The Fiesta Mentality Keeps Many Pinoys Poor!
Nothing is wrong with a celebration every once in a while. It's not wrong for a bank to house an annual party for its clients at a fancy hotel because they can afford to. However it has become a problem whenever a lavish celebration is treated as a "necessity" rather than a "want". When Metrobank donated to Yolanda, it decided to take a U Turn from its annual party because of a lack of money for that year. They were wise in choosing not to have that annual appreciation party because the donation for Yolanda victims was an expense.
I remembered the time I soon stopped having children's parties as a child even if we could afford to. The reason was because they were getting expensive and my parents didn't want me to learn an extremely materialistic lifestyle. I used to envy people who celebrated their children's birthdays lavishly. I also remembered how some maids even said that they always have a "hikay" or "gathering" whenever somebody had a birthday. If they can't afford, loan some cash and they probably forgot to honor the commitment of paying back. On the other hand, every time it was my birthday, I got a simple celebration and nothing more. The practice had kept us afloat even if I don't belong to an affluent part of society.
When Christmas and New Year comes around the corner, the problem is that many Pinoys fail to see that other countries worse than the Philippines aren't even having a merry Christmas or a happy New Year. Countries like Bangladesh and Somalia has its most of its citizens poorer than the average Pinoy. They think that its a necessity to feast even if they lack the money to support themselves with the real necessities like education, food and water. Some of them can't really afford a one month ration of food. Worse, they tend to borrow money from their employers or better off friends then not pay for it. This is also one reason why some people get the December allergies because people tend to borrow money without paying it back for Christmas parties they cannot afford to host.
Just think... a noche buena or Filipino Christmas dinner (which is of SPANISH influence) does not need to have all those treats. FOne may have a simple noche buena with just the family like some lechon, fruit salad and sweets and just have it with a few relatives. They don't need the whole barrio. They can simply budget everything. It doesn't need an elaborate band or all the dancing. I mean, they can simply have it at home. It doesn't have to be in some fancy restaurant. Celebrations can be done modestly but sad to say, some people think they have to be done lavishly. Doing so looks like they feel the "need" to show off.
I even have the speculation that this mentality is also a reason why some Pinoys prefer to be OFWs forever than to work in the Philippines even when jobs are available. Like it or not, foreign investments in the Philippines are subjected to Filipino salary laws. Companies in developed countries like China, Japan and Singapore can pay higher. Being an OFW who is "Okay Fine Whatever" means you can take a load of dollars then spend it all on Christmas and New Year, become poor again, rinse and repeat. Somehow the mentality of the Failipino is fixed on their wrong notion of happiness. With all the dollars, they can really have a huge party with all the dollars, maybe even hire a band to perform for them, get wild and drunk and then at the end of the year, no money for a new year's investment.
What can be seen also is the after-Fiesta effects. On Christmas eve parties, one cannot deny how often alcoholism may be linked to the Noche Buena. Don't think just because it's Christmas that no crime happens. Some may even not be satisfied until they went to the late night disco or getting drunk. If they all had their "noche buena" not at home, one may soon find a person on the road on Christmas day. One may also think of how somebody can get raped in the process. If none of these incidents happen, some people may suffer from the effects of getting drunk. Others may find themselves clogged up with so much cholesterol because of all the gluttony. Some may even have to pay for damages they did during the party. These events can contribute to why so many Pinoys remain poor. Still Pinoy Pride?!
What must be understood is this - one's lifestyle is not always an indicator of wealth. You can drive a BMW and have an i-Phone all you want but be a BWM (broke without money) and have no ipon (savings). On the other hand, you may drive an old fashioned car and not use the latest cellphone model but have millions in your bank account. Lifestyle may also be the reason why so many remain poor. Sad to say but the fiesta mentality is really one reason why most people hardly have savings. In return, banks will have less deposits and investments which hardly turns around the economy because there will be much lesser loans, dividends and money market investments to help the financial cycle turn around.