The Philippines' Problem of Anti-Intellectualism Prevailing in Society

While it's no doubt that there are intellectual Pinoys but one must question why, "Why do these intellectual Pinoys only succeed abroad?" That is a very good question to ask about why certain Pinoys make it big abroad but do not make it big in the Philippines. The Philippines as a majority is pretty much anti-intellectual. With that fact in mind, one should never wonder why the Philippines has No Direction. What does it mean to be an intellectual? Intellectual is "relating to the ability to think in a logical way." or "enjoying serious study or thought.". On the other hand, intelligent simply means, "having a high mental capacity.". Now here's the issue... it's possible to be dumb and intellectual at the same time, it's possible to be intelligent and stupid. Dumb only means slow learner, stupid is when a person purposely rejects intellectualism, sees he/she is wrong but refuses to accept it. It may be the problem of the Philippines that there are a lot of intelligent Pinoys but they choose to be stupid. Stupidity is a choice, being dumb isn't. Besides, I know there will be point missers every now and then who hate this blog and never bother to take things into context.

How does anti-intellectualism prevail in the Philippines hence creating the Failipino culture? I could start it with how the Spaniards ran the country for 300 years. As far as I've remembered in Filipino history, the Spaniards used fiestas and good time to distract the natives. They also didn't send women to school which caused an imbalance of ideas. Anybody who thought differently than they did were scorned and mocked. I don't even wonder why Jose Rizal had to go to Europe to study and he was later branded a traitor for his intellectualism. Although the Philippine Revolution and America threw out the Spaniards, the mentality has stuck into the minds of a lot of Filipinos. Just as the Philippines was named by the Spanish colonizers, the country has also adopted a lot of Spain's traits both the good and the bad. Likewise, just as Rizal was scorned by his day, intellectual Filipinos are scorned by Failipinos.

I always figured out how Failipinos think anybody who criticizes the mistakes of the Filipino society as stupid and ignorant while they are the ones who are stupid and ignorant. A lot of them have the attitude of, "I'm better and smarter than everybody else." outlook in life. More often than not, I have observed the "I'm too cool for school attitude." among the Pinoy youth. Rather than choosing the path of the enlightened Pinoy, they choose to become a Failipino. Now not all Failipinos choose not to get a degree but it's prevalent among their culture not to even finish high school. For them, they are too smart for school and they don't need it. What is often ignored is that while Bill Gates does not have a degree but he did study in Harvard for a short time proving he has a high school diploma. I would view it that intellectual Filipinos end up choosing to leave the country because they feel like nobody supports them.

Trolls that heckle just about everything against cultural reform

Whenever a positive group like Get Real Philippines raises an issue, you can see more often than that that Failipino trolls infest the group. They read Get Real Philippines not to share insights but to harass its writers. They enter the Facebook group not to engage in productive discussion but to whine about their lives, promote Pinoy Pride (a trait that intellectual Pinoys view is destroying the society). Whenever somebody raises the issue of what's wrong with Filipino society, they will attack with below the belt comments like, "Why are you jealous? Did you wish you had the money to buy the concert ticket to One Direction?" type of questions. Some of them how how stupid and brutish they are with their comments like, "If you don't accept Pinoy Pride, I better not see you around the Philippines or I will punch you." to people who attack the wrong value of Pinoy pride. For them they are like, "We don't enjoy trolling others, we enjoy exposing just how stupid you are." to the intellectual Filipinos.

In reality, we are faced with the squatter brain mentality. That is, all the do is either troll with their rudeness or even get physical. For them, there is no room for intellectual discussion because for them, they are always right and they are never wrong. If you take a look at squatters, negotiation is near impossible. Instead, they cuss and do violence. A lot of Filipinos today would overreact even to what they perceive to be an insult or to an actual insult. I've noticed how more often than not that some people even quarrel over social network issues. What these trolls don't realize is that not everyone can just ignore them. Some people can go as crazy as to think of actually murdering them over a trivial matter. The fact one goes as far as to get physical over a minor issue is willful stupidity. It just made me think that I should be proud of myself over ignoring people who had made me miserable instead of pursuing revenge like there's no tomorrow.

The Philippine education system is mostly anti-intellectual

The Filipino education system itself is usually more anti-intellectual than intellectual. I still couldn't forget the dispute I had with an intellectual teacher who wasn't always following the book. After all, the book is never always right, right? One has to think of how a lot of DepEd textbooks are poorly edited and content-scarce. More of then than not, the authors don't get their facts straight. I have also observed the attitude of the Failipino way of thinking in education. Rather than seek to improve the Filipino education system, the Failipino way of thinking has its "pwede na yan". More often than not, bribery is involved. The DepEd is so corrupt that as long as you pay them tons of money, your school can always be listed as number one even if the results say otherwise.

