Thursday, August 8, 2013


This week’s media log is about an article by Teodoro C. Benigno entitled “Culture: the real culprit”. Please note that the article was written 11 years ago, so the views of the author might be different then to the present time now. Because of this, the author’s views at the time might also differ from that of mine in the present.

In his article, Teodoro Benigno gets straight to the point by criticizing American correspondent James Fallow when he (Fallow) suggested that the Philippines and its culture has degenerated to that of a dog-eats-dog kind of level, in short, a ‘damaged culture’. Instead of refuting this allegation, Teodoro agrees with the concept completely (since upon reading the article, I thought that Teodoro would think of this observation otherwise and that he would rebut this out of feeling from a nationalistic sense of duty). He supported this by citing examples and quotes from different social icons like Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Claro Recto, Ferdinand Marcos and Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore who had the same message: that the Philippines is ‘sitting on a social minefield’ meaning that if Philippine culture continues to deteriorate at such a rate, we would be left with nothing that could be considered as culture since everyone only thinks for his/herself and not for the benefit of the whole people, which is essential is if a country is to progress.

A logical fallacy that could be found throughout the article was that Teodoro Benigno tries to convince the reader that the cause of this ‘damaged culture’ in the recent years was because of Former President (and now Mayor of Manila) Joseph Estrada’s corruption that led to him being ousted from power through an impeachment case. He found Estrada the perfect example as he stole from the very people who believed in his catchy campaign slogan: “Erap para sa mahirap! (Erap for the poor!)” What is ironic is that the poor masses believed that they could be lifted from poverty if they put Erap in office, but in return Erap stole from them through sheer use of corruption. And because of this revelation, people now have this mindset that “If the President did all of these corrupt things from under our noses and got away with most of it, why can’t we also?” This leads to people having a selfish mindset/mentality, and as mentioned in the previous paragraph, this leads to the deterioration of a nation’s culture.

Fallows highlights some good things about our culture like how “
Individual Filipinos are at least as brave, kind and noble-spirited as individual Japanese…”Beyond the term individual it only extends to family then the good aspects stops there. Beyond that, if you’re not family then people don’t give crap about you. Because of this, people don’t feel inclined to help their countrymen and this results to a collapse in nationalism, and with citizens that are not nationalistic, a nation cannot progress. In the article, Fallows mostly attributes this problem at the fact that the Philippines was colonized way more times than it should. His message is that it was bad enough that we were under 400 years of Spanish rule the Americans came along and made the country their lapdogs without the country knowing about it. It’s almost as if the Philippines would rather please the Americans instead of her own people.

Culture: The real culprit | Opinion, News, The Philippine Star | (n.d.). Retrieved from

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