My Opinions and Personal Experiences with Fellow Pinoys

Wrong Priorities/Unwise Spenders

Back when credit cards were in the exclusive domain of the rich and famous, Pinoys use of credit was limited to the “lista” at the neighorhood grocery or sari-sari store or the “bombay” 5-6 lending business if one were a market vendor. Today, a regular job can get you qualified for a credit card with a low or high credit limit, depending upon the numbers in your ITR.

Borrowing money from friends, relatives or superiors/bosses is a practice that is tolerated in Philippine society. Most the time, the money being borrowed is “bridge money”. The often repeated story is that “may parating na pera”, (we are expecting some money) but it’s not here yet, and I need to :

  1. Purchase this “something”, (land, motor vehicle, cellphone etc) at a heavily discounted price. I don’t want to miss the opportunity so I need to borrow.

  2. Pay the tuition fee of my a.) daughter/son, b.) niece/nephew, c.) brother/sister

  3. Pay the overseas job placement fee of my a.) daughter/son, b.) niece/nephew, c.) brother/sister

  4. Pay a maturing loan.

  5. Pay hospital bills.

The list can go on but the story remains fundamentally the same : we are expecting some money.

Because of the liberal environment of credit card issuances in the Philippines, there has been a reported rise in payment defaults. I don’t have specifics but the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, I am sure has the details.

I personally know of someone who has maxed out his credit card and asked a colleague if he can use her credit card to purchase a flat screen TV. They started as friends, now they are no longer on speaking terms because the borrower can’t pay the installments payments on time, incurring additional charges on the poor cardholders account.

Many Pinoys like to borrow money but have difficulty paying back the loan. And this holds true for personal loans from relatives or friends as well as from credit card companies.

The deviant attitude towards the non-payment is similar in both cases. If its a relative or a friend, the borrower can always say, “pwede kong paki-usapan kasi kamag-anak ko naman” (I can negotiate with him anyway he is a relative, etc.) then they start being “invisible” come collection time.

If its a credit card company, they can just ignore the collection letters, change their cellphone numbers and ask their colleagues in office to tell the bill collector that they’re out on some errand.

Why do we have this problem ? There is no single answer. Perhaps, it is the Pinoy’s penchant to keep up with the Joneses.

Take the cellphone. One of my colleagues has a much superior phone than mine, his being in the 25K to 30K range and he is on prepaid. Mine’s a humble Nokia worth 7K but postpaid. I definitely earn 4 times my colleagues salary since he is rank and file. The fellow is always out of airtime load, pestering co-workers to “pasa-load” him so he can text his girlfriend. To this fellow his 25K cellphone is an “equalizer” putting him on same level as others who may drive their own car but use an inexpensive cellphone.

“Naka-kotse nga siya, mas maganda naman cellphone ko sa kanya” ( He’s got a car but I have a more expensive cellphone than he does).

Also, Pinoys do not appreciate the importance of saving money in a bank account. Majority have ATM accounts but these are corporate payroll accounts, half the time they’re empty until payday.

I personally know someone who has already borrowed money that this person has yet to earn. The 13th month pay is still months away but this fellow has already “pawned” her 13th month with their cooperative. This is a yearly occurrence. And when payment time comes in December, the person only pays half of her loan using her 13th month pay so the person is perennially in debt. It has become a vicious cycle.

Back to the “we are expecting some money” fantasy story. Sometimes this is true, money was on the way. Trouble is, when it arrives, it will be used for something else and not for debt repayment. And another fable is invented to placate the lender. The stories are endless one could write a small book of excuses.

The average Pinoy doesn’t know how to use credit. They become deadbeats of the first order.

Lines, Queues and Momentary Blindness.

Pinoys have a very weird concept of lines or queues. While people from more advanced societies understand that queueing up or falling in line means a warm body has to stand behind another warm body to form a column or a line, Pinoys have other ideas. To them, to queue up or line up (depends on which side of the Atlantic you were born or raised) means people standing five (5) abreast waiting to be attended to at a service counter with each individual thinking his/her transacton is more urgent than the rest. I’ve seen this happen a lot of times at the the immigration counter at the old NAIA-1 many years ago. Don’t know if it’s still happening today because I have stayed away from NAIA-1 for the last 9 years, preferring to use the national carrier when travelling. It is also a common occurrence at the baggage claim areas of large malls and at the Duty Free Philippines during Christmas time, people crowding the claim area ten (10) persons abreast.

And even if there was any semblance of line or queue, some Pinoys suffer from momentary blindess and jump the queue. Until someone standing in line tough and arrogant enough taps him/her gently on the shoulder and asks the person to stand in line. The usual response is

Sorry po, di ko napansin may pila pala” (Sorry, didn’t notice there was queue) delivered in a very sheepish manner.

