31 May 2011

Moral Decay of Filipinos - Ultimate Dissertation

A convergence of infatuation with Hollywood's movies and creeping culture of corruption, which seeds were sown by the Marcos dictatorship, have personified the moral degradation of Filipinos. Star-struck mentality swept the rich and famous, the political elite and all levels of society. It began when the government itself allowed the construction of the eventually ghost-haunted Manila Film Center where explicit and sex-oriented foreign films uncensored by then Board of Censors were exhibited to record-breaking crowds. 

In due time, local film producers followed suit by producing movies where bare skins were the primary attraction rather than exceptional story lines. Thus, the shy and demure Maria Clara-type film stars were replaced by daring and baring sexy bombshells whose allure and exploits later on extended beyond the silver screen into real life.

27 May 2011

Moral Decay of Filipinos - Penultimate Dissertation

What was previously regarded as taboo in a morally upright society had earned grudging tolerance and virtual acceptance when a performance-challenged solon proudly flaunted publicly his marital indiscretions. Notwithstanding religious disapproval, an immature electorate was hoodwinked to award him the highest political post of the land on the basis of his national fame as a multi-awarded movie actor. Just as the Marcos dictatorship was toppled by EDSA People Power Revolution, also known as EDSA 1, the Erap Estrada rule was cut short by EDSA 2 which installed the constitutional succession of the Arroyo regime. 

Of course, the corruption and excesses of the Arroyo regime that could approximate the Marcos era would be another long story. Still, the immaturity of the voters awashed with star-struck mentality persists until who knows when as famous non-performing assets manage to remain in public office.

24 May 2011

Moral Decay of the Filipinos

Many columnists have decried for so long a time that the Filipinos' moral values have deteriorated for so many decades. The tremendous deprivation suffered by most Filipinos during the Japanese occupation had certainly scarred the psyche of many who subscribed to the idea that the end did justify the means to achieve the objective of winning the survival of the fittest. As money is said to be the root of all evils so political power provided the door to amass oodles of money.   

In the 1948 presidential elections between Elpidio Quirino and Jose P. Laurel, dirty politics reared its ugly head as the birds and the bees as well as the dead were said to cast their votes. President Quirino's administration gained notoriety for its rumored "golden arinola" or chamber pot in English. But, it was overshadowed by its highly controversial Senate President who uttered the haughty statement "What are we in power for!".  Nevertheless, the graft and corruption of this era could be considered peanuts when compared to the gargantuan rapacity of the succeeding Marcos-Erap-Arroyo triumvirate.

21 May 2011

What's in a Name?

What is in a name?  I remember reading somewhere that some foreigners have found it amusing and peculiar Filipinos' penchant of giving their children names which connote various and different meanings. Come to think of it, I grew up very fond and proud of my name, William, since many world famous persons bear said name. Among them, I like William Shakespeare most as I happened to read some of his writings such as "Julius Caesar", "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Hamlet". When I was still in my hometown and staying at the parish convent as a factotum, I looked over my baptismal record and I found out that my listed name is Guillermo and not William. However, as my school records had William as my name, I did not bother to change it. Of course, even at my senior years, I enjoy the hilarious feeling of having various nicknames such as Boy, Willy, Bill and Willyboy.

Going back to Filipinos' distinct, queer and sometimes confusing name-giving, many parents name their kids after flowers and what have you. Thus, Rose seems to be the overwhelming favorite female appellation derived from the name of a flower with Mary as the run-away choice name from saints. For males, John and Joseph or the Filipino version seem to predominate. On the other hand, few parents name their kids Jesus out of deep reverence for the Son of God. Why? As parents tend to harshly reprimand their erring sons, it would be a sign of great disrespect for the Creator to utter harsh words against a son named Jesus.

19 May 2011

The Damaged Culture of Filipinos - Ultimate Episode

Under the Americans, the Filipinos in general pursued their quest for independence under the leadership of Aguinaldo. However, the Ilustrados abandoned Aguinaldo and offered their services to the Americans which offer was readily accepted. Thus, political opportunism commenced and highlighted the division among the Filipinos running through several generations until the present.

Fast forward to the Philippines post World War 2. The devastation wrought on the economy by the brutal Japanese occupation intensified the political division damaging further the national psyche. The Filipinos who collaborated with the Japanese during the war for whatever reasons were either indicted in court or ostracized in society.

4 May 2011

The Damaged Culture of Filipinos - Penultimate Episode

Our ancestors during the Spanish period had education provided in schools established by the religious orders. This enabled the people to learn how to read and write which in the long term provided the basis to yearn for freedom denied by the Spanish conquerors. Despite the benefits derived from the conquerors, the conquered would pine and work for the liberty to chart the destiny without the dictates of said conquerors. 

Many have wondered why the Filipinos endured more than 300 years under Spanish rule. One plausible reason could be the divide and conquer stratagem of the Spanish rulers. It was helped immensely by the intense proselytizing efforts of the Spanish missionaries who converted many Filipinos to Catholicism. Remember Rajah Humabon of Cebu who was baptized by a Catholic priest accompanying the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan.