01 December 2003

New Pages

What have you done? ...and other typical Pinoy challenges on your worth as an individual. Another look at self righteousness - Pinoy style
(Added 27 Nov 2003)

What's in a school? Your future as an oligarch if you are Filipino. Has our investment in education paid off? In the Philippines, investment in educating nurses and caregivers has.
(Added 27 Nov 2003)

A culture of crime pervades Philippine society. We have grown so disturbingly accustomed to routine flouting of the law.
(Added 11 Nov 2003)

Another ASEAN success story. Another key southeast Asian leader steps down and another of our former peers in the ASEAN earns its place in the map of succeeded nations. Who else is left to eat this success story's dust. Take a guess.
(Added 09 Nov 2003)

New letters. Letters page updated.
(Updated 15 Oct 2003)

Picking the Filipino Brain. What happens to all the collective experience, skills, insights, and philosophies accumulated by our countrymen from the work they did overseas?
(Added 01 Oct 2003)

Criticism and Articles on Philippine Literature and Culture. A vast collection of links to various articles on Pinoy culture maintained by Ian Rosales Casocot (blog).
(New "Interesting Link" added 01 Oct 2003)

Democracy is about freedom! Or so our "leaders" would rather have us believe.
(Added 30 Sep 2003)

The Pinoy Male. There is something about Pinoy-style upbringing that makes the Pinoy male the "unique" character that he is. Michael Tan of the Philippine Daily Inquirer writes.
(Added 30 Sep 2003)

English proficiency. The future is written in English. Denying the masses a piece of that action by continuing to deny them mastery over the language of the future is a crime that needs to be rectified.
(Added 25 Sep 2003)

New letters. Letters page updated.
(Updated 12 Sep 2003)

Are Filipinos pathetic? Check out this simple slide presentation and be the judge.
(New "Interesting Link" added 10 Jul 2003)

Western standards of excellence. So we want the Philippines to be a strong and prosperous nation. By whose standards? Do we set the right ones for ourselves? Or are we content to chug along the easy road to chronic mediocrity?
(Added 12 Jun 2003)

New letters. Letters page updated.
(Updated 11 Jun 2003)

Now we want a Parliament! The little cry-baby is looking for a new toy to drag through the mud; and she has set her sights on a Commonwealth gem. Teddy Benigno writes on what it means for our prospects for prosperity
(Added 15 May 2003)

Work ethic. Cornerstones to any framework to guide efforts to improve the Filipino Work Ethic: "normalise" initiative, focus on results, seek personal fulfilment.
(Added 08 May 2003)

Self-reliance. We pester the elite of our society with calls for acts of heroism when the burden of extra hard work in reality falls on the shoulders of the poor masses.
(Added 16 Mar 2003)

Trust. We need to create an environment that could nourish this basic virtue. Unfortunately fighting corruption the traditional way contributes to destroying such an environment.
(Added 12 Mar 2003)

Superstitious self-righteousness. Filipinos' reaction to the tragedy that hit the space shuttle Columbia illustrates how much our society has descended into the Dark Ages.
(Added 10 Feb 2003)

New letters. Letters page updated.
(Updated 05 Feb 2003)

Down the road to social disintegration: Our chronic and increasing dependence on foreign employment and, for many, the diversion of attention from full hands-on parenting it results in is creating a whole new generation of absentee-parented youth.
(Added 31 Jan 2003)

English and our future. Emerging economic tigers are scrambling to learn English and we are exporting our teachers to teach them a skill that they will eventually use to compete against us. Michael Tan of the Philippine Daily Inquirer writes in his latest column in that paper.
(Added 23 Jan 2003)

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!
(Added 10 Jan 2003)

Left behind again not surprisingly by China as they continue expanding their mass transit system with the construction of their new magnetic levitation ("maglev") train in Shanghai.
(Added 07 Jan 2003)

Manila: Tour of Duty. Some simple tips that every expat might follow to help him/her enjoy their tour of duty in steamy Manila.
(Added 30 Dec 2002)

Simply hangin' out in Manila is hazardous to your health. Pollution is getting worse and is not foreseen to abate anytime soon.
(Added 30 Dec 2002)


El Presidente And now: Showbiztocracy!!
Another milestone has been defined in our society's continued slide to degeneracy. The Showbiztocracy, a concept described by William Esposo in his latest INQ7.net article "Know the people promoting Poe and Showbiztocracy" has matured!

