Skip to main content
<< Philippines forum

Uncovering the Negative Filipino Traits: What We Need to Address

ARE FILIPINOS TOO LAID BACK? / The Philosophy of Bahala Na
Table of contents

Colonial Mentality

The Philippines is a beautiful country that boasts stunning landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality. As a tourist, you will undoubtedly experience the kindness and generosity of the Filipino people. However, one subtle but harmful trait that has plagued the national psyche is the colonial mentality. In this blog, we will delve deeper into this issue and how it affects people and society.

What Is It

Firstly, let's define what colonial mentality is. It is a mindset and behavior that imitates or favors foreign cultures, often at the expense of one's own culture. This trait has its roots in the country's colonial past, where the Philippines was under Spanish, American, and Japanese rule for almost four centuries. Filipinos were forced to adapt to the foreign culture and language, leading to a lack of confidence in their own identity and capabilities.

How Does It Manifest

The colonial mentality manifests itself in different ways. One example is the preference for foreign products and brands, even if local alternatives are just as good or better. This behavior results from the belief that foreign products are of higher quality, while local products are inferior. Another example is the obsession with foreign looks and features, such as fair skin and a pointed nose, which are often associated with beauty and success. This behavior leads to discrimination and prejudice against people who do not conform to Western beauty standards.

Its Harmful Effects

The colonial mentality has a detrimental effect on the economy and society. Due to the preference for foreign products and the belief that foreigners are better, local entrepreneurs, and businesses struggle to compete, leading to a stagnant economy. Additionally, the colonial mentality fosters a culture of mediocrity and complacency, where Filipinos stop striving for excellence and settle for the second best. This attitude, in turn, affects the country's progress and development.

How To Eradicate It

The colonial mentality can only be eradicated by promoting a stronger sense of national identity and pride. The government and private sector must invest in promoting local products and businesses while highlighting their unique qualities and advantages. The education system must also emphasize the rich history and culture of the country, instilling a sense of pride and appreciation in the younger generation. Further, Filipinos must reject the notion that foreigners are always better and celebrate their beauty, culture, and achievements.

Colonial Mentality [A Documentary]
Worst Filipino Trait-Colonial Mentality | Asians Think West Is Superior? | Confessions Of A Filipina

Filipino Time

When it comes to timekeeping, Filipinos have a reputation for being notoriously late. This trait, commonly known as "Filipino time," is deeply ingrained in the country's culture and is often seen as a source of frustration for both locals and tourists. While it may seem like a harmless quirk, the reality is that the negative effects of Filipino time can be far-reaching, particularly for the tourism industry. In this blog post, we'll explore the impact of this pervasive trait and what can be done to address it.

Impact On Local Life and Work

The negative impact of Filipino time can have a significant impact on the lives of Filipinos. For example, tardiness in a work setting can result in lost productivity and strained relationships with colleagues and clients. In addition, the acceptance of tardiness can lead to a lack of accountability and a general disregard for the importance of punctuality. This attitude can further perpetuate the cycle of tardiness, leading to a decline in overall productivity and economic progress.

The Upsides Of Filipino Time  

Although the negative effects of Filipino Time can be frustrating, it also has its upsides. Filipinos don't rush; instead, they enjoy the journey, take their time, and savor the moments. They are more interested in building relationships and connections than completing tasks on time. This trait can be advantageous to tourists who want to immerse themselves in a relaxed and laid-back environment while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Philippines.

How To Deal With Filipino Time

It is best to always have a backup plan when dealing with Filipino Time. As mentioned earlier, it's better to arrive ahead of time and give allowances for potential delays. Tourists should also communicate clearly and directly with their Filipino counterparts to avoid misunderstandings. Maintaining patience and understanding can make a tremendous difference when dealing with Filipino Time.


Crab Mentality

The Philippines has long been considered a paradise for tourists because of its beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and vibrant culture. However, underneath the country's sunny facade lies a negative trait that many Filipinos struggle with: the "crab mentality." This trait refers to the desire to pull others down instead of helping them succeed, and it has been blamed for the country's slow progress and lack of national unity. As a tourist, it's important to understand this negative trait so you can navigate the local culture and avoid falling victim to it.