This happened to me at LTO four (4) months ago. I was waiting in the queue about three (3) feet away from the guy transacting on the window counter. The guy ahead was just finishing up when out of the blue this riff-raff who reeked of dried sweat mixed with carbon dioxide fumes jumped the queue. Before the SOB could shove in his documents inside the counter,

I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Pare, naka-pila kami dito”, pumila ka rin”.(We are on the queue, so you join the queue.)

The SOB grabbed his documents and moved to the end of the line.

Poor Listeners or Clumsy and Stupid Counter Crew ?

At the NLEX branch of a large american franchise burger joint some time ago, I was placing an order for a “no-pork and no-beef” item- something called extra long chicken meal (a dietary restriction but not dictated by a religion or a cult). I was very emphatic with the counter crew about my food preference,

ini-iwasan ko ang baboy at baka” (I’m staying away from pork and beef) I told her.

The counter crew was all smiles while she punched my order on the cash register. After paying, I was given a number and told to wait at my table and a crew will deliver my order in a few minutes. The crew brought me a burger meal that had bacon with it, priced the same as my legitimate order. I sent it back. The counter crew wasn’t listening or she punched the wrong item. The store manager was very apologetic but I was in a jovial mood that day so I let the minor issue pass without having to lecture the crew on the fundamentals of customer service.

Still at the NLEX, but this time at the branch of a homegrown burger joint. My group (five of us) arrived early morning for breakfast. While the female crew was punching our individual orders, a crew from the outgoing shift standing at the customer side of the counter was talking to the female crew about something that sounded personal. The female crew was nodding at the outgoing crew and was saying, “ok, sige, akong bahala”, or words to that effect. Picture this: the counter crew was taking and punching our orders while simultaneously carrying on a private conversation with a fellow crew member from the outgoing shift. End result: We had two wrong orders. We complained to the store manager. As always, store managers of fastfood joints will appear and sound apologetic but whether the guilty crew gets sanctioned or punished is doubtful. Most they get is a friendly admonition or a wrist-slap. So they continue to get employed and cause more problems along the way.

Published in Filipino Customer Service, Filipino Stupidity


  1. Profile gravatar of TheD

    This is the norm here unfortunately.

    Prime example:
    It was xmas time and I was at the mall with my shopping waiting in the taxi queue. There had been no taxis for a while. A woman with a sleeping child on her shoulder and bags waited in line. I talked to the attendant and asked if I could let her go in front of me and the attendant agreed. The woman was extremely thankful.
    Now it’s my turn. A taxi pulled up and a family of brutes pushed to the front. I asked them what the hell was going on and they said “we were here waiting before that woman. You had no right to let her jump the queue”.
    I honestly did not know what to say. My blood boiled and I blurted out “I hope you all die in a crash on your way home, you fucking ongas”.
    I then turned to the other people in the queue and apologized for my outburst, stating that it was just common manners to let a woman and child go first and some people have no manners at all. They nodded in agreement.
    But what can you do? If you say anything, you are usually the one that gets blamed.
    I usually turn to the nearest security guard and say “Kuya, I’ll give you 5000 pesos if I can borrow your gun for 5 minutes while you turn your back on this situation”.

  2. Profile gravatar of MalditoKano

    Wouldn’t have happened if the others in line would have ganged-up on these monkeys and taken turns beating them to a pulp.

    I have experienced and witnessed countless instances of Filipino discourtesy, but there are a couple in particular that warm the cockles of my heart when I fondly remember them, because the score was Foreigner: 1, Flip: 0.

    In the first, an expat friend and I were waiting for a jeepney at a local mall, as the few taxis that went by were occupied and none were coming into the waiting area at the time, and there are no tricycles at this mall. The couple of other jeeps present were not going our way.

    A tall, lanky fellow in his 60s, my buddy wanted to ride shotgun in the cab because he had trouble getting into and out of the back, as they are constructed for midgets and doing so without hitting his head on the roof required him to assume a painfully uncomfortable contortion of crouching and bending his torso 90 degrees. He was also tired, as his health was not the best.

    After waiting for 20 minutes or so in the withering heat, a mostly-empty jeepney with the correct marked route finally pulled up. Relieved, he reached for the handle of the front door, when a snotty Pinay who had just come along–her nose so way up in the air it should have glowed like Rudolph’s to warn low-flying aircraft–pushed in front of his arm, grabbed the door handle, opened the door and got in, slamming the door behind her. My friend, gobsmacked at the chutzpah of this entitled princess, quickly wrenched the door open, and she gasped as he grabbed her by the arm, physically hauling her out of the cab and unceremoniously depositing her to the sidewalk in one fluid motion. Bet she didn’t expect that!

