The 7 Filipino Sins: Greed, Gluttony and Lust

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And so, we’ve come to the last three sins: Greed, Gluttony and Lust. These are particularly hard to expound on because of their relation to each other and the mere fact that you can’t really say that an entire country is filled with gluttons (since we’re poor) and lustful gigolos. However, I decided to get on with it and include all three in a single post, because, why not? It’s Christmas time, and seriously, what better time is there to post something about Greed and Gluttony?

GLUTTONY

Face it, in a country filled with hungry denizens, is there really any proof of saying that we’re a race of gluttons? Well, yes and no. No, since we’re obviously still filled with starving people and yes because of Gluttony’s definition: it’s a strong desire of food to the point of waste or the withholding of food to the needy. Yes, Gluttony includes not giving food to the poor. But that’s not the point, I can trace this to the Government, specifically, DepEd and NFA.

I bet you know all about the NFA’s huge stockpiles of rice that sent shock waves after it became obvious that they were just being stored and not being used. That’s the harsh reality of our present time. Before, we used to export our excess rice but now, we have to buy more than we need just to keep the prices down. But at least they do what they can to keep things cheap.

DepEd was once caught in a scandal for using overpriced noodles in their food. Really? Remember, a few pesos goes a long way when you buy in bulk and it’s not like school can choose what to buy; DepEd, like most other government agencies, makes deals and buys them for use in all their schools. Imagine buying a million packs of Lucky Me costing only 7 pesos. Compare that to buying a million packs of an inferior product that costs 12 pesos. 5 million more pesos for an inferior product.

Plus, there’s also a plague of botcha or “Double-Dead meat” in our country. While other countries like America are concerned with whether or not Organic is better than Free-Roam, we’re still struggling on controlling the amounts of poisonous meat in our own country.Yes, shocking. Remember this the next time you go buy fishballs: Sometimes, unscrupulous suppliers aren’t picky and use these kinds of meat in processed foods. Crud.

LUST

Now, what about Sexual Lust? Have you heard of the 4M (matandang mayaman madaling mamatay?) Again, I’ll raise this point once more: Many Filipinas are ruining the interracial love some REAL interracial  couples have because of the stereotype of marrying foreigners for money. Greed has become so prevalent that it hasn’t just become common, it’s become something both accepted and taboo at the same time; you may accept your love as real, but others will think of you as just another greedy man/woman.

Lust isn’t just sexual, it can also be materialistic. It is the overwhelming desire of one person to satisfy his or her earthly wants and needs. This can explain Greed and Gluttony, but it’s also natural. When it comes to the point that we won’t stop to get what we want, it crosses the border of Lust to Greed. Let’s use the Doube-dead example again, shall we? If the people selling the meat wants a lot of money, it is lust because of his desire. When he starts to do whatever it takes to get the money, even if he already has money, he’ll do whatever it takes to get his way. Not only has he committed lust, but he has also started to become greedy.

GREED

People want to earn money while supposedly “serving” the people. These days, it seems everyone has their fingers in the pie. Greed depends on the action done, that should be noted. For example: P-Noy wasn’t greedy when he bought his Porsche, yet we cried foul over it. I’m not his biggest fan, but our Sensationalist media is. “Ay Naku! Yan si Noy, gumagamit ng kanyang pera para bumili ng kotse. Mamahalin pa, di pa niya ginamit ang pera niya para sa tayong mga mahirap!”

Well, it is HIS money. Unlike most government officials, he used his own money. He didn’t try to sugarcoat it by pasting his face on it and saying “For Official Use Only.” It was his own private car, instead of “Official(‘s) (Private) Use Only.” Consider the fact that even the Church, the holier-than-thou religion, even has stocks in companies. Don’t forget the Bishops with Pajeros either. While the Vatican can get away with ancient art, it’s going to be hard to explain stocks and cars. Donations? Pshaw, if they were, they could have sold the stocks already and used the money. Plus, those Pajeros? Pshaw again. One of the supposed Bishops strongly hinted that he needed a new one. By the way, he was hinting to Gloria, not God. Mr. Bishop, I thought God answered all our needs? What happened to that?

Well, it’s time to update your bibles, folks. In this day and age, God can’t answer all of our needs. The Church has talked about that time and time again. Stop kneeling on those pews and work. “Preferential Option for the Poor” isn’t just donating and praying, it’s giving them an education and a job. But then again, we’re full of people who just keep on asking.

Yes, there are the oppressed poor, but there are also people who’d like to earn while doing nothing. There’s a reason why those “Google Hired Me blablabla” are so popular, we humans have an inherent desire to make money by doing nothing. It’s natural. But there’s a limit to this desire. That limit is when it stops becoming a desire and starts becoming an action. Squatters demand that the land they squat on become their own. Well, sometimes they can petition for the land, and sometimes they succeed. But that is not always the case. Why? They  didn’t take the census and they have incomplete papers. Why? Either they had no money, no time, or never had anything at all due to corrupt officials.

Then comes the kind of greed that clouds our judgement. Take, for example, the 60/40. It’s a part of our constitution that says “Hey, foreigners can only invest thiiisss much. While we, the Filipinos, can invest as much as we want in our own businesses.” But does it work? No. Think about it: Why do you think electricity is so high here in the Philippines? We have some of the highest rates in SEA. The blame, according to some economists, is to be put on the monopoly held by Meralco. Don’t blame it on oil, we have lots of geothermal energy just waiting to be tapped. Are we working on that? Barely. So no, the problem is not on resources but on the system.

But that’s something that you only expect big companies to do, right? Wrong. The Ukay-Ukay vendors, known widely for selling cheap foreign clothes, sell what’s actually illegal. “Used clothing and rags, under Republic Act (RA) 4653 dated June 6, 1966 are ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED.” For what reason? Republic Act 4653 is an act “to safeguard the health of the people and maintain the dignity of the nation” by making it a national policy to prohibit the “commercial importation” of used clothing and rags. That’s why our Overseas Pinoys were at first discouraged to send “used” clothes. Health, sure, okay. I’m not a doctor, but I guess there are some diseases or lice that can’t be removed by cleaning. But here’s the clincher “Dignity of the nation.” Are you kidding me? Then why are the Ukay-Ukays so popular? Don’t kid me by saying these are “Original and Unused.” I once found a t-shirt that had some paint stains on it and a coat “from the U.S.” that looked old and worn-out.

And that’s the last of the 7 sins. The year is ending (at least, during the time that I wrote this) and I was actually very surprised to see that there were some people who enjoyed to read about my take on the Philippines. I can’t dismiss criticisms (Though, some did put up some good points), but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Anyway, don’t let the seven sins get you down, because really, if you’re a true Filipino, why lose faith when you know you can change? The true Pinoy knows his country’s faults instead of hiding them. And now that you know, all you need to do now is to accept and change. Spread the word, because as I said before “To know is a gift, to not know is an excuse, and to choose not to know is a sin.”

 

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