GET REAL POST
We beg to differ.


Get Real Philippines (GRP) is first and foremost a media operation. So its mission is very simple: to develop and articulate groundbreaking and insightful ideas and disseminate these to as big an audience as possible. The approach to developing these ideas — critical thinking — is what unites the men and women who run the various blogs and media channels that make up the GRP Network. The dissemination of these ideas is done through a number of media forms (blogs, videos, and engaging in social media chatter) and through a number of communication techniques (literary and composition styles, icons and symbols, and illustration).

In short, GRP is in the business of talk.

Is talk cheap?

Obviously it isn’t. Otherwise every man and his dog would be running successful and widely-read blogs, e-zines, and other websites, or writing bestselling or seminal books, or running top tier consulting firms. We do what we do, not because it is an end in it self, but because it is our contribution to the effort. Not everyone can be doers (in the sense of how politicians see themselves as “doers”) in the same way that not everyone can be writers — or, for that matter, lawyers, or engineers, or physicists, or teachers, or singers, or chefs, or politicians, or great parents.

The main weakness of Philippine society lies in an imbalance in the expectations we levy upon its different sectors. This imbalance is best encapsulated in this statement:

We expect the low product of the majority to be subsidised by the exceptional output of the minority.

Back in 2003, this statement was qualified further in a whole article expounding on the Filipino’s ethic of self-reliance with its key message encapsulated in the following excerpt:

Our prospects for prosperity, however, lie within ourselves — not in a messianic bunch of leaders and exceptional few who are yet to come and not in the altruism of the more fortunate. What we need is the courage and open-mindedness to understand clearly what we need to do to re-tool our culture, mindsets and thought processes, and approach to doing things so that a nation-building machine that is truly able to compete could emerge out of the collective and quiet achievement of the majority.

Let’s change these medieval beliefs in salvation through heroic deeds and focus more on the more mundane aspects of nation-building.

Let’s allow everyone to do their jobs properly without being burdened by expectations that accompany heroic labels.

Let’s change our self-righteous penchant for calling one another to heroic and extraordinary deeds and instead find value in the collective effect of each individual doing their ordinary jobs properly and quietly.

Recognising achievement is different from lionising personalities. It takes well-thought out efforts (that requires serious evaluation of fundamental truths about ourselves) to realise sustainable development. When one recognises achievement, one expresses admiration and seeks to emulate said achievement. When one lionises personalities, one places said personality on a pedestal to worship and pin their hopes on. The earlier focuses on acquiring traits that support excellence. The latter focuses on expectations to live by and has come to acquire the stink of Erap-ism.

Pity then the person who lives by the glib dismissal of those who work towards building the intellectual foundations of a society: Puro kayo dakdak (you are “all talk”). This is an affirmation of the reality of what the Philippines has become — a nation that is the result of lots of action underpinned by very little thinking.

Core competencies

So talk — good talk — is, indeed, not cheap. The fact is, it is very difficult to find people who possess exceptional command over the two key core competencies that the people who form the GRP Network are gifted with in abundance — (1) developing insightful ideas, and (2) communicating these ideas to a mass audience. Perhaps a third is being able to do both rapidly.

The third competency proposed — being able to produce and disseminate rapidly — is not quite a competency of GRP — yet. And that is where the next big challenge lies. The job of GRP does not end with talk, but the part of the mission statement, “…to as big an audience as possible” is a capability that is still a work in progress. But we are getting there. What started as an obscure website design practice site back in 2000 is now honoured by a network of the most insightful, creative, and original men and women of the Philippine blogosphere who have opted to identify themselves with the GRP name.

Perhaps we will update our Mission Statement someday (mission statements are not meant to be set in stone). But that’s a next step in what is really a long one-step-at-a-time journey. We still have a long way to go. But we continue to appreciate the contribution of every member of the GRP community and the conscious effort it takes to maintain a clarity of purpose in our minds to ensure that we do not get lost along the way.

benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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168 Comments

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  • “Not all were asleep during the night of our forefathers!” ~ Jose Rizal

  • tsutsugamushi says:

    //This is an affirmation of the reality of what the Philippines has become — a nation that is the result of lots of action underpinned by very little thinking.//

    You are wrong there. In fact, it is rather the result of lots of thinking underpinned by little action re: “political will.”

    This country has never been short of brilliant thinking men and women in the highest echelons of power, the judiciary and the academe, yet this country has not moved because their thoughts and ideas were never put into concrete action. An example is the passage of countless laws and policies but never effectively applied or implemented. Yes, a paper tiger if one puts it that way.

    • benign0 says:

      Yes, but then those who are entrusted with exhibiting and applying political will — Filipino politicians — are duly elected by the popular vote. So guess what: Politicians merely reflect the character of the people who voted for them. In a democracy, voters cannot wash their hands off their accountability for the quality of the people who lead them.

  • Armando Kuntz says:

    As usual, puro dakdak.

  • Joe America says:

    BenK wrote a similar epistle, and rather than thinking twice, I shall repeat what I sent him:
    _______

    Having no agenda is an agenda. I understand the aim, however, of creating an open-minded forum as an alternative to media which seem to prostitute themselves to the power structure and its personal/political ambitions. However, an unfettered approach to me seems much like the Philippine condition, lots of yammer with no organized intent. Even your position with regard to FDI (“it’s up to Filipinos”) lacks . . . oh . . . commitment.

    It also seems to me that intent is best found and delivered by developing a set of principles.

    The principles can start broad . . . “a robust economy is good for the Philippines”. Certainly there will be those who disagree, those who prefer things simple and native. But where does the unified commitment of the GRP writers lie?

    As discussion ensues, it the writing collective should be able to discern some deeper findings, and from them, more particular principles. “Taxation in the Philippines is haphazard and not keyed to value; it should be keyed to value.”

    Now there is some meat on the otherwise indiscriminate pile of bones.

    The Philippines desperately needs a Fifth Estate. A POLITICAL voice of reason and principle and organized action. An open-sourced call for ideas that are organized by the editors into a viable and forceful counterbalance to the nation’s unending yammer.

    If it is not GRP, where is it to be found? I’ll go there to do real work.

    I don’t want to simply write into the Northeast Monsoon.

    • benign0 says:

      Well, that’s it actually, you are spot on when you describe this whole thing as simply writing “into the Northeast Monsoon.” There’s enough fun in that alone to make this whole thing worthwhile to us. So in my case too, rather than think twice I’ll just re-post here what BenK stated in his blog “Visualizing an Application” an excerpt that is consistent with what I think is the extent of my own personal commitment to the endeavour known as Get Real Philippines:

      Our collective work, however, is not intended as an instrument of policy but as an alternative to the otherwise heavily co-opted media that serves as the main source of information and ideas for this country. Certainly, we seek to inspire individuals – including individual members of our core group – to develop “agendas” and “apply their visions”, but there is not, and likely never will be, a Get Realist “platform”. And that’s just the way we like it; after all, we learn a lot more from disagreeing with each other (which happens more often than anyone could imagine) than we would by deciding on and adhering to a narrow set of principles.

