Why do Filipinos lie? Because they fear the truth

One thing that the Philippines isn’t is a truthful society. This is quite evident in the way Filipinos simply do not trust one another. Because they do not trust one another, they break their own laws as a matter of routine — because they do not trust their lawmakers and law enforcers to act in the general public’s best interests.

A typical Filipino conversation would go like this:

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Juan: Apples are red.

Juana: You’re lying.

Juan: No I’m not. I’ve seen one.

Juana: I don’t believe you.

Juan: I actually have one here. Look at it. It’s red.

Juana: That’s not an apple.

Philippine society seems to lacks sources of truth. Its public discourse (if it can even be called that) is more akin to prolonged banter than a true exchange of ideas. It does not follow a thesis vs anti-thesis progression that converges into a resolution that then goes on to become a thesis looking for its next anti-thesis. Discourse structured along these lines is progressive in its convergence towards debatable truths.

Filipino discourse on the other hand is divergent. It fragments rather than unifies understanding. For example, even as most Filipinos would agree that corruption is a general problem in their society, its measure is selective and relative — as in, relatives are exempt from its measure. As a result, corruption never gets solved because it is debated on its relativity rather than its absoluteness. Extend this style of thinking to a national scale and it becomes easy to see why Filipinos are such renowned antitheses of law-abiding citizenship. Governance remains negotiable on the basis of the relativity of its application.

Rather than venture out into the unknown to discover stuff, Filipinos would rather cocoon themselves within the familiar. But then familiarity breeds contempt; specifically contempt for the truth. We can see this manifest itself on social media in the way certain “influencers” would rather “block” dissent than understand the implications of new information and new points of view on their respective beliefs. Most Filipinos prefer to stubbornly guard the orthodoxy of their beliefs rather than continuously test their validity by constantly subjecting them to broad scrutiny.

These habitual blockers of people and agents who dare challenge their cherished beliefs lack what it takes to be true thought leaders at many levels — they lack the humility to question their own thinking, they are intellectually dishonest in that they seek to spread untested ideas, and they lack the courage to explore new paths that could enrich options for both themselves and the people they seek to influence. Think of the Roman Catholic Church and its Gestapo in the Philippines, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). They are organisations that are all of the above — the intellectual drain hole in the vast sink that is Philippine society. Small wonder that this society’s most celebrated “thought leaders” follow the same approach to thought and ethical leadership — an approach dripping with hypocrisy.

In short, the Philippines is a society that fears the truth. As such, the truth will remain an elusive unicorn to its people’s collective sensibilities. Where there is no truth, there can only be lies.

11 Replies to “Why do Filipinos lie? Because they fear the truth”

  1. It’s all because they believe they should be control over everything. Not in control of their own lives, If something doesn’t follow you, try to beat it into submission. If you can’t, then curl up in a corner and cry. That’s how Filipinos seem to me. Especially the SJW types.

  2. The truth always causes suffering, people would rather have a comforting lie and a Black and White rationale and view of the World than confront that’s it is complex and everything can be in the grey.

  3. If a Filipino would look at himself, his country, his leaders…and wake up to the Reality , and finds the Real Truth of his present situation: The Truth really hurts …most of us, cannot stand the Truth on our present situations !

    This is the reason, maybe most of us lie…it is some sort of cover up of our own wretchedness.
    It is all our faults. Our previous leaders lied to us; we were lead to nowhere. Most of our leaders stole from us; most of us remain in poverty, or are exiled to work in other countries, as OFW slaves. We accepted our Fates, of being Subjugated , not by foreign entities, but by our own corrupt and self serving politicians/leaders…

    So we lie to ourselves. We lie to other people. We lie to the world, to hide our miseries … Lying is indeed a good way to hide , that we are too Lazy to help ourselves, to work, to better our situations !

    1. You nailed it. As an expat for 2 years, I’ve witnessed a lot of this twisted culture of lie. I heard a Filipino telling the story of his 4 year-old grandkid lying effectively to him. He thinks this kid is a genius. For me that’s a redlight

  4. Fear equals coward — the opposite of faith. The form of Christianity that the Spaniards brought to the Philippines is a twisted version. Their pastors (along with the pseudo priests) *sailed* across oceans and by the time they arrived had to be traumatized by the long voyage. So pseudo pastors suffering from PTSD teaching an indigenous group of people a new religion equals recipe for convoluted theology. It’s no wonder the brand of Christianity/Catholicism in the Philippines produces rotten fruits, e.g. lies.

    1. You seem to impress as a very intelligent individual! I will not pretend to know what is the true form of Christianity but I’m very interested to know what is your fearless and brave understanding of its true form! And how can you convince others of what you might say will be acceptably and universally truthful and accurate.

    2. Theology is convoluted by nature to begin with. It is backward-engineered from dogma with dogma used as its unmovable set of first principles. In essence, theology is the antithesis of true philosophy where conclusions are outcomes of logical piecing together of true non-debatable axioms and postulates.

  5. In my intimate relationship with a Filipina I observe a desire, on the part of my spouse, to please both me and her extended family which gets her to deal in half-truths and promises that are not meant to be kept. According to the “Culture Shock Philippines” book this is the “people oriented (vs “goal oriented”)” trait of Filipinos that gets them to seek everybody’s approval and have smooth relationships with everyone which inevitably leads to having to lie to somebody

    1. Yes means No
      No means Yes
      No response could be Yes or No

      I have issue with my GF, too! We went to a mall. She drooled over a dress. IT WAS EXPENSIVE ! I asked her if she wants me to buy it for her. She said, “IT WAS EXPENSIVE”. We walked off. She became pensive. Irritable. I do not know what I did or said. She gave me a cold shoulder. Then it clicked! THE DRESS !!!

      We went back. Had her try it on. She just looked stunning in that dress. I had the salesgirl wrap it and ring it up and the conversation went like this,
      PINAY GF: “Are you sure?!?!”
      ME: “Yes, I am sure !!! It looks pretty on you!”
      PINAY GF: “You mean I do not look pretty in my dress right now?”
      ME: “Yes, you are!”
      PINAY GF: “I am not pressuring you to buy that dress it is so expensive”
      ME: “It is OK, we have money left-over for next payday!”

      The saleslady handed over the precious dress in a fancy bag. She looked at it. She brought it up to her nose. Touched the fabric. Looked at the receipt. Looked at me. Her eyes brighten up. GAVE ME A KISS. HELD MY HAND TIGHTLY. We walked away while she swung the bag back and forth like a kid with her goodies.

      WHEEEW !!! We had Dollar McDonalds and coffee for dinner instead Red Lobster.

      I like Pinay women. They are mysterious. Unpredictable. I love ’em.

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