Sense of Entitlement: A core cause of Filipino Dysfunction?


Somehow, it does seem that the vaunted Sense of Entitlement may be one of the core causes of Filipino problems. Sense of entitlement can be defined as the belief that Filipinos should have what they want, even if there is no proof that they deserve it. Or as columnist Cito Beltran describes in his article, “Ours is not a Beautiful Mind” — the “the right to do whatever it is they do in spite of the fact that they are causing or creating big problems for the rest of us.”

Beltran hit this as the flaw when Muslims from the South tried to invade Sabah. He also related this to many aspects of Filipino life, such as having maids and house servants even if one is poor. Or people blocking roads during fiestas. Or refusing to pay back debts. Or, obviously, people who claim to have the right to be rude. Indeed, because of sense of entitlement, the Filipino mind is not beautiful at all.

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I remember this story by one of my Facebook friends describing something in his younger years. Back in the 1970s, he was sent as part of a team or delegation, visiting Hong Kong or some other Asian country. One of his Filipino companions, a woman, remarked on a vase that was in the hotel suite they used: “If that wasn’t a breakable item, I would take it home with me.” Note, this vase was the hotel’s property, not theirs. The FB friend highlighted that this was in the 70s. So even in the 70s, there were bad-habited people who thought nothing of stealing things, probably believing that they were “entitled” to them.

Don’t forget that in World War 2, when the Japanese entered Manila, the residents of the city engaged in massive looting. And the police, who were disarmed at the time, instead of sticking to their principles, joined the looting. So much for Filipinos being “people of principle.”

Perhaps it can be seen as the source of Filipino pridefulness and arrogance. For example, that maid in Singapore who wore her employer’s clothes without permission felt entitled to her vanity. She decided to use someone else’s clothes to show that she is “sexy,” even if she might actually look like a rag. I wish people would shut up about their looks.

I connect it to Pinoy Pride as well. Pinoys believe that they are special in the world. For example, they claim that foreign clients will lose good caregivers if they send home their Filipino employee. I’m sorry, I don’t believe Filipinos are that special. Remember, there was even was a Filipino caregiver caught slapping his elderly patient. Punyetang “Filipinos are the best” na yan. They are not.

Isn’t this the reasoning of some pridists: “We are entitled to our pride! How dare you keep from us our pride!” Thus, they fall into the trap of trying to build up their pride but doing nothing about fixing their faults, so they shoot their own foot by doing the stupid things I described above.

On the contrary, I believe sense of entitlement has been fatal in this country

On the contrary, I believe sense of entitlement has been fatal in this country

Sense of entitlement can also be at the core of corruption. Why else would people involve themselves in corruption if not to satisfy their sense of entitlement with that something they could gain from corruption?

Some sectors, like the gay community, claim entitlement to certain rights, such as the right to have their marriages recognized by law. They claim to be oppressed, so they seek these rights as a sort of compensation for it. But as I said before, I doubt they are oppressed, because many can carry out their lifestyles as freely as they want. They just have to work so they can afford the space for it.

Maybe soon, convicted criminals will campaign for their “right to not be imprisoned.” Because they can claim that they’re entitled to it.

I remember when I opposed the proposal to allow parents to sue their children who they believe are not supporting them enough. The sense of entitlement of some parents could cause major abuse of this law. Allowing parents to sue their children will destroy the family.

Some people believe they are entitled to live at other people’s expense, which is why the Conditional Cash Transfer is a big program in this country. I disagree, no one has the right to this. Feed yourself with your own hand, not others’ hands. That’s why the Bible says, “those who refuse to work should not eat.”

Some people of certain agendas may believe that their ideas should be accepted by everyone without question. Thus, they believe they have a sense of entitlement to be listened to and no disagreement should be allowed. Else, the disagreers will be bullied. I say, sorry, if people disagree with your agendas, you have to make a good account of yourself to prove that it works.

Thus, I believe that Filipinos should drop their sense of entitlement. We do have a right to life, basic liberty, security of person and those other things granted within ethical bounds. But we don’t have a right to sense of entitlement. Because Filipinos can be a lazy but covetous people, sense of entitlement brings us down. Sorry, Filipinos are not entitled to anything. We have to work and make the right decisions to get what we deserve.