      As we keep telling those who are looking for more: they are free to organise something and apply what we write to their actions.

      As for us in GRP? As I said, perhaps when something new and worthwhile comes up in our collective agenda (and when I say “worthwhile” it means worthwhile to us), then perhaps this Mission Statement will be updated accordingly.

  • Koko says:

    Critical thinking, pitting small thinkers from those that thinks big? The small ones monopolizes, buys off influence. And the big thinkers? They either leave or be the useless guy at the office if not with the NDF, MILF or MNLF. But we need to keep preaching critically, because we need to save lives firstly. Let us hence continue using our thinking prowess, who knows we might overcome someday, right?

  • Red says:

    Could you assimilate into this article the following: “Resistance is Futile, embrace the Filipino Borg”

  • sdassad says:

    Sorry. No offence but I found your website too much talking. U don’t help Philippines in that way!

    • ahehe says:

      Paying taxes = helping the country. And what makes you think we here are ALL TALK?

      GRP is a refreshing alternative to the retarded corporate media.

    • bulutongboy says:

      Any suggestions on how else we can help the Philippines?

      • medy ramos says:

        Help educate the masses who never do deep and critical thinking because they are so mired in the struggle of putting food on the table 3x a day. There are so many intellectuals in our country but they are drowned out by the majority who are in locked-in the day-to-day struggle just to survive. If we can engage them, educate them and mobolize them can you imagine how much power we can generate as a nation?

    • auriga says:

      Perhaps this is another of the “we don’t need analyses; we need solutions” argument?

      • bulutongboy says:

        I think someone corrected that in another thread – we can’t formulate the proper solution if we don’t analyze what is really the problem.

        sdassad is saying theres’s too much talking here. I want to know:

        @ sdassad

        If talking is not helping, what do you suggest?

      • auriga says:

        Yes, I was being sarcastic.

    • Ilda says:

      Discussing or talking about things is good because people get a chance to hear other points of view. Filipinos shouldn’t just rely on the mainstream media for information. They have to balance it with something that’s written by people who are not affiliated with elements that have an agenda.

    • TheSenator says:

      sdassad, what do you mean by ‘too much talking’?

      This website’s mission is to stimulate exchange of ideas via critical thinking (or a Socratic discussion medium if you like) and be disseminated to the publics.

      Action is taken by the readers including you…and me.

  • Robert Haighton says:

    Is it okay if I as foreigner give my 2 cents worth to the analyzis and talk re: the mission and hopeful outcomes?

    I like to do it in a constructive criticism way according to the SWOT-method (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threads). The first 2 are found from within the society, the latter two are from outside the society. On the other hand, I can also share/analyse based on my personal experiences being in the Philippines.

    Robert

    • benign0 says:

      That’s great! All pertinent opinions are welcome here. I find that a lot of the really great commentary I’ve seen are from people who have an “outsider’s” perspective. This does not mean that good commentary comes mainly from foreigners or people who reside outside the Philippines, however. A large number of commenters and contributors here are native Filipinos and residents but somehow still manage to cognitively step back and regard the picture like an outsider — which is remarkable because that (moving from an insiders’ to an outsiders’ perspective) requires a leap of imagination and intuition not normally found in the average Filipino.

      • medy ramos says:

        Can you mobilize and inspire everyone with the latest electronic gadget to pan around their immediate environment and engage the people to interact politically and socially so that they can have the opportunity to voice their concerns and ambitions, that is in itself a very big first step in raising the political discourse in our country. They have dreams, too, but because their resources are limited hence they just go with the flow whatever it is. Harness the power of the youth and adults who are very much involved, that is a very good start.

    • Roper says:

      It’s SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and THREATS!) not Threads!

      • Francisco Servillon says:

        Do i read that that Threats Weaken the Strength and Lessen (Eliminate?) Opportunities… especially and particularly in our foolitrickal gunmen-style of setting??

  • Robert Haighton says:

    Thank you Mr. Benign0 for allowing me to vent my 2 cents. I hope you wont kill me (LOL) for the next words being part of my analyzis.

    What did I know about the Philippines and their population? I have heard of Manila, yes but only by name. Since my partner (Cebu) and I started contacting each other through internet, I became more and more interested in the country, the people, their behavior and the culture. I started reading the online versions of the PhilStar and SunStar newspapers and surfed the internet for more information. Well I can read a lot but reading doesnt beat being there and see it with your own eyes. Is it fair to compare? Comparing my own country with the Philippines? I would expect people are everywhere the same on this planet. But wow, what was I naieve and/or ignorant in that idea.

    I can sum up many, many differences (irritating, annoying, frustrating, mind blowing, not understandable differences) but maybe more important then to make that list of differences is to ask ourselves WHY are Filipinos so different.

    Okay let me quench your desire to know just one or two items of that list:
    – the inefficiency of almost everything in daily life especially the public transport (bus, jeepney etc)
    – the constant blowing of the car horns.

    What makes me so flabbergasted about all this, is that no one seems to care at all. Everybody just accepts it as if it is the most normal thing in life that things go inefficiently.

    Maybe it has to do with the culture (the High Context Culture versus the Low Context Culture); maybe it has to do with the enormous respect people pay each other (in my country you have to earn and deserve respect, even the old(er) people). If and when one achieved something out of the ordinary (rise to the occation) then that person will get respect. But if you just sleep, eat, work & breathe (regardless of age)……

    My partner wants to marry next year in the Philippines and she wants to stay and live there. I am not so sure about all of that. I find no inspiration, no motivation when I am there (been there twice now) and as long as divore is still not a legal option, I think I rather wait.

    (to be continued)

    Robert, Breda, Netherlands

    • Robert Haighton says:

      Apologies for the typos:
      occation = occasion
      divore = divorce

    • benign0 says:

      Indeed, you’re at a very critical crossroads in your life! Even the smallest things that you take for granted in Europe are monumental challenges in the Philippines.

      I think you zeroed in on one of the core pillars of the profound dysfunction that afflicts the Philippines: Filipinos have an entirely twisted notion of what it means to acquire respect. Rather than apply an ethic of earning respect, Filipinos would rather feel entitled to it. The concept of earning respect through achievement, gaining trust, being considerate, and acting honourably is a virtually ALIEN notion to the average Filipino mind.

      • Robert Haighton says:

        I am not sure to what extent the bible/religion plays a role in the aspect of respect in the Philippines or is just “just” culture/habit? Of course we are talking about the Mano po here. Some say its more done in the province/rural parts compared to the bigger cities where it is outdated. I did the Mano po during my first visit but for me it has a notion of hypocrisy. When doing the Mano I dont feel and I dont have respect but the “receiver” might think he/she is repected by me, falsely I might add. So what is wisedom? And should I continue doing things (Mano) against my will esp if it means nothing for me?
        I can give you a total overview of my list but by doing so I think I am going outside the scope of this section about the “mission statement”.

