Is anti-Filipino racism rising?

[Graphic by Bobert Elyas via Rappler]

By JoeAm

I’ve recently noticed a peculiar consistency of some commentary in my social media discussion threads that I find troubling. The rise of President Duterte is being attributed to a historical weakness among Filipinos to care for themselves. Old racial quotes from Americans describing Filipinos as lazy and unable to govern themselves are among the materials being circulated. And just general blame-casting, that Filipinos are hopeless and cannot change . . . or why would they have elected Duterte?

The matter is a bit dicey because a lot of intelligent thinkers among educated Filipinos, and even here in our discussions, recognize that cultural handicaps to Philippine progress are real and they are suppressing good thinking. Across social media, a lot of derogatory blame is thrown by Filipinos at the Filipinos who voted for Duterte. The criticisms are much like the racially oriented quotes. “Tards . . .” and similar slurs.

I was so struck by three separate “racist” commentaries arriving in my discussions on the same day that I began to wonder if this is the latest Chinese-inspired trolling line. Denigrate Filipinos in racial terms, with the end point being “they are not worth saving”.

For sure, looking at President Duterte’s policies, it is easy to conclude that he does not like Filipinos at all. He kills, arrests, insults, and threatens Filipinos with reckless abandon. It is hard to discern any compassion or desire to protect and preserve Filipino ways.

Plus, it is a two way street.

Within the Philippines, there is a lot of discontent brewing against China for her theft of the West Philippine Sea and policies that do not benefit the Philippines (Chinese workers favored over Filipino workers, high rate loans, presumed ‘commissions’ to get development projects, and 3 million new Chinese immigrants arriving . . . for what purpose?)

I suspect Filipinos of rich or recent Chinese heritage are put in an awkward place by such matters, as I am when old racist American quotes are hauled out and used as if nothing has changed since 1900.

I’ve taken to insisting that people drop the culturally insulting line or leave my discussion threads. I blocked one person who responded to my request with yet another denigrating line. He returned immediately, overriding the block somehow, to call me immature for blocking him. Clearly, this is a malicious effort and it is being conducted by people with technical means.

It is a nasty world out there. We ought not be naive about it.

How can we distinguish a manipulative racial argument from a sincere, pro-Philippines argument?

  • I think one difference is hope. The manipulative arguments will say there is no hope for making anything out of Filipinos. The earnest arguments will seek to BUILD hope . . . and opportunities . . . for Filipinos, rather than make them carry the burdens of history as a racial stigma.
  • Another difference is facts. Earnest discussions will not be about adjectives but about nouns and verbs.
  • And a third difference is a clear willingness to listen. Genuine discussions have it. Trolls do not.

I’d welcome your insights on this matter, as it is freshly developing. We would be wise to expand our understanding and formulate some ground rules for these tricky “racial” discussions. And, yes, I recognize that Filipino is not actually a race, it is an ethnic heritage of mixed races.

 

Comments
74 Responses to “Is anti-Filipino racism rising?”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Epic fail or Philippine fail is the wrong way to go.
    This is not to hit the one who uses the handle, but to all anti-pinoys and get realists.

    We get paralyzed and not start anything because of that it is doomed to fail attitude.

    They say change culture and culture is the root cause and you better attack the root cause, the thing is they or we attack it all right, literally and destructively.

    If I don’t know Irineo and if we haven’t have this exchanges over the years, I would think that he is anti-pinoy because of his Filipinos do not realky get this and that, Filipinos always try not to get caught, etc.

    They(getrealists) started as a wake-up call alarm clock, but what happened is I don’t know, we got tired and threw the alarm clock away?

    • Yes, the negativity becomes a snowball that soon moves of it’s own weight. Respect, reasons, and solutions get oughtweighed by the simple, harsh judgments flying around. I really dislike the ‘tard’ attitude of the opposition, or the idea of 16M villains.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I hate tard for personal reasons, My two late brothers were autistic.

        But beyond myself, I still try not to call or even think that anyone is a tard.

  2. Negative attitudes develop within marginalized groups of people. Racism is to make the assumption that these attitudes are hereditary. Culturalism is to make the assumption that these attitudes are passed by upbringing and environment. Essentialism is to assume that culture never changes. Nativism is to assume that only a certain group of “real” people counts. Insularity is being unable to see beyond one’s own perspective. Parochialism is denying the validity of non-local perspectives.

