Common Excuses Pinoys Make That Prolong Stagnation and Stupidity

I think that one of the reasons our country and our countrymen aren’t getting anywhere in terms of intellectual, economic and artistic development is because of our tendency to resort to excuses. Well, I’m not saying that I’m immune to this either. I can easily admit to the fact that I tend to make a lot of excuses myself when forced to do so. However, I will go on to note that while excuses can certainly make us feel better about ourselves, they’re not really going to solve anything in the long run.

Now, I’m going to show you five of favorite excuses that Filipinos tend to resort to and why each of them do more harm than good to our actual culture.

“It’s useless. Why Should I Bother?”

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This is one of the more popular excuses used by the less privileged Pinoys out there. Like what I and a lot of other Realists here at GRP like to say, being poor is okay but staying poor is certainly not. I believe that each and every person can make a better person of him or her self if they would put some effort into being good people.

roadblockUnfortunately, that is often not the case here in the Philippines. Now, I am quite sure that there are a lot of poor people out there who started with just about nothing but managed to make something of themselves later on in life, but they are easily outnumbered by the countless impoverished schmucks who are either content or embrace being poor. These people seriously believe that the system or whatever powers that be rule the country are squarely against them (true-ish but not impossible to the determined and wise layman) and that they will not be able to rise out of poverty no matter what they do. Worse yet, the media with its neuron-destroying shows seems to hammer into the minds of our poor fellows that being poor is great and that being poor automatically makes them the “good guys” in any situation. Being poor, from their point of view and how the media seems to imply it to them, always makes them the protagonists in any issue despite the fact that they’re squatting on privately or publicly owned land, are ruining the environment with their garbage and refuse or are engaging in petty theft of resources like water and electricity.

Look people, mark my word, as long as you are alive, there will always be opportunities to improve yourself. The way up is difficult, it always is. The metaphor “going uphill” is very accurate because that’s exactly how progress works. The higher you go, the harder it gets, but it isn’t necessarily “useless”. Take note that J.K. Rowling, the highly successful author of Harry Potter could barely afford diapers for her child but through her determination and business sense, became one of the richest women in England.

“It’s not my problem!”

Another common issue with many Filipinos is their apathy. As long as something doesn’t affect them, they don’t seem to care all that much. It doesn’t matter if it’s about a hostage crisis, a devastating freak storm or the unjust massacre of people, as long as they aren’t directly affected, it doesn’t really matter.

Worse yet, there are people who actively cause problems for others thinking that it “isn’t their problem”. This includes people who steal resources like cable or electricity thinking that it isn’t really their problem so they tend to believe that they have every right to do so. The list just goes on and on.

When called out, many of the people who resort to this excuse tend to lash out angrily, saying that why should they get involved when it doesn’t concern them? What’s sad is that most Pinoys are usually more aware of celebrities and their shenanigans rather than issues that deserve more of their attention. Thanks to the media, Pinoys are more aware of cosmetic products used by Anne Curtis rather than the masked gunman standing outside their door, holding a good-sized sub-machine gun in one hand and a machete in the other.

Just so you know, when the Holocaust of World War II began, many of the victims had a similar mindset. The Jews didn’t care about the Gypsies, the Gypsies didn’t care about the homosexuals and the homosexuals didn’t care about the communists. They probably started caring when they were finally brought into concentration camps  though but by then, it was already too late.

“It’s none of your business!”

A very oft-heard response from Pinoys who don’t want you ruining their fun. This is often closely followed by “walang basagan ng trip” (don’t ruin my fun) and “gusto lang naming tumawa” (we just want to laugh). I have often heard this sentiment from people who are too engrossed in their so-called entertainment or are busy being an annoyance to other people.

Well, yes, I believe that every person has the right to consume whatever media they like or do what they like but they are also expected to be responsible for what they do. Doing what you like is fine as long as you’re not breaking laws or being a thorn in the side of society.

As an example, I would like to cite once again the ever infamous Dong-Yan wedding which has been the cause of much ire for people. Look, I will say that they have a right to do what they want. They had every right to make their wedding as extravagant as they possibly could but it’s a different story when they went on to show it on just about every television across the country and had to block off roads that led to their venue. While it was completely irrelevant to the lives of most people, they shoved the wedding down people’s throats just to show off how lavish they were despite the fact that there were probably more important issues to discuss at the time such as the status of national projects and various dangers to society. What makes it worse is that they actually had to block off roads in an already traffic-saturated city that is supposedly the economic “heart” of the country and you can only imagine how many people arrived to work late, slowing production for some companies and how many expectant mothers had to give birth inside vehicles because of the traffic their wedding created.

“Everyone else is doing the same thing!”

Here’s another sad, sad excuse that Pinoys continue to make even today. Just because everyone is doing the same thing doesn’t make something “right”. Even the Bible condemns this kind of thought because if the society you’re in has horrible morals, then that means you are every bit as immoral as they are.

No one ever stops to think that if a lot of people are doing something wrong, then all the more reason that one should avoid doing it. Many people who like to litter like to make the same excuse until the rains come and flood their homes. Many people who steal electricity and cable also make the same excuse until something goes wrong with their connections and they either get electrocuted or their house catches fire.

