Conrado de Quiros is not really my favorite columnist. What he writes in his columns are quite predictable. It is always his being anti GMA. If something goes wrong, chances are he will blame GMA.
For a change, in his column today entitled Suggestions, he lamented what he observed as dysfunctional behaviors among Filipinos. He wrote,
You know you’re Filipino when you bump into a friend or friends on the door of a building and you exchange pleasantries there and then, oblivious to the fact that you’re blocking other people going in and out. You know you’re Filipino when you freeze in the middle of a supermarket aisle and have a conversation on your cell phone, oblivious to the fact that it’s everything people can do to squeeze around you. You know you’re Filipino when you park in front of a parked car, expecting him to push your vehicle out of the way when he comes back; when you talk loudly in a forum or movie house, not particularly minding that a speaker is speaking or that other people are intently watching the movie; when you throw soft drink cans, hamburger boxes, and wrappers outside the window of your van on the highway.
As I continued reading his column, I was already expecting that he will blame this behavior to GMA. Thank God he was quite reasonable this time. In fact, he was clueless why we behave the way we do. His college teacher theorized that one thing Filipinos never learn is civics, or or a self-propelled sense of duty or sense of propriety, something ingrained in other Asians. Exactly! This is what I have been saying all along.
We do have good Filipinos or good citizens around us. Our problem is our collective psyche. Good citizens involve themselves in various civic activities or duties. They become part of advocacies in various forms and agenda. Once in a while we hear from the news acts of kindness. We can come together in time of calamities and tragedies. But these are more of the exceptions than the rule. Collectively, we simply are bad citizens.
We are all very aware of this characteristic. There is a show on channel 2, Noy-pi Ikaw ba 'to, showing our faults as a people. We always hear and read comments saying how we easily adjust in a foreign land. We are very much aware of our faults. Unfortunately, there is really no group or individuals that could influence our collective psyche. Our collective psyche is part of the cause of why we are where we are. Good citizenship has to be ingrained to most Filipinos. This can only be done if we can create a critical mass of good citizens. There are many good citizens among us. We just have to come together and really behind a singel cause and/or campaign.