Dead Heroes are So Yesterday or Tigulang Na Tonto Ra Gihapon

I don’t know whether I should be amused or be rolling on the floor laughing. You know why? It’s this “you need to be in the Philippines to be able to do something that counts”. You see, if I were to take this twisted logic at face value – this would mean that sa dinami dami ng Pinoys who are in the Pinas – you would have thought – they have the solution  because they are already there. If we have to go by results of the solutions of the people who are already in the Philippines – Asia’s Laggard, Most Corrupt Country in the ASEAN, Most Dangerous Country for Journalists, Nation of Servants – I’d say the solutions of da pinoys in da pinas aren’t solutions – not when you are doing the same thing and expecting different results. In Cebuano this is referred to as  Tabang (help) as in, Tabang Duot (help push.. over the cliff). So much so, that when you come face to face with another “solution” – it makes you wonder, what will they screw up next?

Take for example this piece, by a bright guy:

But the 21st century version fails to give the solution. The AntiPinoy falls on its heels as your usual AntiPinoy that needs to be AntiPinoyed!

Dr Rizal himself gives us the true AntiPinoy solution. Go back home!

Dr Rizal also gives us the sterling example of how to really succeed. Get shot at the Luneta!

Of course no one can get shot in the Luneta while overseas. You can get virtually executed, but that doesn’t count.

Sipping coffee on a terrace in Sydney, New York, London or wherever also while nice, doesn’t count. The best place to be as an AntiPinoy is in the Philippines and nowhere else. The best place to be an AntiPinoy is in a coffee shop in Manila or Baguio or Tuguegararao or Cebu or Iloilo….

In other places you will be a second class AntiPinoy citizen with an adopted country passport and trying to make it in the “mainstream”.

BTW. There is another AntiPinoy I admire. His was the one who gave us that soundbite on “running a government like hell by AntiPinoys”!

What can be gleamed from Rizal – is this – he was the first Antipinoy -and La Solidaridad might as well have been 😛 His works were mis-understood, and even the local elite connived to have Jose Rizal shot! Much like the Biblical story of the Jews. Let’s get a few things straightened out.

Our college teachers portrayed Rizal as a rebel against Spain – when in fact, he wasn’t.

Rizal wanted the Philppines to become a province of Spain like Andalusia, Catalonia, Cordova, etc.  Originally, Filipino nationalism did not even seek independence for the Philippines but rather its complete cultural assimilation and total political integration into Spain. The goal was equal representation with “the other parts of Spain” in the Cortes at Madrid. To these Filipino nationalists, Filipinos were just eastern Spaniards, as Majorcans were western” Spaniards, as Andalusians were southern” Spaniards.

Only when this aspiration failed to be realized did the objective of Filipino nationalists shift to political independence – but not to decolonize. If they could not be an integral part of Spain, then the Philippines would constitute a second Spain – one which would complete the hispanization of the islands.

Essentially, Noli and Fili were novels that were making the case for assimilation. And as you mentioned – painted the consequences if the assimilation did not take place.

However, the most articulate deconstruction of the Noli and Fili that I have seen is a comment from a clear thinking street Philosopher – I’ll quote from my email exchanges with JR2, he says:

Most people think of Rizal’s novels as being “anti-Spanish” or “revolutionary and subversive”, etc…

Noli Me Tangere  was Rizal’s “GET REAL, Philippines! “ NOVEL.

Those of us who read it in High School as part of Filipino class, ended up getting indoctrinated in it being a revolutionary book that exposed the Spaniards as being evil, etc… (and sometimes, teachers even presented El Filibusterismo’ s revolutionary movements described in the story as showing “the only way to remedy the situation that the Spaniards caused.”)

But the fact is that Noli Me Tangere (it’s Latin, not Spanish, so pronounce it as “TAN-jere, not TANG-he-re” taken from John Chapter 20 – when Mary Magdalene wanted to touch the resurrected Jesus and he said “Touch me not…”) was an exposé on the dysfunctionality of Pinoy culture at the time (nothing different from what’s going on now) and showed partly how it was that certain “ultra-dogmatic” sectors of society (the friars, being one such group) being partly responsible for maintaining such a status quo.