What Is Crab Mentality

Crab mentality is the tendency of Filipinos to hold back or even sabotage each other's success, often out of envy or insecurity. Just like how crabs in a bucket will try to climb out by pulling each other down, Filipinos may discourage, judge, or criticize those who are doing well to prevent them from rising above the rest. This trait is prevalent not only in the workplace but also in social circles and family relationships. It can manifest in different ways, such as gossiping, spreading false rumors, belittling others' achievements, and being passive-aggressive.

Reasons Behind Crab Mentality

There are several reasons why crab mentality exists in Philippine culture. One possible factor is the country's colonial past, where the ruling class benefited from divisive tactics to maintain their power. Another is the pervasive poverty and lack of opportunities, leading to a scarcity mentality where people feel like success is a zero-sum game. Add to that the fame and fortune that some celebrities have gained because of their talent, which caused some people to believe that those who are successful got lucky or used shortcuts to reach their status.

Impact of Crab Mentality

The impact of crab mentality in the Philippines is enormous. It creates a culture of distrust and competition, where people are hesitant to help each other and collaborate, fearing that it might put them at a disadvantage. This mentality causes slow economic growth and hinders social progress because it becomes difficult to accomplish things as a united front. It also fosters a negative image of the Philippines, tainting its reputation overseas and discouraging foreign investment.

Overcoming Crab Mentality

Overcoming crab mentality isn’t an easy task. It requires a change of mindset and behavior, which may take time and effort. One way to begin is by educating people about this negative trait and making them aware of the potential harm it can cause. Encouraging positive attributes such as collaboration, humility, and positivity helps foster unity and prevents strained relationships. By creating a culture of cooperation, Filipino people can work together to achieve their goals and make the Philippines prosper.

Crab Mentality: Why Do Filipinos Do This? It Needs to Change - May 21, 2021 | Vlog #1215

Ningas Cogon

One fascinating aspect of traveling is getting to know the customs and ways of living of the country you are visiting. In the Philippines, there is a cultural phenomenon called "ningas cogon," which means starting strong on a task but then losing interest, motivation, or perseverance before achieving success. The Filipino people are aware of this trait, but it is not always easy to explain to tourists. In this blog post, we will delve deep into "ningas cogon," its negative effects, and how it manifests in the local culture.

What Is It

At its core, ningas cogon is a tendency to start with enthusiasm but fails to sustain it over time, usually due to a lack of direction, discipline, and focus. This trait can be observed across different life spheres, from personal and professional pursuits to community and national goals. For instance, a person may have a strong will to lose weight, start a new diet or exercise routine, but eventually gives up after only a few weeks or months. Or a company may launch a new marketing strategy, create hype around it, but then abandons it halfway through because it did not yield immediate results.

Why Is It Negative

Ningas cogon is a negative trait because it hinders progress and growth. It cultivates a culture of mediocrity, where short-term gains are favored over long-term benefits. Filipinos often joke about "Filipino time," meaning being late or arriving after the agreed-upon meeting time. This practice reveals not just a lack of punctuality but also a lack of respect for other people's time and commitment. Ningas cogon is also prevalent in governance and leadership. Elected officials may promise sweeping reforms and changes during campaigns but fail to deliver once in power. Furthermore, it causes frustration and disappointment among those who genuinely want to see positive change in their lives and country.

The Roots

The roots of ningas cogon, as with any cultural trait, are complex. Some scholars suggest that the Philippines' history of colonialism, poverty, and patronage politics fostered a "survival mentality," in which immediate needs are prioritized over long-term planning or investment in development. Others argue that ningas cogon is a natural human tendency that manifests differently according to cultural contexts. Regardless of its origins, it is a pervasive trait that Filipinos themselves wish to overcome.

How To Overcome

Filipinos are not entirely helpless against ningas cogon. Many have recognized its negative effects and have taken steps to counteract it. One such step is the value of "diskarte," which means resourcefulness or creativity in solving problems. Filipinos are known for their ability to utilize limited resources to achieve their goals. Another value is "bayanihan," which means community spirit or teamwork in achieving a shared objective. By working together, Filipinos can sustain efforts towards a common goal and encourage others not to lose motivation. Lastly, the culture of "practical idealism" emphasizes the importance of balancing grand aspirations with tangible steps toward achieving them. By setting achievable targets and building on small successes, Filipinos can build a culture of perseverance rather than ending in ningas cogon.


