Pinoy Victim Mentality: One of the Philippines’ Greatest Obstacles

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Before I begin, let me tell you something my counselor and later boss told me.

“There’s a big difference between a loser and a wuss, Grimwald. A loser might lose a lot but that implies that he keeps trying anyway. Sure, he loses a  lot but sooner or later he’s going to win. A wuss is something different from a loser. A wuss doesn’t even try to win because he’s afraid of losing. A loser might lose again and again but, because he chooses to fight on regardless, he’s going to get win at least every now and again. Remember, even a broken clock is correct at least two times in one day. A wuss has no hope whatsoever of winning because he’s given up long before he’s even begun.”

With all that’s been going on such as the terrorists of the South shoving the BBL in our faces, the Chinese claiming our islands in the South China Sea and the rumors (I really hope they’re not true) of Taiwan claiming Batanes for their own, I can’t help but speak up now. Look ladies and gentlemen, it’s already 2016, more than a few decades since our alleged “liberation” from tyranny. Unfortunately, despite claiming to be “free”, as I have stated in one of my previous articles, we are anything but.

victim_mentality

One of the reasons for our continued oppression lies not in the fact that tyrants rule our country but because so many of us have become willing slaves of oligarchs. At the end of the day, we aren’t poor because we have scarce resources (on the contrary, the Philippines is a very resource-rich country), we are poor because we allow ourselves to be poor. We become the victims of various foreign powers not because we are necessarily weaker but because we have made ourselves weak through our negligence and delusional idealism.

Thanks to the slush fed to us by Pinoy shows as pointed out here by ChinoF, many of us are conditioned to think that being a victim is cool. After all, don’t victims get all the attention? Aren’t victims the ones who get rescued by the handsome hero in the end? Well ladies and gentlemen, most of that is just wishful thinking. If anything, being a victim will just make your life suck and it will continue to suck until you stop being a victim. Remember, there is no room for tyrants in a world without slaves. With no one allowing themselves to be oppressed, there can be no oppressors.

I have been there people and I once possessed the same mindset as the typical Pinoy thinking that being a victim was a good thing.

Well let me tell you now that I went on to learn that being a victim is most certainly not cool. Being a victim does not make you a hero, contrary to what our teleseryes imply with their repetitive themes. Heroes are people who learn to pick themselves up even after being victimized and take it upon themselves to never be victimized again and, if they can help it, also prevent others from ever being victimized.

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85 Comments on “Pinoy Victim Mentality: One of the Philippines’ Greatest Obstacles”

  1. The noir hero is a knight in blood caked armor. He’s dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he’s a hero the whole time.

  2. And when somebody tries to free himself of that mentality, a few would call him names “pasiklab” “mayabang”, etc. The worse that I heard from an elder is “know your place, son.” (lumugar ka!).

    I know humility is an important virtue. So is being assertive. I think they are equally important because the first will make one respect others and their authority and the second will give self-respect that even the authorities should acknowledge and recognize. The problem with the Filipinos that I know is they have incorrectly applied the first and almost have none of the second. They have mistaken humility to being passive and submissive even if it will cost them too much.

    I remember the movie “A Bug’s Life.” The grasshoppers made the ants believe that they are worthless, too small to fight back the hoppers hence they should serve them. I can see most Filipinos in those ants and they’re rejoicing when the circus performers arrived and mistaken them for heroes. I also saw their unity against the grasshoppers at the times the Filipinos decide to go extra-constitutional and get rid of their leaders. But unlike the ants, I wish the Filipinos will face and act on their problems sooner with minimal or no help from the “heroes.”

  3. I have learned and understood that most (or a few; or many; or even all) Filipino couples/parents take kids so that those kids can take care of and look after the parents when theparents are old. So having kids become the retirement/pension plan (and probably also the ticket to medicine and health care).

    This stems from the fact that some or most people dont get a pension and dont get unemployment benefits if they get unemployed.

    If I was so such a kid, it means that I am not working for my own living but also for the livelihood of others. This cycle should really be broken down completely. For me this cycle is also a form of slavery and puts a lot of pressure on kids. And it doesnt make kids free and let them choose freely. It also mean – if I were such a kid – that this system will never make a rich(er) man. So how for god’s sake can I work on my own self-esteem if I always have to work for others (family members). Bottomline: I am a prisoner of a rotten system.

    Solution to solve this:
    Dear parents, pls set me free and let me make my own decisions for my own benefit and not for your benefits. Thank you parents.

    1. Imagine yourself Mr. Haighton when you are old and grey, alone and unable to do anything for yourself inspite of all your richness.

      When you are thrown in a foster care home with an uncaring care-giver who is unmindful of your feelings and/or wants, while your other family members are roaming the world, never caring of your situation because they are too pre-occupied with themselves.

      Lucky for you if you have the money for that. But let’s say if something happens to you that incapacitates your ability to care for yourself and suddenly your broke. Would you not seek self from your family members? Would that make a difference?

      We are loving people by nature that’s why unlike the westerners foster homes are not encouraged here!

      1. I think sharing residence is fine especially when the parents are old and ill. But this should happen in the parents retirement age or when the need arise. While they are strong and hold a job, they should support themselves and not the children supporting them. At the same time, the children once they reach the working age should find a job and a place of their own and not continue to be supported by their parents.

        1. Mr. Sick Amore, isn’t that exactly what is really happening here! Go tell Mr. Haighton!

          Would you extend a helping to your old and sickly parent when the need arises? Would you feel like being a slave if you do that as told by him?

        2. Dear Getting There,
          I have absolutely no problem with the fact that kids help their parents voluntarily on an incidental basis.
          But I dont think it happens on a voluntarily basis. Its demanded from them or otherwise beaten out of them through emotional/psychological blackmail.
          And just because of that its slavery. Because your kids have to do the same with their kids.

          You dont love your kids. You think you love them. But all you do is that you need them for your own satisfaction. Thats brutal. You are not interested in the future of your kids. If they end up poor then you think thats okay and normal bec you also were/are poor. What will you do if – god forbid – all your kids die at once during a traffic accident? Produce again?

      2. Mrs/Mr Getting There,
        why does your systrem/culture suck?
        Because as child I am ordered/demanded to take care of my parents (okay maybe they ask me nicely. But isnt that just plain emotional/psychological blackmail?) when they are old and/or sick and/or unemployed. What is the result of that? That I will end up in the exact same position/situation. So the cycle continues. I have to order/demand my kids to do the same (to take care of me).

        Overall consequences: we all stay poor, nobody is able to develop him or herself, nobody is able to escape poverty.
        In short: by keeping that system alive, every other country should refese to help your country in any disaster. Next time, pls help yourself. Which you(r country) is unable of. Why? Because nobody is taught to take care of himself. There is no responsibility whatsoever bec the kids I produce will take care of me. Isnt that selfish????????

        We dont love kids, we produce kids bec we need them to take care of us. Kids are the chicken with the golden eggs. But you dont love them. You need them. You must have them otherwise you are lost.

        Another aspect: I am one of your PH politicians or even your president. Now do you really think I care about the population behaving that way? No of course not.

        You see, everything goes hand in hand.

        How can you solve it as parent? You can set your kids free and let them lead their own lives. Yes, taht means you as parent have to make a sacrifice. But finally your kid(s) can bloom, flourish. But you are not interested in that. You dont care about the future of your kids as long as your ass is covered.

        And if nothing works, you can always sent your daughters abroad becoming a slave as OFW. God, you really must be a proud guy.

        Do something good in your life once and set your kid(s) free. Really free. Not half-baked free.

        Parents who keeps their kids as hostages are just masters over their own slaves. Their own kids. How dysfunctional is that?

        Mister Getting There, if you set your kids free then they can start saving money (deposit it on a bank savings account) instead of giving it to you as parent. Then they have some money for later so they dont have to take kids in the same way you must have kids. Then they (your kids) are able to make kids out of real love and your kids can set their kids free too. You are a moron that you dont see it. Or you dont want to see it.

        Your circle will never get anybody out of poverty. Breaking that circle will get your kids out of poverty. But you dont want that. Isnt that a form of crab mentality?

        1. “The issue of poverty is a complex thing that is best addressed by those in power!”

          That issue is not complex and you can end it. Why wait for your government. My government didnt make me rich. I made myself rich (legally by the way). I work for it so why should I share that with my sisters? They didnt contribute one cent to it. My parents “sent” me to school. That is by the way the minimum requirement good parents should do. Its part of the responsibility of being a parent. Being able to pay tuition for all the kids, from Kindergarten till University.

          Your country and mine have an absolute different definition of the words (being) responsible and respect.

      3. Ah yes – another standard Pinoy response. We are loving and caring and foreigners are cold unfeeling bastards.

        You won’t believe it, but we look after our old people FAR better than you idiots. Why?

        1) The children have not had all their earnings wasted by feckless parents who, as soon as their kids get a job, decide they can ‘retire’. They are therefore financially secure and have money to spare to look after the elderly parents’ needs.

        2) Care homes cost money. Now, of course, in foreignerland, money grows on trees and everything is free, right? Sadly, outside of the childish dreamworld that exists in Pinoy minds, 24-hour medical care is very expensive. That means that people avoid putting the old people in care homes until it’s necessary. They do it for the old person’s own safety – perhaps they wander about and might hurt themselves.

        The result is that old people in the west, in general, are looked after by their children until the last moments.

        In the Philippines, everyone is penniless because all the money had been wasted, and the older people live in poverty. Sure, their children might bring them food now and then. They might all live together in the same tiny, leaking hovel, which they can’t afford to fix because selfish parents made themselves diabetic, secure in the knowledge that kids would pay for pills.

        Well, that’s lovely. You enjoy your “close family” bullshit. The rest of us prefer civilisation.

        1. A lot of Filipinos keep deluding themselves into thinking that they are the most compassionate human beings on the planet.

        2. Once I met a young Indian busineswoman here in the Philippines. At one point in our conversation, she said I really wanna go back to India I’m not happy here. I asked, then why don’t you? Her reply was I can’t because I’m taking care of my husband’s business here. She added that she’s not yet ready to get married and confided that she really is not in love with her husband. Curiously, I asked why did she marry the guy. She said it was arranged by the parents and she can’t do anything. Then you have to suffer and take everything, I said! She replied, I guess so it is the culture! Talk about selfish parents!

