From The Outside Looking In

They say you can never really know your country unless you get out and live in another country. You perceive the strengths and weaknesses of your country once you experience the reality of seeing what works and doesn’t work in other countries. With this I don’t mean a quick one week visit but living and working in another country, being a taxpayer and consumer at the same time.

Pinoys rant about how wretched our society and government are, both from abroad and within the country. I won’t be overly remiss to say that sometimes, we often beg for a quick fix to satisfy our disappointment yet unable to discern the profound fundamental flaws that cause our grievances.  The reasons for such flaws may not be entirely personal but societal or cultural but nonetheless the blame game starts and never ends. In the ensuing discourse, people begin to question each other’s sense of patriotism. Sometimes I doubt whether people really understand the meaning of patriotism.

Here’s an interesting website that provides a test of whether one is Pinoy or anti Pinoy. This test was created by Pinoys who live abroad; in short, those from the outside looking in. The validation of who is real or anti is entirely  their perception of what is dysfunctional and what is not in a society, largey dictated by their experience of living in a 1st world country where freedom and prosperity abound. I’m not here to laud nor berate the test and I’m curious about how you fared in the test 🙂


Blogging is one medium where we can spew out our grievance and resentment and sometimes our venomous anger as the result of our frustation with the decadence of society. Here’s an excerpt from Echart Tolle’s book A New Earth which reminds us of our “unconsciousness” when we embark on full throttle ranting.


The ego loves to complain and feel resentful not only about other people but also our situations. What you can do to a person, you can also do to a situation: make it into an enemy. The implication is always : This should not be happening; I don’t want to be here; I don’t want to be doing this; I’m being treated unfairly. And the ego’s greatest enemy of all is, of course, the present moment, which is to say life itself.

Complaining is not to be confused with informing someone of a mistake or deficiency so that it can be put right. And to refrain from complaining doesn’t necessarily mean putting up with bad quality or behavior. There is no ego in telling the waiter that your soup is cold and needs to be heated up – if you stick to the facts which are always neutral. ” How dare you serve me the soup….” That’s complaining. There’s a “me” in there that loves to feel personally offended by the cold soup and is going to make the most of it, a “me” that enjoys to make someone wrong. The complaining we are talking about is in the service of ego, not change. Sometimes it becomes obvious that the ego doesn’t really want to change so it can go on complaining.

See if you can catch, that is to say, notice, the voice in the head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is : the voice of the ego, no more than a conditioned mind pattern, a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind. The moment you are aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot co-exist. The old mind-pattern or mental habit may still survive and reoccur for a while because it has the momentum of thousands of years of collective human unconsciousness behind it, but everytime it is recognized, it is weakened.



I can understand the indignation of some people but there has to be a better way of fostering change than what this reverend proposes – a Koran burning day. Talk about being a total embrassment to your religion 😦


24 Responses

  1. that’s a very timely food for thought BW. Thanks for sharing.

    The video reminds me of those who are against gay marriage begin hating all gay people.

  2. That quote is quite profound, bro. But come to think of it, if we become “awareness-conscious” beings by subduing our ego like our animal instinct, doesn’t that make us emotionally devoid and dependent only on logic. In other words, it strips us of our humanity.

    Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no life form here. Only carbon-based computers pretending to be humans!

    • True – our egos more often than not dominate our decisions and actions. Living in the sandbox for some time now I’m sure you know what I am talking about hehe 🙂 I guess now the issue is the balance between emotions and logic and perhaps we could call that degree of enlightenment 😉

  3. That’s true, I’ve never been prouder to be a Filipino until I went out of the country. I am excited to take the Anti-Pinoy quiz. I’ll try to find time. 🙂

  4. Subduing the ego is one of the key messages in religions such as Buddhism and Christianity.

    There are always radicals everywhere. They cannot tolerate the flaws of other people because they believe they are right and everybody else is wrong.

    • agree. Christianity at its core is all about the message of love, understanding and tolerance. Tough to think that 2000 years ago when the law of jungle was prevalent, here comes a group of enlightened people who preached love and peace.

      Triumphalism – my religion is right and yours is wrong – is one of the key problems of organized religion. Sadly it is the adherents who totally misinterpret the teachings for their own egos.

  5. Rather a silly question. Just curious what the anti-noypis are griping about? By the way, I don’t know of real americans who are anti-americans .

    Religion is such a sore topic in “argumentation and debate”; truckloads of stuff are dragged out of both sides mental museum.

    • It’s about a reality check, that Pinoys living in the homeland are unknowingly unpatriotic with their actions. For instance, Noynoy Aquino’s election to office wasn’t the result of his past performance as senator but being the son of Cory and Ninoy.

