Category: Social Issues

The Problem with Leaders with Low Self-Esteem

“The problem with people of low esteem is that they cast strong people as villains. The crab culture in which the Philippines works is, after all, a culture of low self-esteem that is not surprising considering how people have largely been pawns to greater interests from the Spanish, the Catholic Church, the Americans, the Japanese briefly, and forever by their overbearing, corrupt, me-first dynastic landlords, warlords and archaic autocrats devoid of any compassion toward people beyond their dining room tables.

“The problem with people of low self-esteem is that they don’t see themselves very well. They are in a daily state of delusional denial. They think they are smart, and normal.

“So the President of the Philippines, who seems to me to be a degree beyond insecure and operating in a realm of applied vengeance, sees the US as a villain, laws as a villain, socio-economic health problems (drugs) as a villain, and any critic as a villain. Even if they make total sense and are of high character.”

Source: “Every Filipino for himself!!!”

It’s about being sensible and civilized human beings

This can’t be any more true:

“What is baffling is the Office of the Ombudsman’s failure to grasp the seriousness of the situation and the crucial nature of the role it was asked to play to defuse the crisis. Instead of humoring Mendoza by issuing an order reinstating him to his job, it sent him instead a written promise to review his case within 10 days—as if its overriding concern at that crucial moment was the preservation of the integrity of the judicial process rather than the preservation of the lives of the hostages. We don’t need a lawyer to tell us that an order issued under such circumstances carries no binding effect. But this didn’t seem to matter to the Office of the Ombudsman. It insisted on being legally correct. It makes one wonder if people in such high offices, lost in the rituals of their limited functions, can still think like sensible human beings.

Just as infuriating was the behavior of some people from the broadcast media during the hostage crisis. Where lives are at stake, as in an extremely volatile hostage standoff, one expects media to defer to the judgment of the police. One does not need an explicit protocol for media behavior under such conditions to know that no one, not even a media person, should get in the way of police work. You cannot invoke the public’s right to know as a justification to freely approach or communicate with an armed gunman who is holding hostages at gunpoint. Not even if it was the gunman himself who initiated the communication or demanded the media’s intervention. This is not just a matter of ethics. It is what a commonsensical orientation to law and order requires of all citizens.

— Randy David, “Madness and accountability,” PDI

That Filipino Look

He was heard to say: “There’s a very attractive girl in the second row, dark… and dusky. We’ll maybe put a wee word out for her.”

Mr McAveety went on: “She’s very attractive looking, nice, very nice, very slim,” before adding: “The heat’s getting to me.”

The MSP also said: “She looks kinda… she’s got that Filipino look.

“You know… the kind you’d see in a Gauguin painting. There’s a wee bit of culture.”

Frank McAveety quits over ‘attractive girl’ remark (BBC)

I’m confused about the racket that this quip generated. So is it wrong to admire “that Filipino look” now? Is it a slap in the face of Glutathione beauties/manufacturers/endorsers? Is there anyone married/in a relationship, man or woman, who has never found another human being other than their spouses/partners attractive? Is that so wrong now?

A cursory search on Google Images for Paul Gaugin paintings showed the following in the results:

Dusky ain’t so bad.


Wouldn’t it be great if people only married because of love and not because of social pressure or for financial security; or to believe in a God because of spiritual conviction, not because of fear that if you didn’t have a religion, your soul would be doomed in the pits of hell once you left this earth; or to be in a profession where you excelled not because you needed to make money but because you loved it and were good in it? Denmark sounds too good to be true, but then again, the country has consistently ranked as one of the happiest in the world.

Thank God, the campaign period is over!

Finally, the days of blaring awful jingles and campaign rallies are over. The last two nights of the campaign period have set off massive traffic jams in parts of the city, particularly on major roads traversed by motorists going to and from work in various pockets of Makati.

My apartment building sits right beside a three-road intersection, which unclassy and inconsiderate mayoralty candidates decided to close down on several occasions so they could stage their variety shows/rock concerts-cum-campaign rallies until way past midnight. To make matters worse, these rallies often ended with fireworks displays that unfortunately exploded right in front of my window, sending fumes right into my room. I’m even surprised that my glass windows didn’t develop cracks due to the vibrations that the fireworks sent rippling through the building.

Of course campaigns are but part of the democratic process, but it doesn’t mean that candidates are free to turn public places into their concert grounds until the wee hours of the morning, especially on weeknights when many people around the neighborhood have to be early at work, or cordon off major roads, forcing motorists and pedestrians to take other routes to reach their destinations.

I’m sure that even years after the elections, there will still be more of kids like this in the neighborhood.  There is a part of me that has just stopped caring…

…knowing that a lot of taxes, donations and public funds are stashed somewhere, instead of spent on improving people’s lives, so that come election time, we will have more of these: