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I Hate Filipino Culture -Society/Politics

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Deconstructing the most common Dutertian arguments

Have you ever posted something critical of the administration? Were you attacked by dozens of online trolls calling you a drug addict or a yellowtard? Did you scratch your head when you got asked questions like "Why don't you grieve for their victims instead?!!"Well then this list is for you. Here are some of the most popular arguments/questions that have been used in this drug war so far deconstructed

1.) It’s ok to kill drug users because they murder and rape: One problem with this argument is that unless you could prove that ALL drug users kill and rape, you’re saying that it’s ok to kill any member of a group because of the crime of some of its members. That’s like saying it’s ok to kill any Muslim because almost all terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims. Another mind altering substance, alcohol, is also responsible for a lot of crimes including murder, rape and a lot of car related deaths. In a lot of countries, alcohol related deaths actually outnumber drug related deaths but I don’t see anyone carrying banners saying “death to all lasengos”. What we do is we prosecute individuals for the specific crimes that they committed while under the influence of alcohol.

You’ll find plenty of documentation proving that users of hard drugs like shabu or meth can be rehabilitated (Robert Downey Jr would be an example) and not all of them commit rape and murder. We don’t prosecute people for the crimes members of their group have committed or crimes that we think they are LIKELY to commit. If a certain person was killed by a drug addict then that particular addict should be charged with murder. Other addicts should be given punishment that's proportional to the crimes that they have committed.

Furthermore are we saying that it’s ok to kill users of Hard drugs like shabu, or are we going to extend this to users of other drugs like cocaine, LSD, marijuana and ectasy. (even dealers of ecstasy have been targeted recently) Because if you’d look at the numbers, you’d be hardpressed to find a strong correlation between the use of recreational drugs and violence. Some of the brightest minds in history experimented with drugs. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Richard Feynman did LSD, Thomas Edison and Sigmund Freud did Cocaine and if I may quote Bob Marley, a strong proponent of the herb, “peace, love and hug all trees mawn” –Obviously a peace loving bloke, although I may be paraphrasing him on that

2.) Extrajudicial killings are justified because our crime rate has reached national crisis levels. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a classic example of fear mongering. Not so dissimilar from how bush justified his war on Iraq or how Hitler justified the actions of his Nazi party. You make the populace think that there’s a grave and imminent threat and you can justify extraordinary measures to counter that supposed threat.- Duterte’s chief legal adviser even said that the drug problem is now enough grounds to declare martial law. I’d like to think that we’re smart enough not to fall for that. I hope we are. The murder rate in the US is higher than in the Philippines. Rape cases are higher in the UK. In terms of drug use, we’re not even in the top 10 list.  We are being led to believe that we have an extraordinary situation but data will show that we’re nothing special.

3.) Why do you grieve for the criminals who are getting killed by the police and vigilantes? Why not grieve for their victims instead? Does it really have to be mutually exclusive? Can’t you denounce both? In the first place, you CAN'T even really say that victims of extrajudicial killings are criminals yet. They're only suspects and therefore innocent until their guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt in a criminal court. Innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. Even if you were successful in arguing that murderers and rapists deserve death, it doesn't justify the killing of suspects unless you could prove that they are indeed guilty of murder and rape. Also, violent crime perpetuated by individuals happens in every country. It's a sad fact but it's a given. Violent crime that is openly perpetuated/encouraged by the government against its own people is a lot worse and it happens in states like North Korea and certain African countries that civilization has left behind. 

4.) Unless youre a drug addict, you have nothing to fear. You can tell that to Roman Manaois, Roana Tiamson, Julius Rabina, Jefferson Bunuan and the thousands of SUSPECTS who got reduced to a statistic without getting to the chance to prove their innocence. As recent events have shown, “Top gear justice” aka trial by the mob is quite unreliable. Just because a lot of people think that a person is guilty doesn't mean that he is actually guilty.If we treat due process as something that can be skipped, anyone can be a drug addict or a pusher and anyone can be killed. The purpose of due process is to determine guilt through an objective evidence-based process, more or less. It can never be perfect but it will still be more reliable than a subjective process based on finger pointing and chismis mongering. 

5.) The US has no right to criticize the Philippines because they kill blacks. This argument was not made by a teenage girl but by Mr Duterte himself after he was asked by an American journalist a question regarding extrajudicial killings. It’s like that argument with your girlfriend or bf where you try to dig up every bad thing that you’ve done to each other in the past. It is true that there are plenty of cases of white officers killing unarmed black suspects. If Obama endorsed these killings like Duterte does, then we can say that these acts are state sponsored and we should condemn Obama. But Obama hasn’t praised any of these killings, has never endorsed them and has even condemned some of them. The most that you can claim is that there are a few bad seeds in the American police force (they exist in every country) and that they should be tried. A lot of these killer cops have been tried and convicted.

