Filipinos haven’t had the chance to question their identity. And when they do, the typical response could be, “I am a manager in a call center, married to Juana, father of Pilar, a Catholic, an alumnus of Ateneo/LaSalle/UP, and a member of Lakas NUCD/LP/Np”.
His answers proclaim his beliefs, functions, and the rules and regulations he observes. Nearly all of this were shoved down his throat and yet the Filipinos believes he is a free man.
But is he really free or perhaps it would be more appropriate to consider him as domesticated livestock to be taxed by the state and the proceeds distributed to the state’s cronies and minions. Like livestock, he has been told by his rancher what to believe, feel and think since he was born. He will fight for the rancher, die for the rancher, believe the rancher’s lies, do cartwheels for the rancher and rarely get out of line. And when he does dare question the rancher or try to get out of the farm, there are policemen, prison guards, psychiatrists and government officials prepared to arrest, imprison, medicate, haunt, kill him into obedience.
The Filipino never thinks about the lechon, fried chicken, and kaldereta that end up on his plate and make the connection that he is another version of them, albeit a talking one, fenced and caged for life. How is this possible? Animals that are placed in a hierarchy are easily dominated. The trick is to deceive the animal into believing that the dominant figure in the pack or the herd is responsible for domesticating them. Once accomplished the animal is under the complete control of the human master. The Filipino is no different, organized into heirarchical groups with one figure as Barangay Captain, Mayor, Governor, President, ArchBishop, Dean, Principal, Manager, CEO, etc.
The process of domesticating Filipino mammals can be viewed as the seven key elements of the Philippine matrix system from which only a few can escape. It is an advanced system that those who are able to extricate themselves out of the net are immediately isolated and demonized as insane, walang pakisama, selfish, addicts who can’t cope with the “complexities of being in civilized society”. Plato described this process magnificently in his Allegory of the Cave.
Let us then begin this descent into the seven layers of the Philippine Matrix System
There are things we naturally do like eating, laughing, crying those that we effortlessly pick up like walking, talking, and fighting. But, without institutional indoctrination we can’t be a functional member of the Philippine Matrix System. We must be molded and shaped in the Philippine Matrix boot camp aka school and transform the hunter/gatherer into a corporate slave, obedient to clocks, multitudes of bosses, routine, and conformity.
Children have a natural sense of identity and they have no baggage. Schools immediately begin introducing deadlines, rules, scores and grades until children learn to be what they aren’t. Children are drilled to count money, read the clock, fall in line, stay silent, and be obedient. They are told they are not free and are different from everyone else in terms of labels, names, and languages.
Pedro can’t just be Pedro – he is a Filipino citizen, a Catholic, and a member of an ethnic group that has a flag and an army, he has to wear a uniform, use the peso, and speak Filipino. Then he is ready to be taught the myths of Philippine history in order to cement the Philippine matrix into the child’s mind.
Pedro isn’t taught how to think, , how to cook, how to plant, laugh or play. He is taught how to watch the clock and conform to the collective behavior of slaves.
Pedro is then taught to put the government above himself – and that government officials have Pedro’s interests at heart. Never mind that these bureaucrats don’t know Pedro from Adam and that their interest is to ensure that Pedro will become a taxpayer who will pay for the salaries of government officials.
The need for a state is hammered down into Pedro’s young mind. Government is always portrayed as a good institution that fights the bad elements. Pedro is never told that the government is the bad element that steals Pedro’s money and redistributes it to cronies, or that government starts wars and fosters death. Pedro’s only right is to lose his freedom in the name of the greater good. His slavery and servitude to the state is spun as freedom and a privilege and the plutocracy that owns it.
Nationalism is an artificial social construct, a mechanism of social control. Pedro is taught to put people with the same nationality, race, amd religion as him above other people in the world. The natural ties that bind him to other human beings are cut off in favor of the nation-state.
