The Filipino People

I have listened to and read, so many generalizations about “Filipino People” by fellow expats and they tend to fall into two camps.  There are those that would tell you they are the most wonderful people in the world and those that have an opposite and very negative view.

In the life experiences of both camps they are both correct.   Our minds are amazing filtering devices and will seek out evidence in the real world that supports our underlying beliefs.  To put it simply if you look for good in people you will see a lot more of the good and if you look for bad you will see more of that.

People are fundamentally the same all around world.   Sounds like a cliché but I have come to know this as an absolute truth.  We have the same biology and basically function the same way.

The differences we observe and label as cultural are very superficial but again the mind is amazing at filtering the external world and if we are looking for differences we will see them in abundance.   The reality is we humans are driven by the same fundamental motivations and share the same emotional responses.

I know of many long term expats that would disagree with the preceding statement.  They are perplexed by the apparent lack of logic in the actions of many of the Filipinos they encounter but this is because they are focused on details and fail to see the bigger picture.  They are viewing things from their own very limited perspective yet in their minds they truly believe that is the only possible viewpoint thus there is no logic in what they see.

Behind every action no matter how self detrimental it might seem to the observer there is a positive intention on the part of the perpetrator.   Very often they are not even consciously aware of it themselves.   There is a reason for everything a person does and it is only perplexing because we look at the action in isolation.  In other words Filipinos have logical reasons for all their actions and if we don’t understand them it’s because we are ignorant of their circumstances.

By its very nature this focuses on the apparent differences between the Filipino and the rest of humanity.  As already stated these differences are superficial but none the less can be challenging to the non-Filipino and cause misunderstandings and fuel misconceptions.

Those that tend to make negative generalizations about Filipinos fail to see individuals and only expect responses that confirm their established beliefs.  Their minds will obey and provide filtered feedback that confirms their beliefs.  Most of these people will never change their minds because all their life experience to date only supports their belief.

Don’t fall into the trap of negative stereotyping the Filipino as so many expats do.   They seem to enjoy complaining about the way Filipinos do things and sharing their “proof” to confirm their belief. If they don’t like it in the Philippines then I say to them go back to your own “perfect” countries… anyway why did they even come to the Philippines in the first place?

Being aware of some prevalent Filipino values and beliefs (generalizations) is useful as long as you always remember to see the person as an individual.  Here is the thing to remember.  The Filipinos are also often working from stereotyped models of foreigners.

Break this communication cycle by reaching out to connect to them as a fellow human being.  Look beyond the stereotype for an individual and you will be amazed at how suddenly they are no longer your “typical Filipino” and become the exception.

The same goes for Filipinos.   Next time you encounter a foreigner try looking beyond the stereotyping you have learned and see them as an individual and fellow human being.

We all have much more in common than we have differences.





An article written by Chris Bennetts, an Australian expatriate.

Articulate, accurate, thought provoking.
Thank you for your clear observances. Hopefully others will read and understand the truth as you have so eloquently stated.
With gratitude.

Hello funkydelicguy!

Thanks for this sharing.:top:

Harmonie.

I dont think any expat has claimed to have come from a perfect country.

The blog of this Chris Bennetts is so outrageous I did not want to read it further. ( http://movetophilippines.blogspot.com/ )

What's happening in the girly bars in red light district Philippines is not happening in Australia ? USA ? Canada ? UK ? That's entirely false.

Generally, Filipinos over charge the tourist and that is the same when you go to Mexico, and it goes the same with many Spanish colonized countries like Panama, Bolivia, etc..

Filipinos love every product shipped from the great USA - even though its made in China or Philippines. You can go to 'okay-okay' stores and that many would love to buy the apparells 'because it came from USA'

But don't be surprized as to why. USA (though unwilling to admit) has colonized Philippines for over 50 years. The country was part of the US Commonwealth until after WWII. It was the version of Puerto Rico...

Has anyone wondered why there are so many Filipino men pee and spit everywhere ? Its because the Americans have introduced that to the Filipinos and the bad habit spread dramatically during WWII and has continued since then. At least that's how my grandpa told me so. I've seen this behaviour in the US, that a vehicle driver turned around to pee on its tyre or opened the car window just to spit. I even told my yankee husband not to spit because we Aussies called it 'skunk'.

