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72 Ways Every Filipino Can Help The Philippines Become A Better Place To Live In

Because we’re tired of hearing people say that they’ve become apathetic to the plight of Filipinos, we’ve listed down 72 ways everyone can help to make the Philippines a better place to live in. Hopefully, this little exercise on guilt-tripping can shake off a little bit of that apathy.

1. Vote.

Heart Evangelista

Don’t be like Heart who, contrary to her admonition in this very sexy photo, did NOT actually vote in the last elections.

2. Don’t sell your vote.

3. Look for candidates who are representative of the best qualities Filipinos have.

4. Expect more from your politicians.

Lito Lapid

Lito Lapid – the classic example of who we should NOT vote for and whose “best” moment of statesmanship, because it is THE lone moment he actually even tried to be a senator, was during SC Chief Justice Corona’s trial. By “best shining moment”, we mean “so below mediocre it’s embarrassing”.

5. Call out politicians who only spout nonsensical BS or who are obviously corrupt and useless, and take them to task.

Million People March

It is our job, as Filipino citizens, to take our so-called “leaders” to account. If you can join the Million People March on August 26 in Luneta (which will push for the abolition of the pork barrel, considering that is has been used as a platform for widespread corruption and thievery), do so.

6. Write to your local mayor or congressman to voice community complaints.

7. Write to  national newspapers and public officials to voice complaints affecting the Philippines as a whole.

8. Keep up-to-date on local and national politics.

Janet Lim Napoles

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know who this woman is. No? (Shame on you.) It’s not too late. Go here to know why she’s the most notorious woman in the Philippines at the moment.

9. Engage your family, friends and neighbors in (friendly) conversations about Filipino politics, both local and national, and culture. (Use Facebook, Twitter and other online social networking sites.)

10. Follow traffic rules.

11. Do not pay bribes.

12. Report public officials who request for bribes.

13. Pay correct taxes. (The reason why is summarized quite neatly by the ad below).

14. Speak out when you see someone committing something wrong.

15. Report crimes committed against you or your neighbor to the police.

16. Patronize locally-made and artisanal products.

17. Support Filipino theater. (We have the best theater actors in the world.)

18. Watch well-made Filipino movies. (Especially independent films.)

19. Take in a cultural show. (The Cultural Center of the Philippines has a ton of shows in store.)

Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)

This is where all the action’s at. Check for shows here.

20. Learn our history.

21. Go to museums. (For starters,  visit the National Museum.)

22. Raise your children to love reading and learning.

Street kid reading

This picture of a street kid reading in a bookstore? Priceless. For the complete story on the photo, please go here.

23. Teach your children how to speak proper English.

24. Teach your children how to speak proper Filipino.

25. Teach your children how to speak a regional dialect (preferably one you grew up with).

26. Learn from people older than you. (They have the experience.)

27. Listen to people younger than you. (They have the creativity and the drive.)

28. Be respectful of everyone. (Don’t let the use of the “po” and “opo” die.)

29. Be understanding of people who disagree with your beliefs.

30. Protect the rights of the marginalized (the poor, the illiterate, the indigenous, the LGBT community, etc.).

31. Plant a tree.

32. Segregate your waste.

33. Recycle plastic grocery bags and other containers.

34. Take public transportation. (Side effect: it will teach you empathy.)

Public transportation

And by empathy, we mean you’ll realize how crappy our public transportation system is, and hopefully be a little nicer to people who commute. Photo taken here.

35. Join a carpool.

36. Don’t litter.

37. Pick up after your pets. (Be a responsible pet owner.)

38. Conserve water.

39. Conserve electricity.

40. Support a charity financially.

41. Volunteer your time for a charity you believe in.

42. Read books.

43. Get an education.

44. Learn a vocational skill.

45. Get a job. (Preferably here in the Philippines.)

46. Start a business. Create jobs.

47. Pay your employees at least minimum wage.

48. If your business can afford it, pay them more than minimum wage.

49. Become financially literate.

50. Save money and invest wisely. Prepare a retirement fund for your future.

51. Tip minimum-wage workers in service-oriented industries when availing of a service. (Here are tipping guidelines if you need them.)

