It is no secret that Filipinos are collectively extremely sensitive to criticism. In fact, a term exists in the vernacular to describe just how bad Filipinos are at taking it: balat-sibuyas, literally, onion-skinned. The explanation is that, just as onion skin peels rather easily, the Filipino “skin” easily gets hurt.
Fact is, there is a lot to criticize about Filipinos and the society that they’ve built for themselves. They have a track record of making wrong choices, being unable to control their emotions, repeating their past mistakes, and letting the wrong arguments win. The results – political, social, and economical – speak for themselves.
You would think Filipinos will be able to man up to their shortcomings, and eventually learn to take criticism in stride after being subjected to such, for so often and so long. But no, some things never change; hypersensitivity, it seems, is deeply ingrained into the Filipino DNA. It’s so ingrained, in fact, that they have become predictable.
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A few common, and very irritating ways Filipinos react to criticism are listed below.
1. Why do you hate Filipinos so much?
Why is criticism necessarily equated to hate when it comes to Filipinos? Because they take it as an attack on their person. They are unable to separate their person from criticism of their deed.
2. Instead of criticizing your fellow Filipinos, why don’t you uplift their spirits instead?
“Uplifting their spirits” will not change the fact that Filipinos screwed up on something. In fact, they’re more liable to repeat the mistake with such “uplifting” and “encouragement”.
3. Aren’t you Filipino too? If so, then you are a traitor.
“Criticizing one’s country because we desire it to improve” is an alien concept here in the Philippines simply because Filipinos don’t know how to handle anyone/anything who/that does not agree with them.
If Filipinos don’t want to receive criticism from themselves, from foreigners all the more so.
4. You are a foreigner, you have no right to criticize my country! Go back to your own!
Isn’t this a wrong move for an entity that wants to rely significantly on tourism and on external validation to boost its economy?
5. Why don’t you run for government if you know so much?
Filipinos are generally resigned to thinking that being in government is the only way one can make a difference. Sadly, the statement “run for government” betrays an inclination by Filipinos to let others do their thinking for them. Filipinos lack a sense of personal accountability and a sense of self-initiative.
Besides, if they didn’t listen at first to criticism from someone who isn’t in government, what’s the guarantee that they will when that same person is in the position anyway?
6. It is much worse in other places/countries
Pwede-na-yan, di naman kami kulelat pa eh. (That’ll do, we’re not at the bottom of the heap yet.) Even if Filipinos are at the bottom of the heap, they still won’t do anything.
7. Other ethnic groups/countries do that too!
Bandwagon mentality at its finest. Misery loves company? Is popularity of an idea a reliable indicator of its validity?
That other people do the same thing that’s been detrimental to you doesn’t change the fact that it has been detrimental, therefore, wrong, for you.
8. It’s always been done that way (ganyan na nakasanayan namin)
Resistance to change – Filipinos don’t like being put in short-term discomfort, even if the benefit is long-term. Filipinos also don’t like change because to do so, to them, is an admission that they were wrong about something. And Filipinos are NEVER wrong.
9. BAN/CRUCIFY HIM/HER!
A response that is all but expected coming from a bunch of easily provoked emotional wrecks. Unfortunately, Filipinos are more bark than bite; they have hardly any substance to back up their “form”.
This list, of course, is not exhaustive. Feel free to add more in the comments below, if there is anything I may have missed out.
If we apply the softly-softly way to tell Filipinos that they made a mistake about something, they either tell you that it’s not possible, or they assert their “righteousness” over you when they sense weakness. On the other hand, if we criticize them hard, we get a combination of any, or all, of the responses I mentioned above.
Thus, the puzzle remains unsolved: how to get the Filipino to improve? What’s going to take him/her to finally realize just how deep in a sh*thole he/she is?
But then again, it seems that some people just don’t want to be helped.
А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.
