Studies and observations of Filipino beliefs and practices give the following general Filipino values:

  1. Bahala na. This fatalistic outlook can be viewed in two ways. First, as a kind of fatalistic resignation which represents withdrawal from engagement or crisis or a shirking from personal responsibility. Second, it involves dependence and deep abiding faith in the supernatural spirits which will take care of everything and will provide good fortune for one’s struggle against difficulties.
  2. Utang na loob. – This refers to a ‘debt of gratitude’ which is difficult or almost impossible to quantify. The Filipino feels obligated to return a favour or help given to him.
  3. Amor propio. It is a feeling of high self-esteem and is shown in the sensitivity of a person to hurt feelings and insults, real or imagined. This is manifested in hiya, utang na loob, and balat-sibuyas (onion skin) predisposition, that is, overly, sensitive feelings.
  4. Fatalism – It refers to the belief that all events are naturally and supernaturally predetermined; the mental attitude of submission to the inevitability of the power of fate or the acceptance of one’s fate with, stoicism or lethargy. Use of phrases such as itinalaga ng Diyos, iginuhit ng tadhana, gulong ng palad, malas, napasubo.
  5. SIR – It refers to smooth interpersonal relationships, such as the use of polite language, soft voice, gentle manner, euphemisms and ambiguous expressions, all of which are intended to avoid directness or frankness.
  6. Use of euphemisms – These are circumlocutory remarks to avoid frankness; Example: Use of expressions such as kuwan, marahil, tila nga, siguro, baka nga and pipilitin ko or susubukan ko instead of a direct “no” which may hurt the feeling of another.
  7. Pakikisama – If refers to good public relations or the avoidance of open disagreement or conflict with others. Pakikisama for national good is wanting among many Filipinos.
  8. Hiya or shame – It refers to a painful emotion of being disgraced or losing one’s face. The Filipino is shame-oriented; that is, his major concern is social approval, acceptance by the group, and belonging to the group.
  9. Paggalang – It is respect toward elders and superiors. It is manifested in the use of po and opo when talking with elder people.
  10. Pakikialam – This refers to the tendency of the elders and superiors to be officious or to meddle in the business of their children and subordinates, sometimes under the pretext of guidance and wisdom.
  11. Tungkulin ng panganay sa pamilya. This refers to the responsibility of the eldest child in the family to act and think like the parents. Thus, the eldest son or daughter may postpone his or her marriage or remain single just to fill up the role of his or her departed parents for his or her younger brothers and sisters.
  12. Use of intermediary or go-between. This refers to the use of a third party to intercede on one’s behalf in order to gain a favour or to assuage a bruise or avoid a direct quarrel between individuals or groups.
  13. Segurista attitude – This refers to the predisposition to ask or demand another of anything that would demonstrate assured success. For example: prenda muna bago utang; Kasal muna bago siping; Your credit is good, but we need cash.
  14. Gaya-gaya. It refers to the Filipino imitativeness which gives rise to emphasis on façade, palabas, pakitang-tao, pagyayabang.
  15. Pagmamay-ari – This is the tendency to place a high regard on possession and attainment. Expressed as a positive value, this results in thriftiness, to value education and value one’s home.
  16. Pagkatitulado – The Filipino looks up to people with high education. They value the acquisition of titles and degrees to improve their lot.
  17. Lack of sportsmanship – The Filipino places high regard in victories or success in sports and other competitive endeavors. He feels disgraced and shamed once he loses or fails. There is a tendency to sulk and offer all sorts of excuses for defeat, which he considers as a dishonour.
  18. Particularism – This refers to the Filipino attitude wherein he prefers to be loyal to a particular group or center his concerns on a particular group rather than the nation. It gives rise to regionalism, nepotism; tayo-tayo system, and the we-feeling.
  19. Filipino time - This is an aphorism to indicate the Filipino attitude on always being late at an appointed time or place. For the Filipino, time is a succession of moments without a starting point nor an end. Pinoy starts when he wants and ends just the same.
  20. Mañana habit – It refers to procrastination, the disposition of shelving off responsibility to another day, the tendency to escape from duty and obligation as much as possible – It is manifested in the expressions at saka na, mamaya na, or bukas na lang.
  21. Ningas cogon tendency – If refers to the Filipino attitude towards work which has resemblance to the cogon grass. The cogon burns with engulfing flames at the start but instantly dies down. The Filipino is full of energy and enthusiasm at the beginning of an endeavour but such enthusiasm instantly ebbs down as the work progresses.
  22. Hele-hele- bago quiere, or pakipot. This refers to the behaviour that a person initially refuses an offer even if he or she is subjected to more prodding. (aayaw-ayaw pero gusto)
  23. Delicadeza – It means conformity to the ethical practices or expectations of the group.
  24. Palabra de honor – It means keeping one’s word or doing what has been promised (Pagtupad sa sinabi o pangako)
  25. Colonial mentality – It refers to the mental attitude of preferring imported goods or ideas over locally made ones.
  26. Compadre system – It refers to the practice of choosing well-known or powerful affluent persons to act as godparents (ninongs or ninangs) in the wedding or baptism of one’s son or daughter.
  27. Lakad system – It means to fix things for someone. It refers to the use of an influential third party in getting things done. It leads to palakasan system.
  28. Lagay system – It refers to the practice of giving lagay or padulas or grease money to get what one wants at the earliest and fastest possible time.
  29. Querida or kabit system – It refers to the practice of keeping two or more paramours, concubines, other-women, kabit or mistress.
  30. Kamag-anak system – It refers to the practice in government wherein close relatives are appointed to juicy positions with or without the required qualifications and experiences.
  31. Walang bigayan, walang lamangan mentalityLamangan is the practice of putting one over someone else. This negates the principle of brotherhood and equality.
  32. Relax lang mentality – It refers to the Filipino idea where man has to work without anxiety assuring that he can twist the situation in just a snap of the finger.
  33. Pagkamatiisin – If refers to a mental attitude of patient and silent suffering during times of crisis and hardship.
  34. Crab mentality – It refers to the mental attitude of putting down other people to prevent them from reaching the top or attaining success.
  35. Baka – Sakali attitude – It refers to the mental attitude of relying on swerte or tsamba in some of our undertakings. We are so obsessed by this attitude that, in most cases, we do not resort to deliberate and careful planning. It can also explain the Filipino penchant for gambling.
  36. Status consciousness – It refers to the Filipino predisposition to value their honor and status more than anything else. To many of them, karangalan is far more important than material wealth.
  37. High regard for women – Women are highly regarded and respected and relied upon when it comes to family, as well as politics and business affairs.
  38. Authoritativeness – It refers to the patriarchal nature of the Filipino family. The father is an authoritative figure who makes major decisions affecting the family.
  39. Fiesta syndrome - Fiesta is a celebration in honor of a town’s patron saint. The celebration is highlighted by the preparation of sumptuous foods in every home. Many Filipinos even borrow money to spend for the fiesta.
  40. The “awa” mentality – This refers to pitying someone in the name of charity to shield incompetence and irregularities.
  41. Bata system – It means a patronized individual, a “portage,” a close friend, or one who you can call when need arises.

Undoubtedly, our Filipino values show the kind of people we are as can be deduced from our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. A good many of our values are positive but still a good number of them are negative and need to be eliminated, discarded or somehow re-oriented. Criticisms have been expressed and much has been written about the growing deterioration of Filipino values. This has been traced to be brought about by an unjust social and economic structure, modernization and westernization, and too much emphasis on worldly materialism.