Filipinos’ notion of ‘simple life’ makes them look like simple-minded simpletons

I couldn’t help but notice that after “happiness”and “hope” comes yet another catchword/phrase that Filipinos like to use when making excuses for their chronic poverty and lack of development. It’s called “simple life”.

How do these buzzwords fit into things? Why don’t we try using a few examples to illustrate?

Happiness: “Life is so hard; my income is stretched thin among my X number of children, but at least I feel happy and blessed.”

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Hope: ”Someday someone not corrupt will come and change the way things are done.”

Simple Life: ”We are contented to live a life without worries and free from obligations and material desires.”

If I were to take the world’s most reliable source of information, Wikipedia, for a working definition of simple life/living, we would get this:

Simple living encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplify one’s lifestyle. These may include reducing one’s possessions or increasing self-sufficiency, for example. Simple living may be characterized by individuals being satisfied with what they need rather than want. Although asceticism generally promotes living simply and refraining from luxury and indulgence, not all proponents of simple living are ascetics. Simple living is distinct from those living in forced poverty, as it is a voluntary lifestyle choice.

Simple-TonTake note of the key parts:
Reducing one’s possessions
Increasing self-sufficiency
Being satisfied with what they need rather than want
Being distinct from those living in forced poverty

How many of these apply to Filipinos?

Reducing one’s possessions? This is unlikely to happen when Filipinos are notoriously excessive consumers. Filipinos are quick to ride on the bandwagon whenever a new gadget or must-have trendy item makes its way to their shores. Plus, they are known for measuring their social status based on the number of material possessions that they own.

Increasing self-sufficiency? Even in the area one would expect the Philippines to be self-sufficient, rice production, the current situation is actually the opposite. The Philippines is forced to import rice because of an agriculture sector that is underdeveloped and has had its fair share of anomalies. In yet another obvious example, if Filipinos had planned their society’s development well, or at the very least shown some restraint – if you know what I mean – then perhaps we wouldn’t be in the current position wherein we need to send Filipinos abroad just to make ends meet for the ever-growing population of our country.

Being satisfied with what they need rather than want? As long as Filipinos remain the consumerist society that they are, they will never be. As long as inggit (envy) and di ako pwede malamangan (cannot have an advantage over me) are motivations prevalent in Filipino society, they will never be satisfied, yet they will remain utterly empty.

Living in forced poverty? The Philippines seems to be an inherently unjust society. Upward mobility is difficult, if not impossible here; if one has been born into a poor social class, then chances are that the conditions of Filipino society will force one to stay there for a very long time, if not the rest of one’s life. Although some Filipinos apply the ethic of “work hard so that you can rise above”, it unfortunately goes side by side with the victim mentality that makes Filipinos believe that: a) they are helpless without someone else to help them all the time, and; b) they are entitled to be helped by everyone around them.

In other words, while many Filipinos may have been born into circumstances not of their liking, a portion of them do not have the mentality and resourcefulness to rise above it. Those who believe they are resigned to their fate and are merely waiting for manna from heaven, or from their neighborhood friendly politician, or from the guava tree, are the ones that need to be weeded out.

So if the description given above is hardly apt for Filipinos, how do they define “simple life”? I believe a passage from a previous article of mine paints a rather accurate definition:

The Filipino wants to have his cake, and eat it too.

The Filipino wants all of the glory, none of the work.

The Filipino wants his life to get better without lifting a finger.

The Filipino wants to be spoon-fed and taken by the hand.

The Filipino wants to be babied and cajoled by the rest of the world.

The Filipino wants the fruit of hard work to fall from the tree into his gaping mouth.

The Filipino wants respect to be handed to him on a silver platter without the need to reciprocate it.

In short, the Filipino is lazy.

It all makes sense, doesn’t it? The lazy, non-thinking, dole-out, victim mentality that Filipinos are known for does coincide with their notion of a simple life. They want nothing to do with thinking about things. Keep the “blessings” coming. Give them money and food. Once, twice, over and over again. Do the thinking for them; this is why religion has such a profound impact on their society – religion emphasizes faith, which means you surrender your thinking faculties – and why they keep getting duped by their politicians over and over again.

Simple life indeed. Such simple-mindedness. And it makes the Filipinos look like a bunch of simpletons.

