What makes the notorious Pinoy crabs distinct?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-01-12

The tag of the notorious Filipino crabs started from a popular joke. Pardon your Chair Wrecker’s senior moment for not remembering who originated that joke. From what this senior can recall, the joke goes like this: 

A man shows to a friend his impressive basket of crabs. Impressed, the friend remarked: “Why do you leave the basket open? Aren’t you afraid that the crabs will escape.” The crab owner replied: “Don’t worry. They’re Filipino crabs. They’ll bring down every crab that tries to climb to the top.”

It’s a funny joke but it hurts to hear it when you’re a Filipino. It hurts because we know that it’s true. We do have an unusual number of crabs that make it their life’s passion to bring down fellow Filipinos. There’s hardly a community without a crab. Good performing Barangay Captains — the lowest ranked public officials — are never short of crabs trying to bring them down.

Some Filipino crabs are motivated by envy, the scourge of human weaknesses. Envious people are never able to experience meaningful happiness because they’re always driven to seek another target of their covetousness. Some are motivated by a great need to rise to a coveted position that’s being held by a better and more qualified person. Some are plain mercenaries and they’ll bring down anybody even if that will ruin the country.

During World War II, Filipino crabs wore bayongs (native baskets made from reeds) over their heads and were called makapilis. They were Japanese collaborators who made a living out of pointing out to the enemy their countrymen who are involved in the resistance movement. Amazingly, after the Japanese were defeated, some of the most prominent of these Japanese collaborators managed to reinvent themselves in the new order — one of them even rising to the highest public office of the land.

The most common crabs today are found in political circles. That’s not surprising because politics in our country plays a major role in the making and the distribution of wealth. That’s also the very reason why big investors are afraid to do business here because they do not want to get involved in our dirty politics.

The country’s political processes become productive when competitions for posts are based on candidate qualification, program and vision. The country’s political processes become counterproductive, even destructive, when competitions for posts are conducted with black propaganda, lies, half-truths and subterfuge. There is so much of the second model that pervades here and that’s why there’s so much poison in our political atmosphere.

All over media and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, you’ll easily spot the notorious crabs. For them, the President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) administration is corrupt, incompetent, uncaring and so forth.
Some crabs say that the P-Noy administration is corrupt even if it has chalked one of the cleanest records of any president in its 19-month track record. Sure, there’ll always be graft corruption to denounce and expose but the important starting point is having a president and his cabinet members who do not subscribe to corrupt practices and are not linked to any scandal. Reform has to start from the top.

Charging the P-Noy administration as corrupt would have resonated if P-Noy and his official family were dirty and the crabs were squeaky clean. Some of the crabs are not squeaky clean because they’re the paid hacks of people trying to undermine the government for their personal interests. They’re mercenaries from the decapod crustaceans species. 

Some crabs charge that the P-Noy administration is incompetent because of the slower economy. Their intellectual dishonesty allows them to disregard the reinvigorated interest of foreign investors, the S & P credit upgrade, the tremendous savings from curbing corrupt practices in operations, the continued bullishness of our stock market, the stability of our Peso and so forth. To these crabs P-Noy is an incompetent economic manager because of the drop in overseas remittances caused by the political turmoil in the Middle East and sputtering American and European economies. They talk as if P-Noy could have prevented these overseas conditions that caused a drop in the remittances of overseas workers.

This the funniest charge made by a crab lately — that P-Noy personally announced the terror threat on the recent Black Nazarene event because he was laying the conditions for declaring emergency rule or martial law. The truth is P-Noy personally announced the terror threat because he wanted to underscore the seriousness of the threat and get people’s cooperation in thwarting it. Would the son of a martyr (Ninoy) and a champion (Cory) of democracy become the very antithesis of the values that his noble parents espoused?

In a recent meeting with P-Noy, your Chair Wrecker asked him about his preferred courses of action on current developments. P-Noy’s actions stood firmly on what his mother stated in her famous speech at the joint session of the US Congress — “democracy by the ways of democracy.” Referring to the methods preferred by his enemies, P-Noy told me: “If we follow their ways, then we’d become like them.”

Ordinary crabs are high on uric acid and can trigger severe arthritis, thereby hampering your mobility. The notorious Filipino crabs are loaded with psychological venom that can poison Filipino minds against each other.

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