If we read the English and the Spanish (original) versions in their entirety, and not the textbook Tagalog version, we end up reading all the descriptive narratives in the original text that talk about how ordinary Pinoys did the whole “bahala na routine” with respect to tending their homes and maintaining structures and roads.  In many of the Chapter intros, Rizal goes into details as far as painting a picture of what the Philippines looked like at the time and he puts A WHOLE LOT OF THE BLAME on the Pinoys themselves. In other words, when reading the details in “Noli”, we find Rizal actually saying that a whole lot of the lousiness, mediocrity, and “puede na yan”-ism going on was a fault of the local Filipinos themselves.

(The full unabriged text even says that the only way one gets to see that there’s something wrong is only when one travels abroad – something that resonates with many of us Get Realists who are based abroad)

In fact, his own character wasn’t necessarily meant to reflect him (Rizal’s “non-Indio” ancestry was largely Chinese), but in the opening chapters, he describes Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra as being of Basque Spanish ancestry (Ibarra being taken from “Eibarramendi” – a very Euskadi [Basque] name), his Great-grandfather being a Peninsular.

He also made sure to somehow exonerate the culpability of the SECULAR Spanish colonial officials, one of the good guys being the Guardia Civil lieutenant Guevara.

The main idea was to show that most Pinoys back then (as they are now) were TONTOWS who didn’t seek knowledge on their own. And that’s why one of the main ideas in the novel was the improved EDUCATION of the natives – something we have in our current struggle: Enlightening the Elites.

All throughout “Noli Me Tangere” – found especially in the detailed introductions of many chapters, however, Rizal paints a picture of almost contagious, highly prevalent and pervasive TONTOWNESS of the locals – both RICH and POOR, Indio and Mestizo, in terms of easily being manipulated into doing the wrong thing, as well as the numerous cases of unfair FALSE WITNESS borne against innocent people (among whom was his father who died unfairly imprisoned, and later in the story, against him)

In many ways, the idea seems to reverberate with our group today… “Noli” somehow presented SECULAR Spaniards/Europeans based in the Philippines, Filipinos who’ve had the chance to live ABROAD, as well as local Filipinos eager to learn more about and from the world outside of the Archipelago, AS BEING THE ENLIGHTENED PEOPLE (or at least “wanting to become enlightened people”) in the novel, and made sure to present them as being the reason for hope.

In many ways, the Novel appears to have been meant to APPEAL to secular and liberal Spanish government officials to try to do what they could to better integrate the Philippines into the Spanish government’s structure to give it the proper attention it needed in order to combat the pervasive DYSFUNCTIONALITY of Pinoy society. It also showed the factions among the elites in the small town of San Diego, which is not too different from the elite factions fighting amongst themselves today.

And some of the “subversive characters” in the Novel were meant to suggest that if Spain failed to help EDUCATE (or rather “Enlighten”) the key players in the Philippines, these people would end up “taking matters into their own hands and revolting against Spain.”

In short, in contrast to how most of our Filipino teachers in High School misrepresented the contents of Noli Me Tangere as being anti-Spain, reading the full, unabridged version (esp. in Spanish or English) reveals that the novel’s main target of indictment WERE THE NATIVE and LOCAL FILIPINOS THEMSELVES!

The Sequel to Noli, “El Filibusterismo” was meant to be a “what if” doomsday scenario, attempting to tell the local Spanish authorities “that if you fail to help in enlightening the local elites, fail in educating the locals, and continue to tolerate the mediocrity of the local Filipinos, and allow the dogmatic religious authorities to just keep on brainwashing the masses with medievalist ideas, then it will cause some people to turn rogue and go against you, and worse, it may even turn good “pro-Spanish” people into violent “anti-Spanish” ones.”

The story of Simoun was actually to show that this man who had formerly been the Enlightened Educator Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra turned into a violent ROGUE who was bent on revenge and pure unscrupulous self-interest, at the expense of other people.

(Simoun epitomizes the people who become NPA’s/ABU SAYYAFS and other troublemakers in the Philippines, starting off with supposedly very noble intentions, but then ending up having very violent and even somewhat selfish activities)

The subliminal message was “If Spain doesn’t help in fixing the Philippines, even good people with good intentions of integrating the Philippines within the Spanish State, would end up going rogue.”

Towards the end of the novel, when Simoun lies dying, he converses with Padre Florentino and in the end, Simoun is told that while he may have thought he had good intentions for the “Greater Good” in mounting his revolution, Padre Florentino says that he ended up doing things that were more for personal gain, revenge, and basically interests that had nothing to do with the Greater Good, to which Simoun finally agrees just before he dies.

