Book Review – Get Real Philippines

Well, it’s not exactly a book. It’s more like a 70 page essay. It’s very well written, and I love the discussion points written, so let me start things off with the main points of the essay.

The author asks each one of us:
1.) Who is Juan dela Cruz? Why are we in a rut?
-The whole essay is a profound reflection of the author in asking himself the reasons why Filipinos have not risen to greatness, and why we may never do.

2.) What do we mean by Filipino Pride exactly?

There may be a few in this country that are good, that HAVE substantiated
pride, but the rest only have pride.
Proud for pride’s sake is how I would summarise it even further. Just like we would
paint zebra stripes across a road for the sake of having a pedestrian lane there, we
would be proud to be Filipino for the sake of being proud to be Filipino. The need to
substantiate pride may seemingly be a simple concept to grasp. But apparently many
Filipinos cannot fathom it. And it boggles the mind how so many simply cannot
understand that one cannot be proud to be part of something that consistently fails –
that the solution to this lack of pride in being Filipino is to deliver something to be
objectively proud of. Pride that is substantiated by achievement comes naturally
whereas hollow pride – the kind preferred by Filipinos – needs to be force-fed.

3.) Why Insist on Filipino Language, when the concepts inside are too outdated?  Embrace the language of modernity – English.

4.) The Problem with Filipino’s Central Romanticism with a Hero, instead of a nation.  The Problem with Touting Lea Salongas of the world and forgetting the rest of the nation.  A Misconceived “Filipino Pride”

The solution to this “brain drain” does not lie in inciting some kind of nationalistic
fervour in these educated Filipinos so that they may “come home and apply their
intellect for the greater good of the Republic”. That opportunity to appeal to
nationalistic fervour is long gone and is a tired initiative at best. Educated Filipinos
have pretty much given up on “making a difference” – which is a lot to ask for in the
first place. How long can a society live on the heroism and altruistic efforts of the
intellectual elite and the resource rich?

5.) Filipinos Need to Dream Big, but the problem lies in ourselves.

As pointed out in our discussion on Productivity, one of the reasons why Filipinos
cannot seem to dream big is because our society lacks any framework for dreaming
big. Our society for the most part is one big unstructured agglomeration of little
things. Just like loose unbound gravel can only be piled so high without having to
proportionately expand its base to support its constantly crumbling and unstable
structure, Filipinos can only build so much using our bahala na (loosely translated:
“come what may”) and pwede na yan (“that’ll do for now”) attitudes.

If I got your appetites whetting to read the article, here’s a scribd version 🙂  Download and enjoy.

P.S. He touched on many points such as the Jeepney example, the Romblon marbles’ lack of innovation on the uses of resources, the outdated use of technology during the Edsa Revolution etc.  I’ll go on to discuss each topic at length in separate posts and relate it to current events.  Meanwhile, it’s better to read the source 🙂

More than being pessimistic about the Filipinos, Get Real Philippines is a wake-up call to most Filipinos, and an active challenge for us to define who Juan dela Cruz and what being proud of Filipino is really like.

Substantiate Filipino pride,

– The Faceless Trader

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