Commentary: It was never your fault

When I left Philippines, I landed my first job in San Francisco. Like any other new comer to a country there will always be some degree of “culture shock” even how well-educated or exposed you were. My shock was more about me and my Filipino traits which I never noticed before until someone pointed it out.

Trying to fit in, I always caught myself chatting with my co-workers and every time there was a topic that’s being asked, I would never say “I don’t know”. I would push my knowledge, even it was a bit off.  I was asked if I saw the James Bond movie “For your Eyes Only”? (which I didn’t) but my answer was “I saw Moonraker”.  He told me, “Just say ‘no’ and it’s okay. You don’t have to say Moonraker.”

Part of my job was to send out designs to print shops.  One time, the prints got delayed because I wasn’t  able to send it on time and my supervisor was upset, asked me what happened. I made up a story and blamed the printer. She said, “I know it was your fault. It’s okay to admit it.”

That was my shock. I was being a Filipino. My own “culture shock”.  I didn’t want to look stupid and I would never admit that it was my fault.

I visited Manila last March, a friend was supposed to meet up with me at 1 PM, and showed up at 4:30 PM. First word from his mouth “traffic!” followed by “the  government should made the roads wider”.  This guy, who never rode a public bus all his life, never car pooled, owns 3 cars with different license plate ending-numbers, blaming the government for being late. He never saw himself as part of the problem.  Oh, I forgot he was a Filipino, it was never his fault.

Most of us blamed Marcos for what he did to our country.  But we also blamed him for our personal situation in life. We also blamed Cory, for not knowing how to handle the economy, that’s why we are still poor. Then FVR for not focusing on the economy, that’s  why we can’t find a job. We hated Erap for helping his friends get rich, while we remained poor.  GMA did great in kick-starting the economy, but blamed her for the anomalies, that’s why our lives are still miserable. PNoy tried his best to be straight and yet some cabinet kick-backs surfaced, that’s why people are still poor.

Finally, Duterte comes to our lives! He spoke our language. “We are all poor and miserable because ALL of these politicians are corrupt!” And we all shouted “YES, JAIL THEM ALL!”

I can’t wait until the next round of elections  –these very same Filipinos will be bashing Duterte for their own aches and pains again. Oh well, just being a Filipino — it was never your fault that you are poor and miserable, it’s always the President’s fault.

Submitted by: Jing De Leon.

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