          Do not self-congratulate yourselves into thinking that idiot foreign culture is always best!

          @Ilda
          We are probably not the most compassionate of human beings on the planet but generally we are welcoming people ready to share what we have even among strangers. We can accord respect to even an ordinary upright citizen of this country or anywhere, which is of a higher order (every human being is respectful provided he doesn’t do anything to the contrary!) than the snobbish concept of the westerners, because they only respect those who have achieve something for themselves. Therefore, someone, being in the higher level of the totem pole, or the boss of a big business entity is respectful while the workers below who helped the boss build and achieve his stature is not!

          Those airhead expats living in the philippines who think that they are god-given to us filipinos just because of their presence here should re-think again!

        3. @Malicious,
          “Therefore, someone, being in the higher level of the totem pole, or the boss of a big business entity is respectful while the workers below who helped the boss build and achieve his stature is not!”

          I am very sorry to say but here you are wrong (again). We address our department heads by their first name (no sir, no ma’dam, no chief, no captain), we even address the company’s CEO by his/her first name. From high school onwards we address our teachers by their first name. We address our own sisters and brothers by their first name (and not using stupid words like “ate”, “dong” or “kuya”).

          In short, I think we are one of the most equalitarian country in the world.

        4. Malicious: where on earth do Filipinos get these ideas about “foreigners”? Is it taught to you in school? It’s a safe bet you don’t acquire them by direct experience.

          Indian culture is indeed messed-up. So what? As usual, you’re taking a worse culture than your own and saying: See! At least we’re not as bad as THEM!

          I have travelled widely and find the Philippines is no more “welcoming” than anywhere else. In your own post you refer to expats in less-than-welcoming terms. Your own constitution explicitly excludes foreigners from any participation in civic life.

          As for snobbishness, I have never come across such a status-obsessed culture as the Philippines. You accord respect to people who are rich and have fancy cars and houses. You accord respect to older people for achieving nothing more than being old. You accord respect to Pinoys-at-large simply for being Pinoys. Low-level employees bow and scrape to the big boss even when they know he’s wrong. Upper managers sit around doing nothing and pass the hard work to people below them. The goal in life for every Pinoy, it seems to me, is to sit on one’s ass and hold out one’s hand, so that other people can “mano” and deposit cash as they pass by.

        5. @Mr. Haighton
          “…we are one of the most equalitarian country in the world.”
          “..using stupid words like “ate”, “dong” or “kuya””

          A visiting foreigner from one of the most egalitarian country in the world finds our use of words like “ate”, “dong” or “kuya” something STUPID! Western concept of respect is indeed of a different order! How irreverent but we’re still ok, we are cool guys!

          @marius
          “I have travelled widely and find the Philippines is no more “welcoming” than anywhere else.”

          Try doing what you do and what you’re saying here in our face as your host country and try to do the same in the Arab World or I can just presume that you do not have guts that you’re displaying now!

          “Your own constitution explicitly excludes foreigners from any participation in civic life.”

          Care to elaborate!

          “You accord respect to Pinoys-at-large simply for being Pinoys.”

          Generally respect is irrespectively given to anyone or to whom respect is due! Of course we don’t deny that we have assholes and idiots like other nationalities do. And if a visiting ungentlemanly outsider is disrespectful of his host country of course expect something that you deserved!

        6. @Malicious,
          – pls explain me why the oldest son/daughter should/must be treated differently compared to the next in line (by addressing her/him differently)?
          – why did my partner demanded me to do the Mano to her parents (and all other older people, like her god’s mother?). Her parents where just nice and good people who had worked (had a job). What is so special about that? Is that some kind of special achievemnet that nobody else can achieve? Is being a parent a special, an extra-ordinary achievement?

          Respect is earned and deserved when someone achieves/ed something out of the ordinary. And how will we treat such a person? Actually not that differently. We will speak highly of and about him/her (behind his back and in his presence). We might even be jealouse of such a person bec I am unable to do achieve the same. Or in other words: I just wished I possessed his traits, his qualities.

        7. Having seen quite a bit of the Republic of the Philippines one of the things that shocked me was the way Filipino’s treat each other.Horrendous is not too strong a word and may not be strong enough. It was/is truly something I’d never seen before amongst people of the same nation.

        8. @ Malicious, ‘air-head’ ex-pats that ….

          WHAT? Ex-pats in the Philippines are targets for robberies, home invasions,burglaries or handouts on the street…… Who are you kidding? Not me, LOL !!!. Walking talking ATM machines that say ‘No’ and are then vilified.

          PISS OFF SHITHEAD .

    2. >> Try doing what you do and what you’re saying here in our face as your host country and try to do the same in the Arab World

      Yet again, gettingthere, you’re pointing at a broken culture and saying “we’re not as bad as that!”. Is that all you aspire to be? Slightly better than the worst on the planet?

      Why is it SO HARD for Filipinos to observe their own culture objectively? We Europeans criticize our government and our culture all the time: our intent is to improve it. Sometimes we even succeed. And thus things improve. Eventually.

      >> Care to elaborate!

      No. Go and read it. You WILL be shocked. Or at least I hope you are. Briefly, foreigners are not allowed to be engineers, teachers, businessmen, or any number of things that are “reserved for Filipinos”. Why? Because if foreigners were allowed to (say) teach, it would not be possible for the government to put foolish ideas into the heads of children. They might learn something useful, and we can’t have THAT.

      >> Generally respect is irrespectively given to anyone or to whom respect is due!

      It’s true that too many visitors to the Philippines are disrespectful, uneducated and rude. They’re not really representative of (say) Europeans or Americans in general. Now, why do you think that is? Take a guess.

      In general, Europeans respect people who have earned it. We disrespect people who don’t want to think, don’t want to work, or expect other people to fix their problems for them.

  4. The Aquinos are the promoters of this kind of mentality, “Victim Mentality”. They play as victims, to get votes. Then, they promote themselves, as courageous heroes and unblemished Saints.

    So, Aquino does nothing; even nearby countries are now taking Philippine territories, one by one. Aquino shows himself as victim. So that, the U.S. military, will come for rescue.

    Aquino STOLE the AFP Modernization Fund. He used it to BRIBE Senators/congresspeople, in order to promote his political agendas.

    Now the Philippines, cannot even defend its territories. This idiot Aquino is the Root Cause of all of this problems.

  5. Mr. Getting There,
    What I dont understand about the PH system is this:
    my parents produced me so that I will take care of them (financially and otherwise). I pay for their hospital bills, I pay for their medicine bills and I pay for their food and clothes and what not.
    In retribution, I have to do the exact same thing with my kids.

    So where does this end?

    It must end with people are thinking about taking kids in the future and with current parents who already have kids.
    They should set their kids completely free and only then the kids have a fair chance of getting a better life than we all ever had. Isnt that what parents should and must wish for their kids?
    What are the consequences?
    As parent, I might die at the age of 50. So what? At least my kid can have a better life.

    Pls consider it and I am sure you wont regret it. Unless you really dont love your kids.

      1. I loved my parents (loved bec they are dead for many decades now) bec they taught me things how to survive, to see the beauty in art, to embrace classical music. I dont love them bec they fed and clothed me. I loved them bec they showed me what real freedom is and how to use that. I loved my parents bec they made me a critical thinker and they taught me how to use my talents. And they taught me all that for free. Nothing in return.
        But when I was 24 years old, I had to go to my mom’s cremation. When I was 30 years old, I had to go to my dad’s cremation. So it was all very short lived. Mr Getting There, be thankful that you are still alive (hopefully you can only thank yourself for that). And try to enjoy life.

        Failure is a choice and success is a choice. Its all up to you. Just dont be a moron.

        1. “I loved them bec they showed me what real freedom is and how to use that.”

          agreed.

          most of my countrymen doesn’t know the concept of freedom. i love my mother. but there is a limit to it. it’s also their duty as parents to nurture their kids and enjoy freedom the right way. 🙂

        2. @Andrew
          What concept of freedom does most of your countrymen do not know about (as far as parenting or family relations is concerned?)?

          What are the limitations of your love for your mother? I wonder if your mother knows about the limits of your love for her!

          I’m really interested to know!

  6. @Mr. Haighton
    @Mr. Marius
    As visitors of this country, I suggest that, instead of questioning the culture, why not study it further and understand why they are so! It would NOT hurt if you just take what you like and ignore those what you don’t like! Just take what you can get!

    @Mr. Haighton
    ” pls explain me why the oldest son/daughter should/must be treated differently compared to the next in line (by addressing her/him differently)?”

    Though it’s not practiced now as much as before, it is called Filipino Sibling Hierarchy, maybe the same as, but not to that extent, of the Royal Family Hierarchy.

    https://jonsquared.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/filipino-sibling-hierarchy/

    http://www.hierarchystructure.com/royal-family-hierarchy/

    “why did my partner demanded me to do the Mano to her parents (and all other older people, like her god’s mother?).”

    To show that you are a person respectful of others. If people of the world demand respect for mother nature, animals, properties and other inanimate objects, what more for a human being! What more for a daughter who loves and respects a mother and a father and her elders. She would surely want someone who not only loves her but also has respect and love for her elders as well!

    “Respect is earned and deserved when someone achieves/ed something out of the ordinary.”

    I don’t intend to question, but just for the argument Mr. Haighton, why do you have Royal Families? What makes them different from the commoners? Being “one of the most equalitarian country in the world”, what makes them more deserving of their titles than the rest of the Dutch people?

    @Mr. Marius
    Why is it SO HARD for Filipinos to observe their own culture objectively?

    The prevailing sentiment here in GRP overwhelms but it cannot claim to be something representative for the rest!

    “…foreigners are not allowed to be engineers, teachers, businessmen, or any number of things that are “reserved for Filipinos”. Why?”

    Are you sure that there are NO foreign engineers, teachers, businessmen here? You have to understand that you are in a Third World country. What we will give to you is what we take away from others!

    “In general, Europeans respect people who have earned it.”

    That’s fine by me but remember when you’re in another country don’t try to impose your prejudices. Just assimilate and observe courtesy!

    1. >> As visitors of this country, I suggest that, instead of questioning the culture, why not study it further and understand why they are so! It would NOT hurt if you just take what you like and ignore those what you don’t like! Just take what you can get!

