The Pinoy Way is that set of behaviors, mannerisms, and cultural idiosyncrasies which have become a staple and hallmark of Filipino culture and society as we see it manifest today.
Filipino culture is seemingly built up on three pillars of dysfunction. This means that all the observed dysfunctional behaviors of Filipinos as of yet (I or other GRP writers have yet to see an exception) can be traced to or can be seen as a manifestation of these three. They are:
1) Pwede-na-iyan – that’ll do. Filipinos are merely content with satisfying minimum requirements and wallowing in mediocrity.
2) Bahala na – often expressed as “fatalistic behavior”, and roughly translated as “come what may”, it refers to the Filipinos’ tendency to “leave things to fate” instead of taking the time to think things through.
3) Culture of impunity – Filipinos, quite simply, are very tolerant of wrongdoing and rather incapable of keeping in check, for the right reasons, those among their own who exceed the boundaries of what can be considered upright, decent, and civilized behavior.
With those in mind, let’s enumerate certain behavioral tendencies that are readily observable in Filipino society:
1) The me-first attitude – Filipinos express this, for example, through cutting lines, maniacally driving through roads, or perpetually having the mindset of “what’s in it for me” over “what can I contribute to the greater good”. This behavior also prevents them from working together to achieve things that they need to achieve as a society.
2) The pakiusap mentality – as GRP webmaster benign0 has put it, this usually shows itself through, at best, making appeals for consideration that take into account unforeseen circumstances, or at worst, a request to work around established rules.
3) The diskarte mentality – diskarte is a quintessential Filipino term that usually refers to finding a way to get things done (gawan ng paraan), and more often than not it involves skirting rules, laws and procedures that are perceived to be cumbersome, even if they are established and necessary.
4) The victim mentality – Filipinos see themselves as unfortunate victims of circumstance, and are quick to blame their misfortunes on external factors. They also like to pull this card whenever they find themselves on the unfavorable or losing side of an argument. Never mind that there are cases wherein their situations which were a result of a wrong decision that they made.
5) Going through the motions – Filipinos, as a collective, are up to this day and age rather incapable of thinking about and doing things differently. They keep doing the same things over and over and yet expect different results.
6) The culture of entitlement – somewhat related to the me-first attitude. Filipinos like to think that they deserve a better fate, or that they deserve a better government, without putting up the effort and generating the results needed for better things to happen. They think that simply by virtue of being Filipino, good things should happen to them.
7) Pinoy Pride – is something that GRP writers (including yours truly) have written extensively about. The most common manifestation of this is that Filipinos take the accomplishments of individual countrymen, those who succeeded on foreign soil, and attach them to the entire Filipino ethnic group, and try to pass them off as proof that the entire Filipino ethnicity is “great” and “respectable”. Yeah, Manny Pacquiao! Yeah, Pia Wurtzbach!
8) Inability to accept criticism – I don’t think anything more really needs to be said about the Filipinos’ balat-sibuyas tendencies and their paper-thin ego that takes everything personally.
There are many more behavioral tendencies out there that can be mentioned. I leave it as an exercise to the readers to link and these behaviors to and derive them from the three pillars of Filipino cultural dysfunction mentioned at the start of this article.
Now comes the obvious question:
What are Filipinos going to do differently in the coming years?
This is something to take into consideration, all the more important in 2016 because it is an election year. Filipinos will take to the polls once again to wield the power of the vote and to show what Filipino democracy is (or isn’t) capable of. They had a chance to do things right six years ago, when the pool of candidates seemed to be much more qualified. This time, the list of candidates seems to read like a bunch of buffoons and a contest to see who deserve to be called Dumb and Dumber.
As has been stressed here in GRP many times over, problems cannot be solved using the same thinking that creates and propagates them.
Indeed, the Force seems strong with Filipinos this time, but it is the Force of Stupid. Nah, let’s just call it the Dumb Side of the Force.