There are two traits that seem to hinder the betterment of most Filipinos. These traits are the “bahala na” mindset and the selfish “kanya-kanya” or crab mentality.
One of the negative traits of Filipinos is due to their colonial roots. The bahala na mindset can be described as much reliance on one’s fate. Bahala na, a common expression in Filipino language, is manifestation of a fatalistic outlook, which weakens one will power to succeed in life. Bahala na literally means “leave it all to fate.”
This attitude can be traced back to the Filipino ancestral beliefs on superstitions, developing their dependence on the spirits. Because of this dependence, this kind of mindset promotes a self-limiting philosophy and a lack of initiative. It prevents the can-do attitude and one’s confidence to relying on his or her skills and efforts to provide solutions to problems.
The second negative trait of the Filipino nation is a selfish one: the kanya-kanya attitude or crab mentality. Crab mentality is a self-serving philosophy, which is usually a product of envy and jealousy. This metaphor refers to crabs trying to escape a pot.
As a crab, it can easily escape if alone. As a group however they grab at each other. This prevents any of them from escaping the pot because of this king of the hill competition. In the end, this crab mentality ensures their demise as a group, making these crabs a great feast for dinner. Filipinos usually believe that if one can’t have it, neither can you.
This is very evident when one fellow Filipino has achieved something positive in a situation. This character of many Filipinos is really counter-productive, keeping everybody down all their lives.
These two negative traits should be discouraged for Filipinos to grow better lives. It is up to the collective efforts of media, government, schools, and everyone to do this. We hope every single Filipino who reads this exerts an effort.