      I am not interested in “taking”, malicious. Sadly, I have observed and studied, and what I have seen does hurt me: I do not like seeing my fellow human beings digging themselves deeper into a pit of failure and misery for NO GOOD REASON. Your culture is an unmitigated failure. It has nothing to recommend it; nothing that others can learn from. That is why I post here. That is why I speak out.

      >> To show that you are a person respectful of others. If people of the world demand respect for mother nature, animals, properties and other inanimate objects, what more for a human being!

      The Filipino respects none of those things. Mother nature is regularly raped. Animals are treated with contempt. The idea of property does not exist: everything and anything can be stolen without consequence.

      As for people: sometimes, the respectful and caring thing is to tell someone they are wrong. Filipino parents behave like infants, screaming “want! want! want!” and expecting their children to toady to their wishes. Is it “caring” to give your parent money to buy Coca-cola, or to gamble on cockfights? When parents do not act like parents, it’s sometimes the child’s responsibility to educate them.

      >> Are you sure that there are NO foreign engineers, teachers, businessmen here?

      There are not. It is forbidden by law. Those that exist here and there are breaking the law.

      >> You have to understand that you are in a Third World country.

      And do you not understand WHY you are a third world country? Are you PROUD of being Third World? Do you wish to remain that way?

      Poverty, malicious, is a state of mind. We have people just like Filipinos in my country. They are poor. Why? Because the way they think and act has no other possible outcome. They must be poor. It is a natural consequence of their behaviour.

      Change your thinking and you will change your country. But of course, there is nothing wrong with your country, is there? Nothing needs to change!

      >> What we will give to you is what we take away from others!

      Utter nonsense. Are you also taught this in school? I have noticed that most Filipinos see life as a zero-sum game. They genuinely think that somebody else’s success is a loss for everyone else. If an engineer comes to your country bringing first-world skills and knowledge, what have you lost? Nothing. Others – smart Filipinos – will see what he does and learn from his example. Stupid Filipinos – those who only have a job because they have an engineer license – will become tricycle drivers. And that’s a good thing. Because they don’t deserve to be engineers in the first place.

    2. Malicious,
      “As visitors of this country, I suggest that, instead of questioning the culture, why not study it further and understand why they are so! It would NOT hurt if you just take what you like and ignore those what you don’t like! Just take what you can get!”

      If you and your entire direct family (wife/husband/partner and 6 kids) would move your ass to my country and would live here according to the strictest Filipino culture then nobody in my country will bother you. You can even have your sons be circumsized. Its not promoted, its not encouraged here but there is no law against it.

      BUT if I would do the same (using the Dutch culture) in your country (even with a Pinay or with a Dutch woman) I would be treated like an animal. Living together (unmarried) is hardly accepted, wanting no kids is looked upon as strange, no image of god or JC in my house is regarded as a sin. Is it really so hard for people in your country, to just observe someone’s privacy and to appreciate someone who has other ideas about life? No, you cant because you dont know the meaning of
      the word privacy.

      “Though it’s not practiced now as much as before, it is called Filipino Sibling Hierarchy, maybe the same as, but not to that extent, of the Royal Family Hierarchy”.

      I am a republican in a monarchy system in my country. I dislike the dutch royal family. And it should be abolished.

      What makes the first born have more value to be entitled to “ate”? What about twins? Somebody has the be the first one.

      “To show that you are a person respectful of others. If people of the world demand respect for mother nature, animals, properties and other inanimate objects, what more for a human being! What more for a daughter who loves and respects a mother and a father and her elders. She would surely want someone who not only loves her but also has respect and love for her elders as well!”

      I never respected her parents. I did the mano bec it was demanded from me. But I did it with an empty heart and empty soul. And for crying out loud: why must it be done multiple times in one day. Isnt once enough?
      However, I did like her dad and her only sibling, her younger brother. Her dad had a great sense of humor.
      Furthermore, I find it (very) strange that she (my partner) fucked my brains out (without being married with me) while she always claimed to be a devout roman catholic.

      I am not very good with Dutch history but I even think we not always had a royal family. So we need always were a monarchy. Again, I am a republican and I am against the institution of a monarchy. King Alex (Willem Alexander) is not the brightest guy in town and he is the king. I am sure his wife outsmarts him every day bec she is way smarter and brighter than he is.

      “That’s fine by me but remember when you’re in another country don’t try to impose your prejudices. Just assimilate and observe courtesy!”

      Have you any idea how frustrated I am, every time that I am in Cebu?
      Jeepneys in Cebu City are not allowed to cross the city border with Mandaue City so I have to change jeepney. That is very inefficient my friend. Buses just stop anywhere to load on more passengers; buses dont have fixed bus stops. Its really impossible to plan a day because of so many inefficiencies that delay my trip. Its getting worse, every time when there is a walking funeral processions.

      I really think (and know) that people like you dont want (to) change bec deep down inside you will be on the losing end. You will lose the “status” you now have. But that status is build on air. Its empty. Only in your country it means a lot. And thats why your country is the laughing stock.

      I am sure both Marius and me are not in it for ourselves. We want your country to grow and to evolve, to get better and do better. Both Marius and I wont personally gain and wont personally benefit from it

    3. Maybe I am not very clever but I dont read anything in the article where it is explained why the “ate” system is so good, what the benefits are and why it was “installed” in the first place.

      https://jonsquared.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/filipino-sibling-hierarchy/
      Filipino sibling hierarchy
      Published April 23, 2008

      Sibling hierarchy exists in all cultures and are often denoted by “titles”. In the Philippines, names of older siblings are often preceded with a “Kuya” (older brother, i.e. Kuya Manuel, Kuya Jose, etc.) or “Ate” (older sister, i.e. Ate Clara, Ate Maria, etc.). Although less common and perhaps altogether not used, other honorific titles were bestowed on older siblings during the pre-WW2 Filipino family structure, in particular, among the Tagalog kinship. They are as follows:

      “Diko” (male) / “Ditse” (female) – bestowed upon the second oldest brother or sister in the family; also preceded the names of the spouses of the second oldest brother or sister.
      “Sangko” (male) / “Sanse (female) – bestowed upon the third oldest brother or sister, as well as their respective spouses
      “Siko” (male) / “Sitse” (female) – bestowed upon the fourth oldest brother or sister, and their respective spouses.

      What most Filipinos may not know is that these honorific titles have a Chinese influence (http://www.geocities.com/kanin247/Y2Kanin/philippines/siblings.htm), According to an article written by Penelope V. Flores, Ph D (http://www.sfsu.edu/~coe/coe/faculty/moreinfo/flores.html), professor of secondary education at San Francisco State university, in a 2000 issue Filipinas (http://www.filipinasmag.com/) magazine. For instance, “kuya” is actually derived from the Chinese “co a”, and “ate” is derived from “a che.” The subsequent levels used Chinese numerical ordering. “Di” is two, “San” is three, “Si” is four, etc.
      Other variations of these honorific titles, used in most southern Philippine regions, are “Manong” (older brother) and “Manang” (older sister). These terms are actually derived from the Spanish “hermano” (brother) and “hermana” (sister).
      Sadly, these honorific titles have started to disappear among my own kinship here in the U.S., with siblings referring to one another just by their names. It certainly simplifies matters for their non-Filipino acquaintances. But individual Filipino families can still choose to continue using these traditional honorific titles in spite of the times. It would certainly be one way that Filipinos can continue to honor their heritage.

      1. Afrikaner?

        People who stop or dont question things at all, are idiots and retards.

        Boomerang back to you, Zwarte Piet

  7. If we are to follow the logic of that western concept of respect – that only those who have achieved something are to be considered respectful – there must be a lot of unrespectable people in the West! And those mafia gangsters/criminals/syndicates who made a name for themselves and have built international business empires can be considered respectable!

  8. Right on target Mr Haigton and Marius. See, most of people here in my country favour respect rather than pinpoint mistakes and let the person know he/she is doing something inefficient. Just because he is BOSS, they will just agree to what the BOSS says even though what the BOSS wants you to do is just overboard and for the lack of better word not within the rulebooks or just plain nuts. This mindset greatly stems out from the fact that the level of compassion and the level of ’emotionalism’ used the within ate, kuya system is on such a high. Though im not pointing out that it is soooo bad, what I’m just implying is the byproduct it causes which has a direct effect towards the overall outcome/performance of the country. Here is one funny example, when expats/foreigners try to tell us what they ‘think’ is incorrect, they will come ‘bashing’ in at you right after the bat. We call it ‘balat sibuyas’. We focus first on assessing things emotionally rather than mentally. And when things are processed emotionally, you very well know whats going to happen. I am a Filipino, but im not in with this Filipino pride bs.

    1. Corpsegrinder, I’ve spent most of my life in Asia, and where I live now we have terms of address equivalent to “kuya”, “ate”, etc. I learned how to use the right words and I don’t find it odd. It’s much like old-school Americans saying “sir” and “ma’am”.

      It all goes wrong in the Philippines because it’s not about respect: it’s about status, and your status is essentially determined by luck, not honest hard work.

      Here, we also tend to “talk around” uncomfortable subjects, rarely saying “no” directly but finding different ways to point out problems. As a European, I find this inefficient, but it works. Things get done, and things get fixed.

      In the Philippines, you have NO way to criticize someone, not even softly. In fact a person who is criticized feels bound to react emotionally to preserve ‘hiya’, even if he knows what’s being said is correct.

      In other words, it is not possible to point out mistakes and get them corrected. So nothing can ever improve.

    2. Hi Corpsegrinder,
      For me it was a real culture-shock when I visited the Philippines (Cebu) for the first time. After that visit I started to read and learn a lot about the Philippines. It made me clear that the Philippines is very into “unwritten” and maybe also written rules when it comes to how to deal with family, family-members, extended family and friends. These overly (un-)written rules are also labeled/called/known as “high context culture”. While in my country we have a “low context culture”.
      We also have a different definition of “respect” (one has to earn and deserve it based on personal achievements).
      That automatically rules out parents and all older people (just if we stick/relate it to their age).
      Furthermore, I completely miss all signs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in Philippine people. It seems to me that most Filipinos are stuck in the bottom section and want to stay there their entire life.
      What I personmally also dislike is the lack of self-determination in your country. Parents decide about you being circumcised, parents decide about you being/getting baptised. Where is the consent?
      It seems that most people live there in conformity (to please others).
      I can and will only be regarded as a good guy when I help others. Then I always wonder: is it really that so many people need help?” Cant they really help themselves? It also makes me wonder how kids are raised by parents. Is it like “son, always ask help from others”?