        Last but not least: after visiting Cebu City twice (2010 & 2011) all I can say is that I only like 2 things: The weather and the low cost of living.

        I have been trying to understand (the reason) why Filipinos act, behave, think that way but so far nobody could explain it to me. Not even my partner who graduated from a university. Unfortunately.

        • Datubato says:

          Robert, “Mano po” is a sign of respect for the elderly, aunts, godparents, etc. You don’t have to do it, foreigners are not expected to do it (at least in my wife’s family). But I think it’s a nice gesture so I volunteer to do it, and they always return the favor with a warm smile.

          I had a Japanese client once who flew here to the States. I was prepared to bow as a greeting just to show respect for their culture, but I was surprised when he reached out his hand first for a handshake. I then asked why he did it, he then said that he knew that we don’t bow, and that bowing is viewed as submitting to authority here. A little understanding and respect on a culture that you’re not familiar with goes a long way.

    • romrab says:

      filipinos likes masikip. in almost all lrt stations, sa limang ticket card exit machine, dalawa lang ang umaandar, not because it’s not working, dalawa lang talaga pina aandar because they are lazy to collect all tickets back again. see for yourself in monumento. ,,,,, nobody complain because everybody knows nothing will happen. nag hahanap kalang ng problema mo, o ng kaaway, di ka kikita dyan, tatawanan ka lang ng ibang tao. “astig ‘to!”

  • Datubato says:

    Ang asawa ko ay Pinay. Noon una kaming nag-date pinuri ko ang English nya, ang galing kasi. Kaya lang nung sinabi ko sa kanya na turuan nya ako ng language sa Philippines, sabi niya di raw siya fluent doon. Kaya ayun sabay kaming nag-aral ng Tagalog. Magaling na siya sa salita nya ngayon, ako naman medyo ok na.

    Nalulungkot ako para sa inyo. Bakit ninyo mas gusto ang salita namin? “Get Real Philippines” is the name of the site. A little introspection on that is needed I think.

    • Biz Doc says:

      it’s not about ‘gusto namin’ ang salita ng dayuhan, like english.

      pinoys today find that local tongues are insufficient to have meaningful discussions about plenty of things that matter. summon your newfound powers of writing & thinking in tagalog and tell us whether ‘easy’ and ‘simple’ have tagalog words that don’t mean the same thing. with english, you can tell the difference. no such distinction in tagalog

      • PHguy says:

        The government has also brainwashed society so well to think that any indigenous language in the country except Tagalog is nothing but an offshoot and sub-culture of everything from the center–that if you speak anything other than Tagalog, you’re rural, uneducated, uncultured and cheap. What a great national philosophy.

  • Robert Haighton says:

    Datubato, I did the “Mano po” during my first visit to my partner’s family, her god mother and who not. And I can do it till I die (and beyond). What I dont want them to think is that because I do the Mano that that implicitly means I also respect those people. NO. It takes more than just doing the Mano. So I consider doing the Mano would be and is hypocritical to/for all parties.

    And to be very honest: there is not much in the Philippine culture to be respected.

    But let me make one point clear to you and everybody: I always treat any soul with politeness and courtesy but respect is of an higher order. Thats all.

    People just have to earn my respect as I have to earn their respect. Why cant older people do the Mano to me? Am I one piece of shit not to be respected? Sorry, but I was and am born in equality. Then at least treat me likewise.

    Sunday 1 January 2012 at 11.35PM (Central European Time)

    • benign0 says:

      That’s part of the way respect and deference is ritualised in the Philippines. Filipinos are lazy thinkers, see. Evaluating who to respect in the way you have been brought up to do it is a thinking process. The way it is ritualised in Philippine society, in effect, spares Filipinos from having to think. And that is why Filipinos latch on to those traditions.

      • Robert Haighton says:

        BenignO, if that is really the case and applicable to the overwhelming majority of the entire population of the Philippines then the Philippine culture is quite primitive (sad to say). In that case in no 100 years there will be any improvement, progress, evolution to be seen there. The latter is not a big shock for me. I told my partner many time that the Philippine way of behaving, thinking, acting today is the same we did 50-60 years ago in my country.

        – During the 1960s we had the sexual revolution (thanks to the invention of the contraceptive) pill). This made women liberal in their behavior towards sex.
        – I dont know since how long but we can divorce legally for many decades. The Philippines is the only country in the world without legal divorce;
        – We have legal abortion;
        – We have legal euthanasia.
        – we can show our affections in public places
        – All women wear a bikini, are topless or even fully naked in public beaches.
        – Fixed bus/train/metro stops with fixed time tables
        – we have a strict seperation between church and state/government. Church has no influence whatsoever in law making.
        – the dutch constitution is focused on the individual not on the family. Obviously because a family consists of at least 2 seperate entities aka individuals.
        – Same sex marriages are legally possible.
        – Family members will not interfere in each others lives. We are into privacy.
        – We dont take kids so that we will be taken care off by our kids when we are old and grey. Old age people want to live independently as long as possible.
        – Men take equally part in the raising and bringing up of all the off-spring.
        – Sex before marriage is done by maybe 90% of the population.
        – We dont raise our daughters according to the Delikadesa. Sons and daughters are raised in the same equal way.

        My country is not perfect, I am not proud to be dutch but compared to many other countries, I am glad and happy to be Dutch living in a country with options to choose from. That is almost total freedom.

        • Robert Haighton says:

          To add:
          If you marry in a dutch church then that church marriage is not legal for dutch laws. For dutch laws you are still considered to be single. To make it official you have to marry civil.

      • medy ramos says:

        I like the “Mano po!” It’s respect that my elders deserve from me. My husband is American and he loves to do it with my Mom and Dad because he has respect for them. We do not thumb our nose on a ritual that can only bring respect to elders and not hurt anyone in the process.

  • Robert Haighton says:

    BenignO, for a good working relationship between me and my Philippine partner I need to be able to rely on her. That can only happen when she uses her senses (aka brain cells) in most cases. Otherwise, all I will be doing is “damage control”. Doing damage control is wasting my time instead of using my time to more important matters. Eventually my relationship will be ended because of lack of growing, improving, progress, evolve.

    BTW:
    – I was told that Dutch women with same age as Philippine women are much more independent, much more mature, more adult behaving, much more responsible. Sad to say but I do confirm all the above. I only wonder how that comes? Something lacking in the general way of bringing up Philippine daughters and or something lacking in the Philippine educational system?
    – I also observe that my Philipine partner has traits of jealousy. All my previous dutch partners never showed that trait. Uncertainty? Low self-esteem? Or is it because the ratio between Philippine men and Philippine women are so skewed (1:6, I was told)?

    If I am correct the norm in the Philippines is still: dating, courting and then marry. The norm in my country is: meeting, spending time with all your friends (male & female) (including your girlfriend/boyfriend), living together (live-in partner) and maybe followed by a civil wedding. Its also normal to start a family during the living together phase. No one will attack you for that. Its accepted here.

