Filipinos are too emotional for their own good

Another global survey has confirmed what some of us have been suspecting all along: Filipinos are a very emotional people. American pollster company Gallup conducted a survey covering over 140 countries to compare how people feel about their lives and the Philippines came up as the most emotional of the lot. As usual, some Filipinos thought that this piece of news is a good thing. They probably thought that topping the ranking and bagging the title “emotional people” is something we should celebrate.

The Drama Queen of drama junkies

Being too emotional is actually a bad thing. It is worse than being emotionless. When someone is emotional, that person cannot think straight. An emotional person’s decisions are more often than not determined by his or her emotion rather than reason. It’s bad enough having to deal with an emotional individual, it’s even worse when majority of the members of a society are mostly emotional. I mean have you ever had to deal with someone who is full of drama? They can be quite annoying. They are either in a state of extreme high or extreme low. There is nothing in between. No wonder the Philippines is considered a basketcase. Most of us are emotional wrecks.

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Some might say that Filipinos are much better off than Singaporeans who were ranked as the most emotionless people in the world but I’d say that’s just typical sourgraping. To be sure, anything in extreme is bad. Singaporeans are known for being too serious and very business like in dealing with the international community and even among themselves. However, their approach to life has actually resulted in something they can be proud of. They have built an intelligent megacity and they are among the wealthiest people in the world. Meanwhile, for all the “fun” we have been having, Filipinos have nothing to show but abject poverty and dismal infrastructure.

When people are too emotional, they can be irrational. They often make bad and hasty decisions based on how they are feeling at the moment. They tend to act without thinking of the consequences of their actions. An example of this was when Filipinos thought it was a good idea to push then Senator Noynoy Aquino to run as a presidential candidate immediately after his mother, Cory Aquino died in 2009.

Because Cory was such a beloved figure, most Filipinos who were distraught when she passed away did not even think twice about showing their support for her only son who they thought could be the one person who can save the country from corruption. Aquino supporters then were too emotional and showed too much arrogance when some rational people attempted to try and talk them out of what was obviously a huge mistake. Some reasoned that Noynoy did not have any accomplishment to speak of even while in Congress and would be bad for the economy but alas; the number of men and women who charged ahead without using their heads outnumbered those who did, hence the country is now stuck with a president who is said to be lazy, weak and cannot even work beyond a nine-to-five schedule.

Yes, being too emotional is really bad for our society because most of us get stuck with emoting — giving too much emphasis to how we feel. Some of us end up putting too much meaning to something trivial. Some even make a big deal whenever they hear another person raising their voice and quickly assume that that person is being nasty even if they do not know the whole story. We can be too sensitive for our own good.

Emotional people also do not know how to deal with down time. They always want to be having a good time. This is not surprising considering Filipinos pride themselves for being a “happy-go-lucky” society.

I’ll reiterate some things I wrote in my previous article

Filipinos in general are preoccupied with the desire to be on a permanent state of euphoria or at least with being perceived to be a “happy-go-lucky” society no matter what circumstances they are in. Unfortunately, this national obsession with being “happy” or having a good time instead actually leads the Filipino people to a permanent state of misery because their pursuit of happiness is shallow and misguided.

Because of our obsession with being perceived as a “happy-go-lucky” people, we unfortunately also come across as a people who do not take things too seriously even in times of crisis; which is why our social ills stay unresolved. In fact, Filipinos in general don’t even realize that our national psyche needs to be rehabilitated. Most Filipinos are of the belief that our corrupt public officials are solely to blame for the sad state of our nation. This is funny because the Filipino people are free to choose their public servants. And yet they prefer to choose someone incompetent ”” which is why they get the government they deserve.

The country remains Asia’s laggard perhaps partly because most Filipinos don’t have their priorities right. Most of us would rather pursue activities that cater to instant gratification because most of us want to be “masaya” all the time. We get instant gratification when we engage in activities that give us fleeting moments of happiness. Most often these are activities that are not well thought through and may even be impulsive. It could also involve being on a fiesta or celebratory mode more often than necessary even when we don’t deserve it. This also includes not participating in the running of the country and letting our public servants wreak havoc using public funds. Instead of being serious and more assertive about national issues, we dismiss topics pertaining to politics as something that we cannot do anything about or is none of our business.

Because Filipinos love a good time more than anything else, we don’t bother learning a new skill on our spare time. Most Filipinos don’t like the idea of working harder to elevate our status to one of being among the first-class nations in the world; we would rather wait for someone to do it for us. Unfortunately, because our society has become anti-intellectual, the intellectuals are driven to leave the country. The brain drain reduces our chances of competing with other nations whose aim is to be the best at what they do and excel at every endeavor.

What is a healthier outlook in life then? Humans have different set of moods. Normal people have a baseline or set point of happiness. We bounce up and down from that baseline in response to short-term events depending on the situation, like when we hear some bad news or good news. Most people normally return to their baseline after some time. Unfortunately, some of us think that we have to be above the normal baseline all the time to be considered to be a “happy” person, which is quite an impossible state to achieve because it means that in order to be “high” all the time, the natural tendency to be down after a high needs to be continuously overcome. And if we keep soaring higher, the longer the fall that is sure to come sooner or later.

We have to learn to accept that being sad or being in a state of melancholy some of the time is OK. In fact it is part of being a human being.

In the book Against Happiness, author Eric Wilson emphasized that he finds it odd that sadness is seen as not a normal part of life but as a weakness, something to be eradicated.

“You should really embrace those dark parts of your life. They are natural. They are normal. It seems to me those darker sides of experience, those times when we are sad or sorrowful, we often learn things about ourselves that we would not learn had we simply remained content.”

So no, bagging the title “most emotional people” is not something we should be celebrating. We should aim for something in the middle — knowing how to be serious when the situation calls for it and knowing how to have fun after getting the job done.

[Photo courtesy Yahoo! OMG!.]

142 Replies to “Filipinos are too emotional for their own good”

  1. “The Drama Queen of drama junkies” LOL

    Aside from that, many Pinoys find being the most affordable English teachers as a source of “pride” again. IDK why it’s always supposed to be a single-edged sword that speaks of everything good to them. What do Filipinos think of this? Hmmm

    1. @PHguy

      Most Filipinos have this ability to hear only good things other people say about our country and about us as a people; not a lot of good things, actually, and yet Filipinos, applying some form of perverse creativity, still manage to magnify these and turn them into spectacular rallying points.

      1. @ Ilda well said, I could not agree more. I am forever greatful that my parents and I along with my brother moved to Australia 31 years ago, Its good to have sensitivity (however in balance) but I am so glad my parents proudly adopted more western and European thinking and know how to take and give constructive criticism. I work as a receptionist/administrative assistant for a top professional services Australian firm and the constructive CRITICISMS and stresses I receive (even the things I do not want to hear ) are on a minute and or hourly basis. I now understand why most Australian Pinoys dont want to integrate or associate because of what you just said and hit the nerve which is true ” Most Filipinos have this ability to hear only good things other people say about our country and about us as a people;,

    2. Emotions ultimately have to be tempered with reason. When one becomes too emotional, their faculties for critical thinking become diminished.

