Bahala-na and Kabalisahan

The Tagalog word for anxiety is kabalisahan.

It may appear that because Filipinos have a bahala-na (whatever will be will be) approach to things, they must be among the least anxious people on earth.

Because I live with a Filipina I can say that bahala-na doesn’t take anxiety away, on the contrary it causes a lot of unnecessary kabalisahan.

A typical example is budgeting money: many Filipinos whom I know are pretty careless about it and, although they do earn, they find themselves in a state of financial emergency every now and then because of lack of financial planning which, of course, creates much kabalisahan.

So bahala-na, far from removing kabalisahan, actually creates a lot of it and the fact itself that the word kabalisahan exists in the Tagalog language suggests that, despite bahala-na, Filipinos do get anxious.

Even if most Filipinos believe what Panginoong Jesus said, namely “huwag mabalisa”, they actually struggle to apply this counsel because of the bahala-na si Batman attitude…

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