Filipino Society - Taking a Look at Amor Propio

Filipino Culture – Using a Glimpse at Amor Propio

Alright, I’ll be the initially to acknowledge that no one likes their culture currently being examined too closely – specially when it is being done by a fairly clueless outsider.   Americans in distinct, get a little peeved when foreigners remark on points that are going on within just American society.  But, if we are heading to occur to a superior understanding of exactly where and who we are, we have to take a glance at what is going on all around us.  I, for just one, obtain Filipino lifestyle and psychology to be instead fascinating – examining the record and the persons that manufactured modern modern society what it is these days.  And for us foreigners, I feel it is very important to appear at some of the undercurrents impacting the lifestyle so that we can improved have an understanding of why Filipinos do the issues they do.  More importantly, it can assistance us to steer clear of some of the errors we inevitably make in relating to the interpersonal communication and expectations that arise in Filipino culture.  God understands I’ve created my share and will – most possible – continue to do so as I blunder along trying to figure out the who, what and why of how factors perform here.

I also really do not want people to think that I am currently being crucial of the culture or that I seriously even know about what I am chatting about.  (Really don’t evah make that error!)   Most of what follows was collated by printed exploration, anecdotal reference and my have encounters in region.  Some of it could be correct – some of it may well be completely wrong.  And if I am mistaken – or if you have a little something to add – come to feel totally free to go away it in the comment portion.  All enter is appreciated!

So with out any additional ado, allows choose a appear at amor propio and the purpose it normally takes in Filipino society.  

Filipino Pride with Flag


In a former short article, we looked at hiya (shame/humiliation) and the part that it plays in Filipino tradition, specifically that of social communication.  In the blog entry, we are heading to look at the concept of amor propio, an part that complements hiya and adds to the complex intricacies of Filipino interpersonal associations.


What it Is

Amor propio very best translates as “self like.”  Whilst coming from the Spanish, it is really a notion that predated the Spanish occupation.  On the area, it can be seen as a feeling of self worthy of and/or self regard.  In western phrases it can loosely connected to the cultivation and servicing of moi.  Failing to provide right hospitality, passionlessly accepting criticism,  admitting incorrect, or pointing out that someone has bathroom paper on their shoe are all deemed violations of amor propio – the initially two a violation of self, and the latter currently being a violation of yet another persons.  Building on what we talked about previously, this sort of transgressions of self-worthy of can add to hiya – a pronounced sense of shame or embarrassment.


Who Is Influenced

Amor propio has an result on practically every single human being residing inside the Philippines.  Although it’s not essentially talked about brazenly – younger Filipinos could possibly not even know what it really is –  amor propio is however an integral element of the modern society and plays a huge section in interactions.  Men and women will frequently cite the have to have to be non-confrontational in the Philippines when it arrives to addressing difficulties with many others.  Most suppose that this is just a symptom of the “passive” character of the Filipino men and women, but it really stems from the need to have to not offend one more person’s sense of amor propio and carry on a perception of hiya/disgrace.  When Filipinos usually have challenges with each individual other, they will usually vacation resort to an intermediary to mediate the dispute.  On a local stage, the barnagay (neighborhood district) captain usually actions into the function of mediator, communicating the grievances and assisting the events in in search of some sort of resolution to the issue at hand.

 A current example of the slurring of the national amor propio, can be seen in the “20 Factors I Dislike About the Philippines” video accomplished by Jimmy Sieczka.  Jimmy’s expletive-laden tirade garnered the consideration of the Philippine consciousness and eventually led to him currently being declared persona non grata by the Cebu town council.  He later went on to apologize and clarify himself, but the damage had by now been carried out.  And whilst You Tube has pulled down the online video, you even now may well be equipped to see it below:

Notice that even while most (if not all) the items he notes are in fact true, it still resulted in him staying attacked on all sides.  This level of amor propio can even be seen in modern day libel and slander regulations in the Philippines, in which anyone can be held civilly culpable for “defamation of character” even if the allegations are wholly and objectively accurate!

 shame face in hands


Give Filipinos a Way Out

When working with individuals, it’s significant to maintain the ideas of amor propio and hiya in intellect.  Even if it’s a scenario in which you are in the suitable and the other individual is wholly incorrect, constantly attempt to give them a way out. 

Here’s a number of illustrations:

“Sorry, sir – that is out of stock.”

Keep away from:  “What do you indicate it’s out of stock – I see it proper there!”

As a substitute:  “Oh, you probably didn’t discover, but I imagine what I am searching for is correct there…”


A person cuts in front of you:

Stay clear of:  “Hey, jerkface – What, you never see me listed here??”

Alternatively:  “Excuse me sir, you almost certainly did not see me waiting around in the line….”


Adverse Outcomes of Amor Propio

Now, with all of this in thoughts, allows take a search at some of the results that amor propio and hiya/shame have on the tradition.

Obligation/BlameAmor propio/hiya can get in the way of individuals constructively having obligation for their actions.  On a personal amount, it can choose the type of persons not apologizing even if they were being entirely in the improper or even a tendency to blame other people for the offense.  Delight is an component of amor propio, and an case in point of it in motion is a woman refusing assistance from an ex-partner even however she could desperately want the dollars.  Another, a lot more simplistic instance, can be see in an individual not wanting to enable one more human being know that they have rest room paper on their shoe – for panic of offending that person’s perception of amor propio and bringing on a feeling of shame.

