Filipinos are tribal not just during elections | Inquirer Opinion

Filipinos are tribal not just during elections

/ 04:10 AM May 03, 2022

Randy David’s “Why Filipinos vote the way they do,” (5/1/22) is another excellent article dissecting all the reasons and manner of the Filipino voters.

We, Filipinos, are very tribal, not just in voting, but most will not admit it since the word tribal connotes something “low class” like the indigenous people and African tribes. When we meet Filipinos for the first time, we always ask where they are from and what language they speak, and sometimes ethnic groups they belong to like Kapampangan, Bisaya, Ilocano, etc. Of course, this is true too in the West like when they describe themselves as southerner, midwesterner, etc. but not as empathic as Filipinos do. They will vote for an Ilocano because his father is Ilocano even if he does not speak Ilocano. They will vote for a Bicolano because she/he is from that region, so on and on.


Regarding the local government units, I personally think that the system of the barangay, which I think is very similar to the community boards we have in New York, is prone to abuse especially when money is involved especially with “ayuda” (aid) during the COVID pandemic. Some of the aid extended is blatant vote-buying for this election. I am sure that there is also some form of corruption in the community boards but as a rule, there is really no money involved, maybe just some form of minor lobbying.

Regarding the senatorial selection/voting, we have been voting for eight senators for years. Why don’t we consider just voting regionally, i.e., two to four senators per region just like in the United States, two senators per state? That way, the representation will be just and practical.


I enjoy reading Randy David’s articles about politics since they make me think and because he gives a sociological, historical, and psychological background. Unlike other columnists, he is not endorsing any candidate.I hope that the Filipino people will be guided in their choices on May 9 since this is the only country we know and love.

New York, NY
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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 elections, Filipino tribal mentality, Ida M. Tiongco, Letters to the Editor
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