My grandparents once told me a story of how the rumour 'dog-eating Filipino' started. During WWII - the Japanese were rounding the locals and there was no way out that every animal seen in the street like cats and dogs, Filipinos have to eat it. This kind of scenario is very understandable as every human could not continue to live without eating. The only problem is that this bad habit continued on until today, specially for the drunken men who yelled and rule the slums of the metro, though generally Filipinos love dogs.

Filipinos biggest export is not the manufactured products but its people. However, Philippines only ranked no. 3 because Mexico and India have taken that lead.

I was once told that generally Asians are skinny except if you go to Philippines, a lot of Filipinos are chubby. Again its the influence of Spain and US, most people love sweets and pork products. That's the reason why a lot of Filipinos can play guitar, dance and sing......

Its undeniable that it used to be Philippines was economically tailing Japan but that is no longer the case now. However I see similarities with the many former Spanish colonies - all have the same problem : corruption, drug and human trafficking, dogfighting and cockfighting, guns, etc...

There are so many problems plaguing Philippines, that many times I wish this country was not colonized by Spain and USA, that it would have been "probably" better, if the country was colonized by UK or Japan.

There are so many things that I dislike about the Philippines:

- a lot of people disrespect its flag, westerners just have less respect to its women and I dont know why even though a lot of these expat men are married to one Pinay

- whenever I arrived at the airport, I always see this caucasian jerk arguing with the customs and the customs just allow it to happen... I would rather see a very strict custom like in Singapore, to enforce rule and order to its visitor.. Philippines generally is too friendly that its impossible to have rule and order sometimes.

- Philippines is a signatory of Human Rights but a lot  degrading of rights to its own people are tolerated. I do not mean human trafficking but the country has no divorce laws and no progressive laws about their illigitimate children. No child support enforcement, where the mother who automatically take the children after marriage breakdown, has to cope up raising children. Ever wondered how povery started ?

- Generally the people are extremely conservative that a person with liberal views like me gets ostracized.

- A good working Filipino - end up moving somewhere and not wanting to come back which resulted in the country's brain drain. Don't get me wrong, how many South American countries tried to cross the Mexico/USA border, thousands eh, but that is incomparable to Filipinos wanting to go out of the Philippines. The major reason for this movement is because the Filipinos can speak English.

I remember when I was in Dubai, I hear a Brit complaining and then the local Arab responded, 'if you dont like it here then leave'. I thought that was the most childish response. Its like telling someone 'that is the way or the highway'.

I could go on and on but my response is getting longer.



funkydelicguy :

An article written by Chris Bennetts, an Australian expatriate.

Merely being in this community of expats, no matter which country you came from and where are you currently in, one should give respect to the fact that being an expat is like wandering around an unfamiliar premises - that he/she might be fit accepted as he/she is willing to embrace such new environment. Like, just take it all, beyond race, beyond religion, beyond culture, or even, sometimes, beyond individual differences.

But I cant help but react to this, Couldnt agree more, I mean, I've been working with some foreigners in my association, there are lots of them who did nothing but to complain. Pointing every single mistake we filipino counterparts do, without looking at his own lapses. A foreign volunteer even told us, that we (filipinos) are so hypocrite, dont fit on this world and should lock ourselves in the office. Well, we fired her. lol.

It's weird though, that despite their complaints, why do they stay, trying to own the land, conquer the wonders of the sea and air, in the effort to enjoy the natural richness of the islands.

I mean, it's fine to hear all their thoughts and views, its inevitable to have their opinion, but then, i think it was unfair that after all (considering them as our family), will give such remark to us(there's thousands awful things said)? That was just gruesome. Totally.

It could be hard to determine at first, but I still appreciate the way how we are so different,or how do we see it in our own ways, if it could be people shapes culture, or just culture shapes people?

Miguella

Your responses sort of intrigued me you may think differently if only you have lived in other countries. Your profile does indicate you wish to go to Canada - a business friendly country.

"there are lots of them who did nothing but to complain"
=== I am one of them, I do complain about a lot of irrational actions like why does the people litter on the streets ? I am certain you do complain. If my Filipina mother, my cousins and their families complain then I am sure you do.

To be expats in a country does not mean that we do not have a voice. Afterall we do contribute.


"that we (filipinos) are so hypocrite" === Religiously speaking, generally true with exceptions

"It's weird though, that despite their complaints, why do they stay, trying to own the land, conquer the wonders of the sea and air, in the effort to enjoy the natural richness of the islands"

==== >> The Philippines is at most time "backwards" and "protective society". The actions of the people have negative impact on the country, not just the economy, but also socially and environmentally.