Lying:  Yes, outright lies.  Filipinos are not extremely fond of declaring “no” and consequently a “yes” you obtained previously in the day may possibly not in fact pan out.  Aggravating?  Of course, but only a part of living below.  If a dwelling helper is caught stealing, they will likewise deny all culpability, not just to steer clear of prosecution but to stay clear of the shame that would accompany these types of an admission.  Not to extensive in the past, a pal of ours walked out to his truck only to discover a couple of Filipinos making an attempt to steal his battery.  He chased them and was capable to flag down a police officer which resulted in their prompt apprehension.  Brought back to the scene of the criminal offense, the would-be battery nappers denied all accountability for the crime with wide-eyed sincerity.

Submission to Authority:  This can be most plainly observed by the partnership with the household – specially the anticipations placed upon little ones by their moms and dads.  Abuses come about on this degree, as moms and dads know that they make calls for without a lot anxiety of refusal as this would violate the son or daughters feeling of amor propio.  Overseas Filipino Personnel are a fantastic example of this, and while not all family members will abuse the revenue come again to them, there have been scenarios of Filipinos or Filipinas performing for a long time abroad and returning to the Republic only to obtain that all the money he or she has despatched over has been frittered away.  And with amor propio, there is very little room for complaint as to do that would bring on a feeling of shame (hiya) for questioning the will and requirements of the spouse and children.

Foreigners in interactions with Filipinas will frequently come across that their partners are underneath a great deal or strain to give financial guidance to their people.  Again, this is an situation of familial expectations and the violation to the companions sense of self esteem (amor propio) that outcomes if people anticipations are not satisfied.  Even prolonged relatives (uncles, cousins, etcetera.) will tension the Filipino or Filipina companion, viewing their partnership with a “wealthy” foreigner as a means to supply financial help on demand.

Lost Debts:  You will hear it explained that there is no these kinds of issue as a own mortgage in the Philippines, especially when it will come to the family members of your Philippine husband or wife.  As an alternative, “loans” are much more accurately referred to as “gifts,” as really making an attempt to acquire on a debt to family or buddies can convey on a violation of that person’s amor propio, so making shame/hiya.  It is a part of the society in this article to not confront a individual on an owed financial debt for anxiety of uncomfortable them.  Once again, continue to keep in intellect that Filipinos try not to be confrontational and will do just about anything in their ability not to rock the boat – even when it comes to a significantly-essential compensation of a mortgage.  Abuses happen here as some Filipinos determine that they won’t be questioned for the funds again.  To a foreigner, it is uncomplicated dishonesty to a Filipino, it is just normally par for course….

Narcissism(?):  I’m heading out on a limb listed here, but there just could be some kind of relationship in between amor propio and Filipino infatuation with taking selfies.  A analyze by Time magazine actually famous that Makati (the financial hub of Manila) is the selfie capital of the planet, and it doesn’t acquire a newcomer very long to know that Filipinos actually like getting their own picture.  An additional analyze conducted back in 2006, famous that Filipino gentlemen are two times as probable to assume they are sexually beautiful than other Asian countries that had been included in the review.  Coincidence or not, there could be anything to the cultivation of ego and self appreciate, narcissism, and the job of amor propio in the Republic of the Philippines.


The Selfie phenomenom NET

 Pinoy Yes Means...


Violating Amor Propio

If a person (or persons) experience as while their ego has been slighted, there are a range of methods that they can react.  Sumpong can final result, which triggers the offended human being to withdraw from the perceived offenders and isolate his or herself away even though going by means of a cooling off time period.  Tampo can also happen, in which the offended displays their anger by way of prolonged “silent treatments” and sulkiness.  These two principles – tampo becoming a far more intense form of sumpong – are distinctly Filipino and can also be observed throughout most of southeast Asia.  Once again, hiya/shame and the need to have to stay clear of direct confrontation are the wellsprings of these two social states.

Other, non-violent approaches of expressing disdain for the reason that of perceived case of violated amor propio also exist.  These can take the type of feuding assets homeowners denying road obtain or slicing drinking water or electric strains. 

Taken to a additional excessive level, violations of amor propio and hiya can turn into really violent – and sometimes fatal.  Murder, assault, and arson are not unheard of responses to violations of amor propio that are perceived as egregious.

Having it to the countrywide amount, collective amor propio can be a extremely serious trouble , acquiring in the way of addressing the pretty true concerns that plague the development of the Filipino folks, namely that of lagging infrastructure (roadways, internet, electrical supply, etc.), nearby and regional political corruption, difficulties in overseas company investiture, and the like.



Knowledge the principles of amor propio and hiya can supply some perception into how Filipinos imagine and communicate.  Most of us are acquainted with tampo, but it will help to know the place all those feelings and actions spring from.  And as a foreigner, do not believe that you are getting singled out – these items have an effect on just about every person living in the Philippines. 

So, no – you’re not alone, and you are not heading ridiculous.