LETTERS ARCHIVED AS OF 17 JAN 2001


28 November 2000

Well, I could tell you what I thought when I first went back to the Philippines (just this past summer).

Let's see....

What's up with...

- people who stare?? Why do they stare at me every where I go? I never get that here (well, not as much as I did when I was in the Phils.)
- "raves"?? Why are they sponsored by Levi's? Why arehtey sponsored by a company at all??? Shouldn't raves be held in a warehouse, keeping it's underground feel? And why aren't the people dancing? Too afraid to mess up their "designer" duds?
- "actors"??? They can't act!!!
- talent scouts that approach me telling me to become an actress? Like the previous line, I can't act like the rest of them!
- Baron Geisler? I saw one episode of that Dawson's Creek (more to come on that) rip-off, Tabing Ilog (sp) where his childhood friend was leaving for the States and he was bawling..oh good god..
- TV show rip-offs?? Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I remember hearing Filipino versions of English songs when I was little LOL
- my childhood friends becoming movie stars/actors/porn stars/models and an SMB guy? :)
- the absence of toilet paper in the washrooms (like that Fiesta Mall)?


13 November 2000

Recognizing what�s wrong is a giant step. Accepting it to one�s self all the more giant step towards solving what�s wrong. I dare say, I will see a better Philippines in my lifetime.

It tears me apart to know that once upon a time, we were an economically well-off country. What went wrong?

Awareness could catalyze many of us to foster change for the better. I believe, a critical mass is here, and is growing! We make are making a difference and in this lifetime, we will be the Philippines we could be proud of.

Spread the word. WE must first change from within before we can expect a better Philippines.


07 November 2000

at this juncture, some more immediate problems have to be solved first before venturing into the deeper structural problems. the trick is not to be confused what course of action the situation calls for. at this point, do we go and polemicize about filipinos being "culturally dysfunctional," or do we go out to the streets and depose the bad president first? the one we can do later, the other we have to do now.


07 November 2000

I had the opportunity to read "Why are we poor" in your website. I have to say it was well thought out. You are right in saying that we can tackle poverty through education. Unfortunately, even if education is given the biggest portion of the national budget, there are not many improvements. Imagine to my horror, when I discovered that there are morning and afternoon high school students in some schools. There isn't enough space! Plus, it's not surprising that there aren't many excellent teachers... with the tiny salary they're given, how can they survive? I'd like to ask you if you think the money allotted for education (I think P120 billion? is that correct?) is really being used for its purpose and not going into pockets...

I'd like to comment some more but I have schoolwork. I just wanted to affirm you for what you wrote. You gave examples and backed your statements. I'm not sure I am 100% with you in all your opinions, however, I am pleased that you do not form an opinion without basis or justification. There are really several people who just express their point of view and when asked why, give some shallow reason. You are very practical minded and perhaps if there were more people like you, our economy would be in a better position.


07 November 2000

and you honestly think you're not being pathetic? you come here and boast that you know better than all of us and you expect us to treat you seriously?

"Magtagumpay man kayo, wala pa ring mararanasang pagbabago ang mga mahihirap," you said. that's true. but the mission of this mailing list is clear, the bottomline of which is for erap to resign. if you don't think that will solve the economic crisis, well, we don't too. even before erap, the philippines was not exactly an economic paradise, and we know that. but why are we protesting against erap? because he's a bad president. if you have a problem of having a bad president, you solve it by removing the bad president. it's that simple.

maybe you have other solutions. but you might want to realize that they address OTHER problems, definitely not the problem addressed by this group at this juncture. next time, before joining a mailing list, try to know first what it is for. para hindi ka nalilito.

sincerely irritated [signed]

ps

labas na ito sa misyon ng [eLagda] egroups na ito. this is a purely personal remark and not necessarily shared by the people in this group: i've seen your website. it sucks.


07 November 2000

First off, I'm sorry if I took the wrong impression of your writings--and yes, I've read everything, even those at your site. I know you are issuing a wake-up call, and exhorting the people to change, but I still can't fully empathize with you no matter how hard I try.

I believe it's good to recognize your faults, weaknesses, and failings, but it's another thing to delight and wallow in them. Don't look at me like that, but you do. Why else would you put up a site wholly dedicated to the Filipino's faults? To spread the truth as you see it? Wake up, indeed. Those aren't the faults of being Filipino. You flatter our race too much. They're the faults of being human. Or are other nationalities somehow immune to racism, stupidity, corruption, and greed?

As for why this 'dysfunction' still prevails in our society, why Chinese immigrants lord it over us on our own land, why Filipinos are generally _not_ proud of who they are, stop and think. "Ganyan talaga ang Pilipino: tamad, burara, tanga, kolonyal, mapangahas, makasarili . . . napakasama ng ating lahi, napakasama . . ." Did that sound familiar? Kung 'yan ba naman ang laging bukambibig ng nasa paligid mo, eh ano pa ba ang iisipin mo? Self-pity and self-flagellation only contribute to the problem. You reap what you sow. You get what you expect to get. (And we all got Erap. Hmm.)

"It is easy to lose site of the fact that we the Filipino people not only *elected* Erap, we *created* him. Whether we *voted* for him or not is irrelevant and not the issue. All of us - rich or poor, educated or uneducated - contributed to what we are now rallying against."

Perhaps we did. But does it matter now? Tapos na 'yon. Learn from the past, but don't live in it.

"Let's analogise further. If we map out the family tree of the entire animal kingdom . . . to an alien explorer's eyes, chimps, lemurs and baboons would probably be indistinguishable from us humans. . . ."

Who's to say that an 'alien explorer' would see things as you do? Kaya nga siya tinawag na 'alien' eh. And in any case, does it matter what this alien creature thinks?

"So why not get started with getting to know our own kind first before we fancy ourselves as experts on what makes the *real* Juan de la Cruz tick. We all benefited from the domestic help made accessible to "

There is no such thing as a "real Juan dela Cruz", because "Juan dela Cruz" is just a stereotyfe. [sic] And even if there were, why shouldn't we elitist bourgeois netizens be part of that image? Pilipino rin tayo, 'di ba?

This forum may not speak for the whole Filipino people, but then show me a medium which does. (National elections . . . ?)

"If it were another time I could have said that the more interesting part of the story would be what happens next."

Well, it can't be another time, Mr. Benign0, so please put your words to better use. If you think all the interesting stories have been told, then feel free to die. I am not goading you or insulting you in any way, I'm only stating what I think is the truth. Yes, the "evil-ruler-who-lured-us-with-the-promise-of-a-land-of-milk-and-honey-has-now-been-exposed-for-the-cretin-he-is-and-now-we-must-kick-him-out-out-out" act has been played out many, many times before, but those were all someone else's tales. This particular story is ours.


01 November 2000

I can't believe someone has written down what I have suspected for the longest time. My family and I emigrated to the US in 1985 and we have not been back since (we can't afford the pamasahe, and of course, the pasalubongs).

Your site was the first one that I came across that wasn't sugar-coated. Bilib talaga ako sa lucidity ng iyong vision.

Sadly, what plagues Filipinos at home plagues us here too, in the land of plenty. Mas grabe pa nga dahil there are more toys to use for payabangan: bigger houses, more expensive cars, Ivy League degrees. Kakafrustrate talaga. One of my mom's cousins killed himself --- we suspect he did it for the insurance money --- it's expensive being a visibly-affluent Filipino in the US.

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