Starting from birth Pedro is taught to worship the government as repository of wisdom. In fact, the state is no different from a corporation like San Miguel or PLDT, except that the state has a monopoly on the use of force.
Flag waving is drilled into Pedro’s psyche to maintain the illusion that those with other flags are threats to Pedro’s wellbeing. The primeval energy which united the family and the tribe to help them fend off wild beasts and famished hordes has become the magic wand of the masters of the Philippines Matrix System. When the Philippine flag is waved, Pedro responds like chicken rushing at kernels of corn.
While nationalism provides a powerful stimulus, Pedro still has a need for something larger than life that he wishes to connect with. The alienation and brainwashing to become a corporate slave leaves a hole in Pedro’s heart – and that’s why priests are needed to provide relief from the emptiness of the Philippines Matrix System.
With the loss of Pedro’s connection to his fellow human beings and his connection to nature, Pedro needed to reconnect. Religion hijacks this siren call and provides Pedro with a god that behaves much like the state – always needing to be loved, always needing money, always needing obedience, always jealous of other non-existent gods, as sociopathic as Pedro’s government. Religion, therefore, keeps Pedro glued to the Philippine Matrix System.
Pedro is then told he needs to have fun and is moved into stadiums, movie theaters, dance clubs or simply to stare at television believing that he is being entertained by profane propaganda.
As long as Pedro goes into the appropriate fence, claps and laughs when told to, Pedro is worthy of vacation leave at the designated facility where Pedro is then milked of excess money he earned for the month or year.
Every day, after maxing out on caffeine, Pedro sits in front of the TV, and served the Philippne Matrix approved alcoholic drink and re-programmed to begin the cycle all over. Pedro is not allowed to take hallucinogens because he might have an original idea or that Pedro might wake up from his slavery.
Pedro, like millions of Filipinos will spend most of his waking life acquiring or spending money without ever understanding what money is. Except for breathing, all of Pedro’s actions will entail the use of money – food, clothing, shelter, and finding a lifetime companion.
By the time Pedro reaches thirty, he is deep in debt – mortgage, car, appliances, education plan, health care plan. Pedro isn’t aware that the Bangko Sentral just prints money out of thin air.
Pedro doesn’t ask why he has to work all his life for a piece of paper printed out of thin air.
If Pedro printed money out of an HP colored laser printer and charged interest, Pedro will go to jail. But since it is the Bangko Sentral printing the money out of thin air then there’s nothing wrong with it as Pedro has been made to believe. Pedro cannot believe how easily he has been scammed and enslaved.
To ensure that all the myths, lies, and scams that have been pulled over Pedro’s head stick together, culture glues all these myths into one narrative, a way of thinking that controls Filipino society.
Only very few brave souls are able to escape the Philippine Matrix System as Filino culture feels as natural as the air Pedro breathes, so intertwined with Pedro’s identity so much so that there is no distinction between Pedro’s self identity and the standard social definition of a Filipino – makadiyos, masipag, makabayan, mabait, matapat, masunurin.
Escaping the Grip of the Philippine Matrix System
Pedr might ask why this all encompassing social control isn’t discussed in the newspapers, magazines, TV, the movies, or even the brilliant minds of the Filipino illustrados or the professors of the state universities.
It becomes clearer only when we accept that Filipino society isn’t concerned with finding or looking for the truth. Rather, Filipino society is concerned with protecting the millions of Pedros from truths that might endanger the security of the Philippine Matrix System.
Was water discovered by fish? Most certainly not. Leaving the water or Plato’s cave takes courage and knowledge that there is an alternative to the Philippine Matrix System. Plato described the slow painstaking process as akin to taking a walk on the sands of Palawan on a sunny day after spending years inside the darkened VIP room of a karaoke bar.
How do you explain freedom to someone who has never been free? How do you describe the feeling of taking a bath under a waterfall to someone who has never seen water? You can’t, but you can open the shutters for Pedro and when enough windows are opened the phantasm loses its glitter.