For those who want a real solution to Filipino society’s problems – this is a solution. Just clean up the flaws. Stop the bad habits. Stop the sense of entitlement.

41 Replies to “Sense of Entitlement: A core cause of Filipino Dysfunction?”

  1. Related to the Pinoy sense of self-entitlement is the overused term “Pinoy Pride.”

    “I am Pinoy, therefore I deserve _____.”

    Problem with this is, there’s so much “Pride” going around nowadays that a superior virtue, Humility, has almost been completely forgotten.

    1. I even hear people saying that humility is stupid and is a trick of the rich or of religion to keep you poor. How wrong. It’s the pride that keeps one poor.

        1. True religion never says that in order to be saved one needs to be financially poor.

          In the book of Matthew 25:29 It says “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath”.

          This verse is from the Parable of Ten Talents. The servant did nothing to the only talent entrusted to him. His master punished him by taking back what was given to him and whatever he had for not utilizing the talent that was provided for him.

          This passage is obviously evident that the rich become richer while those poor who are idle and lazy become miserably poor not only financially but in their health as well.

          True religion preaches against laziness, gossip, lying, indiscipline, being inconsiderate, stealing, killing and high mindedness.

  2. I love the featured image, “Your self-entitlement is filling me with religious indignation”

  3. When a single Filipino becomes an international sensation, or even a half-blood or even if there is a bit of a connection to being a Filipino, We All go “Proud to be Pinoy” “Basta’t Pinoy World Class”.

    Make one comment even if it is in a form of a joke, we all go mayhem.

    1. Like what Dick Gordon said, one problem with Filipinos is that they do not like to think; they like to react. Since there’s the belief that they’re entitled to reacting, albeit stupidly. Thanks for reading.

  4. “Or obviously, people who claim to have the right to be rude.”

    Chinof, everything you stated above are perfect and simple illustration how most Filipinos / Pinoys love masturbating themselves.

    Until now they are still bragging about how they invented the jeepneys which until now have only deteriorated into a rolling scrap of hazardous, filthy and noisy pieces of scrap.

    They call other nationalities they work with as “stupid” and “know nothing” refusing to admit what they see around in their own neighborhood which is filthy, proliferating squatters living in squalid conditions, and with people riding in filthy, very uncomfortable and unsafe jeepneys and tricycles.

    Most Filipinos’ amusement on the successes of those few having Filipino blood abroad make them to further refuse to change their wily, timid, lazy, presumptuous and slob nature.

    They want to be recognized with those who strive to achieve excellence and popularity in order to satisfy their parasitic mindset.

    Reading most of the articles and comments in this site, it seems that all despicable attitudes and habits of most Filipinos along with suggestions to rectify these were perhaps being expressed already.

    Despite of all of these the Philippines could only expect a miracle to happen to change most its people’s parasitic mindset.

    1. Thanks for reading. Apparently, we need a change of character in our country’s people. But indeed, one of the faults is that many Filipinos are too self-righteous to believe this.

      1. We lack discipline. We are made to believe that we are special, that we are always right, that we always have a voice. A result of years of mind conditioning that we have democracy, that we are free to do mostly anything we want.

    2. I hate the Filipino parasitic mindset that you describe above. They are like leeches who grab hold of anyone who is even “half”-accomplished and bring them down to their level through emotional blackmail, envy, or their money-sponging ways.

      They are greedy but are too lazy to work their way up. Instead, they look for people that they can leech on. This is despicable and it is evident in the way they try to ensnare foreigners and/or OFWs.

      1. Here’s another fact about Filipino dysfunction.

        My wife’s bank deposited money to UCPB was withdrawn by somebody else through ATM while the ATM card was physically in her possession. And the ATM machine used to withdraw the money was located in a place where my wife and I very seldom goes to.

        At first the bank personnel was so hesitant to even tell her that her money’s all gone.

        Then it took her a couple of official requests before they finally gave her the requested bank statement.

        They said that they don’t have any existing flow chart or standard operating procedures to serve as guidelines regarding this kind of situation. Meaning they could not make any advice to the account holder what to expect how she could recover her money, or what course of action she need to consider.

        Their arguments were focused more on why the PIN was ever written down even in a separate and safe code book and why the ATM card was ever entrusted to me to make inquiry at the ATM machine which according to them was “a violation of the signed ‘contract’ during the opening of the account”.

        They missed to focus on finding out the solution to find out who took the money without the account holder’s knowledge and consent.

        The worse thing of all is that when it was reported to the nearest police station, the desk officer currently on duty just wrote down the complaint without referring her to another officer who would attend to and investigate the commitment of thievery. The desk officer told her that what he wrote in their huge and bulky record book would “only serve as their record”! And that’s it!

        Now can anybody still think that the Filipino’s dysfunction is just in the minds of the skeptics trying to discredit Filipinos?

        Can depositors think that putting their money in the bank in the Philippines is safe?

        Can anybody still think that the law enforcers in this country consider it their obligations to enforce and uphold the law, and protect the people who are the basic sources of their salaries?

        Based on experience the law enforcers of this country are roaming around not to prevent crimes or enforce the law but to seek for easy victims to extort money from.

        It’s really MORE FUN(NY) IN THE PHILIPPINES!

        1. This just occurred to me. Usually, legal marriage means you can sue an erring partner. My impression is that in heterosexual marriage, if one partner goes astray, the other partner can sue. So far, under the current law, if that happens to a homosexual partnership, no suing can happen. I wonder if this is what some of them want.

          If the purpose of wanting legalization of marriage is to seek protection from “oppressors,” I propose that the best protection is to show a good example and be well-behaved and civil, not wild and carefree.

  5. The entitlements listed are not the same as in the West where lazy mufuggas collect welfare for actual generations, as a way of life! Would the Filipino be so inclined? IDK, but I have at times likened them to some of the ‘involuntary immigrants’ who now populate some Western countries. These types are the ones that people in the West wish would just get back on a boat, or swim if they have to, and go home.
    Seeing Filipino’s dying for lack of medical care on hospital steps for lack of funds to be treated is also something that does not happen in the West, IS THAT AN ENTITLEMENT? IDK, but in the 21st century a person on this planet should be able to be treated for an illness that can be cured.
    Maybe the ‘entitlements’ should be changed? Learning some mere manners and treating others with the ‘golden rule’ would go a long way towards curing a lot of the ills cited in the article.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Perhaps entitlements should be given where “needs” are differentiated from “wants.” I believe it boils down to that. And I agree, sense of entitlement is a problem in any country.

  6. Now, they feel they’re entitled to universal health care too. How the hell are they going to pay for it???!! Free Condoms, Free Healthcare, Free Schools.

    There’s no such thing as a free lunch, someone still has to pay for it.

    1. Taking from Juan to feed Pedro, that is the crux of the problem. Force-taking of resources like this certainly raises ethical questions.

  7. Vote for the rich, and stay poor.
    Emulate the rich, and behave badly.

    One of the cultural aspects of the philippines which both reflects and reinforces its social rigidity/subservience and inherent values, are the lifelong cliques/networks which are formed at an early age and which seem to negate any social interaction across perceived class divides, and which stays with somebody for life – a limited window on the world or even a varied experience of their own country. Snobbery at its worst and a possible reason for the false sense of entitlement exhibited by many.
    Filipinos prefer to be a big fish in a small pond than step up to new challenges and experiences. Insularity rules.

    Whilst stratas exists everywhere, a significant difference in european countries is that people interact with a greater number of people from a broader cross section, be it at the pub, football match, golf etc, or obviously through work, and they have varied circles of friends leading to greater experience, understanding and respect.

    It makes people more understanding and aware and places a greater emphasis upon personal merit, ability, and attitude.

    The success and wealth of others is not frowned upon when it is achieved through endeavour and not through nepotism/cronyism or outright theft.

    So maybe the sense of entitlement is a combination of envy, the fact that everybody steals, and that personal values do not reflect high degrees of guilt, shame etc since people see it at the top levels of society.