Pinoy-style democracy has again created a new class of oligarch; one whose king makers are the likes of Kris Aquino and German Moreno. Cardinal Sin's retirement is ironic in its timing as his Catholic Church today officially delegated its duties as official crowners of Pinoy kings and queens to the Idols of the Masses -- the supreme embodiments of Pinoy mediocrity.

"As we are just beginning to write the history of Showbiztocracy in the Philippines, it may well perhaps start with the election of Joseph Estrada who almost brought the country to the brink of civil war." writes Esposo. Furthermore;

It therefore comes as no surprise that our showbiz types can be so irresponsible to vie for the highest office that they do not deserve. Most disappointing even are the puppeteers who promote, finance and campaign for them. ... Winning is everything to those who promote Showbiztocracy in this country, not realizing, or not even caring to realize that it is the entire Filipino nation that becomes the real loser.

And so Get Real! makes its first official citation of the 2004 elections (look back here at what we last said about it and weep for our learning disability). The latest exercise of a democractic process whose style of application in the Philippines makes thinking Pinoys cringe in shame. It's all in the culture. But we can ignore our politics only so much.

(Note: Links to INQ7.net may not endure)
01 Dec 2003

Click to enlarge image Pinoy democracy's colours continue to shine through
As we approach the close of another year of chronic dysfunction, Marco Garrido in an Asia Times Online article makes a timely assessment of Pinoy-style democracy . The article titled "Philippines: Between democracy and disaster" describes, to put it in one phrase, the failed application of democracy in the Philippines.

In it, Garrido describes the patronising praises US President George W. Bush dished out in his October visit to the islands after which, Garrido, writes, our democratic institutions "returned to feasting on themselves" (the Davide issue among others). The Davide decbacle is just another political grudge "being pursued with the veneer of legality" and yet another example of the application of the Law to further purposes that defeat the very purpose of the Law. Such is the way of the Filipino.

Whether the author realised it or not, the article's chilling implication on the future of our nation was very well encapsulated in this short passage:

True, the House ultimately respected the Supreme Court's decision, and thus, one could say, upheld the rule of law, but had the pro-impeachment forces [garnered] greater moral support, it is not unimaginable that they would have imposed their will despite the law - and legalized their move after the fact. One need not even imagine it; one need only recall the events that installed Arroyo as president in 2001.

Edsa IV and V, anyone?

(Note: Links to Asia Times Online may not endure)
13 Nov 2003

Click to enlarge Say goodbye to our original logo!
Our original logo -- date-stamped 01 August 2000 -- is as old as Get Real! itself! Because of our not knowing any better at the time, it was saved and uploaded as a JPEG file (dooming future logos to JPEG-hood as well). We bid farewell to this relic of Get Real's short history and relegate it to its rightful place as a commemorative symbol of the birth of a great site.
13 Jun 2003

We're reaching out to our society's elite!
It's official. Our target audience is Philippine society's elite -- that rarefied community of Filipinos who disproportionately control the nation's bases of political power, economic wealth, and philosophical influence. They hold the key to getting the course of our history on the right groove not because they are responsible for all 80 million of us but because whether we would like to admit it or not, we still take our cues from them.

Whereas in the past, Get Real! has tacitly acknowledged that only the "wired" elite through the Web has access to our message, now we have institutionalised in a manifesto this paradigm for inducing change in our dysfunctional society.
27 Apr 2003

We've changed our Splash Page blurb!
As we focus more on solutions and relegate our rant content to a supporting role for these "solutions", we felt it was appropriate that we set the tone at the first point of contact for our Get Real! visitors.

As the Splash Page Blurb expresses, we are still clear on one thing: Philippine society is "a world obssessed by bread and circuses, Heroes, and the need for leadership". We trumpet our world class kababayans (compatriots) and the laurels they've garnered working for foreign masters in foreign environments that are conducive for them to be the best they could be -- achievements that owe no credit in any way to the collective nature of Filipinos nor to the society we have created for ourselves. Look no further for proof: the majority of Filipinos continue to collectively languish in obscurity and mediocrity in a country "run like hell" by their compatriots.