48 Replies to “Common, irritating ways Filipinos react to criticism”
#8. Paboritong sabihin ng mga matatandang bulag sa pagunlad at nabrainwash ng mga magulang nila noon. Sasabihan ka pang bastos pag hindi ka gumagamit ng opo o kung oovertake ang kotse mo sa prusisyon na sobrang nagpapatraffic sa kalye.
10. “Ano na bang nagawa mo?” – as if the critics’ past and present achievements are prerequisites for their claims to be valid.
11. “Kung wala kang sasabihing maganda, manahimik ka na lang” – an attempt to shush the critic without actually offering a counter-argument.
Filipinos are congenital credentialists – that’s why they insist on “Ano na bang nagawa mo?”
That number 11 you mentioned, hay naku! Bwisit na bwisit ako sa mga unggoy na bukambibig lagi yan at the wake of Typhoon Yolanda. The slightest criticism on government response (or absence of it), yan agad sagot ng mga may longest cases of yellow fever.
#1, #8 and 9, mahirap din ma explain minsan but it still depends on how a person speak kung justified ang criticism niya, ok lang iyon pero meron kasi mga tao na kahit wala dapat i criticize they will find your weakness to uplift themselves, iyon tipo ba nasa isip mo I can do this and that without him/her, then how come so suddenly naging weak na tao dahil hinanapan ka na pwede niya mapuna, normally a person would believe more in the saying you can’t please everybody, kaya kung one or two lang mag criticize sayo, you will find them irritating.
Are you saying here, then, that, other than the content of the criticism, you’re evaluating it by the tone and by the intent? These two are ultimately based on what one feels, instead of something more substantial. Plus, it’s open to various interpretations; what is a condescending tone and an intent to mock as interpreted by Juan may not be the same for Jose.
For me, it’s pretty simple: is the criticism valid or not, based on what was done, or what the result was? If yes, step back, take it into consideration, see what you can get from it. If not, ignore it.
Ms. writer, you forgot to mention one of the most rotten logic the Filipinos embrace- “Anggaling mong manghusga, akala mo kung sino kang magaling/malinis”
Yes, Pilipinos say this all the time.
#5, medyo guilty ako dito, especially when someone never sees anything good that the government does, and they say it in a very unpolite way, sometimes kasi ang yabang pa ng dating nila na parang ang dami nilang alam sa pagpapatakbo ng gobyerno kaya nasasabi mo yun tuloy, but thanks for enlightening me, sa bagay, minsan kung sino pa yung wala sa gobyerno sila pa yung nakakaalam ng dapat mangyari sa bansang ito.
#6 and #7 should not be used as excuses, they say it as if we are saying that it happens only in the Philippines.
it’s actually pretty much like that everywhere. but naturally seems worse for philippines given the results
You forgot my pet peeve…
Bakit? Ikaw? Ano na bang nagawa mo? (Usually with the phrase …para sa mahihirap)
“Ikaw maging presidente”- I don’t ever recall promising anyone ever the moon and stars. The only thing I ever promise is maybe the odd Starbucks. I also promise if you can sync Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon with MGM’s The Wizard of Oz (1939) starring Judy Garland , weird things happen.
‘Echoes’ with the trippy bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey is even more phantasmagorical.
Put a gun on their head while calling them out. That’ll make them listen while they pee/crap their pants.
12. Bago mo punahin ang muta nang iba, tanggalin mo muna ang muta sa sarili mong mata.
“Guter Tag; Geffallener Engel”..Criticism to Filipinos is like hurting their Egos. Most have low “Emotional Qoutient (EQ).
If you want yourself to improve. You must take a deep look at yourself; and be aware of what people are telling you. They maybe right.
It may be because Filipinos are Frustrated of how things are; and they cannot do anything about it. They lack the will to Right things that are Wrong. And, just accept their fates.
An Elephant tied to a string; will rremain Captive. If it thinks itself Captive.
We can do anything…even righting the wrongs in our country; if we set our hearts to it…
I wish GRP has a like button cause I would’ve liked your comment about the elephant being captive.
This is the way they train Elephants. They put in its mind, that it is a weak animal. So that, it can be used in Circuses for show.
