Ugaling K-K-K

January 17th, 2021 · No Comments

By Benjie de Ubago

 Innate in the Filipino culture is the K-K-K practice – Kakilala, Kaibigan, and Kakampi. Filipinos are ruled by emotion, not by logic. It is therefore worthy to take a closer look at these K-K-K practices that disrupt our daily lives.

Kakilala (acquaintance) greatly dictates who we know.  The more the merrier!  Kaibigan (friend) is someone who we’ve built rapport with. Okay lang and no questions asked.  And Kakampi (ally) is the highest level of relationship, achieved whether or not we agree or not. It’s a case of I scratch your back; you scratch my back, but the itch never goes away. In the name of friendship, people are included even when they’re not the perfect fit. We do not gather information, analyse and evaluate before making a decision. We simply rely on K-K-K and what’s been told to us.  “Basta kakilala!”   “Sabi kasi, eh.”  “Sige na lang, isali na.”

I must admit, in some way, I am guilty too!  It is much easier to ask an acquaintance or friend where to buy Filipino delicacies like puto- bumbong, ensaymada, suman etc. rather than drive around Blacktown looking for an outlet that sells these gastronomical delights.  Even more recently, it’s been a great help to ask around for who home delivers. The problem is that these home based businesses  lack of advertisements with contact details, so we tend to rely on word on word of mouth. It’s okay for minor things but not when it comes to major decisions and siding with the wrong.

The K-K-K practice perhaps reveals our truer selves.  By the looks of it, we are not too confident in making our own decisions so we rely on others to make up our minds for us. The lack of self reliance renders us vulnerable. We are too trusting. It hinders professionalism. Add to our cultural make up is a tinge of laziness that disables our fact-finding ability for the truth. Mistakes bring embarrassment and is definitely not an option.  Nakakahiya!  So we dare not ask the necessary, pertinent questions.  We ignore that nagging feeling that something is not quite right . We simply go with the flow for fear of being rebuked and ostracized.  “Sige na lang” is the much better non-confrontational alternative.

As a result, we rely on passed on information and “sinabi ni ganito” (I was told).  To reply “because I saw it” is a shock to the system.  Only when something goes awry or amiss, do they make noise.  Why did it happen? How did it happen?”  The answer is “hindi ko naman alam kasi.”

There are expectations  attached to the K-K-K practice also.  Friends are expected to give more, provide discounts or freebies, and libre pa entertainment.  May kasamang  kuwento pa! And friends are expected to cover up.

Maybe it is why Filipinos rush to attach themselves to titleholders.  Not only does it give the person a false sense of importance but they think they can be spared the agony of finding the right answer and spared a few minutes of waiting time for special favors.

The seeds of distrust in our politicians and the government have been planted long time ago. There have  been so many immersed in scandals of unreachable donations. Corruption and inefficiency prevails.  Even when there are government offices tasked to collect donations, we tend to look for direct connections. Besides even phone lines are unreachable! Post offices are unreliable. No wonder we rely on the kakilala! Knowing someone on the receiving end guarantees that it will reach the intended recipient definitely. 

We swing in the name of trust only to sow mistrust. We do not even know we’re being fooled until it is too late.  From simple raffle tickets to more serious offenses bordering on fraud, it happens quite often hidden in the crevices of the community.  Then, embarrassed to admit they got hooked in by a fool, they ignore, whinge from the sidelines or withdraw in silence, and wallow in self pity. No receipts are received or remitted in the name of K-K-K.   So many rely on the “puwede na”, and succumb to “sige na” supplications without properly thinking. 

Friend or foe, it is time for Filipinos to learn to speak up and say – “pasensiya  na – but NO!” Time to stop the K-K-K practice!

17 January 2020

Tags: Grey Matter · News