If you’re really going to use this excuse time and time again, you might as well think about the following: Here’s something to mull over, did you know that a lot of people are murdered on a regular basis? Then I guess that since everyone else is committing acts of murder as we speak then that means that it must be right, right? So by all means, let’s start murdering each other!

“There’s always next time.”

Pinoys love to procrastinate. When given a task, they will try to delay it for as long as possible because there’s always plenty of time to do it. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons for our country’s continued stagnation.

Because we refuse to make any kind of progress even when it’s available to us, we lose any chance of making the Philippines a better country. The Philippines has a sad history of failed opportunities which is due to the fact that Pinoys don’t realize that opportunities will never be there forever. Sooner or later, something will change and that opportunity will no longer be available. Unless we can accept the fact that time is precious and that we, as a people, should cherish every second of it, then I fear our nation is ultimately doomed.

If you want an example, I can gladly cite the many government officials who insist that there is always time to take care of a problem whether it be fierce weather, brutal terrorists or economic issues. Unfortunately, I can point out that issues of the sort can change dramatically from moment to moment. So that fierce weather might arrive earlier than anticipated or the brutal terrorists might be at your doorstep by now or that all the foreign businessmen have left, leaving you and your livelihood bankrupt.

The time for excuses is over my fellow Filipinos. Let us take action now before it is too late. Help save the Philippines before she is utterly destroyed.

22 Replies to “Common Excuses Pinoys Make That Prolong Stagnation and Stupidity”

  1. You missed: “why don’t you stop criticizing and propose some solutions?”. This one pops up over and over again on this website.

    The funny part is that Filipinos absolutely HATE foreigners suggesting “well, we do it this way, why don’t you try it?” even more than they hate foreigners pointing out that what they’re doing at the moment is destructive, self-defeating, or futile. The typical response is either: (polite version) “but we do it this way in the Philippines”, or (hillbilly Pinoy version) “f-off, Johnny foreigner. Who do you think you are coming here lecturing us about how to do things? We’re Pinoy and proud! We don’t need your so-called solutions!”. Either way, end of conversation.

    Then there’s my absolute favourite: “but we’re poor”. The implication is that they HAVE to do things that are destructive, self-defeating, futile etc because poverty compels them to, as if money is somehow a prerequisite for not throwing your trash everywhere, spawning innumerable kids, or being ill-mannered and unemployable. It never occurs to them that perhaps those behaviors are the CAUSE of poverty, not the outcome.

    1. I totally agree with you.

      Can I add one that is told to me over and over?
      “we have this culture due to being held hostage by the Spaniards for over 400 years”.

      1. ha!

        This excuse probably is technically true. I can imagine the Spaniards ruthlessly slaughtered anyone with the ability to think. Such men are dangerous. What you’re left with is a nation of purebred slaves.

        Nevertheless, history is not destiny. It’s time for Filipinos to realise the Spaniards are long gone, and nobody else is going to change their culture for them.

        1. I hear this excuse from delusional Hispanics who can’t be bothered to fix their nations instead of siphoning off of the US and Canada as well.

  2. Other immature/negative characteristics of Filipinos are:
    (1) they rely too much on their corrupt politicians to make things better for the country. So, if a Con Man come during election, disguised as a politician; promising everything, including the moon. They will vote for such con man.
    (2) Filipinos have no Initiative…most rely on luck or “tadhana”. So, shows that engage in winning of prizes are popular. Shows that promote Mendicancy , are very popular. Show Biz people coming to your house, to give you , lot and lots of freebies. You don’t have to work for it. The ShowBiz people will come and shower you, lot and lots of freebies…
    What a life…what a people…

  3. There’s also the classic line:

    “It’s the way things are done here.”

    When I tried showing my schoolmates a better way to do something. (I forget which) To which they decide to stubbornly do the method which took us longer than it should to finish.

    And they wonder why they don’t ascend in life and get all moody about it. When all I can do at that point is facepalm and wonder; “Seriously?”

  4. You’ve got it. 🙂 Thanks for your very educational posts. Ito rin kasi ang mga na point ko na mga maling sistemang ating nakagisnan. Lahat na kasi ng nakita ko,na point mo din lahat. Kaya, ni share ko lahat sa wall ko. 🙂 Maraming salamat talaga sa pagmulat ng mga tao sa katotohanan. Good job po. Keep it up!