      What Filipinos need to learn is self-control, and the ability to balance out what one feels with what one analyzes.

      Or actually, for Filipinos, there is a very URGENT need for critical analysis to have a higher priority than emotions.)

    3. You know I find it funny to continue to be too emotionally attached to the Jeepney driver’s rights, and myself I count as amongst, no denying.

      But our not knowing the damage the jeepney bring, an environmental malice as much as destroyer of our lungs brings to mind the word meaning ’emotional’ as being careless and unmindful, uncaring.

      Oligarchs, they just love us whenever they create wars, farm out government funds distribute them from among choice investment banks while not expanding business for them to create more jobs for the common man living in squalid existence.

      I think that we’re not really emotional people, we’re just helpless people.

  2. For those who have never heard of Jim Rohn try to check out his website or audio files or books. He said to welcome all experiences . He also said to appreciate an orchestra is to appreciate life. An orchestra can not just play happy little high notes all the time. Like I have said many times about Noynoy where has he succeeded or failed ? Where has he been challenged or sought out challenge? No wonder he has to resort to bullying by manipulating the different branches and makes wheel chair jokes. He never earned anything.

  3. Our culture generally places too much value on emotions, since after all, we never developed an indigenous intellectual culture. Nearly everything intellectual is imported. Remove everything “imported,” we go back to the Stone Age. Then we are even faced with TV shows and movies that further encourage lack of emotional control. I believe that if Filipinos do not learn to appreciate brain use more, the country will stay in the pits that it is in.

    1. turn the TV, AKA ‘idiot-box’ off,no one is forcing you to watch it.Try reading,things like: Dostoeyevsky’s “The Possessed” or Tolstoy’s “Ressurection”.If you comprehend them,they will change the way you think,and maybe your life.Instead of getting that daily electro-magnetic lobotomy.Seriously,try reading.

  4. I did not read the whole article but what I did read is correct.Filipino’s are the most ‘SENSITIVE” people I have ever met.As a KANO,living in the area…I see it constantly.When I was growing up in the worlds toughest city,if I had been a sensitive child,the beatings would have never stopped! A kid had to show how tough he was by not being sensitive to name calling,be-littling and all other cruelties inflicted by the bullies AND be willing to fight back,at all costs, just to be left alone…so I did.I come here and see how sensitive people are and how easily they are offended and I think a few things(You may not like it but try taking the rest w/a grain of salt):1)sensitive men resemble women,yes…Pussy’s.2)A lack of self-esteem in the entire population seems abundant and whether or not it comes from being colonized for centuries,it is time to get some collective self-esteem.Then you all will not care what someone else thinks,start demanding better paying jobs and stop tolerating the theft of your taxes…and that is just for starters.Most of the Ladies I have dated here are emotional train-wrecks and I have had to abandon at least two that were so good looking/hot I thought they were from Venus,but emotionally fragility is just so totally un-attractive(to me anyway)…too bad.Thinking a compliment is an insult(WTF?) is just redundant after a while.It is affecting the country in a negative way,a BIG way too.SENSITIVE(emotional)=Nothin good.I realize this will be read by some emotional/sensitive people and they will not like it,for exactly that reason and a few imaginary ones too.I am just holding up a mirror,and so bring it,the insults, I can take it,just like all those beatings I took……and gave out! It is called having ‘thick-skin’,and it is something this country could use a large dose of!

    1. Most of the Ladies I have dated here are emotional train-wrecks and I have had to abandon at least two that were so good looking/hot I thought they were from Venus,but emotionally fragility is just so totally un-attractive(to me anyway)…too bad

      This is also true of some men. They are so un-attractive when they are full of drama 😉

    2. Hey! Knucklehead go back to your ghetto. your just there to take advantage of those poor people and now you think that your have an opinion about social malaizes in that country that count. Get a life. I wont be a surprise if your one of those westerner pedophiles that go to third world countries so you can get offed!

        1. @Jo Jo

          I’m correct. You can’t even comprehend what you’re commenting.

          “When I was growing up in the worlds toughest city,if I had been a sensitive child,the beatings would have never stopped! A kid had to show how tough he was by not being sensitive to name calling,be-littling and all other cruelties inflicted by the bullies AND be willing to fight back,at all costs, just to be left alone…so I did.I come here and see how sensitive people are and how easily they are offended and I think a few things(You may not like it but try taking the rest w/a grain of salt):1)sensitive men resemble women,yes…Pussy’s.2)A lack of self-esteem in the entire population seems abundant and whether or not it comes from being colonized for centuries,it is time to get some collective self-esteem.”

          You want us to be thick skinned and you’re the opposite. And you think, by that above comment, you think yourself as a decent American. Ugh…

          You’re even threatening us –

          “YOU,and your fellow country-men should apply the golden rule to your visitors as WE are the same people YOU and your OFW and IMMIGRANT friends are going to be dealing with when I am back in MY country,ever think of that wise-guy?”

          If you’re that tough, care to give us your real name and where can an offended locals can find you. Instead of threatening us that “once you’re in your country” thing.

      1. I take advantage of no one and pay for everything I do in the Philippines.There are over 250,000 USA citizens in the Philippines and we and the OFW’s are helping to prop up 20% (that is correct 20%) of your economy.I ask for nothing free and I pay for every single thing I do.I do not think my opinion counts BUT apparently you do as you waste your time being a nasty host,and feel free to comment on everything USA.I have met the likes of you and you are a nothing but a nazzy-ass fart -in-the-wind to me.
        YOU should treat people like me like the decent human being that I am,not TELL me to leave.I do not live in a ghetto and you WISH you had the kind of money I have that I can live anywhere in the world I want to.YEAH,you wish!!!! You Filipino’s come to my country,and no one tells YOU to LEAVE,do they? AND you have opinions on everything USA and no one tells you to ‘STFU’,do they? Get yourself some manners their buddy,before you get taught a lesson you should have learned already.
        YOU,and your fellow country-men should apply the golden rule to your visitors as WE are the same people YOU and your OFW and IMMIGRANT friends are going to be dealing with when I am back in MY country,ever think of that wise-guy? BUT NO,you tell me to leave.OH GEE,let me think,how I am I going to treat the Filipino’s I meet when I get back to my country? Ever think of how your actions affect your fellow filipino’s? I did not think so,BUT when YOU treat US like SHIT you are only inviting US(AMERICAN CITIZEN EX-PATS) to treat YOU like-wise when we run into Filipino’s back on OUR home turf.GEE,I wonder what is going to happen then,HUH? I do not see any Filipino’s lining up to get out of the USA and come running back here to THEIR country,do you? It is the other way around(go to Terminal 1 at NAIA any day and check out the thousands of desperate looking Filipino’s hoping to get the fuck out of here!).MAYBE when they leave MY country MAYBE then I will take you up on your truly offensive offer to leave.
        Think twice before you act like the not-so-gracious,insulting li’l creep you seem to be.WHY? Coz I bet you ain’t half as tough as you think you are and I am the older grizzly bear that will eat you for breakfast.