    • Negative attitudes develop within marginalized groups of people.

      Racism is to make the assumption that these attitudes are hereditary.

      Culturalism is to make the assumption that these attitudes are passed by upbringing and environment.

      Essentialism is to assume that culture never changes.

      Nativism is to assume that only a certain group of “real” people counts.

      Insularity is being unable to see beyond one’s own perspective.

      Parochialism is denying the validity of non-local perspectives.

      Building is getting past flawed thinking to make more people happy, healthy, and prosperous.

    • http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/as-national-parent/ one passage which I realized can be interpreted in two ways – well-meaning or as a put-down:

      The same government wants to administer mandatory drug tests to minors starting 10 years old – and not even the Church seems to oppose it (link). If that is parenthood, it not just conservative, it is reactionary. It makes every child a suspect, born with original sin but without any grace of God. One might be tempted to think that the government and church are back in the early 19th century, and that the Spanish in their palace are saying “nothing good will ever come of these Indios”- except that some supporters of Duterte proudly call him “Indio” (link) for his anti-Catholic rhetoric.

      Now what was I saying there? That Filipinos themselves are treating the poorer among themselves as “Inutiles” (a favorite Duterte word, from Filipino/Spanish inutil, “useless”) just like the Spaniards who criticized the Filipinos as indolent back in the days – no tambay yet.

      Rizal’s argument was Filipinos work the fields from 4 a.m. onwards when it is cool and go back home at 11 a.m., just one hour after Spaniards usually get up (they have a late rythm) so all the masters see is that the people work one hour. Akin to this kind of attitude is that of Diokno who said nobody who is willing to work in the Philippines has to be poor. Among Filipinos it becomes a class argument, a “let them eat cake” type of statement.

      Lowering the age of criminal liability is dropped for now (link) but the mindset is still there. Native wisdom says the children have a mind of their own (may isip) at 7 years, which corresponds to what Jean Piaget (link) says. Almost all earliest memories we have start around that age. But is a child of 10 aware enough to know the full scope of all of its actions? Even teens can be a bit amoral at times. Guiding the young means teaching them to be part of society. Just punishing them teaches them: “don’t get caught. If caught, don’t admit”. Are these the only “values” that “Punishers” really have?

      Now that statement can be seen as incendiary as well. But what does it really say? That an excessively authoritarian system produces its own delinquents. Old school disciplinarians will not agree, their line will be everyone is a suspect. Much like the French prosecutor in a movie with Alain Delon who cynically sends the cops to shoot him out of where he is hiding with a younger and an older woman with the comment “all men are criminals”. Calida would be fitting in that role, with the addition “including me, but my security agencies are all legal”.

      BORN WITH ORIGINAL SIN BUT WITHOUT GRACE OF GOD. The terrible colonial system probably taught one part of the Bible to put the natives down, but failed to give them a sense of self-worth – that we are all in God’s image and have the grace of God. So there is a deep self-loathing within a lot of Filipinos, a trying to be someone else. Especially with Duterte. Thinking about it recently.. “yeah, I have been asked are we Muslims, I say some of us are,. I have been asked are you Buddhists, I say that’s Thailand, Hindus, well that’s Bali.. but if they ask us are you cannibals, your President is one, I might quickly invent another identity”.

      Duterte and his followers are more like: “OK, we are stupid, foulmouthed, corrupt, so what?” – somehow the usual prejudices are turned around in a sort of defiance. There are those who react like “do we really have to be like that” (I include myself there) or “how dirty” (which can be a looking down attitude or not, but at some point you get pissed off at always being called Westernized, fake Filipino or whatever – and hitting back usually isn’t fair) or “oh no, please”. Finally, in all that conflict and self-deprecation, it is easy for those who have an agenda to flatter one group, demean the other. Social cohesion has always been so thin in the country that is was easy to pick out groups to use – while appeals to unity often came from villains.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    I have high hopes for the Philippines.
    My comment in the last blog hopefully articulated that.
    Duterte came and will soon go ( not wishing abyone ill) Unless Xi is really his idol and finds a way to be president for life.

    We are not lazy, we just not know what to do with our frustrations?
    I will repeat recent lessons learned and relearned Rote style.
    Introspection, problem solving, no blame casting.
    Overhauling education,learning from mistakes, and most of all let us not forget etc.

    • I have seen the comments in the last blog about ramping up industry and more..

