Sense of Entitlement: the “Sakit” of Filipinos

One of the things a foreigner who has regular social interactions with Filipinos cannot help but observe is how, in the Filipino culture, the few who work hard and produce are viewed by the many who don’t produce or barely produce as people who somehow owe them something.

An army of people who nagtatambay (basically hang out aimlessly) all day long rely on their expatriate relatives for support.

Actually, even some expatriate Filipinos who do work hard but mismanage their money thereby ending up poor, often rely on the social welfare of the host country and feel entitled to governmental handouts.

Squatters in Manila feel entitled to occupy private properties or dump their garbage into the river because their being poor creates a psychological sense of entitlement, drivers feel entitled to own the road, people who did somebody a favour feel entitled to be shown utang na loob for decades and on and on this convoluted logic goes.

As I see it from my position as the “observer” of the Filipino mentality, this sense of entitlement is one of the major roadblocks and it is a sakit or disease that keeps Filipinos from making further progress.

Feelings of entitlement are the exact opposite of self-responsibility which is one of the indispensable ingredients to make any kind of progress, socio-economically and in any other way.

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