A friend complained to me one time about an arrogant resident in the subdivision where we both live. The man is just living with his relatives, not a home owner. He was a “mere tricycle driver” yet he has the guts to complain about a dog that accidentally escaped from the cage. The dog however was immediately caught and brought back to his cage. So what’s the reason he should be complaining. My friend, being a professional at that and who did not mind other people’s business, didn’t like the idea being accosted by anybody without any valid reason.
Sensing the tricycle driver was just trying to catch attention just ignored him and left him to avoid trouble. But the guy was so stupid (walang modo at pinag-aralan) enough not to understand the gesture of my friend, avoiding trouble, followed him and kept complaining. And finally my friend got tired and told the man, “If you think my dog committed a crime for escaping in his cage, better bring this case to the court and let the judge decide on it.”
That’s the only time the man stopped following my friend.
“Tricycle driver lang napakaarogante na ang gago. Anong akala niya sa kanyang sarili? (he is a mere tricycle driver yet he’s so proud and arrogant. What does he think of himself).
To cool of my friend I just told him, “relax ka lang pare, kulang lang iyan sa pansin (relax my friend, that jerk is only trying to catch attention).”
“Ano kaya kung naging abogado pa ang tarantado, di lalong mayabang pa iyan at mangaapi pa ng iba (What if he became a lawyer he could have been more arrogant and perhaps even oppressed other people)?
I have been personally studying Filipino arrogance over the years. It is quite amusing to note, Filipinos who have been former slaves have the tendency to enslave other Filipinos. Even a Filipina domestic helper who had been treated like slave serving her foreign employer acts like a “donya” (a very rich woman) when she returns home. It is common to see Filipino contract workers when they come home spend all their earnings buying expensive appliances, giving up parties, and wear valuable jewelries, etc. just to show up.
“Mayabang talaga ang mga Filipino, maporma. Matabi lang sila sa mga makapangyarihang tao akala nila ay napakataas na nila. Kaya huwag mong tularan ang mga ganitong klase ng tao (Filipinos are very proud; they are very showy of their possessions. If they have some rich and influential friends in the government, they think they are already that high and untouchable. Don’t imitate these kinds of people,” my grandfather used to tell me.
“Ay masyado tayong mayabang na mga Pilipino kahit walang pinagyayabang. Mga kawalan natin sa buhay ay pilit na ikinukubli sa pagyayabang. (We Filipinos are too arrogant, we can’t accept our deficiencies in life that’s why we kept on hiding them through our arrogance,” my auntie Feliza who is a retired High School principal kept on telling us.
Related to this perspective I remember what my grandfather, who worked as a sugar cane planter in Hawaii, used to remind us. “Ang kayabangan, katamaran, at kasakiman ay mga negatibong katangian na naglalayo sa mga tao sa pag-unlad. Kung hindi magbabago ang mga Pilipino sa ganitong pag-uugali, mapagiiwanan tayo (Arrogance, indolence, and greed will be our greatest obstacles to progress. If Filipinos will not discard these negative values, we will always be left behind).
While this does not apply to all Filipinos, I believe many of those who sink in poverty have one way or the other allowed these negative traits to rule their lives. Is poverty a consequence of negative “valueing”?
“You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 8:17-20
Pride is natural to the human heart. Would one suppose that such a people, after their slavery at the brick-kilns, should need the thorns of the wilderness to humble them? But such is man! And they were proved that they might be humbled. None of us live a single week without giving proofs of our weakness, folly, and depravity. To broken-hearted souls alone the Saviour is precious indeed.
Nothing can render the most suitable outward and inward trials effectual, but the power of the Spirit of God. See here how God’s giving and our getting are reconciled, and apply it to spiritual wealth. All God’s gifts are in pursuance of his promises. Moses repeats the warning he had often given of the fatal consequences of forsaking God. Those who follow others in sin, will follow them to destruction. If we do as sinners do, we must expect to fare as sinners fare.
It’s sad to learn that many Filipinos abroad do not want to be identified as Filipinos anymore because they are ashamed and bitter about the negative traits and characteristics of their fellow Filipinos. Who wants to be identified as an inhabitant to one of the most corrupt countries in the world? Who wants to be identified with people who are arrogant, lacking in discipline, prying on other people to survive, and being opportunistic? Who wants to be identified with people who behave like vipers, who like crabs pull each other down, and too difficult to unite? Who love to deal with liars, plunderers, and perhaps even those who commit murders? You can not change the fact that you are a Filipino for simply ignoring you are a Filipino.
But being born a Filipino you can not change what you are even if you change your citizenship. Better love your own people, do whatever you can to help transform the Filipinos to become one of the most respected people in the world. But prepare yourself if ever, the way is long. It will take many years to see a transformed Philippine society.
But there is a shortcut to this. Jesus said, “I am the truth, the way and the life.” There is still a time to repent and be transformed to conform with the glory and righteousness of God.