      Not only did I like it because this is the stuff I have written about (in that case, I would be like the teacher played by Yoyoy Villame, singing to the class “you are very smart like me”) but because there was a certain upbeat confidence in the discussion, a can-do attitude.

      Also the attitude of starting small and ramping up local developments, not deriding them as substandard, abandoning self-defeating attitudes. But somewhere I did read, long ago, that there is such a thing as “Grandiosity of the Wounded”. A certain narcissism coming from insult and injury, so people become trying hard. Explains not only Imeldific but much more.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I have to say this and give credit where it is due. The comments with the theme of starting small and can-do attitude on my end was inspired by one of your blog articles where we had exchanges. Thanks!

    • Francis says:

      @karlgarcia, @Irineo

      All social change—from the littlest reform to the most sweeping revolution—emerged from hope. Simple hope.

      Filipinos often whine and say we need more discipline. But—in order to change oneself for the better, doesn’t one need to first believe that one is worth changing or saving? Otherwise—you will stay unchanging and steady like a car in “neutral” as it were.

      I think it is hope that we need most, not discipline; discipline (and all the rest) come naturally from hope.

      One thing that I find both irritating and funny on the internet is the common Filipino “woe is the nation, I feel hopeless” rant which I literally see at least once every week on the internet. I find this irritating because it just accomplishes nothing but emotional catharsis at best or feeds into some sense of moral superiority at worst.

      I find this funny because I occasionally come across accounts of people from other Third World countries—and they say exactly the same thing.

  4. NHerrera says:

    At least in TSH when we state that Filipinos are hopeless — not that there is no grain of truth in that, we counter in the same breath or others counter with an opposite or near opposite view. Enough of the flagellation already, let us focus on the opportunity for great redemption, in mind and work, having laid bare or been told for the umpteenth time, not the least from Duterte, that we are virtually good for nothing. Good morning fellows.

    • Walked around the market & saw several workers sleeping. But it’s NOT because they’re lazy.

      These people work 24/7 so that they can earn some type of income. They sleep, shower & eat here. They do whatever it takes to survive.

      I never want to hear that Filipinos don’t work hard.

      (OK, GRP will say Filipinos don’t work smart just hard. But organizing people to work smarter is something for leaders to do, make individuals more productive. It works with OFWs)

      • This also deserves to be spread.. a country that makes any of its children (although I remember a Dutertian commenting “they are not our children!”) go through this has no respect for its own people..

        “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” Dostoevsky

      • Francis says:

        “(OK, GRP will say Filipinos don’t work smart just hard. But organizing people to work smarter is something for leaders to do, make individuals more productive. It works with OFWs)”

        Blame the elites at the wheel—or really, blame the system. Not the masses.

        That is what many a “enlightened” Filipino don’t understand. I think that one noxious effect of our national situation is these weird “holier-than-thou” tendencies that one can find in these middle-class and upper-class Filipinos who want to “change things” as it were; they honestly believe that they must guide the poor masses (who are simultaneously objects of pity and derision) because they are the chosen “enlightened” ones.

        Not knowing that—in the system as it is—they’re actually the guys closest to the driver seat and therefore arguably a great deal responsible for our progress (or lack thereof) as a nation.

        But I digress.

        Take for instance—the phenomenon of squatters.

        The middle class resents these people for getting “land” for free and going to the Imperial Manila to get “nice” jobs here when they should “work” for their land and otherwise be content with their lives in the countryside. Which ignores the fact that Metro Manila simply has too big a chunk of the GDP to ignore—of course, it is a completely logical course of action for a person from the province (as a rational economic actor) to seek for higher pay in richer places; don’t burgis Filipinos do the same—except they call it legal immigration and cite the “hopelessness of the nation, woe me” as their reason for leaving and thus contribute (in the aggregate) to the brain drain of the nation.

        And also the fact that every major nation out there as tried to seriously combat homelessness through policies ranging from rent control to public housing, to ensure that housing is generally accessible to the public. If you really wanted squatters to go away—the path of every other developed nation should tell you that requires some form of state intervention.

        Of course—this would take systemic thinking. Not holier-than-thou moralizing justifying why you (the poor person) need salvation at my glorious hands.

        Criticism not aimed at blog or commentators—but aimed at particularly frustrating attitudes I see from relatively well-off Filipinos online elsewhere. Sorry if this turned into a rant midway.