      For me, I find the Philly culture to be very cold (its not like a warm blanket) bec it is demanded. Its not spontaneous. One cannot address one’s oldest brother by just speaking out his first name but she/he has to address him by using “kuya”. One’s own brother for crying out loud.
      Do you know understand that its impossible for me to live in the Philippines with a pinay and having a kid. And raising that kid according to Phili rules? I have to tell my own daughter to respect me by doing the Mano while there is nothing to respect. Sorry, but I cant do that. It will make me feel lousy.

      1. Robert,

        Calling an older sibling “Ate” (older sister) or “Kuya” (older brother) is just like calling your mother Mom and your father Dad. That’s how it is here as a sign of respect for someone older than you or ahead of you in the family or showing that the sibling is older than you (so there’s no need to ask who is older or if the two of you are siblings, of the same parents). In Japan the older brother is called Nii-san and the older sister Nee-chan, otousan for father and okaasan for mother. Then you call other people with their last name first and only when you’re friends or better acquainted that you call them in their first name. Also, they have honorific titles like san, sama, sensei, kun and chan depending on the age and position. They don’t just call people with their names and I don’t see anything wrong with that but I have to ask what you think of that because I’m raised here and you in Dutch country so we see things differently. Of course, you can call people by their names here because that’s how you are raised but since the culture of two different countries have differences, what each one believe in must be clarified and explained to arrived with an understanding. So you simply laugh at others culture just because it’s not how it works in your country or you don’t hold its significance like how it means to other people?

        Also, the Japanese have bowing; we have the “Mano” or kiss in the cheek or hand. I’m not comparing. I’m just telling you that there are different practices in different countries. If people stick with their practices it’s their choice. If they learned other practices that they think is better like calling people just by name and chose to apply it, it’s okay too.

        You said, “We also have a different definition of “respect” (one has to earn and deserve it based on personal achievements).”

        It’s the same here. But that’s just one reason for respect. The other is treating other people nicely because they are nice and not doing any harm to people who are not doing any harm. 🙂

        1. LVM,
          as mentioned in an other comment, we – the dutch – have a “low context culture”. It basically means we have no rules.
          It seems to me that everything in the Philippines is demanded/ordered (like stated in a contract deal). Thats the only thing. There are too many contracts. Pls lighten up.
          I dont consider my oldest sister as more respectable. She is my sister (my flesh and blood). She may even be less intelligent than me. We – younger siblings – dont look up to our older siblings (what would be the reason to look up to one’s older sibling? Like Marius already stated, its a matter of luck. I could have been the oldest).

          Again, LVM, like I said earlier, it feels like it is demanded. Let me put myself in the shoes of being a dad (with a Philipine woman and kid living in the Philippines). I just cant copy the rules that apply in the Philippines. It would make me feel lousy. I will let my kid call me dad and by the age of 12 or so he/she can call me Rob(ert) but without the Mano. And if there will be more kids then I will teach them to address each other by their first names.

        2. LVM,
          now pls just suppose/pretend/assume, I am a pinoy and you and I just met for the first time. How would you address me? With Kuya? How do you know I am older than you are?

          Because something is a tradition for centuries, doesnt mean one can sometimes start to evaluate if a tradition still fits in todays Philippine world. Or that it needs upgrading/updating.
          This is what we do in my country. Thats why we constantly change our culture.
          Fifty years ago we only had traditional male-female marriages.
          Fifty years ago, married women stayed at home to take care of and raise the kids while the husband was the sole breadwinner.
          Thank god those traditions are almost completely gone.

        3. Robert,

          You said, “I dont consider my oldest sister as more respectable.” Yes, that’s true. Calling someone Ate or Kuya doesn’t mean she or he is more respectable than the younger one. It’s not like that at all. It just means your sibling is older. But also in here, the older ones protect and guide or teach the younger ones to stand on their own and learn good values. That’s what the younger ones respect the older ones with, the love and the knowledge that they extend to the younger ones, the love and knowledge that they needed growing up.

          I concede that there are practices here that are demanded of the people like the ones you said about children being the bread winner of the family or looking after their parents until they grow old. That could not easily change now especially that the Philippines have lots of poor families so each member need to rely on each other to make ends meet and are not yet that open-minded about real independence. But maybe in the future when the present generation and the generation to come, the parents now and the would-be parents have better education and understanding about independence and child rearing, it’ll get better.

          You said, “now pls just suppose/pretend/assume, I am a pinoy and you and I just met for the first time. How would you address me? With Kuya? How do you know I am older than you are?”

          No, Robert. I won’t call you “Kuya”. If you’re a client or a customer and I don’t know your name I would address you “Sir” or I would ask your name and call you, “Mr. your-name-here” before transacting business. If it’s nothing like that, I’ll go with your name if I know it like how I call you here or just continue with our conversation without name. 🙂

        4. LVM,
          ” … the older ones protect and guide or teach the younger ones to stand on their own and learn good values.”

          The things you mention are done by the parents. Bec those duties are implicit duties of the parents. Its a full package of being a parent. Maybe when my older brother (who I dont have) takes me out fishing, he will teach/explain me how to manage the bait, the rod etc. But mostly dads will do that.
          Maybe it my dis-advantage that all my 2 older siblings were sisters. So I had to find out everything on my own.

          Hey, and what about single kids (no brothers, no sisters)? Two of my best friends are single kids? I am sure that is a rarity in the Philippines, right?
          Like, a girl/woman saying “I dont want kids”, I want to pursue a/my career.

          A lot of things that are here very common are still not even considered in the Philippines. Personally, I blame the culture for that.

          Pls allow me to be blunt for just one second: Basically, bottomline, I dont care what people choose to do in your country. But it wont make your lives more comfortable and for sure it wont make you richer.
          (end of boldness)

          While I do think you can reach far further individually. If only you could see the top of the mountain, the view is spectacular. But to me it seems, everybody wants to stay in the valley. And that makes me sad genuinelly.
          But not everybody can climb a mountain. And that is a concept many people in the Philippines have to accept.
          (This is probably a too much western and a too much self-concept).

          But pls never forget that most western countries are richer and have a self-concept as basis.

        5. By the way, Robert, I’m middle aged so I’m comfortable calling people by name. But if it’s obvious that I’m so much younger than you are, I’ll call you “Sir” or “Mr.” If you’re a Pinoy raised here you won’t have qualms about younger ones offering you that kind of title as respect. Older people get respect because apart from age, they already survived a lot of things, experienced if not achieved a lot in life.

        6. LVM,
          Whether you are (much) younger or (much) older than me, I am very comfortable that you will address me by using my first name, Robert or Rob (but pls not Bob).
          I would feel very uncomfortable if anybody would Sir or Mr me. So pls never do that. Thanks.

          (BTW: my age is 52)

        7. Robert,

          You said, “The things you mention are done by the parents…”

          Yes. But other than parents, the children also does that especially smart, responsible kids who wants to share or practice what he or she learned or who wants what’s best for his or her sibling. Maybe I should add that other than respect, it’s also because of the values we learned at a young age like compassion and kindness. Also, Filipinos are family-oriented (of course, not only Filipinos). I think it has something to do with us being Christians but even in pre-colonial periods, a family (a man and a woman wed and produce a child to nurture) is a natural concept. Now when the person learn this individuality or self-concept, they start doing what they think is best for them (not getting married or not having a child, getting married or having a child, etc). They don’t just comply with tradition. But first, he must be exposed to something that will make him think differently than what the culture readily feeds him. This is what happened to Filipinos who migrated to first world countries or who got married to foreigners. They see new things, they learn new and better ways, they found out how things work well where they are. This also happens when a person exposed himself to highly informative or educational shows or materials, new technologies, or sees many possibilities. He begins to ask question and seeks answer, develop an opinion of his own, develop a dream, begins to want change.

          You said, “But pls never forget that most western countries are richer and have a self-concept as basis.”

          It’s difficult to forget that actually. I think it is the richer country who always forget that the Philippines is still a poverty-stricken country, a third world country that faced many problems, where people still has lots to learn and change before they become competitive or acceptable to them. When your country is reduced to poverty and backward thinking, how or where did you start to overcome it and in what way did you rise to progress?

          We here in the Philippines can’t just pattern our actions to other countries. Not that simple. Why because the society is very different (Ex. the law applies only to those who want to follow and enforce it, people have to work as OFW to provide for family, poor are left to be poor). The leaders are different (Ex. no trustworthy and capable head of the state, we have self-serving political dynasties, leaders serve padrino instead of the people, they pocketed funds for development projects). The groups of people are different (ex. we still have many law-breakers and undisciplined people, extended family is embraced; there are people whose parents is the Philippine media).

          The problems we have here, they don’t have it in rich country, or even if they do, not to the same extent that we have. There are people here who are not that educated, and still have no means to have the same education the Westerners or Europeans have. Education is still one aspect that we need to improve here. How we deal with the problem should be based on what we have here and not what the others have because simply put, we don’t have what they have. Obviously we can’t go on borrowing resources or asking for support or charity from other country just so we can provide for our needs and development. We can use the knowledge or system the other countries enjoy that is if it will work for us and if we can afford it. However, it’s still best to start with what we have, produce solutions and grounding on our own and grow from there because unless we overcome the hindrances to progress and grow on our own, we will never be a really free country.

          We sure can learn from our neighboring countries like Singapore and South Korea because a few decades ago these countries are poor like us but looking at them now, they’ve gone a long way. Even Vietnam is now a fast developing country with a vision of becoming a developed nation in the next five years. I’m an optimist but I think pessimist admonition in a way telling us what we’re doing wrong and forecasting the bad turn of event if we keep it that way will do this country good.

          You said, “Whether you are (much) younger or (much) older than me, I am very comfortable that you will address me by using my first name, Robert or Rob (but pls not Bob).

          No problem with me 🙂

          You said, “I would feel very uncomfortable if anybody would Sir or Mr me.”

          For example you came here in the Philippines and have a chat with a young Filipino, a teen or a boy, and this boy call you “Sir” or “Mr”, would that make you feel bad even if the boy don’t mean to offend you and it’s what he know to be the right thing to do? (Given that he still doesn’t know you prefer to be called by your first name). If you travel to other country, do you already expect that they think and act like you do? Because each of us will act based on what’s natural for us. When we travel to other country, do we discover their culture just so we can change it to one like ours or to what will please us?

