So I was bored today. On a whim, while browsing Wikipedia, I decided to type “Culture of the Philippines”, fully expecting a blank page. But no. There is, in fact, a whole 2800 words on the subject of Philippine Culture, replete with gems such as this:
Traditional Filipino games
One Traditional Filipino game is luksong tinik. A very popular game to Filipino children where one has to jump over the tinik and cross to the other side unscathed.
Now, I realise this is a kids’ game, but it sounds like the kind of game that even retarded monkeys would get tired of within 30 seconds.
Tong-its is a popular gambling game. Individuals play the game by trying to get rid of all the cards by choosing poker hands wisely.
Ah yes, there has be some some gambling element somewhere, doesn’t there?
Filipinos have created toys using insects such as tying a beetle to string, and sweeping it circular rotation to make an interesting sound. The “Salagubang gong” is a toy described by Charles Brtjes, an American entomologist, who traveled to Negros and discovered a toy using beetles to create a periodic gong effect on a kerosene can as the beetle rotates above the contraption.
I’m lost for words. I mean, WTF? Seriously, what the fuck?
Now compare this with the page for Japan, another archipelago nation in Asia with a similar population. The culture of Japan is so complex that it’s been split into multiple massive articles. You can drill down through it for hours and never even scratch the surface. To be fair, the Philippines version also has sub-articles; for example, there’s a section on food, which describes rice, meat, sugar, junk food, and nondescript gooey stuff.
Japan, of course, does have plenty of dysfunctional cultural elements; but they do, at least, have a level of intelligence which allows them to discuss such issues rationally, eliminate those cultural traits which are dysfunctional and celebrate those which are not. Most nations go through this process; it’s slow, but it happens. The Filipino cannot do this, because he is proud simply to be Filipino. Everything he is, and everything about his culture, is good by definition, and cannot be improved.
Which is a pity, because if they had some brains, they could synthesize a culture; when you’re starting from zero, the only way is up. Unless, of course, we’re talking about Da Pilipins, with it’s extraordinary talent for sinking even lower than anyone would think physically possible.