‘Pali-pali,’ not ‘petek-petek’ | Global News

‘Pali-pali,’ not ‘petek-petek’

11:04 PM December 13, 2014

We often hear the words “mañana habit” from our folks before.

It is one of the Filipino traits where one does not finish the job within the day with the excuse of finishing it tomorrow (mañana is tomorrow in Spanish).

We happily discussed this matter with Ambassador Luis Cruz, foreign affairs assistant secretary for Asean Affairs and his wife Ambassador Mindy Cruz, assistant secretary of the Office of Asia and the Pacific.


Ambassador Lui had long served as a consul in Korea while Ambassador Mindy served in Singapore. It is a rare opportunity to chat with both of them, because they both serve in separate countries.


It’s a good thing that at present both of them are here in the Philippines and their offices in the Department of Foreign Affairs are just across the hallway from the other.

According to Ambassador Lui, Filipinos often think that Koreans are rude because they seem like they don’t care about their workmates and are not friendly.

But in reality, it is just normal for them to work fast and finish their tasks on time or within their working hours in a day.

Ambassador Lui set the Philippine Embassy in Korea as an example as they have some Korean staff in the office. According to him, you would not see them chatting or laughing with their colleagues during office hours. They are serious with their work and finish it.

A trait called pali-pali (hurry, hurry) by Koreans which is the opposite meaning of the term papetek-petek (relax, relax) in the Philippines.

That’s why we have some kababayan who are being scolded that they are not serious with their work. Some reasons why they are being reprimanded is that they are unable to finish their work on time, always late, or much worse, didn’t accomplish anything.


In serving different countries for so long as ambassadors, the Cruz couple observed that some Filipinos adopted some good traits of other races especially work ethics.

But if there are remarkable traits overseas Filipino workers have, it is their patience.

As long as they can endure hardships, they will endure it. Even if their work is hard, they still manage it. Even if they have colleagues who are hard to deal with, they withstand it, because they would like to stick with their job, more importantly, they have to keep pace with other foreign workers.

That’s why most foreign employers prefer to hire Filipino workers.

Hopefully the bad trait of papetek-petek will fully be removed from our system because Filipinos can accomplish more of what they have.

Incomplete wage

Noemi Sales of Taytay, Rizal, approached Bantay OCW.

She came from Bahrain but didn’t finish her contract there. Noemi’s complaint was there were many provisions on her contract that were violated by her employer. She didn’t also receive her salary in full.

We sent Noemi to the office of Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration so that her complaint will be processed immediately and claim her unpaid salary.


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TAGS: Foreign affairs, Luis Cruz, OFW

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