Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Filipino Mentality

A blogger of named ChinoF wrote an article that suggested that most Filipinos have a free-loading nature and also gave the conclusion that we are basically a lazy group of people.  I am inclined to agree with many of his suppositions except for the laziness argument.  Personally, I don't think the Filipino is lazy, as laziness is defined in Wikipedia as a disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to do so...but rather, the Filipino has a certain kind of mentality unique to himself.  And what is this so called Filipino Mentality?  Most people equate Filipino mentality with colonial mentality.  I don't think it's as simple as that, although it may be part of it... rather, I am referring more to Filipino attitudes, values and outlook in life. I can name several outright...

First on my list is COMPLACENCY. It is defined as a feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.  Filipinos fit this to a T!  Are we not called "contented cows" and isn't the statement "pwede na" both evidence of this complacent mentality? Ambition and drive is not high on our list of desirable traits and we are experts in looking for short cuts in our way doing things.

Second is DEPENDENCE...which may be interpreted as laziness.  But I think we were raised to be dependent...parental authority is still very much evident in our familial structure and children are not taught decision making and responsibility.  I see parents still helping out their adult children in the schooling of their hospitalizations...even in day to day living.

Next is MISPLACED SELF-ESTEEM. I say misplaced, because Filipinos don't know when to be proud, humble, shy or assertive. For example, we say disparaging things against our culture and government in the mass media, internet and other public forum ...then we get angry when some foreigner writes a satire about them...duh.

Another trait is MATA POBRE...a spanish derived word meaning "snobbish" or a snob.  It is the feeling of superiority over others because the perception of a person who is "mata-pobre" is that these others are inferior to him. It is also a form of discrimination. It has been written that this haughtiness was borne not from achievement or superior knowledge but from being members of the ruling class...but I disagree. I think it is a very common Filipino trait regardless of circumstance of birth.  Because I have seen and heard poor people discriminate even amongst themselves.  Our house helpers for example would treat paupers or street sellers who come to our gate in a lowly and dismissing manner from people whom they perceive as better off or who impresses them.  And in our places of work, the poor is always treated differently from those who are perceived to be educated, prosperous or well-connected.

And of course the ever omnipresent COLONIAL OUTLOOK...the love for anything and everything imported and the perception that what is imported is good and better. It has been 112 years since our independence from Spain and 65 years since the Americans turned over the reigns of government to the Filipinos...but that's about all that has happened...Filipinos are still basically Spanish in thinking and Americans in inclination.  Is it because our gene pool has been terribly diluted that we no longer know what we really are.  Who were we before all these foreigners came to our land?  Did we even exist? Or was this nation built by immigrants from our Indonesian, Malay, Chinese and Indian neighbors?

So it is no wonder that we do not have a true culture...we started as a melting pot...and we continue to evolve in the same manner. The Filipino mentality is such because there was no single culture from the beginning...our attitudes, values and way of thinking is a product of all the cultures that have landed in our soil. This is also the reason why we assimilate so well in any society, in other cultures and in foreign countries that we find ourselves in, even to the point of being mistaken as a native of that country.......because each of these places have a bit of Filipino in them ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome but please identify yourself. Thank you!