Are Filipinos For Real?

Are Filipinos for Real?

by Edgar Lores

I chanced across a website that promised to tell you what type of person you are — personality-wise.

Personality (noun)

  1. The combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.
  2. Qualities that make someone interesting or popular.

According to the website, one of several, there are 16 personality types that can be determined from the dichotomy in four factors:

1. Extroverted (E) vs. Introverted (I).  This is how you focus your attention or get your energy.
2. Sensing (S) vs. Intuitive (N).  This is how you perceive or take in information.

3. Feeling (F) vs. Thinking (T).  This is how you prefer to make decisions.
4. Perceiving (P) vs. Judging (J).  This is how you orient yourself to the external world.
Artisans who are concrete and adaptable.  Examples: operators and entertainers.The website does not use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) but is based on Keirsey’s Temperament Sorter.  The latter divides people into 4 categories:

  • Guardians who are concrete and organized.  Examples: administrators and conservators.
  • Idealists who are abstract and compassionate.  Examples: mentors and advocates.
  • Rationals who are abstract and objective.  Examples: coordinators and engineers.

The website has a Personality Test consisting of about 80 questions which can be answered in half an hour.  It is time worth spending.  After that time, you will not only know more of yourself – whether you are an ESTJ, an ESFP or an INFJ – but yo


u will also know which famous persons, both real and fictional, are like you or unlike you.

The website not only describes each personality type at length but also enumerates the strength and weaknesses of each.  If you seek to improve yourself, divine the best career path, or just try to understand why your hubby acts so contrarily, the website will give you some pointers.  As Blaise Pascal says, “To understand is to forgive”.  And to forgive is to love (Cue: violins).

For want of understanding, here are some brief definitions of the dichotomies, mostly lifted from the website.

  • Extroverted (E) means outward-looking, outgoing, lively, sociable and at ease talking with others.
  • Introverted (I) means inward-looking, reserved, solitary and preferring being alone than being with other people.
  • Sensing (S) means relying on the senses to observe, absorbed in practical matters and focusing on what has happened.
  • Intuitive (N) means relying on the imagination, being introspective and absorbed with ideas, and focusing on what might happen.
  • Feeling (F) means sensitive, follows the heart, keeps feelings close to the surface, focused on harmony and cooperation.
  • Thinking (T) means tough, follows the mind, suppresses feeling, focused on objectivity and rationality.
  • Perceiving (P) means probing, prefers to keep options open, reluctant to commit, relaxed about work, seeks freedom.
  • Judging (J) means decisive, prefers clear rules and guidelines, eager to commit, see deadlines as sacred, seeks closure.

With the above definitions in mind, and assuming that nations have national characteristics just like their individual citizens, let us attempt to pigeonhole the stereotypical Filipino, Juan, as contrasted against that of the stereotypical American, Joe.  Ready?

1. Without a tinge of doubt, both the stereotypical Filipino and American are extroverted.  Both Juan and Joe are outgoing.  They get an ‘E’.

2. Juan is definitely sensing and not at all introspective.  Joe is more of a conundrum.  He may not introspect much, but he is absorbed with ideas, and given the fantasies of TV sitcoms/romcoms, Hollywood movies, Disneyland and computer/console gaming, I would say that Joe is intuitive.  So Juan gets an ‘S’ and Joe gets an ‘N’.

3. This is a tough one for Juan this time.  Juan sensitive?  Hah!  Excuse me while I hoot.  But he does follow his heart and he is expressive of his feelings.  Except, as JoeAm has noted and as Taiwanese fishermen have learned, when he is in a fight. Then he escalates to the use of deadly force without warning. Is Juan focused on harmony and cooperation?  Excuse me again.  Despite the claimed bayanihan spirit, Juan is fractious.

Joe is easier to sort out this time. He’s tough, rational and a problem solver.

So Joe gets a ‘T’ and Juan is either an ‘F’ or a ‘T’.  I’ll go with ‘F’.

4. This is an easy one although there are inconsistencies.  Joe is definitely judging.  He is decisive and prefers clear rules and guidelines, but he does seek freedom.  Juan, on the other hand, is relaxed about work but prefers to be either master or slave.  So Juan gets a ‘P’ and Joe a ‘J’.

The results: Juan is an ESFP (or an ESTP?) and Joe is an ENTJ.

Let me summarize by going through the factors backwards:

1. Juan orients himself to the world by his perception (P); Joe by his judgement (J).
2. Juan decides by feeling (F); Joe by thinking (T).
3. Juan learns by sensing (S); Joe not really by intuition but by imagination (N).
4. Both Juan and Joe are outward-looking (E).

5. Using Keirsey’s Temperament Sorter, Juan is an Artisan while Joe is a Rational.

Now go to the website and read the descriptions for these types.  See if you agree.  And don’t forget to test yourself.