      Arguments on religion need to be avoided because we no that neither side will ever concede 😉 and the fact that each side believes that they have the monopoly of absolute truth 😯

      • While Pinas elections are now water under the bridge,
        most that I’ve encountered so far, were at ease with Noynoy as the annointed one. Most of my comments then about Noynoy were negative, ONLY coz he never planned to run as president in the first place, he was pushed by special interests elite; so I’ve called him an accidental head of state if he wins. While it’s true he rode the coattails of his parents to win, just who “these anti-noypis” believed would have been the savior of the motherland? Certainly not Erap or Villar. Gibo was my choice, but with little exposure and a wife who is just arrogant…he can’t win.

        • precisely.. there even came a point when Noynoy wasn’t sure if he wanted to run 🙂 It started with the passing of Cory and his party capitalized on Cory’s popularity making him the best bet to win the presidency. In the end, Noynoy’s victory is perhaps a blessing in disguise, to avert Erap’s victory, which would have sealed the doom for Pinas in the eyes of the world. You can’t convict a president with the crime of plunder and see him grab his seat back – that’s just unthinkable.

  6. I took the test, and… well, you’ve known me for quite some time already and am pretty sure you have a good idea what the result is, hehe. It’s the same thing that I and a lot of bloggers and journalists have been writing about for years: that we are a flawed society, one that, unfortunately, continues to celebrate mediocrity (kaya nga naging congressman si Pacquiao eh).

    Re Erap, I agree, muntik na tayong magmukhang gago, no thanks to the stupid voters in our midst.

    As for that preacher, he’s clearly a hypocrite who thinks that HIS religion is better than anyone else’s religion. Today, the Koran, tomorrow, who knows? the Torah perhaps?

    • I think the ultimate cesspool would have been Erap becoming president again 😡

      I would have hope that the reverend porposed something that will portray him as a bit more enlightened member of society.

  7. that is why i love reading your posts because it gives me a different perspective of our dear old pinas… although i do not consider you as an outsider (well, not literally) but an insider viewing things from the outside 🙂

    • very much an insider in spirit bro. I also have a lot of loved ones living in the home country that’s the reason why I am concerned. It’s high time for Pinas to rise and shine.

      In truth, I may return to live in Pinas one day when I retire 😉

  8. your topic’s kind of loaded mr. bw 🙂

    ang hirap magsalita

    but then again, one thing that irritates me most is our tendency to become an online mob whenever someone makes a stupid comment about us filipinos… it makes us “pikon”… which makes us “talo”…

    • that’s typical of our pikon mentality. I think we need to be less emotional and welcome confrontation without holding rancor against the person we have an argument with. They say conflicts that are dealt with intelligently fosters change – for the better.

      Typical response you see in boxing forums – when someone criticizes Manny Pacquiao, Pinoys defend him like it’s the end of the world. I don’t mind that but to rationalize that Manny is the best because he is Pinoy period doesn’t quite cut it 😉

    • Here’s a most recent scenario (just a few weeks ago!),
      a noypi casual friend who is dark as can be, uttered this phrase: “ni Michell Obama, kasla gorilla” or in Tagalog “si Michelle Obama, parang gorilla”. Caught me by surprise coz he’s pragmatic at times; but him to say this was his deep hatred for Obama winning the presidency. Can’t get over it.

      The fact of the matter is, he can be labelled as a dark pinoy monkey himself by whites which I’m sure will get his blood boiling….tsk…..tsk….tsk.

      • I was grinning when I read your post. Me pagka racist din tayo ano? 😉 Go to Disneyland or any theme park in the dead of summer and if you find female a wearing long sleeve shirt, chances are, Pinay yun . Ayaw mangitim eh 🙂

        In fact I was just commenting to my wife why Asian LPGA golfers, mostly wear long sleeve shirts in a 35 deg C weather ! Siguro hindi lang Pinoy phenomenon ito – lahat na Asian women ayaw mangitim 😉

        • Here in the high desert where the norm is 110f and midnight temp is at the 90’s….akala mo umuulan araw-araw; asian woman especially the naypis are under their umbrellas, hehe..

          • so there’s that paramount fear na baka mangitim sila hehe 🙂 I think our skin can take the hot sun. THere is almost nil incidence of skin cancer back in Pinas I would think. 😯

  9. i’ll take the test after i drop a quick hi here. don’t take too long between each post. we miss yours posts too much.

    • let me know the result of test 😉

      Summer had been tugging my lazy tail for the most part hehe – that’s why 😆

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: