The Lunar New Year: (14) An attempt to enlighten

It is a cool day.

There is an abundance of rain; its syncopation on my roof is a thankful swan-song to the long days of heat and drought. With my cup of coffee and my two cheese sandwiches I stay by my computer and explore what happens to the real world within the comfort of my cool dormitory.

It isn’t always cool, of course. Sometimes, when the sun beats down upon this no longer sylvan place, the earth and I cry complaints and execrations. Our waters are taken away from us: the yellow light acts like the pied piper, drawing from our very souls the water that we treasure. But it is not like this today.

Today is different. Today is cool, and today has rain.

* * *


People always talk of the Philippines as a weak country. For the most part, it is very true. For about 400 years we allowed ourselves to be colonized. We allowed a dictator to bully us, and even until now, the government allows the Catholic Church to dominate its policies (which should not be). Those mentioned were true occurrences, and they reflect our history. But to look upon the Philippines as only that is very unfair. For although we are mired in corruption, red tape, and the inability to move forward because of the intrusion of the Catholic Church upon our politics, our people are also very resilient. In addition, we’re very much among the world’s happiest people.

In fact, sharp people would ask: why are the Filipinos happy, when their country is crumbling from within? It is because we are people who hammer down our discontentment, I believe. Everyone is discontented and will be so most of the time. Man is built to be discontented: his wants and desires far more exceed his needs. I believe the majority of Filipinos have mastered this discontentment: a lot of us have the ability to at least look at lemons as if they were lemonades, or truly make lemonades ourselves. But I saw it, in my happiness from just eating two sandwiches and a coffee on this cold day, that contentment is ingrained within our history of being marginalized for the most part. Laughter for us is the best medicine. Most people will have difficulties totally reconstructing a new scheme of government, especially when it is so admixed with our culture, but we still laugh.

We have fun, despite our problems. In this laughter we contain our discontentment and content ourselves with what is happening as well. Some of us try to change or mollify the damage that has been done; we yearn, true, and we seek to fulfill our desires, but we are not destroyed by our discontentment.

* * *

I believe that these attitudes pervade in most Filipinos with regard to viewing anime. Quite a lot of Filipinos view anime, but most of them are content with what they are seeing in TV. I’ve known people who have rewatched Yu Yu Hakusho three times, because that, Bleach, and Naruto are the only anime consistently shown in local television. There are sometimes showings of Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star, but these are heavily edited. I think Air Gear was also shown and edited, but these do not recur or are re-aired at all.

A lot of people are thus stultified and stuck with these anime series: they are content with the limited anime shown, and they are happy. Although we Filipino anime bloggers try to involve more people to enjoy anime, it is an uphill battle. But we try. (Material deleted because it was deemed illogical by the Bureau of English Language, headed by Daniel of Animanachronism fame.)

P.S. This post was partially inspired by Ate Jen’s TS post, and partially by that wonderful yet simple brunch that I had.

7 Responses to “The Lunar New Year: (14) An attempt to enlighten”

  1. korosora Says:

    Mike, did you go outside and enjoy the sun yesterday or something?
    I almost felt like I was reading Hop Jump Step. Haha~

  2. Michael Says:


    No, but I had a good day despite the somber weather. 😛

  3. Os Says:

    Brunch can do that to you?… I better start waking up before 2pm more often…

    It’s been so rainy here lately, it’s good to finally get some sun. Though I love spending the entire day in bed reading manga when it rains, there’s a limit, you know?

  4. Lelangir Says:

    I don’t know the global politico-economic position of the Philippines, but there’s a misconception that the South lacks agency. The South has power but is unable to act upon it due to Big Brother USA always breathing down their necks. At first I was thinking about how fascinating the pervasiveness of anime and entertainment in general was, but I think that “entertainment” in our sense of the world is strictly a Northern thing, especially jazz, if that’s tangential enough for you.

  5. Nagato Says:

    What a bunch of optimists. lols

  6. Ryan A Says:


    I peeked at this place called Puerto Princessa last week, it looks sort of quite… but I didn’t know if it was part of the Philippines ^^ I would think an island nation usually has happier people… since they are close to the ocean (says much)

    This post is similarly quite, and relaxing.

    As for the Philippines, I feel sad for most Eastern+Pacific nations which felt the impact of Western colonialism (esp. my own Native America), but there is so little that can be accomplished when the adversary had been waring “among ” themselves, advancing military technology, for centuries.

    Btw, I often enjoy the same meal, tis yummy!

  7. Michael Says:

    Puerto Princesa is a great place, and yes, it is part of the Philippines. 🙂

    Thanks, guys. I appreciate the comments. I’ll get back to this when I have more time. 😀

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