Why ‘considerate’ is not a word that describes Filipinos

Considerate. When was the last time you heard that word used to describe a Filipino? When it comes to the common courtesy of being considerate to the people around you, Filipinos will likely be the last thing on people’s minds. Why? Because the average Filipino quite simply does not care about anyone or anything outside of his property line, outside of his family tree, or even outside of his line of sight.

The foundation of an ethic of being considerate is common courtesy. But like common sense, common courtesy seems to be uncommon in Philippine society.

As more and more Filipinos share less and less resources, courtesy and consideration become more important.
As more and more Filipinos share less and less resources, courtesy and consideration become more important.
You can see it in the way Filipino drivers interact with other motorists with whom they share scarce road space. Instead of mutual respect, we see mutual contempt. Often this results in a mass of drivers on a rampage to maneuver agressively for each opportunity to gain minor incremental advantages over the other over the course of their respective trips. The overall collective result on the road is an even tighter and more untenable gridlock.

Then there is the din of blaring karaoke parties at 2am in Philippine suburbia most nights. For a people renowned for being so “conscious”, Filipinos are pretty good at suspending any semblance of self-consciousness when behind the mike. You can hear them belt it out to the wee hours. It sometimes makes you wonder if you are the only one in the neighbourhood who needs to get up early the following day to make a living.

Let’s not forget the trash — steaming mounds of it in plain sight everywhere abuzz with flies or washed up on our shores after a storm subsides. But it’s the trash we don’t see that causes the most grief — its contribution to Filipinos’ miseries comes in the form of the floodwaters that bubble up from our clogged sewers and spill across our streets and into our doorsteps after even just a brief downpour.

Those three among many other small examples, are prevalent at the micro level of Filipinos’ daily lives. But the more nefarious form of this society-wide lack of consideration comes at the macro scale — in Philippine politics.

From the local township level up to the national level in the halls of Philippine Congress and the stately rooms of Malacanang one can see the same manner with which Filipinos regard their place in their society:

Family first, friends second.

Nothing wrong with that of course — except if you are a public servant and you apply this attitude in the manner with which you deliver public service while in office. So, indeed, if you are a public servant and you put family and friends first in the “service” of the Filipino people, then you are no better than the inconsiderate boors who inhabit the country’s streets, screech out “My Way” at 2am on a Tuesday night oblivious to everything and everyone around them, or toss their rubbish off their stilted shacks onto the estero below.

The idea that Filipinos would continue to elect characters who are singularly motivated by nothing else but a desire to keep their place in government all in the family becomes less baffling when we see it in light of the way ordinary Filipinos themselves remain inconsiderate to the greater community to which they belong.

Are Filipinos really a community? Or does historical consequence still remain the only reason that the “Philippines” continues its pained existence?

The answer to that question remains quite obvious even today. This is because no Filipino — not the ordinary voter nor any politician who pitches her value to them — can offer a compelling step upward from the burden of history and tradition that keeps Philippine society stuck in its fragmented tribalism. To become a considerate people as a general rule and leave behind the backward selective way we apply ourselves to one another today should be a goal mounted at a national level. It is only when Filipinos become a considerate people can they begin the journey towards becoming a true unified nation with a bright future ahead of it.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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18 Comments on "Why ‘considerate’ is not a word that describes Filipinos"

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Dick S. O'Rosary
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What’s the Filipino/Tagalog work for “Considerate”? None. ‘Nuff said.

No, “konsiderasyon” doesn’t count. Its a loan word.

gafused
Guest

Can’t say it’s “mapagbigay-daan” either.

But even if the word “considerate” has a formal Filipino equivalent somewhere, in da Pinoy’s mindset, being “considerate” means being “easy prey” or “easily exploitable”.

Dick S. O'Rosary
Guest

Consideration implies a sense of selflessness, an idea our me-first culture can never fathom.

Armani
Guest

Would “pagsasaalang-alang” count?

Dick S. O'Rosary
Guest

Thats a different kind of “consideration” lol.

