5 Money-related Filipino Idioms I Disagree With

5 Money-related Filipino Idioms I Disagree With

If you’re going to ask employees why they work, you’ll always hear “to earn money” as one of the immediate answers. Others even work on multiple jobs just so they can keep up with their monthly bills and other expenses.

However, things can be very frustrating sometimes. What else could be worse than being able to earn money from working on three jobs and still get broke from time to time? From there, everything boils down to the fact that some people are not wise enough in managing their finances.

So, if you are one of the Pinoys who is starting to scratch their heads because you end up getting broke almost every month, here are some of the things you should know.

Go Against the Myths

Here are some of the most common idioms that can best describe the mindset of Filipinos when it comes to handling their personal finance:

1. “Di bale nang walang pera, basta wala lang magkakasakit sa pamilya.”

I don’t buy that kind of thinking. It can be “May pera na, wala pang may sakit”. We don’t have to lock ourselves in a choose-between-the-two-only scenario. Why would you choose to be broke if your family can be fit and healthy while your finances remain well? If you think that what you’re earning is not that enough to sustain the needs of your family, you can always find better ways to improve your source of income. “Kung gusto, maraming paraan. Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan.”

2. “Kapag tumaas ang kita, dadami rin ang pwedeng gastusing pera.”

That is true, but will you? You’re not violating any law if and when you reward yourself with anything. But, for me, I won’t buy things I can live without.

My phone is a Samsung Note 2. It’s been my phone for 3 years. Its “SAMSUNG” trademark at the back has already faded out. I don’t know if a thief would still find the interest to steal my phone.

Why am I not buying the latest smartphone? Well, the reasons why I bought my Note 2 are still working perfectly. I still can send and receive an SMS, make and receive a call, and access the internet. I didn’t buy my smartphone because of its trademark at the back of the casing. For as long as these three basic functionalities are working fine, I won’t change my phone.

There are days when I feel the urge to buy the latest Sony, Samsung, or iPhone smartphone. What do I do? I go to the mall and check the latest smartphone. Just check. Nothing more. Nothing less. After a few days, the urge to buy a new phone is gone. I know myself. The excitement of having a new smartphone won’t last for more than a month. This, I tell you: after a month, the feeling of holding the latest smartphone is the exact same feeling of holding a Nokia 3210.

3. “Hindi ka yayaman kung hindi ka marunong sumugal.”

Yes, it’s true that it would be difficult for you to go from rags to riches if you do not know how to take risks. Also, the cash flow in your household can just be cyclical if you don’t know how to use your money intelligently. However, it is always best if you are wise in taking risks. By this, what I meant to say is that before you get drawn into investing your money in a business, stocks, bonds, or money markets, do your research first.

For one, investing in the stock market involves risks. That’s why when my clients consult me on what they should do next on their stocks, one of the first questions I love to ask is this, “What did you find out that made you buy this stock?” The answer that I will get will tell me if the person did a sound research or not before buying that stock. My customer’s response will also give me a clue if I need to include “customer education” in my response or I just need to give a straight-cut do-this or do-that type of answer.

4. “Ang maging mayaman o maghangad na yumaman ay salungat sa Banal na Kautusan. Ito ay salig sa Ebanghelyo na nagsasabing, ‘Mas madali pa sa kamelyo na makapasok sa butas ng karayom kaysa sa isang mayaman na makapasok sa langit.’”

Thanks to Teofilo Atienza who participated in our discussion on my Facebook page. According to Mr. Atienza, Filipinos who embrace that mindset often have low motivation and low self-esteem, not to mention the lack of ambition and vision in life.

Let me share my little knowledge in theology with you. The subject in that Bible verse is not about the wealthy but the wealthy person’s posture of the heart in terms of humility. The “eye of the needle” does not literally pertain to the needle that you use in sewing. Jesus was referring to the entrance door of a camel’s house. In Jesus’ time, the house of a camel was designed in such a way that a camel has to bend its knees so it would fit inside the door of its house. Kailangan ng kamelyo na itukod ang tuhod sa lupa para maipasok nya ang katawan nito dun sa mala-butas ng karayom na entrance ng bahay nito.

You see, we cannot take everything in the Bible literally. Some of the verses were written according to the author’s culture in those times. If you don’t know their culture, you will forever think that the “eye of the needle” is the sewing needle.

5. “Kapag nag-iipon ka, parang pinag-iipunan mo ang iyong pagkakasakit.”

I’m giving Danica Lopez the credit for sharing her thought on my Facebook page.

Actually, this line can be taken either positively or negatively depending on how you process it. Who here is immune to any kind of sickness? No one. Everyone is a candidate. Is it bad to be proactive in preparing for what you’re not exempted with? No. So, I don’t see anything wrong with that line.

However, if the equivalent of saving up is praying for your immediate sickness, I guess we need to mingle often with positive people. Otherwise, a black cat crossing your path would also mean your immediate death.

What are the other money-related Filipino “kasabihan” do you know? Do you agree with them? Why?

Jaycee De Guzman

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