We fancy ourselves "a society of winners" yet collectively, we are losers. Our obssessive search for a hero who will gallop in from the horizon to rescue us from our dysfunction has climaxed in the Erap Administration. A climax that by no means spells the end of our descent to failure; unless... (read on and join us in our efforts to figure out where our hope lies).
23 Apr 2003

"Little Singapore": All hype?
Unverified reports of an All-Filipino illegal dumpster described in the cyberactivist site Dona Petra Dumpsite. Check it out and tell us if what we considered last year to be The Lone Beacon of All-Filipino Excellence is indeed proving to be a dud.
26 Mar 2003

The solutions are obvious:
Tagalog: Back in its proper place!
Let's celebrate one small triumph for our future as a prosperous nation! President Arroyo (GMA) has ordered the reinstatement of English in its rightful place as the sole medium of instruction in Philippine schools (click here to understand why this is important).

The question remains, however: Will this courageous and intelligent act survive GMA's administration?

As expected the forces of primitivism are at work to undermine this great leap in our approach to education. Key among them is hardly surprising: the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, an organisation endorsed by murder suspect and leader of the terrorist Communist Party of the Philippines, Joma Sison.

Presidential orders are no guarantee that right approaches will prevail, however. All we can do for now, is wait and see if the Filipino truly has the maturity and the self-confidence to put the half-century-old folly of our failed Tagalogist national language movement out of its misery.
Note: Links to www.inq7.net may not endure.
31 Jan 2003

The solutions are obvious:
He says: Multiply like rabbits;
She says: Take personal responsibility
The first of our The Solutions are Obvious series: As President Arroyo sets out on a what remains to be seen crash, no-nonsense, non-politically-motivated program of socio-politico-economic reform, we at such an early stage find ourselves once again in that typically Filipino situation where common sense is locked in mortal combat with the forces of primitivism -- specifically population control vs. the tyranny of Catholic dogma.

It will be interesting to see how many instances of such common sense vs. primitivism battles we will chalk up in the next eighteen months of what may be our nation's closest (and probably only) shot at a getrealist administration.

Meanwhile, let's sit back and keep score.
Note: Links to www.inq7.net may not endure.
29 Jan 2003

Happy New "Get Real" Year 2003!
Another year of Getting Real has passed. Time flies when reality bites doesn't it? What do we have to look forward to in 2003? For one, 4% projected economic growth. Not bad -- by Philippine standards. Another thing too: 2003 will be a year of electioneering and electio-speculation now that the 2004 presidential elections loom closer in the horizon. Now that is exciting -- (1) it's what Pinoys live and die for and (2) it's about the same stuff all over again; which trapos and military scoundrels are in the running and, oh yes, who's who in showbiz are making that giant leap into politics (the only profession that bird-brains can be successful at -- only in da Philippines, that is -- ask Erap).

One promising light at the end of the tunnel: Bayani Fernando as MMDA chairman is applying his world-class approaches and standards of excellence that made Marikina a true and objective example of what the Pinoy can do. Thus the theme of this year's Get Real Philippines!! as evident on our new splash page and the two articles that open the new year for us: Manila: Tour of duty and Asia pollution alert.

In the words of the esteemed Remington870: "Boom cities will increasingly pay for, support and subsidize nation states".

Check out the New Year's message of the Philippines' new national hero here, have a smashing New Year, and don't forget to Get Real Philippines!!
30 Dec 2002
Ammended 10 Jan 2003

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Check out the latest Get Real! discussion threads at:

See also reactions to our Peyups.com articles here!

The country's most respected Get Realist continues to churn them out! At this count we have ten Teddy Benigno articles on culture in our collection:
The worst, best of times
Yellow Paper II: Splash in shallow waters
The French Revolution - Too Close to Home
Culture really matters
Our Crisis: Summing Up
Culture: The real culprit
The Peter Principle
The trust factor
Filipinos: World's happiest?
Looking at us again
Parliamentary system not for Philippines (New!)

Michael Tan, columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer has consistently shed light on the challenges of the nation from the right perspective! At present we feature three of his articles from the Inquirer:
The Myth of Asian Modesty
Left behind again
English and our future
Male privilege and violence (New!)

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