        1. From one American expat to another, could you please shut up?
          Maybe shift this energy into doing something productive, like, going out and being kind to people instead of pounding your chest on an online forum and asserting that you are somehow greater than others because of where you happened to be born.
          Go out and make friends with the local people instead of sitting back and passing judgement and complaining.
          You sound like a spoiled little turd and you’re making us all look bad.

        2. There’s a few things I agree with you on, but you are being extremely arrogant. This article was about Filipino’s being too emotional (which is true) yet you yourself is doing the same. I also am an American who has been here for 4 years. I’ve experienced hardships. But don’t sit there and act as if you’re talking on the behalf of all Americans.

          Sooooo….Filipino’s do need to lighten up though. It’s like everything here is a pissing contest. I truly feel that when I meet somebody, they instantly compare themselves with me. Instead of looking for good things in a person, it would seem they are looking for what they are better at than that person. And don’t get me started on the popularity of gossip.

      2. Oh no he’ss not the knucklehead living in a ghetto. YOU ARE bastos na utak squatter. I mean look at you acting like a nigga being very hostile to foreigners only because of your pathetic mentality that foreigners and elites are evil. You are such a cancer of this country traposakal. Now go back on eating your pagpag and get lost dahil iyan ang bagay sa mga utak squatter na katulad mo.

  5. If you use your emotion, more than your brain….you will end up with lousy decisions. We are Wowoowwee people. We love “giling-giling” dancing. These are our tools to get away from our realities that: (1) our political leaders , we elected are incompetent. (2) Our national fund is being ransacked and stolen by these people. (3) We are going to the “bangin” in our ” matuwid na daan”. We are like Ostriches, who bury its head in a hole in the ground, to escape realities of its danger…

  6. Cory Aquino’s regime was not at all revolutionary. It was emotional. Too emotional that they changed the two-party system to multi-party. Came 2010, nabasag votes ng anti-yellow machine and the united vote of the yellow machine led to the 40%-vote presidency of Noynoy.

    1. Ano emo people get the president they deserve. As I pointed out in my previous article

      His only claim to the presidency was his popularity and not much else; which, to be fair, is what one gets in a country where presidents are elected by popular vote.


      Filipinos had the chance to do it right the first time in 2010 by electing a seasoned and qualified candidate to the most powerful office of the land. Instead, they voted BS Aquino.

    2. @The Philippine Guild

      2010 was the year of the rise of Philippine idiocracy.

      Even the impeachment trial of former CJ Corona was based on emotion. It was like a circus. The senators justified their conviction based on inconsistent logic.

  7. When I saw the survey I immediately knew it was true. When I saw the comparison with Singapore I thought people should ask “Which is the more successful society”? Come to find out Filipinos think they are better people for being so emotional instead of wondering if it might be a bad thing. So sadly typical.
    Kanos are regularly accused of being ‘di masaya because they don’t put on the phony “happy face” all the time. There is no understanding of “a time and a place for everything”.

    1. @T4Man

      I don’t know why some Filipinos do not know the meaning of that saying. Most Filipinos even read the bible and go to church on a regular basis.

  8. Add religion (particularly the one where majority belong to) to the equation, and it gets even worse.

    “By religion I mean a set of beliefs held as dogmas, dominating the conduct of life, going beyond or contrary to evidence, and inculcated by methods which are emotional or authoritarian, not intellectual”
    Bertrand Russell

    People should realize even Christ was/is against religion, and I am just seeing exactly why in the Philippines and with the Filipinos.

    1. eezychair,

      Please get your facts right. Both Jesus the religious leader and the historical Jesus were never against his religion. He was against the establishment. His ministry opposed prevailing religious practices at the time which he believed emphasized the letter of Jewish law but had come to neglect the spirit of the law. He maintained that as a result, the law had become a burden to the people and advocated a different interpretation of Jewish law. He also opposed the political/religious bureaucracy, characterizing it as harmful and oppressive and preached several times against its leaders. Christ’s movement offered an alternative to the established order; it wasn’t simply to tear it down. In this sense Christianity resembles Martin Luther’s reformation.

      And Bertrand Russell is hardly the voice of reason. He preached ATHEISM as a belief system as an alternative to other religions. That places him in the same category as the other religious leaders he denounced.

      1. Maybe I shouldn’t have qouted Russell, but you just explained how Christ is against religion. He is no religious leader, he is Christ. Amen?

        1. I don’t understand how you came to that conclusion. I stated that the objective of Christ’s ministry was to REFORM his Jewish religion; to correct problems that he and his followers perceived were deeply rooted in the religious and political establishment at the time. It WAS NOT specifically aimed at starting a NEW religion. At most it would have been classified as a sect of Judaism. All the events in his ministry as described by the Bible and other contemporary sources indicate an attempt to fulfill prophecies that had been taught to the Jews for centuries; everything he did was in accordance with their beliefs and expectations as a religious leader. This would have made his actions familiar and acceptable to his audience.

          It should be noted that Jesus was not unique in this regard. There were other reformist sects and preachers at the time who called for reform among the Jews with their own proposed alternative belief systems. And there were those who took a more militant approach to reform. Historical records show Palestine was gripped by a rather violent revolutionary movement at the time.

          The success evolution of Christianity into a separate religion begins with Paul the Evangelist. It was Paul’s effort that spread the new belief system throughout the Roman empire. It is here that Judaism and Christianity diverge with one group of followers believing it should remain a Jewish sect and another, larger, faction looking to encompass non-Jews (Gentiles).

      1. Ilda,

        And yet for all its faults, organized religion is responsible for giving structure to human society. It enabled mankind to build a civilization.

        1. Jay,

          You are twisting things around again. Its HUMANS who corrupt the system. PEOPLE manipulate an idea so that it will serve whatever ends they desire. Just the same, its people who will either work within the confines of the system to prevent that from happening or create new structures to correct the errors of the system.

        2. Well, Machiavelli thinks organized religion is another path to total control in his masterpiece, The Prince..

        3. Yap,

          Exactly! As you pointed out — it is Machiavelli’s (the ruler’s) intention to use (manipulate) religion as a tool to control the people. The phenomena is not unfamiliar. Spanish colonizers used Catholic religious services to enforce law in the Philippines.

      2. Ilda,

        “In a lot of ways, religion does discourage people from using their logic.”

        Religion is more about the belief system and moral values rather than encouraging logic if we’re talking about Christianity as religion.

        In our modern time, who are the advocates of these:

        – same-sex intercourse, bestiality, incest, and pederasty (sexual freedom, heh…)

        – infanticide for disabled (they decide who live and those who will not)

        – mercy killing or euthanasia (the right to choose how and when to have a quality death with dignity)

        From where I am, I see these people as those who will not bother with religion. For these people, the above are not twisted logic but rather one’s right to choose. ACLU, NAMBLA, SFC (Sex Freedom Coalition) are their advocates.