Do you think investors would love that ? An investor ultimate goal is to make "Profit" and the people will benefit from that profit. If there is profit then there is employment. When you have employment, the country's infrstructure and people would progress.

Personally, I am only priveleged that my mum has Filipino roots that is okay for me to own a property. Unfortunate for other investors who has to get a Filipino spouse just to own a business or property.

Generally this protectionism only favours the "elites' of the country. Have you ever wondered why so ? Why there are so much monopolies ? Have you ever looked at wealthy nations and other developing nations, how are the expats being treated when it comes to businesses and property ownership ?

The country you wished to go to is Canada, who accepts immigrants and foreign ownership. Wealthy nations' backbone of their economy are the small enterprise and businesses. You do not see a lot of small businesses in the Philippines. I do not see much of individually owned painting, plumbing, general contractor, consulting, etc in the Philippines.

For example, if I wish to open an engineering consulting firm the same way I setup my self employed engineering limilited liability company in USA, it is very impossible to do it in this country.

To open a business in PH mean huge capital. I did not have a capital to setup the LLC in the US. What I have is my engineering license and then my labor.

UAE is another country that is protectionist. But the UAE gov has done this for the preservation of its culture, where there are more expats than the locals. UAE do not have the desperate need of investors.

Unlike the Philippines, it desperately and badly need investors.

For instance, I have been actively recruiting investors from USA but I have been unable to successfully do so due to the fact;

(1) I have to disclose the country's business ownership laws 'that no foreigner can own a business 100% in the Philippines', just by that disclosure alone scares prospective investor.

(2) Western representatives are generally liable for the investment of their investors. If the investment I betted has gone sour, I could be sued. The reason why, because most wealthy nations have fiduciary and tort laws.

Even if I recruit FilAms, who can reacquire Filipino citizenship but are unwilling to be Philippine citizen, because of the fact that Americans do not wish to be taxed two times.

Also FilAms who knows more about the Philippines, are actually the most uninterested investor. Have you ever wondered why is this the case ?

There are so many advanced countries has friendly corporate laws with regard to opening new businesses to foreigners and still fully owned by foreigners 100%. Why can't the Philippines pass similar laws ?

Regarding property ownership, you ask every economist, what is the impact of redevelopment ? Housing, condos, apartments construction - it create jobs!

Unemployment is high in Philippines but protectionism do not address solving unemployment.

How long can the Philippines, in lieu of job creation, send their badly needed talent overseas ? Engineers, nurses, and other professional both experienced and newly graduate, do not wish to stay. In my work alone, the top notch engineers leave the country. Do you think it does not have an impact in the firm I work for ?

A lot of expats do care firstly (1) investment (2) if employed - we care about our professional conduct.

No expat would love to go back to their country a failure. Hence we expats do care and we should make ligitimate complaint.


miguella :

It's weird though, that despite their complaints, why do they stay, trying to own the land, conquer the wonders of the sea and air, in the effort to enjoy the natural richness of the islands.

I mean, it's fine to hear all their thoughts and views, its inevitable to have their opinion, but then, i think it was unfair that after all (considering them as our family), will give such remark to us(there's thousands awful things said)? That was just gruesome. Totally.

It could be hard to determine at first, but I still appreciate the way how we are so different,or how do we see it in our own ways, if it could be people shapes culture, or just culture shapes people?

Thanks funkydelic guy.  I whole heartedly agree with the sentiment.

Now! You're Impressing me Female Expat!

Miguella,

I dont know if you read business section report but perhaps a journalistic article would clear the air as to what expats have been complaining about........"there is so much social strife in the Philippines"

http://business.inquirer.net/8377/phili … says-study

I have listened to and read, so many generalizations about “Filipino People” by fellow expats and they tend to fall into two camps.  There are those that would tell you they are the most wonderful people in the world and those that have an opposite and very negative view.

Nice! Great appreciation there funkydelicguy,,, sharing same sentiments with you... and where just neighbor by the way, I'm in Kuwait and just a little boundary would only tell how near it is from here...

Why I'm here in kuwait..maybe my blog will tell about it more...☺.

Anyway, love your comment and it's true... and also to what had female expat contributue to detailed out our beloved tropical country.



In the life experiences of both camps they are both correct.   Our minds are amazing filtering devices and will seek out evidence in the real world that supports our underlying beliefs.  To put it simply if you look for good in people you will see a lot more of the good and if you look for bad you will see more of that.

