Filipinos cannot handle criticism
THERE, I said it. No one can criticize the Philippines or the Filipino people without receiving some sort of backlash from rabid patriots. This is especially true when the Philippines is criticized on the Internet.
The very day someone – especially a foreigner – writes an article criticizing something about the Philippines, whether it be our food, our culture, or our transportation system, Filipino netizens will rush to “defend” the country from what they regard as an unforgivable attack on the Philippine nation.
If someone says Jollibee tastes weird, then a Filipino will comment “at least we aren’t making people fat like McDonalds is”; if someone says Filipino food is bad, then thousands of Filipino adobo lovers will rush in to defend their beloved cuisine.
The average Filipino netizen is known for defending his country from attacks in a way that makes him, and his entire nation, look like immature, uneducated cretins with blind patriotism. Filipinos on the Internet are almost incapable of accepting criticism, always showing unnecessary pride even when the very thing being criticized is true.
For example: a youtuber posted a video about how Filipino traffic is horrible because of the bad jeepney drivers. The criticism quickly led to a string of arguments. One person said “All bad drivers. Worst road, worst driving.” and the creator of the video, who posted a video criticizing that very thing, said “Huh? ALL? Are you sure? Have you been anywhere else apart from the Philippines? Worst road? Really?”
Meanwhile, the exact same thing was said about driving conditions in Thailand, and a Thai commenter agreed, saying that traffic in Thailand was so bad that not even the police followed the rules of the road.
Even when it comes to matters of opinion and personal taste, the Filipino will still defend his country with the relentless zeal of the Katipunero – case in point, a food blogger said that she would rather go hungry than eat Filipino food again. The comments section of that blog was laced with expletives from Filipinos defending Filipino food, while expats and foreign visitors to our country agreed that our food “lacked variety and quality”.
Another blog criticized British cooking, lambasting it as “the worst food in the world”, and British commenters actually said that they agreed, and it was best to stick to the ethnic Indian and Pakistani restaurants, whose cuisine was much more pleasing to the palate.
It crosses over into the real world too. After Canadian superstar Justin Bieber ridiculed Manny Pacquiao, he was threatened to be banned from the Philippines by the Philippine government itself. The same pop star, while talking about the recording of a certain song, said it was recorded in “some random country” by “people who didn’t know what they were doing.”
The country was Indonesia. The Indonesian people themselves were understandably incensed, but they did nothing about it and just shrugged it off.
Filipinos cannot handle criticism because as a people, we have skin as thick as paper. The traditional Filipino is never direct when talking about a problem or an ugly or unpleasant situation. He loves to go around the bush in order to avoid hurting the person
he is speaking to. Therefore, when our nation is criticized, we take it personally, as an attack on ourselves.
When tourists complain about our country, people usually tell them to go back where they came from instead of fixing the problem. The concept of “criticism for self-improvement” is unknown in this country because of our tendency to never say anything bad to a person directly to his face.
Although they might not know it, Filipinos who can’t handle criticism are defending the national “pwede na yan” attitude because they defend the country’s status quo instead of listening to others and trying to make it better.
An American tourist posted a video entitled “8 things I don’t like about Thailand and the Philippines” – you could tell who was from where in the comments section. The Thais respectfully thanked him for his criticism and apologized that their country was not as comfortable as it could have been for him, while the Filipinos raged and whined about how this person should go back to America. That’s what we lack: Calm, cool heads and the ability to accept criticism. If we ever have that, I’m sure it would do our country a whole lot of good.