    Its also very normal that other people will address me when I did or said something stupid. Something like the “hiya” will never happen here. We speak the truth and are straight forward. You do something stupid then your friends will tell you not to do that again. Yes the person might be or feel emberassed but only he himself could have prevented that from happening.

    Robert
    Tuesday 3 January 2012, at 8.47PM CET

    • benign0 says:

      The best way I can explain it is that Filipinos parents raise kids to be beholden to them while Western parents’ approach to raising their kids is to progressively wean them off their guidance by teaching them how to think for themselves.

      Many Filipino households also have live-in domestic servants. This means that kids are taught at an early age that there are people that are to be treated as beneath them simply because they earn a living off the domestic services trade. Worse, Filipino kids who grow up in households that employ servants do not learn how to contribute to doing household chores and become accustomed to being served in their own homes. They grow up feeling they are entitled to being served.

      With regard to the marriage thing, I think many urban Filipinos now are quite liberal with sexual relationships before marriage. But there is still a pall of guilt hangng over it which is an outcome of a rather primitive Catholic upbringing most kids are subject to. Marriage and its paper promises is still something Filipinos aspire to though.

      Perhaps, as a northern European, you will find all this really bewildering — kind of like walking into a zoo. But you just need to re-visit your European medieval culture and politics and you will find that contemporary Philippine society is not much different. :)

      • Robert Haighton says:

        BenignO,

        I never saw a servant in my partner’s parents house. Only a washing lady during weekends. When I saw that lady for the first time I almost fell to the ground. I never witnessed that in my entire life. It looked humiliating to me seeing someone doing the laundry manually sitting on her knees. (Thank god we do have washing machines.)

        I also get the feeling that kids (even grown up adult kids) are not allowed to object to their parents. That is probably regarded as a sign of dis-respecting the parents even when knowing the parents are wrong. I even wonder if it is possible to have a deep intellectual conversation as kid with your parents and maybe even question a few things.

        • Carla says:

          You really have much to learn about culture per se so you’ll have an understanding of what Filipino culture is. That is what i’d call respect.

        • domo says:

          What Filipino culture? The one that always resorting to bahala na, pwede na iyan, ningas cugon, being very emo on what the foreigners criticize on them especially constructive ones only because it’s “racist”? Yeah right like that Filipino culture of yours is very rich when in fact it’s very dysfunctional. And you want Mr. Haigton here to learn and respect them? What a big fool you are carla.

        • Carla says:

          Sad, that you fail to get a grasp of what i said…culture defines a nation. It is this very culture that makes us distinct and different. If you cannot live with it or even accept it or respect it, don’t come; don’t mingle with filipinos; and most of all, don’t let it get to you, by not bothering us at all!

  • Robert Haighton says:

    LOL -> But you just need to re-visit your European medieval culture and politics and you will find that contemporary Philippine society is not much different. factually very correct.

    My question remains: why are there still many people in the Philippines who are still stuck in the medieval times regarding bringing up and all other differences mentioned before?

    I am sure the Philippine TV channels air documentaries about life abroad. I am sure Philippine news papers report about foreign cultures. I am sure with the increase of foreign tourists entering the Philippines, locals can interact with them coming to the conclusions that there is a lot of differences. And what about the internet, doesnt that result in change of behavior, ideas, thoughts, beliefs, culture?
    I know quite some pinays married to dutch guys but they will stick to their old traditions esp in the form of sending money back to her family. And all those pinays will spend their holidays going back to the Philippines and not visiting other parts of the world. The world is bigger than the Philippines.

    • benign0 says:

      That baffles me as well. There is so much foreign input and influence into the Philippines (the ones you point out, plus all the stuff learned by the armies of overseas foreign workers that toil abroad), but its society seems to lack ‘absorption capacity’ for this input and, as such, cannot digest it and nourish itself with these.

  • Robert Haighton says:

    I really wished I could be more positive about my experiences re the Philippines. But sad to say I can only mention 2: the weather and cost of living. Even the local food is not tastefull to my taste butts. Maybe I dined in the wrong restaurants but even then it also applies when I ate at my partners parents home. I once even cooked there myself for all but unable to find the right spices/herbs. In taste, my cooking was a failure.

    I really have no idea how to help promote the Philippines from a poor 3rd world country to a 2nd world country or even getting them into the men’s league, the 1st world. With their general attitude (its a very re-active or even passive country), overwhemlingly strict religiousness, I dont see any hope to achieve any promotion for the near or far future.

    • benign0 says:

      That is what I kind of alluded to when I compared the Philippines to medieval Europe. It took another few hundreds of years before Europe could extricate itself from the human cesspool of that era.

      But then you see excellent societies like Singapore and South Kora which turned themselves from 3rd World basketcases into First World countries within a generation — because the West already provided a model they could apply to some extent to themselves. Considering the awesome technology and information at the disposal of most Filipinos today (and which the Singaporeans and Koreans did without when they were crawling out of their own ratholes), it is indeed very telling that the Philippines shows hadly any sign of progress today.

      • Robert Haighton says:

        But I saw a lot of Koreans in Cebu City and there are a lot of Korean students at the school where my partner is a teacher. Maybe its cheap for the Korean students parents to send them to the Philippines but is the Korean educational system not a better one?

        BTW: I was dumbfound to see that all my partners’ female friends are working as a teacher. Not one had a job in a commercial/business environment. Even when the proffesion as teacher is regarded as an extension of the mother then for sure all those teachers need to be mothers themselves. Which they are not!

    • Carla says:

      I am sad that you seem to expect too much from the Philippines. If you step foot in a country with too much expectations, logically, you’ll only be bogged doewn with negativity. But if you come and expect nothing from a 3rd world, you’d see things afresh and be able to appreciate it more. I’ve been following your thread and as u said there are only two things you like here, the weather and the low cost of living, well precisely it is low cost because we don’t have what the first world offers. Why criticize and why come back if it appalls you so much???

  • Robert Haighton says:

    The point is how can we/you/they change them(selves)? Exchanging ideas, talking (like here) trying to convince them anything is better than the current situation, right? Lets start small: with one. Then she/he can be the oil spot that takes on the next.

    I am just so afraid that most people are afraid of change especially when one-on-one. It seems to me there is a big “social control” meaning everybody is watching everybody to see if the other is still walking the only right path.

    I have learned that among other countries the Philippines is part of the “High Context Culture” zone.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_context_culture

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_context_culture

    http://www.culture-at-work.com/highlow.html

    To change a few things maybe this form of culture also has to change but then again I am not a Antropologist. But what we are doing here already seems to be part of the “low context culture”.

    Pls allow me to give you 3 examples that really happened.

    A) a young Pinay woman in her early 30s needed to go to hospital for a minor – not life threatening – surgery. She was admitted and the surgery was successful. After the surgery she had to stay a few days for observation purposes only. After these few days she was released from hospital and on that day she thanked the team of surgeons for doing such a great job and she thanked the nurses of the ward. When arriving back home she went to her Facebook in order to make a statement about her surgery. She didnt thank the team of surgeons and the nurses on her Facebook. No. Instead she thanked god many times that she survived the surgery.

