Welcome to the Philippines; a country rich in politicking thieves who get re-elected over and over, people who imbibe backwater remedies sold without clinical trials, fearful religious who jump from one congregation that don’t give evidence for its claims to another equally ridiculous congregation with the same modus with a different branding. Some have implied gullibility is in the Filipino gene. While we are truly constrained by our biology, it is the detrimental memes, the bad ideas that spread linguistically and culturally that contribute to gullibility. I’d like to extend Chino F’s seminal piece “Filipino Family Values: A Source of Dysfunction“, which covered the bad of the bad of Filipino families since it overlooked one thing: The Filipino brand of parenting impairs a child’s thinking ability.
The foundation of our society starts at home and boy, what an authoritarian home it is. Parents force their children to conform to ideas they subscribe to, since parents are the children of authoritarian homes, too. In many ways, Filipino parents are fond of “believe it, do it because I told you so” rather than explaining the reason behind the instruction. Parents insist on conformity so much they respond with hostility when children ask questions. Children grow up mentally hobbled, meet other people with the same hobble and learn from teachers who had similar rearing. Children have more exposure to “believing and following” than “thinking”. It’s like children are not future adults.
Parents seem to use authoritarian methods as a short cut for keeping their parental authority unchallenged. Cui bono? The predator that will suck the life right out of their victims; it may be the slime planning to grab some taxpayer money or the bad idea that causes irreversible damages to our well being.
Children are born with the biological impetus for curiosity and inquiry. When parents equate love and good parenting with children who meekly swallow all ideas fed by their mamas and papas, let’s not wonder why we have built a society chock-full of airhead politicos in office, glorified pseudo-scientific remedies, evangelical con men and people who are too easily duped.