We don’t need no stinkin’ Ethics Committee meeting . . . the courts can do it . . .”

It struck me that I am a ship out of water when I argue for ethics in journalism, here, in the Philippines. Like other cultural constructs, the matter of “ethics” has a different shading in the Philippines. It is not comprehended in the same way that westerners grasp it. The definition is more along the lines of an Asian definition that overlays personal expedience onto rightful behaviors.

“Huh? What’d you just say, JoeAm?”

Well, certain acts I observe – or sometimes “non-acts” – trouble me. For example, my main point in a recent critique of a Rappler news article was that the article was laden with pejoratives in the analysis that spun it negatively, against the notion that the Philippines is a stable nation under good leadership. Rather, the spin added more weight to the notion that the Philippines is a nation in crisis . . . again . . . or still . . . or evermore.

So I am perplexed about how the Philippines will ever rise to first world stature when its press and peoples are relentlessly downgrading the nation. When facts and cold, clear, objective critical analysis are set aside in favor of emotions and negativity and strife.

It seems to me to be a “born to lose” mentality.

The loaded words in the Rappler article to me were an ethical violation of journalistic standards that mandate factual reporting. The response from Rappler was that it is acceptable news analysis.

Rappler justified its calling the President of the Philippines “boneheaded” in a news report, and suggested JoeAm was off base to question their ethics. The article had to be justified by Rappler . . . because self-justification is the ethical standard. Candid self critique is not.

ethics01 philstar

[Source: Philstar]

As another example, I also note that the Senate took no action to suspend its three members brought before the court and jailed because there is “reasonable cause” to believe they committed plunder. The Senate was not concerned that its own reputation was sullied by these charges, and took no action to suspend the three senators, or forcefully remove them from the State’s work, until they had been cleared as honorable. The Senate waited for the court to do the dirty deed.

The reason for the failure to bring the three cases before the Ethics Committee was apparently that no one wanted to chair that committee.

It astounded me that not one senator believed that the reputation of the Senate needed defending. The entire membership believed that . . . what?

  • People would trust the senators no matter what? They are entitled to be entitled?
  • Or people won’t trust the senate, no matter what, so why should we, as senators, bother to change their minds? In other words, why do hard work?
  • Or, “we know there are perhaps even more crooks in our group” so why potentially get more of us in hot water by looking at ourselves?

Well, I suspect it is a combination of all three, with the last one carrying the heavy weight that made chairing such a project distasteful.

In the Philippines, no one looks hard at themselves out of fear of what they might find there.

So the western sense that “integrity and honor of the group is critically important” seems not to exist in the Philippines. Rather, group values are shaped by the power and favor drives that underpin both good and bad deeds in the Philippines. They are not shaped by a self-inspired drive to protect the professionalism of the group against bad deeds.

  • And so doctors don’t pay their income taxes, and object if BIR shames them. Their ASSOCIATION objects to BIR’s act, not to their own members failing to pay taxes.
  • And mayors who don’t keep their municipality tax valuations up to date also object if BIR points this out.

BIR is the guilty party. The party that aspires to high professional standards in the Philippines is wrong. The innocents are those members of the group who accept cheating as culturally correct.

And my last example: Filipinos understand national sovereignty. They defend it against American bases or Chinese commercial invasion of Philippine seas. The former, however, is taken by many as more offensive than the latter. Is it because Chinese aggression is overtly wrong, and that is acceptable by Philippine cultural rules? More acceptable than a lawful or intentional infringement upon national sovereignty that is in fact being done to PROTECT that sovereignty?

How can that be? That wrong is more acceptable than right? That bad is more acceptable than good?

So color me amazed, for I conclude that ethics in the Philippines are fundamentally . . .

. . . inside out . . .

And thus, we elect the corrupt to office, knowing they are corrupt.

And we blame the good people, namely President Aquino, when the nation remains poor.

Honor is found in getting away with things. Honor is not found in the self discipline of doing what is right and good. And group ethics accept that. Indeed, group ethics DEMAND bad behavior, for the person doing good shows up the rest.

