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"I would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos than a Philippines run like heaven by the Americans" -- Manuel L. Quezon

Is that so? Were we consulted? On the fourth of July, 1946, we sentenced generations of Filipinos to live their entire lives in a country run like hell by their compatriots. How does pride in self-rule stack up to the reality that in the more than 50 years of independence, the majority of Filipinos lived in absolute poverty and countless others suffered, died, or disappeared as a result of the greed and lust for power of our leaders.

Our country is sick in every sense of the word and we are a morally, intellectually, and spiritually bankrupt people. Our virtues, once comforting when invoked, now, at best, point out disturbing ironies about us: packed Sunday masses and images of presidents, mayors and congressmen knelt in prayer, 'third largest English-speaking country in the world', 'where Asia wears a smile', 'Asia's most vibrant democracy', etcetera, etcetera.

Let's give it a break! (1) our brand of Christianity is medieval, (2) we not only cannot speak straight English, we are trying to banish the language from our education system, (3) we laugh at just about anything, even our own stupidity and on every conceivable medium ' mobile phones, the Internet, etc., and (4) showbiz personalities are dancing and singing their way into office. Growing pains, yes, but we could have had as our mentor, a country that already had more than 200 years worth of lessons in democratic governance. But no! In 1946, we chose to learn to walk before we could even barely crawl.

Any way one looks at things, the reality is this: we're stuck with each other and that stigma of being Filipino that was aggravated by Erap's presidency. The first step in the right direction is to swallow the bitter pill and take a good look at ourselves. That's us! Non-partisan, nothing personal. It's all in the culture which in GetReal-speak is defined thus:

Culture is the collective character of a people who have given themselves a collective identity.

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[Download PDF Version.]

Enlightenment of the Elite. Get Real!'s manifesto describing how exactly we expect to induce change considering only "wired" Filipinos have access to our message. In line with the Pareto principle, it can be said that 80 percent of the people in society are influenced by 20 percent of the people.

Looking at us again Star columnist Teddy Benigno's New Year's message for 2003. Looking back at 2002 and forward to 2003 he finds that our prospects haven't improved much. It's all the same old stuff playing out again like old soap opera re-runs!

Why Culture Matters From a corporate perspective, right culture supports successful strategy execution. (Links to a California State University on-line course module).

Culture: The real culprit Star columnist Teddy Benigno re-visits the famous essay written by 15 years ago by James Fallows that, at the time, invoked a witch hunt. Today, reactions to Fallows message may be more sober.

Filipino culture as battleground! Star columnist Teddy Benigno outlines a ten-point diagnosis of our sick nation.

Peter Wallace of the EIU writes: The Philippines will remain Asia's laggard unless it makes massive, radical change. It cannot tinker at the fringes, the change must be radical.

Our fundamental problem is that we are not culturally compatible with Western-style development.

Think the language of this site is too tame? Click here for a letter from an ex-Pinoy.

Ayn Rand Institute

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