Wednesday, January 26, 2011



1.      What is Ningas Kugon?

    Ningas-kugon is one of the top negative Filipino traits which is characterized by somebody who is very enthusiastic at the beginning of a project, but then in the end, will leave it unfinished. “Ningas” is a noun which means flame, blaze or combustion, while “kugon” or “cogon” is a grass which can be easily burned with its representation, the fast ablazing of cogon-, signifies Filipinos’ way of eagerness only at the beginning and immediate loss of interest when it approaches its end (which never happens).

2. What are its negative effects in life?

   a). You won’t be able to finish everything on time.
   b). You will always be cramming and might have unwanted results and unbearable mistakes because of hurrying.
   c). You might become lazy and unreliable and people will see these as a hindrance to connecting with you.
   d). You’re bound to waste material, efforts and time.

3. Tips to Overcome Ningas-kugon trait :

   a). Give and accept more compliments and encouragements – this is to avoid hopelessness, rather gives strength and enthusiasm to finish what has been started.
  b). Avoid starting a project if you know you know in yourself that you cannot finish it.
  c). Be aware of the consequences of procrastination and reflect on these.
  d). Ask help from somebody else, that way the work will be easier and there will be lesser chances of not finishing it.
 e). Make it a point that finishing what you started will reflect who you are and what you have achieved.

4. What dose the Bible say about procrastination/Ningas-kugon?

    “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” – Proverbs 13:4


1.      What is Manana?
  Manana is a Spanish word which means “tomorrow” or “morning” and it could also means as “putting something off until another time.” This is where the Filipino’s phrase “mamaya or mamaya na” came from. This trait was instilled to the Filipinos during the Spanish era in which they use this habit in work and serious business as a silent protest to the invaders.

2.      What are its negative effects in life?
              a). It delays transactions and corporations; plans and progress.
              b). Other people will find you unreliable, as well.
              c).  You’ll have a harder time finishing your tasks – in short, you’ll be a
             victim of procrastination again.
             d). You’ll have regrets in later life for those things that you could have
             done when you still had the time.

3.      Tips to overcome Manana:
    a). Take away those distractions or move away from them and do everything that needs to be done.
    b). Focus.
    c). Plan and make a schedule for your activities/tasks and know your priorities.
    d). Save leisure activities for later and do what’s more important.
    e). Do not underestimate your tasks even if they are small, and do not get comfortable if your tasks seem easy.

4.      What does the Bible say about Manana?

             “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may
           bring.” – Proverbs 27:1

“Crab Mentality”

  1. What is Crab Mentality?

   This trait started overflowing in the minds of Filipinos during the years  when Spain was ruling over Philippines. This trait was their way to survive during the times of Spaniard invasion. Filipinos was the first know as “indios” and they lost their rights to life, liberty and property, and for them to survive these cruel era, they made ways to be favored by the Spaniards even if it means trampling over their “kapwa Filipino”. To be in good graces with the Spanish colonizers that time, one needs to be loyal and hardworking, but since that is too hard to do, an easier way was done through destroying the reputation of the other and present their own qualities to be favored by the Spaniards. Such mentality of pulling down others to get to the top still continues in the modern-day Filipinos.

  1. What are its negative effects in life?

     a). Hate will overcome your hearts and you will soon look into everyone as enemies.
     b). Mistrust and misjudgments will arouse. 
     c). Gossips and foul talk will emerge and can destroy and hurt other people.
     d). It will be hard to trust and talk to everybody.
     e). There will be unfair relations between people.
     f). One could hurt others, and the other could get hurt because of what others say about them.