        1. @Trosp, that’s a pretty sweeping judgment of ‘atheists’, dude. I wonder though if you might be failing to appreciate that many of the wars, acts of terrorism, and other human atrocities that pockmark such as the Inquisition were perpetrated in the name of one “God” or another.

        2. I know a lot of atheists and they are mostly nice people. I don’t even know any atheist who are into the activities mentioned above. Even some religious people can get involved in those activities though.

          When I mentioned religion, it wasn’t just in reference to Christianity.

        3. benign0,

          Have I mentioned anything about atheism?

          I have some previous comments about the past of Catholicism as you’ve described them. As I’ve been always commenting, the Church is not denying they’ve committed those mistakes and they’re making amends.

          We must also recognized what the situations were during those times.

          As far as my comment is concerned, I’ve seen to it that it that I put the situation as “modern time”.

          Am I wrong about what I’ve put up?

        4. Ilda,

          Your comment:

          “I know a lot of atheists and they are mostly nice people. I don’t even know any atheist who are into the activities mentioned above. Even some religious people can get involved in those activities though.

          When I mentioned religion, it wasn’t in reference to Christianity.”


          Read my comment again.

        5. BTW, when I mentioned people who will not bother with religion, it includes also the Catholics in name only.

          Take note that I’m very specific with ACLU, NAMBLA, and SFC. I’m not saying they don’t have Catholic in name only members with them.

  9. Ilda,

    Every time I see that picture I get the urge to slap her upside the head. 😉

    I agree with your article. Filipinos revel in getting “caught up in the moment.” But talking to the guy down the street, you’ll get the impression that Filipinos admire people from other countries who can step back, assess the situation, and decide on an issue with certainty. No ifs, ands or buts. But that rarely translates into change.

    In fact, being an “emotional people” causes us to have a distorted notion of our world. We look at our society and recognize that there is a disparity between the rich and poor, the haves and the have-nots. The knee-jerk emotional reaction is that the rich are stealing from the rest of the public, keeping the rest of us from realizing our aspirations. To be fair, that is often true. Our leaders, their henchmen, their relatives — have been proven to enrich themselves by taking advantage of the people who entrusted them with authority. The emotional response to that discovery is the thinking that in order to become prosperous all we have to do is stop those who are stealing or replace them. And that perpetuates our endless election cycles.

    It never seemed to occur to Filipinos that the failure of our society isn’t just because a select few are depriving the majority their share but because we failed to build a proper society based on proper education, the rule of law, and the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship. Filipinos probably would have come to that realization had we not been too emotional.

    1. @Johnny Saint

      Media plays a big role in giving rich people a bad name. Add to that, politicians mysteriously become rich after election. They pretend to be makamasa during election and then forget about the masa after election. Too bad the voters are always so emotional during election day.

      1. Ilda,

        I think its more a matter of the media reinforcing ideas that the “masa” already had to begin with.

        We each start with preconceived notions about outsiders that have been drilled into us from birth. Because we tend to stay within familiar boundaries, these ideas, rightly or wrongly, are reinforced by those around us. As we grow older and our experiences become richer, our perspective of the world evolves and we develop alternative points of view. In contrast those who remain insular will retain their prejudices. And as you pointed out, politicians will sink to any depth and use any skewed bias to get votes. With the media happily trumpeting their campaign.

      2. As I said previously, the popular notions about “the rich getting richer off the backs of the poor and disenfranchised” have a lot of truth to them.

        But the dichotomy of rich vs. poor isn’t unique to the Philippines. Other societies seem to be able to function quite well in spite of the gap between the two socioeconomic classes. While the only thing we have achieved by voting from our “gut” — based on emotion — has only succeeded in replacing one form of misrule with another one of incompetence and lethargy.

      1. I think you misinterpreted the comment. Replacing corrupt leaders or stopping “them” from stealing isn’t the answer I was looking for. Its symptomatic of a distorted world view brought on by being “too emotional.” The challenge is building a proper society brick by brick, with a foundation of good education, the rule of law, innovation, etc. The competent bureaucrats and practical politicians will eventually follow.

  10. will appreciate it if you can support your statements and conclusions with research. it will more interesting to read.

    1. Ummm, everyday interaction and encounters with Filipinos “emotional” activities already support’s whatever Ilda mentions in the article. We just need to look closely at ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, our families, our culture eventually. Ironically, last Sunday, this was what me and my friends were talking about and how us Pinoys in SG were being perceived by the locals there through interaction with us. That the locals here say we are loud, emotional, always complaining, argumentative, “palaban”, etc unlike the other ASEAN neighbors like the Vietnamese, Thailanders, Malaysians, Indonesians.

      Adding research to what she said just adds “icing” to the already flavorful base “cake”.

  11. I will never forget the common misunderstanding that some Filipinos have when it comes to nominations. Somebody says “I move that the nomination be closed” and the correct follow-up to this is “I second the motion”. Most Pinoys say “I second emotion” which is in a way typical for their emotional frame of mind.

  12. Ilda,

    “The country remains Asia’s laggard perhaps partly because most Filipinos don’t have their priorities right.”

    We may also add the “sense of urgency” and “time consciousness”.

  13. Filipinos thinking straight has long left the station. Look at the quality of government and the people Filipinos elect. Pacquiao is a great boxer but what does that guy know in running a city????

    Look at the length of these posts!!!

  14. Sometimes, I just think that this country is already “damaged beyond repair,” and the only way to “repair” it is to go back in time with a time machine with an intellectual someone and start an intellectual culture amongst the people…….

    1. The first 3 or 4 months of martial law inculcate discipline to Filipinos.

      That means it is makeable.

      What has happened after that period?

      The implementor became more corrupt and everything was back to square one again.

      1. Trosp,

        That wasn’t discipline. It was out of fear that the populace succumbed to the implementation of Martial Law.

        Marcos and his cronies were corrupt from the beginning. The 1969 presidential election was characterized by fraud and violence. There is evidence that Marcos used millions from the treasury to secure his victory.

        Make no mistake. There was no altruistic intent to make the Philippines “better.” The objective was to keep a hold on political power in the face of growing civil unrest. Soon enough, Marcos and his cronies shifted their priorities to reallocating control of the country’s resources and industries and stealing lucrative businesses out from under their rivals.

        1. Perhaps Marcos intention was what you are saying. I can agree with you with that one and actually, my belief during that time.

          But then, definition of discipline from the online dictionary:

          a. Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order.
          b. A systematic method to obtain obedience: a military discipline.
          c. A state of order based on submission to rules and authority: a teacher who demanded discipline in the classroom.

          Those are the definitions of discipline that I’m applying in my comment.

          And fear – it is the greatest motivator as they’re saying.

        2. Trosp,

          Would that it were that simple.