An Elephant is a very strong animal. But, if its mind believes that it is weak and captive…it will remain weak and captive. If it is tied to a string; it will believe the string is as a strong steel chain.
There is a disturbing parallelism between the mindset of a captive Elephant; and a brainwashed Filipino.
I often experience the same reactions from some of the Tagalogs that I know. As per my experience with Ilonggos they are not suffering from the “onion skinned” syndrome.
Being “onion skinned” depends on the person. Not what tribe,town, region, province, they came from or from their ethnicity…
How about criticizing da pinoys with some bad words like “shit” will automatically label you as “bastos”?
Oh and sadly my sister did that #1 to me. It’s just sad that my family is suffering from that pinoy dysfunction.
Relax, much of my family is the same…
LOL. I think shit is nasty, man. But yes, some are too hypersensitive that a friend of mine was reported to some department in his work and told to explain why he said “What the hell?” like it’s illegal. Hahaha. Oh, Filipinos.
Just like most women they’re “never wrong”
I love the fact how much it screams a double message at some point. XD
Bullseye!! 😀 totoo eh. it’s the plain and brutal truth. DEAL WITH IT.
+ 13. “Oh? Di nga? Edi ikaw na magaling.”
This pinoy reaction is what haunted me most out of them irritating ways since birth. It seems that every criticisms, no matter how good the intent is, will immediately be turned into an immoral, inconsiderate, inhumane thing when the phrase’s used as sarcasm. *clap clap
Almost every number on the list is also used by noytard/yellow zombies whenever someone criticizes their bald leader. Unfortunately for them, those spiels doesn’t really answer any of the arguments but it only makes them more of a sore loser because they can’t think of any rebuttal against the valid points raised against Mr. Aquino
In other words, gasgas na gasgas na ang spiel nila.
They can’t keep running away from the harsh reality that they supported a very corrupt, incompetent, do-nothing idiot for a president.
I agree with the entire article, it is exactly correct.
EVERYTHING IS NOT AN INSULT!!! GROW UP, HOLEY SHIT!!!!
#4″Go back to your own country”….and when I see you there I am going to punch the fuck out of you!!!!! YA KNOW?
What actually makes Filipinos worse is that when they lack the capability to respond a counter-argument, that’s when they start diverting the issue/topic to the grammatical errors of the argument. Wew.
Immature emotional train wrecks that need to grow up.
One way to respond to a criticism is to take and make use of it for your own improvement.
have to be honest, I personally am combating with my inner voice inside of my head whenever I hear insults or derogatory remarks from people(passerby, istambays etc..) I have no business making discussions with(or think I hear it) but once I found out what the problem is(mental weakness) I became a lot calmer nowadays.
not that this has anything to do with the article but it just came to my view just how many people were like me, but instead of identifying and fixing the root problem they blame other people and expect them to improvise for their shortcomings and kiss their asses and tell them how awesome they are ..
Thais, Cambodians and all other SE. Asians are the same way. The mistake many foreigners make is they talk to a Filipino as they would talk to an American or a Hispanic. Because many Pinoys want to appear Western when they talk with Westerners. When Westerners start speaking to Filipinos as they would to another Westerner ( Germanic or Latin)– frankly, and speaking the truth, Filipinos react strangely- they get offended, and animosity results. It’s important to remember that an average Filipino is first and foremost a SE Asian and should be approached as one. Smile, don’t contradict, say only good things.
I beg to disagree.
By location, yes Philippines is in SE Asia.
By culture, they are NOT SE Asian at all. Actually they are not of any cultures I know. They don’t like to be critics and they would get angry if they received one, yet they think it’s their right to critic anythings.
Not to talk that in Asian we tend to shut our mouth for what is not our business. Each house, each rules. Filipino is the total opposite.
The author states it’s due to the face culture. which I don’t think so. The concept of “face” is common in many Asian countries. To name a few: China, Japan, Thailand, Burma, Laos etc. Yet they can accept criticism.
