Friday, June 21, 2013

Habits of the Filipino Jerk (with Annotations)

Here's an article I found over the net, Top 8 Habits of the Filipino Jerk written by Anton Conejos. It discusses a few simple truths about the Filipino society. 

According to Conejos, other nationalities can be stereotyped as French-arrogant, British-stiff and Americans-I own the world. The Filipinos have their distinction however.

8. INSECURED | We get a cultural orgasm every time some white guy pats us on the back and says things like “we Westerners are rich but you are soulful.” Right, I bet that’s what they said to the Native Americans just before they stole their land. 
On the other hand, when some foreigner voices the teensiest little truth we get all riled up. Ban Claire Danes from Manila! Desperate Housewives made a joke about our diploma mill medical schools? Take the show off the air! Dan Brown should say sorry! Katherine Ryan made a joke about Filipino children (and we missed the part about it being a joke)! 
Relax, lighten up. Have some Jollibee. It’s recommended by Anthony Bourdain so it must be yummy!
This is one fact that we Filipinos have to contend with. There is that air of pride whenever we are praised by the westerners. As if we can't take pride from whatever we achieve from within our country. Thus, everytime there's a famous personality with any tinge of Filipino blood, we immediately claim it. And there's really nothing wrong with it. What I'm saying is that pride should be intrinsic.

7. NOT FOLLOWING RULES | We all think we’re special. That guy who just beat a red light or went down the wrong direction of a one way street? Dapat ipako yan sa krus. But surely it’s different if it’s youdriving late at night and since there’s no one around you do a u-turn where you’re not supposed to. Rules apply to lesser beings, not to you. And if you do get caught, instead of being contrite for breaking the law you get extra angry at those who don’t know that the rules don’t apply to you.
I have first hand experience with this. The so called palakasan value is at play. If a Filipino knows somebody in position, expect that he'll bent the rules. The padrino system and utang na loob also can be a reason. But yes, Filipinos have this penchant in bending the rules.
6. MAKING STUPID RULES | That section of your passport that says it’s good up to a certain date? It’s a lie. Take that date, lessen it by six months and that’s the real expiration of your passport. No official receipt along with your driver’s license? Sorry Sir, then your license is not valid. 
These are every day examples of how we take a simple thing and heap on stupid, arbitrary rules that have no basis in common sense. The expiry date of your passport should be the printed expiry date. A Driver’s License should be valid without needing to wave around any additional paper.
I also can't fathom why Filipinos make this stupid rules. Nobody bothered to ask why anyhow.
5. USING RELIGION TO JUSTIFY EVERYTHING | We had a President who said God told her to run again, even though she had promised before that she would not. And we re-elected her. Our Bishops tell us that priests who abuse children should not be exposed and we get angry at anyone for even suggesting that those priests deserve hell (which is what the penal system is in our country). Our Pastors preach that women should submit to their men and we happily go around beating our wives and cheating on our girlfriends. 
The Devil can cite scripture for his own purpose, but no one ever tells you that.
We usually associate this religion thing to the double standard of morality. Filipinos are brought up to be religious, but in the process was made to think in a particular way without  questioning the validity of religious teachings. This is because questioning will put you in hell. For Roman Catholics, faith is more important than reason.
4. POWER TRIPPING | Anyone who has had to deal with the guards of Ayala Alabang Village knows those guys take this rule seriously.
I'd say that Filipinos do not know how to handle power. This is probably why we say that power begets power. It's like when you give a Filipino certain amount of power, chances are he'll abuse it. But the abusing part is not just brought about by personal desires. Sometimes this is caused by the environment or the people around him; the people he is trying to protect. Personalism and Kinship plays an important role here.
3. INCONSIDERATE | This behavior can fall into two broad categories, we don’t care if people are waiting or we love making people wait. 
In the we-don’t-care category are all the jerks who cut lines—I don’t care if you’ve been waiting an hour, I’m getting in before you. In this category too are jeepney and taxi drivers. I don’t care if I block traffic, I’m going to pick up or let off people in the middle of the street.
In the we-love-making-people-wait are all the government officials who refuse to sign documents even though they've been sitting on their desk for more than a year or politicians who love giving nonsensical speeches that end up delaying all sorts of proceedings, trials, weddings, graduations and birthday parties.
Oh my, I have issues with this as well. Filipinos do not seem to have correct sense of time, thus the term Filipino Time. Filipino time is loosely defined as one hour late from the agreed time. From what I gather, this stemmed from the VIP status that the spaniards associated with lateness. I just hate waiting.
2. HAVING AN OPINION ABOUT EVERYTHING | Refuse to read and learn more about the issues of the day. Accept conventional knowledge you learnfrom the barber, the kumare or the radio broadcaster. Now exercise your freedom of speech by rilingoff about every topic under the sun even if you have no idea what you're talking about. Exercise your voice, not your mind.
Well, I must agree to this.

1. REFUSING CRITICISM | We are prickly when someone suggests we can do better. Every well-intentioned comment is branded as unpatriotic or elitist and morphs into an assault on Filipino values, tradition, heritage, legacy, etc, etc.
Filipinos are naturally sensitive to criticisms. It's not easy for Filipinos to take in criticisms because it diminishes the self esteem, like the criticism is construed to be an attack to the personal side when in fact the person criticizing would only like to point out the negative traits that should be changed. Face saving is an important concept in this area. Filipinos value reputation and face because this is all they have. Reputation is a ticket when borrowing money, when applying for a job, when courting somebody, etc.

As for Conejos' recommendation " if this article made you angry, I say good. But instead of flaming the comments section below why don't you think about which characteristic you embody the most and try to change it. Be a Filipino. Don't be a Filipino jerk.

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