        • I don’t look at it as a rant, but as a fine-tuned assessment of what seems to be a weakness in projecting into other people’s shoes. But I think it is a two way street, and no one does it particularly well in any strata of the nation.

    • Gud am, NH. “O’ rise, ye land of happy fools!”

    • karlgarcia says:

      Good Morning, NH!

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      It’s 12:34 pm here. Good afternoon, NHerrera.
      *****

  5. Andres 2018. says:

    Filipino culture generally sucks compared to others.

    But its culture so i dont know, maybe time will change it.

    Looking this e.sport i play, Filipino gamers are frequently labelled us cancers and toxic in the community, very different from other nationalities.

    • I suppose “sucks” needs to have some standards attached to it for us to understand it. And knowing you tout the Chinese line, I am for sure wary about your characterizations. James Fallows said Filipino culture was ‘damaged’ and explained. His intent was to point a way to an “undamaged culture”, not to eradicate Filipinos. I tend to think a culture is what it is and can only “suck” if we apply our own lifestream’s values to it. But most of us have not been oppressed for centuries, so we can’t, and that means we are arrogant twits for setting ourselves up as some kind of moral elite.

      How about if you define “sucks” so we can judge if the tag is legitimate, or if you are just throwing slurs around. Maybe after you have defined the term, you could point out a path to “non-suckiness”.

  6. josephivo says:

    1. OFW. What would happen with other nations if 10% of the population is taken out of the daily fabric of society? More precisely, it are the most dynamic 20% of the active population disappearing, with another 20% (?) spending all their imagination and energy trying to get out of the country. Robert Sapoisky, an anthropologist and neuroendocrinologist at the Stanford University, described years ago how “cultures” in groups of baboons changed when the more active baboons disappeared. In human societies similar things must be happening too.

    If confidence in one’s own culture weakens, defending it from (imagined) “intruders” seems to be the most logic. Instead of addressing the problem head on by removing the root cause, shouting becomes the preferred alternative. Narcistic leaders, although they are loud, they are not the solution.

    Analyzing one’s own strengths and “selling” these strengths are a better approach.

    2. Cambridge Analytica and other internet savvy individuals/groups know better and better what switches to flip in our heads to have a wanted effect. As we shift our life more and more to social media, flipping these switches becomes easier and easier.

    • Yes, you reinforce the point that social media is a lead force into incivility and a surreal world where we are guided, not by what we see, but by what people who control our vision want us to see. It also shows that the underbelly of the human condition is manipulative and unkind.

  7. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. To me, it’s all a matter of attitude, of spirit.

    2. If we start with the Grecian aphorism, “Know thyself,” and Socrates’ improvement, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” then we know knowledge is the starting point of wisdom.

    3. But what matters is our spirit of inquiry (motive), our spirit of using the knowledge we acquire (learning), and our spirit of sharing that knowledge (teaching).

    3.1. If our spirit in all these things is to feel superior and to bludgeon everyone with our superiority, then that is bigotry in all its forms – racism, misogyny, sexism, etc.

    3.2. If, on the other hand, our spirit is to discover, to realize, and to improve ourselves and others, then that is A-OK.

    4. A fact is a fact. But a fact gains affective color in the way it is absorbed by the first party, the way it is presented to the second party, and the way it is absorbed by the second party.

    4.1. For instance, in Oz, the C-word used in a sentence like, “You’re a c*nt, mate!” can be used as an epithet or an endearment. Hurled with a hostile sneer, it is an invective. But enunciated with a loving smile, it is a compliment.

    5. For some reason, this brings to my mind the remark, “Your God is stupid!” This is the bigotry of religionism.

    5.1. Duterte owns he has his own God. Going by logic, and granting that his God created the heavens and the earth but with a different creation narrative, his God is also stupid. Is this not so?

    5.2. It is… because by Duterte’s admission the world is imperfect. So whichever God created the world — including his own! – is stupid.

    5.3. The escape from this logic would be for Duterte to admit that his God did NOT create the world. This would subject our esteemed president to greater ridicule for worshipping a lesser God. His God may not be stupid but would lack omnipotence.

    6. But to answer the question, I would say that yes, anti-Filipino racism is rising. We are in an age of anomie, and the Internet and social media have given everybody a channel to display their bigotry in full.
    *****

    • Yes, introspection is healthy, for sure. Excellent point that social media have made it easy to display bigotry, and I would say raise the anger and lack of sense among all groups.