But wait, I think simpleton is a rather complicated word for the average Filipino.

It makes them look like morons. Happy, hopeful, and simple-living morons, at that.

37 Replies to “Filipinos’ notion of ‘simple life’ makes them look like simple-minded simpletons”

      1. Yes, well the truth hurts idiots.The only thing that made it a bad article was the wikipedia referrence(OMG!). Otherwise, you got that right pal.

  1. The Filipino people’s utterance of a simple life is just a strategy to try to convince others that they can get by with the basic necessities, and that others should feel sorry for them or emulate their outlook.

  2. What do you expect?? This nation voted in a very simple mind who makes Forrest Gump look like Stephen Hawking. He gave a very simple saying that could not possibly be true. Yet people voted. There is a treasury “anomaly” right now and yet they want you to believe that they have nothing to do with it. Well it works on people like Jigs. “kung walang corrupt , walang mahirap” Yeah, it is just that simple. That is the PINOY mentality. It takes a PINOY to elect a PNOY. We have never had a finer statesman walk among us. Yes simple minded folk, take that at face value.

  3. Spot on!

    I often hear this from friends, relatives, etc. Usually it goes like:

    “Di bale nang wala masyadong pera/mahirap, basta simple buhay.”

    Yeaaah right…I tell them. Because as soon as I turn around you can see them being envious of one another….with all the sneering and jesting to match it.

  4. @ FA…IDKWTS: Maybe part of the problem in the way Filipino’s think is this:’the world’s most reliable source of information,Wikipedia’? W-W-W-W-H-A-T? PLEASE say you are kidding.
    Encyclopedia Britanica/Chambers Encyclopedia/Encyclopedique Methodique/World Book Encyclopedia (the list is long) are all far superior and ‘Wiki-‘ is LAUGHABLE.

    The un-verified/non-sourced nature of Wikipedia make it one of the world’s worst, albeit convenient, sources of information in the ENTIRE HISTORY of THE WORLD.

    This needs to be said right now: GET A CLUE!!! or HOLY SHIT, please say you were only kidding.(Disclaimer: not all material on ‘Wikipedia is inaccurate’ but see above for simplest explaination). EEE GAD MON, to laugh at that or feel sorry for the author, that is the question.

  5. Simple Life is the euphemism of Poverty, no more no less. A meal of rice and fish is the national dish, and comprises a simple life. Most of us don’t want to struggle, to improve ourselves. I find only a few of us who are Innovative.

    So, we indulge too much in politics, because it is where the money is; by getting rich thru graft and corruption. Some of us have brains, but we don’t use them. Most like the YellowTards have a fraction of a brain…

    Our role models are those people in : telenovelas, wowoowee type shows, nanny-marries-boss shows…dreaming we can become one, and live happily ever after.

    Life is a struggle…the harder the struggle, the better the results and accomplishments. Life does not give us success on a silver platter…Unless, you are a Pnoy Aquino, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth…but look at how he works as a President…he is a lazy man…with hardly a brain…

    1. One can be well-off and live a simple life. Though in the article’s context, it could be more of a self-consolation than a euphemism..

  6. Good take on the topic I took up in this article some years ago. My idea what that “a simple life” can mean “a dumb life,” and certainly it doesn’t mean you’re virtuous. I agree with calls for being more “tipid” and all that, but do Filipinos really know how to do that properly?

    One thing that I believe cripples Filipino ability to do the above properly is the culture of dependence. For example, one woman has several children by a guy who refuses to provide for their children, and even leaves his family. The mother prefers not to work, so she enlists her sister, who is single and an OFW, to pay for the tuition of the kids an all that. So that becomes a regular thing. The sister keeps paying for all the tuition of the kids all their lives, while the mother just takes care of the home. Well, some people may not find anything wrong with this, but for those familiar with how advanced societies work, they’ll say, this is not how it should be.

    Dependence situations like this probably reflect how Filipinos like to evade responsibility and accountability, and even show how they accept dysfunction. Perhaps if people call this a simple life, it’s actually not that simple. It’s a complicated situation and more reflects dysfunction rather than a “close” family.