And so no senator will make the mistake of becoming an outcast by chairing an Ethics Committee.

And no journalist will risk becoming a “yellow zombie” by reporting that the Philippines is stable under President Aquino (that is left to outside journalists).

And no fraternity member will become an outcast by objecting to violent hazing.

Ethics in the Philippines is not integrity. It is fitting in and getting ahead.

And next up we have a lot of opportunistic congressmen preparing to bolt LP for UNA . . . because they are bound by their ethical principles to do that . . .


38 Responses to “Filipino ethics: inside out”
  1. Ven Cheock says:

    Very good observation Joe

    from my iPad


  2. andrewlim8 says:

    This is quite a complex topic, and my favorites folder is full of resource material on this.

    In a nutshell: The dominant religion here – Roman Catholicism – has succeeded only in the sense that religiosity is widespread. Which means that churches are full on Sundays, rites and rituals observed, religious feasts are conducted, etc. But translating faith into daily life – ah, that is a problem.

    “Primitive” could be an apt descriptor of the state of religion here – where religiosity is practiced because of a profound fear that one won’t pass the exam, or get the visa, or make the business succeed. I still know a lot of people who rely on superstition and tradition on health matters.

    What makes matters worse is that Roman Catholicism as taught here provides a lot of opportunity for the corrupt and evil to keep coming back:

    – the emphasis on forgiveness instead of securing justice first;

    – the either-or mentality of some bishops on the RH law, which resulted in their support for corrupt politicians come election time just because they were anti-RH;

    – the erroneous interpretation of many lay Catholics regarding their own doctrine, and the hierarchy is powerless and too inept to do anything about it – take Erap’s interview where he said God is very forgiving, so he thinks he has been forgiven; the nailing to the cross during lent which isnt sanctioned but people do anyway; the idolatry display during the Nazareno where all the damage to public property and garbage is deemed less important than getting to touch a statue.
    We can go on and on – Napoles’ 2000 Hail Marys daily; Bong Revilla’s professed religiosity, Imelda Marcos kneeling and travelling the whole length of the church aisle while cameras captured it; the pork scammers who are incidentally anti-RH due to their religious beliefs, etc.

    My point, and it has been validated by the recent Univision survey: Catholics all over do not follow the official Vatican position on certain issues. Which makes you ask: What the heck is the effectivity of this religion anyway? If people choose to behave differently from what the Vatican teaches, and still consider themselves Catholic, then perhaps that is what Filipinos do when it comes to corruption? Which is why the Estradas and Binay still get popular support? Because Filipino Catholics conveniently set aside their meager knowledge of their faith when it comes to the benefits of patronage politics?

    Link to Univision survey:

    Take note I do not say Catholicism teaches corruption; but rather it creates a very permissive atmosphere that increases our tolerance for corruption.

    I will try to do a finished piece on this in the coming week. I invite our resident Catholic apologist (sonny?) to comment on this piece when it comes out.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, sonny is no apologist. He is a practitioner and member of the faith, the way it should be studied and understood.

      I had just this morning penned a line about the Catholic Church on another blog I’m drafting. I called it forgiveness instead of accountability. It is almost impossible hereabouts to find people who will step up and say, “well, I made a mistake”. And a part of the reason is every critic in the woods would come out and ridicule them. Because accountability is not an ethical value. Slip-sliding is. Or forgiveness of self.

      I’d welcome the article. Your last one is still humming along getting its reads.

    • sonny says:

      Andrew, Joe, you give me too much credit to call me a catholic apologist and practitioner/member of the faith. For the duration that I have been here, I have found much practical wisdom from among the honest and fair interlocutors that participate here. Joe’s many pieces coax healthy responses many of which I appreciate very much because they carry meaty material to reflect and ponder upon.

      Andrew, you know I certainly will wait for your coming piece. Your summary above is a gem of a reminder for would-be followers of Christ. And Joe, these last two you have written is as you say “still humming along.” Your piece on Filipino friendship is still the most insightful and empathetic observation I have come across. (Are you sure you’re not the reincarnation of the late Sydney Harris or the inimitable Royco of the Chicago Sun-Times?)

