Filipino Time: Is Geography to Blame?

Do you want to conduct a meeting here in the Philippines? If you want to meet at 12 noon, set the call time at least an hour before that. It’s a common strategy employed by businessmen and even casual friends in the country to ensure that the ones they’re meeting come on time. It doesn’t…

Bahala Na: Hopeful or Fatalistic?

If you’ve been living in the Philippines for a while now, you might have noticed that a lot of people use the Tagalog phrase, “bahala na.” While it has no direct English translation, Filipinos usually say it when pertaining to a future with an unknown outcome. The closest might be the popular Spanish expression que sera…

Behind the Filipino Smile: What Makes Pinoy Optimism Unique

Why is the Philippines one of the happiest places on Earth? It’s not uncommon for this question to arise in anyone’s head when he hears of news and surveys that make that claim. Factors like corruption, poverty, and unemployment continue to plague the country, so how does happiness persist in conditions that are seemingly not…

Culture’s three-way mirror

In our Cultural Psychology class with Sir Jon Diestro in De La Salle University-Manila, we studied about the three divisions of the self in relation to culture. No, this isn’t the usual Freudian id (child), ego (adult), superego (parent) divisions of the self that have been popular for a century now. This time, we have…

Time-less

There was a time when I had become convinced that time did not exist; that this concept of “time” that the whole universe allegedly runs on was all made up. After all, didn’t we base our clock according to the rotation of the planet Earth? And didn’t we create the calendar to correspond with the…