As I have mentioned in a previous post, culturally and historically speaking, we Filipinos are generally not an assertive people. We have a culture that places much premium on respect towards others, especially elders. This is true up to this very day. We often say non-assertive, submissive phrases out of respect, shyness, or false modesty.
But as we now live in an era of globalization, things are slowly changing — thanks to the BPO’s and KPO’s that have set up shop here and exposed Filipinos to daily encounters on the phone with foreign customers.
Here are some non-assertive (submissive) phrases common to our culture. See and check for yourself if you’ve used any of these expressions at least once in your lifetime:
- Thank you rin is the reply to someone’s thank you instead of “You’re welcome”.
- Girl 1: Ang ganda naman ng blouse mo.
Girl 2: Hindi naman, sa ukay-ukay ko lang ‘yan binili
- Host of a grand banquet (with lechon as the highlight): Pasensya na kayo sa handa namin. Sana masarapan kayo kahit papaano.
- A host talking to a house guest (host lives in a big house): Pag-pasensyahan mo na ang guest room namin ha.
- Man 1: Ang galing mo naman!
Man 2: Grabe, hindi naman! (embarrassed)
- Woman 1: Ba’t ang ganda ganda mo ngayon?
Woman 2: Sobra ka naman! Hindi ha. (pero sa totoo lang, kilig na kilig at the back of her mind)
- An employee to another employee: Pasensya ka na sa abala. Sorry sa istorbo. Favor, can you do this for me? (but then the “favor” really is the job of that other employee)
- A Hungry at “Pakipot” person: Ano iyan? Masarap ba ‘yan (pointing at the food)?
- Q: Saan tayo kakain?
A: Kahit saan (but the one who’s answering has 3 places at the back of his mind).
- Q: Anong gagawin natin?
A: Ikaw bahala. (but the person has so many ideas)
- Q: Kumusta yung movie?
A: Ok lang.
- House Owner: O, mabuti at nakarating ka. Kumain ka na ba? Gusto mo ng softdrinks?
Visitor: Ay, kakakain ko lang. (pero hindi pa, at gutom na gutom na)
- And of course… the “no” that becomes “no problem”