Yes, perfectly agreed with you... same thing to what can you see from others would be depend on your outlook or view in your life..

People are fundamentally the same all around world.   Sounds like a cliché but I have come to know this as an absolute truth.  We have the same biology and basically function the same way.

And we see it now, because we're in differenct country.


The differences we observe and label as cultural are very superficial but again the mind is amazing at filtering the external world and if we are looking for differences we will see them in abundance.   The reality is we humans are driven by the same fundamental motivations and share the same emotional responses.

Yes, as we moved in other country we realized every country has different things to complaint about and that is insatiable... endless to measure. ☺

I know of many long term expats that would disagree with the preceding statement.  They are perplexed by the apparent lack of logic in the actions of many of the Filipinos they encounter but this is because they are focused on details and fail to see the bigger picture.  They are viewing things from their own very limited perspective yet in their minds they truly believe that is the only possible viewpoint thus there is no logic in what they see.

As we all know even Expats here, British, Aussie here and there.. they've to complain all the time... they're already complaining this country with so much wealth.. so how about our country... what we will expect...


Behind every action no matter how self detrimental it might seem to the observer there is a positive intention on the part of the perpetrator.   Very often they are not even consciously aware of it themselves.   There is a reason for everything a person does and it is only perplexing because we look at the action in isolation.  In other words Filipinos have logical reasons for all their actions and if we don’t understand them it’s because we are ignorant of their circumstances.

Agree...



By its very nature this focuses on the apparent differences between the Filipino and the rest of humanity.  As already stated these differences are superficial but none the less can be challenging to the non-Filipino and cause misunderstandings and fuel misconceptions.

Those that tend to make negative generalizations about Filipinos fail to see individuals and only expect responses that confirm their established beliefs.  Their minds will obey and provide filtered feedback that confirms their beliefs.  Most of these people will never change their minds because all their life experience to date only supports their belief.

Don’t fall into the trap of negative stereotyping the Filipino as so many expats do.   They seem to enjoy complaining about the way Filipinos do things and sharing their “proof” to confirm their belief. [large][b]If they don’t like it in the Philippines then I say to them go back to your own “perfect” countries… anyway why did they even come to the Philippines in the first place?
[/large]

Being aware of some prevalent Filipino values and beliefs (generalizations) is useful as long as you always remember to see the person as an individual.  Here is the thing to remember.  The Filipinos are also often working from stereotyped models of foreigners.

Break this communication cycle by reaching out to connect to them as a fellow human being.  Look beyond the stereotype for an individual and you will be amazed at how suddenly they are no longer your “typical Filipino” and become the exception.

The same goes for Filipinos.   Next time you encounter a foreigner try looking beyond the stereotyping you have learned and see them as an individual and fellow human being.

We all have much more in common than we have differences.

Two thumbs up!

Hi everyone, I have read all the main thread and reactions about the Filipino people. You know what? I have worked with a lot of them, read about them and heard many people make remarks about them. My conclusion on the issue is simple, like my Ukelle people in Nigeria, and like my family members in Ukelle, You have good and bad people the world over!!!  What you find is what your eyes are looking for... like a good hunter an expat should keep the eyes open for the good bad and ugly, find the capacity the deal with what comes.

I agree with all or most of the posts here. I'm a retired, married American that lives here in the Philippines. Sure, there are a lot of things that could be better but that's the same anywhere.

The thing that really bothers me most are the foreigners/expats that come here and spend time with the wrong people doing the wrong things (mostly in Angeles City) and then not only complain about everything but also cause many problems as well.
They are the ones mostly, that give all us foreigners a bad name.
So in the end I wish for two things. One, that laws would be enforced here to jail and get rid of these kind of "tourists" and that all foreign tourists and residents would learn to act like decent human beings while here in this wonderful country.


Gene

ALAS!

dugbama :

Hi everyone, I have read all the main thread and reactions about the Filipino people. You know what? I have worked with a lot of them, read about them and heard many people make remarks about them. My conclusion on the issue is simple, like my Ukelle people in Nigeria, and like my family members in Ukelle, You have good and bad people the world over!!!  What you find is what your eyes are looking for... like a good hunter an expat should keep the eyes open for the good bad and ugly, find the capacity the deal with what comes.

An article written by Dave McClure from Kyle, Scotland. He is not a Filipino, is not employed or sponsored by a Filipino, nor married to, engaged to or dating a Filipina; in short, is not in any way connected to this fine people, save by a bond of admiration.


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