    Incensed that my friend, a mere ‘pooreigner’, had the unmitigated gall to displace her from her ‘throne’, she was red-faced, cursing at him like a drunken sailor, “You fucking Kano shit!” as my friend, as if admonishing a child, pointed his finger in her face and lectured her in a stern but composed voice about common courtesy. Of course, it fell on deaf ears as she walked away, stomping her feet and still swearing under her breath, too embarrassed to get into the back of the jeepney with the ‘common folk’.

    My friend shrugged and calmly got into the cab. Of course other Flips were standing around, agape at this spectacle like baboons watching one of their compadres taken down by a lion, but no one tried to intervene–things would’ve gotten ugly had some pseudo-chivalrous Beta male foolishly chosen to do so, as is so common in the States (thank goodness feminism and its attendant ills haven’t tainted this culture to the degree of the former!)

    Our buddy the security guard, who earlier was letting us fondle his MAC-10 copy, had seen the whole thing and was laughing, giving my friend the thumbs-up sign. My companion explained things to the driver, who agreed that the bitch was “no good!”

    The second case also involves a Pinay with an attitude problem. Same friend and I were on a Garage-to-Terminal Express (GT) van enroute to our homes from another mall. My long-legged buddy was cramped in an uncomfortable position, his knees aching as the fold-down seat in front of his was occupied by a heavy-set Flip. At a stop along the way, the passenger disembarked, mercifully taking the pressure off my pal’s knees–but not for long.

    A haughty-looking Pinay who had been sitting adjacent decided she needed more personal space, despite already having two persons’ worth, quickly sliding over to the folding seat, reclining its back firmly against my friend’s knees, causing him to groan in pain. He tapped her on the shoulder, politely asking her to move back to where she originally was, explaining that her new position was causing him a great deal of discomfort. She whipped-out her iPhone and ignored him.

    My friend boiled-over and pushing forward with all his might, folded both the seat and the bitch literally in half, yelling, “You inconsiderate cunt! You had a full meter of space where you were, you can see my legs are cramped and yet you ignore me when I ask you nicely to move?!” She muttered some expletives, but did not budge.

    He decided to teach the recalcitrant twat a lesson, and leaned forward with all of his weight on the seatback so that she was forced into a most uncomfortable pitched-forward position, saying, “See how you like this, you fucking bitch!” She actually maintained this for several minutes in what I can only assume was a stubborn show of ‘Pinoy pride’, until she could bear it no longer and grudgingly relocated to her former place with an audible “humph!”, returning her attention to her phone.

    As she disembarked, she glared at my friend with a look that could freeze molten lava. Throughout this ordeal, none of the other passengers said anything, wisely pretending to be absorbed in their mobile devices.

  3. Profile gravatar of 30-30

    worst case of bullying and plain ignorance, i seen was in sm hypermart.
    my wife and I were in line of SM Prestige ,, which is a cashier till that is reserved for high spenders.
    anyway,, this woman is complaining in the local lingo, about how she forgot her Prestige card in her PHOOOEY viton bag at home. She rags and bitches on the cashier so much,, the cashier was crying and tears coming out of her eyes. she finally got some relief to recompose herself..
    If that would have in my home country or if i understood the local pigeon english,, I would have give that bitch a real excuse to compliain
    anybody ever tried that crap in my country,,,,,, I would have went postal on her. I think the women in this country are maybe more evil than the men.. anybody want to vote on that??????


    1. Profile gravatar of EarthAngel

      I wanna shoot you dead with a water gun hahahahaha I am on a LOL ROLL you have my vote that this bitch is evil but not all women here are super bad as u think because some are just plain full of pride they think lowly of others as some form of defense mechanism of their insecurities but nevertheless, these bitches would find their match you’ll see.

    2. Profile gravatar of Spartacus_killingus

      I would say 80% of women think they are superior to others in some way, and 99.99% of men think they are God’s gift to the world. Like literally thinking “Im the best” at what? Well, everything they think.

      Best singer, best looking, best talent, smarter, braver, more manly. women, just like to gossip about how horrible everyone else is and how they are smarter and more clever, and “classy”.

      Two turds talking shit about each other , is all it is.
      I would rather deal with the straight forward bluntness of the dumb fucking men here thinking they are better, than the sneaky conniving bullshit the women try to pull off. These wanna be high maintenance bitches, piss me off.

  4. Profile gravatar of Orange

    Lines, Queues and Momentary Blindness. – I AGREE!

    I remember when I was at the Detroit Airport while all of us were lining up at the immigration booth. A lot of these Filipinos just went straight to the booth , even after we were told not stay behind the yellow line.

    Of course these people from the airport yelled at them

  5. Profile gravatar of Tapusnako

    “American occupation enlarged the space of Filipino wandering, including America , and there is documented evidence of Filipino presence in America as far back as 1587.” Did I miss something here? Would love to see that documented evidence. Perhaps the history of the US could be rewritten to exclude the Mayflower arriving in 1620!