    1. Filipinos are too much dependent on their kins…tribal mentality interdependence…this culture removes the resourcefulnness and initiative of people…

  7. SO what can we do about it? These are the new Filipinos… puro reklamo at pamumuna.. but don’t have concrete solutions. I find this NO SUBSTANCE

    1. Every now and then there’s an idiot who comes to this site and says that what this site only does is complain without giving any solutions.

      Solutions have been offered here so many times before yet these idiots continually ignore them. Typical Pinoy idiocy.

    2. You don’t get it do you? You keep confusing problem definition and problem awareness with complaining. The whole thrust of this piece is that pinoys live in denial. You want to skip the awakening stage and go straight to happily ever after. Read what I said in the blog Why GRP Is A Positive Website. Dated Jan 1 2014. Optimism needed for a new year.

    3. Elsa, shouldn’t solutions come from the inviduals themselves? This article is true to every phrase used by the writer. The nation is full of lazy people that they shrug of development and replace it with “bahala na” and “makakaraos din tayo”. Filipinos are so hypocrite when they say that they don’t need luxuries, blessed with 20 children but in reality being eaten with regrets and minds corrupted with envy. Not to mention that every incompetent parents force their first borns to work hard for their sibling’s studying expenses (Mag-anak tayo ng marami para sila ang magpapaaral sa mga bunso natin) I hope people will stop being proud shouting “Pinoy ako” and instead focus on “Productive na tao nga ba talaga ako?”

    4. what fallen is discussing here are the bad attitudes of filipinos. mostly these are our poor kababayans. solution: education + discipline.

  8. Filipinos who advocate for the “simple life” often claim that any form of living in comfort and convenience equates to decadence and depravity and one should suffer the the most unbearable of conditions in order to be rewarded during the “afterlife.” It’s as if anything above living in a trash heap accounts to hedonism to them. Another product of indoctrination by religion coupled with extreme and defeatist thinking that is rampant in the culture.

  9. I’ve noticed that some Filipinos won’t take advantage of labour-saving devices even when they are available. They still prefer to take an hour or more out of their busy day to wash clothes by hand when there are washing machines in the building, and it’s not because they’re saving coins. I’ve even heard of domestic helpers spending hours cutting their employers’ lawns with shears when a lawnmower has been offered.

    I find life is much ‘simpler’ when I let machines take care of manual labour for me. Maybe it’s a Luddite reaction from unskilled workers who fear the Rise of the Machines is making their job prospects ever more dismal?

    1. When one attempts to change something the Filipino is used to, even if it is meant to simplify or make things easier for him, more often than not he sees it as a threat. If not a threat, an affront to everything he has come to know and believe is correct, which leads it to become an affront to his personality.

  10. When Filipinos stop being lazy white domination will end. The reason all people of color are lazy is because of “gun boat diplomacy” of white racist. Genocide is the answer has for “lazy people with skin color”. The albinos from Europe are always ready to “weed out” their self appointed undesirables who are always people with skin color.
    This diatribe is not for the benefit of Filipinos. It is written to make the writer feel good about being a member of the Albino race which has negatively impacted the world of people with skin color.

  11. FallenAngel, I grew up from a “simple life”, my parents were nobody in the society, they were just simply hardworking people. They made some bad choices and they didn’t want us, their kids to live the same life so they did everything to send us to school. Their simple living made it possible for us to go to college and I believe that’s the same thing with other parents. And let me make it clear, when I say simple life, we didn’t have tv, we didn’t wear the most expensive clothes or branded clothes, even now that I can afford a little of those luxuries, I don’t because I’m working on building my own company soon and I have a little boy that I would like to be able to attend any university that he wants to go. It’s good to see someone like you pointing us what’s wrong with the Filipino people but I think some of your conclusions about the Filipino are totally wrong. There’s a lot of Filipino’s struggling to meet even the basic necessities and sometimes no matter how hard you work, success doesn’t come overnight. True, there are some who don’t want to work and there are those who needed guidance but to conclude that Filipino is lazy is definitely wrong. I have been here in the States for just eight years and I have heard a lot of good compliments about Filipinos being hardworking and responsible, dedicated to whatever jobs they are. Furthermore, to quote that the Filipino is just using faith as an excuse to avoid responsibilities is not true, many Filipinos will faithfully do their job even when things doesn’t seem t I favor them because they believe that God will reward them, that doesn’t mean materially but what could be a better legacy to leave to your family than a life of integrity. Many people nowadays want to be rich and famous overnight and the Filipino may not be one of them but that doesn’t mean their life is empty.