52. Don’t haggle with sidewalk vendors just for the sake of proving you are good at haggling.

53. Travel all over the Philippines.

54. Share good news about the Philippines to everyone (Filipinos and foreigners alike).

55. Be the Philippines’ most active endorser. (The power of word-of-mouth marketing is astonishing.)

56. Make Youtube videos promoting great places in the Philippines you’ve visited. Share it with the world.

57. Make a local travel blog focusing on local travel destinations. Use pictures.

58. Work for the government.

59. Work hard.

60. Don’t take bribes.

61. Don’t allow your colleagues in the government to take bribes.

Kotong Cops

Don’t be like this guy who made the son of his boss cry when he tried to extort money from the poor kid. It would be funnier if it wasn’t so pathetic. (Still funny though).

62. Report on anomalous government dealings. (If you feel like you can’t trust your bosses in the government, take it to mainstream media.)

63. Learn how to discern news that are only meant to scandalize from news which are truly newsworthy. (Be the watchdog of mainstream media, in the same way that mainstream media is the watchdog of politicians.)

64. Read opinion columnists. (Feel free to disagree with them.)

65. Share remarkable news and important commentary with your family and friends. (Use social networking sites.)

66. Develop some empathy for the people who work for you.

67. Follow the Kasambahay law.

68. Be passionate about your dreams.

69. Pursue your passion.

70. Believe in yourself.

71. Do everything in your power, within ethical and moral parameters, to become successful in your own right.

72. Be an example for others.


If Efren Penaflorida can do it, there’s no reason why we can’t all do our part.

24 thoughts on “72 Ways Every Filipino Can Help The Philippines Become A Better Place To Live In

  1. vonbryan_c@yahoo.com

    Or you could just take a chill pill man. Pero I truly respect the depth of your advocacy.

  2. Lourdes Amoloria

    Agree, actions speak louder than words. Detrmiined steps towards being a great nation of proud, self-reliant, God inspired citizens who protect their environment, the vulnerable most of all themselves from the temptaions of graft, corruptions, short cuts to prosperity.

  3. CSS

    No. 56 and 57 raise red flags. Do we want to be just a tourist nation? The best and strong economic powers in the world build their economy not with tourism but with hard-core manufacturing technology like heavy industry and shipbuilding. The Philippines was once the top shipbuilder in Asia during the 50s and early 60s. All powerful countries like Japan and Korea built their economy based on those two industry verticals. We, the Filipinos, need to build a stable and sustainable niche and grow from there. Tourism is a great tactical strategy but it shouldn’t be a long-term strategy because tourism has too many dependencies and won’t take the country to ultimately become an economic powerhouse.

  4. vonbryan_c@yahoo.com

    56 and 57 is not about being a tourist nation. It’s about supporting the tourism industry. Completely different things. By saying that Nos. 56 and 57 raise red flags, are you saying we shouldn’t promote tourism in the Philippines? Because that doesn’t make any sense. Tourism and manufacturing aren’t mutually exclusive.

  5. CSS

    Tourism is a “tactical strategy” for growth (as I mentioned in my previous quote) but can’t be a long-term strategy to grow the economy. It may not make sense to some at this point, but tourism seemed to look like the only popular thing in our minds. I am yet to see a powerful nation built around tourism industry, piggy backing on income from tourists. The point I was trying to make is the “core”, and that’s how you help grow the country’s economy in the long term. You can’t build a strong economy based on tourism.

  6. vonbryan_c@yahoo.com

    All true, but I don’t see the connection between that point, and how doing 56 and 57 can “raise red flags” (which was your earlier point). Like I said, promoting tourism doesn’t mean not promoting manufacturing. They’re not mutually exclusive.