  8. “A sense of entitlement is a cancerous thought process that is void of gratitude, born out of selfishness, and can be deadly to
    relationships, businesses, and even nations.”
    ― Steve Maraboli , Unapologetically You: Reflections
    on Life and the Human Experience

  9. Hey, Dude, you are entitled to your own opinion. Elected Politicians are entitled to Pork Barrels. Where they can use some, and spend some for themselves. Like buying condominiums in New York. You are entitled to sell your vote. Anyway, the one buying your vote is entitled to regain the money on your taxmoney, by hook or by crook. Crooks, murderers, thieves, idiot politicians are entitled to be elected by the Hocus PCOS machine. And you are enttled, not to understand, how the Hocus PCOS machine works.

  10. Naaalala ko dati noong may mga kasama akong nagjojoging. Mas matatanda pa yung mga kasama ko…

    Dati naikwento ko sa kanila tungkol sa pagtatanim ng mga gulay sa mga bakanteng lote. Gaganda na yung lote, may aanihin ka pang gulay.

    Lahat sila natawa sa akin. Ang sabi pa noong isa, “Di naman kami magsasaka para magtanim kami.” Ang nakakainis pa ay may tono pa siya na mababang gawain ang pagtatanim; na ang katulad niyang taga-siyudad ay masyadong mataas para gumawa ng ganoong bagay.

    May simpleng taniman ng gulay kami sa maliit naming lote. Pero kapag lumago na yung gulay namin, maraming nanghihinging kapitbahay. Pero wala kang makikita gulayan doon sa bakanteng lote nila na higit pang malaki pa sa amin. Ang dahilan nila:

    “Mas mayaman naman kami at mahirap lang sila kaya di na raw naman kailangan yung gulay.”

  11. The entitlement issue will never be taught in the schools because the teachers enjoy gifts or food.

    Look at the government-run offices here, they usually have multiple payment windows or only one cashier, the LTO branch emissions area require that you pay there for that service and then on to the one Cashier in the main branch, she takes lunch while you wait, whats the purpose of paying the emissions play boys, they all dress very well, nice clothes, new shoes, fancy hair cut and alway’s a great lunch, you need to wait even though there are 3 of them they all take lunch at the same time or the computer operator takes lunch and nobody else can run the place, lol. I was told to quit complaining and come up with solutions for the LTO, okay here goes:

    Make all windows with a cash register, stop with the red tape, urine testing, making copies and cut out the emissions branch it’s a waste of time and I have never seen anyone fail there, foreigners no longer need to show Passport and Visa, people no longer need to make copies of paper work it’s on the computer already, just hit print and give out the stickers and make it a one stop shop, make sure the vendors attached to the building are dressed in the same attire or same shirt, get rid of the fixers once and for all, you can purge many of the top brass they’re not needed anymore to stack and keep track of who paid the most grease money to get the paperwork nightmare out the quickest, they have the technology but still make copies, it’s on computer, just print it out.

    1. Talking about the LTO, most jeepneys, tricycles and other vehicles rolling in the streets are spewing smoke like the smokestack of carbon-fueled plant.

      The silencers of so many motorcycles and jeepneys were removed and the noise created can shatter eardrums of people even at a distance of two hundred meters.

      Traffic enforcers don’t even understand the time factor on how long it needs for them to let go the vehicles in each side of the intersection. They even conduct traffic in intersections where the traffic beacon is working. The funniest of all is that they let the vehicles to stop where the green light is on, and let them go even the lights are red, lol.

      Motorists especially the motorcycle drivers don’t have any idea about the concept of “proper right of way”, much more to follow it.

      Almost all PUBs load and unload passengers right in front of the “No Loading & Unloading” sign board and the traffic enforcer standing there, making him look like a clown or a mascot.

      Perhaps this is one of the factors considered by the DOT author of the slogan “Its More Fun(ny) In The Philippines”.

  12. You hit the right chords! I share your view when I see some (or even most) of the commenters on other sites give their takes on an issue. Instead of an objective response, they go with gut reactions from their (with how you put it) ‘sense of entitlement’. This defeats their purpose of defending the Philippines and Filipinos.

  13. We defend the Filipinos and the Philippines of course.

    But its their natural bad habits we despise not the person.

    We’re not being self-righteous or “Mr. Perfect”. We just want change for the better, for others to stop being parasites and plague to others.

  14. “Sense of entitlement can be defined as the belief that Filipinos should have what they want, even if there is no proof that they deserve it.”

