The Filipino Toxic Culture and How to Deal With It.

I have been married to a Filipina for 20 years now and I know a thing or two about the Philippines and its culture. I do love the Philippines and its outstanding landscapes, its mixture of Spanish, Asian and American architectures, its cuisine and so much more, and I would go back there one million times to explore every nook and cranny of the archipelago. What are some of the toxic traits of the Filipino mentality? But, unfortunately, the Philippines is not just those amazing and fascinating things. It is also some of the nasty things that, from time to time, I mention in my blog and that qualify as "toxic". These include: Bahala-na (basically leaving things to chance and then expecting a higher power to take care of the consequences) Ningas kugon (when Filipinos have no clear plans or goals and their plans and goals easily fizzle out) Filipino time (the habit of always showing up late at an appointment or not showing up at all)

Commands and Requests in Tagalog

Lapit, mga kaibigan at makinig kayo

Ako'y may dala-dalang balita galing sa bayan ko

Nais kong ipamahagi ang mga kwento

At mga pangyayaring nagaganap sa lupang ipinangako - Balita by Asin


"Lapit mga Pilipino at bumasa kayo ng blog ko, ako ay may mahalagang impormasyon tungkol sa wika ninyo, nais kong ipamahagi ang kaalamang ito....."


In the lyrics of this song we can see a couple of commands:


For example we can see the expression "makinig kayo" or, in other words, the infinitive form of the verb makinig (to listen) followed by the second person pronoun kayo.


Lapit mga kaibigan is a shortened form of "lumapit kayo mga kaibigan".


To soften a command and make it sound more polite, Filipinos use the particles nga or naman, kind of like when in English a command is followed by please.




makinig kayo (listen)

makinig kayo nga (listen please)

makinig kayo naman ("""""""")


A request in Tagalog is called "pakiusap" and the expression used to make a request is the expression PAKISUYO before the sentence, or the prefix PAKI- added to the verb root followed by the second person NG pronoun, mo or ninyo.


To soften the request nga and naman could be used


paki (please) + (verb) + naman




"Paki-lapit (naman) mga kaibigan at pakisuyo makinig kayo"="would you please draw close my friends and hear what I have to say?"


"paki-abot (nga) ang asin"="could you pass me the salt?"


To add emphasis to the request and say something like "please, please", I could add sige na naman.


Or I could introduce the request with baka naman pwede (maybe it is possible for you)


Another interesting expression is makisuyo or makisuyo naman




Nakikisuyo ako, lumapit kayo mga kaibigan....


Using the right words to express commands and requests is very important in the Filipino culture because Filipinos frown upon a Westerner who comes across as arrogant.


You can't for example tell a waiter "magdala ka ng..... (whatever it is that you are ordering)". It is way better to use softer expressions like "pakisuyo, pwede po ba ninyong dalhin ang.....?".


So these are the Tagalog expressions for commands and requests and make sure that you use the proper degree of these expressions depending on who you are talking to and in what context




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