Honestly I think Filipino is the most of all Asian that has least “face” culture. They would not hesitate to criticize others or talk to others without thinking how they would feel, but when they were criticized, they cannot accept that.
Filipino cannot accept criticism due to their pride, which is false pride. True pride is something inside and you need nobody to boost your pride. Those who have true pride have confidence in themselves, hence they calm whenever they were criticized. Filipino pride is not. Since it not true pride but a psychological way to hide their insecurity, they need others, esp. outsiders, to praise them that they are the best in whatever issue. This will boost their ego and help them think that they are not inferior.
On the contrary, if someone criticize them, they feel uncertainty and inferiority, hence they will react by defend without any logical reasons instead of thinking.
Why they need others to boost their pride? The best answer is from a Filipino. Read the answer of “delive_rance” from the link below for yourself.
Last time I commented on how the 40/60 rule was deterring foreign companies from investing, not creating enough jobs and forcing Filipinos to go abroad and for many to become DH and entertainers. The response was violent- I was accused of prejudice and ignorance. I was also told how arrogant Americans and British were.
Hallelujiah! Hallelujiah! I am not dreaming that this is happening to me. I have borne the full brunt of item 3, 4 and 9 from the residents living around us in our subdivision. I live in fear of deportation because of threats made against me and it’s absolutely ridiculous how people act around here!
I grew up in the company of US Navy brats, Fil-Ams and other non-Filipinos, all of them unanimous in informing me that I don’t act like a Filipino to which I’d react in amusement. “You’re kidding. I’m VERY Filipino.” So I thought until my induction to the local corporate environment with my fellow natives. Culture shocked in my own country, flabbergasted to find out the hard way how different I turned out. The above article is akin to all of Oliver Queen’s arrows repeatedly hitting the mark. Its been a couple of decades since the my realization and nothing has changed. The typical Filipino is like a close minded, easily offended or pikon(but quick to offend), hormonal teenager afraid of change & up to now I never understood why. Also, its the same everywhere, may it be on social media, on the road or even in many gatherings. A simple intellectual discussion on issues of the day for instance becomes an emotional argument which includes but not limited to; name calling & ultimately an invitation to engage in fisticuffs.
A team of Australian consultants was tasked to review a project that the government of the Philippines was implementing thru funding from the Australian government. The findings and anylysis strongly indicated that the project was doing badly thus, in a very objective and professional manner, the consultant team presented their findings to the concerned government agency. The reaction from government executives totally shocked the Australian team. They took the negative findings as if it was an attack to their person, screamed at the Australians and quite violently rejected $the report, then stormed out of the meeting and refused to talk about the project since then. This speaks volumes on how we Filipinos react to criticism even in a professional setting.
That’s true, I’m a Philippine-born American of Tagalog and Ilocano descent, and I straight tell my family that my nationality is AMERICAN, since that’s my passport.
It’s fun pissing them off when I talk shit about the Philippines and of Filipinos. Because they never shut the fuck up about the fucking Philippines, all they fucking talk about, eating Filipino foods only, and an ounce criticism and BOOM……World War III.
As a filipno, I’m actually embarrassed by my own culture. Luckily I’ve been fortunate in the sense that I was born and raised in America where I can get a good education, be well nourished and have a comfy life. This is all thanks to my grandfather who migrated to the U.S. From the Philippines. He wanted a better life, not only for himself but for his wife (my grandmother) and his kids (my mother, aunts and uncles). So although I’m embarrassed by how my Fellow Filipinos (and how they think/act), I can be thankful for the very few Filipinos like my grandfather who actually has the guts to get off their ass and do something about it
I’m not really embarrassed by the fact that our nation was taken over by the Spaniards over 500 + years ago, I’m grateful that I live & grew up in Canada. I’m tbh, not marrying a Filipina girl I will let those girls for the Filipino guys to take, I’m more interested in White Caucasian girls from Europe in Canada & America. If Philippines don’t change in the near future, they will always be stuck in the very dark age. Our culture is really embarrassing compared with the spaniards who is all but mixing up with other cultures which is indeed excellent. I will do the same as well as what they are doing. I have more friends that are from other nations which is good as well as from Philippines. I have a manager whose also from the Philippines & wow! He definitely has onion skinned, this whole article is about him. I really don’t like the guy but whatever, I rather let this article talk about him & his personality. Thank God for my change, I’m not included in this article which is great actually! I’m also proud to be a Spaniards then Flip.