          I actually prefer the definition “A state of order based on submission to rules and authority.” It is related to the definition of “self-discipline” — the ability to maintain a sense of order and/or the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state.

          If Filipinos learned to inculcate this among themselves, we would not need a strongman to enforce compliance. Nor would there be a deep resentment of the ruling class.

  15. The Philippines is an immature society, period. Possibly due to the colonial period, but probably even before that. Most probably the local rulers, the datus and the rajas, terrorized the people and were “mabait” (nice) to those who followed them, and the babaylans helped fool the ordinary people.

    Actually many Pinoys from the common folk are not that stupid, but they have learned to play the fool because it is safer for them. They also have no idea of common good for society because the ruling class have none, so they try to get by and survive on a day-to-day basis. In fact, they do not have a chance to build anything on the long term.

    Notable exception to this are many Ilocanos, who have a culture of hard work and thrift. Especially abroad they tend to make it good.

  16. @pinoyabroad

    Good point you made there…. Anyway what would you guys think of having a Philippine society that has a grumpy public face (ala Russia), rather than the perpetual smiling one we have now?

  17. I thought that I should post this:

    Some see this as a good thing, saying this shows our ability to fully understand fear, anger, and happiness. Others however think that this is to blame for our celebrity obsessed culture.

    One of the commenters, Grego Abaya Raymundo III replied with “And now we know why the Philippines produce more ‘celebrities’ than scientists, philosophers, and academicians.”

    This makes more sense since Pinoy Pride is all about celebrities and singers and dancers. This goes to show that some pinoys are intellectually immature.

    “At the same time, we Filipinos blow up for the most paltry of reasons, and don’t make use of that thing called a brain before realizing that something we feel is offensive is just a relaxed comment. Just look at all the comedians who make innocent remarks, and we use those remarks as de facto declarations of war. We need balance between reason and emotion.”

    I couldn’t agree more with what was said with the above statement. I don’t even need to say it because people blow up and get angry over trivial things that even I find ridiculous. It makes sense why they demand public apologies from celebrities and couldn’t take a joke.


  18. I think Filipinos are too dominant and demanding for their own good. lol I actually find Filipinos to be the opposite… they’re actually pretty emotionless to me. Not all but most. Robotic like and tend to lack emotional intelligence. EQ is just as important as IQ. They are finding more and more discoveries about how important EQ is from studies. Mind you I am Filipina myself and these points of views are from having self-awareness and just from personal experiences growing up, all of the Filipinos I’ve ever known in life, and that’s a lot of Filipinos. Just years and years of observation. When I compare behaviors to other races such as Caucasians, African Americans, etc. it’s very different. I’ve always felt more comfortable with them. They have more personality and at ease with affections. They are not cold. Again, I say this only with my own personal life’s experiences, everyones experience is going to be different. I hope you don’t have to experience what I’ve gone through. Hope yours is better 🙂 Filipinos don’t even hug well or properly. It just feels awkward like they’re uncomfortable doing something that should be so normal and effortless. I wonder if they even know what it is! Such a lack of understanding and communication also, sometimes. A lot of jumping to conclusions though. One pet peeve of mine and wow I really can’t stand this is when Filipinos just tend to hang out with only other Filipinos. How are you ever going to learn and think outside of the box, when you’re always in it?? I mean if you’re in the U.S. and IT IS 2013. Stop being ignorant and so closed minded. I love getting to know people from different backgrounds and all walks of life, whether black, white, gay, straight, doesn’t matter to me. People who are not emotional at all are also known as sociopaths, narcissists, etc. So having no emotions is actually a very bad thing and nothing to be proud of. As a normal human being, you need to take in and feel what life has to offer to its full extent. Live life to the fullest not empty and robotic. Become fully developed emotionally and intellectually. On the contrary, I don’t believe in being too overemotional either, everything in life is all about balance. Not swaying from one extreme side to the other. A lack of or too much. Both are bad, center is good. Coming from a place of compassion. Always. Also, one last thing … what is up with the Filipino parents projecting fear onto their kids and all this paranoia. Don’t be afraid if your children turn out to be passionate artists or someone creative. No wonder there aren’t more Filipino artists and entertainers out there who leave a mark. Not everyones destiny is going to be to go out there and become a nurse, not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s a very respectable profession of course but if you just keep doing things for the money, then it’s going to just be a sad and lonely life filled with material things. The world actually needs love now more than ever. Not coldness. Make a difference. One thing’s for sure I may have had some negative experiences but I will stop the cycle and be different with my children. Oh by the way my background is Criminal Justice/Psychology.

    1. you show insight.
      and the most interesting point which i also find, compared to so many other countries, is the lack of genuine integration with foreigners ( i mean beyond tge young girls/older men syndrome and the false bon homie of hi joe). their is an envy but a fear at the same time. no real desire to learn but envious of the wealth without understanding that it was earnt through education and hard work.
      the island mentality and educational system clearly does not create inquiring minds for the vast majority which is to their personal loss and restrictive of future opportunities.
      you are one of the lucky ones, but sadly a rarity.
      it seems people are meant to be kept in their place and only succeed when exposed to other cultures/mentors, and then the country likes to take credit as though it has been responsible!!

    2. Maraming salamat po sa iyong input! 🙂 I am a Filipino too, though disagreeing with your emotionless statement.

      Perhaps you are speaking of overseas Filipinos who are not quite warm with people they arent familiar with.

      To my knowledge, many overseas Fils. (Fil-Ams exactly) are quite emotional and avid partygoers LOL :)(could be mistaken)

      You are right though on Filipinos socializing with mostly Filipinos, we need to open our minds to new ideas.

      We are imho so die hard in aspiring to be East Asians (making our young pursue math/science related courses like nursing) when not everyone is mathematically/scientifically inclined to do so.

      Thank you for your comments, you bring much great insight.

      And no racism towards anyone here btw 😉

  19. I wrote a very long, rambling comment that basically boils down to two points:
    1. As a foreigner in the Philippines, navigating the emotional differences can be deceptively easy, until you realize that you’re actually leaving a trail of annoyed Filipinos in your wake. But, with time, your eyes are opened to the nuances and I, for one, have found that in many ways, the manners here are far superior than to the US. I’m often put-off by American manners now when we visit home!
    2. Many of the points made in the blog post are not unique to this culture, especially the issue of voting for personality over substance. It takes effort to discover the true character and skills of another. It’s much easier to vote for the person with a family legacy or the one whose handlers are doing the best job. With that in mind, at least the Filipino people function in a state of hopefulness. That is the first step toward improvement. I know many young people (and some older people!) who are actively working toward improving their lives, and the lives of those around them.
    John F Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” It’s a very often quoted line in the US, but more and more people there look inward and think about what they can get rather than looking outward and recognizing what they can give. Here, in the Philippines, I see far more people asking themselves how they can pursue careers and use their free time to improve the lives of those in their family and their country. Does everyone have this attitude? No. But I know enough who do that it gives me great hope for the future of the Philippines.
    I love it here, and part of the reason why is because there is so much potential bubbling and spreading and growing. I’ve seen great improvements in the 4 years we’ve lived here, and I look forward to seeing what the coming decades bring.

