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Kanya-Kanya Syndrome (Weaknesses of the Filipino Character)

Kanya-Kanya Syndrome. Filipinos have a selfish, self-serving attitude that generates a feeling of envy and competitiveness towards others, particularly one’s peers who seem to have gained some status or prestige. Towards them, the Filipino demonstrates the so called crab mentality (referring to the tendency of crabs in a basket to pull each other down) using the levelling instruments of tsismis, intriga, and unconstructive criticism to bring others down. There seems to be a basic assumption that other’s gain is one’s loss.

The Kanya-Kanya syndrome is also evident in the personal ambition and the drive for power and status that is completely insensitive to the common good. Personal and in-group interests reign supreme. This characteristics is also evident in the lack of a sense of service among people in the government bureaucracy. The public is made feel that service from these offices and from these civil servants is an extra perk that has to be paid for.