For Real Change, Buck the Status Quo

status quo

By Juana Pilipinas

 

I am about to extend a theory that may ruffle feathers.  I am also about to use Taglish which in itself may get me tagged as an elitist as I was made aware sometime ago that it is the language of the oligarchy.  Be rest assured that I am just a regular Juana dela Cruz whose primary aim in writing articles about the Philippines is to assist in its progress. The aforementioned theory is not just for the “yellows”  or “DDS, ” it is addressed to all Filipinos regardless of color or political affinity.  This is a call for unity and revolutionary thinking in a way that it could affect the country’s future.  This is not seditious stuff, it is positive social engineering.

As the title insinuates, for real “change” to happen, we need to change the way we think and behave.

 

WHAT IS STATUS QUO?

Merriam-Webster, my dictionary of choice, defines status quo simply as the “existing state of affairs.”  It is often used specifically for social and political issues entrenched within a society.  It came from the Latin words “status” meaning “state” and “quo” which means “in which.”  In simpler terminology, it can be defined as “the way is was and always is.”  Walang pagbabago, same-o same-o (same old ways).  In Filipino, we call them “kalakaran” o yung mga usong palakad nuon pang panahon ng Hapon (an idiom, not to be taken literally).  Marami pong “kalakaran” sa  Pilipinas kaya walang pagbabago.

 

STATUS QUO AND THE DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION

President Duterte’s political battlecry during the 2016 election was “Change is coming.”

He promised to buck the status quo to bring about change in the Philippines.  He said he will bring back peace and order.  He even told us the methodology he will employ to make it happen:   “I’ll dump all of you into Manila Bay, and fatten all the fish there,” was his threat to wrongdoers and Filipinos applauded.  Wait a minute, is that change or another “kalakaran?”  Di ba kalakaran sa Pilipinas na pag ang taong nasa pwesto ay naiirita sa isang grupo ng tao, such as journalists, critics, communists, etc., ginagamit nila ang kanilang kapangyarihan upang itumba ang kanilang kinaiinisan?   Ang real change ay ang pagpapasikat sa rule of law, due process at iba pang makatwirang proseso.  Nakita natin na nananaig na ang tama sa SenTri saga.  PRD relented to the power of rule of law in processing of his Proclamation 572. Sabi nga ni Mocha, “Konting kembot na lang”  at ang kalakaran na ang nasa pwesto ang palaging tama at may karapatan na kumitil ng kalayaan o buhay ay siya nang magiging luma o laos na uso.

He also promised to buck the status quo by cleaning up corruption in the government.   Mahaba na po ang kasasaysayan ng politika sa Pilipinas na tampok ang corruption ng mga namumuno.  He said, “Even just a whiff of corruption, and you’re out,” to plundering government officials.  Again, Filipinos gave him a thunderous applause of approval.   No one seems to be immune from corruption, from the barangay tanods to presidents so, that indeed, was worthy of the approbation. Anyare?  Corruption is still widespread and ubiquitous in the present administration.  Netizens agree that the president had more than a whiff from his cabinet members but it pained him to see his “friends” go so a lot of them were reassigned/relocated.  What could change?  PRD could be more pro-active in weeding out corruption in the government.  PNoy was accused of selective justice, and this accusation is now being thrown at PRD too.  There is a place for PRD’s “tapang” in being ruthless even to his friends who are enriching themselves through their government positions.  He needs to adopt the “que se joda” ( meaning: in spite of. In this case, friendship and utang na loob)  attitude to truly get rid of corruption in the Philippines. Pwedeng magpauso ng  bagong kalarakan ang presidente na walang kinikilingan, ma-yellow, ma-DDS o sino man.

OOT Trivia: Did you know that “que se joda” has a different meaning in Spanish and Tagalog?

He also promised to dismantle the system that favors the rich and oppresses the poor.  Kalakaran din yan sa Pinas, di ba?   He repeatedly said that he will destroy the monsters of the oligarchy in the Philippines to free its economy.  He promised to go after the corporations that entrenched “endo” into the economic system.  He said he will dismantle the rice cartel in the first 3 days of his presidency during his interview with Jessica Soho.  Two years later, the masses are falling in line for hours to buy the government subsidized rice at a price they can afford.  The inflation rate escalated to a nine year high of 6.4%.  Rumours had it that its scheduled unveiling was delayed because the original calculation was 6.6%.  The exchange rate is dismal which recently went as high as PHP54 to USD1.  The endo is still in existence and the rice cartel seems to be doing business as usual.   Even in the recent tete-a-tete of PRD and Panelo, PRD skirted the economic issues by saying that his economic managers are taking care of it.   It is true that he said he got a grade of 77 in Economics so he will hire the best and the brightest to handle the economics side of governance but he is the president and he has the power, as well as, responsibility to do something to arrest the ailing economy.  DDS will be like:  “Ikaw na ang maging presidente.”  Andres talked about the arrogance and know-it-all character of yellows.  Wag naman, marami pa rin namang nagnanasa lang na umasenso ang bayan.  Ang puna ng bayan ay lumabas na ngayon na si PRD ay myembro ng oligarchy sa Pilipinas.  Napaboto daw sila dahil sa kulambo at nagkakamay si PRD pag kumakain, parang sila pero pang gogoyo lamang pala ito dahil ngayon nalaman nila na siya ay matagal ng nakikihalubilo sa mga rightist oligarch na Marcos, Arroyo, Estrada at iba pa.  How can PRD tide this swelling of discontent?  Mahirap di ba?  Malapit na ang election at kailangan ng administrasyon ang mga kasangang rightist oligarch to fund the machinery.  Ang solusyon ko, kumalas si PRD sa mga taong branded na oligarch mapa- rightist o leftist man.  Kaya ba ni PRD yan?  I ka-crowd source ko sa mga tagabasa kung paano mababago ni PRD ang kalakarang oligarchy sa bansa.  What say you, readers?

