mGa KuRo-KuRo Ni Ka UrO

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Do you fill up your drinks when you leave Burger King?

For today, let me write something about a trait I find common to Pinoys. You would easily notice this trait if you live outside the country. Sa atin kasi, lahat tayo halos ganito ang pag-uugali. Hence we tend to think of it as the normal behavior.

Normal sa Pinoy ang ayaw malamangan. Gusto natin tayo ang nakakalamang. I’ve seen this bahavior a lot of times among our kababayans. A Pinoy goes in to Burger King to buy a meal. At BK, the softdrinks are "bottomless" or one to sawa. The Pinoy will drink as much as he could while inside the store. Kahit sumakit pa ang tiyan.. Then on the way out, fill-up pa uli ang baso. Hindi palulugi.

The same with smorgasbord restaurants. Pinoys will try to get all the choice food on their plates, kahit na maubusan ang iba at kahit na pipilitin lang para ubusin.

Sa supermarket, half a cabbage is 75 cents, one whole is $1. A European caucasian person will get only half. Their thinking is they’ll waste food if all they need is half. A Pinoy will buy the one whole cabbage. A Pinoy’s thinking is that $1 for one whole is cheaper than 75 cents for half, regardless of whether he needs the whole cabbage or not. Ayaw natin ang ma-agrabiyado tayo. Makasarili tayo. Selfish. Ako muna bago ang iba. We fail to look at the bigger picture outside of ourselves.

Marami pang ibang ehemplo. ("Ehemplo", para akong titser nito a). Sa pag-dra-drive, siguro kaya chaotic ang traffic situation sa atin, isa nang dahilan ang ayaw natin ang nalalamangan. Kapag umuuwi tayo ng bansa, madalas ipinagmamalaki natin na hindi tayo nahirapan sa Customs kasi nag-lagay tayo. Actually, ipinagyayabang natin dito na naisahan natin ang ibang mga pasahero na hindi marunong maglagay.

I am not going to attempt to explain the Filipino psyche as far as this pag-uugali is concerned. Any explanation is just an excuse. And any excuse becomes a reason to do nothing. All I wish is for us to realize one simple character fault and with the knowledge consciously modify our behavior.

My wish is that Filipinos learn to be less selfish. Tigilan natin ang manlamang. Let's not think that because we do not acquire the most out of a given situation or transaction na tayo ay nalalamangan. Instead, let’s think that by being fair, we in fact are doing something good to others. And what’s good for others will ultimately also be good for oneself.


  • Maybe because Filipinos used to have nothing to start with. And when they do have, they tend to "maximize" so as not to feel they have not taken for granted the opportunity they were given. Just like in buffet. A Filipino who always eat in buffet need not be "selfish" to eat a lot more than he can. But take a Filipino who's rarely been in buffet, he can't help be curious in everything he's told to be edible.

    It is always easy to pin down on us Filipinos our acquired habits. As far as I know, we are a shy people. We do not think we're better than others but if we are trusted with a chance to do something, we do something. True for those successful migrants all over the world.

    I think it's not being selfish to "maximize" what you were given. We just need to be educated that not having any for quite a while doesn't mean we have to get everything even if we don't need to.

    On traffic, there's a different set of psyche for this one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:42 PM, April 11, 2007  

  • "will ultimately also be good for oneself". In the end selfish pa rin talaga.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:03 PM, August 30, 2007  

  • There is such a thing as being intelligently selfish. This is according to the Dalai Lama.

    "We cannot be useful to ourselves unless we are also useful to others. Whether we like it or not, we are all connected, and it is unthinkable to be happy all by oneself. Anyone who is only concerned by his own well-being will suffer eventually. Anyone who is concerned with the well-being of others takes care of himself without even thinking about it. Even if we decide to remain selfish, let us be intelligently selfish -- let us help others!"

    By Blogger Ka Uro, at 11:19 AM, August 31, 2007  

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