Sociology and investment: Focus on Filipino culture, traits, and values

In the past weeks, we saw the plight of Capizenos who have invested in various schemes.

It is said to have affected the lives of most of the Capizenos from all walks of life.

Then I asked myself, “What values, culture, structure, traits that are inherently Filipino have made this happen?”

Here are some of my insights – I used the book “Sociology: Focus on the Philippines” by Isabela Panopio and Adelina Raymundo as a reference.

The following are the traits, culture, values of the Filipinos that may have influenced their decision to risk on investment schemes:

  1. Class system. The Philippines has the Class system as the social structure instead of the caste system. This means that anyone can go up and down the social ladder through hard work, diligence, or ”luck.” The people hoped that through the investment schemes, they can improve their lives and go up the social ladder.
  2. Smooth interpersonal relationship. Filipinos put much importance on smooth interpersonal relationships. Filipinos tend to be nice even if they need to be brutally frank to avoid hurting another person. Words like “Wiling to wait kami.” Instead of saying “Pay out na abi,” and “Halong ka gid” instead of saying “Gutom na kami kag puno na sa utang, maluoy ka, pay out na kita.”
  3. Pakisama. Filipinos put much emphasis on pakisama. Statements like “hai isugid ko gid ni sa imo mare/pare kay para mapaambit ko man ang ginentrahan ko nga maayo ang natabo sa akun.” Thus, the easy spread of the information on investment schemes.
  4. Joy of celebration/festivities. Filipinos are happy spreading happiness through festivities, celebrations, eating out with family and friends. Statements like “Salamuch sa treat,” “Busog much sa pagshare sang imo nareceive sa pay out,” and “Pay out is real” were on social media posts as captions for pictures while having a great time celebrating the instant increase in money earned/received.
  5. Status symbols like house improvements, cars, appliances were seen all over social media. Through that, people were attracted to experience the “good life” through the investment schemes.
  6. Fads and crazes. A few months ago, it seemed like you were not “in” if you were not into any investment schemes. Investment schemes of various nature proliferated. The fad even went to the level of being a craze.

From the experiences that Capizenos have with the investment schemes, good or bad, there have been lessons learned.

I’ve always admired our joyful spirits and finding humor even during calamities and crisis. Diverting disappointments on “no payout” to TikTok dances to release the worries. This is inherently a Filipino trait.

I have great faith in Capizenos to rise above this crisis on investment schemes.

We are resilient people. We will not just survive, we will thrive amidst this crisis – COVID and all.

“Lupad, Capiz, Lupad!”*