  5. “I think that one of the reasons our country and our countrymen aren’t getting anywhere in terms of intellectual, economic and artistic development is because of our tendency to resort to excuses”

    waaah boo-hoo we filipinos will never advance because etc etc etc. this website is a ruse. a blind. the real truth will never be told because, truth be told, the filipino cannot see the mote in his own eye.

    filipino culture, from politics to entertainment, is complete garbage because filipinos are garbage collectors. what is the legacy of colonialism? what has america and spain left the philippines? monotheism, republicanism, democracy, technological advancement. but now daddy is gone. the schoolmaster has left. the tutor has packed his bags because baby has grown up into a man. but the filipino is not a man. he still clings to his child notions of selfishness and inequality.

    instead of taking the best of what father (spain and america) has left them, they take the garbage. when i cannot sleep at 1 am because a town 2 miles away is blaring loud full-on bass thumping techno, that is garbage. that is the epitome of inequality and selfishness. “hey we are having a party and so what if you can hear our music from 2 miles away?”

    a comment i read here a while back said “our song and dance culture is killing us.” this assessment is beyond correct but it still does not get to the heart of the matter. the heart of the matter is that the filipino culture is a reflection of all the garbage of the west.

    the west has had some pretty bad and incompetent politicians but never has the entire system from head to toe been full of graft and corruption as it is here. instead of becoming politicians out of any sense of patriotism the filipino becomes a politician to satisfy his pecuniary desires. no one in the west would put up with this. in fact their is still a justice system in the west unlike the phillippines which has a “just us” system.

    the internet is a great tool. as revolutionary as the printing press. but how is nationwide free internet (at 256kps! hahaha!) going to help anyone in this country? how will it help juan tamad and his family living in a rickety bamboo shanty in a back alley perched precariously over a nasty sewer river?? it won’t! it won’t help any of the squatters living in unliveable conditions. yet the theology is available which will help these unfortunate people have a decent place to live instead of living over a fetid sewer river. but hey to heck with them give us our free 256kps (hahaha so slow!) internet! if i ever return to the west and hear somebody complain about poverty i will laugh in their face because juan tamad in the bamboo shanty is living in poverty which shaniquia in the section 8 ghetto will never know.

    i will say it again, this website is a ruse and a blind and does not even come close to the heart of the matter. and the heart of the matter is that filipinos are garbage collectors who suck off the refuse of western culture and call it their own. theres really too much to write and i don’t know how to adequately express myself of the situation. and i am very angry that i am awake at 1am because a town 2 miles away (i am deep in the provinces in sugar cane country) is having a party.

    1. Oh dear God, I really wish I could help you right now. My neighbors are very similar.

      It’s almost always Videoke night and they’re singing in such horrible ways that I wish I bought myself a good-sized grenade launcher…

  6. Wish this could be be translated into Tagalog so more people can understand. If only there are more ways tov reach out to those who don’t speak English or dont have access to Internet. I believe educating people is still one of the best way to create awareness..

    Thank you for well written blog.

    1. Written Tagalog is very hard to understand, even for some Filipinos. All those words with excessive syllables, letter k’s and a’s hurt my eyes.

  7. You can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Better change the circumstances that cause them to stick with their act. And lectures only work with students and those who wanted to learn. I bet you majority of the Filipinos don’t want to be told what to do and when they are wrong. I hope I don’t sound like I’m making excuses.

    1. To be fair, most people don’t like to be told they are wrong in their faces unless they know said person telling has loads of credentials and/or they’re in a learning “environment.” It hurts their ego and self-worth. Unfortunately, these types outnumber the calm, cool collected ones who can take any criticism with stride, especially Pinoys.

  8. If you’re not changing, evolving with the times, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re stagnant, dying, already dead, or just a rock in someone’s shoe.

  9. If I may add, here are some of the all-time favorites:

    “Tao lang po” (I’m only human) – goes to show how many Filipinos don’t believe in themselves. Alright, this might show a bit of the Filipino’s sense of self-awareness, but this excuse can be abused to earn undue sympathy and to make a mistake more excusable than it should be. Commonly used by celebrities caught in a scandal.

    “Biglang nawalan kasi ng preno” (The brakes just suddenly stopped working) – goes to show how reckless some Filipino drivers are.

    “Naghahanap-buhay lang po” (I’m just making a living) – goes to show how unprofessional working some Filipinos are, especially the public transportation drivers. They would do anything to earn more profit, even to the point of breaking the rules and endangering the lives of many commuters.

    1. “I am a simple person”
      “I am a god fearing person”
      “I am a one man-one woman person”
      “the only thing that will make me happy is to get married and have kids”

  10. Well. Spain and USA have made much mess as colonial powers have done in many places. E g big part of the law system PROTECT them, who are rich and HAVE the power allready 🙁 Laws are suppoused to PROTECT the WEAK…

    I did read through the above a bit hasty, so I don’t know if it’s told allready the “Crap mentality” (=If one try to climb, then others drag them down.)
    For instance a poor Filipina I know, has managed to save to a small start capital and start businesses with some profit – but both times she was dragged down by pressure from family and friends, puting pressure at her to give them BOTH the profits and the start capitals 🙁 So now she say she will never start own business again as long as she live among them…

    Pride is GOOD, IF use it good.
    I claim that to succeed in the Philippines then better do a COMBINATION of Pinoy* and foreign thinking. If someone don’t agree, I have the argument:
    -You can go on thinking only the common Pinoy thinking, but then you will only get a common Pinoy earning… 🙂

    *I ask Pinoys A LOT to learn the culture and to get local knowledge, and then I MODIFY it adding some foreign thinking.

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