By the way, three things:

1. I am an INTJ – a Rational.
2. The Personality Test is not indicative of (Howard) Gardner’s 9 types of intelligence.
3. Juan’s personality type might explain why Filipinos vote the way they do.

66 Responses to “Are Filipinos For Real?”
  1. Chris says:

    Quite a broad generalization…

    • edgar lores says:

      Hi Chris. Agree – the test is meant for individuals. We are trying to understand how people think and why they behave as they do – as a people. Various civilizations that have come and gone have exhibited certain characteristics that differentiate them from others. Nations have their own culture that are also different from others, Just on queueing behavior, for example, Indians stand belly to butt, Finns (I think it was) stand several meters apart at a bus stop. In the last two decades, Filipinos have learned how to queue but generally they try to be ahead in the queue (for example, when deplaning) and even try to jump the queue.

      Certainly as individuals we may not conform to the ‘national profile’. But arguably there is a national profile not only in culturally induced behavior but also in terms of basic psychological templates.

  2. edgar lores says:

    Erratum: The sentence “The website does not use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) but is based on Keirsey’s Temperament Sorter. The latter divides people into 4 categories:” should come ahead of “Artisans who are concrete and adaptable.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Edgar is fairly accurate in saying the typical Juan is the feeling rather than the thinking kind. How else to explain Grace Poe’s rise. There’s another one on temperament and that one says I’m being phlegmatic and that’s not because I have a lot of phlegm.


    • edgar lores says:

      Well, DocB, you’re the doctor!

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Grace Poe’s rise was due to the fact she graduated in Boston College. A whiff of air and sip of America’s water makes one “intelligent” like me. Of course, Grace was elected because of her adopted last name, foreign educated ivy-school, speakengese goot englischtzes and you have the criteria of great politician.

  4. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    The INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population (INTJ females are especially rare – just 0.8%), INTJs are often seen as highly intelligent and perplexingly mysterious. INTJ personalities radiate self-confidence, relying on their huge archive of knowledge spanning many different topics and areas. INTJs usually begin to develop that knowledge in early childhood (the “bookworm” nickname is quite common among INTJs) and keep on doing that later on in life.

    My personality traits comprises only 2% of the population. OMGosh. Is that me? Really? But this I cannot deny. I AM MYSTERIOUS. My mother told me that. I am PERPLEXING. My bosses said that. No wonder they have a hard time managing me and at the same time afraid to let me go because they found out later in the game that I was right all along!!!

    Jeeez!!! I am ambidextrous. I can write with my left and right. I can write backwards with my left, seriously! You have to turn over the paper against the light to read what I have written. My ambidextrousities started in the elementary days. I was naturally left-handed my teacher, dear lamented late neighbor friend-of-my-father Mrs Paca, whack me with a bamboo stick to force me to write on my right. I cannot believe my father allowed child brutality. In my college days I simply naturally migrated writing from my right to left because it was more convenient for me and felt at home and comfortable with pencils and pens.

    My classmates, eventually my co-workers noticed that I am left-handed. They thought of me as gifted and something special. I felt self-conscious. When I am around with people I write on my right. when I am alone on my left. I do not felt that I am special not until today when I took that personality test. Geeez. 2% of the population? No wonder I have difficulty getting along with the rest of 98% and most especially the Filipinos. My wife siad I am weird. Her mother said I am different. I am more perplexingly mysterious. I’d rather be normal at 98% than 2%.

    AM I FILIPINO? Am I real Filipino? I guess not. Because I can tell that a woman wearing a tight-jeans is just propping her low-sagging self-esteem. I can also tell the IQ of a woman by the height of her shoe heels. The height of her high-heels is inversely proportional to her IQ. I also have problem dealing with my inherent face-recognition and personalities. I can tell if a person is mean or not.

    Most of all, I love to read hand-writing. Hand-writing is a dead give-away of ones personalities.

    • edgar lores says:

      Mariano, love it. So you are an INTJ as well. I actually think you are unclassifiable – and I say that as a compliment. There is something unique about how you see things – like knowing the IQ of a woman from the height of their heels. There would be exceptions to the rule, I guess – like GMA? – but only because she is compensating for something else.

  5. Joe America says:

    Next to number 1, my ex-wife’s psychic insights, and number 2, astrology, I find that the Myers Briggs personality profile is extraordinarily good at helping understand one’s tendencies. But I was taken aback because I was so high on the introvert scale that I wondered if I should buy a cabin deep in the woods and sic dogs against any wayward intruders. Then, upon reading further, none of the letter ascriptions is meant to be judgmental, but rather, how we draw off energy, or waste it. In a large crowd, my energy gets drawn off so that by the end of the day, I’m totally sapped. Others get high on it. But in a large crowd, the other features come into play and I am often the charismatic center of attention and laughs. So the upshot is that I go find an island somewhere, peaceful and quiet, hills behind and seas in front, to discover the proper way to gain energy every day. Offsets growing old . . . ahahahaha

    • Joe America says:

      ps, I’m an INFJ. Even rarer than you INTJs I believe.