55Hayden000777Toro
Guest
Considerate is an adjective; it means: full of polite concern for the well being of others; or being thoughtful. Being Considerate is not in the vocabulary of Filipinos. From the leaders to the common drivers. Filipinos have the “Me First” mentality. “Ako muna” or “pamilya ko muna”… Look at our family political dynasties. Look at the massive corruption. Look at the Political patronage. Aquino owns the Hacienda Luisita. Was Aquino being Considerate for the welfare of his tenants/Serfs? Aquino used the DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery to promote his political agendas. Was Aquino considerate of Us, Filipino taxpayers? Roxas played… Read more »
Jenny Gillette
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an astonishing sight is the way Filipino’s treat each other in all aspects of their everyday lives. From cutting in front of people in a line (try that in London sometime ! HA…good luck with keeping your teeth !). throwing garbage out anywhere it happens to land. this is a truly disgusting spectacle and when Westerner’s see this type of behaviour all respect for these pigs goes right down the loo. no need to extrapolate further on these inconsiderations but the time can not come soon enough when the people of the Filipino’s do something about their colllective plight and… Read more »
Cezar
Guest
A very interesting traits of the Filipino people and very true on all aspects. We can wonder why Filipinos are like that when they are in the Philippines but when they go to other countries , why do they change and almost all of them follow the law , rules and habit of that country ..I for one are like that when I am in the Philippines but when I got overseas or here in America.. I changed and became disciplined … I changed , America changed me..very disturbing observation I thought …OFW s expirienced the same ,,,,most of them… Read more »
biffa bacon
Guest
its been my observation that filipinos will do whatever everyone around them is doing..if others are throwing their basura indiscriminately,so will they,if others are placing basura in the proper containers,so will they.I believe this stems from the culture of not wanting to be stand out and differentiate yourself from others,no matter what the cost….basura everywhere,no big deal..mayhem on the roads,no big deal…poor work ethic,no big deal,everybody else is doing it,right?If ssomehow filipinos could adopt the ATTITUDE of of others who are more successful in these issues,some real change could take place…Today with communications and social media what they are,how difficult… Read more »
anon
Guest

A policeman shot his neighbor’s dog because it was noisy. Daughter made fun of the incident on social media. Obviously, the netizens gang up on her.

There is just one problem. Nobody seems to be inquiring why the dog was noisy in the first place.

walter p komarnicki
Guest

as I cycle around my subdivision before dawn, I hear a few neurotic dogs that keep on barking away even when there’s nothing there, but I’d far rather put up with that than the 4 or 5 or 6 roosters that never seem to sleep but keep on crowing as if that was the most normal sound one would expect to hear in a small subdivision. the rules of the place prohibit roosters but the rules are ignored, so what if I wanted to keep a small herd of goats, would that be any problem?
probably not1

d_forsaken
Guest

Intensely selfish Failipinos are always very decided as to what they wish. They do not waste their energies in considering the good of others.

Hawkeye
Guest

You ought to observe behavior in and around elevators. I swear im on the verge of decking some of these in “considerate” ASSHOLES!

Add
Guest
Being considerate is showing concern for the rights and feeling of others. It is being tactful, thoughtful, kind, unselfish. The antonym is being inconsiderate, which is being selfish, uncaring, tactless, unthinking. Google translate considerate as mapagbigay; tactful as magaling makitungo; thoughtful as nag-isip; kind as magandang loob. On the other hand, inconsiderate as walang pakudangan; selfish as maka-sarili; tactless as walang taktika. Therefore, I think something is lost in the translation if we just say being mapagbigay is being considerate. If being considerate is being thoughtful, that suggest orderliness, and mapagbigay sounds like being kind without order. I don’t like… Read more »
Add
Guest

The thing is that Asian societies are known to be polite societies. In Japan, they bow and use sumimasen (sorry) a lot. They use the suffix -san and for higher position, -sama on names. China and Korea are even more complicated than that.

Thailand use the prefix Khun on names, while Malaysia and Indonesia, the prefix Bapak and Ibu. We use Mang and Ale, or kuya and ate, po and opo, and now substituted all these with sir and mam, but more to be condescending, than respectful. What happened to us?

Don Dooran
Guest

Well, the APEC meetings are coming up soon in Cebu City, and I am sure those delegates are going to see plenty of traffic, squatters, garbage etc. Let’s see if the delegates are going to be steered away from all the “street life”.

Add
Guest

This article of Yen M on civility >> http://goo.gl/b9FYNw is very much related to this topic on being considerate.

One of those fresh air in a polluted air.

Cezar
Guest

So how in the world you changed habits of the majority??? Is there a way to do it? How??? Or the word democracy is true, whatever it is… good or bad … Majority always wins… patay Kang bata ka …people let’s find a way ..