      • josephivo says:

        Social media has been with us for less than a decade. In this fast changing world I wonder what the next iteration might be. Or is all flexible and changeable or is there a deeper driver present that steers our behavior?

        Edgar’s Gods are certainly playing with a different time horizon, just observing what “free will” does on their playground earth or steering the changes?

        • josephivo says:

          Keep in mind that the Homo species are around for 7 million years, Homo Habilis for 2 million and our current Homo Sapiens for only 200 thousand. Changing the “hardware” in 10 years is impossible, even fundamental changes in our religious, cultural or economic stories is impossible. So some more fundamental hardware and software drivers must be acting.

        • It is rather a huge alien creature developing an almost physical form the way it touches human lives.

  8. Vicara says:

    I’ve nothing against Chinese people, as a people. I have Chinese-Filipino friends, and my mestizo father’s closest friend was a Javanese-Chinese originally from Shanghai. Like us, they are a nation of immigrants. Most just want the same things we want, a better life for themselves and their families. We have kind, decent Filipinos; there are kind, decent Chinese from the PRC. We have venal, tarantado Filipinos; there are PRC citizens who are also venal and tarando.

    What I totally distrust is this Chinese government, which has grown increasingly bellicose, dictatorial, and manipulative towards its neighbors, with a thirst for absolute territorial control. It seems hard-wired into the human species that its Great Powers will sooner or later yield to the desire for conquest and subjugation. For China, that Great-Power moment has arrived.

    China’s Communist Party has embedded itself into the “private sector,” and there are all sorts of implications in that for PRC-Philippines relations. There are those supposedly private infrastructure contractors of the PRC that are really controlled by the Chinese government. There are the recent reports of the PLA being embedded in Chinese Coast Guard boats–and the Coast Guard in turn used supposedly private fishing vessels as its front.

    OK, so you have these hordes of eager young Chinese working in gaming centers in Makati and other IT hubs, and diversifying into buy-and-sell businesses. Fine, they infuse the local economy with at least part of their earnings; they spend money in restaurants; they give Filipino drivers jobs and make their landlords happy.

    The problem is that, almost certainly, some of them are working on behalf of their government. Learning how things work, learning Pilipino, gathering intelligence. And perhaps setting up local networks with Chinese-Filipinos who are sympathetic to the PRC’s presence–especially if profitable business comes into play. (But let’s leave that aside for the moment.)

    OK, this is happening throughout the ASEAN region. But it looks like many neighboring governments–Malaysia, Indonesia et al– are able to call China out and set strong checks on China’s behavior. I suspect that at ground level they have set up their own controls on the movements of PRC citizens, and on the spread of Chinese control of local economies. Even as some of these countries enjoy greater FDI investment from the PRC than we do.

    The Duterte administration is up to its own game with the PRC. But Filipinos–even Filipinos who voted for and supported by Duterte–see no safeguards being put in place on their behalf. Not even to protect our dignity with a fig leaf. Those mild protests filed by Cayetano won’t cut it. The co-optation by Malacanang of those three fishermen who were tossed some noodles in exchange for their catch, and making them appear in a fist-bump photo-op with Harry Roque, was nauseating to see. It was so ham-handed, it looked like something that could have been orchestrated by the Beijing Politburo’s PR incompetents.

    If the Philippine government can’t show itself capable of checking PRC takeovers of our territory, of our national and local economies, then predictable human reactions will take place, and ordinary citizens may take matters into their own hands.

    • Yes, it is the lack of fair representation for everyday Filipinos that is striking about this administration. If security and opportunity is being expanded by the close tie-in with China, it is explained only in the grandest terms of benefit. And critics are slammed. The flood of Chinese immigrants ought to be explained so that citizens understand they are being cared for, too. I personally don’t think they are. The elite are being cared for. And the Chinese government is being cared for.

      • I need to dig up the psychological profile of the President to see if he hates himself, and hates Filipinos. I certainly see little compassion, except transactionally when he is trying to gain popular support. His heart bleeds for Tacloban, but not for the kids of fathers his PNP have killed.

        • Vicara says:

          He has, at various times–depending on the audience, of course–boasted of being Cebuano, Davaoeno, Maranao, Mindanaoan–and even–check his carefully curated Wikipedia entry–Chinese. But he never, ever boasts about being Filipino. Because what transactional value is there in being all-inclusive? What value is there for him in calling people to an abstract identity made up of shared values, and built on the work and sacrifice of martyrs and heroes?

