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Jan 03

Quote of the day

Everybody engages in business in our country except ourselves. It is sufficient that the foreigners praise to us imported merchandise and run down the native products for us to hasten to change without reflecting, that everything has its weak side and the most sensible custom is ridiculous in the eyes of those who do not follow it. If this practice is continued, we shall be a people without character; everything in us will be borrowed, even our very defects. And remember that the most commercial and the most industrious countries have been the freest countries.

Jose Rizal

18 comments

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  1. cvj

    Not true of Singapore or China (just yet).

  2. jhay

    I think our people has already lost it’s character…

  3. jhay

    PS: just look at my gravatar >>>>>>>>>>>
    is it just me being hypocritical or we’ve lost so much character, the parts of it that we retained should’ve been the ones we’ve lost?

  4. dodong

    Rizal is also outdated. He lived on his own time. Filipinos are still hardworking and most industrious. Rizal did not envision that such character is very strong nature of a Filipino that the 400 years of Spanish siesta time and “Juan Tamad” labeling cannot erase. Filipinos are everywhere. They become citizen of every country but always love the Filipino food and cooking.

    I tell you, Manolo. We, Filipinos love to work and always love to eat Filipino foods. Gosh, who can resist a piece of crackling lechon skin (even forbidden by the doctor)?

  5. blur

    I think Rizal’s comment was spot on. It’s one thing to be hardworking, it’s another to be hardworking with a purpose, for a reason beyond oneself.

    Rizal’s comment is also further support for calls for a more studied and deliberate approach in relation to trade liberalization and globalization.

  6. djuara


    the very true essence in understanding why a developing (third world)country must not involve in free trade with a developed country was well understood by rizal.

    it was and is for this very reason when the late george hamilton(the economic czar)when the newly independent continental states of america vehemently opposed free trade with great britain yet today we find the U.S.A. itself bullying third world countries, including the philippines in having free trade and with our present leaders harping to the tune of uncle sam that free trade is good for our country which is a VERY BIG LIE!!!

    much more so we have people with no understanding of history who have the gall to say that “rizal is out dated”

    the sad fact is our presentation of our history in text books and is slowly being undermined teachers especially in the private schools(parochial) have warped the values dreamt of and hoped for by those who started the revolution that includes our present day leaders who are nothing but a bunch of stooges!

  7. cvj

    dujara, i think you meant alexander hamilton (not George who was Imelda’s one time escort). Don’t know about the context of the quote but my impression was that Rizal was plugging for entrepreneurship, not arguing against free trade in general?

  8. joey legarda

    cvj, yes it was about enterprenurship & it’s something we don’t have enough of in this country.there is more the “racket” mentality a relative of corruption.the “quick buck” mentality.
    ending the quote saying that industrail countries have been the freest.
    in my past entries i also mentioned once that enterprenurship is something seriously lacking in our country if we really wanna be known as a hard working society.
    italy has had so many goverments in it’s parlamentary system but it’s economy has always survived.yes it’s true that there is much tourissim but also the level of entreprenusrship is very high & aggresive.what is even better is they succed although they don’t have the raw materials.be it coffee, leather & other things.

  9. blur

    neither opening up or closing of markets is good. as in most things, the answer lies somewhere in the sober middle.

    one problem, however, for a developing country like the philippines is that unless its internal structures are better developed (and this would include the business, entreprenurial environment and culture), any expected benefits to be gotten out of trade liberalization would be minimized or barred. which turns you now to a question of priorities and focus.

    hence the relevance and significance of the rizal quote.

  10. Marcus Aurelius

    Every nation has to deal with globalization. My nation no less than any other.

    The Philippino people have forever been in a cultural whirlpool due to the geography of the area and have taken the many cultures that have been sucked into the whilpool and adapted them to suit Filipino mores & tastes.

    DJB & Rizalists subtitle their blog The First Iraq also worthy would be The First Melting Pot.

    That said what needs to change is Filipinos need to learn to pull up their chair. They reject items tagged “Made in the Philippines” in favor of items tagged “Made in USA” (or bought) but actually made in the Philippines. That is sad.

  11. fencesitter

    To say that the Filipinos lack enterprenuership is to deny that the Hnery Sys, the cojuangcos, the Gokongweis, the Gotianons, the Cruzes (FF), the lopezes, the Duavits, the Ayalas… are Filipinos.

    Nobody cabn be so absolute about what the people of other countries do to maintain economic independent.

  12. cvj

    fencesitter, good point. i must admit that’s often overlooked.

  13. joey legarda

    fencesitter, while you may have a point.but they in a way represent the big time. we need more medium size entreprenurs too.the small scale busines type that employee a small number of people that the goverment has made a special law for as a way of supporting it.

  14. cvj

    joey, i see where you’re coming from. good to have clarified that, although this related posting also has a corollary point

    http://cathcath.com/?p=1792

    which i think is entrepreneurship is not for everyone and that consumer spending is nothing to be ashamed of either.

    Nevertheless point taken. Jane Jacob’s “The Economy of Cities” describes a development cycle where things that were formerly imported are replaced with home grown products which in time become good enough to be exported which in turn allows more imports etc. etc. Such a virtuous cycle would certainly be made more possible if the local environment is made more business friendly.

  15. F.

    The quote can also be about adapting foreign stuff without thinking–which has become a Filipino custom in itself. We lap up Western fashion, ideologies, products and mindsets like excited mimics. It’s about colonial mentality too. We become more rigidly Roman Catholic than the Italians or Spanish. Our political maturity is questionable because of the borrowed political system we have adopted. We claim to be an American-style democracy, yet we developed very little of what makes that system work for the people and instead adopted much of its seamier tendencies. The whites consider dog-eating an abhorrence so we prevent our indigenous tribes from doing so, with utter righteousness. We pay tribute to Meditteranean, French, Mexican, California and even Swiss architectures in the housing subsdivisions we build. The Filipino character has been suppressed and hidden so long under layers and layers of colonial overlay, no one really knows how it looks like and few bother to rediscover it.

  16. cvj

    The Filipino character is there for all to see. The admirable and dysfunctional aspects can be discussed but it certainly is not something that can be kept hidden or suppressed. That parts of it are derivative may not be a bad thing. Even the Japanese, early in their history took from the Chinese and the Indian civilizations. To counterbalance the pervasiveness of Western influence, a welcome trend this decade is the current popularity of Taiwanese and Korean serials. Together with the quarter century acceptance of Japanese anime, i think this is a sign that our people are starting to look East. This would hopefully contribute to a more balanced character development.

  17. Marcus Aurelius

    There is no shortage of entrepreneurship, what may be hard to come by is capital. I see entrepreneurship over here constantly. A tupig seller the other day just kept at us until we gave in. He probably would have run across town until we gave in (IIRC it was Tarlac City on the way back from Bagiuo). I see all the shops with people selling goods and services.

    As far as Filipino culture mindlessly aping others I don’t see it. I see ideas borrowed and altered.

  18. mjc

    you are all right!!! cause it’s your own idea interpreting rizal’s quote but at the same time you are all wrong.arguing each other?,fighting each other?, for such a quote….hahahhahahahaa!!!!!for you to know rizal’s quote is for you to be reminded not for you to argue with…ok? this quote say that we must do our duty not questioning others duty….for short mind your own busyness…thank you!!!

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