In essence, I do not think that “El Filibusterismo” was meant by Rizal to be a “LET’S DO THIS FOR REAL” kind of Novel, one that would say “follow my lead” or “follow the examples depicted in this story”, but rather it was a wake up call to everyone in Philippine Society, including the Spanish Authorities that:

For the Locals (Insulares, Indios, and Mestizos):  If we don’t improve ourselves, things will be chaotic and difficult for everyone

For the Spanish Authorities: If you don’t integrate the Philippines into Spain and educate the natives properly, many people will wrongly advocate violent revolution, and even some of the people who would ideally be on the Spanish side will end up joining the violent side, resulting in loss of life and a lot of  unscrupulous scheming and behavior.

El Filibusterismo, the title, roughly translates into “ROGUE BEHAVIOR” or “Turning Rogue” (“Roguism”) and looking at the story from that perspective, it’s very clear that Rizal was a GET REALIST whose works were unfortunately misinterpreted by far too many tontows. Seen from that perspective, “NOLI” talked about what’s wrong with the Philippines, what’s wrong with the Pinoy natives who form the majority and what’s wrong with the different elite factions that end up keeping the Phils rotten,  while “FILItalked about what WOULD HAPPEN if the Philippines was allowed to just continue getting more rotten without any efforts to remedy the situation whatsoever.

(In a way, El Filibusterismo’ s subliminal message was “we should never allow the dysfunctionalities and mediocrity in Pinoy Society to get so bad as to allow things to come to such a chaotic and explosively violent result where absolutely no one emerges as the winner and everyone loses)

Incidentally, the old English version of the title “NOLI ME TANGERE” was “The Social Cancer” and that’s exactly how I would describe what TONTOWISM and all the dysfunctionalities that comprises it is all about.

Unfortunately, Jose Rizal had not seen “The Matrix” yet, and he would have realized that he has to remain in the wilderness as a precaution against the ability of the unplugged people he wants to save from turning on him. Mi Ultimo Adios, is a swan song of this strategic blunder on Rizal’s part.For short – why in the world will you go home when certain death awaits you? Why will you allow the forces of tyranny to swindle you into shutting your voice? You are a bigger idiot if you fall for that line. As my old folks used to say back then in the 80s  say “there is no need for dead heroes. sure thing, they will rally for what – a week or two – then what next? all your are is a tombstone.”
Exactly, a living body that can talk, walk, deliver the message, articulate a message, get to live and implement the change you have been aspiring for – that’s the call of the times. We’ve had enough of dead “heroes” – lots of them are lying around – “heroes” all of them – they are dead, they are silenced. We need live thinking bodies – not zombies who just say… noy noy noy noy… di nag-iisip. Napaka abnoy, naman nyan.

False bravado will have you going home in a bullet proof vest armed with a coterie of media. You get shot – and even today, no one can IDENTIFY who shot you? Your dead! You can’t “fiscalize” anymore. Sure it stirred millions… to do what? To be free to act as idiots. All that life so that millions can act like idiots. Looking back into history – Aguinaldo ordering the execution of Bonifacio – I dunno – seems like a waste to me – these idiots weren’t really that worth dying for  – I figured that out since, I was 19 years old. I have never turned to look back since then. Until, now.

The Diaspora as Witnessing Life Outside the Box

Geographically, there are types of Pinoys – Living In the Philippines, Lived Outside the Philippines and Living In the Philippines Again AFTER Living Outside the Philippines – and the variations in between.

It is kinda silly to have Pinoys who are working and living overseas and who have quite personally fulfilling careers, who keep the local economy afloat, to come back to a dysfunctional environment, when they can advocate for the same changes – without the risk of physical harm.

Consider it as a smarter alternative to staying in the Philippines and surrounding oneself with a private army – for one I find it – KSP, Kulang sa Pansin; two – I find it too primitive; three – I love my privacy and independence too much to surround myself with gun-toting guards who can snitch on my latest kinkiest boinking escapade – ika nga Live to fight (and f*ck) another day! 🙂

Pinoys in da pinas complain that, hey you are not here, therefore you have no right to speak.

Hello, I still carry a Filipino passport – I have the right to speak just like anyone else.You have not done anything.