    • Micha says:

      andrewlim8 asks : “What the heck is the effectivity of this religion anyway?

      My two cents :

      Constructing a moral code from superstition is bound to create contradiction and hypocrisy. Careful and honest scrutiny of Catholic faith and dogma will reveal that it is nothing more than a superstition. That’s the root of dissonance between what the followers actually believe and what the Vatican doctrine says.

  3. josephivo says:

    I hope that you are wrong. By comparison, for me a lot here live in the age of saddle makers. Some journalists know quite a lot about leather, the autonomy of a horse, the uses and abuses of a saddle, you name it, they have concise language about saddles and some are real experts. Then comes a journalist living in a car world where horses and saddles are just recreational things. And he starts telling that they have it all wrong, that highways have other rules, need different reflexes.

    For many the ethics here are Spanish, for others Confucian, but both from an age long before Adams, Franklin and Jefferson, before the French revolution. But the world shrinks fast, the Philippines losing its status as an Island, as an exception. Some understand cars too now, but they forgot to explain the others.

    • Joe America says:

      Actually, I think the amalgamation of all that has been before creates a very distinct way of individual and group dynamics in the Philippines, with ethics being the rules that bind the individuals to the group, and protect both. Self interest makes it a weak force in the Philippines. That is likely to change if steps like government’s MBO efforts force accountability into the system. Or, if voters in 2016 decide to go backward, it won’t. I did not end this blog with recommended steps to take, because it is a culture. It will change, or it won’t. My blogging is just egging opinion makers on toward accountability and taking care of one another better.

  4. manuel buencamino says:

    The Senate Ethics Committee is like the Internal Affairs Division in police departments. You know how the rest of the cops feel about members of the IAD.

    IAD members are not supposed to give a shit how other cops feel about them. Their job is to clean out the department.

    But, unlike the IAD, senators who are in the Ethics Committee have to give a shit how other senators feel about them… because they have to work with other senators.

    The Senate is a collegial body, you have to get along with your colleagues to get your pet bill passed, if you want to be included as co-author or co-sponsor of a sexy bill, if you want to be appointed to a committee. In short, you cannot Lone Ranger your way in the Senate; you will end up a senator with a lot of bills filed and no bill passed; a senator whose only claim to fame will be privilege speeches.

    The other thing is many of the senators are lawyers and those who are not defer to the lawyers among them. Lawyer-Senators, as a rule, will stand on “innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law”. And so morality and legality become interchangeable in the Senate.

    Senators will always give their beleaguered colleagues the benefit of the doubt. That’s why they wait for the courts to do for them what they should be doing themselves.

    The unscrupulous among them are well aware of this mindset and take advantage of it. And so no Senator can be shamed into resigning except for Zubiri who knew he would be removed anyway by the Senate Electoral Tribunal after damning evidence regarding cheating came to light. Zubiri’s resignation was preemptive.

    As to protecting the reputation of the Senate by suspending the three: Because the justice system in this country is so corrupt – it’s the reason for the thriving culture of impunity – most people are skeptical when charges are bandied about. It is easy for the public to accept that charges were motivated by politics and power plays, it is easy for them to accept the allegation of selective justice.

    So the Senate majority has been very careful not to appear as if they were trying to eliminate members of the opposition. Because that’s what the opposition will claim if the Senate suspended the three senators as soon as the Ombudsman found probable cause against them.

    And it’s not farfetched to think that a good number of people will buy that line. A lot of people believed that the DAP was a bribe, didn’t they? A lot of them believed Estrada’s allegation of selective justice, didn’t they?

    So the majority left it to the court which still has the last word around here despite the fact that everybody knows it is the most corrupt institution to make the call.

    • Joe America says:

      That is a very interesting explanation of the dynamics of the senate. Rather an overabundance of pragmatic courtesy.

      ” Because the justice system in this country is so corrupt – it’s the reason for the thriving culture of impunity – most people are skeptical when charges are bandied about.”

      That jerked my head up. People trust their senators so little that they don’t even trust when the senators accuse other senators. Wow. The Senate seems to me to be in deep doo doo, ethicswise, if they choose not to correct that miserable impression.

