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Geeks, Greeks, 11/9, 9/11, and lost Filipino dreams
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undoy
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Post Geeks, Greeks, 11/9, 9/11, and lost Filipino dreams Reply with quote
GREECEíS stunning victory over the mighty US team in the semis of the FIBA World Championship has insights to offer us that go beyond basketball. That Greece lost to eventual gold medalist Spain doesnít diminish the magnitude of their epic victory over the Americans, or the importance of the lessons it can impart to us.

Man for man, the Greeks were less impressive than the US team that featured some of todayís hottest National Basketball Association superstars as well as collegiate standouts. Yet Greece proved emphatically that basketball is above all a team sport, where a well-oiled machine can take out a more talented group of individual stars. The irony here is that America invented basketball, yet somewhere along the way, the concept of teamwork became less important than the flashy plays that look good on the NBA highlight reels, and the bling that gets you all that media attention.

These NBA stars may take solace in the fact that they have more fans all over the world and more money than the Greek players that whipped them, but that doesnít change the fact that they got owned. It seems these high-paid athletes and product endorsers have forgotten the spirit of the game. Not to mention how to shoot free throws.

Sadly, this is the individualistic brand of basketball our own overpaid pros in the Philippine Basketball Association emulate. But the lesson we have to learn not just in basketball but in life as well is that, more often than not, teamwork trumps sheer talent.

Another is that you can never become complacent, just as the Americans were, that you can dominate as you have for the past decades just because you were the leader. Not even if you invented the game. Itís the kind of attitude we should learn from the Greeks, and the example of the Chinese that we should follow, as I said last week when I talked about the flat world and how each country must find a competitive advantage.

We should learn what we can from the West, not by slavishly imitating them, flaws and all, but instead by using the tools of technology to further our own interests. We keep talking about how technology is supposed to level the playing the field, yet our minds are still mired in the analog world. Countries like China and India have shown us that yes, nations can beat the US in its own game. This is not meant to be an anti-American diatribe. This is just recognition that technology is agnostic, that it can empower us as individuals and as nations, theoretically giving us the same opportunity to succeed whether we are Filipino, American, Chinese, Latvian, Greek or Indian.

In theory, at least.

Responding to last weekís column, reader Helen Grace Gen e-mailed: "How about us? What will be our competitive advantage in a flat world? Thatís a good question.

"And that brings me to think of this question to answer yours: What would the world be like without Pinoys?

"Come to think of it, I believe that Pinoys are the most creative, flexible and resilient of all human beings. To tap it, we need to feel proud of ourselves as Filipinos and rekindle nationalism to the highest level.

"I believe it is what we need to boost the economy of our country, but how to do it is easier said than done. But I have high hopes that it can be done.

"Keep writing, challenging fellow Filipinos -- it is a wake-up call to many of us."

Thanks, Helen. As I said when I replied to your e-mail, I agree that Filipinos are among the most creative people in the world. Unfortunately, however, it seems we excel as talented individuals, but due to a lack of discipline and political will, this hasnít translated into national success.

The wonderful thing about the flat world is that it has made us more competitive as individuals. If youíre talented, you can offer your services to employees all over the world, without even having to leave your own home. But the other side of the coin is that countries have to find more creative ways to survive in an incredibly competitive world, where every nation is interconnected.

The Philippines is blessed with world-class individuals, as shown by the success here and abroad of many Filipinos. Unfortunately, we do not have a world-class government, or a world-class infrastructure, or a world-class economy. More often than not, Filipinos reap success in spite of the failure of government to provide any support. Even sadder, they end up finding the life theyíve always dreamed about, not here, but in other countries.

Over the years, Iíve seen so many friends and colleagues seeking greener pastures abroad. Some of them would in all seriousness ask me why Iím wasting my talent here in the Philippines, when I could be earning much more doing the same thing in other countries. What I find unsettling is that, as each year passes by, I find fewer reasons to convince myself to stay. Iím not going to lie to you: Iím seriously considering finding work in another country. Not because I imagine that I would automatically live happily ever after, but because I already know what itís like to work here, and maybe itís time to see what another country, another society, has to offer.