Really, you are living off on my remittances, I am keepying you afloat, and I put up not just with your shit but other people’s shit – you have something to shit when you wake up in the morning – with the shit that I fed you last night and I have not done anything, right. My lordie lordie looorrrddd – Lotsa shit.

Consider this, what my remittances do for you, kabayan  – I am giving you, kabayan, the means to address Maslow’s lower needs heirarchy – food, clothing, shelter – so that you may able to address the higher heirarchy – self fulfillment, legacy. In case you missed that, no worries, I know you would! But next time you try that again – I’ll make it as real as it gets – sasampalin kita ng perang pinaghirapan ko, na nilustay mo, sa mga katarantaduhan mo – sabong, sugal, alak, popkpok, party, gimik, palabas, kayabangan.
Having attended to your basic needs, all  we  can muster  is to choose a lazy oaf to become president? WTF? Are we out of our minds? We deserve better! Someone who can reshape the economy so we don’t have to haul our ass overseas! And if we don’t put a fox in the chicken coop – we’ll reinstate a thieving bozo? WTF???  Did someone just let loose a retrovirus that dumbs Filipinos down – from diploma mill to ivory tower – HELLO…. Snap… as in snap out of the idiocy.

Guess what, that’s the beauty of being able to step outside the box – not just the logical box, but the physical box called the Philippines, see what everyone else is doing “RIGHT” – for instance, e-governance. Where I live, I can pay my taxes, renew my business license, renew my drivers license,  in 30 min tops – online.  In contrast, The Philippines has been trumpetting its students who win programming contests, as an ideal BPO site, pinoy programmers are the best – and yet, getting to e-file in the Philippines is like pulling teeth. Getting a drivers license means arming yourself with lagay, filing your taxes means more lagay, traffic penalties are assessed based on what you drive and the clothes you wear. So, when a Filipino who has seen life outside the box sees it, he will naturally state that there is a better way of doing things.

Da Pinoy in the box reaction will be typical, who are you to tell us how to live a better life – then he goes to say.. hirap na nga ng buhay, dadagdagan mo pa ng angal mo, tulungan mo akong maghugas ng plato dito.

Yun nga eh, bibigyan na sana kita ng automatic dishwasher, kaso gusto mo pa ring maghugas – eh di maghugas ka at manigas ka dyan, tang’na mo, bobo. Talagang walang gamot ang katangahan.

So, for all those who wanna engage in false bravado – pakamatay mo ug solo, go ahead, that’s good mababawasan ang istupido sa mundo.

I’d rather live to ensure a sustained campaign and nurture it to success – Ilara ta tits, butiti kang dako, Pildi ang maglagot – Live to fight and die another day. My name is Bong… James Bong… LOL

Solutions.. solutions… solutions.

Any one knows the proverbial “wheezing over the head” – yup, it’s the blind spot. So, I will make this as idiot-proof as I can.

Stage 1 – Awareness

Problem: Lack of Awareness on Pinoy Dysfunction

Solution: Launch Campaign to Bring Awareness to Pinoy Dysfunction

Methods: Blog site

Budget: $4.95/month – hosting; $10-domain registration; $7

Other resources required:

* Webmaster (prevailing rate – $25/hr): Expense: pro-bono

* Authors (prevailing rate – $25/hr): Expense: pro-bono

Objectively Verifiable Indicator: Page Views, Audience Reached, Alexa rankings, sitemeter

Expected Output: More Filipinos aware of self-limiting behavior. More Filipinos aware of behavior that needs to be re-examined, and if needed, reject the behavior. More Filipinos not opting for Noynoy Aquino.

Note that there is still Stages 2,3, and 4 – all of which have counterparts in the A-I-D-A model – Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action. But as to the details – as my colleague benign0 would quip – keep on guessing, tough luck.

Other solutions: Thus far, I’ve been experimenting with a business model that has shown a viable process. It is a lean supply chain that starts from coffee beans in cat poo found in conflict-ridden Cotabato to the swankiest coffee shoppes in Miami to the tune of $35-$50 PER CUP! Nope this ain’t your Starbucks $5 per cup.  Grassroots community organizing and micro-entrepreneurship mainstreaming into global trade as a means of bypassing the local oligarchs! And it all started with.. a crazy idea. Before you know it, I’ll have more products (fruits, oils, moringa capsules, bayabas capsules, mangosteen caplets, bee pollen) from more grassroots communities, bypassing the oligarch middlemen, and going straight into the global market. But, I can’t get to Stage 4, unless I pass Stage 1.