Entertainment in the Philippines also shows anti-intellectualism

The choice of entertainment may also show the Philippines suffer from the disorder of anti-intellectualism. The reason why I choose not to watch most of Filipino TV is because of the content. More often than not, stuff like National Geographic and Discovery Channel are easily viewed as "boring". When it comes to watching TV series for entertainment, a lot of Filipino soap operas prove to be anti-intellectual. A lot of Filipino TV shows and movies do not make people think. Many of them are poorly written plots. Many of them just focus on repetitive, cliche plots or even encourage anti-intellectualism. For example, one of the most prevalent tropes in Failipino entertainment is where the hero is a dropout, poor guy and the antagonist is a rich guy. Somehow, it's discouraging Filipinos to get out of poverty, get a degree and improve one's life... because they may think that in the end, the poor guy (never mind that the poor guy is irresponsible) gets the rich girl. Plus, many times the middle class is frequently ignored huh?! Plus the fact they enjoy slow plots that go nowhere prove how stupid they are.

Also, I have noticed how more often than not that gossip TV gets high ratings. Why is Kris Aquino so popular in spite of her lewdness? I mean, she's already wrecked a lot of happy homes and she wouldn't even save her marriage with James. It's because she feeds the anti-intellectual material. It's also ironic why Chinese hating Failipinos adore her and she is CHINESE by blood. Most of her shows do not make you think. Small minds talk about other people while average to great minds discuss ideas. More of than not, backbiting is a real habit that's hard to get rid of. Unfortunately with a society that only likes the easy way out, they choose to keep the habit of backbiting others. They only talk about other people and that's what Kris TV does right?

Not to mention, sensationalism is mingled with important information. ABS-CBN can either mean ABiaS-CBN or A Broadcasting Stupid Corporation Broadcasting Nonsense. I prefer to call it ABiaS-CBN because of their biases and two, sensationalism. They tend to misinform people with loads and loads of sensationalism. ANC (ABiaS-CBN's news network) keeps telling everyone that the Philippines is Asia's next miracle but... fails to address economic failures that need to be fixed. In the past, I could remember how Noli De Castro would keep making nonsense tabloid reports about aswangs that just DO NOT EXIST. Apparently, they do not really care about the facts, all they care about is profit. It's all yellow journalism if you ask me.

Also, I could raise issues of how entertainment has become all too important. If local Failipino entertainment can't provide quality that people can enjoy, extremes can happen. Some people are willing to trade everything like debut or Christmas for that once in a lifetime moment to see One Direction on stage. Others openly expressed their disappointment rather than keep it to themselves because for some of them, One Direction means everything. My favorite incident was that somebody filed a sick leave and flew all the way from Davao to Manila to attend the Rurouni Kenshin meet and greet event. Worse, she even dared to publicize what she did on NATIONAL NEWSPAPER. She could have just shut up about it but no, she even dared to publicize it. While being a fan of anything is okay and I am a fan of the franchise BUT to leave work for the event is something uncalled for. I dunno how I would react if I were there in person. =P

Anti-intellectualism puts stupid people into power

Besides, the Philippine government is not the biggest problem but majority (not all) of the Filipino people, it's a manifestation of an anti-intellectual culture. One has to even look back to the past even before Nobita Aquino became the president. Why did the late Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. become president? He was voted into power and he was a deadly manipulator. Then one has to think of the late Corazon Aquino's democracy reinforced the protectionism from the 1972 Constitution because they LOVE protectionism. Skipping Fidel V. Ramos, one may consider why Joseph "Sherap" Ejercito-Estrada won over the intellectual (but boring) Jose De Venecia who could have been a better president for the Philippines. Later on, it was discovered that the actual winner of the previous administration was Fernando Poe Jr. who was NOT EVEN FIT for the presidency! Then later, people voted for Benigno Simeon "Nobita" Aquino III as President just because of his late parents Ninoy and Cory.

