Saving Face And The Unexpected Quandry

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Posted

 I suppose I am seeking some advice and shared experiences from you veteran Expats on the subject of saving face-losing face with the locals and how it may have been dealt with or avoided for that matter. Knowing it's Spanish roots (I think the word is delicadeza)...meaning steal my money, rob my house, but never violate my pride as a man or woman. I know in Western cultures, it might just result in an argument or like, being embarrassed, even unintentionally in public or in front of one's family/clan. So usually you work it out/talk it out. 

I hope never to face this type of rage unexpectedly or unknowingly and I believe being a foreigner to cross this line, the rage can be amplified compared to a local-example might be talking at length involved in a great conversation with a gal who's husband/bf was informed by the neighborhood tsismiz club and it was interpreted as courting-whatever...

Anyway, I was hoping to hear your first hand or second hand experiences and specific advice for newbies such as myself that arrive there.

Everyone have a nice day/evening  :cheersty:

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Posted
delicadeza

 

I don't equate that word with saving face.  Here is an article on how a Filipino interprets that word:

 

http://vaes9.codedgraphic.com/posts/the_deal_with_delicadeza

 

The term delicadeza is one of those Spanish loan words that has entered the Filipino vocabulary with a very specialized sense of meaning. In its original Spanish definition, it literally means gentleness, softness, delicacy (as in being delicate, not exotic food), and tactfulness. But in the Filipino culture, the term delicadeza means something else very specific and has no direct English translation; the closest would probably be “sense of propriety”. Essentially, it is the virtue of knowing and acting on what is proper when you are in a position of authority and trust, such as in public service.

(more if you follow the link)

An ex-girlfriend tried to tell me it meant being ignorant such as when one acts in a boorish and rude way she called it delicadeza.

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Thanks Dave...maybe what I'm searching for is walang-hiya (being shameless)...and their reaction to this as a foreigner may have (without him knowing..'slipped up')...and potential consequences whereas they cause embarrassment to another publicly.

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Thanks Dave...maybe what I'm searching for is walang-hiya (being shameless)...and their reaction to this as a foreigner may have (without him knowing..'slipped up')...and potential consequences whereas they cause embarrassment to another publicly.

Yep 'Shameless' They do it all the time, what they call is is shameful, Fat, ugly, Old, Rich Foreigners,  Come here just to steal our Girls HUH! for me give them what is needed, a dose of their own medicine.

Sometimes the better ones that is, actually can be made to realize that we too can be Hurt by the things they say Intentional or not.

If many could actually hold a conversation and explain things a little better, we would all understand but that's me and my sometimes inquiring mind of What exactly is your problem?  To me my Friend/s it is in the main part their own problem of the making. They want to live in the 21st century but holding onto the 19th century values, it just don't work, ( Well not all the time)  Love em of course but it really is a two way Street.

 

JMVHO

 

Jack :unsure:

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If many could actually hold a conversation and explain things a little better, we would all understand but that's me and my sometimes inquiring mind

 

Me too.

 

the other jp

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Posted

 

Thanks Dave...maybe what I'm searching for is walang-hiya (being shameless)...and their reaction to this as a foreigner may have (without him knowing..'slipped up')...and potential consequences whereas they cause embarrassment to another publicly.

Yep 'Shameless' They do it all the time, what they call is is shameful, Fat, ugly, Old, Rich Foreigners,  Come here just to steal our Girls HUH! for me give them what is needed, a dose of their own medicine.

Sometimes the better ones that is, actually can be made to realize that we too can be Hurt by the things they say Intentional or not.

If many could actually hold a conversation and explain things a little better, we would all understand but that's me and my sometimes inquiring mind of What exactly is your problem?  To me my Friend/s it is in the main part their own problem of the making. They want to live in the 21st century but holding onto the 19th century values, it just don't work, ( Well not all the time)  Love em of course but it really is a two way Street.

 

JMVHO

 

Jack :unsure:

 

Good point, Jack as I see it. Identifying and relating to Filipinos-possibly growing a trusting friendship can be a challenge but getting past what's in some of their heads is where I am at a loss. I guess it's just a matter of absorbing ones self into the local community to just get a "feel".