    (Comment by me: If I was her surgeon I would feel insulted about what she wrote on her Facebook. So hence why god and not the medical team?)

    B) Another young pinay – also in her 30s – copies statements on her own Facebook from another Facebook titled “God wants you to know”, giving us the impression she is a god-fearing woman, strict catholic, brave and thus a good devoted woman. But I was told by a very reliable source that that same girl was in a romantic, sexual relationship (before marriage).

    (Comment: This is what I call hypocritical. I was baffled and shocked. Why the 2 faces? The latter person (B, and a friend of my partner) I met during my first visit (Sept 2010) to Cebu. Somebody can be hypocritical but it also means that person becomes less or not trustworthy anymore to me. Not a good foundation for a relationship or even to work together with such a person in a professional surrounding).

    C) During my first visit to see my partner for the very first time, my partner and I uploaded a pic with a caption on either my or her Facebook. The caption was a silly, jokingly caption. All of a sudden my partner receives a FB message from her niece stating that the family name was at stake and that I should respect my partner before anything else.

    PS: at that time my partner was 34 years, a full grown, mature adult able to make decisions on her own (a 34 year old in my country would be left alone by all of her family members).

    (Comment: I was shocked and appawled by the interference of a family member. Upon return back to my country, I sent that niece an email that just in case my partner and I would ever decide to marry she would not be invited. And if she would show up anyway I would leave the scene. When she interfered during my stay – I just arrived maybe 3 days earlier – I decided to go back home. Thanks to my sister, who I consulted about this incident, I stayed).

    • Don says:

      Brother, if that niece did to me what she did to you, I’d have told her to go to hell. People like that only look for excuses to crap on “outsiders”.

      • Robert Haighton says:

        Hi Don, hence my email to her.

        It was my first culture clash/conflict and others would follow. The niece’s message was also a compliant about/towards my partner in a way (the way I see it). Not being able to stand up for herself and stand a post. Well I think and know my partner is capable of doing that.

        My sister made me aware not to run away from incidents like that but just deal with it and eventually stay (and not leave).

        • Carla says:

          Again, that incident was an immersion to culture which could have been understood better if you came here prepared.

        • domo says:

          You’re playing the victim card there carla.

        • Carla says:

          nope, if u have an understanding of the Filipino culture, you would know that what Filipino ties are..whether you like it or not, knowing that it exists would give one a leverage of how to deal with it than being defensive and critical.

  • Robert Haighton says:

    Now where does religion fit in this equation? Roman catholicism was introduced by the Spaniards in the Philippines. But is there any movement among Filippino from being strict catholic via moderate catholic to enlightened catholic ending in maybe becoming atheist?

    Why this question? Bec I do think that religion also puts a lot of pressure to people to NOT change anything. Come on, the bible was written more than 2000 years ago by a bunch of guys who were probably bored to hell. They invented a name for their mascotte called “god”. BTW: where was god during the disaster in Mindanao or was that a punishment by god? If it was a punishment by god then what do the 10 commandments mean? (Tho shall not kill).

    My country was in the old days overwhelmingly religious but over time that changed. Now churches are almost empty, church buildings are remodeled becoming office buildings or even condos. There is also a lot of sex-abuses done by high ranked church members (priests c.s.). And Mr. Ratzinger is not very liked because of his absurd statements about non-use of condoms in African countries where AIDS is high. Many people follow the roman church very critically while it seems in the Philippines all follow like lame ducks.

    • benign0 says:

      The Catholic Church and many organised religions in the Philippines continue to be very powerful, influential, and profitable institutions. And it is in their interests to maintain the status quo and the dismal state of enlightenment of the source of their power — the average Filipino.

      Because many Filipinos continue to be beholden to Church dogma, politicians who, as in most democracies, are elected by popular vote, will continue to pander to and, worse, defer to the influence of the Catholic Church. It is an interlocked matrix of tradition that Filipinos are imprisoned within.

      I’m not an expert in world history but if I recall right, enlightenment and a re-surgence of critical discourse that started in ancient Greece (which was lost to the Arabs during the Dark Ages) somehow began to bubble up from the grassroots in Europe sometime in the 15th Century. Still it took centuries before the scientific method triumphed over religious primitivism in European governance.

      Again, considering the unprecedented access to knowledge and technology enjoyed by a broad swath of Philippine society, religious mumbo-jumbo continues to lace much of Filipino thinking and conversation. I have no problem with religious faith. But I firmly believe that religious orientation and spirituality are personal things that should be left out of matters of state. Furthermore, I take issue with people who presume to be “blessed” by their god which begs the question (as you also pointed out) of why other people may not be as blessed, such as the thousands that died in the latest “natural” disaster to hit Mindanao. I elaborate on that sentiment of mine in this article.

      Indeed, much of the reason behind why change is slow in the Philippines despite the existence of obvious solutions to many of its problems can be traced to the influence of organised religion.

      • Robert Haighton says:

        Dear BenignO,

        the more I read on your website plus I am reading your e-book now, the more I am afraid I might get (en)trapped if I decide to leave my country and live in the Philippines with my partner.

        I have no right to ask her to stop being a catholic (and even if I would/could do, I am sure it will fail miserably. Can someone stop believing in God overnight?).

        My partner wants a kid (I dont. But lets assume she can convince me in a way) I dont have any faith in the Philippine educational system.
        I told my partner that if there will be a kid, that kid will not be baptised. I want the kid to determine its own beliefs when its older and has enough informatiom to decide for itself.

        My partner wants to marry. I dont see any added value to a wedding. For the outside world (read: her family)? Sorry, I dont live for them.

        My partner knows everything about my background, she knows everything about my parents and my 2 sisters. But I dont know how and what she communicates with her family. And that scares the hell out of me.

        Making decisions based on fear is never good and never right but what else can I do?
        Everybody tells me her mother is strict catholic, my partner tells me she (my partner) is an open-minded catholic.

        My partner was the one who told me that every pinay who had the choice between rice (sex and/or money) and religion would always choose for the rice (sex and/or money) (Sorry to say but it were her own words).

        • Carla says:

          I hope your gf realizes what she’s getting into if she decides to marry you…a mind blowing massive culture shock!

        • domo says:

          And I hope dumb flips like you realize how dysfunctional and anti-intellectual you are because you are part of this country’s problem. GRP talks solutions here while you talk nothing but people.

        • Carla says:

          What solution have you offered?? Tell me!!!When you have done nothing but put down Filipinos!

  • Don says:

    I find a strange inconsistency between what I have learned in Catholic when I was young, and what kids today learn in the same school.