      • edgar lores says:

        1. Yes, an INFJ is 1% of the (US) population according to the website compared to 2% for INTJs. According to Wikipedia, INFJs are 1-3% and INTJs are 1-4%. (BTW, if you are wondering, Guardians are the most plentiful ranging from 9-14% – these are ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ and ESFJ. Artisans, the ‘Filipino’ group, are the next most plentiful ranging from 4-10%. Rationals and Idealists are among the rarest.)

        2. I tested myself twice. On introversion, I scored 67% the first time and 72% on the second and bolder attempt.

        3. In large crowds I tend to stay at the edges. In a small company, I do shine after being galvanized by drops of fire-liquid.

        4. Must emphasize the point that the test is not judgmental. No matter what type we belong to, it’s all good. It’s our basic makeup, how we ‘tend’ (orient) to see ourselves and the world, but not how we actually see. It does not say much about our abilities – Gardner’s 9 types of intelligences including moral intelligence – but it does say what occupations we might be good at.

        4.1 Both Mariano and I are of the same type and we are supposed to be insightful. And I think indeed we are. But Mariano’s insights are different from mine. We see deeply but through different prisms.

  6. JM says:

    I am an INTJ like Putin. Lol

    • edgar lores says:

      Hi JM. Haha, I had the same reaction to being classified with Putin. The guy is a highly immoral kleptomaniac and ruthless dictator. Which tells us that the Personality Test does not measure certain ‘intelligences’ and certainly not moral intelligence.

      This may explain why psychology is a soft science. Not that it will ever become a hard science. It doesn’t have the rigor of a chemistry experiment or that of a mathematical formula. To be sure, the object of it’s study is a mystery. It’s consciousness contemplating itself. And we can see some of the outlines but we cannot see the details of the features or what’s inside.

      • JM says:

        Hi Edgar, I didn’t know Putin was a klepto. All I know is that he is a real tough dictator who is feared by a lot of people. My friend and I laughed about it when he said, “you are like Putin in some way” lol.

        I read the INTJ description. I found it a bit interesting because most of it is accurate especially when it comes to relationships with women.

    • edgar lores says:

      Here are some quotes on Putin’s kleptomania from The Sydney Morning Herald in an article titled “The insatiable Mr Putin”:

      “Putin has acted like a person afflicted with kleptomania. In June 2005, while hosting a group of American businessmen in St Petersburg, Putin pocketed the 124-diamond Super Bowl ring of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. He had asked to see it, tried it on, allegedly said, ”I could kill someone with this”, then stuck it in his pocket and left the room abruptly. After a flurry of articles in the US press, Kraft announced a few days later that the ring had been a gift – preventing an uncomfortable situation from spiralling out of control.

      “In September 2005, Putin was a guest at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. At one point his hosts brought out a conversation piece another Russian guest must have given the museum: a glass replica of a Kalashnikov automatic weapon filled with vodka. The gaudy souvenir costs $300 in Moscow. Putin nodded to one of his bodyguards, who took the glass Kalashnikov and carried it out of the room, leaving the hosts speechless.”

  7. J says:

    Interesting. I cant decide if in introvert or extrovert, but I’m definitely NTJ.

    • edgar lores says:

      Hi J. Ah, an In-between, equally solitary and sociable.

      Normally an introvert would know he is one simply by feeling. The feeling he has when having to choose between (a) reading a book or playing on the computer rather than (b) going to a party where there would be lots of people. Also the feeling between being energized by (a) being alone or (b) talking with several people while engaged in ‘small talk’.

      Being an introvert, I cannot imagine an introvert not knowing he is one. By deduction can we say you are an extrovert? I am not sure. There are creatures who are both male and female, creatures who change sex, and creatures who like sex with the same and the opposite sex. So it is entirely within the realm of possibility that you do straddle the psychological divide. You are bi-something – bi-looking? Bi-focussed? Bi-focal? Whatever it is, you are something special.

      • Joe America says:

        He’s bi-verted.

        • J says:

          There are times when I feel like being alone instead of going to parties etc. yet there are times when I enjoy the company of friends, so perhaps that makes me an extrovert, although I have high inhibitions whm in the company of people I’m not very close to.

          • edgar lores says:

            By that alone, I would say you are an introvert. Introverts do not mind company if it’s the select few they are comfortable with.

        • edgar lores says:

          Yep, that’s the term. Both intro- and extro-verted.

        • cha says:

          Ambivert, actually. People who are neither extremely extroverted or introverted. They’re not quiet nut neither are they loud. They know how to assert themselves but are not pushy. They know when to speak up and when to shut up. (God, I love ambiverts!)