 

STATUS QUO AND THE FILIPINOS

There are a lot of status quo in the Philippines social and political realm.  I think the first step in dismantling the numerous status quo in the Philippines is to make a list of them then prioritized them as to their importance for the present Philippines.  For example, right now the most pressing problem for the masses is the economy.  What are the kalakaran that are impeding the economy’s growth?  How can a regular Juan influence the powers that be to do something about it?   Di ba nabasa mo itong article na ito dahil may cellphone o computer ka na may Internet access?  Pwede mo itong gamitin para iparinig mo ang iyong hiyaw sa kanino mang tao na sa palagay mo ay makakatulong para malutas ang nakikita mong problema na bumabalakid sa pag asenso ng bayan.  Lahat ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno, mula sa barangay tanod hanggang sa presidente ay may website o social media page na.  Hindi po imposisyon ang mag-email, mag-PM or mag snail mail sa kanino mang kawani ng gobyerno.  Ito po ay inyong pribilehiyo  dahil kayo ang nagbabayad sa kanilang sweldo.  Kahit po gaano kayo kadukha, pag bumibili kayo ng pagkain at ibang  kailangan na may pataw na buwis, kayo po ay taxpayer.  All Filipinos have the power to change the status quo.  Gamitin po natin ang bahagi ng social media at Internet time natin  to affect change.

 

STATUS QUO BIAS

Labanan po natin ang ating sariling status quo bias.

Ano yon?

Status quo bias is an emotional bias, a preference for the current state of affairs. The current baseline (or status quo) is taken as a reference point, and any change from that baseline is perceived as a loss…  A large body of evidence shows that status quo bias frequently affects human decision-making.”

Marami po sa atin ang “gahi ulo” sabi nga ni JoeAm.  I prefer the term “stick in the mud” because it provides a clear visual portrait that is relevant to the plight of a lot of Filipinos.  Halos baon na po tayo sa putik, deadma pa rin at wala pa rin tayong ginagawa para makaahon dahil sa ating status quo bias.  Gumagawa po tayo ng kung ano anong dahilan para i-rationalize ang mga status quo: “Ganun naman talaga kahit nuong panahon pa ni Mahoma, eh.” ; “Sino ba naman ang makikinig sa akin?  Maralita at mangmang lamang ako sa paningin ng gobyerno.” ; “Nakakatakot eh. Baka mapag initan at ma-Tokhang.”; “Galit si Presidente sa mga kritiko,  mahirap nang madamay.”  Batid po ba ninyo na lahat ng dahilan na ito ay mga problema pa rin hanggang ngayon dahil walang gumawa ng paraan  para magbago ang mga kalakaran nuong bata pa tayo?  Kung hindi po natin masusulusyunan ang mga ito ngayon, ipapamana po natin yan sa mga kabataan ngayon.

Pwede po nating labanan ang ating status quo bias  sa kaunting sakripisyo para sa ating mga anak at apo.  Isipin po natin na ang ating pagdurusa ngayon ay hindi na mararamdaman ng mga bata sa bagong henerasyon.  Kung maraming status quo ang madi- dismantle ngayon, mas makakabuti po ito sa mga kabataan na silang magtatamasa ng kaunlaran dahil sa ating pinagkahirapan.

 

CONCLUSION

Every Filipino has the power to make a change.  A hero, a savior or a dictator is NOT needed to make the Philippines a better place.  You, the titos and titas, the regular Juans and Juanas , with unity and courage, could usher the change.  YOU HAVE THE POWER.  YOU ARE THE HERO YOU HAD BEEN WAITING FOR.

 

“Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.”

~ Steve Jobs

 

Comments
82 Responses to “For Real Change, Buck the Status Quo”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    The que se Joda does not work, might be set for friends and friend of friends in FB.

    The get realists go for change in culture, which is not wrong, what is wrong is their approach.
    This government end wanted change, but their means made them fail.
    Peace and order in six months then pretending he did not mean it that way or worse he did not say such things.
    All this galit Ako sa droga, gal it Ako sa kurapsyon could mean a lot, if his own backyard is clean.

    I was interested in peace talks for all, but what happened is Marawi, Bohol terrorist infiltration,etc.
    Yet when the dust settled back to reminding us of Luneta, Mamasapano, Yolanda, etc.

    • Hmmmm, works for me, but I’ll just post here what it links to on FB to save others the inconvenience:

      Filipinos Can Think
      June 14, 2015

      Do you know that “que se joda” has a different meaning in Spanish? In the Philippines, we use “que se joda” (or ke se hoda) when we mean “in spite of” or “despite” (kahit pa). However, in Spanish language the phrase “que se joda” means “fuck yourself”. This variation of meaning had been probably conceptualize to either confuse the Filipinos during the Spanish period on the meanings of Spanish words or the Filipinos themselves consciously or sub-consciously changed the meaning to detract the original negative meaning.