  20. This article was written last Nov. 2012, I’m just wondering where was the author when the Philippines is being hailed as one of the 11 tiger economies? Where were you when the Philippines Stock Exchange broke records? Why do you keep on undermining Noynoy Aquino as a president? He has actually the best track record among those who became the Philippine Presidents in the last 50 years. your premise that Noynoy got elected because people became emotional when Cory died thus, the Filipino people voted irrationally baffles me. Noynoy won coz he was the only candidate who did not run because of ambition. People who believed in him pushed his candidacy.

    Anyway, I’d rather be emotional and be illogical at times than to be a smart emotionless being. I guess, me being emotional made me a poet which in turn helps a bit on my finances.

    But in general you have written a nice “emotionally provoking” article.

    1. @RS Mallari

      I’m afraid that if you think that BS Aquino “has actually the best track record among those who became the Philippine Presidents in the last 50 years”, then you won’t understand my explanation, ever.

      Only time can convince you otherwise.


      1. Enlighten me, what made you think that noynoy do not deserve to be the president of the Philippines? Give me premises based on facts and not your “emotional opinion” on him.

        I could give you facts to support my statement, just search for the phrase “Philippines is on the rise” or “Philippines is no longer the sick man of asia”.

        1. Filipinos deserve the government they elect. Since you chose BS Aquino, then you deserve him and he deserves you.

          What exactly did BS Aquino do to get credit for news such as “Philippines is on the rise” or “Philippines is no longer the sick man of asia”?

          The records show that even past administrations, particularly during the beginning of his mother’s term in office also reported such “good” news.

      2. You are a Filipino writing about the Filipinos being too emotional. You are a Filipino so therefore you are emotional, logically speaking. Is your article an objective observation as opposed to being subjective? Why do I ask? The photo attached to your article was that of Kris Aquino and your writing seems to deal with pinoys being too emotional and bashing the Aquino clan as well.. I say to each his own. Different folks , different strokes. I’ve been around people who are extraordinarily emotional, but these people are highly successful in their own rights. Your way of describing the pinoys as too emotional, sounds like more of a negative character that describes the Filipinos generally which is actually not. Perhaps we’re sensitive or sentimental people, that I will agree. Making wrong decisions like voting because of emotional outbursts, what’s wrong with that. At least, there is a decision. Being emotional is being honest , sincere, transparent and what you wrote is more of a hate statement to the present government and not about the Filipinos being emotional. Many Filipinos left a mark in the history of the world, if you know you’re history, in departments such as arts, sciences, heroic acts, and a lot more. RS Mallari’s arguments are logical and objective. I’m not asking you to patronize your fellow countrymen , but at least have the decency not to add insult to our already so wounded country. Instead, let’s try to focus more on the good things because I know there is a LOT.

        1. @MsLC

          No, I am not as emotional as the average Pinoy. I hardly make hasty decisions when I am sad, angry or ecstatic. I try to calm down and think carefully before doing or saying something. I would not vote for a person just because I am mourning the death of his beloved mother.

          Re the Aquinos – Kris Aquino is a perfect example of a highly emotional person. She even airs her dirty laundry on national TV. Her irrational decisions in life has been document by mainstream media. Her brother PNoy is also an emotional person and this is evident in the way he berates his enemies in public, sometimes without provocation. He also makes irrational decisions when he is angry. Who can forget the time he put a hold on infrastructure projects on his first year in office seemingly to spite his predecessor? That resulted in a flat economy in 2011.

          Making wrong decisions like voting because of emotional outbursts, what’s wrong with that

          LOL…what’s wrong is that you elect incompetent people in government who end up wasting people’s time and money.

          Many Filipinos left a mark in the history of the world, if you know you’re history, in departments such as arts, sciences, heroic acts, and a lot more.

          Please list them down but don’t include beauty queens, okay? Thanks!

          Instead, let’s try to focus more on the good things because I know there is a LOT

          Please list them down but don’t include Azkal’s or Gilas’s win, okay? Thanks!

      1. tama si Ilda ,, Pnoy was elected because filipino’s are in chaos and emotionally devastated… they were in perplexing moment that they dont know what to do and they even dont know what they were thinking. they vote for him, because they think he could bring forth success to us without conceptualizing the whole thing. filipino’s are emotional and happy-go-lucky. mababaw ang isip!! that turn out to be not-that-so-good….

  21. Milady you are getting emotional, we’re just having a healthy discussion. I didn’t vote for him as I am away from our motherland.

    He’s not the one telling the good news, its the different financial institutions that give Credit Ratings. His drive against corruption “genuine” or not made a big impact on how investors see the country. it’s a sad thing you cannot accept the fact that our country is on the rise economically.

    But then, you have just proven your point, we are too emotional coz you can’t even handle a simple debate. I hope you’ll still publish this comment. It will be my last. i just hope that not everyone in the Philippines is as pessimistic as you.. paalam.

    1. The market is all about perception, Mr Mallari. If the media owned and operated by friends and relatives of MR BS Aquino publishes propaganda saying that “Aquino is a saint”, then no doubt it will reach the international media and translate to renewed business confidence. But has doing business in the Philippines really changed? Check again. The Philippine government could be inviting guests without cleaning the house first.

      1. Well said “perception”, what made investors perceived as good for business. Not those like you of course (lol). As I’ve said genuine or not the corruption drive made a good impact plus the agreement made by the government and MILF.

        Then again, why would I convince you when all the articles I see here are anti government which goes by the name of your site “Get real Philippines.

        Regarding the why I concluded that you became emotional, I can fee the sarcasm on every lines you address to me. Even my 10 year old daughter can read between those lines..

        My advice is.. No matter how cloudy it is, always hope for the sun to shine. Try to look on the brighter side of things.

        1. RS Mallari

          You did not answer my question: Has doing business in the Philippines really changed?

          GRP is not in the business of deception. We discuss realities, which most Filipinos ignore.

          Regarding the why I concluded that you became emotional, I can fee the sarcasm on every lines you address to me. Even my 10 year old daughter can read between those lines..

          Ah…I see. You asked your 10 year old to help you conclude that my response was emotional.

        2. “Ah…I see. You asked your 10 year old to help you conclude that my response was emotional.”

          Now tell me how cool you are LOL. And forgive me I am not familiar with GRP. I know of GNP and GDP though.

          I have to retire now it’s kinda late here. I bid you farewell and MABUHAY!!!

        3. I made you laugh. That’s good. That proves that I was not emotional at all.


          You can have that tattooed on your shoulder if you want to look cool. 😉

        4. You’re going already without answering my question? Tsk tsk…

          Sigh…hirap sa Pinoy talaga lagi na lang bahala na mentality. Bahala na pagdating ng investors kahit palpak mag-business sa Pinas.

