Filipino, Shine Your Light!


After doing business with different people with different nationalities, I realized that most Filipinos (including me prior to being an entrepreneur) have a wrong definition of “humility” and “low self-esteem.” 

My business partners from China, US, UK, Australia and other strong countries proactively introduce themselves on online conferences and business discussions. When they introduce themselves, they lay down their accomplishments on the table and you may yawn before you get to hear the next businessman’s introduction. Then, it’s the Pinoy’s turn to introduce himself and he will nudge you and say “Uy, wag na. Kakahiya naman. Wag na uy.”  

Is it the result of our childhood days when our mothers or aunts said this line?”Wag kang magbuhat ng sariling bangko.” [Don’t toot your own horn.] 

I was guilty of that, too. They say that if you don’t toot your own horn, you’re humble and kind. I must say that it’s not humility but one of the symptoms of having low self-esteem.  

Do we install light bulbs underneath the floor or on the ceiling? If you’re good on anything, you shine your light. I’m not talking about those boastful people who are talking things that they haven’t achieved yet or stuff that their relatives have accomplished (resting on somebody else’s laurel). Don’t equate humility with low self-esteem. This is what I call “a change in business philosophy.’ For 27 years, I was holding a dictionary that etymologically defines ‘humility’ wrongly. Perhaps, I’m still running the rat-race if I didn’t burn that dictionary. 

Do yourself a favor. When someone asks you “How are you?”Answer him or her back with “I am better than good!”

Jaycee De Guzman

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