  7. CSS

    OK. I see your point. Promoting tourism and places in the Philippines (just as mentioned in 56 and 57) is nowhere close to promoting manufacturing. Manufacturing industry is built on long years of research, development, studies, actual acquisition of those technology and putting it to practice with the best possible effort of maintaining good quality and not just cheap labor cost. Once that technology has been put into practice, that’s when you promote it. Promoting something of poor competitive advantage (like manufacturing skills) is a dead end. The reason I said “red flags” is that, the order seems to be distorted. You don’t promote tourism and then acquire manufacturing technology. That doesn’t happen even in a hundred years. Canary Islands is a great example to my point. The order is essentially as follows:
    a) you build a strong economy by establishing top-class/unique manufacturing technology (by acquiring it through experience and perhaps acquisition) and put it to practice;
    b) you become very competitive and establish your unique differentiator in the world market;
    c) and then, that’s the time you promote…actually, you don’t need to promote that hard because if you become well-known in terms of those industries, you automatically attract people to come to the country and enjoy tourism. Perhaps you even attract big-time investors. Hard-core investors and venture capitalists like Ripplewood, LoneStar, etc. don’t invest because the country is beautiful and tourism is good. They invest because they believe they can make tons of money.
    ….and that’s why I said “red flags” because I don’t see the co-relation between tourism and hard-core manufacturing.

  8. vonbryan_c@yahoo.com

    Nyek. Bakit hindi pwede parallel? Bakit hindi pwedeng isabay? What you are saying is that we should basically wait until manufacturing is in place before we promote tourism. That doesn’t make any sense.

  9. CSS

    I never said you can’t do it in parallel. All I said, it’s a dead end if we are to aim to become an economic powerhouse.

  10. Gus Tador

    Te, pwede bang none of the above na lang sa voting dahil puro bugok ang mga choices! Kaya tuloy abstain na lang ako dahil kahit sino iboto mo, sa estero pa rin ang tungo ng bansa. Kung ang quality ng kandidato ay mahusay at matino hindi mo na ako kailangang kaladkarin pa. Ako mismo ang susugod sa voting center sampu ng aking mga kabarangay. Meanwhile, pagmasdan ang mamamayan habang ang mga buwitre, buwaya’t baboy ay nagpi-fiesta sa kaban ng bayan!

  11. Hemant

    Sir with all due respect i did try to follow ur path of honestly. I did try my best to follow the honest way of trying to get the right job done without using to the bribe Someone , but I looked like a fool ! Honestly I also started believing tht we can stop corruption and bribery, and the work will still be done , but later realizes that money is the driving force , if I don’t pay u get no where. moreover you will be harassed even more and end up paying much higher than expected both with time and emotion . Corruption is in the blood now and almost impossible to take out .

  12. Carl Tomacruz

    Then make the necessary changes already. Using the term “dialect” in reference to Philippine LANGUAGES is bigoted, racist, and smacks of ignorance of the many ethnolinguistic groups in the country.

  13. vonbryan_c@yahoo.com

    No, because I don’t like how you made your request. And thanks for calling me names (apparently, I’m a bigot, a racist and an ignoramus, based on your obviously perfect standard of morality). Shows how much moral high ground you command.

  14. Arthur Piccio

    You seem like a smart guy.I’m doing my best to be civil here since, I don’t believe in arguing online anymore. I prefer face to face discussions as online communication tends to depersonalize both parties.

    I don’t know how you’d like it delivered, but Carl is actually right. On all points.

    ONE major problem non-Tagalog Filipinos (like myself) face is that our identities are almost always made subservient to the dominant Tagalog culture. One way this happens is that our languages are not recognized as such. Instead, they are merely relegated to the status of dialects.