    Back in the day, we had Belgian priests and nuns (and some really matronly German nuns). They actually offered simple, earthly solutions to biblical miracles (i.e. miracle of loaves and fishes was actually people sharing their packed lunches), and taught that economics mattered a lot on the marital bed (if you can’t feed them, don’t conceive them). Same European priests also said modernity and faith had no conflicts if there was honesty to both (i.e. Gregor Mendel).

    Today though, the native priests that replaced them preach differently, taking a very literal slant on miracles and preaching fire and brimstone on people who don’t agree with them. And what is this issue these priests have with Angry Birds?

    I miss the Belgians and the Germans, because they made things seem sensible. Or maybe it’s because they lacked that Latin/Malay passion for unreasonable things, and offered that Teutonic way of thinking things over before doing.

  • Robert Haighton says:

    Pls give 5 or maximum 10 words synonimous for the majority of the Philippine society?

    Rice, texting, church, family, kids, marriage, sharing, in-efficiency, tardi-ness (delaying), chaotic.

  • Datubato says:

    @Robert Haighton

    Poverty, Resilient (I’d give up right away with some of the crap they put up with.), Overpopulated (especially in the Metro), Corrupt, Blase, Family-Focused, Linguists (Bi-liguals are the norm, multi-linguals are a dime a dozen.), Inept (government officials, public transportation, etc.), Hospitable (The vast majority are, I stand by this.), Church-Lapdogs

    Final point on “Mano po,” to explain it as bluntly as I can, it’s the equivalent of the handshake for parents, grandfather, grandmother, aunts, uncles, baptismal godparents. The key is the age of the person. Does it mean you’re beholden to them? No. Should you “Mano” to someone younger than you? No. Should they “Mano” to you? Yes. If they are younger close relatives of your partner. Does it mean that you are not equals? Absolutely Not. You’re not being disrespected or being treated like shit. It’s a unique cultural gesture, like a Japanese bow, nothing more, nothing less.

    I don’t think the issue here is the “Mano” itself though, but your uncomfortable relationship with your partner’s family. And based on what you wrote here, it’s unfortunate that you happened to be dealing with right wing ultra-conservative Filipinos.

    It’s not fair to paint the entire country with wide brush strokes though. Have you even travelled to the other parts of the country? Or did your experience with your partner’s place soured your view that you think the country as a whole is trash? I don’t know how much you know about the Philippines, but keep in mind that you’re dealing with a country with an extremely diverse amount of culture and backgrounds, almost 90 languages and dialects, influences from all over Asia, etc. Five-percent of the country has English as their first language, 30% of the population has a solid grasp of English, and the vast majority of the population could communicate in English. I haven’t been to Cebu, but in Manila I was surprised that English films are not re-dubbed or subtitled. That’s also the reason why Koreans are there, to learn English. English is mandatory in Philippine schools, obviously the quality varies per school. My wife told me that the exclusive schools focus on English more than public schools. I don’t know about that decision though, as Korea’s educational system is highly praised around the world.

    Which leads me to the thing that irked me off the most. The Filipinos’ worship (especially the rich) of the English language. This one I don’t get. How can you place a foreign language in such a high place when you have a rich multitude of languages? Is this true BenignO? How’s your native language writing skills? And why is this site only written in English and not in a language of your own?

    As with the other critiques, please don’t call them servants, call them “Help,” my wife is Tagalog so they call them “Katulong” or literally a “Help.” The word servant has a debasing quality to it, and you should know, the first slaves brought to my country were bought from the Dutch. And with regards to Filipinos sending money from overseas, this is not unique to them. The firm I work for has a branch in Dubai, and you see people from Indonesia, India, Nigeria, do that too. It’s mostly the folks with poor families in their native country, and it’s not something to scoff at, but to me, admired. Those folks don’t earn much, they sacrifice quite a bit so they can send some financial support to their families. My wife’s family is relatively well-off though, so she doesn’t do it. With the yearly travel back to the Philippines, we do it too. I asked her about it, and she just says that she misses her family. I can’t blame her for that, we go to my parents place every Thanksgiving, the only difference is we don’t travel thousands of miles to go there. :) I suggest you visit the neighboring countries if you have the budget, so that you won’t feel like it’s a waste to travel that far for a simple visit.

    I’m sorry that you experienced nothing but awful things in the Philippines. It’s no secret that the country has a ton of problems. The church has a tight-grip on the everyday lives of Filipinos, the vast majority are Catholics, and 95% are Christian, it will not change in the forseeable future. Poverty is everywhere. Corrupt politicians are the norm. Amenities that we take for granted here in the west are lacking. But what country is perfect? I’m American, we are the world’s only superpower. Our GDP blows everyone out of the water. And yet we elected a barely-literate former governor, twice, as president.

    • Robert Haighton says:

      Dear Datubato,

      No I havent seen much of the Philippines during both visits. I think I have seen Metro Cebu City (including Mactan and not only bec of the airport), we visited Dumaguete City and Recuerdo Beach Resort in Catmon. The purpose of both visits was to see my partner in real and to see that what I experienced during all our chtas I would also see when I am there. So the focus was her/she (and me). During my first visit she took me by my hand and introduced me to her famiily (to soon for me but okay. That made everything very official while I know a relationship can end before it even started off) including all her god’s mothers, her dearest, closest friends. The 2nd visit I asked her for more exlusivity so that we really get to know each other better and along that see more of the Cebu island (the latter was not the focus).

      In a nutshell: I just want to be treated equally. If not then I will feel like a piece of shit

      What is the proverb? Dont do to others you wont want them to do to you? -> Do I need to say more?

      As far as languages are concerned: if this website would have been in Tagalog or Cebuano I would be lost and gone. No threat just a fact. I speak more than 2 languages (learned in school and by visiting other countries/cultures) but Tagalog isnt one of them.

      I dont consider myself to be a bastard but I think I do a lot to see my partner. If her parents just realize and appreciate that a bit more then maybe they could have had a more global vision/view (and greet one with a handshake, hug and/or kiss). Do we salute/greet people everyday when they stayed at our place/house with a handshake? No (at least I never did). But they wanted me to do the Mano every morning (after waking up) and every night (when going to bed). Wow, I felt like a robot. I still consider it hypocritical bec feeling no respect at all.

    • benign0 says:

      @Datubato re:

      Which leads me to the thing that irked me off the most. The Filipinos’ worship (especially the rich) of the English language. This one I don’t get. How can you place a foreign language in such a high place when you have a rich multitude of languages? Is this true BenignO? How’s your native language writing skills? And why is this site only written in English and not in a language of your own?

      I’m fluent in Tagalog and can write a decent Tagalog essay. I even translate the President’s speeches to English every now and then (see an example here).

      I have my own personal reasons why I prefer English and also believe that English would better serve Philippine society, much of which I articulate here.