      Then your last line made me laugh . . . . that line is kind of like when the drummer pounds out a grand crescendo at the punch line . . .

  5. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Mama mia! Dios Mio! Que horror! It is no wonder no 1st generation Philippine “ivy-school” journalism graduates Filipino-American ever stepped foot inside brick-and-mortar American newspaper and publishing houses because they cannot pass the sniff test.

    Even their Facebook page reeks of Philippine-standard “ethics” not American-Standard.

    Philippine Press is a reflection and measure of Filipino intellect. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! And their responses and replies are also the same. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

    Marami pang bigas kakainin ang mga Penoys. Could this be the reason why China does respect Filipinos and the land they live in?

    • Joe America says:

      “Mama mia! Dios Mio! Que horror!”

      I’m going to steal that line ala sotto. Normally, I quote from “Apocalypse Now”, which sottos from “Heart of Darkness”, with the dying lines of Marlon Brando, “The horror! The horror!”

      Yours has more flair for the spiritual intonations.

      As for the Chinese, they don’t respect anyone who is not Chinese.

  6. macspeed says:

    I am not a journalist but passionate to be one. I realized the instrumentation ethics has a beginning and an end; it has integrity in any sort of instruments.
    For journalism, a topic can be compared to an instrument. The topic could be a President; he-she has its own property such as name, sex, education, experiences and current position. One needs to write his-her function if operating or not, a president cannot be perfect but there is a range to be considered for him-her to operate properly and that is providing a good action from people on his-her set-up. The people are the media, opposition and the working class group. A journalist does not contribute positive growth to the settings made by the President if his-her report does counter action. The principle of writing should be based on facts and good result. One not need to report something bad about the President if he is doing good. One magazine will headline and say the DAP is unconstitutional yet we have a very good economy, what is this report? I can say that is bad ethics, just to sell the magazine?

  7. Very few Filipinos now-a-days are honest and with integrity …. you ask anybody this question…”If you see a PhP500 bill at a sidewalk …will you get it and put it in your pocket…99 percent will say YES… Ask why? it is not yours… Answer….If I wll not get it somebody will get it…huh! where are those kids who will answer… I will give it to lost and found,or to the police..somebody answered….. the police will pocket it….. he he he.. and that’s only PhP500… how about if it were PhP50 million?

    • Joe America says:

      I was just reading through some literature sent me by MLQ III. Here is a relevant synopsis delivered by an American diplomat and historian Lew Gleek:

      “The Philippine political culture is… personalistic but violent, religious but superstitious, corrupt but tolerant, hierarchical but distributionist, solicitous of form but not of content, legalistic, but careless of equity, media-obsessed and nationalistically vociferous with respect to rights but negligent to obligations.”

      There you go . . . just as you said . . . 🙂

  8. brianitus says:

    “So I am perplexed about how the Philippines will ever rise to first world stature when its press and peoples are relentlessly downgrading the nation. When facts and cold, clear, objective critical analysis are set aside in favor of emotions and negativity and strife.”

    For the press, bad news sells newspapers, stimulates online traffic. I mean, if they reported the day-to-day wins, how would that sell? I mean, I think it’s a valid observation, not exclusive to this country, that no one gives a hoot if one quietly does his/her job. With the complexity of running a government or a country, it might be easier to catch something afoul than something exceptionally good happening. The same can be said in a corporate setting. No one says congratulations to someone reporting for work. That is expected. It’s optional to give an award to someone who didn’t miss a single day of work. If government expects awards and praise from the people, then they have to be exceptional; that is even subjected to different criteria by different segments of society. That’s just it. If you ask me, trying to get a positive reaction from everyone is boneheaded.

    As for the Rappler calling the president “boneheaded,” that is already opinion. How can that be news? It’s great that you took it up with them. I guess it could be news when they run a study confirming his boneheadedness. The headline could read, “Scientific Study Concludes President is Boneheaded.” That could even be native advertising for the agency that conducts the study. I’m no journalist, btw, but I can still tell which is opinion and which one is supposedly news.

    Ethics is such a big thing nowadays. It’s not only in government, but also in corporations. Even big corporations had issues with this before. However, the difference between corporations and government is this: corporations have to be ethical to survive. It’s a way to plug leaks and bring value to shareholders. Corporate scandals diminish share value/ stock prices. Government will still be there no matter how corrupt they choose to be since there is really no loss in incentive for them, from an economic point of view. Is that what they call impunity? Unless there’s a real valid threat to their existence, there won’t be genuine change. That senate ethics committee thing you mentioned can even be taken as proof that they are boneheaded, resistant to the idea that a strong, ethical legislative branch of government is also essential to cleaning up the country. I hate to think that those who remain working there are scared that some skeletons might come out of their closets.

    With the current administration always harping on the straight path, and citizens buying into the that hope of an idea, aren’t people in power scared that this could be the new norm? When integrity becomes the standard, won’t a lot of the old ways be swept aside? Are we going to witness a fight between the old and new in the future?

    Sorry for ranting and rambling on.

    • Joe America says:

      Please, please. In this neck of the woods, that is neither ranting nor rambling. It is “expounding” or “expostulating”. Buck up, young whippersnapper.

      We are witnessing a fight right now between the old and the new. That is EXACTLY what Mr. Aquino brought to the table. It is up to us expounders to make sure the battle is won . . . for the new.

  9. Gerardo Vergara says:

    I haven’t lost hope that meaningful and lasting changes would come and stay because people desire for changes for the good of all. The present administration showed that integrity could be the standard, to paraphrase Brianitus, and the only thing needed to sustain the momentum toward a prosperous and corrupt-free Philippines is to choose a president that will not come from the popular and rich politicians – someone who might emerge from the middle class and would stay in the middle despite the perks and privileges of the position, and the temptations that come with it.

    That it is not a pipe dream to so many of us desiring for lasting change could be gleaned from the fact that they did it in Uruguay when they elected Jose Mujica for president. And we almost had it when Jesse Robredo came into the national scene but unfortunately died.

    According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, Mujica donates 90% of his salary to charity and lives in a farmhouse off a dirt road where he and his wife work the land themselves.

    The austere leader earns US$12,500 a month but only keeps US$1, 250 for himself and focuses his giving on helping the poor and small entrepreneurs.

    He said that, “This is a matter of freedom. If you don’t have many possessions, then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them and therefore you have more time for yourself.”

    He espoused his philosophy on poverty and consumption when he spoke at the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. “If all I’m doing is working to buy things to get more, if society of consumption is the energy of everything, where does this go?”

    He ended his speech with somewhat of a dare to the other leaders. “We need to start to fight another kind of culture. Seneca said that ‘a poor person is not someone who doesn’t have very much, but the person who really is poor is the person that continues to need more and more and more and desires more and more.’

    I could be right or I could be wrong when I said that the next president must or ought to come from the middle class, that he/she should be someone who could break that culture of corruption, greed and shamelessness, not to mention impunity, because this nation, is doomed to perpetual damnation with a Binay presidency. The signs are all clear that Pnoy’s “matuwid na daan” would revert to the old path since this old politician did not show any plan(s) of dismantling his political dynasty.

    And he could not be a good leader because he was; as Plato aptly described such a person, shameful and vile because he was conquered by himself…and the riches he amassed.

    • Joe America says:

      Wonderful, wonderful lesson there, Gerardo. I’m not sure how a middle-class, intellectually bold and rational leader emerges from this dynastic place. It would probably be a house member elected because he inspired his province with straight dealing and cutting through to reach the poor intellectually. Then did the same in the House by leading important programs. Something other than the slapdash legislation done now.

      I don’t know . . . but you’ve got my brain working.

  10. pussyfooter says:

    I hate to be Debbie Downer again, but I do agree with your observations. We deceptively seem Westernized with our Taglish and our clumsily copy-pasted legal system, but I believe we are much more Asian (and uniquely Pinoy) than we can or would like to admit. I realize I know next to nothing about who you are as a person besides where you live, but I suspect, with absolutely no offense meant, that you’d have come to this “ship out of water” realization rather a bit faster if you joined us teeming masses in the workforce and had to contend with the Metro Manila hoi polloi commuting everyday. Or even just the commuting part. 😉

    (Speaking of commuting, this afternoon the MRT overran its tracks at Taft Station and disaster ensued. I wonder if your observations here will be amply confirmed by the political circus that might well follow…)

    • Joe America says:

      Well, what I am looking for is the roots of the whys and wherefores. Congestion is common in every major city. I’ve spend hours locked on the Los Angeles freeways. Congestion can be a result of bad planning, lack of money to build transportation infrastructure (weak economy), unexpected job growth, or population migration as people seek opportunity in the city. In the Philippines, it is all those reasons, and the common thread is failure of heads of numerous agencies to hold themselves accountable for what they are doing, good or bad. Well, they hold themselves accountable for the good, but not the bad. And that is how ethics, inside out, come in to play. It is acceptable here not to perform well.

      • pussyfooter says:

        Unfortunately, yes. (In some places where the culture is even more forceful than in others, it’s also unacceptable to perform well–you make the lazy, mediocre ones look bad.) As for the roots, well if you’re interested, there is a theory that rice-dependent and -growing cultures emphasize the collective, whereas wheat-growing ones emphasize individuality. There’s another theory that pastoral cultures value what could be called “touchiness” in matters of supposed “honor” (usually in the negative sense), because any show of weakness will probably be exploited, while hunter-gathering societies become more egalitarian and communitarian. And there’s another theory that says Filipinos never evolved any organic sense of community beyond their island/village, mostly because of the geographical and topographical obstacles to coexisting with other communities. Per history, it was really just the colonialists/invaders who lumped everyone together for ease of administration/exploitation and we’re still just coasting along on institutional inertia. As you’ve probably already noticed, certainly up til now basically nobody cares about anybody else unless, at most, they’re from the same region. (Which is why some propose to change the government setup to a federal one, in connection with your latest post about changing the Constitution. To think we’re apparently just about the size of California.)

        • Joe America says:

          What a wonderful way to start the day, rich musings about rice versus wheat cultures (America is wheat), pastoral or hunter (Philippines is pastoral, American Indians were both; American military is hunter and definitely insists on unity) and geographically separated versus one chunk of dirt. You and I are conflicted, or diverse, or flexible probably. 🙂 I’ve got to do a blog about federalism to help me figure it out. Re the comparative to California, it is interesting, because the Philippines SEEMS much larger because of the time it takes to get from one island to another, and for the diversity of local languages and clan-empires.

          • pussyfooter says:

            Actually, I was shortcutting a bit there–some parts of the Philippines are/were probably pastoral (is that how Batangas got its cows, I wonder?), and as for the others, there are also theories on how the shift from agriculture thousands of years ago led to an emphasis on hierarchical social structures (landowners-tenants etc.) and even gender segregation (physically stronger men began to plow, so women’s role grew closer to home because there was less need to range far afield to gather food). So maybe that also applies. I’m sure there are a lot more, and maybe more specific, and all fascinatingly plausible theories out there. 🙂 Yes America is generally wheat, although the terrain in certain other regions makes livestock-herding more feasible, so the culture is pastoral–but that also emphasizes individuality, what with all those lonely cowboys. 😉 Darned now if I can remember where I read this stuff. 😦

            The federalism issue has been around for maybe 20 years now (off the top of my head; presumably no sooner than Marcos was booted out at least) but as you might expect, nobody trusts government enough to allow a change of the Constitution for just about anything, let alone such a massive, systemic institutional makeover.

            • Joe America says:

              I’m doing an article on federalism, actually. Drafted the core today. You are right, the thinking has been around awhile and legislators get the heebie jeebies about the can of worms they might open up if they touch the Constitution. Like . . . one of the big worms is an extended term for the standing president . . .

              p.s., rice is a huge crop in California, grown up in the Sacramento delta. Seeded by airplane. No Luddite mentality there . . .

    • Janice says:

      Are you aware that the label “Asia” is western-created? So you cannot say that we are much more “Asians” especially that the core of Philippine culture is neither Chinese nor Indian (the biggest “Asian” civilization.