6 Human rights only protect drug coddlers not their victims:- Contrary to popular Dutertian belief, human rights were not invented by yellowtards or by drug coddlers. These rights predated yellowtards actually. The Universal declaration of human rights were agreed upon and ratified by most of the world’s democratic countries including the Philippines back in 1948 so each individual person can have a chance to stand against even the might of the state. A lot of the rights that you enjoy now are inspired by this declaration. It’s not the job of human rights organizations to investigate every crime that happens in a country. That is the government’s job. Now when governments trample on the rights of individuals, such as the right to due process, that’s when they step in. When duterte said that the UN had no right to criticize the country’s policy on extrajudicial killigs,he was a bit ill informed. Extrajudicial killings are crimes against humanity according to rules that we are a signatory to. Violators can be tried in

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Was Teddy Locsin Jr. right about the Filipino Language

When I first read Teddy Locsin Jr's tweets, I thought it was a fake account because it didn’t seem like it was written by a fully matured man whom I thought him to be, prior to reading the tweets. His twitter is like youtube’s comment section with such memorable quotes as “Tangina, anong gagawin ko sa Sabado. Syet. Kahit si Jesus patay, si kong kakausapin.

I ran this sentence through a Filipino-English translator and it came out as gibberish. Maybe part of the hate is due to the fact that he doesn’t know how to use the language properly yet

While i find his use of words questionable, i don't entirely disagree with him. In my younger years, I used to engage in a lot of debates online. It was good mental exercise. The preferred medium for the debates was always English. I noticed that whenever a debater used tagalog, the ideas didn’t flow as fluidly. I wasn’t quite sure if that was because of the debater or the language that he was using.

In a recent interview, Teddy Locsin defended his tweet by saying that Filipino is a flowery language and not as straight forward as English. I would disagree with his observation. I think that Filipino is actually a more straightforward language. There is less room for subtle nuances and wordplay. It’s easy to say a straightforward sentence like: “I don’t like this” in tagalalog. “ayaw ko ito”. But try saying  “I am somewhat fond of this” without using the world  “medyo” or “konti”

Tagalog is more than sufficient for everyday conversation but when engaging people in formal debates, sometimes you have to wield words with surgical precision or with ambiguity depending on the need. Where tagalog lacks is in denoting degree. There’s no word in between Ayaw and gusto. There are tagalog words that will denote gradation like: medyo, konti, halos. But most tagalog words tend to be in Black or white. Whereas in English, words can denote gradation without the assistance of additional words. Disapprove, dislike, hate, loathe, abhor -These words imply similar things but to different degrees. When combined with adverbs that denote degree, you can be more creative with your expression of disgust or you can express your disgust politely. For example: “I highly dislike your choice of words” “Sir, I slightly abhor your hairstyle”

A somewhat polite way of saying your hairstyle sucks

The lack of gradation in Filipino words probably explains why the word “medyo” tends to be overused in Filipino discourse. I myself am guilty of this. Gutom ka na? medyo. Pagod ka na? medyo. You wouldn’t realize how important it is until you take it away and you’re left scratching your head when asked simple questions.

“Gusto” and “ayaw”-there are no currently used alternative tagalog words that convey the same meaning as far as I know. Whereas the word “hate” has more than 40 synonyms. And that is one of the main reasons why Filipino can be less efficient than English in formal debates. English is a constantly evolving language that absorbs words from other languages and is used by more people. There are significantly more words in the English language than there are in Filipino. With more words, you have a richer palette to compose sentences with.

So did teddy locsin have a point? Maybe to a certain degree. But what’s more important than the language that you use is your mastery of it. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a language that has a richer vocabulary if you’re unfamiliar with most of its words. An experienced artist could paint a masterpiece with just 3 colors. A masterful writer or speaker should be able to express his ideas with whatever words that are at his disposal, whether those words be English or Filipino

He did raise one excellent point in his interview though. English is also a national language and there should be no shame nor treachery in using it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

When the Lion shed its mane

As if pressing the fast forward button on the remote, one moment you’re in a doctor’s clinic for a check up, looking at other patients in the queue in more advanced stages of the disease and getting a glimpse the immediate future through them. The next moment, you’re there, in your own future, seeing what you saw then but this time from a more intimate perspective. The transition from the then to the now is so abrupt that the mind seems to have omitted the in-between stages. It almost feels like I had time traveled.

It's december 27th, just two days after christmas. I’ve been staring at this bed for a while now. It’s a standard hospital bed with a cream colored frame draped in white sheets. It’s an otherwise ordinary bed but it is of particular interest to me because there’s this question that’s been lingering in my head. Is this going to be the bed, the one that he will last lay down on? The “death bed as they call it.”

It was almost 4 years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was only given 6 months by his doctors. If you saw him a month ago, you’d think that he was openly mocking his death sentence. Apart from a fist–sized lump that was growing on his abdomen, he looked healthy. He was mobile, He went to the nearby mall regularly to buy his supplements. It almost seemed as if time was of abundance.

The decline of his health in the last few days was so sudden that I didn’t realize what was happening until it hit me in the face -It felt like being slapped out of a dream where cancer was nothing but an overgrown pimple that won't go away and waking up to reality, staring down cancer's unmasked face. Its grotesque features in plain view. His long period of good health has lulled us into a false state of security. It is like how you see it in the movies after all. I first realized that something was wrong when Christmas eve came and he wasn’t at the dinner table with us.  We always spent Christmas together having noche buena at the same table. We don't have a lot of traditions. This is one of the few and we never missed a single one. I didn't realize how bad it was until the day after Christmas. He was very weak. He wasn't eating, His face was gaunt, his muscles have wasted away. I'm not sure if he really lost that much weight in 2 days or i just didn't pay that much attention bef