The 21st Century Indolent Filipinos

So, gaya ng nabanggit ko sa huli kong post, napagtripan ko ngang ilagay ang ipinasa kong synthesis paper sa PI 100 (o di ba? paborito kong subject this sem ang PI 100 dahil siya na naman ang bida sa post na ‘to at sa blog na ‘to for the nth time) sa blog na ‘to.

Anyway, ni-limit lang ni Peyborit Prof (NOT!) ang saklaw ng idi-discuss sa synthesis paper sa ilang writings ni Rizal, namely, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, his letter to the women of Malolos or The Indolence of the Filipinos. Pinili ‘kong huli kasi wala lang. Indolent kasi ako. So anyway, ang susunod na mababasa mo e produkto ng aking pagka-indolent. Napaka-mediocre ng gawang ‘to so guilty ako ng paglabag sa motto ng aking pamantasang pinapasukan: Honor and Excellence.

The 21st Century Indolent Filipinos

Indolence defined in the simplest way is the lack of disposition to work.  It can be synonymous to shiftlessness, a failure to be active as a consequence of lack of initiative or ambition [1], or love of ease either way [2]. More than a century has passed when Rizal first published his intelligent essay Sobre la Indolencia de los Filipinos (The Indolence of the Filipinos) in which he defended the Indio from its Spanish colonial master’s claim that the Indios were indolent and that was in the 19th century.

The Existence of Indolence in the Philippines Then
Rizal acknowledged the truth that indolence was indeed present in the Philippines during those times while it was still under the colonizing rule of the Spaniards. He said that indolence exists not because of the backwardness and troubles of the country but rather it exists as the effect of the backwardness and troubles experienced by the country. He also said that the Indios were not responsible for their misfortunes due to the fact that they were not their own masters. The Spanish colonizers cut off the trade relations that Philippines had with its neighboring countries in Asia. The coasting trade ceased because of the increased pirate attacks and the strict impositions of the Spaniards. Rampant gambling was tolerated; businesses were monopolized by the government officials and red tape and bribery operates on a wide scale [3]. Discrimination in education against the natives was also present. Attributed to the Catholic Church, which was the Spaniards promulgated religion, were the occurrence of too many religious holidays and celebrations. These, according to Rizal, were what sustained the Indios’ indolence.

The Existence of Indolence in the Philippines Now
As it was then during Rizal’s time, so it is now during our times. The indolence that the Indios had is the same as that of indolence we now have, although it is not hereditary. The indolence of the Filipinos is not hereditary but it is a continuing chronic malady. The Filipinos have not always been what they are, as can be known through the historians who had seen the Philippine islands long before its Spanish colonizers came.

The Indios had the Spanish colonizers back then. Well, we Filipinos have the government today. Yes, due to the initiations and efforts of the government itself, we are now free to carry on with international trading and every citizen is entitled to his education, but we still have the gambling. Remember the former president Joseph Estrada, or maybe not just even him but also those politicians who were with him? Yes, the gambling. Furthermore, we still have the issues of red tape and bribery. Isn’t its occurrence making the headlines more often than not this 21st century? Simply put, the rampant corruption of the people we elected and seated in our democratic government is what sustains our indolence today. Rizal said, “Peoples and governments are correlated and complementary: a stupid government would be an anomaly among righteous people, just as a corrupt people cannot exist under just rulers and wise laws.”



4 thoughts on “The 21st Century Indolent Filipinos

  1. hello, singkamas. una muna, belated congrats sa bago mong theme na noong isang linggo pa ata pero now ko lang napansin, hi, hi… :D

    if i might say, maganda naman ang pili mo ng topic, mas manageable, kumbaga. but then, mangingi-alam pa uli, ha? but then, baka kinapos na lang ang paper mo sa research? allow me…

    methinks what rizal was saying was our indolence as a people back then was caused by our subverted sovereignty as a people and these were reflected in our trade relations, politics and cultural practices. parang ganoon… siyempre, may sales pitch si rizal about self-determination of the indios from the far east against the spanish colonial masters, hehe.

    in the present, although we have the trappings of modern-day sovereign state and people, much of our policies – economic, political and even, cultural are still held back to a large extent by old traditions and relations. how? we’re still dependent on our biggest trading partners in the world trade. the same goes for our political alliances in the international setting. ditto for our cultural tendencies and preferences as a people.

    so, we still lack the collective initiative to engage the world, so to speak. to conquer and prevail and strut our stuff in the world stage.

    but hey, this is looking at the problem from a macro perspective, ha? may pagkakaiba pa rin somehow if we use the micro approach.


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