Redditors sharing Pinoys’ weirdest flexes expose toxic cracks in Filipino culture - TrueID

Redditors sharing Pinoys’ weirdest flexes expose toxic cracks in Filipino culture

Coconuts ManilaOctober 16, 2022

While Filipino culture is great in many ways — with our warmth and sense of kin and community among a long list of admirable qualities — like every other culture, it has its own faults and toxic traits. And when one has been embedded in a culture for a long time, these traits can sit inside our collective blind spots until someone else points them out.

Considering all the great things Filipinos can take pride in, it’s bizarre how often people end up making weird flexes about things that, quite frankly, expose the shitty cracks in our culture.

This was illustrated recently in a rather saucy Reddit thread, where digitally-connected generations of Filipinos dare to discuss issues many of us would have a hard time opening up about around the dinner table.

A user, u/misspromdi, posed a question on the r/Philippines subreddit that has been making the rounds on the platform recently: “What is something people brag about that they shouldn’t?”

“Game! How would you answer this in the Philippine context?” the user asked.

In just a day, the thread racked up around 1,000 comments as people poured their hearts out to Internet strangers about the strangest things people brag about — from the amusingly bizarre to the annoying and grating. If there’s one thing that this range of observations has in common, it’s that they’re emblematic of certain toxic Filipino traits and problematic societal expectations.

We gathered some of the most cringe-worthy and relatable below.

Many Filipinos apparently brag about their jobs.

In a society where your profession can sometimes equate with social status, this kind of thinking is hardly surprising — yet no less cringey. OP u/misspromdi talked about a friend who wouldn’t stop boasting about the fact that they work at Google.

“I have a friend who got in Google and each chance they get, they manage to squeeze in the conversation the benefits they get at Google to the point it’s gotten annoying. My friends and I have turned it into a joke, like when someone has good news to share, we say, ‘Oh, but we have that at Google.”

Meanwhile, another user, u/bootthebooth, mentioned bragging about one’s profession as a way to one-up the other. “‘Tangina ka abogado/doctor/police/architect/engineer ako.’ (Fuck you, I’m a lawyer/doctor/police officer/architect/engineer.) Especially towards the less fortunate,” they said.

“The ‘Do you know who/what I am?!’ energy,” another replied..

“As students, we’re being reminded not to forget the titles you put at the end of your name (i.e. LPT, MD) because some professionals are really particular about it. I know someone in my college who doesn’t want to be called Ma’am or Doc, she should be called Doctor, as in the full word,” u/marasdump shared.

Other people also brag about being too busy or overworking themselves. “Not a fan of glorifying working overtime. They even brag about eating at 5pm and skipping lunch, and works until 11pm (while on a dayshift), then posting about it on Facebook,” u/_xiaomints wrote.

“When they make working a personality trait yet they earn minimum wage,” u/wyxlmfao added.

Some like to flex about their finances.

A weird flex that could potentially compromise people’s safety? Some Filipinos are apparently here for it. One user mentioned knowing someone who posts screenshots of their bank account on Instagram stories.

“The contents of their bank account, screenshotted and posted on Stories. How embarrassing,” u/mummiemilker wrote.

Meanwhile, another user claimed they know someone who loves bragging about their credit card limit. “I remember my former co-worker bragging about her 7 credit cards and low-key boasting that banks were chasing and “stressing” her out to sign up for another credit card,” u/Impressive-Collar-99 said.

While some brag about finances for social status, others apparently gloat about their children as breadwinners — a common feature in local culture where children are expected to care for and be their parents’ “retirement plans” once they get older.

“‘Yan ang bumubuhay sa akin/amin’ (He’s the one keeping us alive) — by some parent who is so proud to burden their children to become breadwinners though they’re still fully capable of working,” u/jencocotree said.

“The ones bragging that their five-year-old said that once they start working, the parents won’t need to work anymore. Why would you want this for your child?” u/MaeToMontreal chimed in.

Other users pointed out that some parents loved to romanticize child labor. “Child labor is too romanticized in the Philippines to the point that other kids would rather not finish their studies or enjoy their childhood. What makes it worse is that their parents’ irresponsibility is what pushes them to look for jobs,” u/Chemical_XYZ said.

Others like to brag about their clearly problematic views.

User u/followthebuzzards_92 railed about men who brag about their sexual exploits. “Body count. Lalaki ako pero hindi ako naaastigan sa ganun,lalo na sa mga kabataang ‘uy pre tignan mo pic nitong chick,naka-ano ko yan.’ (I’m a guy but I don’t find it cool, especially with youths who go, ‘Dude look at a pic of this chick, I did you-know-what to her.)”

Others complained about people who brag about cheating the system, such as cutting in line, under the guise of diskarte (resourcefulness/street smarts). “When they dupe the system or managed to break the rules and not get caught,” u/ridonkul mentioned.

“Being ‘street-smart’ when what they really do is disregard law and order. No trash can? Just leave it by the sidewalk! Pedestrian lane too far? Just jaywalk,” u/hasturcomesforth wrote.

“All other favors or special treatment they get — then play the victim card when they get called out,” u/bimpossibIe said.

“Most of us got used to being fucked by the system that we feel elated when we cheat the system back, even if we have to fuck somebody over for it,” u/jkgaks agreed.

Other users also brought up toxic Filipino traits such as romanticizing resiliency. “We don’t demand for better treatment since we’re resilient. We’ll rise up and smile again after a disaster or a difficult time when we could have a better government which actually cares for its people,” u/httpsplyprv wrote.

Colonial mentality, or the belief that colonial powers are superior to Filipino qualities, also apparently continues to persist — such as teaching kids to speak English without knowing how to speak Tagalog. “Bragging about how their Filipino child does not know how to speak or understand [Tagalog],” u/OkTale2180 said.

Yikes. If this thread is any indication, it seems that it’s time for all of us to look at ourselves in the mirror and do some serious reflection. To read more of those responses, click here.

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