Although the Philippine is known to have very friendly people, we have a few bad traits that really tick visitors, as well as our own, off. These traits have pulled us down as a people and as a nation.
For the betterment of the country and ourselves, here are 10 annoying traits that we Pinoys need to change.
This refers to behaving in a way that hinders or prevents someone from achieving or reaching a goal because of envy or jealousy. Someone with this mindset would think “if I can’t have it, then you can’t as well”, causing them to purposely try to bring the other person down. Like a bunch of crabs trying to escape a bucket but end up pulling each other down, nothing get accomplished. Instead of discouraging the person, why not compliment them for their achievements.
This literally means “burning cogon grass”, which describes our enthusiasm. We get really excited and give a lot of effort at first, but like burning cogon, it quickly dies down. This affects our undertakings, ending with half-hearted effort to finish the task. The work is either left unfinished or is half-baked. We should keep ourselves motivated, or at least find something that pushes us to be the best we can be, from start to end.
It’s a bit ironic that the Spaniards accused Filipinos of being lazy when it was they who taught us this habit. Mañana means “tomorrow”, which means this habit encourages procrastination. Another explanation on why we developed this habit is that since we live in the tropics, we were never pressured by the seasons to finish work before the cold months come it. With the warm weather, working under time pressure was never an issue. The Mañana habit can seriously jeopardize the quality of your tasks and projects. Instead of working only when the deadline is close, why not manage your time better and work little by little everyday to finish on time.
The most annoying trait that we Filipinos have, Filipino time refers to how we set a certain time but show up or start minutes or even hours behind schedule. We tend to disregard the value of punctuality, which really annoys those that are used to staying on the dot. Our lack of being time-observant makes it seem like we don’t value the other person’s time. A common trick that people do to minimize Filipino time is to set their watches ahead than the standard time. Others also give an earlier time, which causes people to show up earlier than expected.
Being Onion-Skinned or Balat Sibuyas
We’re known for being onion-skinned (referring to how thin an onion’s skin is) or easily insulted, even when the insult meant to be satire. While criticizing and taunting others is something we often do, we can’t seem to handle it when we’re the ones getting criticized and taunted. There have been many incidents on how we get extra-sensitive to foreigner making bona fide racist comments or a humorous jab at us. Instead of getting insulted, it would be best for us to step back and think of why the person would give us such negative remarks or understand that they’re only poking fun at us.
Disregard For Simple Rules
For some reason, it’s so difficult for us to obey rules. A giant “No Jaywalking” sign is put up, a sky-bridge is built, but people still cross the road in the middle of traffic. A garbage can is place in every corner of the street, but we still litter and throw trash anywhere. A one-way street become a two-way street after 10 in the evening. Our general disregard for rules has caused us to become undisciplined and we even have the audacity to complain and get mad when we get caught breaking the rules. It might sound like a small thing, but a little disciple goes a long way.
The Spanish and the Americans have a huge impact in our culture. Having been a colony for so long, we have developed what is called colonial mentality, or preferring foreign things over our own. The idea of “foreign is better” has caused us to degrade our own products, brands, and even abilities. A majority of us still has this misconception that our own culture is inferior compared to that of our colonizers. Over the years, the concept of “Pinoy pride” is slowing rising, opening more opportunities to local brands and products to make it big in the market.
Balikbayan Box Mentality
Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs often send gifts to family and friends from abroad through a Balikbayan Box. However, many of us are known to become exploitative and take advantage of our OFW family members. The balikbayan box mentality is when we disregard the fact the person abroad is working very hard so those they left behind can have a better life. Instead, we ask the person to send back things that we want, without thinking about how hard they had to work for it. This also extends to when the person temporarily comes back home for a break, after a few years of working abroad. The person is then left to pay for trips and outings, as well as give money or gifts to people who were at some point, no matter how insignificant, was a part of their life.
Bahala Na Attitude
Translated as “come what may”, this attitude is deeply rooted to our heavily religious culture and our belief in fate. To many of us, we place our lives in chance, saying that we can make it, no matter the outcome. However, many believe that this is attitude is a double-edged sword. It shows how positive we can be, but it can also promote resignation and helplessness. Instead of saying bahala na, we should start turning words to action and not leave it all to faith.
A major problem with our society is that we tolerate corruption. The truth is, our “culture of corruption” roots deep into the political and social system, reinforced by social and economic factor. Personal ambitions and loyalty to kin and friends also play a role in why we tolerate corruption. In fact, many of us would even expect corruption, thinking that it’s just a normal part of the process. A real poison to our society, the culture of corruption needs to be stopped. Instead, it should be replaced with honesty and morality.