      Share this to your friend who always says “que se joda.”

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      The “que se joda” attitude is a prescription specifically for Duterte and his blunder of appointing people who pull down his administration. He did not appoint most of them for their merits but because they helped his campaign or they are his friends. Take for example Mocha and a lot of his cabinet members. Their incompetence does not only make Duterte look bad, it is also destroying the country.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    http://www.ndcp.edu.ph/wp-content/uploads/publications/Rethinking%20Philippine%20National%20Interest%20Towards%20Calibrating%20National%20Policies.pdf

    From page 9 to 40

    It talked about how Duterte reframed our National Interests.

    I beg to differ, because the president must adjust to the national interest and not the other way around.

  3. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. The central message seems to be: “Be the change you want to see.”

    1.1. And to change, as the essay goes, ”we need to change the way we think and behave.”

    2. The call to change is a very powerful mantra. It has been used time and again by countless politicians, not least by Obama and Duterte.

    3. But the call to change never seems to fulfill its promise, and one has to ask the reason why.

    4. I think the reason the call fails is that in order to change the way we think and behave, we must first change the way we see.

    4.1. We “see” that VP Robredo is weak when she is not. And we expect her to change to conform to our idea of strength. We want her to curse instead of speaking softly and rationally. We want her to darken her face in anger instead of smiling with a glint in her eyes. We want her to stamp her foot instead of standing straight with effortless dignity in the rain.

    5. So, no, VP Robredo must not change. Rather, it is we who must change. And, again, to do this we must change the way we see.

    6. This is easier said than done. It requires no less than an internal revolution.

    7. There are many methods of internal transformation. It is often triggered by something outside ourselves – a tragic event, a word from a teacher or a friend, a lesson from a book. Or something as mundane and as wondrous as a gentle breeze or seeing the stars at night.

    7.1. Essentially, the transformation lies in the realization of values. Not gold or silver. But something more non-material than material, something more enduring than transient.
    *****

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      1. Yes.

      1.1 If you are unhappy with what is going on, do something. Chances are, what you are unhappy about has something to do with PH status quo. Buck that status quo.

      2. Yes.

      3. Never say never.

      4. Yes.

      4.1 Vp Leni is fine the way she is.

      5. Yes
      .
      6. Any change is difficult. One has to weigh the pros and cons and decide if it is worth it.

      7. True. For many, having a child is a trigger. Do you want your child to go through what you are now going through with this administration?

      8. It is values based. I would reiterate what I said before, “Filipinos may be empty-handed but they are not empty-headed.” We are poor, we live in a third world country but we are smart, thinking people. This is the reason why most of us thrive overseas. When we are taken out of a dysfunctional system and placed in a functional society, that change brings out the best in us. We start thinking, then we grow, then we succeed.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    The summary meme of the Duterte era:

    CHANGE DID COME, AND IT WAS UGLY.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    He feigned disgust for the oligarchy first by letting Lucio Tan wait for him for practically the whole day, then going home with just greeting him. ( I read that in the blind item section)

    Then later saying LT already paid all his taxes and is no longer a tax evader. (How come?)

    Then we learned that he has his oligarchs of choice.

    Once almost never heard Dennis Uy now owns one my favorite restaurants, aside from joining the oil and gas, hospitality, logistics, higher Ed, etc.

    The family of the SAP now has infra projects which despite documentary evidence, still asks, where is your proof?

    He had junkets like that one in Russia maybe to show the Russians that he too has oligarchs.

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Bad influence is what Duterte and Marcos here in the COA situation.

    After Duterte asks if anyone from COA is around, he asked them to be pushed down the stairs.
    What an AH.

    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1033968/ex-coa-chief-snaps-back-at-duterte

    • Yeah. Now he is saying that she cannot lecture him because he is more knowledgeable than she is when it comes to the “nitty-gritty.” He’s so full of himself. IMHO he does not believe that he and his administration have any misgivings. He and his sycophants know it all.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1033887/pacquiao-is-new-chair-of-senate-ethics-committee

    Wow! what more can I say?
    Ugh!
    All my admiration for Paquiao is gone that I wish Mayweather knocks him out.

    • I share your sentiments. The guy who points to the bible to justify the death penalty cannot be said to have a refined sense of judgment about how humankind can rise above base cave-man thinking by deploying conscience and discipline.

      But as to the match itself, I predict Pacquiao will win because I think he is wearing his age a little better than Mayweather.

    • NHerrera says:

      Huwag naman re Pacquiao-Mayweather II. But if that is the result, what can I say.

      Sotto as Senate President; now Pacquiao as Ethics Committe chair. At least Sotto has partly redeemed himself in his decision regarding Trillanes amnesty revocation proclamation. Let us see how Pacquiao can redeem himself.

    • Domeng Alim says:

      Same here!

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      I hear you, Karl.

  8. NHerrera says:

    Thanks JP for the blog article. The rationale is unassailable and the prescriptions are something to be done without delay.

