“Sige na, ikaw na matalino!” “Ang dami mong alam!” “Pabibo ka masyado.” Do any of these ring a bell?
These are the common responses of some Filipinos to thoughtful statements, insightful ideas, or basically anything they don’t have any knowledge about. It is as if the other person is hurling insults or curses instead of casually imparting information or stating facts.
Don’t even get us started on “Edi wow!” a sarcastic blow to a rather harmless comment or statement.
In the Philippines, being smart is somewhat a curse rather than a blessing. There is a growing trend of anti-intellectualism, defined as hostility to and mistrust of intellect and intellectuals, in the country. But we are not alone. It has in fact been used by totalitarian governments in other countries to repress political dissent since the 20th century.
Suddenly ignorance is bliss and going with the flow is cool, lest one wants to be smart-shamed.
Zoë Rosal, a multimedia arts graduate of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, featured this topic in her college thesis “Turtle Shells.” The 3-minute 22-second advocacy film tackles the culture of embarrassing someone for their display of intellect.
“Turtle Shells” bagged the top award for Communication Skills at the 6th Philippine Student Quill Awards held recently at the Marriott Grand Ballroom.
The Philippine Student Quill Awards is the counterpart of the Philippine Quill Awards, which honors private companies and agencies.
In the video, Rosal urges everyone to keep a broader perspective. She says, “After all, there’s really nothing wrong with knowing things. And I believe, it shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of.”
Edi wow? No, we really should retire that one, together with the culture of ignorance and hostility to the intellect.
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