        8. LVM,
          First of all, let me say this:
          I like the way, you and I are communicating. We are not bashing each other. And I hope I am not implying in any way that my country’s philosophy is better than the Philippine’s. Although I clearly see differences in culture (traditions, laws, customs, rites).

          Secondly, everything that happens in your country also happens in my country. Examples: we also have teenage pregnancies, we also have corruption, we also have people that throw garbage on the street, we also have religious people, we also have clogged up traffic (mainly during morning and afternoon rush hour).

        9. LVM,
          First of all, let me say this:
          I like the way, you and I are communicating. We are not bashing each other. And I hope I am not implying in any way that my country’s philosophy is better than the Philippine’s. Although I clearly see differences in culture (traditions, laws, customs, rites).

          Secondly, everything that happens in your country also happens in my country. Examples: we also have teenage pregnancies, we also have corruption, we also have people that throw garbage on the street, we also have religious people, we also have clogged up traffic (mainly during morning and afternoon rush hour).

          When my 8 year old sister takes me out to do the shoppings (while I am 5 years old), she will of course guard me and maybe even give me an assignment to go and look for the milk (its on the shopping list). But my older sister will not tutor me. When we play Monopoly (with the entire family) for instance even my sister will try to beat me and try to win.
          Here are very practical examples: My dad taught me how to tie my shoe laces; my dad taught me how to (ride a) bike.

          Here is why I think that most older siblings do not tutor or teach younger siblings. I think it has to do with the fact that each and everyone of us has their own busy life. We go to primary school and after coming home we all go to our rooms to do our home work. When that is done we go and do things for ourselves like our hobbies, meet class room mates or meet friends from the street (and play).
          Re: the self-concept:
          I would think that when Pinoys and pinays would meet people from other parts of the world through the internet, that might change their views. But so far, I dont see it.
          I would think that when Pinoys and pinays would start working as OFWs and be confrontated with other cultures every single day, that might change their views. But so far, I dont see it.
          In the past, Ilda already shot down that thought (re OFWs) bec they tend to cluster together and then their Philippines mindset is enforced still.

          Before I ever got in contact with my very first Filipina (2009), I only knew that Manila existed. I may not even have known where the country was located exactly. But soon after that I started to read as much as possible about your country (hungry and curious to know more). I even went to the city library to find books about PH. Unfortunately there were only tourist guides and that was not what I was looking for.
          So, one of the first things I learned and understood was that the Philippines is a poor 3rd world country with a population that is conservative and old-fashioned.
          Due to conversations with people from your country, I was made aware of many traditions and rites, like Mano and male circumcision.
          I actually do think that being poor and being conservative goes hand in hand. And together with a strong powerful church that wont change easily. On the other hand, it also hinders progress tremendously.
          Especially after WW2 we (the Dutch) were destroyed (by the Germans) and poor as hell. We first had to rebuild our country (literally stone by stone; brick by brick).
          But I think our breakthrough came when we received money and goods from of the Marshall-plan.
          The most decisive era was the 1960s. Basically we had an uprising in our country and it was also the onset for the sexual revolution (thanks to the invention of the contraceptive pill).

          LVM, we may be a rich country but that doesnt mean everybody is rich. Pls put that out of your system. In my country we have the same classes as in your country (the elite, upper class, middle class and lower class). And we also have the lower or non-educated people.

          I will not feel offended if a boy/girl would address me with Sir. But I will feel uncomfortable. I once did the Mano to someone who is younger than me, just to mock the system (I am sorry but I just cant take the meaning of the Mano seriously).
          If I will meet a Japanese (or Thai for that matter: Thai people also make a kind of gesture) I will tell them to stop doing that the next time and just treat each other equally (shake hands, hug and kiss (boy-girl) as greeting).

        10. Robert,

          If people start bashing me and I start bashing people, my blood pressure will rise and it will block all the sensible thoughts in my head. 😀

          I would rather see the sense in what the other person is saying and dismiss talks that will not help. That’s just me. Other people prefer other means that might be more effective to them.

          You said, “And I hope I am not implying in any way that my country’s philosophy is better than the Philippine’s”

          If one is not careful, that will be the impression but I understand one’s confidence in their philosophy will emanate especially if it’s tried and tested and resulted to something good.

          You said, “I would think that when Pinoys and pinays would meet people from other parts of the world through the internet, that might change their views. But so far, I dont see it.”

          I think this depends on the purpose on why they are meeting in the internet. For the purpose of learning, I doubt if there’ll be no change. I am learning a lot in the internet. To be honest with you, I am surrounded with Tagalog speaking people thus I speak Tagalog most of the time. Here I got to practice my English. I must say, too, that although many Filipinos use the internet, there are those who don’t use it wisely or to their advantage (by advantage I mean intellectual and emotional growth). There are also people who use it just to earn money or just to socialize. By the way, what is that article by Ilda?

          Thank you for sharing the ups and lows in your country. Yes, there is not one perfect country. There’s only a well-developed country and a country that needed further developing. You live in the first, I on the latter. What goes in our country complicates people’s lives but it’s also the people that are causing the complication. Any country is rich on its own, but just the country, like the Philippine islands. But majority of our people are not. There is nothing wrong with the country per se. It’s the people.

          Going back to Grimwald’s article, people became victim because they fear the people who have the big names and high position. They are willing slaves by them. The name and the position can’t do anything with the people, really. It’s what those people know and what those people can do that is dangerous.

        11. Hi LVM,
          During my relationship with my partner (he is from Cebu) she informed/told me things about her life and about Filipino life in general. Then I mostly responded by how we do those things that she mentioned.
          Unfortunetely her response to me was a bit shocking to hear. She told me to stop comparing my country with hers. Strange bec all I did was sharing the same information what she started.

          Let me reverse the situation: you share something with me about a particular trait. After hearing you, I can easily say: “wow, I like that. From now on, I will copy that behavior or mindset or trait”.

          Back to your final paragraph:
          It seems to me that Filipinos are dealing with a inferiority complex. And that they dont dare to criticise people in higher positions.

          But I think I do understand that. Its all related to the culture of hiya, holism and harmony (the 3 H’s).

          PS: for some time, I also thought a lot had to with the fact that PH has no neighbours together with not being able to travel abroad. That will make one’s horizon pretty limited. The latter may still be right (not being able to travel abroad) but having no neighbours is a false argument. Australia and New Zealand also have no neighbours but are developed countries.

        12. During my relationship with my partner (he is from Cebu) she informed/told me things about her life and about …

          He should be she in the line “he is from Cebu)

        13. LVM, may I comment on this:

          >> “When your country is reduced to poverty and backward thinking, how or where did you start to overcome it and in what way did you rise to progress?”

          This question is a good one, and it’s precisely why I get angry at Filipinos who shout at us: what do you know? Who are you to tell us what to do?

          We’re not telling you what to do. We’re telling your OUR experience. We were poor once. We have to continually look at ourselves and fix what is wrong. We’ve have been where you are now, and we passed through it. In some places, we’re going backwards and we have the same experiences as you. We can therefore give you some ideas.

          Didn’t you say the older brother can give the younger brother help because of his experience, and that this is natural and right?

          >> “We here in the Philippines can’t just pattern our actions to other countries. Not that simple.”

          You’re quite right: I don’t think anybody is suggesting you do this. That is why GRP is endlessly accused of “finding problems but never solutions”. If the problems are understood first, then they can be fixed.

          Sometimes, a foreigner can give a different view on those problems. When I lived in Europe I was aware that certain things were wrong. It wasn’t until I moved to Asia that I fully understood how and why. Even very simple things (like bathroom design) made me think: hey, this is much better! I’m not saying everything is better here: simply that seeing different ways of doing things can give you a more complete view of the world.

          >> “The problems we have here, they don’t have it in rich country, or even if they do, not to the same extent that we have. There are people here who are not that educated, and still have no means to have the same education the Westerners or Europeans have.”

          As RH already said, this just isn’t true. It’s a question of degree. When I came to the Philippines, it wasn’t foreign at all. It was completely familiar. Why? I grew up in the Western equivalent of a squatter district. I saw exactly what I saw at home, except MORE OF IT.

          >> “Education is still one aspect that we need to improve here.”

          Absolutely. But there are two things preventing that from happening:

          1) Your government doesn’t want people to be smart. Smart people cause trouble. Bad governments everywhere know this: in my country also, if you want proper education, you must pay for it. The State schools will teach your children to be stupid, lazy, and spoiled.

          2) Your teachers are incompetent. They have to be, of course: they would not be hired if they were good teachers.

          >> “However, it’s still best to start with what we have, produce solutions and grounding on our own and grow from there because unless we overcome the hindrances to progress and grow on our own, we will never be a really free country.”

          Fortunately, there are many Filipinos who recognise this. Sadly, you are outnumbered by the people who don’t. That’s the first problem you have to address.

        14. @Robert,

          Hi again! Sorry if I can’t reply right away.

          About your Filipina partner from Cebu, I don’t know if she falls to the typical butthurt Pinoy characteristic since I don’t know the verbal exchanges in your conversation. But I’ll tell you about butthurt Pinoys or maybe you already know about them. These are citizens who will think first that what you said is hurtful even if in your part you’re just sharing your experience or ideas. And when that person decided that it is hurtful, he won’t hear anything of it. There will be no progressive discussion anymore because he will block it by thinking you speak only to degrade. These are the same people who require honesty but will tell you you’re brutally honest or frank if the truth you said hurts them. I can be patient and choose diplomacy to deal with them but when it’s fruitless no matter what I do, I don’t waste my time anymore with them.

          You said, “It seems to me that Filipinos are dealing with a inferiority complex. And that they dont dare to criticise people in higher positions.”

          Can you please further discuss why you think Filipinos suffer from inferiority complex?