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Posted

 

Thanks Dave...maybe what I'm searching for is walang-hiya (being shameless)...and their reaction to this as a foreigner may have (without him knowing..'slipped up')...and potential consequences whereas they cause embarrassment to another publicly.

Yep 'Shameless' They do it all the time, what they call is is shameful, Fat, ugly, Old, Rich Foreigners,  Come here just to steal our Girls HUH! for me give them what is needed, a dose of their own medicine.

Sometimes the better ones that is, actually can be made to realize that we too can be Hurt by the things they say Intentional or not.

If many could actually hold a conversation and explain things a little better, we would all understand but that's me and my sometimes inquiring mind of What exactly is your problem?  To me my Friend/s it is in the main part their own problem of the making. They want to live in the 21st century but holding onto the 19th century values, it just don't work, ( Well not all the time)  Love em of course but it really is a two way Street.

 

JMVHO

 

Jack :unsure:

 

Great post, Jack.  Filipinos want respect, but they are usually unwilling to give any to foreigners.  It's the old "chicken or egg" question.  Many Filipinos view our mere presence as disrespect to them, so they retaliate with words (which do hurt, especially for my wife).  Most of us expats come here in peace and are taken aback by such disrespect from the locals.  Against our better judgement, we respond in some manner and it only confirms the local's suspicions....we are bad, all of us.   And even the good Filipinos will stand up for the bad ones, because even a bad Filipino is still better than a "stupid foreigner."   I've given up expecting any decency from them, and am overjoyed on the rare occasion when it does happen.  Still in the game and trying to get along, but it gets harder all the time. :t07022:      

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As a visitor over many years I have never personally had issues with a Filipino losing face due to something I said or did.

A few simple steps can avoid a Face fail. Simply be kind. Always keep your voice neutral, smile, especially if you have become unhappy or angry. Like here in the forum, try to avoid political or religious topics.

If in a group conversation a Filipino friend or acquaintance seems to lose face or is disrespected by another shortly afterward provide words of support like "you were treated unfairly but I saw you took the higher road and did not lower yourself to that level". Or, "in that situation you did exactly the right thing". I can't exactly describe what I mean here.... What you are doing is removing the "loss" by showing support and respect in the few times I have done this the reaction is very rewarding and effective.

 

One last thing. A friendship with a Filipino guy may become very close more like a family member a wonderful special thing. 

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As a visitor over many years I have never personally had issues with a Filipino losing face due to something I said or did.

A few simple steps can avoid a Face fail. Simply be kind. Always keep your voice neutral, smile, especially if you have become unhappy or angry. Like here in the forum, try to avoid political or religious topics.

If in a group conversation a Filipino friend or acquaintance seems to lose face or is disrespected by another shortly afterward provide words of support like "you were treated unfairly but I saw you took the higher road and did not lower yourself to that level". Or, "in that situation you did exactly the right thing". I can't exactly describe what I mean here.... What you are doing is removing the "loss" by showing support and respect in the few times I have done this the reaction is very rewarding and effective.

 

One last thing. A friendship with a Filipino guy may become very close more like a family member a wonderful special thing. 

Good advice and I definitely agree about the friendships.  As Jack mentioned and what I referenced is the tendency for Filipinos to lose face by the simple act of us being here, and being with their women.   Yeah, you have to treat the locals with kid gloves and not provoke them, but how many times can you respond nicely and "take the high road" when the locals are saving face by trashing you and even calling your wife a prostitute?  It happens more often than most of you would like to believe.  Are we, as foreigners, not allowed to save face also?         

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This seems to be one of my biggest challenges awaiting me that weighs heavy in the preparation process. There's no hand book for this-as with immigration processes, moving preparation, budgeting, and so forth we often touch on. This seems to be a feeling out process and to me-I'll dip my toe in this water for quite a while before diving into the social scene in my community (whatever that may be). Basically, this seems to be info that's hard to come by-there's some, but not much out there.

The real challenge at the end of the day will be how to carry ones self in the local community (as OLD55 explains) and Larry's experiences with the negative but realistic side of this. Definately not Kansas anymore. 

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