    2. You did not answer my question: Has doing business in the Philippines really changed?
      The more fitting question is “Has nothing changed in doing business in the Philippines?”
      -Can the author satisfyingly answer this if she is not really living in the Philippines but instead relies on hearsays, gossips or second hand accounts.

      1. “The more fitting question is “Has nothing changed in doing business in the Philippines?”

        There could be some small changes here and there but the better question is “Did the govt ease up the procedures in doing business in the Pinas?” The answer is a BIG NO! In UAE, HK, SG, BVI there are one stop shops and within hours upon submitting your requirements – viola! Your done. But of course I guess Its hard for you to grasp the concept that Im trying to point out here – can’t blame you because probably you have never experienced it or possibly thought that it could be possible. But pls don’t take my words for it you can visit

  22. Para sa kin Isa akong pinoy

    Ako sobrang emotional ako Dahil sa mga Tao na nakikita ko Dahil sila ayaw sa kin Dahil sa kalinisan ng katawan pero naglilinis ako ng katawan ayaw Araw po Hindi ko alam bakit lahat ng Tao ayaw sa kin
    KAHIT mga magulang ko at mga relatives ayaw Sakin at nag toothbrush ako po Araw Araw po pero ayaw nila sa kin nag hahanap ako ng solution para dito
    Sa buong katawan po pero naliligo at naglilinis po ng katawan po ako nag katawan kaya tingin nila sa kin LONER PO ALONE
    AYAW MAKISAMA PO ano po ang solution po

    Pls po magbigti po kayo ng mga solution po o tulog para po Sakin
    Nagdadasal naman po ako at naglilinis ng Bahay po
    Pero ayaw Sakin ng mga magulang ko galit Sakin at mga relatives po
    Magbigay po kayo ng tulong po
    Masama ang suicide at ako mga 17 na ko
    Hindi ko iisipin nyan
    KAHIT ayaw sa king ng mga Tao po
    Kaya lahat ng Tao hawak ilong o punas ilong po

    Makita po ako
    Magsalita po ako o Hindi
    Gannon ang lahat ng Tao na ayaw po Sakin

    At mga Hindi ko pa kilala ayaw na Sakin

    Ao po un solution sa problems po 🙁

    1. Ano po masasabi nyo po doon po sa comment ko po
      Hindi ko alam Kung tutulungan nyo ko o Hindi

      At alam ko Hindi ako ginawa ng diyos para maging basura o ano po


      Alam ko ginawa ako ng diyos at bakit ganito ako NGAUN po
      Sobrang emotional at lungkot

      Bakit ako nagkakaganito po
      Naglilinis naman po ako sa katawan ko po buo sa kamay kili kili paa a iba pa po

      Wala na kong manga gawa sa mga my ayaw sa kin
      At sana my tumulong sa kin po un iba kasi sobrang bata pa Patay na Dahil emotional sa PAMBUBULLY AT IBA PANG PROBLEMA


      AT 17 Lang ako po

      Tulongan nyo po ako pls po taga pampanga po ako 🙁 pls po sana my tumulong po sa kin sa PROBLEMA ko po sa Buhay ko po
      At naglilinis ako ng under arms po at buong katawan po

      At NGipin po toothbrush po

  23. At the first part I was quite impressed with your realizations but when I stumbled down to this line, “Emotional people also do not know how to deal with down time. They always want to be having a good time. This is not surprising considering Filipinos pride themselves for being a “happy-go-lucky” society.”

    It made me think and ask, “Have you ever had a LIFE miss Ilda?”

  24. Exactly what I mean. Thinking before making hasty decisions. So why on earth will you write something that will upset many people and will lead to such argumentative comments? Are you trying to open a forum on your subject matter? THAT is a waste of time.
    And by the way, I don’t elect incompetent people because I haven’t voted since birth.
    Everybody is free to vent their emotions, and that includes you.
    This world, this life is not all about you or what you think, it’s about living a life with a human purpose, being compassionate, and understanding and seeing the good in every unfavorable situation.
    The intellectuals call it MATURITY.. Whining, bickering, complaining is never a solution. This is my last statement. I hope you find something good in the land of your birth, or if you were not born in the Philippines, at least think of the Filipino blood flowing through your veins…

    1. @MsLC

      So why on earth will you write something that will upset many people and will lead to such argumentative comments? Are you trying to open a forum on your subject matter? THAT is a waste of time.

      The truth hurts but it must be said to help Filipinos realise why we as a society cannot progress.

      And by the way, I don’t elect incompetent people because I haven’t voted since birth.

      So? Did I mention your name in the article at all? The article is not about you so quit taking it personally. As you said so yourself, I am free to write my opinion.

      Complaining is a good thing. If people don’t complain about crappy services, things will not improve.

      1. An article is an article. Observations are based on what is publicly displayed and I guess opinions are drawn according to what we see. This article or blog made very good points actually so I really don’t understand why you get “emotional” comments. LOL. Admitting that we have an emotional culture is a step up, so don’t take it personally. The blog was based on actual facts, conducted by Gallup, which my company use to base our survey questions on internally. Gallup has effective ways on targeting the negative in pursuit of positive actions.

        We should all realize that being branded on the forehead and walking around with it is not a good resolution to a problem. Being branded as emotional people is devastating. However, instead of grinding this blogger to a pulp, let’s look inwardly and ask ourselves, what should we do about?

        The Gallup results were elaborated by this blogger, naming what she deemed was/were wrong with us. It doesn’t make her disloyal, it doesn’t make her a traitor. Jose Rizal did the same thing long ago. Well… We know what happened to him.

        Kapwa Pinoys, let us rally together to make a difference, not bash each other when our pride is stepped on or our way of life is challenged.

        We could make a difference. Start now. Be open minded. Be smart. It takes a TEAM.

      2. SO di ka pa pala bumoboto since birth. ano naman karapatan mo mag complain sa gobyerno nyo? Si ba law dyan na dapat kayo bumuto? So di ka sumusunod sa law ninyo. Paano kayo aasenso???

    2. Yan ang mahirap sa inyo. English kayo ng English kaya di kayo magkaintindihan. Sianasabi lang nung isa yung obvious na. Matauhan naman sana na kayo. Paano nyo masasabing matatalino kayo e ninanakawan na kayo ng harapan wala naman kayo magawa. Pareho pareho lang binoboto nyo pero you expect a different result? Buti nga may nagmamalasakit pa sa inyo.

      1. Ah, another anti-intellectual Filipino here. Maybe you prefer jejemon-speak if you don’t like English then?

        Typical trash-minded indio.

