October 2, 2011

The Indolence of the Filipinos

Who is Rizal?

To generalize that Filipinos are indolent, I thought, this is truly an arrogant man, this Rizal. However, I cannot let this prejudice pass without basis so I continued to read the essay. He alleged that Filipinos of his time are indolent, but indolence, as he described is not laziness, rather not enough love or even the non-existence of love for one's work. He pursued by saying that this very same indolence is not brought about by Filipinos themselves. In fact, he argued that it was the fault of the Spaniards. The establishment of the Galleon trade that cut off ties with other countries which lead to the death of many small handicraft businesses, the implementation of forced labor, the crooked education system which taught prayers instead of livelihood practices and agriculture, the rampant gambling and corruption, and the big tax that ate the Filipinos' wages, these were the causes of indolence among Filipinos, these practices that were brought about by the conquerors' race.

Interestingly enough, Rizal mentioned climate as a factor that contributed to the folks' laziness. He stated that being in a tropical country ate up most of our energy, unlike in temperate climate where it's not so exhausting to work. He even made a comparison that a day's work in Europe would be considered as just an hour work in the Philippines. This assertion reminded me of the theory of suicide which stated that more people commit suicide in colder countries, but that's another story. Anyway, I would have to disagree with Rizal, it may seem that climate was a factor but I believe that the Filipinos are much more complex than that, especially he himself have already stated that Filipinos were not indolent before the Spaniards came, and I'd bet my life on it that the Philippines is already a tropical country before the Spaniards came. This means that climate was not an issue, but of course, this is just my belief.
The indolence of Filipinos today
If you ask me whether the Filipinos of today are lazy, I will disagree with passion. Yes, most of the youth and corrupt officials may be called lazy, but these do not even make the millions of hardworking Filipinos who are trying to survive this rotten economy. The Philippines is in such a poor state, so poor that someone from the masses cannot afford to be lazy, else, they'd cease to exist.

courtesy of liveinthephilippines.com 

The conditions that were present during the Spanish regime are still very present and alive today, plaguing our society. Thus, these common people may lose their love and dedication for work, but who am I to say that? An arrogant person trying to contextualize people into analysis and judgment? No. I would not be bold enough to box people into such assumptions. Still , I can very well say that things are harder for the masses, and when things are harder, not everyone is tough enough to continue. Some will give up along the way.

My only wish is that they pause and rest, but continue to strike back. People are genuinely trying their best to survive, maybe some have twisted and unconventional methods, but everyone is trying. For the right or wrong reasons, everyone is trying to survive. For that alone, I have no right to judge them as indolent, not me, and not Rizal.

Read Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal. It is awesome! 


  1. Bakit ngayon ko lang to nabasa! Deym! Ayos!

    1. HAHAHA wag ka na mambola, babasahin ko naman blogs mo e :))


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