Damaged culture still? (2)

By Floro L. Mercene

Asia correspondent James Fallows, in his essay on Filipino society in the Atlantic in 1987 offered a desk view of the Filipinos as a nation without much national pride.

Floro L. Mercene
Floro L. Mercene

This writer is forced to hark back to Fallows essay because after more than three decades since he wrote that piece, here we are again, under President Rodrigo Duterte, clawing at each other without apparent regard for our place in the sun.

I may not totally agree with Duterte’s colorful language and other transgressions but he has the courage to kick the elite in the butt, treat the drug problem with an iron hand, and even avert his gaze from America towards our close relative, China.

Suddenly, our reading materials are full of anti-Chinese sentiments (propaganda), while extolling American’s virtues.

It is thus a breath of fresh air that a Chinese-Filipino, in fact he is more Filipino than Chinese, has attempted to present the other side of this propaganda war, aiming to educate the citizenry towards a more critical thinking.

George T. Siy is the founder of Integrated Developmental Studies Institute, Inc. (IDSI), which publishes factual local developments in an attempt to counter the apparent lies being peddled by those who fear Duterte is falling into Chinese hands.

He said we should put aside politics and endless arguments and worked towards achieving better infrastructure for the country and to try to educate ourselves.

“We have to learn give and take, learn to negotiate, and make our own direction based not on dependence on colonial masters or any others, nor on ignorant pride but on experience, studied advice from many perspectives, based on models that have succeeded.”

He said we should have determination and commitment to work harder, better, longer “until we attain for our people a reasonable chance to achieve economic well-being and happiness.”

There is nothing subversive or controversial about what Siy has suggested.

The things he said are the most basic requirements to succeed in life and there is no need for us to bash each other, simply to show which side of our bread is buttered.