          I told you about people fear the name and the position and that it’s what the person knows and can do that they should fear, or rather, be aware of. For example, the President or any public service position is actually a great noble position because they are the first and foremost upholder of the law, they have the power to initiate good change, inspire people, make plans or programs that can solve problems and strengthen the nation’s defense, protect the people or nation from corruption and exploitation. If one cannot perform or did not do his duties and responsibilities, he is unqualified or should be disqualified for the position. And for several occasions, the ones who hold the position do the opposite of their job description. The politicians managed to use their position to harm someone or steal from people to make themselves rich. If we judged them by what they do (law-breaking, incompetency and corruption) they shouldn’t be holding any position in the government. But typical Pinoys can’t do a good job as simple as judging a person based on what he or she should be doing. After several failed governance and ineffectual, dirty leaders, they equate politicians to holding office for personal gain, someone who can harm them, or someone they can’t rely on. I believe those who cling with these kinds of leaders are getting their share like those who would defend their leader and reason out that their president is just human that’s why he make mistakes or fail. What these people don’t realize is that by doing so, they accept that their president is weak and they accept that incompetence is reasonable. And for a weak and incompetent president, people should have no respect. Why because he is endangering the lives of his people and the safety of his nation.

          Does that mean that our President can never make a mistake? It is great if he won’t make a mistake, but if he ever did, he should be able to recognize his mistake because if he doesn’t, his mistake will persist and grow and cause more harm. Also, the President or any public service positions don’t have the same job description as the janitor, is it? There’s nothing wrong with janitorial job, but if the President’s job is to keep a toilet clean and he did, why would he be criticized or asked to resign? What I’m saying is, you applied for the job, you got the job then you perform your duty. If you’re not able to or if you can’t perform your duty well, isn’t it right for the people to be critical about your performance? Unless the people don’t know or don’t care what a president should be doing then I suggest they ask themselves this simple question, “Am I happy?” (With the way things are in my country, with how the leaders perform their job, with how I respond to problems, etc.)

          You said, “But I think I do understand that. Its all related to the culture of hiya, holism and harmony (the 3 H’s).”

          These are all positive values. If one can feel shame, he will avoid doing something that will cause shame. Holism is avoiding doing bad or evil or committing sin. And harmony is two or more people agreeing with something and is met by working together. If you mean “hiya” as in shy, this is good values too. Like for example, if you offer a food or money to a boy, if the boy is shy he won’t accept it. Of course, the boy must have a good reason for shyness like he won’t just take anything from someone unless he works for it. Or he know he shouldn’t be taking anything from stranger (not family). Or he is given enough at home so he don’t have to take more from others. Hiya also avoids having “utang na loob” (debt of gratitude or returning the favor). One can return the favor but not when it means he has to do something wrong. Also, when a person does something for someone, he shouldn’t be asking anything in return (when he give out of goodwill or he give because he have more than what he needed). But there are incidences that a person does something for someone for personal gain. Like with the politicians, they give you job or food supplies just so you campaign and vote for him on the next election. Or the voter campaign for a politician so he would give him a job in the government when he won.

          You said, “Australia and New Zealand also have no neighbours but are developed countries.”

          I guess we did it all wrong from the beginning.

          —-

          @Marius,

          You said, “Didn’t you say the older brother can give the younger brother help because of his experience, and that this is natural and right?”

          Yes, I did. But although I said older brother will protect and guide the younger brother, I also understand that both will live independent lives. So the younger brother should no longer have to rely on big brother when both have to mind each other’s business and live on their own. I’ll insert here the part Robert disapproves of about Filipinos, the dependency system that start with the family. Like I said, this is one struggle that we still have to overcome as there are still the factors contributing to it (like culture, poverty, education). Also you said, “If the problems are understood first, then they can be fixed.”

          Also, I appreciate and am thankful (and I saw that many Filipinos do to) the assistance the U.S. and the other countries never fail to give us on crucial times. However, I am looking forward that someday we won’t be a bother to our neighboring countries especially U.S. instead extending equal assistance or working side by side. I call it a bother asking for help every time because like you and Robert said, you also have the same problems that we have (although not to the same extent, you said we have more of it) and the problem inside your own backyard should be your priority especially now that there’s already an all out war against ISIS and a problem on climate change.

          Sometimes I wonder what if big brother just let younger brother suffer. For example, what if U.S. didn’t stand for Philippines against China’s bullying? What if other countries refuse to donate for Yolanda disaster because of the vast corruption and incompetence of the government? We will see then what the Filipinos will try to do on their own and the true Filipino leaders who will stand for the people, the people and true leaders who can come up with effective solutions. Filipinos don’t feel any threat because the stronger countries always come to our aid. But one thing also comes to mind, why do they bother especially if they have other pressing problems that involved their nation’s safety? And even if China claimed part of the Philippine islands because of the present ineptness of the government, it’s not like the wheel won’t turn. The question is can the Filipino turn the wheel on their favor and dare we wait for another fifty years to become a country that can defend its territories and sovereignty?

          You said, “Sometimes, a foreigner can give a different view on those problems.”

          Yes. One good thing about learning about other people’s idea is we also grow one of our own. Don’t get me wrong, Marius. And Robert, too. Ideas are being discussed and you said you are not telling us what to do. If people don’t respond to your ideas, it may be because they don’t get it, they don’t see how it will work for us, or they refuse to think. I think one of the solutions to the problem is encouraging and challenging people to think or see your point.

          You said, “1) Your government doesn’t want people to be smart. Smart people cause trouble.”

          I’ve been reading about this repeatedly. In other words, our kind of government continues to exist because there are more unthinking and ignorant people than smart people? Do we call the ones responsible for misleading propaganda smart people? Of course the ones who believe the misleading propaganda, who are under the clout of media and their cult leader are not the smart ones. We here in the Philippines also have freedom of speech but there are Filipinos who don’t know how to use it or don’t even use it. If smart people cause trouble to the government, Filipinos should then be encouraged to do critical thinking and speak one’s mind and this should start at a young age. It’s good that we have blogsite or forums like GRP and news online have comments section. But the educational system and the society must start encouraging critical or free thinking to their students. The government leaders must also involve themselves into intelligent discussions. For now, I’m only hearing intelligent views and works from Marcos Jr. and Rodrigo Duterte. Others are just presenting their crap.

        15. LVM,
          most of the sharing (with and to my partner) I did, was born out of frustration.
          Not one day passed by without me getting frustrated about things that occured. It seems that not one thing can go smoothly in Cebu/Cebu City.

          Inferiority complex
          People in the Philippines are strict when it comes to showing respect. But for me that respect is based on mediocraty. So it must be something to do with feeling insecure (and/or inferior even amongst themselves).
          Like I said many times over and over here, its impossible for me to comply with the rules of Mano and in case I really have to do it, it will be done with an empty “heart” and an empty soul. And that is not bec I want to be disrespectfull but I just cant do it, the Philippine way.

          Last but not least, I sincerely am convinced the PH culture (rites, traditions, unwritten rules) are a big obstacle to grow and to progress. My prediction is that one day it will implode. And a country like India is going the same way (imploding) with its caste-system.

  9. Let me just try to add more credibility to what Mr Haigton mentioned about parents looking to have their kids work for them. See, I am a product of this system and I despise it. My mom was a thriving company manager earning modest amount of income which is apt for the kind of life style we have. Then due to her ‘bossy’ attitude, she got kicked out of the company. She lost her confidence and didn’t look into re applying again. She called it quits. With these, I had to stop school and was given hints to work for the family. During this ordeal, the BPO industry is booming and found my place to be part of the workforce. With the salary I was getting, this seems to be more than what I need for myself and had to mandatorily give a partial of it for my parents even though I have volunteered to spend for my sister’s schooling. I think she did not really think of raising us to have us take care of her but this ‘primordial’ way somehow clawed its way up from the depths of her subconsciousness. I found myself paying for her bills, paying for the amortization of our house. its all okay if she is really unable to do be productive due to decrepit physical conditions but she chose to be that way. Respect can only be given to such extent that there should be a line drawn to know its limits. There is nothing wrong in helping your parents but never should a parent put the burden on their children. This mentally has to stop. If I reach the stage in which I am no longer capable of holding myself up, I want my kids to help me because I thought them of respect by virtue and not respect earned by feeding them the idea that all old people should be respected. As mentioned by Mr Haigton and Marius, respect should be earned and not given.

      1. @lola basyang, what made you say so? So its like I’m making this story out of thin air? To gain what?

    1. I’ve seen this myself: parents who lose their job (or quit) at a relatively young age and then simply can’t be bothered to get another job. They basically retire at 40 and sit around doing nothing until they die.

      The worst part is that, having nothing useful to do, they sit around watching TV and stuffing their faces. So by the time they’re 50, they have a whole shopping list of medical problems that the kid has to pay for, IN ADDITION TO all the normal household expenses.

      Pure selfishness. In the West, parents kick the kids out of the house if they hang around too long. Maybe it’s time Filipino kids started kicking their child-like parents out when they refuse to act like adults.

      1. So much for emotionalism and a false sense of a lot of things especially how to position the word respect properly. Is it even wrong to question your parents deeds at one point? So does that mean that they raised you, clothed you and fed you to your heart’s content that you don’t have the ‘right’ to raise an eyebrow to what they do? Again friends, we may not see the implication of this shit ass pinoy culture but then again, there are cultures that needs to continue and there are the ones that needs to be banished from the face of the earth. its sickening really when the world is shitting on everyone and they just can fuckin notice the difference. haha

        1. To begin with, you do not represent the whole! What do you intend to do with your mother? Again keep fooling yourself in embracing the western concept and see what happens. I don’t even think you can!

    2. Corpsegrinder,
      If i am not mistaken, that system is based on “Utang na loob”. Kids are in debt to their parents bec the parents gave up a lot to procreate them and to raise them. The parents had to feed, clothe them and send them to school, right?
      Here you immediately see the (biggest) difference between the Philippines and my country. Only reallly responsible parents who can afford it, will procreate. So our start is already different. There is no debt to our parents. They procreated bec they really wanted a child and to give it an even better life then they (the parents) ever had. And this also applies to the less fortunate parents in my country.
      When PH parents would really set their kids free, then those kids can finally climb Maslow’s pyramid. That will be the start of getting a far lesser dysfunctional society. And when those kids reach the top of the pyramid it will finally mean the end of any corrupt government. Bec then those kids have the power, confidence and self-esteem to finally really fight the corrupt system.
      Those kids wont need an EDSA4 or EDSA5. Such kids wont and dont need a church to know what is right and wrong. They will determine that on their own terms. So it like catching 2 birds with one stone (maybe even 3 birds). Free from religious indoctrination and free from a corrupt government.

