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What ‘noynoying’ is all about?


When I first read about “noynoying,” my initial reaction was that it was about President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s romantic escapades and so I ignored it.  Haven’t we heard enough of his girlfriends?  But it turns out that anti-government groups protesting against rising gas prices coined “noynoying.”  They complain that Noynoy hasn’t done anything productive.  Thus, “noynoying” became the new buzzword for a person who is idle and doesn’t work.  In all fairness to Noynoy, “noynoying” is not something new. It’s been around since the colonial times when “Juan Tamad” – or LazyJohn – became a folk hero for laziness! So, what else is new, people? Remember, when you point your finger at someone, three fingers arepointing back at you.

Now, don’t get me wrong, folks. I’m not accusing all Filipinos of being lazy.  On the contrary, Filipinos are some of the most – if not the most – hard-working people in the world.  The fact that there are more than 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in more than 120 countries would attest to the reputation of Filipinos as hard-working people.  

But what is happening here is that a few Filipinos are bringing out the worst in themselves: crab mentality.  And to“crab” our president manifests a hangover from colonial mentality. The fact is:President Aquino is one of the most hard-working presidents of our time.  But instead of appreciating what he isdoing, we are bringing him down!  And what we don’t realize is that by doing so, we’re bringing ourselves down, too… justlike crabs.


And when “noynoying” has reached the social media, his critics were gleefully jumpingup and down like kids slurping on lollipops.  Don’t they realize that what they did was reinforce what our former colonial masters had stereotyped us: indolent people?  Yes, Filipinos were branded as indolent by the Spanish colonialists that even our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal,wrote an article in 1890, “The Indolenceof the Filipino,” to explain why the perception existed at that time?  But more than a century later, some people are still trying hard to keep that perception alive and even use our own president as a model of indolence! And we are wondering why we aren’t getting respect from the international community? What a shame!
In 1913, Austin Craig, in his book, “Lineage, Life and Labors of Rizal,” he wrote: “In his essay, “The Indolence of the Filipino”, Rizal stated that three centuries of Spanish rule did not do much for the advancement of his countryman; in fact there was a ‘retrogression’, and the Spanish colonialists have transformed him into a ‘half-way brute’. The absence of moral stimulus, the lack of material inducement, the demoralization -- ‘the indio should not be separated from his carabao’, the endless wars, the lack of a national sentiment, the Chinese piracy -- all these factors, according to Rizal, helped the colonial rulers succeed in placing the indio ‘on a level with the beast’.”

*Approval and trust

And how could they be so wrong about Noynoy? Let’s look at the facts:
A recent Pulse Asia survey shows that Noynoy has an approval rating of 70% andtrust rating of 69%.  His disapproval rating is only 9%, which gives him a net approval rating of 61%.  By comparison, his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had a net approval rating of minus 37% in the waning days ofher presidency. No other president since the time of his mother, the latepresident Cory Aquino, was more popular and more trusted than Noynoy. Since he has set the bar to new heights, perhaps “noynoying” should be associated with high performance. 
It is interesting to note that in the latest Pulse Asia survey, embattled Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona had an approval rating of 14% and disapproval rating of 58% giving him a net approval rating of minus 44%.  In addition, the survey also shows that 47% believe that he is guilty of the impeachment charges while only 5% believe that he is innocent.

*Economic boom

Recently, news reports indicated that the Philippine economy is booming.  Since taking over the government 21months ago, Noynoy has pursued an anti-corruption campaign, which is producing results. 

The job creation numbers under the Aquino administration are staggering!  Last October, 2.1 million jobs were created and in January another 1.2 million jobs were created.  In comparison to his predecessors, only 1.9 million jobs were created during the short Estrada administration while atotal of 2.4 million jobs were created during the nine-year Arroyo administration.

In a forum in Cebu last week, Trade and Industry SecretaryGregory L. Domingo projected the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to increasebetween 7% and 7.6% this year.  He said that the economic drivers this year would still be the outsourcingindustry, real estate, OFW remittances, and tourism.

*Leadership style

In my opinion, a few misinformed and misguided critics fail to understand Noynoy’s leadership style. Research done in 1939 by a group led by psychologist Kurt Lewin identified three major leadership styles, to wit:
Authoritarian Style – A leader who makes all the decisions and passes the directives to his or her subordinates who are expected to carry them out characterizes this leadership style.  Subordinates are not allowed to question the orders.  The late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos is an example of this style.

Democratic Style – A leader who shares decision-making with his or hersubordinates characterizes this leadership style.  Subordinates are encouraged to express their ideas andsuggestions. 
Laissez-FaireStyle – This leadership style is the opposite of the Authoritarian style.  There is an absence of real leadership.  Everyone is free to do as he or she pleases. 

Based on Noynoy’s performance and the way he makes decisions – like in the issue on Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani – he is definitely comfortable with the democratic style of leadership.  But this has caused somepeople to misunderstand him to a point where they perceive him as weak and indecisive. And being a 52-year-old bachelor who has a penchant for driving fast cars, shooting guns, and dating women makes people wonder if that’s indicative of a freewheeling lifestyle and laissez-faire style of leadership.  Nothing is farther from the truth.  His success at what he does is the true measure of his persona.

At the end of the day, achieving what he had set to accomplish indicates thedegree of his attainment.  And an approval rating of 70% and trust rating of 69% speak well of what “noynoying”is all about – it’s all about getting things done.

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