  1. Tips to overcome “Crab Mentality”

            a). Learn to stop complaining.
            b). Stay positive and surround yourself with positive people.
            c). Do not always think of being perfect.
            d). Give yourself importance and also do the same with others.
            e). Be reminded that it is wrong to talk ill behind other people’s back.
            f). Go away from negative influences and keep our eyes open for other  
         crabs around us. Set a good example of a non-crab-mentality-pursuer to
            g). Accept that all humans are created equal and should have what they

  1. What does the Bible say about Crab Mentality?

“There is neither Jew, nor Gentile, neither slave nor king, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28

“Filipino Time”

  1. What is Filipino Time?

        Filipino time is a coined phrase for the embarrassing affliction of tardiness among Filipinos. It has become a phenomenon and impression for Filipino Schedule, making it a characteristic of Filipinos to be generally late. Obviously, this trait was also an influence from the Spanish occupiers for people would rather give more attention to their amor propio (hiya), in some events than going there as early as possible. This trait is also a root of the “manana habit”.

  1. What is its negative effect in life?

a). You’ll miss a lot of important once-in-a-life time experiences/events.
b). It’ll be a bad impression imprinted on your personality. People will look to you as a “latecomer” whom you can rely on.
c). Time, again, will be wasted in waiting.
d). It’ll be hard to catch up with what you hurried (work or classes), and it’ll bring across more problems that can pull you to being incompetent and unreliable later in the end.

  1. Tips to overcome Filipino Time:

a). Do not let time pass by and wait for you – rather you should start waiting for it.
b). Set a time plan or table and arrange your schedules. Use alarm clocks or notes so that you’ll be aware of the time plan. Manage your time.
c). It would really be helpful if you set your clock or watch 5-15 minutes earlier than the original time –this way you’ll have extra time that you’ll avoid of being late again.
d). Learn to move fast and in pronto; time is irreplaceable.
e). Do not feel awkward if you’re early on time for this only shows how mature you are in time management.

  1. What does the Bible says about being late?

“You must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” – Luke 12:40

“Bahala Na”

  1. What is Bahala Na?

      It is a Filipino cultural trait which became an expression of fatalistic attitude of Filipinos. It is believed that “Bahala” was derived from the word “Bathala” and now the phrase “Bahala na” signifies the Filipinos’ way of learning the rest to the care of God. It has a lot of meanings, but it is more associated with the primary sense of “come what may; It is up to God”. But then, this worldview is fatalistic, for it relies on fate which is from the Islamic beliefs.

  1. What are its negative effects?

a). It will motivate a person to not act once and just leave out all the rest to the Lord or to other people.
b). Poverty will remain and will be hard to be given solutions.
c). Loss of opportunities.

  1. Tips to overcome “Bahala na”.

a). Try to take risks and act to solve what’s in front of us. Remember that, “nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa”. We should be the one to move first and ask the guidance of God while working – not simply leaving it all out to Him.
b). Be optimistic and encouraging in all that you do. Know that there’s nothing impossible, just work and pray.
c). Help other people who seem to not bear their problems/sufferings.
d) Pray and be moved.
e). Don’t let fate handle everything.
4. What does the Bible say about the “Bahala na” statement?

   “He who sows wickedness reaps troubles.” – Proverbs 22:8


  1. well-said. i like how you included bible passages to support your point. :))

  2. I'm a filipino and I accept what has been said :D No hard feelings...

  3. Here's some positive meanings for Bahala na...

  4. And here's the opposite of crab mentality—shine mentality—being happy for others...

  5. Thank you so much for this very informative article. I am an American missiologist working in the Philippines. Your descriptions of these five negative traits of a people I love dearly will be very helpful as I work on a contextualized leadership strategy in the Philippines. Blessings.

  6. Dude, I'm impressed. I'm American but lived in Manila 16 years and now in Bangkok for 14, as well as HK and Bali, more than ½ my life in Asia.

    It's refreshing to hear the candid Filipino soul, a stark difference to other surrounding countries.

    Might we correspond? A few things I'd like to say but better said in private. I'd like to offer my help. And I just wrote something (in rough draft form) about the Philippines and the results of Spanish occupation and I would greatly appreciate your help and perspective.

    Line: concoxxion

    Please DO contact me, "writers' guild" and fellowship and all.
    ;~) Any other thinkers, writers, armchair sociologists or possible friends, please likewise feel free to contact me.