    May I add the following thoughts, not as a priority, but a practice for one’s and the country’s benefit, as well as the children who learns by observing the parents. It is along the same line as bucking the status quo or the old practice of “kung ano ang laki ng butones, yun ang laki ng uhales:”

    * 10 percent of your income should go to savings-investment, no matter the level of income;

    * 10 percent of your spare time should go to thinking and acting for the betterment of the country, no matter the level of the available spare time.

    [There are variations of the above two items in the scope and percentages. But I will stick to the two in this post — the percentage itself is something that one sets, but probably within the range 5 to 10 percent. BTW, the first one is not an original; I used part of the prescription of the Sage in the parable from the book “The Richest Man in Babylon.” The second one is just an extension of this, in keeping with our times.]

    I may note that I believe quite a few of those in TSH practice this two-point prescription. Of course, our Editor and yourself, JP, may be rolling in moolah, the first is no problem 🙂 ; but certainly you practice the second item. JoeAm is putting in, I believe, in excess of 10 percent.

    • Juana Pilipinas says:

      Thank you, Kuya NH.

      I believe that is what needs to be done. For us to share lessons we have learned to the younger generation (or any generation who are willing to listen and learn).

      I told Joe that I mostly want to write PSA (public service announcement) type articles because my dream is for all Filipinos to be able to participate fully in charting the country’s trajectory. There is a dearth of all kinds of knowledge among our countrymen. I think we can all help in sharing information that they can use. An example of that is the financial and civics information that you just shared.

      Nah, not rich but blessed and have plenty to share.

  9. Juana, thanks. First, it can make sense that “que se joda” means “inspite of” if it also can be taken to mean “fuck that”. Certain “falsos amigos” in Filipino are even more far out: “siguro” for maybe (“seguro” in Spanish means “sure”, but even in English one can indeed say sure, mean maybe) while sigurado is really sure; “abilidad” means capability in the Spanish original but in the Filipino street context means the capability to get by (like knowing the right fixers etc.) which shows what a struggle life has been under heavy Spanish rule; the best still is “pera” which as per historian Ambeth Ocampo is because the “moneda” (correct Spanish word for money) in the 19th century had the portrait of Queen Isabel on it. The Philippines was a place where reactionary Carlistas fled to, and they said “perra” (bitch) when they saw the picture of the liberal Queen on their coins.

    (to be continued..)

    • RE change: for some, the change now must be paradise. TRAIN has lowered tax rates. Parts of the middle class must be very happy as they have more disposable income now.

      I also have read about tax amnesty. I also wonder how many among the good earners such as doctors and lawyers did not like Aquino because he made BIR collections more effective. How many of these people could have Philippine $ accounts, subject to top level secrecy!

      Everyone trying to be “smart” in the Pinoy 90s meaning of the word, which means what it meant in Imelda’s famous quote “some are smarter than others”. Except that if everyone tries to be smarter in that way (Tulfos etc.) the entire society is foolish (to be continued..)

      • A society with people who behave antisocially for the most part is doomed to be a failure. The question is why do people change and/or succeed abroad and how can that happen in the Philippines?

        Abroad. First: antisocial behavior is noticed in environments were most people for example don’t throw trash out of car windows like some rich Filipinos do. Social pressure and also enforcement makes people change their habits. Crime statistics on Filipinos in Germany in the 1980s (I quote this from memory as this is from research my father did then, I wrote the letters to statistical authorities and read some answers) had water pollution as one of the top crimes among Filipinos over there. At that time I thought baka umihi lang kung saan..

        Second: antisocial behavior doesn’t make much of a dent in societies where the majority acts in the right way. I have heard of Filipino capers in the USA, where return with cash refund is easy – buy new clothes for a party (there are Filipinos who MUST have that) and then return them, “unsatisfied” after the party to get the money back. If most people are likely to do that, you have the distrust of customers like electronics stores in the Philippines insisting on testing things and having you sign that it worked before giving it out to you..

        Third: one adapts to the environment after a while – in both positive and negative ways. There is a bit of a prisoner’s dillema in these kinds of situations. If cooperating with the rest of society is advantageous, the willingness to sacrifice for society is higher, I think.

        So yes, maybe patience and citizens trying to make a change could make a difference. But there should be institutions and groups that support doing the right thing – and protect you if you get into trouble for that. Because you can, in the Philippines. Just some ideas..

        (END)

        • Francis says:

          But there should be institutions and groups that support doing the right thing – and protect you if you get into trouble for that. Because you can, in the Philippines. Just some ideas..

          I don’t mean to offend—but this is why I am a bit annoyed with the often overly moralistic tone of reformism in the Philippines. Besides the Left (in practice and in theory) and the academe (in theory)—this point is often neglected, not emphasized enough or simply unknown to many to say the least.

          • Francis, often crookery in the Philippines will work like the movie house in Serbis. Someone looking clean, even super conservative on top like the owner/matron. Mediators for the daily stuff like the daughter, the really dirrrty stuff plus side capers is taken care of by the small fry – full deniability.

            Why do people believe Ronny Dayan was De Lima’s bagman? Because that is how it often works. I believe she was naive about that.

            How can you win a fight against crimes when you don’t know the typical modus operandi? Realism is needed, not just goodness.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          1. ”A society with people who behave antisocially for the most part is doomed to be a failure.

          2. There are basically 3 ways of being a good member of a society:

          2.1. Follow the norms of society.
          2.2. Follow one’s personal norms.
          2.3. Follow a reasoned compromise between the norms of society and one’s personal norms.