      • Biz Doc says:

        to answer robert’s question earlier,

        it’s not about ‘gusto namin’ ang salita ng dayuhan, like english.

        pinoys today find that local tongues are insufficient to have meaningful discussions about plenty of things that matter. summon your newfound powers of writing & thinking in tagalog and tell us whether ‘easy’ and ‘simple’ have tagalog words that don’t mean the same thing. with english, you can tell the difference. no such distinction in tagalog

        • Robert Haighton says:

          @Biz Don,

          Sorry to say but I am illiterate for Tagalog and Cebuano. Hence, I do not know the meaning of “‘gusto namin’ and salita ng dayuhan”. Although sometimes when I see something in Facebook (written in Cebuano) I use http://translate.google.com but no such settings for the Cebuano language.

          What I do understand and what I was told is that Cebuano has NO grammar and have no word for words like “son” (akan lalaki = “child male” and akan babae = daughter = child female).

          Now even the dutch language is full of lean-words especially from english. The word “computer” (or PC) is english, we have some kind of dutch word for it but computer/PC is so “established” here. But we do have grammar in dutch language, maybe even very complicated grammar compared to english grammar.

          The fact that Cebuano (and maybe also Tagalog) has no specific grammar speaks volumes.

          (Monday 16 january 2012 at 4.45PM CET)

        • Robert Haighton says:

          Accordiing to http://translate.google.com

          ‘gusto namin’ ang salita ng dayuhan means “‘we want’ the word of foreign”.

    • Robert Haighton says:

      Mano po vs Equality
      I was raised by both my mom and dad with a sense of equality. Everybody is the same. Being lesbians, gays, hetero sexuals, old, young, black, white, yellow. But always treat them politely and with courtesy.

      Sending money back home
      If and when my partner and I want to live in my country she has to learn dutch and pass the exam (issued at the Dutch embassey in Manila). That would cost at least 2 (maybe even 3) plane trips from Cebu to Manila (and back). Who do you think has to pay for those plane trips? Then if everything is final she needs a plane to the Netherlands. Who do you think has to pay for that?
      And then every job she will get and every salary she will earn is not achieved by herself but merely by the fact that we decided to live in my country. If after she receives her first pay AND will send money back to her family I really will feel (ab)used. What was her own contribution in this entire package?

      In any normal Dutch-Dutch relationship no one will send money back home. Folks can help themselves. Can we have some quality living here? And why send money now when she is abroad while she never paid any dime to her parents before. No sorry sir but I would really feel (ab)used.

    • Francisco Servillon says:

      I like and love your write up about the Philippines and Her Pilipinos, and I am 1,000% agreeable and ‘dealable’ with same!! TYVM for your input to me and to Mr. Dutchman if i may say the same on his behalf.

      • Robert Haighton says:

        Francisco, not sure how to read your contribuition: either ironic or genuinely well meant.

        In case the latter: then thank you.

        All I did was writing how I see the Philippines based on my own personal experiences.

    • Francisco Servillon says:

      That’s pretty good understanding of the Philippines and her Pilipinos! Not so accurate but generally sensibly right!

      • Robert Haighton says:

        Francisco,

        I was and am just observing wearing my western glasses. Biased, naieve and ignorant of me? Of course, in a way. I am just so surprised and shocked that we are so diagonal opposite different from each other. While I always thought poeple (around the world) would have more in common.

  • Robert Haighton says:

    Dear Datubato,

    thanks for your elaborate response. Appreciated very much.

    Maybe just maybe if I had known about the Philippines what I do know now maybe I would never have visited my partner. Its funny in a way. Before my first visit she and I talked in a lengthy way how and what to do to in Cebu City, even about the local food. But unfortunately I vomitted (literally) on the day of arrival. For that I just blame the plane journey (Amsterdam – Hong Kong – Cebu), visiting a new country, a new girl, a new culture, a new cuisine, a new climate. My 2nd visit was “clean” while my plane trip was even more pain staking (Amsterdam – Dubai – Manila – Cebu).

    I dont know about you but how often did you had friends over for more than 1 night and you and them shook hands every morning (after waking up) and again at night (when going to bed)? I never did that to my friends. But my partner insisted me to do the Mano each morning and each night (each and every day) to her parents. I felt like a robot feeling absolutely nothing. Is that what they want, thinking I am respecting them? Come on that is crap, and you know that. And if they had soem sense and gloal vision/view they would know that too. I am not a bastard. I did the Mano as ordered. But if that made her parents happy then wow. Id its a handshake to them to then let them handshake me back. Come on they dont deserve more respect than I do just bec they are older. What did they achieve in their lives more than I did? Becoming parents? Bec some frigging book ordered them to do so? BTW: to mock their Mano systen I did the Mano to someone who was younger than me. In the presence of the parents. “Hiya”? I dont care.

    Before my partner and I started to chat with each other (approx May 2010) I already chatted with a lot of other pinays coming from other parts of the Philippines. Before I met my partner I knew about the Delikadesa and the Mano po, I read the Wiki re Philippines (but that is not a bonus). My partner and I mainly focused ourselves in Metro Cebu City (including Mactan: Mactan Shrine) and we also visited Dumaguete City and a place up north Cebu island. Isnt it best to see my partner in her own surroundings/neighbourhood where she works and lives rather then seeing places she might never have visited before?

    In a nutshell: I want to be treated equally. Whats the proverb? Dont do to others that you dont want them to do to you?

    As far as languages are concerned: In my country we speak dutch (of course) but almost everything is focused on USA and UK as far as TV series, movies, economic powers and imports such as McD, Burger King, Toys R Us etc. There are also some dutch (Scientific) universities that will only be talking english during classes. If this website was in Tagalog or Cebuano I would be lost and gone. Now its a source of inspiration for me to gain a lot more information about the Philippines et al.

    My country is not perfect but compared to the Philippines my country is heaven living in total freedom with options to choose from. Compared to that I regard and see the Philippines as living inside a jail.

    • Datubato says:

      @Richard

      A “Mano” every day and night is excessive. Tell your partner that you’ll only do it once. You don’t have to shake hands every time too. The shaking of hands is not Filipino, so there are no specific rules to it. You know what, I’m getting a more complete picture of what you’re dealing with. My assumption was right, they seem to be narrow minded ultra-conservatives. I can tell you for a fact that my experience is not like yours. The “Mano” is not “ordered,” I do it because it’s unique in that part of the world and to be more sensitive about Filipino sensibilities. I also only do it once.

      My wife’s family is Catholic, they are somewhat religious, they go to church every Sunday though (complete disclosure, I’m an Atheist). You and your partner need to have some serious talk. And next time stay in a hotel and not in their home. Also, try to minimize contact with their family as much as you can. You have diametrically opposed values, and I’m sure none of you would bend. And I know religious ultra-conservatives, my home state is South Carolina, the state that started the civil war because they want to continue owning slaves, that’s why I don’t live there anymore.

      Regarding the implicit respect for the elderly, it’s not uniquely Filipino, but uniquely Asian. Too bad it’s actually disappearing. The number of senior homes in Asia is increasing, where before it was unthinkable that you would send your elderly mom or dad to live in a place like that. I get what you’re saying, but it’s not an affront to the idea of equality. I think you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill here, I bet if your experience had been more positive, more “equal,” if they were more open minded about western sensibilities, I don’t think you would be feeling this animosity with the Filipino culture. My wife is as Filipina as your partner, and my experience there as a whole has been positive.

