May 29, 2013

WTFs of Filipino Culture

I'm feeling a bit rant-y today, but instead of spewing out all sorts of negativity in my social media outlets, I've decided to be a little more productive and write.

Before you misinterpret the title of this post as something anti-makabayan, please understand that I have no intention of bashing the Filipino culture.  MY culture. I was born and raised here in the Philippines; this is my lupang tinubuan. As much as I love to travel, there's no place I'd rather live in but here (I know, labo). I just want to put into writing some observations of mine, regarding some of the behavior of Pinoys that I don't quite get. Malay natin, pati pala ako guilty dito.
  1. Aversion to queues. This lack of simple self-control can be seen ANYWHERE, and is already a part of a Pinoy's everyday life. Take for example, in the morning commute. Passenger A gives his payment to the dispatcher/cashier, and is waiting for a change. Passenger B has the exact payment. More often than not, Passenger B would cut in front of Passenger A, giving this exact payment and getting into the vehicle, taking the seat that should've been Passenger A's. Don't tell me you haven't done that once in your life. And it's not just in commute. You can see this in fast food establishments, groceries, pedestrian crossings, driving scenarios, and even in Church. What I really can't understand is why WHY WHYYYYY people are in a hurry during communion, trying to be the first to get to the host, when everyone still needs to wait all the same for the final blessing. Anong point nun??  
  2. Tactlessness. Pinoys take pride in being friendly, hospitable and cheerful. They are able to make friends easily, and apparently we have a great attitude when it comes to interacting with others. But why, for the love of God, do we greet long-time friends with, "O, tumaba ka 'ata?" It doesn't end there. Reunions are witnesses to all sorts of inappropriate salutations. Relatives and friends, even those  whom you've never seen for an entire year, would like to know why you're still single, why you're not yet married, why you're not yet pregnant, or when are you going to have your next kid. I have no idea why people think that inappropriate personal questions like that qualify as small talk.
  3. Over-sensitivity. On the other side of the coin, however, Pinoys don't know how to take a joke. Or at the very least, appreciate parody and/or sarcastic humor. Whether its Teri Hatcher who delivers a line in Desperate Housewives about getting a fake medical license in the Philippines, Claire Danes commenting about the dirtiness of Manila, Dan Brown describing Manila as gates of hell, or even Vice Ganda joking about Jessica Soho's weight during a stand-up routine. Each time something negative is said about our identity, we take it out of context and lash out defensively. Why can't we take it in and analyze if it is indeed true or not? And if it IS true, why can't we take it as a point for improvement?  If we're always getting offended, baka ibig sabihin nun guilty tayo?
  4. Elitism. If you're part of the Class A demographic, I'd understand why you want to separate yourself from the masses. The Class A has enough wealth to justify their elite status, regardless if their wealth is hard-earned or not. BUT. If you belong to the middle class, or even the upper-middle class, I don't understand why you think you have the right to look down at the masses and say, "Eeeewww, I don't like the masa because they're so jologs, oh em." I also don't understand why we can't seem to accept the possibility that we, average salary individuals, can have the same tastes as our masa brothers. Case in point: Cueshe. They were cool, until they became masa. What's the logic behind that?
  5. Dynasticism. I'm not even talking about politics here, because that's already a given. What I'm talking about is this trend in the entertainment industry, where they would rather invest on an individual who has little talent BUT has a big name, rather than finding a fresh face with real potential. Showbiz is already saturated with Eigenmanns, Magalonas, Padillas, Sottos, Gutierrezes, what-have-yous, but you can only pick out a handful of them with real talent. Yes, I know that the indie scene in the Philippines is thriving, but if you don't bring some of them to the mainstream, how can you expect the industry to evolve?
I'll stop at five, as I don't want to nitpick too much on our culture. We are a lovable bunch of people, we really are. But sometimes, our eccentricities are just too darn crazy to handle.


  1. hahaha pero hindi lang naman ata pinoy traits ito, every culture has their own version of this... its human traits... yung queues i remember nasa HK queuing for the ride when there is clearly a queue someone just cut it and went all the way infornt like he owns it (not pinoy)... and tactless? i work with one everyday... it think thats why theres a word tactless, imnsho, hahaha.... so don't feel bad or iritated, it does sometimes gets under the skin but yah its not just pinoys...

  2. As a saying says, "for every good things there is always the bad ," many parts of our culture is very confusing in a way that its meaning is somehow ambiguous or vague and either be good or bad. Dynasticism is a enormous in politics her that we cant assess if they are abusing it or still for good. In someways, I can say that even we have this bad things in our culture, we still stand out to any other countries.

    Kenny Roa
    Contributor, www,