          3. The first way is, in terms of the essay, kalakaran. This way is not perfectly acceptable because the norms of society can range from good to bad.

          3.1. Additionally, there is the problem of definition: what exactly are the norms of society? Are they our traditional values? Are they the ones in the Constitution? Or are they the ones that a Leader espouses? In case of conflict, which ones do you follow? Do you follow tradition, the Constitution or the Leader?

          3.2. Note that government institutions tend to follow traditions/leader. Within society, there will be civil groups that support or oppose traditions/ leader.

          4. The second way is, in terms of the essay, fighting the status quo. In the extreme, this way is also not perfectly acceptable because one’s personal norms may – indeed, will – conflict not only with the norms of society but also with others.

          4.1. Additionally, what is the basis of one’s norms? Are they the ones in the Bible or in the Koran? Or are they Aristotelian, Confucian or Socialist? How do you define the highest good?

          4.2. Note that the government institutions may tend to oppose one’s norms. Religious institutions may support you. For each set of personal norms, there may be civil groups that are aligned with yours.

          5. The third way is, in terms of the essay, another way of fighting the status quo. In the compromise between what one thinks is right and what society practices as right, one arrives at what is acceptable by consensus.

          5.1. The difficulty with this third way is that of being heard and doing the right thing. Why not litter when everybody does it? Why reject EJKs when 8 out of 10 citizens approve of it?

          5.2. One task of government is to navigate through this third way. Religious institutions and civil groups will tend to influence government to see it their way.

          6. These observations are very general. But if one pauses, one will realize that all the questions raised are within the province of ethics.
          *****

          • Kung iyang itiks-itiks probinsya, ano ang salita doon? Sino Gobernor?

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            The assumption, of course, is that one aspires to be a good member of society and a good person.

            From the evidence, most people are not bothered by ethics. Most people just want to get by — that is, exist, survive, and “enjoy.”
            *****

            • happy-happy with 60M or more. If you are a Dutertian and not in those circles, you can at least dream of getting there. Or getting a tip from them, or a crumb from their table. *aso

              Some Filipino anthropologists even act as apologists – I think it was Doreen Fernandez who said that while sucker (Western) is just passive, sipsip (Filipino) is an active role.

              Well, one has to see how Harry Roque sweats when trying to explain, it is truly hard work.

          • sonny says:

            @ 4.1, 4.2

            If I may, the points raised go also to questions of identifying the circumstances of the nation’s diversity in selecting and adopting ethos, ethics and compromises that hopefully will work for the common good.

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          Thanks, Irineo.

          All the things you said made a lot of sense. Especially the last paragraph about institutions and groups that could positively reinforce those who are doing the right thing. As the old African proverb goes, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” A god-fearing, law -abiding, morally upright, and productive child, that is.

    • sonny says:

      Ditto the thanks, JP.

      The American flavor to “que se joda,” IMO, is “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” Or, “you may fire when you’re ready, Gridley” 🙂

  10. chemrock says:

    Generally it is good to question the status quo. Failure to do this is to remain stagnant. The flip side is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    To buck the status quo is a call for change. That requires change management and a catalyst. If it is a disruptive change, hmmmm be prepared for big problems and resistance.

    Most change requires personal changes of perspectives and, as Edgar mentioned, the issue of values come into play. The big block is always ego and personal interests. It’s almost impossible to clear these impediments in human dealings. Unlikely are the majority willing to make small personal sacrifices for the bigger good.

    Leopard do not change their spots. Not for nothing did this saying came about. If you want a serious change in the people’s perceptions say towards civility, ethics and morality, I say forget the current generation.

    • chemrock says:

      (I was’nt done there … damn keyboard post it)

      Wanted to say forget the oldies. Cultivate the young. Nurture and educate them when they are young. I have seen this work in Spore. We have all sorts of campaigns for social behavious. Let’s say “Save Water Campaign”. So we teach stuff like how to brush teeth using a glass of water to gargle rather then let tap go running. Simple stuff. Kids really take to it. They lecture us at home. They grow up as normalised behaviour.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        The social engineering done in Singapore is really remarkable.

        From the small stuff like the “save the water” example and anti-littering to the big stuff like racial harmony.

        My objection to social engineering is that good behavior is the result of external conditioning and not inspired by internal motivation. I do not deny that social engineering works… especially for collective societies. But it becomes unthinking habitual behavior.

        And because it is unthinking, the real rationale behind the behavior is forgotten.

        And being forgotten, it is easy to break the habit of good behavior. All it needs is a Duterte to come along and instill new and distorted rationale.

        The opposite of social engineering is individual conversion (metanoia)… usually in individualistic societies.

        My objection to individual conversion is that it is individual. It does not carry across to others and it does not carry across generations. But a Duterte cannot break it.

        I guess what needs to happen — in a collective society such as ours — is social engineering plus a rationale refresh across generations through education. And the encouragement of conversion through introversion and critical thinking.
        *****

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          I think Trump is a good example of a Duterte in a Western individualistic society.
          *****

        • Social engineering worked for a while – American period and shortly after. Children, sing:

          I have two hands
          the left and the right
          hold them up high
          so clean and bright
          clap them softly 1-2-3
          clean little hands are good to see

          Nowadays, Leni’s patriotically holding out in the rain on Independence day is laughed at by detractors as merely taking part in a flag ceremony. The meaning never really went in.