      The sending of money back home is an issue I’d reserve for the both of you. Just remember, it’s not uniquely Filipino, it’s evident on all overseas workers with poor families back in their home country. That’s the key there, if they were poor, if they’re getting by just fine, then there’s absolutely no need. I totally get why that is unfair, especially when you will share both your income. Add to that fact that you are not really that fond of her family.

      Regarding languages, I’m not opposed to them using English, in fact it’s great that they are, and I’m amazed that everyone seems to know more than one language. My only issue is they put English on a higher pedestal than their rich multitude of languages. I read several of benign0’s articles regarding his own language, and I can’t believe he said some of those things with a straight face. It’s like back-stabbing your own culture and extremely hypocritical especially on a site that claims to be an intellectual voice for the Filipinos.

      The language that some Filipinos are fond off is my language, it’s American English, the English force fed upon them when my country colonized the Philippines (the name “Philippines,” my country gave that). The English forced on Native Americans to convert them from savages to “civilized people.” Unlike some Filipinos though, the Native Americans are proud of their languages, and would die for it. Putting a higher emphasis on English rather than putting it on equal footing is as unpatriotic and as un-Filipino as you can get. Now it all make sense that most Filipinos who were born here in the US don’t know a thing about their native language. It’s unfortunate that a subset of educated Filipinos look down on their own language. I think sociologists call this “colonial mentality,” and it’s a damn shame. One thing’s for sure though, when we have a kid, he/she will be bilingual, with English and Tagalog on equal footing.

      • Robert Haighton says:

        @Datubato

        My partner’s dad still works in the city government and it seems he owns a few rice fields and a few lots; my partner’s mom recently retired as a state teacher; my partner’s only sibling is now in his 6-month training (boot camp) for the PNP.

        Both my parents died many years ago and I still have my 2 (older) sisters.

        Her parents and I once had an animated talk and evidently it was about religion. Mom strict religious, dad “neutral” (his own words) and me atheist. Can one be “neutral” as today there is a god and tomorrow he is gone? We would call that probably maybe a moderate or enlightened catholic. But dad always goes to church during saturday 8PM mass.

        My partner and I have had many serious talks/discussions/conversations. She knows my principels. Compromise my principels? In favour of religion? In favour of culture? In favour of what? Whats the compromise between wanting 5 kids and wanting 0 kids? Compromise for complaince sake? Come on, can we have some quality here?

        What are my principels?
        a) starting a relationship (they call it boyfriend/girlfriend); followed by
        b) living together
        If B) goes perfectly then why go for a marriage? As long as there is no way out (divorce) I feel like tied for good. Although I can always pack my bags and go back home.
        c) maybe a civil wedding
        d) maybe a kid
        1) both she and I will work for our earning
        2) we will both do the house hold chores
        3) I still want to travel bec I still want to see other parts of the world.

        My partner praises my intellect (IQ) where as she is a very emotional type. What I do miss in her is the useing of her senses. She graduated from San Jose – Recoletes but to be very honest I dont see any academic, scientific skills.

        I surely can bend re Mano but I will be doing something that is so empty to me and it should also be very empty for them, knowing that I dont actually respect them by doing the Mano. Who’s fooling who? Again you have to earn my respect as I have to earn yours (based on achievements and not based on age. Age is NOT an achievement, being a parent is NOT an achievement. The examples are no principels but facts of life).

        So because they are narrow-minded they wont have to take the first step and who is making a mountain out of a mole? At least I am able to see the view of both parties; will/can they?

        If my partner would be donating/sponsoring her parents even now for lets say PHP 1000 per month then she can continue doing that when she is in my country with the same amount. But I think the bank cost of transfering (Internet Banking) that amount of money will be probably much higher than the amount transfered.

        All I hope for is that my partner will not be put under pressure by her family to do religious things – fuck to pro-create – or – baptise a possible future kid. In my society such things never happen. Can we have some (e)quality here (in the relationship) pls?

        Saturday 7 January 2012 at 00.20AM Central European time)

        • Sphynx says:

          @Robert

          About her dad’s predicament, he goes to church because the mom says so. He is ‘neutral’ in the sense that he knows/is aware of the teaching but is really non-practicing, other than going to church with the family.

          In this case he is neutral because if suddenly Armageddon is upon us, he can suddenly and quickly shift gears out of neutral to a preferential non-neutral state.

          Hope that cleared it up.

          There are some/lots of people who view that non-alignment with the same/similar religion as a reason for seeing you differently. I am not a Christian (Catholic/Protestant) so I have had my fair share of “looks” and “the talk” of converting. Anyway, another issue for another time. =)

          About your dilemma.. Well you have to weigh it and what their merits are to you.

          Think about it, if she really wants to make a big deal of what is to you (and me) a trivial matter, then what else will she make a fuss about in the future and what else can she not learn to understand and just tell you to deal with it every single time.

          Sometimes, when they are irrational in one side, it tends to reflect on how they will respond to a similar instance with a different setting. What if her parents wronged you, who will she side with? Can you live with that knowing her decision?

          I know it paints a negative light on the person/relationship, but what I am trying to say is, if these major issues are really major dealbreakers for you, especially if they are compounded all together into one lump, then maybe it isn’t really meant to be with this girl.

          But if you think you can compromise and her as well, or if you can compromise (by yourself only) and live with it because you really don’t want to lose her, then it’s ok as well.

          It is entirely your decision and as long as it will make you happy and complete, then there shouldn’t be a problem, as you did it for something noble to you and you didn’t step on anyone in the process.

          Good luck!

        • americanincebu says:

          Marrying or a long term relationship will only work if there is a melding of cultures between yourself and your partner. Melding means bending. Likewise, marriage isn’t about a rational arrangement between two adults. Love is irrational, and its only in that where marriage can be successful. You are one of few europeans who dont want to seem to bend. I don’t think you are cut out to be married to anybody. Im sorry bubba, but thats how i genuinely feel. Man up and go back to the netherlands if you cant stomach your future wife’s culture. Yapping aboout it only adds lines to yours and BeningNos face. Find someone you genuinely care about… thats a start.

    • medy ramos says:

      In the Philippines we have so many dialects that’s why we have to use English even for us to understand each other. Also, speaking English is good for international exchange (remember you won’t have met her if she can’t communicate in English). A lot of foreigners want to marry Pinays because they just want a simple wife, who cares for the home, take care of the family and not demand much of his time and money. If these qualitiea are not enough for you and the differing culture is too much to handle then don’t marry her. I am a Pinay and I am married to an American and he loves that I possess the above qualities. However I have travelled extensively so I was never barefoot and pregnant only but have a career of my own. The trick is I keep the parts that work for us and then go beyond the ones that are restricting. Love is fine tuning, if both of you are not willing then this relationship is doomed. We are married 28 years and counting.

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