I think it’s time to seriously address the issue of Filipino morality and its road to continuous decline.
Whenever I watch the ‘reality’ show “Face to Face“, I’m confronted with a sense of dread for the Filipino morality and the future of its people. (Context: “Face to Face” is a program where they feature an argument between two common people in a secure studio so they can talk about the problem. Usually, it involves a scandal of some of sort.) Frankly, I just want nothing to do with it. I’m glad that I don’t have to be exposed to those kinds of circumstances and everyday bad influence. Yes, living in the Philippines is fun… the people are more accepting to change, and it certainly has more freedom than here in Qatar… but at what price?
A couple of years ago, I would’ve said something different. When asked about where I feel most at home, it would take me less than a second to answer “of course I want to go back to the Philippines… Qatar takes the life out of people!” Now, I still think Qatar takes the life out of people because of its strictness, boredom, prejudice against women, and discrimination to my race… though I’m not so sure I want to stay in the Philippines. Lifeless as it is, this place has allowed me to see the Philippines in a different light. Suddenly, I couldn’t just define it as a singular element and take its peculiarities as a given. Now, everything depends on something else, like everything is relative.
Why is the Philippines lagging behind while other ASEAN countries are racing to development?
Why do Filipinos keep praising the hardworking, humble and sacrificial attitude of their fellow Filipinos working in foreign countries, then all the while resenting them when they dream high or fight for their rights?
Why do Filipinos in the Philippines think it’s alright to pray in church during Sundays and believe wholeheartedly in the existence and power of God… while drinking, gambling, engaging in extra-marital affairs, and being irresponsible citizens.
Why is the Philippine entertainment business so engrossed in glorifying adultery, homosexuality (I’ve nothing against gay people, but glorifying it is something else), betrayal, revenge, false and impure love, and all kinds of immorality?
Does “Face to Face” paint a realistic picture of Philippine society? I hope not. But judging from my experiences, now looking back, I realize how glad I am that I’m not exposed to that everyday anymore. It’s mentally damaging. It’s hard to describe what I’m talking about here. I want to believe that the program just shows extreme cases because it’s more controversial and entertaining for the viewers, but I know that these things happen all the time because there’s so many people facing the same kinds of situations… just in my circle of acquaintances. And I consider my circle pretty modest compared to the rest. (My family is strict when it comes to who me and my cousins are friends with)
At a more fundamental sense, this insisting and evolving level of immorality in the Filipino collective experience is a major cause of stagnancy and poverty in the country. More and more people are living without virtues, disregarding what’s right for momentary pleasures, and failing to see what’s in their self-interest in the long run. The Philippines ceases to be a society that looks out for its own people (or even a society, period), and that’s why we do not progress.