          Goodbye teacher
          Goodbye classmates
          See you again at school

          http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/sipain-ang-coa/ Hindi porke’t nakapag-aral ka puwede mo nang akalain na kung sino ka. Unang-una, mas mataas ang Presidente sa lahat ng may pinag-aralan kahit na halos bumagsak siya. Ibig sabihin nito, bobo ang mga eskwulahan at unibersidad.

        • chemrock says:

          Agree absolutely. But i can’t see how the internalization can be accomplished on a national platform. And how does one teach another how to internalize.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Ah, the $64 question.

            How does one wake up a sleeping person?

            It is said: when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

            The students are not ready.

            Awakening has been random, almost always an individual phenomenon. Where mass conversion has occurred, it has been at the point of the sword and almost always mere ritual.

            True, the ritual has been internalized and has some semblance of reality but the dynamic behind the ritual is rarely fully realized and practiced in daily life.

            And even in woke persons — say, like myself (?) — stray unwholesome thoughts will transpire. I am aware of the thoughts but I cannot prevent them from crystallizing. The lotus flower blooms in the mud.
            *****

            • The recent pain the Philippines is going through can be a catalyst for learning among some.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                True. We should be thankful for small mercies.

                While we are on the subject of social engineering, we should not neglect the subject of social control that is happening in China.

                It’s frightening — the depth, the extent, and the techniques used. The Uighur camps. The social credit scheme. The citizen surveillance through facial recognition. The sudden disappearance of billionaires for alleged corruption. The disappearance of an internationally recognized actress for alleged tax evasion.

                If for these reasons alone of human rights abuse, we should not align with China.
                *****

      • In the Philippines, I think one can forget especially my generation – the 50somethings. Mostly so shaped by the Marcos dictatorship – without our even having noticed it.

        As for 40somethings, there seem to be a number of groups helping in people in difficulties (Marawi evacuees, Benguet typhoon victims) organized mainly from that generation.

        30es and below are (mostly) probably still trying to figure out what the hell this is all about.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Yes. PH needs a lot of public service announcements that will educate the young about myriad of things. They still have them in the US. Most of them are geared toward particular issues and their deleterious effects such as smoking, drinking and driving, texting and driving, unprotected sex, responsible pet ownership and other pressing societal issues. Most of them are sponsored by NGOs.

  11. chemrock says:

    Changing status quo requires guts to call whatever is wrong.

    “Former Commission on Audit (COA) commissioner Heidi Mendoza has called out President Rodrigo Duterte for belittling the agency created by the Constitution to safeguard public coffers and encouraging local officials to ignore its anticorruption mandate.

    She also snapped at the President for saying, at the goading of Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, that COA employees should be “pushed down the stairs.”

    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1033968/ex-coa-chief-snaps-back-at-duterte

  12. popoy says:

    “Every Filipino has the power to make a change. A hero, a savior or a dictator is NOT needed to make the Philippines a better place.”

    The OFW PHENOMENON DEMONSTRATES the power of the Filipinos to make a change.
    Was it Jessica Zafra or Patricia Evangelista both diamond born Filipinas who wrote that the OFWs working almost everywhere in planet Earth are conquering the world for the Philippines. And the government consuelo de bobo response: OFWs are modern day heroes for their positive contribution to the country’s economic fundamentals. Sometimes, just SOMETIMES when the government shows concern and assistance to OFWs, there results some trouble for . . .

  13. popoy says:

    IT is not me who said that the only permanent thing in this world is CHANGE. And I say this: status quo could be a legal gobbledegook (Dr Joseph Goebels Eh?); it is an ulterior desire for no change but that which never happens. If there is no change in the policy against corruption, there will be increasing subtle big change in corruption magnitude. Worse, a promise for status quo on social and political issues could be like a Dunkin Donut, you get the hole.

    The mistakes of the post martial law regimes were the status quo (no change to applicability) given to SOME Batasan Pambansa laws, Presidential Decrees numbers so and so.

    There no social status quo, but there is SOCIAL CHANGE for worst or the better in matters of increasing the capacity of an individual or society to response to the increasing demands of the environment. That an individual or a nation develop itself to its FULL POTENTIAL. That despite poverty, intelligent and brilliant student can be the professionals of their choice.

    But there is POLITICAL STATUS QUO that meant increasing negative political change when meaningful participation by the citizens is THWARTED by the COMELEC, political dynasties, vote buying, guns, and goons during elections; WHICH CONSEQUENTLY encourages and abets political status quo in corruption.

  14. popoy says:

    Is Heidi Mendoza the sword against horsemen of apocalypse of corruption? Just asking? Hudas she thinks she is?

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/-depth/02/10/11/heidi-mendoza-rallies-filipinos-fight-corruption

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Mendoza

    https://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/04/05/11/heidi-mendoza-new-coa-commissioner

    https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1033970/in-the-know-heidi-mendoza-former-state-auditor

    https://www.google.com/search?q=heidi+mendoza+coa&sa=N&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ved=2ahUKEwjcmK_F5sfdAhXB3YMKHXBVA1M4ChCwBHoECAUQAQ&biw=1280&bih=596

    Search the Internet and get may be more than 126,000 results from Google. My foggy recollection is she is the daughter of just an ordinary policeman from a small town in Quezon Province.

