How “crabby” are we?

This  is  a high-wire  question.   But,   I  do not  actually refer  to the  strict  meaning  of  the word,   which his  “grouchy”,  “irritable”,  “ill-natured”,  “peevish”.   What  I  am  actually referring  to  is about  the  Filipinos’  “crab  mentality”.  

So   are  we  “crabby” in  our  mentality?  How  many  say  “yes”,  and  how  many  say “no”?  

There is  a  majority  belief  among  Filipinos  that  we  do have a crab  mentality.  What exactly  is  a  “crab  mentality”?  Wikipedia  described  crab  mentality  in  a  phrase  “if  I can’t  have  it,  neither  can you”.   Crab  mentality  has  been observed among  the  “crabs  in  the  bucket”.   Individually,  the  crabs  could  easily  escape from a  bucket,  but  instead, they  grab  at  each other  which  prevents  any  from escaping  and  ensures  their  collective  demise.   In human behaviour,  the  analogy  is  that  of  a  group that  will attempt  to  “pull down”  any member  who  achieves success beyond the others,  because  of  envy  or  competitive  feelings. 

This meaning  is  very  true  among  the  Filipinos.   There  is  always  a  tendency  for  us   to “pull down” anyone  who  is  about  to  achieve  success  in  his/her  career,  and  most  of  the  time,  out  of  envy.  And  precisely, this  is the reason why  a  lot  of  Filipinos  have  gone  abroad  to  ensure  possible  success,  because  there is no guarantee of  reaching  success in the Philippines  unless one  was born  rich and  need  not  work  in contrast  to those who come  from a struggling  family  and  being  abroad  is  the  only  possible  way out  to poverty  and  could  guarantee  professional  success. It  doesn’t  necessary  mean  though  that  the  rich  are immuned to such  a type  of  “mentality”,  albeit  it  could  be a  worse  case  insofar  as  the  rich ones  are concerned.  Definitely,  being abroad entails  a  lot  of hard  work,  perseverance  and  desire  to  succeed  to reach the targeted  goal.    So I would  say  that  the  failure or  success   of  one  does depend  on the person  him/herself.    Crab  mentality  may  not  work  in the  sense, unless  the  Filipino  is  at  luggerhead  with  another  Filipino  because  of  business interest.  And  surely,  it  can  be  more   manifested  in business  especially  when  competition  between them  is  at  hand.     


Crab  mentality  is evident in  small  or  big  companies,  between  employees  themselves,  who  “compete”  among each  other  to   reach  the  top  level  in   the  company hierarchy.   But  it  is not only true in companies.  It  is also  manifested  among  friends,  relatives, in  any group  of   the  society.   The  tendency  to  display  “envy”  to a  fellow  Filipino who  is  raking  success after  success is,  I would  say  “ill-health”,  well, mentally  speaking. 

But  why  do we have  that syndrome?.  I am  saying “we”,  because,  I  am a Filipino.   But, it doesn’t  signify  that   I  am  “crabby”,  neither  am I saying that  we  are  all  “crabs”  in  a way.  I  guess  it  is  part  of the social  up-bringing  in  the Philippines.   A lot of  Filipinos  have  to  struggle on  a  daily  basis.  We  were  born  struggling  day-in  and  day-out.  Lucky  are  those  who   were born  with  a  “silver-spoon”,   so  they  are  more  or  less  “alienated”  from having  to  exert  much  effort  to  be  economically  stable.  Everyone’s  battle-cry is   to  “compete,  compete,  and  compete”.  But  instead of  really  being competitive,  the  impulse is  to  be on the look-out  for  anyone  who  might  already be  reaching   the  “tip of the  bucket” and eventually  escape  from the  group who  will remain grappling  and  be off  and  away  from the  “success misfortune”.

I guess Filipinos  could  change  to some  extent  and  just  be  concerned  about  his/her  own personal  growth and  development.  Competition will  always  “haunt”,  the  wits  out  of  US.   Merely  seeing  someone  on  top  discourages   a  person. But  instead of  “using”  that  person  as  a  form  of  encouragement,  the  easiest  way  is  to “pull  him down”,  like  the  crabs  in the  bucket.  It  shouldn’t  the  case.   We  could  be elated  for  a  Filipino  who  has  plummeted  to  success,  and  just  think of  what  we can  do  for  ourself  to  approximate  the  same  level  of  triumph.    Definitely,  it  means  one  has  to  strive  a   lot.  But  struggle  is  always  compensated  at  the  end,  yet  however,   you’ve got  to do the right  thing.   That’s  all folks…..Eric

I  really hope  that  after the  mishaps  the occured the  past days,  we  are  now  fully recovered. 

I shall  be publishing  a  short  write-up  about  the  trip we  did   to  Fatima Portugal, my  friend and I  organized  here in Madrid. I  will share  some  photos  and  video shots  of  those  who  were with  us in  the group.  Fatima  is  a  very  important  pilgrimage  spot  where  the  Virgin  Mother  appeared before three  shepherds in  the  early  1900’s.    Our  next  trip  is  scheduled  for  Lourdes,  France  and  I shall likewise  share  with  everyone  photos  of  that  trip we  shall complete after the  Three Kings.

Visit  the  link below   to  see photos of  FILIPINO group in Madrid’s  trip  to Fatima.




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Teacher, Public Speaking and Life Coach, Book and Poem Writer, Folkloric dancer and choreographer, a father, friendly and an admirer and beholder of natural beauty...God believer..

2 thoughts on “How “crabby” are we?

  1. Superb posting, I share the same views. I wonder why this particular world truly does not picture for a moment like me and also the blog site creator 😀


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