        1. Indio?! Seriously?! Must you make such racist remarks?!

          Tama naman si Jim, nag rekalmo nga tayo, pero wla naman tayong nagawa sa ating mga problema, sadly sali din ako dyan :/

  25. I admire your advocacy in trying to explain why the Filipinos’ too emotional trait is not good, through your blog. It takes a lot of time and courage to actually write this kind of article and be heard , and eventually something good will come out from it.
    Bottomline is everybody wants change. A big leap from what our country is now , to a more progressive country. That doesn’t happen overnight. Articles and discussions using social media may contribute to this country’s journey of changing for the better. Change starts from within us. I would like to end this with a note, Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country. Keep up the good work. I just hope that when I open your blog again, I’ll read some goodness in it. It will be a breath of fresh air:))

  26. You can’t even give an opinion without some of them declaring that you’re stroking your ego. and they use the word “intellectual” as an insult

  27. I find this article to be very accurate. My girlfriend, who is a filipina, is constantly an emotional basket case. She’s either super happy or super down on herself. When she’s down, I get drag down into it, like it’s somehow my fault. She says I’m “not listening” ,or that I “don’t understand”, or that I even “look down” on her. No matter how many times I show the opposite to actually be the case, she wants to keep reiterating those things. I don’t know how to handle her to be honest.

    1. @Anonymouse

      It sounds like your girlfriend has some issues she needs to resolve. It seems she is masking her insecurities with arrogance. She could be insecure about the colour of her skin or her social standing in society. Having said that, a lot of women in the Philippines behave like a “princess” because they have this misguided notion that their boyfriends should be wooing them all the time. They can’t seem to behave like an adult.

      Please note that behavioural problems like what you described above could be a product of years of living in a dysfunctional culture.

      Good luck. You should find someone with a healthier outlook in life. There are lots of them out there.

    2. I feel you Anonymouse. I confess, my mum is like that as well who is always like blaming me that I did something wrong every time she gets pissed.

  28. I love your post! Reminds me of my mother after she saw me with a minor black eye. It’s just a harmless bruise but she reacted as if my brains are leaking! Too much telenovela I guess. Filipinos should control their emotion.

  29. Hi Ilda!

    I’ve only discovered GRP today and I’m glad my co-worker said, “Napaka-racist naman nito.” It intrigued me because society interests me.

    A small thought I hope you would entertain, though. Are Filipinos in general really anti-intellectual? I have been to a few houses in the shanties, modest middle-income communities, and posh villages. I have a vague image of seeing medals, trophies, graduation pictures, and mementos from educational achievements have a dedicated section. Like how you would see a Sto. Niño in almost every Filipino household, each household has a small altar of their educational achievements.

    I’m just throwing this out there, is it really anti-intellectualism or something more bitter? Like probably jealousy or envy?

    Nonetheless, these are extreme emotions and I do agree with your “Filipinos are too emotional” opinion.

    1. @Otep

      Thanks for keeping an open mind. Of course the article is not “racist”. 🙂

      Yes, it’s hard for some to reconcile the medals and certificates for various academic achievements people see displayed on most Filipino homes with the claim that Filipinos are anti-intellectual. You see, it’s like this: In the Philippines, a person with a degree doesn’t necessarily mean he/she is smart. Filipinos tend to put more emphasis on memorisation rather than critical thinking. So anyone who can memorise can get a diploma.

      In other words, Filipinos are taught WHAT to think, not HOW to think.

  30. Hi there, interesting article. As a foreigner living in this country for quiet some time, I have to agree. Majority of the Filipino people are quiet short sited, or better yet they choose to be that way. I have seen people who wish to change, but because of the community they live in, its hard. From my observations, its the relgion of this country that is causing the downfall of progress. Philippines is also considered one of the most religious countries in the world, even Italy where the Vatican resides is on the bottom part of that list. And combine religon with emotion, you get blind faith. I am not saying that religion is bad. But it seems that nobody questioning it and taking it literally is where the problem lies. To trust in God for a better tomorrow, without doing nothing is the problem. God gave us a body and mind, why not use it to improve? We can currently observe the USA’s decline because it went to religious and emotional. Same thing has been going on in this country.

    Do remember that it is easier to control or deceive people who blinded by emotion. And this country is full of it, the TV shows are about happy go lucky, the constant singing when something goes wrong is about happy go lucky, rather than focusing on the problem first. Going to church for a solution, with a corrupt priest, who tell to have blind faith and stay happy go lucky.

    I could go on and on… I will finish it with this

    People go to church on a Sunday, to ask for their prayers to be heard… On the same day as God is supposed to rest… Give him a break, get up and get your own shit done.

  31. Your article hits the nail on its head. A scientific survey confirmed it. Filipinos are emotional, top 1. I am dealing on this segment in my upcoming book on love, sex and marriage (Poems and essays) on February 2015. The emotional item is on the Love turning Crime article. Culture and Religion are the basic factors why Filipinos are emotional. There is a dictum in neuroscience: FULL THE MIND, THE BRAIN WILL FOLLOW. For generations, the Filipinos have generally been led into this mind system, and I guess, it adds partly to the genetic make-up which incidentally, are genes from Spanish colonizers, Chinese influence and African ancient parents. Environment and nurture can ultimately genetically evolving. Look at the brain dynamics of emotional people…more on the insulas and less on the frontal , particularly the prefrontal cortex. (refer to my earlier book on EUREKA, the Brain! and To Think or not to Think, woodrow publishing house, London September and November 2014)…..good points, Madam writer……from JunC.

  32. Emotionalness is a bit ok.

    Too much DRAMA is what is WRONG about Filipinos.

    -Drama Queens control the Matriarchal Culture of Filipinos.

  33. This would explain why one of my Filipino coworkers tends to complain a lot and overreact. Whenever she and I have a falling-out, she always blames me and doesn’t take responsibility for her contribution to the mess.

  34. Spot on. Indeed, as a Foreigner married to a Filipina, I’ve observed how, by and large, Filipinos prefer a more shallow condition of being “masaya” to a more grounded condition of “kaligayahan”.

    Filipinos are very masaya when they throw parties, when they eat, when they do karaoke, when they go to the mega shopping mall and so on.

    In the Philippines a lot of things cater to this desire for a condition of being masaya a good share of the time: the giant karatula or billboards, the “Mall of Asia” in Manila and several other huge shopping malls that are evenly scattered throughout the country, tv shows where gossip is the main topic, Jollibee and other fast food chains and so on.

    So, as far as I can tell, masaya is the Tagalog equivalent of what Aristotle would have called hedonic happiness or pleasure-seeking through stimulation vs eudaemonic happiness (“kaligayahan”=namamalaging kasiyahan in the sense of a state of more permanent inner peace that persists even if no stimulation is there, a constant state of being masaya, independent of such stimulations ad food, sex, alcohol etc.).

    1. That’s a good exploration of the two states of happiness that are, really, altogether different notions as expressed in the Tagalog words “masaya” and “maligaya”. Turns out there are certain such words that are really precise in their use.

      1. Indeed, I can easily picture binge drinkers being masaya while they nag-shot-shot but I can hardly picture them being maligaya. Tunay na maligaya people need no escape from reality if they live in a truly maligaya state….

    2. I completely agree, Eduardo. It occurs to me Filipinos do this sort of thing because they’re fundamentally miserable. People who are happy and grounded don’t need to indulge in pointless entertainment all the time.

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