    Hudas she think she is? JESUS CHRIST !! What an imbecile question.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    They insanity is committing the same mistakes ad infinitum.
    For us to be no longer insane, we must correct those mistakes.
    We do that by accepting what needs to be corrected including quirks, bad habits and mannerisms.

    • Yes. Same-o same-o is another word for stagnant. Nothing flows in or out.

      You can wade in the pool and make some ripples.

      Being an accountable and responsible citizen will go a long way in helping in the reversal of PH misfortunes.

  16. canadadry says:

    Thanks JP, a very thought provoking article. Thanks Joeam for sharing. This led me to share some thoughts today,sorry quite lenghy.

    Duterte’s Insanity-Urinating on his Mother’s grave; Trillanes’ Life-honoring his Mother.

    In one of his articles in Manila times, Ex Senator Saguisag mentioned that Duterte’s mother, Nanay Soling, was among those leading the Anti Marcos movement in Davao in the 70s. So effective was she that when Cory was appointing city in charge all over the country, when it came to Davao, it was Cory’s personal choice to ask Nanay Soling whom she wants to recommend for Davao. And the rest they say is history.

    Duterte must have hated his mother so much to completely embrace the one thing her mother stood against-the nauseating evilness of the corruption of the Arroyos, Marcoses, Estradas and company. Duterte embraced the Marcoses, allowed the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga bayani, and today insists that only Bongbong would be acceptable to replace him. Duterte embraced Arroyo and resuscitated her rise to power. By allowing billion dollar shabu importers to go scot free, while instigating the killing of poor addicts leading to his global reputation as mass murderer, would that not be going against what his own mother stood for- the sanctity of human life? By preventing the Senate revelations of SolGen Calida’s/ SAP Bong Go’s multiple billion peso government contracts, would that not be going against what his own mother fought for- public office is a public trust? The way he instigated the shameless debasement of Senator Delima and SC Chief Justice Sereno-would these not warrant “hambalos” on his face from his Nanay Soling? Are not these insane actuations of a son living the opposite of what his very mother fought and died for?. All those Duterte tendencies are akin to urinating on his mother’s grave. By choosing to abandon what Nanay Soling fought and died, the dude in a way regularly pees on his mother’s memory. Is it any wonder how Duterte could nonchalantly drag Trillanes’ mother in Duterte’s desire to destroy Trillanes?

    Sino na nga ba ang tunay na baliw?
    Kaninong buhay ba ang nagpapahalaga sa sarili mong ina?

    • Thank you, canadadry, for reading the article and sharing your thoughts.

      TSOH members have put forward the theory that PRD has “mommy issues” in one of the past articles based on his obvious misogyny. Saguisag’s take on the subject is very enlightening.

      I was stunned when PRD and his trolls started making fun of SenTri’s mom. To borrow poppy’s term, it is so UNFILIPINO to talk bad about someone’s mother especially an ailing one. What others find to be funny reveal their character. IMHO PRD, a number of officials in his administration and most of his followers have debased almost everything that is good about being a Filipino.

  17. popoy says:

    ANG PISI NG PAGKATAO

    Tulad ng iilan lang sa akadamiya o sa mga Pamantasan sa Filipinas, at naisulat ko dito sa TSoH,
    Mahaba ang PISI namin sa mga NAHALAL na Prsidente ng Filipinas. TAMA lang Seguro kahit hindi kita ang dulo ng pisi tulad ni Magsaysay at kakaibang Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

    Naisulat ko mahaba (ito’y walang kinalaman sa tagal ng panahon) ang pisi ko kay Pres. Duterte na ang panukat ay mga tamang pamamahala, kulang o labis-labis na kamalian.

    Sa ngayon dahil sa isang damukat (sangkatutak) na kontrobersyal na mga pangyayari na sumisikwat (uppercut ni Pacquiao) sa panga ani Pres Duterte, sa kanyang bawat kilos, buka ng kanyang bunganga at mga pagkakamaling ibinabato sa kanyang administrasyon, ako at Seguro ilan lang sa Akademiya kita-kitang na ang dulo ng pisi sa hindi naman malalim na balon ni Prisidinti Duterte.

    Napakraming SENYALES na nagbabadya na si P Duterte inabot na ng dulo ng pisi niya. Si Marcos Sr. napakatalino man ay HINDI Nakita ang dulo ng pisi niya, na kahit namagitan ang Kano para iligtas siya, WALANG SAYSAY dahil sa mata ng mundo, nahulog na ang DANGAL at ang pangalan niya, ng pamilya niya at ng mga di pa isinisilang ng magdadala ng pangalan at dugong Marcos.

    Ang dulo ng pisi ng bawat presidente ay dapat manatiling MATIBAY para maalagaan at manatiling okey lang ang pangalan at dangal na mga darating na henerasyon. Kahit hindi bayani, okey lang ang Lolo o puno ng apelyido ng mga bagong sibol. Kunti lang ang apelyido ng mga naging presidente NANLAGLAG ng apelyyido sa yurak ng korapsiyon.