      1. @ Robert, on the sour note, yes this system called ‘utang na loob’ is just one of many banes of this society. unfortunately ‘majority’ of the parents especially those that are on the low income level and there maybe some of them in the lower middle and middle income families that do embrace this abominable practice. try to watch those crappy noontime shows wherein the contestants are kids. I will bet you with my right and left kidney that the parents of those kids did not let their kids audition for that just for the kids’ love of the art but rather the parent looking to see the possibility of the kid making it big in the industry so that they can just sit their ass off and let cash be king. just made me try to think that this has a lot to do about catholic teachings bordering on compassion plus you throw in a cheap choice of entertainment. so much for what we think as our corrupt officials to be the main culprit for our current state. maybe we can start hacking off the heads of tactless tv personality, uhm namely kris and willie? lol

        1. Corpsegrinder,
          In my country, we have 3 Dutch public TV channels and maybe about 10 Dutch private/commercial TV channels.
          And all of these channels air shitty (garbage) programs now and then. But there are also a lot of quality TV programs and documentaries.

          And due to cable subscriptions we can see/view a lot of foreign TV channels (like BBC, German TV, Belgian TV, France TV to name just a few).

          I myself am a selective viewer. I choose my own specific prgrams or dont watch at all. Every TV set has an on/off button.

        2. With regards to the filipino culture, the problem sometimes with some grp writers and commenters is their tendency to become so very “OA” (Over-Acting!) and their bias in generalizing of what they perennially perceive as “all-the-time-wrong” about the imperfect filipino culture. No culture can claim perfection that’s why people of the world take or borrow from, and at the same time pass or influence, other people’s culture!

          Take for example the noontime show “EAT Bulaga!”. Corpsegrinder as well as other like-minded overacting judgemental fellows may find it “crappy” but definitely more than them will find the show not only entertaining but something more!

          EAT Bulaga provides opportunities for the less fortunate people neglected by the society and the government! Through their “EB Scholar Program”, they sponsor less fortunate but deserving kids by providing not only high-school education but up ’till college complete with allowances and with a course/school of their own choosing. It encourages little children to excel by studying to win in “Pinoy Henyo”, and then it aims to develop little kids personality and social skills plus showcase a talent that make parents proud in “Little Miss Philippines” and “That’s My Boy”. Through their “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment, they provide startup livelihood for families all over the country, connect OFW Families and sometimes help missing/separated families to be united. They unite filipinos longtime living abroad to make them closer to home. They are so succesful, as a matter fact, that an Indonesian TV Network studied them for five years and decided that this show is right for them thus “EAT Bulaga Indonesia” came into existence! Considered first for a Philippine TV Program but but bitter-crappy filipinos with super inflated egos will pass it as no big deal. Well so much for pinoy colonial mentality BS, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due!

          I’m just wondering what sort of uncrappy, uplifting and relevant shows does Mr. Corpsegrinder and the author watches/recommends? I’ll bet my reproductive organ that you can’t watch National Geographic all of the time!

          Sometimes I like the candor of Mr. Robert Haighton (more than that of the arrogant Pretending European!) especially when he’s not only critical of others but also of his own. And to illustrate just that, watch the video down below:

  10. What’s the problem, Lola? Does it bother you that Western people DO respect and love their parents? And that we do so because they respect and love us back?

    Does it upset you that Filipinos are NOT the only people on the planet who care for their parents?

    Are you starting to worry, in fact, that the nonsense you get taught in school about bad, cruel foreigners ISN’T ACTUALLY TRUE?

    That would be terrible, wouldn’t it?

    1. @lola, I guess you are missing the point that im trying to convey. I do respect my mom and by means of ‘respect’ is that its conclusive with what the oxford dictionary says. What im trying to point out here is that ‘I’ choose not to be a slave of this ill advised practice and had this notion prior to even stumbling upon this website and prior to reading about western culture and such. I for myself know that I have to draw the line somewhere else and question myself is it even right for me do this? I mean there is on such a degree but if my mom is being a free loader than its a different question. That’s why we set up the age of retirement at 65 here in the Philippines( not sure though with other countries) because contrary to popular belief, you can still work at that age GIVEN that you are physically and mentally able to do so. If my mom can play solitary on a deck of cards, then that just means my mom is able to do so. What irks me really is that majority of the peenoise still try to give their parents all the props in the world even if theyre doing as such. Whos going to let them know this is incorrect? Would you think they will listen to anyone outside of the immediate family circle? I don’t think so. To answer your question, what do I intend to do with my mom? Have her realize that she is not decrepit and not be a free loader. Utang na loob – sakit yan nang pinoy. Again, this kind of mentality has deeply gone into abuse and this has to stop. There is nothing wrong about questioning people, not even questioning the existence of a higher being.

      1. Let’s begin again! Respect, according to the western concept, applies only to those who have achieved something or something extra-ordinary. It is earned! Great! No problem with that except that it is limiting and that it is being selective!

        I have no problem if you think your mother is an unrespectable freeloader! But to make us believe, as some smart-ass foreign guys would suggest, that your experience (and some others) as something truly representative of the rest is not only arrogant but downright pushy of what they think should be for us! Being third word if you go their way of thinking is not respectable because we haven’t achieve what they have achieved! And find as respectful those colonial powers who raped the country!

        1. Lola,
          arent you a bit pathetic using something that happend many decades ago? Its now time to pick up the pieces and start (re)building youw own life. Okay so you have b3een raped a dozen times but the last time it happened was in the 19th or 20 th century, You cant keep on playing the victim card an do nothing and sit on your fat ass.
          Bec of exactly that mentality, the Philippines is a poor 3rd world country. But you can change all that or do you wanna sob the rest of your life?

      2. “Respect, according to the western concept, applies only to those who have achieved something or something extra-ordinary.”
        No. Where did you get this idea?

        Respect, in Western culture, applies simply to people who behave like decent human beings. Thus:

        The street-cleaner who is a good father and helps out at the animal shelter at weekends is a well-respected figure in his community.

        The drug dealer who makes a lot of money and drives around in a Ferrari is the lowest of the low.

        “It is earned! Great! No problem with that except that it is limiting and that it is being selective!”
        Of course it’s selective! The Pinoy thinks he deserves respect simply for being a Pinoy. The European is a little more realistic.

        Limiting? Quite the opposite. If you want respect, just don’t act like an asshole. Very easy, don’t you agree?

        “But to make us believe, as some smart-ass foreign guys would suggest, that your experience (and some others) as something truly representative of the rest is not only arrogant but downright pushy of what they think should be for us!”

        I’ve seen this over and over again with my own eyes. Everyone I meet has a similar story. Are they all just telling lies?

        Look, it’s up to you if Filipinos want a society full of lazy, useless people. That’s your choice. But don’t demand “respect” for making that choice, because it’s not going to happen.

        “And find as respectful those colonial powers who raped the country!”

        That’s hilarious, Lola. It’s not Spaniards who are cutting down forests, dumping pollution in the river, wrecking the economy, and throwing trash everywhere. It’s Filipinos.

        You don’t even realise you’re illustrating Grimwald’s exact point with your feeble excuses, do you?

  11. Japanese here, married to a Filipina from Cordillera. Though my wife is an English teacher in Japan I don’t have her English vocabulary so please don’t go nuts with me 🙂

    Respecting parents is not only in the Philippines but an Asian culture as a whole, we even bow down to the elderly to say hello but I don’t think this culture hinders progress otherwise all Asian countries are third world.

    I’m also wondering about the article, “victim mentality”, I have no clue that Filipino has this mentality because my wife and her family is exactly opposite. I showed this article to my wife and her comment was, people in the lowland are not genuine Filipinos, they are a mixture of breed and are now confuse about their race. Is there any truth on this?

    1. I, the author, have nothing against elderly folk, Nakata-sama. I think that being respectful is always a good thing, sir.

      However, let me explain the “victim mentality” to you much more thoroughly.

      Many Filipinos, especially the uneducated, like to make scenes by acting as pathetic as possible on Philippine TV. This can be seen in many of our noon-time shows to the point that a lot of them make total fools of themselves just so they can garner attention and sympathy for themselves. This is also quite apparent in many dramas that are aired almost 24/7 on our local TV stations.

      Also low-class Filipinos tend to associate themselves with foreigners thinking that just being foreign makes one superior. I am quite sure that as a Japanese citizen, you are aware that it is not a person’s nationality that determines one’s competence but their own determination and wisdom.

      I hope I helped. Goodnight.

    2. Lowlander here.

      It’s an interesting comment your wife made about us — while it’s true that centuries of interaction with people the world over has made us, well, mixed-breeds to a great degree, I don’t see why we should be confused about our identity. We are Pinoys, we live in the same country, no matter where our forefathers hail from. So this question of authenticity is really more hair-splitting, or at least I feel that way, as I personally don’t care about such superficial nonsense.

      Now I understand that as a Japanese immigrant to these islands, you in your youth were inculcated with a few ideas about race and the supposedly inherent superiority of East Asians (correct me if I’m vague or wrong here; one can only visit so many racist sites praising East Asian racial homogeneity and the accompanying racism before one starts thinking they’re true) — but you need to understand that we for the most part don’t think like that here.

  12. Mr. Grimwald, based on your response I have to learn more about Philippines. I can’t understand what’s being shown on tv, the only filipino word I know, is indi and salamat.

    Mr. Pallcertus, I’m sorry, I might have said it wrong but maybe not. As the author said, Filipinos loves products from the west thinking it’s superior, women would even go for western guys than Asian for a dime, that’s my wife meant. Filipino from lowland don’t know their culture because it’s all mixed up with another. In Cordillera, they don’t do the “mano”, they call their older siblings by name and that’s considered rude to the lowlanders . I don’t know, I think there are different cultures in the Philippines that I’m not aware of.

    1. In my opinion, the opposite is true.

      The elite (of which your wife seems to be a member) are those who married foreigners and adopted their customs.

      The ‘lowlanders’ (the people in the provinces) are more likely pure Filipino. They are certainly the ones who shout about Pinoy Pride at any opportunity. Confused about their identity they are not.