          He only references what is most primitive, tribal and fear-based in us.

  9. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    We hit CNN’s Breaking News again with the alleged sniper-killing of the controversial — because of parading suspected criminals in public in a shame campaign — Tanauan City Mayor Halili, a Duterte supporter, who was probably emboldened the more to do his notorious shame campaign.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/01/asia/philippines-mayor-halili-tanuan-shot-intl/index.html

    There must be speculations if the sniper acted alone or on someone’s order and why. Further than this, I sayeth not.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    OT

    This is A March 2018 report about FDIs
    The Chinese has not invested much yet.
    The South Koreans fdi lessened, maybe they pulled out, or maybe some held of expansion.
    The US and Japan remain top investors.

    But I watched an interview with the AMCHAM rep saying some are moving to Vietnam due to lower minimum wage. That is the thing, the minimum wage here will never get lower.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardheydarian/2018/03/25/under-duterte-philippines-enjoying-an-investment-boom-but-dont-thank-china/#707595c4393e

    • sonny says:

      OT from July, 2018, Forbes/

      A geopolitical overview:

      China will lose the South China Sea Game

      China wants to control the entire South China Sea. Every inch of it. That’s why will lose all of it, one day.

      In the South China Sea game, China is one player playing against all the rest: The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. China is also playing against the navies of US, Japan, France, the UK, and Australia. These navies seek to enforce the freedom of navigation in the vast trade waterway. Close to $5 trillion in merchandise moves through every year.

      Why is China playing against everyone else? For a couple of reasons. One of them is that the waterway is very important to its vision — becoming the next global economic leader.

      It’s the beginning of China’s maritime silk road.

      “Insofar as China is concerned, its maritime silk road begins from the South China Sea,” says Vijay Eswaran, Malaysian entrepreneur and Chairman of QI Group of Companies.“It sees itself playing a more significant role in maritime trade in the future.”

      Another reason is that China sees the South China Sea as its own property. “Historically, China has always viewed the South China Sea (SCS) as its own,“ adds Vijay. All of it, and the resources that are hidden beneath, which China wants to exploit. That’s why it is building artificial islands.

      And that feeds Chinese nationalism, needed to support and reinforce the political status quo.

      What about the overlapping claims from neighboring countries? “China does not see any of the other overlapping claims from the neighboring countries to the South China Sea as a threat,” adds Vijay.

      And it uses intimidation to make sure that this won’t happen. When China lost a United Nations-linked tribunal international arbitration to the Philippines on the South China Sea disputes a year and a half ago, Beijing took a couple of steps to make sure that Duterte wouldn’t do anything with it.

      The first step was to threaten Duterte with war should he dare to enforce the ruling. The second step was to promise a generous investment to help the Philippines deal with its many problems.

      And it worked. Duterte quickly flip-flopped, and forgot all about the ruling, as was written in previous pieces here.

      More recently, China applied “Duterte’s model” to intimidate Vietnam. Last July Vietnam announced that it will stop its oil exploration efforts, following a stark warning by Beijing that it will attack Vietnamese oil and gas bases.

      Still, there are multiple navies that are prepared to challenge China’s ambitious mission. “It is the potential Western influence, i.e the US, France and the UK and their navies, that are having more of an impact on Chinese policy in the region.“

      Is China prepared to fend off this challenge? It’s hard to say.

      What isn’t hard to say is that countries that play a game against all end up losing.

      That’s what happened in neighboring Japan in the past, and it could happen to China in the future.

      Meanwhile, investors in the financial markets of the region should closely watch any developments that will bring China closer to an open confrontation with America and its allies.

  11. Oldmaninla says:

    I feel very sad reading these postings………….so negatives!
    So insulting to our own Filipino sensibilities.
    Where is our own respect for ourselves?

    So sad!

  12. madlanglupa says:

    OT: Local basketball has taken a step backwards tonight after players from both Gilas and Australia have flown themselves into a fight.

    • The present times cause stress hormones to rise – all the verbal and real violence.

