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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Filipinos Should Think Asian

A Reaction Paper on Kishore Mahbubani's Can Asians Think? Initially submitted as a requirement in my History class. 


From a sensitive question of “Can Asians Think?” to a resolute assertion that “Filipinos Should Think Asian”, this reaction paper aims to substantiate and discuss how I came up with such claim. Furthermore, I deem to express my concern regarding the accuracy and correctness of the essay “Can Asians Think” since it was written 13 years ago and the trouble lies in the huge disparity between the information that it presented and today’s facts. Nevertheless, in a major way, the essay has clear vision, satisfactory analysis, and fair judgment.

The Asian Mind

The article mentioned about a vital switch that is taking place in many Asian minds, especially in East Asia whose incredible economic transformation and performance to date was called a miracle by western figures. These two statements, (1) The mental switch that is taking place in Asian minds today is that they no longer believe that the only way to progress is through copying; they now believe they can work out their own solutions. (2) Today, though the standards of living remain in the West, Asians no longer consider these societies as their role models. They are beginning to believe that they can attempt something different, just show and prove that Asians have their own minds, their own rich cultural heritage, their own unparalleled values system, their own copious natural resources, and their own competent people and societies who can absolutely be at par with their Western counterparts that are being torn up and troubled by the relative breakdown of the family as institution, the plague of drug addiction and its attendant problems, including crime, the persistence of ghettos and the perception that there has been a decline in ethical standards. However, this was thwarted in the following statement: Western minds have clear advantage over Asian minds, as they are convinced that their successful leap into modernity was to a large extent a result of compatibility of their values systems with the modern universe. But to make a clear position on this, I trust that we, Asians, can take that leap of faith and maybe we can make the Asian mind compatible with the modern universe too, in a matter of time.

The Filipino Mind

Yes the Philippines is a legitimate part of Asia, but as I was reading through the essay, I honestly thought this was not our game since majority of Filipinos are avid supporters of any commodity that comes from the West. The Filipino mind does not want to linger in its neighborhood, but rather it wants to go across the globe. Hence I think that the Philippines needs a mental switch too! When will we realize that progress and development could be attained even without being in the shadows of the West? In fact, the idea of the Asian mind would be a better scheme for Philippines that it’s Western counterpart. Since we mixed up our values system with the West and patronized every commodity that has the Western soul, we also have lost our identity. We have taken for granted our natural resources, our native people, our language, and even our mentality. Maybe if we start to think a little Asian, and not think that it is inferior to Western mentality, maybe it could be possible for us to surge upward too! We have turned out backs on our roots and ancestors and for as long as we remain ungrateful, we will forever be in doom. 

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