Strategic thinking – try it, nang di tayo nagmumukhang LUKARET!

Generating awareness is a solution in itself. Awareness serves to “prep”, to pump-prime, to get everyone on the same page, to have a shared understanding. And like in any truly democratic society composed of free and thinking individuals – you are free to pitch in or withhold your participation. Simple as that. No rocket science.

You can do this – but only if you want to. As for me, with or without you, am doing it.



  1. Amen Brotha!



  2. Ma Xianding · ·

    Brilliant article BongV! This is the reason people keep going back to

  3. HusengBatute · ·

    So, being abroad makes Pinoys less patriotic than those still in the Philippines? Aren’t the OFWs the ones doing a lot to keep the economy afloat?

    Money doesn’t grow on trees in other countries as well. A lot of our OFWs have sacrificed and even experienced some form of humiliation just to make ends meet, while in numerous cases their lazy recipients in the Philippines spend it on infidelities, karaoke bars, and such.

  4. Superb article! No words can express how awesome this article is. The best article I’ve seen yet here in AP.

    In fact, my brother is using this article for his essay about Filipino dysfunction and might pattern the real plot
    of those two novels for his film project.

    Yeah, amen brotha! 😀

  5. Again, you beat me to the punch, Bong.

    OFWs are probably among the most marginalized people. Not just by the countries they are in, but by their own countrymen!

    If the OFWs absence deprives them of the right to comment on their home country, then they should stop sending remittances back home. They should stop paying taxes at home too. It’s like the breadwinner who’s out of the house to work, but is told that he has no right to mess with it since he’s outside. “Ah ganun?” Replies the breadwinner. “Eh di, di ko na kayo pakakainin.” 😉

    OFWs are one of the biggest sources of money of the country, but they’re treated like dirt by their own countrymen! They’re not heroes, but they deserve the most right to comment on our country.

    I even propose that the presidential qualifications remove the rule for 10-year residency in the country and similar rules. I would like to try an OFW president!

  6. TheArch,

    I am humbled. AP has topnotch readers, hopefully we can feature your brother’s film once it’s done.

    btw, shameless plugin – has your brother come across the indie-film, made in southern PI, mindanao – “Kasila”


    actors were the bakwets themselves

  7. “I would like to try an OFW president!”

    hey chino, i think that’s a great idea. someone with exposure and experience from outside the philippines should be able to find new ways to address our country’s problems. different perspective baga.

    i hope the pilosopos will not take this to mean that any OFW will do. of course, certain qualifications will also have to be met first, the most obvious of which is the kind of work experience an ofw had abroad.

    i like the idea.

  8. Yeah, BP, you got the idea. We need that “outside perspective,” which is like thinking out of the box. Thanks.

  9. Bong mangutana lang ko, sa pagbaligya ninyu ug mga prutas ug consumables:

    1. How do you transport the goods across continents? (Cost of freight)
    2. How competitive is the market for those goods(supply,demand, price etc.)
    3. What is the expected profit margin for these goods?
    4. What is the initial start-up cost?

  10. Pasensya ka na at nasagasaan na ng tanga at bobo ang Pilipinas. Yung bang mga taong nasamba ke Marian Rivera kasi maganda pero bobo umarte? O yung mga nag mumukhang gago sa Wowowee para lang maka score ng sampung libo? O yung mga nabili ng frapuccino sa Starbucks at nagpapapicture pa kasama ng baso?

    Maswerte ang Pilipino at hindi i-neethnic cleanse ang tanga at bobo. Ang masama pa dun, dumadami pa sila.

  11. waitwat · ·

    Holocaust of the dregs of Filipino culture….. too extreme.

    Is it worth drinking coffee in Starbucks even if you’re broke?

  12. imho, this is the best antipinoy article that i’ve read.

  13. What a good read. OFWs should definitely know they their advantages to the country and should even be more than willing to be active in the democratic system. Balikbayans should also try integrate themselves too, rather than buy into the TFC crap and false sense of missing pinoy pride like the mainlanders already suffer from. Yes I know its not necessarily their business but if they don’t like hearing the negativity about the country, they should get into contact with good friends with good intentions to help somehow.

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