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On La Indolencia de Los Filipinos

By sica Oct 08, 2008 689 Words
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 from mere imitating and following what others have that may lead us to stagnation, idleness, indolence.

“A man in the Philippines is only an individual; he is not a member of a nation.” Rizal asserts this as he proceeds with his discussion with the Filipino’s lack of national sentiment. Staying in one’s homeland isn’t enough to be called a citizen of that country, I agree. With most Filipinos nowadays who are migrating to other countries, it is but remarkable to those who chose to stay and deal with the chaotic circumstances that our country is experiencing. Nevertheless, does this make those rallyists that I see in those evening news “true citizens”? How about those soldiers brought to war but don’t even know why they are fighting in the first place or what they are fighting for? I guess doing something for one’s country without the awareness is but inappropriate. It matters that you learn and understand what the true issue really is and how it came into existence before taking actions that, instead trying to solve the problem, might even make matters worse. It is important to comprehend the true concept of nationalism.

Today, I believe that it is not indolence that is blamed for the Filipino’s dawdling progress but the lack of discipline. Moreover, I hold that one reason for this is ignorance. Many Filipinos do not follow the rules because, in the first place, they don’t know all about them. Otherwise if we are aware of these rules, we still don’t follow them because of the mere reason that we don’t believe in them. We suppose that following these rules would get us nowhere. The supposition is that the system doesn’t work, and it is not meant to work.

This kind of culture is becoming obsolete in the present world. To get away with it, we must take note of what Rizal has said: “Peoples and governments are correlated and complementary...A stupid government is an anomaly among a righteous people, just as a corrupt people cannot exist under wise rulers and laws.”

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