The Filipino ‘pakiusap’ mentality needs to eradicated!

Pakiusap is a very Filipino term. At best, it is (1) an appeal for consideration taking into account unforeseen circumstances. At worst, it is (2) a request that rules be worked around presumably for a greater good.

pakiusap_mentality

In the Filipino setting, both cases are usually premised by flawed thinking. Take the earlier case, an appeal taking into account “unforeseen circumstances”. The problem with that notion is that, in the Philippines, unforeseen circumstances have become more the rule than the exception. And so, Filipinos are in perpetual ‘pakiusap’ mode when dealing with that quintessentially “urgent” national unforeseen circumstance: poverty. Nobody wants to be poor. But, as previously pointed out, poverty is a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently incapable of honouring.

Note the emphasis on the word “habitual”. Most people start out poor. Indeed, everyone is born with nothing, essentially. But for a people to habitually do things that keep them poor says something powerful. In the specific case of the Philippines, it should be now quite evident to most that poverty can no longer be regarded as an ‘unforeseen’ circumstance. Filipinos should be experts on poverty by now, having been an impoverished nation for pretty much all of its history as an “independent” nation.

Now take the latter case; pakiusap regarded as “a request that rules be worked around presumably for a greater good”. To the dyed-in-the-wool typical Filipino, this is as homey a concept as apple pie is to Americans. It’s the Pinoy Way elegantly encapsulated. We see this sort of thinking underlying many (if not all) of the aspects of the national “debate” today.

One big example is the whole Grace Poe disqualification issue gripping the nation as it barrels down the road to the 2016 presidential elections. Poe’s entire appeal to the people and the powers-that-be to allow her to continue her run for President of the Philippines is based on this kind of pakiusap. “Let the people decide”, her supporters say. Never mind that the law is quite clear on the matter. It is no wonder that Filipinos are free to decide when and where in public spaces to piss and spit. It is no wonder Filipino motorists feel they are at complete liberty to change lanes and cross intersections whenever and wherever they choose. It is no wonder that presidents and senators feel like they can decide how much of taxpayers’ money they could withdraw from the national treasury unilaterally for whatever pet “project” that captures their fancy.

Pakiusap lang naman po.

The really annoying aspect of this national condition is that Filipinos are perennially on the pakiusap side of the equation. Filipinos, in short, are almost never in a position to negotiate hard — because they never have a strong position on any matter to begin with. Our appeals to the world as a people are always on ‘humanitarian’ bases that, in constant exercises in futility, we try to package into powerful-looking value propositions. It is no wonder that the global community look to the plight of Third World countries like the Philippines with mere bemusement at best, to be responded to with no more than quaint token gestures.

Perhaps, then, this is why pakiusap mentality has taken its place as a key pillar of Filipino culture. Argumentum ad pakiusap is now the Filipino’s favourite style of debate. It is because Filipinos have forgotten how to win competitively and have settled for this pathetic style of winning by default.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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14 Comments on "The Filipino ‘pakiusap’ mentality needs to eradicated!"

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ChinoF
Member

That and “pasuyo” – Filipinos want to throw off their responsibility to someone else.

Amir Al Bahr
Guest

Rarely will you not hear baka sakali pwede pa in a typical conversation in the Philippines.

Aside from pakiusap and pasuyo, paawa is yet another stable of the Pinoy Way.

zaxx
Member
The mere fact that Pinoys always find themselves in precariously and awkwardly dumb situations to begin with point to the deeper issue of their inability to strategically plan with foresight. There would have been no need to circumvent solid logic and resort to these paawa-effect fallacies (Appeal to Pity / Argumentum ad Misericordiam) had people used their coconuts at the onset. I see no reason for PH to be appealing for one of its guilty citizens about to be sent to the gallows for crimes done abroad. The government should simply say “Yes, please. Go ahead with it and do… Read more »
Vincent
Member
Appeal to the heart-Most Filipinos’ favorite weapon in arguments or transactions. Somehow, they learned how to use it effectively over the years. Even heads of state have fallen victims to this style. Filipinos have always relied on others’ conscience whenever things are not going their way instead of meeting a situation squarely. The problem is that Filipinos have been wearing that sheep’s cloth long enough that other countries already built an impression that they are like infants that needs to be cuddled and cared for, always. And yet, Filipinos demand similar respect given to a first world country backing it… Read more »
Captain Rody
Guest
Mr. BenignO’s perspective of the filipino value of “Pakiusap”, taken in its applied context here below, is not only acceptable but also laudable: “The really annoying aspect of this national condition is that Filipinos are perennially on the pakiusap side of the equation. Filipinos, in short, are almost never in a position to negotiate hard — because they never have a strong position on any matter to begin with. Our appeals to the world as a people are always on ‘humanitarian’ bases that, in constant exercises in futility, we try to package into powerful-looking value propositions.” But as suggested, is… Read more »
President Emilio
Guest

The main loop reason for the Filipino’s Pakiusap Mentality is the wrong notion of being humble and mabait. Sobrang bait ng mg Pinoy it already borders being submissive towards almost everyone.

444Toro007Hyden9999.99
Guest
444Toro007Hyden9999.99

“Pakiusap” or “Nakikisuyo po” is in our “cultural vocabulary”. Things that cannot happen; people can make it happen. The recipient of the “Pakiusap” is indebted to the one who made it happen.

This is the reason, we have patronage politics…this is in our culture and mindset…it may take many years to remove it…

durp vincent
Guest
My sis has committed several days’ absences and was notified that she went beyond her leave credit balance and therefore would be subject to salary deduction, because she is taking good care of our rather sickly mother and it’s hard to find a good/trustworthy helper down here in our province. She was sent notification and was informed that should she want that her deduction be staggered, she go and see the local chief executive and negotiate with him about it. Instead, she negotiated with the accountant and told her to please deduct all of her absences without leave at one… Read more »
d_forsaken
Guest

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

vagoneto rieles
Guest
“Pakiusap” and many other Filipino cultural baggage should best be forgotten. To mention these ‘hung-ups’ could just ignite endless debate, so.. let’s leave it at that. The reverse side of these cultural baggage are commendable traits.. usually associated only with Filipinos.. that are fast vanishing, if not totally gone. Among these are ‘Bayanihan’, ‘Kusang Loob’, ‘Malasakit’, ‘Panindigan’ and some other noble traditions which escape me at the moment; not too many really, because even just these four, would make an honorable Filipino. It is ‘due-time’ that our schools reinforce and stress ‘Philippine History’, ‘Philippine Civics’ and ‘Social Studies’ at all… Read more »
Juan de la Cruz Jr.
Guest

Gone were the days when a dispute can be easily resolved by a Bolo fight.

1. Land dispute? Bolo fight.
2. Right of way dispute? Bolo fight.
3. Family Rivalries? Bolo fight.

Sigh! I wish those days were back..

durp.vincent
Guest
To vagoneto rieles: you should know that the subjects you are suggesting that be offered/become a must offering in the school’s curriculum are totally taken out from the planned K-12. Instead, they have these Asian History & Culture, etc…..They want our children to be citizens of the “world” kuno….international citizens without us having really and fully establishing our Filipino identity yet. Many young children don’t even know who Lapu-lapu is or where the islands of Limasawa & Mactan are, or when was the Phil. discovered……. common stuff among us Pinoy kids in our elementary days….Now they sing Korean songs and… Read more »