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Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Bus Hostage Crisis: A Failure of Filipino Culture

The Manila Bus Hostage Incident/Massacre was no isolated incident. It was an effect of everything our culture stands for. Our Filipino values, our system, our beliefs and of course, our corruption, all played into the event and caused the massive failure that led to the deaths of eight Hong Kong nationals. Every step of the story, from the culture that led to the action of Mendoza to the reaction of our flippant president and our people to the incident, shows how destructive our cultural failures are and how these same factors are keeping our country from moving forward.

Misplaced Pride

First is Mendoza. He was certainly wrong. Filipinos want to say that he was not a Filipino that day he took hostages. But that is wrong; he is every bit as Filipino as every other Filipino is, and he represented us that day. He was born Filipino, raised Filipino and died a Filipino. He is a product of Filipino culture.

(Please go here for more of the article)


  1. Dui a! (as Taiwanese or Chinese from PROC would say when they strongly agree on something).

    While I do not have any hint of Chinese blood in me, I could not agree more in every perspective raised in this article!

    Absence of ownership (by anyone who could have) especially toward a disastrous incident was one of the many booboos our flawed culture gravely showcased as what I would call "catastrophe 101" for the whole world to see.

    It is very true. This one even weeks after is a tough one to fix.

  2. Thanks for this, Melvin. I've gotten a lot of flack for this article in other places, but a lot of praise as well. Guess it shows you how divided the people are. A colleague said, "divide them into two types, the delusionists and the realists." I'd consider you and me the realists. :)

  3. Whoops, I misspelled your name... hehe