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Negative Filipino Values


“Bahala Na”
This trait means leaving everything to chance or “letting the
circumstances take care of itself”. It implies fatalism under the pretext
of trusting in Divine providence. By saying “bahala na”, a person
resigns himself to luck as he believes the end-result depends
ultimately on fate. It is a Filipino’s way of avoiding rationalization or
good reason. It is the same as saying, “Que sera sera (whatever will
be, will be)”.

The Filipino’s “bahala na” attitude is everywhere and with everyone. It

could apply on big or small circumstances. For instance, a student
who suddenly feels lazy to do his homework will just say “bahala na”.
In this case, he resigns himself to whatever could happen in class the
next day.

This negative Filipino trait tends to be the cause of laziness by so

many people. A lot of poor people resign themselves to the kind of life
they have thinking that it is what God meant for them to have and He
will take care of their needs. Their belief is that life finds a solution for

“Ningas Kugon”
Filipinos are fond of starting a project with so much enthusiasm. This
enthusiasm is so contagious that it spreads like wildfire. At the first
sign of problem or difficulty, this enthusiasm is consumed as fast as it
has spread. This is the quintessential Filipino trait “ningas kugon”
meaning “grassfire”.
This trait is the reason for the Filipino’s “show-off” attitude; why so
many projects are left unfinished and government officials corrupt.

“Crab Mentality”
The picture is this: when you put several crabs in a crate, they will all
try to climb out in order to break free. You’ll observe that when one
gets a bit ahead, the other crabs will pull him down. A lot of Filipinos
are like these crabs. Whenever one sees another progressing in their
own field, others become resentful and instead of seeing the
achievement of that person, they will try to highlight everything
negative about him in an effort to bring him down or tarnish if not
lessen the person’s newly-acquired good image. It is an unhealthy
competition in a way.
Instead of doing things that could help one to develop and become
better than his competitors, Filipinos devote so much of their time
gossiping and back-biting. It is their way of deviating people’s
attention on their inadequacy by focusing on other people’s faults.

This means resisting all efforts to a reconciliation. Because of the
Filipino “amor propio” or ego-defensiveness, it is very difficult for them
to surrender their pride. It is noticeable that most Filipinos find it
difficult to say the word “sorry”. It’s better for them to act tough
(”matigas”) rather than say sorry because to do the same is to
sacrifice their precious pride.

Mañana or “Bukas na”

This is the Filipino habit of leaving for tomorrow what they can do
today. Most Filipinos have this habit of postponing their actions for a
later time thus reducing accomplishments. Filipinos are fond of saying
“bukas na lang” (I’ll do it tomorrow) due to laziness. As a result, the
work they produce is crammed. This arises from an indolent mentality
that a problem will go away by itself.

“Kanya-kanya“(to each his own)

This is the Filipino self-centeredness and lack of regard for others.
This happens when most people are similarly situated such us in a
calamity and in instances where family is involved as “blood is thicker
than water”.
In instances however when the others sis not meet the same fate, the
Filipino helpfulness comes out. If one is able to help another without
danger to himself and his family, they will readily extend a helping

A reference to the many-sided star fruit, the term is applied to
someone who changes allegiance for personal convenience. The
allusion is that the person is not only double-faced, but multiple-faced.
This was evident in the Marcos downfall where his cronies and
enemies turned against him and embraced the Aquino government.
These people are said to be “balimbing”.