    And who should say what they deserve it then? You?

    “Or refusing to pay back debts.”

    Not if society was designed to keep everyone in a perpetual cycle of debt and slavery. To be emancipated from such system is heroic if not legitimate.

    “Pinoys believe that they are special in the world.”

    And so does every other human. Aren’t we all special? Or maybe we should lose that attitude and allow others to dominate us. Would you like that alternative? I bet that would be more convenient for some.

    “They just have to work so they can afford the space for it.”
    And who are you to promote that idea at all? The grand slavemaster of humanity? Should we burden ourselves carrying your messages and mail when there is the Internet? Work is reserved for the prisoners and slaves. And in this age of technological advancement, work is reserved for the stupid ones who have not yet mastered machines and other means so they think they should slave-away their hours in pain and everyone else should do the same because of the “chip in their shoulder.”

    What is the chip on your shoulder?

    “Some people believe they are entitled to live at other people’s expense, which is why is Conditional Cash Transfer is a big program in this country.”

    I think you should read the Philippine Constitution so you get your facts and opinions in the right order. It is not a matter of culture but a constitutional matter. Your idea about “expense” is in itself a “belief system.” Not everybody is buying your idea of the same, in addition to the history of capitalist accounting which your idea is anchored under is not only failing the very countries espousing those but logically inconsistent as well (mathematically speaking) with no concern for human lives or social values or social improvement in terms of standards of living and social care.

    “Some people of certain agendas may believe that their ideas should be accepted by everyone without question.”

    And isn’t that what you’re actually doing?

    “That’s why the Bible says, those who refuse to work should not eat.”

    I see. And what makes you entitled to suppose that everybody believes in that or should conform to that aphorism? What makes you think, as well, that society or the government has prepared enough decent work for everybody? I think the unemployment and underemployment rate is stagerring proof that we can’t fulfill that “belief system” of yours. Should we allow these Filipinos to rot then? If that’s the case, we should encourage other nations to abolish all of their social programs and unemployment securities and follow your idea. I’d be waiting for that day you will find yourself unemployed and disenfranchised from the culture of society and we’ll see how low you can get when Time reshapes itself and take away what you currently enjoy now.

    Be careful. The wheels of fortune is round, without social nets, you will fall prey and be consumed by its cycle. Many have already risen and fell…even lottery winners.

  15. “Some sectors, like the gay community, claim entitlement to certain rights, such as the right to have their marriages recognized by law. But like I said, I doubt they are oppressed, because many can carry out their lifestyles as freely as they want. They just have to work so they can afford the space for it.” — FALSE. Being free to “carry out a lifestyle” is not the same as enjoying the same legal benefits of a heterosexual marriage.

  16. One of the downfalls of the Filipino culture can be the lack of individual accountability for lazy/selfish individuals. If someone else will take care of me because I’m family, I don’t need to work for anything. For example, my relatives are terrible with managing personal finances. When they can’t afford something, they borrow money from relatives and beg/plead pretending that it’s the end of the world if they don’t have a big house, new car, money for fancy wedding/debut, or ability to join relatives for an expensive vacation. They have purposely missed utility bill and mortgage payments to keep up with the Joneses and impress family and friends.

    If you tell them no, you’re being selfish and a cheapskate for not helping them because blood is thicker than water.

  17. Chino Fernandez, also the Patay-gutom mentality/timawa mentality: when they see photos or in real life, animals, the first question is “Can it be eaten?”.
    Also the Pasalubong mentality. “You came from another country. Give me free stuff. If you dont, youre selfish”.
    All these failtards want is to be “masaya”, even at the expense of those around them. They dont care because this is “the one and only life”.

  18. Asia’s Got Talent just started, yet most Pinoy netizens are already saying only Filipino acts are that Filipino acts are only worth pressing the golden buzzer at (they got upset at Anggun’s GB). Jesus Christ! The amount of self-entitlement makes me want to strangle these obnoxious, egotistical, delusional, self-entitled jerks who think that Philippines is the best. They always think that they’ve never done wrong wherein fact they’re bothering other people out. No wonder we’re hated.

    I just wonder when will they learn to shut up and know their place?

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