    Sa aking tigulang na pananaw si Presidente Duterte inabot na kung hindi man siya ay nasa dulo na siya ng kanyang pisi. Ano ba ang pinakatamang kanyang dapat gawin kung siya may pagpahalaga, pagtingin o tunay na malasakit para sa Filipinas (sa mata ng mundo), sa mga Filipino, sa Pamilya niya at mga magdadala ng pangalang Duterte?

    Mas tama ba o dapat siya ay tumalikod at lumisan sa pagiging Presidente, or magpatuloy at ipaglaban ang kanyang palaban prinsipio. Sa marami, malaking insulto sa mga hayop at kulisap kung sila ay itutulad o ihahambing sa di kanais-nais na TAO. Si Malcolm Gladwell binusisi ang isyu ng mabuting hayop at masamang tao.

    Sabi ni Malcolm ang mga TUNAY na aso ay ganito. Pag ang dalawang aso ay NAGLABAN hanggang ang isa ay mapatay; ang matapang na talunan ay hihiga ilalantad ang dibdib para lapain ng kalaban; samantalang ang nanalo naman ay tatalikod at lilisan taas ang ulo nagbabadya ng MAGINOO at magiting na tagumpay.

    Sa dulo ng pisi ni Duterte, ang mga alipores ng TSoH puedeng palawakin at busisiin ang DAPAT BA O HINDI (to be or not to be) ni Pres Duterte?

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=-o2jW-_MDOaKjwTl0azgDA&q=malcolm+gladwell+what+the+dog+saw+summary&oq=malcolm+gladwell+what+the+dog+aw&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0i13k1l5j0i13i30k1l5.2913.20528.0.27338.39.21.3.15.15.0.189.2730.0j21.21.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.39.3360…0j0i131k1j0i22i30k1.0.brlO5aWo1II

    Si Pres Duterte ba ay DAPAT tumulad sa ilang Presidente na ang pangalan ay inilibing sa kasaysayan (history) ng kawalang hiyaan? O maging unang-una naglagay sa kanyang bansa sa toktok ng wastong makataong sakripisyo.

    Sige nga, anong say nyo?

    FEEL FREE anyone, to translate this piece to/English or whatever

    • canadadry says:

      para maisalin sa ingles ay makakabawas sa bagsik ng sinulat mo…

    • Mahigit na tatlong taon pa ang nalalabi sa kanyang pagkapangulo. Lagi niyang sinasabi na walang mas matalino pa sa kanya. Entonses, alam niya ang dapat niyang gawin para dugtungan ang maikling pisi.

    • popoy says:

      In 1969 in the study of the History of Administrative Thought from a non-PhD instructor who became Dean of the College I learned that: When translations are beautiful they are not faithful. In 2009 after forty years when I learned to write an apparent essay and wannabe poetry I conjectured that translation can make a piece of writing clear and accurate, incisive and deep. What is lost in translation is a love affair turned cold and messy.

      So I will try if I can prove my word.

      ANG PISI NG PAGKATAO is …..

      THE STRING THEORY OF CHARACTER

      Like a few academic objective denizens
      Of universities in the Philippines, Here in TSoH
      I wrote: we have long strings for contemplating
      The character and fate of elected Presidents.

      Quite right may be not to know how long
      Or how the string will end like those
      Of noble Monching Magsaysay in stark contrast
      Against the longest string of President Ferdie Marcos.

      Although linear but without time duration
      Strings become indicative of leadership
      Of correct performance be they effective or
      Excessively abusive.

      When temper and outburst controversies at the moment
      Arose from his words castigating people, even religion.
      That make his governing maddeningly helter-skelter
      Suggesting his string’s shortened, the end is so near.

      Signs are aplenty signaling Duterte’s string is ending
      Unlike brilliant Marcos who despite US aid did not see
      His string has ended in the eyes of the world along
      Comes fallen honor and integrity of his future generation,

      Every President with their string of character
      Short or long doesn’t matter if by their names
      They leave behind integrity and honor to their children
      Content that so few names had been raped by corruption.

      In my octogenarian view Pres Duterte’s string’s now ended
      So what he must do to prove his love and concern for country
      For his people, his family, relatives and descendants
      By doing things right to accomplish the right thing.

      Is it right or must Duterte turn his back, forget he is President
      And fly home to his Davao sunset or must he persist
      To fight his battles of principles or whimsical windmills
      Of gratitude or succumb to the allure of the aphrodisiac of power?

      Man has free will endowed with strings of character
      while animals have programmed instincts for survival.
      They are not comparable but must know the distinction
      How one could be unlike the other if only for protection.

      Malcolm Gladwell heard it loud and saw it clear
      How two ferocious dogs fighting to the death
      Have honor and valor as vanquished or victor
      In defeat a dog offers his chest for beastial feast.

      In victory winner walks away with great honor
      But man must learn from beast programmed for survival
      For beasts have no free will and reason to twist
      And mangle what is wrong to wrongly make it right.

      So what should it be for Pres Duterte’s to be or not to be.
      Turn his back and evaporate to the oblivion of history
      Or fight his way through the jungle of his own making
      Mortal as he is like everyone else alive, he should find peace.

      So they are mortals all of them are
      Pope and Cardinals, Presidents and Prime Ministers,
      Even Generals and soldiers and they remember that
      Every time they clean their arse with water and toilet paper,
      Towards the end of the string of character, they must
      Know that power kill others, but each one
      Is given a rope to hang oneself.
      -September 20, 2018

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