    Dialect is a loaded term. It doesn’t properly acknowledge our cultural differences. What it does instead is to create a situation where non-Tagalog Filipinos, especially those who do not belong to the educated classes, are relegated to second-class citizen status.

    In a country where we are mostly from the same genetic stock, it becomes an undesirable mark of otherness. I’ve rarely heard the term “Bisaya” to mean anything positive for instance. I’ve seen the self-unaware self-loathing of Bicolano officemates who only talk to each other in Tagalog because they are ashamed to be heard.As a result, fewer in their generation even speak Bicol at home.

    Most of us can barely write a poem in our own languages, let alone an essay, as a result of the Tagalog language’s encroachment in our lives. The inclusion of Tagalog (or “Filipino” if you wish to call it that— though even the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino agrees with me) in national exams for example, has severely handicapped many who would otherwise perform admirably in the Civil Service, or would otherwise do well in universities.

    So please change it. Please consider your own point on #30—- “30. Protect the rights of the marginalized “… and #20, to learn history. As it is, our own histories in regions outside the NCR are barely part of it.

    If you don’t change it just because you perceived Carl to be “rude”, then you prove him right and this whole essay is just a bunch of pretty words that hold no real meaning.

    I agree with most of the points though. I feel maybe you should add an item where we should refuse to support a system that makes all those negative things possible.

    Thanks. I won’t be replying anymore, probably but I hope we’ll have the opportunity to talk in person.

  15. vonbryan_c@yahoo.com

    Thanks for the explanation. Here’s my point: my idea is that language is organic, and it really is just a matter of semantics. My use of the word dialect in this situation, concededly, does not conform to the definition of dialect in the traditional (read: American) sense, but I am using it in a way most Filipinos use it. I’m actually quite familiar with the issue of use of dialect vs. language (my Dad is Kapampangan), I just don’t agree with it (because it assumes that the way Filipinos use “Filipino English” is less important than “American English”, which in this case concerns how we use the word “dialect”). I decided that having people understand the point of the advice is more important than conforming to what, I believe, is merely an issue of semantics (re-wording it as “languages” might make people think I’m referring to international languages such as French or German).

    Does that make them less important than the more popular languages? Of course not. And my use of the word “dialect” in this case will not change matters one way or the other.

    The funny thing is that my advice was that people should learn the languages (which I referred to as “regional dialects”) they grew up with, which precisely means that we should respect and honor these things. That seems to have gotten lost in all these name-calling.

    My intent needs to be considered as well. When I said you should learn regional dialects (or languages if you prefer), I obviously wasn’t trying to be racist, ignorant or bigoted, but was in fact pushing for the promotion of those things in the first place. I don’t appreciate being called names when my intent was good in the first place. And I especially don’t like being bullied to do (or change) something I don’t want to change in my blog. The fact that I’m publishing negative comments for other people to read should be enough for these readers to decide for themselves if I’m wrong or not.

    Hey, if you’re still not satisfied, write an article about it and you can publish it in your blog. That’s what is wonderful about freedom of speech and the internet.

    PS. I really do appreciate being spoken to like a decent human being. Thanks. The lack of personal face-to-face interaction on the internet apparently makes a lot of people act like trolls.

  16. sas

    I agree with the points raised about manufacturing and shipbuilding being major development/growth drivers but that does not make No. 56 and 57 of the list wrong. It is not as if we are trying to craft a Philippine development plan here but identifying some simple ways a common tao (Flipino) could do to help the Philippines. You can’t ask and don’t expect the masa to promote manufacturing and shipbuilding, right?

  17. Publius

    I think using the word “dialect” here is perfectly justified. Tagalog, Bisaya, and all the other languages spoken can be classified as dialects. It is similar to the Chinese dialects (Mandarin, Cantonese, Fukkian.) Although they are all languages in their own rights, they are collectively known as “Filipino” or “Chinese” to many.

    So although they are languages, I find nothing wrong with naming them dialects.

    (Chinese Filipino here BTW)

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