  12. What’s the issue here, hijo?

    A simple life; you make do with what you have. You fully accept that no one is obligated to help you. You are happy if somebody volunteers whatever resource for your use or happiness, and may even think of that as a blessing.

    If you’re one of the faithful, thank God for the blessings you have and the blessings that come your way. Your faith gives you the strength to overcome difficulties. You keep moving forward.

    If you’re not one of the faithful, be thankful that your plans and efforts bear fruit. You live on “You reap what you sow.”

    Why do people buy stuff? Maybe they think of their existence as temporary and would at least like to hold on to something “na pinaghirapan nila” (something they worked hard for).

    I don’t think being envious or inggitero makes one live “simple.” I think Einstein defines that as insanity in the sense that you have to compare yourself to others (that you consider richer) on a daily basis and expect to feel good about it.

    Anyway, have a nice day.

  13. Talk big and despise your own race to make yourself like better than the rest. Truth is, you’re all the same, stupid and worthless.

  14. i don’t believe in hard work. to me, it’s all about discipline. if you are disciplined you will look like you’re working hard. lol!

    discipline is a good habit developed through repetition, then the brain memorizes it. i did it, it’s real. i became the top employee because of discipline.

    however, i was abused by the management with no promotion. so, work smart. lol!

    NOTE: i know i can afford this and that, but i chose to be simple.

  15. Surely you are a Filipino, you hate so much your simple lifestyle, right? Look at the bright side of life, not everyone thinks like you esp. the rest of us Filipinos working our asses off to buy that farm land and have a simple life….pity you summed up the entire 100Million Filipinos like bunch poor idiots living in poverty. Go travel the world and see a better picture of life. I do travel and work and maybe that’s why I come to know how I wanna live the rest of my life, retiring in a simple but abundant lifestyle in the Philippines.

  16. Filipinos take things personally all the time. There can never be a productive conversation with these people because, you are right. They love to play the victim all the time.
    When you find them living overseas with a little bit more money than the ones living in the Philippines, they brag so much that you don’t want to be near anywhere them.

  17. These are the basic principles of your working parents:
    1. Be not a burden!
    2. Be independent!
    3. Be practical!
    4. Be not left behind!
    5. Be educated!
    But they are not the reigning principles of our society, the principles we are all are trying to uphold are based on the idea of hero/martyr/saint and since the idea is the accepted principles, the so-called “poor” can legitimately demand that you show your pity, if not, then you become a villain, a very cruel person who don’t want to give, you are a greedy person, most likely others will believe.
    Funny that when you start introducing those five principles, people start acting and talking like saint, a martyr, a hero, like they really care about others as if something scares them about those principles, but maybe it’s a good thing if they start acting like a hero/martyr/saint if only they can commit to that.

  18. The writer is likely writing this article to generate traffic in his/her blog; to label all Filipinos (over 100 million) is a bit extreme and bias. I beg to differ, as I had the opportunity to travel around the world including Middle-East (Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq and UAE) during my time in the U.S Armed Forces; and based on my observation, majority of those working in military bases, local malls and restaurants are Filipino descents because of their abilities and skills-sets that many local nationals do not possess.

    With my time in the U.S Armed Forces, a large number of Filipinos are excelling through the ranks. Philippines exports the most nurses throughout that world, and many ships that sail around the world to move products around the world are being manned by Filipinos (Mariners)

    We can make the argument that SOME Filipinos are lazy, but no ALL.

    It saddening to see writers like FallenAngel stirs hate and stereotype towards a certain group of people; instead of focusing what is good and just; but then again, the name speak for itself.

    God Bless!

  19. I’m pretty sure there’s not a day the Filipino doesn’t wish for life to get better.. to make it more straightforward and honest. But It has become “not simple” because there are those who believe that supporting each other is not the way to move upward. They would rather waste much of the resources than “hand it out” to somebody who can make good use of it. I don’t believe we’re made to simply be handed the silver platter. I know in my soul people are more than that.

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