I donít blame those who leave the Philippines, for whatever reason they may have. I have always felt that our OFWs shouldnít be called Bagong Bayani, not because Iím belittling their sacrifices, but because the Philippine government for decades has exploited them and relied on OFW remittances to prop up the economy. You have to wonder what kind of government has to convince its citizens that itís noble to leave the country in droves and disrupt families, all so that OFWs could bring in the dollars that save one administration after another from having to generate jobs here in the Philippines.

Ironically, in a flat world, you donít have to emigrate in order to innovate, as Thomas L. Friedman put it in The World is Flat.

But not every country is willing to thrive in a flat world. Would you blame Filipinos, then, for seeking to put their talents to better use elsewhere? To be in a country where people are dreaming of the future, seizing the day and building a digital society? Not one where we cling to our bitterness over past betrayals, and nostalgia over imagined utopias.

It doesnít do any good to dwell over how good things we imagine things were during "pistaym," or the 60s and 70s when the Philippines was the envy of our Southeast Asian neighbors, or 1986 when we were the toast of the world for the first EDSA Revolution that allowed us to peacefully restore democracy. It doesnít do any good to believe in the "special relationship" crap we think weíve had with the US since they took the white manís burden and colonized us in the name of Manifest Destiny.

I was struck by this passage from the last chapter of the expanded edition of The World is Flat, "11/9 versus 9/11." All throughout the book, Friedman pointed out the strange (fearful?) symmetry between 11/9, the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 that made the world flatter by eventually adding the Soviet Union, East Germany and other Eastern European countries (and, later, China) to the global economy; and 9/11, the tragic act of terror that is now threatening to turn back the clock on openness, as well as resurrecting the specter of nuclear annihilation.

"In societies that have more memories than dreams, too many people are spending too many days looking backward. They see dignity, affirmation, and self-worth not by mining the present but by chewing on the past. And even that is usually not a real past but an imagined and adorned past. Indeed, such societies focus all their imagination on making that imagined past even more beautiful than it ever was, and then they cling to it like a rosary or a strand of worry beads, rather than imagining a better future and acting on that."

Will the Philippines be one of the leaders in the flat world, or will it choose to live in the past?

Do we have more dreams or memories?

--- ano ang mga opinyon nyo regarding with the issue or article??...
Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:31 pm View user's profile Send private message
jemme
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wow ang ganda ng article mo undoy! *kunwari nagbasa* hehehe

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Tue May 15, 2007 3:56 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sarry
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nakakatamad magbasa ng mahaba..
hehehehehe

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:03 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
jemme
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sarry wrote:
nakakatamad magbasa ng mahaba..
hehehehehe


nakaka tamad talaga kasi sobrang haba.. Blue_PDT_01_16

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:04 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sarry
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hehehehheeh..

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:05 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
JHL
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sarry wrote:
hehehehheeh..



waaaaaaaaa parang nag chachat ka lang ah.. dapat may kabuluhan ang bawat post.. gaya neto:

May kabuluhan.. Blue_PDT_01_10

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:11 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
sarry
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oo nga...may kabuluhan jehs..

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:12 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
JHL
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sarry wrote:
oo nga...may kabuluhan jehs..


nice one.. may kabuluhan na.. wahehehe

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:16 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
sarry
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wahehehehehe.
walang magawa..

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:17 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
JHL
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sarry wrote:
wahehehehehe.
walang magawa..


teka? nasa office ka ba? halaka di ka na nag wowork! hehehe

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:18 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
sarry
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yup..sa opis ako nohh.
wala lang kasi roll-off na ako sa project..
balik ako sa 11th floor bukas..

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:20 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
JHL
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sarry wrote:
yup..sa opis ako nohh.
wala lang kasi roll-off na ako sa project..
balik ako sa 11th floor bukas..



aaaaaaaaaaa.. ang saya ah.. post lang ng post at may sahod na.. wahahaha!

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:23 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
sarry
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waaaaaa.wala kasing magawa...
hehehehehehe

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:24 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
JHL
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sarry wrote:
waaaaaa.wala kasing magawa...
hehehehehehe


sana ganito araw araw no? hehehe

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Tue May 15, 2007 4:48 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
Dexter U. Yuchengco
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masaya talaga pag ganun palagi JHL.. hehe

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