On La Indolencia de Los Filipinos

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On La Indolencia de los Filipinos

Sloth, idleness, slackness, dilatoriness or indolence -- Rizal, in his 1890 writing for La Solidaridad, takes up the question of this dissenting characteristic of the Filipinos. Upon reading his work, I am faced with the question whether the Filipinos nowadays still realize the existence of Juan Tamad among us while we are busy recognizing the fact that indeed the Philippines has become one of the main sources of the world’s domestic helpers, caregivers, nurses, teachers, entertainers, call center agents, etc. Yet, whether we are aware of it or not, Rizal’s analysis remains valid to this day.

Initially, Rizal looks at the behavior normally connected with the inclination to indolence. Indeed the warm climate that we have, drive us to perhaps have siesta in the afternoon instead of going out of our houses and proceed with our day’s work. It is established therefore that an individual results to indolence in attaining man’s various needs. Just as a child fails to do his household chores in the weekend for sleeping all day because of his tiresome activities at school and for an employee for spending more than the allowable time during lunch breaks in satisfying his appetite and thus becomes the cause of his frequent tardiness.

Rizal then continues to analyze the context in which indolence is bred which is also undeniably true nowadays. The crawling struggle towards advancement is still largely attributable to defects in our education and the lack of national sentiment. “The very limited home education, the tyrannical and sterile education in the few educational centers...influences the mind not to excel those who preceded him and merely to be content to follow or walk behind them.” It is vital to improve the quality of education in such a way that we would instil in our minds that we too have inherent qualities of our own that we are capable of using and exploring towards our advancement instead of aspiring to be satisfied...
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