      If the stress level especially of people in Metro Manila was already very high for years due to noise pollution, sleep deprivation (due to noise AND long working days and endless commute) and fear due to a perceived high crime rate (fear levels are often perception – Germany has a very low crime rate now as per stats, but fear is higher than ever before) then the stress level is even higher – fear of arrest as tambay just because stranded, bad news.. higher stress levels not only make thinking limited (this is proven, fight or flight situations, no considering alternatives) but also make road rage and other forms of rage more likely. And of course all accounts of war and civil war show a spiral of violence – certainly hormone driven.

      • Hostility rising. I’ll use this as a jumping off space to report the latest on my engagement with PhilippieFails, who commented here, and who persists in making the issue the editor of this blog rather than the topic at hand. Here are two messages he sent yesterday that I chose not to publish, but I suppose they are weirdly topical because they reflect the kind of overweening anger driving so much thinking these days, at the outer edges of civility. I would note that, coincidental with the second missive, someone tried to hack into my Word Press account for the blog. That has never happened before.

        Conclusions. This is not just a Philippine issue, it is global, the deterioration of civility and moral values that emphasize compassion and consideration. These days each person is a moral and intellectual authority in his own right, seeking to dominate and correct those who vary from his or her ideals. Well, it makes it impossible, does it not? That I should have to write of the style expected by an angry foreigner in the Philippines or risk damages and threats, rather like social media punches in the face?

        It is the style of our times, requiring new awareness and disciplines and protections. Someone like President Duterte sets the table with his ruthless pronouncements, and people of some undefined emotional neediness vent. Others pay the price, and it is sometimes extreme.

        Message 1

        It’s funny how Joeam is very nonspecific throughout this whole article. So give us some specifics. Give us some facts and proofs and figures to work with here. What exactly is this commentary you find troubling? Which old racist quotes? Said by who and in what context? You said you had three separate racist commentaries come your way on the same day? Well what were they? What specifically was the denigrating thing the person you blocked said? What response do you have to this 30 year old article from The Atlantic about Philippine culture? Is this author a Chinese racist roll?

        https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1987/11/a-damaged-culture/505178/

        Message 2

        if no one reads this i know you will. your article is lacking in facts and is full of shit just like you. so keep on believing that culture has NOTHING to do with how the Philippines is. just stay asleep. and snore. and swat at the flies that hover over your open mouth as you dream you lies. Keep on believing that i am a racist without even reading my blog or considering what i have to say. it’s just so much easier to think I’m a Chinese troll than to ACTUALLY THINK. do you even live in the Philippines?

        • sonny says:

          Joe, there are nothing quicker than ad hominems to poison a discussion, conversation or dialogue. Things, issues just implode to the gutter.

          • That is so very true. They set up an essential unfairness and belligerence that are difficult to resolve.

            • karlgarcia says:

              I found it futile to convey that you have heard the same music before from GRP.
              He already made up his mind.
              Btw,he did mention GRP, I don’t know how he was treated there,and I don’t think I want to know.

              • It is futile to try to correspond with someone pushing agenda and focused on winning the argument rather than listening and understanding other views. I had to block a reader on Facebook who was delivering the same old trite arguments about Aquino, and claiming NAIA improvements for Duterte. Where to begin if even those basic points are wrong?

    • karlgarcia says:

      That was the first time I saw a 5 on 3 basketball game with so many of our players ejected.

    • Sup says:

      Is Manny Pacquiao the new Gilas basketball coach? 🙂

  13. karlgarcia says:

    In a Filipino TV series probinsyano there was a series of episodes about a troll farm, where we know they are paid to invent stuff and if they leave the troll farm they are DEAD.
    What if the non-fiction version in the troll farms are as violent to the trolls, and they force them to type negative stuff and blackmail them if they refuse and kill them once they backslide.

  14. OT Just leaving this here.. how the whole rumble yesterday got started..

    • I understand it got started during warmups when an Aussie player was bumping the Filipino players, probably an intimidation tactic. Then the game was very physical, so tempers were high by the time the brawl occurred.

  15. Joe the Kano says:

    Duterte and many of his supporters are an embarrassment to the Philippines.
    Just like Trump and many of his are an embarrassment to the US.
    “Race” and its cultural baggage may be contributing factors, but the root causes are the failure of economic and politcal elites to reasonably address underlying issues, and a lack of credible alternatives and candidates.
    Crude populist demagogues fill a vacuum and exploit fears, insecurities, and frustrations.
    They should be exposed, mocked, and ridiculed.
    But the greater challenge is to provide something better.

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