      Perhaps what your wife means is that Filipinos in general identify with their regions, not as Filipinos. People with real native blood in them are quick to dismiss the Republic (when it suits them – usually when there’s some law they don’t like). There are all sorts of tribes and petty kings who rule over a little bit of nothing. Because they squabble with (or won’t cooperate with) some neighbour 2km down the road, progress is limited, village by village. Exactly as in all tribal societies.

    2. Would you believe this arrogant Marius who is just a visitor of this country but acts as if he is an expert of the filipino culture? We don’t know even know where this guy came from because he’s not sure if he’s proud of his country of origin! He is worst than Koko Narak if you randomly take a peek of his posts here in this site!

      He think he is smart he refers to the “lowlanders” as “the people in the provinces” but isn’t it that the people of Metro Manila are “lowlanders”.

      He is quick to the draw when he attacks filipinos but contradicts himself with someone of his shared opinion:

      marius says:
      ————
      (“Respect, according to the western concept, applies only to those who have achieved something or something extra-ordinary.”)

      “No. Where did you get this idea?”

      Robert Haighton says:
      ———————
      “Respect is earned and deserved when someone achieves/ed something out of the ordinary.”

      marius says:
      ————
      “The street-cleaner who is a good father and helps out at the animal shelter at weekends is a well-respected figure in his community.”

      Robert Haighton says:
      ———————
      “What is so special about that? Is that some kind of special achievement that nobody else can achieve? Is being a parent a special, an extra-ordinary achievement?”

      I don’t understand why people like him stays in a country where they doesn’t have anything good to say. Marius saving grace though is when he speaks of people like himself:

      “It’s true that too many visitors to the Philippines are disrespectful, uneducated and rude.”

      THANKS FOR THE ADMISSION!

      1. “We don’t know even know where this guy came from because he’s not sure if he’s proud of his country of origin”.

        Do you know what depresses me most about Filipinos, Joe? They have no original arguments. They just repeat the same old silly non-sequiturs, over and over, as if shouting loudly will make everything go away.

        What does it matter who am, where I’m from, or whether I have “pride” in my country? Does this somehow make my observations more or less true?

        I really do wonder: are you taught this foolishness in school, so that you can repeat it without needing to THINK if anyone criticizes you?

        Anyway:

        1) I don’t pretend to speak for Robert Haighton. I’m expressing my own opinions. Nor do I pretend to be an expert on “Filipino culture”, whatever that is. I am reporting WHAT I SEE.

        2) If YOU look around the Philippines and see prosperous people, happy families, clean environment, and no disease burden: I’d love to know where this little bit of paradise is.

        Everywhere else I look, there are Filipinos setting fire to stuff, cutting stuff down, throwing trash in the rivers, abusing animals, stealing and cheating each other, producing kids they can’t feed, and generally behaving badly.

        “I don’t understand why people like him stays in a country where they doesn’t have anything good to say.”

        Aaaaand there we go again. Pinoy excuse number 4b from the Big Book of Excuses: if you don’t like it why don’t you leave?

        Well, here’s why, joe. Because although 70% of the population are bitter, envious, excuse-making xenophobes like you, about 10% are good, intelligent people who see the mess their country is in and want to make it better.

        Your country is full of opportunities for progress, and while the Joe Washingtons sit around complaining, other Filipinos are trying to fix things. I co-operate with them on various projects in the countryside, introducing new technologies and methods that make life easier and nicer.

        Of course, Filipinos would be a lot better off without disgusting people like me interfering with their Culture, wouldn’t they?

  13. Lowland as I was told is the flat land of the Philippines, not only the provinces but including cities which were ruled by the Spaniards and Americans. The Spanish did not go to the mountainous part of the Philippines because they thought mountain people were barbaric and cannot be tamed. Only the Americans went to Cordillera to pursue their enemy but they did not stay long enough to change the mountain people’s culture. Why this is important to me is people in the mountain are taking the responsibility of taking care of their environment because they and their children own it. I am not expert about the lowlanders because I have only been to Manila and Vigan but Manila as described by some visitor from other countries is indeed a gate of hell-garbage everywhere. I’ve seen people living in a box and I thought that was worst than animal, I’d rather eat worms than live in that condition-it was terrible. Do lowlanders feels they don’t have to take care of the place they live in because they don’t own it?

    I don’t know about pinoy pride but as a Japanese, we are also proud of our own heritage, we know what we are and that’s our foundation in life.

    1. probably in metro manila only. because most tagalogs who live here or born/grew up here lost their culture/heritage because of colonial mentality (kids are entertained with sesame street, walt disney, etc.) i don’t have any issues with this because most parents want to teach their kids english at an early age. little did they know that there’s a cultural/ethnic effect with this kind of upbringing. they become foreigners on their own land. hence, identity crisis.

      i’m glad that the kalingas (mountain people) fought against the tyranny of Spain. even americans failed to put their culture over the igorots and up to the northern part of the country. they only accepted the christian religion. however, they still have animism which is part of their heritage and culture.

      tagalogs are the nicest people who also dominates central luzon down to southern tagalog region. too nice they succumbed to the Spaniards and later on to the americans then to the japanese then back to americans (up to present). what a cultural davastation.

      “Pinoy Pride” was created by the tagalogs to cover up the misery the majority (poor) is suffering. they thought it would encourage the masses (poor) towards discipline and hard work, but it was the other way around.

      i’m half tagalog/bisaya however, i know my history and culture.

      P.S. though we have Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and other known revolutionaries at that time, they just wasted their lives fighting for their motherland for nothing.

      1. Andrew,

        I’m glad you know your culture and I hope tagalogs have learned the difference of nice from naivety. I think one of the problems in the Philippines is you’re obsessed with western culture so much that you’re lost in your own house. This is your land, own it, no one from other countries will come to clean up the mess for you.

  14. About having children as an achievement, it is to me because to become a parent and raise another human being to contribute to the growth of the country is a huge undertaking. My perspective is coming from an aging population though.

    1. Sumihu Nakata,
      Can you pls elaborate why it is – according to you – a HUGE undertaking?
      You may start at the beginning, the conception and finish with giving birth or even finish at the point where the kids will spread their own wings and start living on their own 2 feet.

      The toughest moment is – and pls ask any woman – giving birth. That can be (very) painfull. But thats why we boyfriends/husbands are always there in the delivery room to give her mental and all other support in order to make it a little bit less painfull.

      And if it is indeed a huge undertaking then why do it in the first place (having kids).
      Wanting and having kids is a voluntarily decision taken in all freedom. There is no law stating having a kid is mandatory/compulsory.

      So, in short, your argument is not valid to be called an achievement. Especially, knowing so many couples make that decision to have and want kids.

      1. “Can you pls elaborate why it is – according to you – a HUGE undertaking”

        Well Robert, if you reread what I said, I said, raise another human being to contribute to the growth of the country. It is not merely the cost but it takes so much parenting work to raise a person to be successful. And if my children will be well-off, I did a good job.

        “And if it is indeed a huge undertaking then why do it in the first place (having kids)”

        Right, so most Japanese don’t.

        “So, in short, your argument is not valid to be called an achievement”

        Get off your high horse. My perspective may differ from yours but really?

        1. Sumihu,
          raising kids is like a walk in the park, a piece of cake. Untill you get a kid that has Down syndrome (or any other abnormality). Then it has a huge impact on the parents’ lives.
          In most cases getting a kid with Down could have been avoided.

  15. Late comment again, but…

    @Robert Haighton
    Your questions on the “pagmamano” and “kuya/ate” are valid ones. I may be mistaken with how I explain this, but I’ll try my best.

    “Mano” is Spanish for hand. While we were still under Spanish rule, it was customary that parishoners kiss the priests’ ring/if not, their hand as a sign of respect. This custom has been handed down to our generations, and yes, until now. We say “Mano po,” meaning “Your hand, please,” so we can kiss it or touch it on our forehead. This practice can be similar to the “bowing” in Japan/Korea.

    As you have said, we are family-oriented, thus, you being the person your girlfriend loves, her family considers you family as well. And so they made you do “mano.” They didn’t know you may not like doing it, nor did they think you would wonder why you have/need to do it.

    We also have a culture that places high regard for anyone older than oneself, especially parents and lolos and lolas. We will not expect you to accept this automatic behavior of ours, but I hope this clarifies that we do this because it is culture that dictates it.

    Now with regard to calling someone older (or someone you don’t know) “kuya/ate,” these are honorifics. These are like the Japanese “onii-san/anee-san” or the Korean “hyung/oppa.” They are meant to signify that whom you are talking to is your elder sibling (or someone else’s older sibling).

    This may not be an automatic sign of respect. It is more of a sign of politeness. So I may be polite to my older sibling (or someone’s older sibling) by calling them honorifics, but that may not necessarily mean I respect them. Same is true when we call someone we don’t really know “tito/tita” (uncle/aunt) or “manong/manang.”

    There is also the less common practice handed down from the Chinese, which is calling your older siblings “kuya, diko, sangko, etc.” and your older sister “ate, sanse” (I forget what the others are). Now from what I know, these are also honorifics – sign of politeness, but they are also used for convenience as they indicate who was born earlier than whom. It saves time explaining “Oh, he’s my second brother.”

    I hope that helps.

    1. Sammie,
      thanks for your elaboration.

      I think I read most of it somewhere.
      Where you mention the word “politeness”, I always read the word “respect”. For me those 2 are very different in meaning.

      Furthermore, for me its just insane to read 2 people – knowing each other very good – addressing each other by using “ate” and not using their first name.
      I really dont see a point to give my daughter a name when everybody is addressing her with “ate” or “dai” or “titay” or “ninay” (I do get very confused now and then with all those names).

      Last but not least: my partner addresses her only sibling (brother) with “dong” (his real first name is Adrian. His father’s name is Adriano. It must have been very difficult to come up with a name for his son. Very creative indeed). And she also addressed the jeepney driver with that same name (dong). So there is even no difference anymore between a flesh and blood relative (brother) and a complete stranger (jeepney driver)?

      Regardless of age, we address each other by first name. Even my own boss.

      Re: the Mano
      In my country, we hardly use the word “respect”. But you can earn it by a personal achievement. In such a case, people will speak highly about you. But we will never show it personally to you. But only in the way how we speak about you.
      I didnt know anything about my partner’s parents so I didnt know anything about their individual achievements. So in that case I will treat them equally and in the same way I will treat all people. Hand shake and hug or just only a hand shake. Or hand shake, hug and 3 kisses (on the cheeks).

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