Gaya-Gaya, Puto Maya - CT

There is cut-throat competition going on amongst us.

Even in Virac, schools are mushrooming at a rate greater than its population rate. Can you imagine seeing a technical school in every street corner of Virac soon?

Yup, that’s the problem with our culture as Pinoys. Gaya-gaya, puto maya. Filipinos love to copy. Don’t you think the best copycats in the world are we Pinoys?

I remember President Ramos, in speaking before a group of Filipinos in the USA sometime ago, lamented the fact that Filipinos are not as united as other nationalities are, even in the USA. While other immigrant groups have only one organization for their own nationality and pride, we, Pinoys in the USA, have organizations mushrooming all over town. You count the number of islands in the Philippines, that’s the number of organizations Pinoys have in the USA. Pag nagtayo ang isa, susundan ng kumpare niya, tapos tatlo na agad ang organisasyon nila—and yet dalawa lang naman sila. The next thing you see nag-aaway na at nagsasabunutan, then gamitan, pasikatan, patalbugan, at siraan.

In my travels around the world, I’ve noticed that we, Pinoys, are closely knitted when it comes to family ties, but we also destroy the ties that bind us together. Is it in our culture that crab mentality prevails, or is it just uniqueness in our fiber to enjoy being a crab?

Other foreign immigrants have only one organization for every nationality in the country they immigrate to. And they help each other, complement each other, and do not compete with each other. Complementation, not competition, is the essence of survival for them in their business and career.

That is not in the blood of many Filipinos, whether in America or in any part of the world. Not even in Catanduanes.

advocacy of the native bayong not only for everyday use but in schools.

In the USA or in Europe, you don’t see a business community of Filipinos. By business community, I mean even just one block of an area where Pinoys thrive in their businesses with everyone helping one another. Instead, you see Pinoys scattered all over-- disunited, disinterested in each other’s business, detached, and destructive of one another.

When a Pinoy puts up a business, another copies and the rest follows. In the end, cut-throat competition prevails because the business becomes saturated in a small population. Bad for business indeed because resources are scattered, quality sacrificed, survival stakes reduced. Ultimately, others have to close shop. Matira na lang ang matibay. And whoever survives, does so bruised and battered from the survival fight, and eventually would have to sacrifice many things in order to recover.

While the people have choices in a free enterprise, there are also drawbacks and pitfalls in it. And in the end, it is they still, the people, the consumers, who suffer the most.

Some of us, without bothering to look at the whole picture, get into business with the wrong notion that if we copy from someone else’s business, we can do things better. Nagkakaroon ng patalbugan, and then siraan. But in the end, everybody suffers.

No wonder Pinoys get quotas. Go to the USA and they require you a visa, including work visa, if you are a Filipino. But look at other countries, including Japan. Japan was even an enemy of the USA in World War II. The Philippines was a partner of the USA then. But how come the Japanese don’t have work visa or quota while Pinoys have when entering the USA? The same situation for Pinoys in other countries including those in Europe. Even Pinoy nurses now have quotas in USA and in other countries.

Pinoys cannot even tour the USA unless they have tourist visas. Other nationalities can.

Kasi tayong mga Pinoy ay walang disiplina. Marami sa atin magaling lang manggaya, that we always saturate an area sa panggagaya natin. Ultimately dahil dumadami tayo sa isang location, napakagulo na. Dahil sa gulo, nagkakaroon na ng siraan via the alimango at alimasag syndrome (crab mentality)-- kaya’t lahat apektado.

That’s why we, Pinoys, get limited now in number by way of quota in certain countries. May quota dahil sa gaya-gaya. Ayaw ng ibang bansa ang pagiging maka-alimango o maka-alimasag natin. Alam nila na kaya’t dumadami tayo ay dahil sa gaya-gaya.

I remember my father, several years ago, having lamented also at this sad situation. You see, my father was a pioneer in many things while he was still alive. In many instances, because he was too trusting, those whom he helped were the very ones who destroyed the things he pioneered for. Humingi ng tulong sa kanya, tinulungan niya, ginaya siya, ginamit siya, and in the end siniraan pa siya.

My MBA professor at Ateneo once told me that business to be successful must have profit --but that profit has to be PROFIT WITH HONOR if the deeper sense of success is what we are looking for. Unfortunately, that’s not what many of us are looking for.

I guess profit with honor is what is lacking in the business senses of many of us Pinoys. Instead of honor, we use dirty tricks and foul tactics to abound and surround, the common doings of shrewd businessmen.

Are we, Pinoys, that shrewd? Look around you. Your guess is as good as mine.

By Joseph Ocol

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - September 03,2009