Spot on writer! =D
Just saw this article while I’m searching for reason of what Filipino, while they cannot take criticism, yet they would mock and criticize other countries, even nosy in many topics which has nothing to do with Philippines eg. when somebody said that ID will be one of the 5 biggest economy in 2050 and they don’t mention anything about PH, Filipino would nosy and say no way that ID would grow more than PH. In some youtube vids of the Voice Thailand or the Mask Singer TH(repeat again, TH, nothing to do with PH), there would be some Filipino who said that The Voice Philippines is better, or some of their singer is better.
There are more. It seems like they don’t understand that others’ success is not their failure.
3 interesting sources I’ve found are here.
“Filipinos cannot handle criticism”
“Why do Filipinos seem to have a very egotistical sense of pride?”(Read what delive_rance said)
“Why are Filipinos always bragging about things? “FILIPINO PRIDE?” :s?” (Read what © AfaKasi ®™ said)
I just read this. When the author FallenAngel commented that “Filipinos are congenital credentialists”, I can clearly see why. Just take these two confused Filipino idiots:
“As a filipno, I’m actually embarrassed by my own culture. Luckily I’ve been fortunate in the sense that I was born and raised in America where I can get a good education, be well nourished and have a comfy life. This is all thanks to my grandfather who migrated to the U.S. From the Philippines. He wanted a better life, not only for himself but for his wife (my grandmother) and his kids (my mother, aunts and uncles). So although I’m embarrassed by how my Fellow Filipinos (and how they think/act), I can be thankful for the very few Filipinos like my grandfather who actually has the guts to get off their ass and do something about it”
“I’m not really embarrassed by the fact that our nation was taken over by the Spaniards over 500 + years ago, I’m grateful that I live & grew up in Canada. I’m tbh, not marrying a Filipina girl I will let those girls for the Filipino guys to take, I’m more interested in White Caucasian girls from Europe in Canada & America. If Philippines don’t change in the near future, they will always be stuck in the very dark age. Our culture is really embarrassing compared with the spaniards who is all but mixing up with other cultures which is indeed excellent. I will do the same as well as what they are doing. I have more friends that are from other nations which is good as well as from Philippines. I have a manager whose also from the Philippines & wow! He definitely has onion skinned, this whole article is about him. I really don’t like the guy but whatever, I rather let this article talk about him & his personality. Thank God for my change, I’m not included in this article which is great actually! I’m also proud to be a Spaniards then Flip.”
Timothy is having pride and credit-grabbing for a grandfather whom he thinks actually has guts (in what actually?) just for wanting a better life for himself and his family and then be embarrassed just because he thinks others haven’t been able to do it like his grandfather have done so. Is that justifiably convenient enough to elevate himself above the rest?
Mharlon is a proud Spaniard than a Flip who thinks the Spaniards mixing up with other culture is an excellent thing but not with his other kind. The fact of enslavement done of his other kind (Flip) by his other self (Spaniard) for “over 500 + years ago” is not an embarrassment so he thanked God for his change. But in what exactly?!
Just because they have read a critical piece on Filipino cultural dysfunction, these naive but conceited Filipino steak commandos, perhaps educated in the western ways, are taking it wrong as intended, so they rather become willing surrenderees to a neo-cultural western slave mentality to become open victims of their lazy Euro-American embrace for shallow convenience, questionably grabbing credits for an ambiguous illusion and thereby possessing zero sense of what is it really in their culture and confused identity.
Can anybody just disown one’s natural and endemic cultural identity when one is born to it. Well, the idiots can try to eternally lie and just be convenient about it!