One may also consider why the Philippine government in return, does not do anything to improve the culture of the Philippines. A poor education system and an anti-intellectual mentality got them into power in the first place. Whenever I think of it, Jose De Venecia was 1,000x more qualified to lead over Sherap, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in spite of her corruption made economic policies that saved the Philippines from sinking lower than Bangladesh (and the effects are enjoyed by the ungrateful President Nobita) and Gilberto Teodoro would have been a better choice over Presidetn Nobita. Sad to say, with or without HOCUS PCOS, President Nobita won fair and square thanks to the country's anti-intellectual attitude. Besides, the blame game culture in politics still goes on and on... like Gloria blaming Sherap then Nobita blaming Gloria. The blame game is not politically exclusive but it is also one of the many things that contribute to anti-intellectualism.

Besides, the government is in itself anti-intellectual. Many times, they make actions that do not reflect intellectual reasoning. For example, if they really want more money, why not open up the economy? Do I need to stress the reality that foreign investment does not mean foreigners will rule the Philippines? Come on, trading 101... wherever a merchant goes even if he has no partner in that country, he or she must bow down to the rules of the country like I cannot sell pork-related products in countries where it is banned. I must pay taxes to the country I'm investing in EVEN IF I own 100% in terms of intangible assets. If I own a business in Singapore, I must still pay my landlord or risk eviction or worse, deportation. Clearly, the Philippine government's economists aren't thinking clearly. It doesn't take a rocket economist to find out the consequences of economic protectionism!

It's more fun in the Philippines... it's time to change that mentality!

Not to mention, the slogan "It's More Fun in the Philippines" is nothing more than a tourist trap. I would emphasize how the slogan itself is preposterous not to mention misleading. A good tagline goes somewhere but a preposterous one will eventually go nowhere. I always had my thoughts on how people make the excuse that it's marketing. Yes, it's marketing but marketing done wrong. The word "more" is NOT NEEDED in that ghastly slogan. Worse, David Guerrero's slogan is creating a culture of dysfunction in the Philippines.

I would dare say that David Guerrero's slogan is indeed anti-intellectual at best. It makes Filipinos not to think at all. For them, all they care about is just having fun instead of making sacrifices for the greater good. One has to think that no amount of sloganeering can ever hide the B.S. Nothing bad is ever more fun in the Philippines nor anywhere else around the world. One has to think that all the money wasted on the campaign jingle rather than making the campaign the reality.

Really, get real Philippines!


  1. "More often than not, stuff like National Geographic and Discovery Channel are easily viewed as "boring"." - On the other hand, I find these two channels a lot more entertaining... :3

    1. Except those two channels have issues of their own.

  2. a very excellent article....

    my favorite part is when you mentioned the girl who even filed a sick leave just to go to Manila. :D i am a big fan of Rurouni Kenshin and the mall where the "meet & greet" took place is just a ride away from our university and yet I chose not to go there... it's because my economics class in more important than seeing Takeru Sato hahahahaah

    1. Good choice you made there! We have our fandoms but... don't let them run out of control.

  3. great article! thanks for sharing.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hi Ms Ysabel Rodriguez -- there actually is nothing wrong with taking a leave from work to support artists you admire. But from the newspaper clipping, assuming that it's accurate, it says "..Orozco filed a sick leave from work." If you were Orozco's employer, would you appreciate your employee filing a "sick leave" from work, when obviously she was not, and in fact, flew from Davao to Manila to attend a meet-and-greet? She could have just filed a vacation leave; that would have been more appropriate. I think what the author is trying to point out here is the sheer nerve (and stupidity) of these passionate fans who have the gall to deceive their employers (and allow it to be published on the newspaper) just for the sake of pouring your dedication for an artist.

  6. One of the best articles in this blog. It is indeed true that most Filipinos are anti-intellectual. The worst part, they don't even know it or reject it. Don't get me wrong because I have already experienced being designated as a "killjoy" and "nagmamarunong" by most of these failipinos that I am trying help out with their self inflicted, self created denial syndrome. I can take it though because most of them are small-minded and to say the least "bobo nga naman talaga" If failipino anti-intellectualism is a cancer they are already in stage 4 with no hope but death! In their case further "KABOBOHAN". PATHETIC! *facepalm 2.0* :D

    1. They'll end up learning the hard way.....someday.

  7. Then I comment about some behavior being stupid, illogical and/or a symptom that results in inefficiency; and I get told "If you don't like (our stupid, irrational, inefficient) country, go back to yours."

  8. "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

  9. Sean Akizuki, you are such a good writer that makes a lot of sense ... can you please make an FB page where many "right minded Filipinos" can have the opportunity to read your works, interact with you and follow you. Check the FB pages of Thinking Pinoy, Sass Rogando Sasot, and many more, to see what I mean. You definitely will help a lot of people think properly. Thank you.


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