Culture of the Philippines

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.







Published in Delusional Filipino


  1. Profile gravatar of Robert Haighton
    Robert Haighton


    nice piece of words written by you. Next time, pls go deeper and discuss/talk about each specific aspect of the culture and mention the pro’s and con’s of each aspect. To name just a few: Tampo, Juan Time, in-efficient public transport, being so family-focused and oriented (no individuality at all), the lack of privacy, the ignorance, low quality of education, no real sports facilities (except for the usual suspects: the barangay basketball court)

    Here are my 2 cents why the Philippines dont want to change anything. They are afraid of change even when it is for their own benefit

  2. Profile gravatar of Marius O.
    Marius O. Post author

    I thought about doing that, but then I thought, “where would you even start?”.

    Certainly they are afraid of change; the number of times I’ve heard “but this is how we do it in the Philippines” (to justify some retarded, ass-backwards, inefficient way of doing something). They accept things that anyone else (like us arrogant foreigners) would rage against; any other nationality, as Mr Kiang said elsewhere, would pick up pitchforks and torches, storm the palace, and take out the trash. But the failure is so broad and deep, so total and pervasive, that it’s hard to pin down the cause to one particular thing.

    If I were forced to, I’d have to concur with the site admin: they’re simply stupid. I just got back from the Failipines after a week-long trip, and it wasn’t fun. I had to interact with a whole lot of Filipinos. Most of them, I swear, had an IQ somewhere around the high 60’s to mid 70’s. The majority weren’t bad people. They were just borderline retards. It was like talking to five-year-olds. Really. Nobody in charge, nobody even faintly aware of what they’re doing, no rhyme or reason to anything, no procedure (except for endless shuffling from person to person with meaningless bits of paper), everything ‘under repair’ (i.e., broken and with no chance of ever being fixed). It was like being flung back into the stone age, except I suspect cro-magnon man was smarter.

    The worst was dealing with customs. They sit there and write down what they want you to pay in bribes, on non-official paper, and have absolutely no shame about running their country into the ground – because that’s what they’re doing – just so they can buy a fancy car and a shitty concrete condo in a slum. I’m not sure if thievery and rent-seeking is a direct result of stupidity, or an adjunct; either way, I’d say that’s the other reason for the problems you mention.

    1. Profile gravatar of montreal_dude

      What? Are you serious? They really did this to you at the customs? they “subtly” asked you some money? That is absolutely outrageous and scandalous!

      I admit I was really scared when I was in the line up at the airport. IT’S THE PHILIPPINES GODDAMMIT! I was sure that they will put some big bags of cocaine on the counter saying: Look what we found in your luggage! Give us ******.** pesos or you’re fucked in jail forever kano! But I been greeted by a woman with a big smile who did not bother me at all. But I’m really stunned about what you said. That asshole has no idea that she was actually doing a massive diplomatic incident. They really hire anybody.

      Can you please give us some more details about this? It’s a major topic. Thanks.

  3. Profile gravatar of Eric

    The Filipino mind never ceases to amaze me. It’s an uncanny mix of simplicity, empty space, and inefficiency attached to a walking bag of meat that pretty much reacts only to cultural instinct.

    Long story short – if the Filipino can’t fuck it, steal it, bang it, or celebrate it – he’s not interested in it. Quality of life or the use common sense are foreign concepts if they cannot be fit into those four qualifiers.