Manana Habit

As a tourist, visiting a new country opens up a world of possibilities. Different cultures, traditions, and customs that you may have never experienced before, which is why traveling is a worthwhile adventure. However, every unique destination comes with specific traits and habits. In the Philippines, one such habit is called "Manana" or procrastination. While it may seem harmless, it can still have negative effects on your trip and Filipinos themselves. Thus, in this blog, we will dive deeper into this negative trait and what actions you can take to avoid it.

What is Manana Habit

It is a habit of delaying tasks, even if it's urgent. For example, if a Filipino says "now na," which translates to “now,” it may not always mean immediately. It can also mean later or possibly tomorrow. As a tourist, this can be frustrating if you need something done immediately, such as booking a last-minute tour or confirming your flight details. You may encounter a lack of urgency or sense of time, which can often lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Why Is It A Negative Trait

While Manana is prevalent in the Philippines, it can also have negative consequences. One of the most common outcomes is that it can create a domino effect of delays and setbacks. This habit can affect productivity, efficiency, and trust. Be it in personal relationships or work-related tasks, the lack of reliability and timeliness can be detrimental and frustrating. Moreover, it can result in decreased customer satisfaction, especially for businesses in the tourism industry.

How Can You Avoid Manana Habit

Understanding how to avoid Manana Habit can save you from a lot of hassle during your trip. The first thing to consider is communication. When asking for something, it's essential to clarify the time frame and deadline. Also, it's best to follow up to ensure that the request has been completed within your desired time frame. Booking in advance and doing due diligence on hotels and tour companies that have a reputation for being timely and reliable can also be helpful.

What Can Filipinos Do to Address This Habit

The solution to Manana lies in a collective effort from Filipinos themselves. While it's easy to accept this trait, it's essential to recognize its impact on the economy and personal growth. Individually, Filipinos can prioritize time management, build self-discipline, and create a sense of urgency. However, a more effective approach to address Manana is to implement it at a systemic level. The government can enforce stricter policies, corporations can offer training, and schools can educate the youth on the importance of time management.

Mañana Habit (Toxic Filipino Culture)

Bahala Na Attitude

The Filipino culture is rich in tradition, warm hospitality, and a sense of community. However, there is a negative trait that has been present in the Filipino people for centuries. This trait is known as "Bahala Na" or "come what may" mindset, which often leads to unreliable and irresponsible behavior resulting in significant problems. In this blog post, we will look into this negative trait, its origins, and its impact on Filipino culture and its people.

What is Bahala Na

The phrase Bahala Na is translated to "come what may" or "let it be." It is an expression of resignation and acceptance that things are out of one's control. While it may seem like a positive trait, it has a dark side that can cause problems, not just for locals but for tourists too. This attitude can be traced back to the Philippines' colonial past, where people had to endure difficult circumstances and had little to no control over their lives. Over time, this trait has been used to justify inaction, complacency, and even negligence.

How Common Is It

Bahala Na appears in everyday Filipino life in many forms. For example, when someone procrastinates on important tasks, they might say, "Bahala Na" as an excuse. Or, when someone takes unnecessary risks without proper planning or consideration, they might use the phrase "Bahala Na si Batman" (Let Batman handle it). While these examples may seem harmless, Bahala Na attitude can lead to more severe consequences.

Reliance on Luck

Filipinos' belief in luck and faith is another negative trait of the "bahala na" attitude. Many rely on fate and divine intervention to rescue them from difficult situations, instead of taking action and exerting effort to address the issue at hand. This mindset leads to lesser accomplishments and disappointment.

ARE FILIPINOS TOO LAID BACK? / The Philosophy of Bahala Na

One Day Millionaire

The Philippines is a beautiful country with diverse landscapes, rich culture, and hospitable people. It is not uncommon to hear of Filipinos who can provide for their families despite financial struggles. However, there is a negative trait among some Filipinos called the "One Day Millionaire" syndrome. This blog post delves deeper into this unfavorable trait and its possible causes.

What Is It

The term "One Day Millionaire" is used to describe Filipinos who suddenly