      You might as well call us “Africans” since our culture is more similar to Madagascar(yes, that island off the coast of Africa) than mainland Asia?

      Or better yet. Our NATIVE culture as well as LANGUAGE is closer to the NATIVE cultures of the Pacific Islands. I bet, you’ll find more common things between the Maoris and New Zealand than the Han Chinese or Indians of the Indus civilization.

      And what is wrong with “Taglish”. Languages evolve. Should English be called Engrench because it borrowed French words? Or Eng-tin because it has lots of root words derived from Latin (a non-Germanic language)?

      • pussyfooter says:

        Whoa! SOMEBODY’s got their UNDIES in an ALL-CAPITALIZED TWIST and it AIN’T me. Yes I am in fact aware that “Asia” is Western-created. Yes I can in fact say that we are more “Asian” because my whole point was to contrast us with “Westernized” culture–not a dissimilar point from yours, from the way you’ve also used the idea of a “Western” as opposed to a “non-Western” culture. And how on earth did “Asian” ever get so limited to “Chinese or Indian”? Talk about gratuitously restricting obviously expansive ethnological terms in a non-technical or -academic context. What’s “mainland Asia” anyway? Russia? Kuwait?

        What’s wrong with Taglish? Beats me, I didn’t say there was anything intrinsically “wrong” with Taglish and it certainly wasn’t my point.

  11. Janice says:

    The leniency towards corruption has more to do with the political structure than “Catholicism”. I’m not pro-Catholic but why are we leaving out a Christian sect that is far more SILENT but is more EFFECTIVE in political meddling?

    I’m talking about the INC. Sure, the CBCP can be noisy but the INC obliges their “followers” to vote for the politician that their leaders agree to support. T

    • Joe America says:

      INC indeed is politically powerful. They don’t engage vocally on issues, but they work behind the scenes and act in unity at the ballot box. I’m gathering some good blogging ideas from comments this morning.

  12. Janice says:

    Personally Joe, I think the problem is not merely Philippine journalism but journalism in general — worldwide.

    The US has Fox News, Conservative Tribune that always distort cold facts to fit their agenda and biased narrative.

    The problem here is not “Philippine Journalism”, but Journalism in general. Last year, when a South Korean airplane crashed in a California airport, a local news in the area released the “names” of the supposed “Korean Pilots” and the names they released were

    “Sum Ting Wong”
    “Ho Li Fuk”

    and it really went on AIR! When the viewers reacted, the local station apologized

    Real Journalism around the world is DEAD

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, that’s true. Electronic media pretty much destroyed objectivity, well, that plus need for media companies to make money and pander to large crowds with a message that titillates, not informs.

      That was some bruhaha about the Korean names. I smile when I know I should not.

  13. Janice says:

    Also, if you have heard of the Steubenville rape case, it was covered by CNN…and one of the lady reporters said “the careers of the high school rapists are now ruined because of the verdict (which is actually very light — 2 years in prison)” but NO SYMPATHY for the victim was offered, how her life is scarred by the rape.

    I think Ethics is also a large problem in the West. Isn’t PAC “legalized” bribery? How about Canada having a mayor smokin’ pot? The difference that I see between the Philippines and many Western countries is the “methodology”. It’s much easier to leave a “trail” in the West than in the Philippines so people are kinda cautious

    Also, the GMC scandal. They’ve known that their 2009 model was defective and they continued selling it in spite, and they only recalled when the fatalities really was noticeable and high they can’t escape government scrutiny.

    • Joe America says:

      Modern media give air time to a lot of mediocre talent, I think. Talking heads who try to analyze and get their mitts in a wringer. (I need to dissect that idiomatic expression; probably from the cold climates 100 years ago when someones mittens got snarled in the old manual wringer, two rollers that squeezed the water out of cloth). But, to find the gold in the dirt, modern media also allow a LOT more eyes to get focused on misdeeds. The GMC scandal would never have seen the light of day, I’d guess, before social media could bring out the common source of a lot of auto deaths.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: