The last display of bad behavior from President Duterte has been attributed by Spox Harry Roque to Filipino culture. But this half-assed excused did not fool anyone. But the reality is that most people find culture as a convenient excuse to justify bad behavior.
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And so here are some bad Philippine cultural traits that we should do away with.
- Machismo: the supremacy of males is emphasized by machismo. The father is the overlord of the family and society. Strongman rule and violence are legitimized through this toxic culture of masculinity. This has been used as an excuse for marital infidelity and abuse against women. It treats women as property and her body as an object of lust.
- Compadrazgo: this also known as the kakilala or bata-bata system. The exploitation of personal connections is pretty much prevalent in government bureaucracy. Not only does it spell corruption but it also encourages the proliferation of incompetent persons who are in office by virtue of personal ties rather than by merit.
- Regionalism: the geographical fragmentedness of the Philippines has always posed a challenge to nation-building. In fact, according to Nick Joaquin, the lack of national unity and consciousness of the Filipinos goes together with our lack of geographic unity and consciousness. Historically speaking, our former colonial masters utilized the fragmentedness of our geography and culture to divide and conquer us. Ilocanos versus the Tagalogs, Tagalogs against the Tausugs, are just some examples. Today this survives in the fact that we tend to hold biases and stereotypes of certain ethnolinguistic groups: the Ilocanos are kuripot, the Tagalogs as mayabang, the Kapampangans as one-day-millionaires, the Bisaya as womanizers, etc. And so this has also affected our national political culture where we appeal to regional ties rather than to platform as main arguments for support.
- Passive Aggressiveness: Filipinos are known to be generally non-confrontational. For example, employees usually won’t air grievances in front of their bosses even when asked but are more likely to discuss and get agitated when left to themselves. This has also spelled complications between persons since some people are more prone to play it nice rather than be honest with their feelings and their opinions. And so a lot of back-biting happens and no problem is solved.
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How about you, what bad Filipino cultural traits do you think we should throw away?
Dom writes for pay by day and writes for passion by night. He is a Japan major at the University of the Philippines. He’s fond of ramen and anime but not of nice people.