          Recent studies (Adam Grant of the Wharton School of Management, University of Pennsylvania) actually show that while some people are extremely extroverted and some are extremely introverted, the vast majority are actually ambiverts. So sorry, J may not actually be something special after all. 🙂

          • cha says:

            That’s… not quiet but neither are they loud. (Sorry)

          • edgar lores says:

            Thanks, Cha. I was looking for ambi-something initially and stopped at ‘s’ – ambisexual. 🙂

            So the Personality Test misses a whole class of people as there are no provisions for ANTJs or ANFPs. Or are they I’s and E’s that learn to moderate their approach?

          • cha says:

            It’s one of the limitations of the MBTI interpretations, I guess. It doesn’t cover the ones in between the two extremes.

    • Joe America says:

      It is not uncommon to end up smack on the dividing line between the polar opposites. It affords one the most amount of wiggle room.

  8. andrew lim says:

    This framework explains well the Filipino driver. As the world has noted, how can a friendly, hospitable fellow become a monster behind the wheel, trying to take every available gap, disobeys many of the rules, and is fatalist about safety?

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, fatalist about safety. That explains the wild rides on the blue buses out of Olongapo, and why crashes that kill a dozen people are accepted in stride. Thanks for that insight.

    • edgar lores says:

      I had difficulty deciding whether Filipinos are ESFP or ESTP. Both types are very outgoing and both have the same attitude about rules. ESFPs rarely “allow conventions (read traffic rules) to interfere with their lives.” ESTPs “tend to see laws, rules and obligations as recommendations or instructions rather than as unbreakable principles.”

      • edgar lores says:

        Re non-conformance with rules, this would explain the Cafeteria Catholicism that Filipinos practice as well?

        • andrew lim says:

          Most probably, yes. And it could account for the weak scientific tradition in the country, as well. We didnt get to the stage where we could circumnavigate the globe, relying on astronomy.

          Seeking out order, patterns, and trying to understand the world by teasing out the rules seem to be too hard for many here. They would rather rely on the shaman to explain things back then.

          • edgar lores says:

            It would be a neat explanation except that ESFPs deal with people “on an even platform and are not easily star-struck”. Filipinos have a very hierarchical structure in both family and society, they respect persons in positions of authority (priests and shamans among others) and vote personalities into office.

  9. cha says:

    If we were to go by actual Meyers-Briggs statistics, the Americans are:

    1. Almost equally split between extroverts and introverts; with the latter just having the slightest edge. (50.7% to 49.3%)

    2. More Americans are clearly Sensers (73.3%) rather than iNtuitives (26.7%)

    3. Slightly more Americans are centered on Feeling (59.8%) rather than Thinking (40.2%)

    4. And finally, almost split evenly again between Judging (54.1%) and Perceiving (45.9%)

    What I find most interesting in this set of stats is on no. 2, how the distribution becomes more skewed towards 1 modality compared to the other three dichotomies.

    I’m thinking the prevalence of the Sensing type is probably an indication of an educational system grounded on scientific approaches, e.g. research and experimentation.

    Which brings me to my other point – I don’t think most Filipinos are the Sensing type. If we look at cultural indications, most will probably be iNtuitives instead. That is why one’s “pakiramdam” or “kutob” about something or someone often becomes more important than whatever data or reality is already in front of them.

    Relating this to the previous observation on the Americans and their educational system, I am also thinking that the Philippine educational system or approach may not be as strong on the scientific traditions. Or perhaps just not strong enough. Full stop.

    • cha says:

      …Thus, the seeming prevalence of iNtuitive pricessing of information as opposed to Being concerned about what is actual, current or real.

    • edgar lores says:

      Cha, that’s interesting. Thanks.

      1. So by those statistics, Joe is an ESFJ where I adjudged him to be an ENTJ. I think my approach and bias is in looking at the best of America and comparing them, not to the worst, but to the average Filipino. Filipinos are pretty much average. Which raises the question: How does one judge a people? By the best or by the average?

      1.1. On learning by Sensing vs. Intuition, you will note I tried to retrofit Joe by using ‘imagination’ rather than ‘intuition’. True, Americans are practical, but more than any nation they are very much focused on the future. They are innovators in business, entertainment and technology, and they are pioneers in space.

      1.2. On making decisions by Feeling vs. Thinking, I was thinking of the geniuses of America – the Founding Fathers in the past and again the innovators in the present – rather than Joe Sixpack. But I am not surprised that there are more beer drinkers than champagne sippers.

      2. Going back to Sensing vs. Intuition in education. Education that emphasizes science would foster both sensing and intuition, and I do not know which would be stronger as a result. To be an excellent scientist you need intuition to identify a worthy subject for research or development, to formulate hypotheses, and to consider possible solutions. At the same time you need the discipline of sensing to carry out experiments, to observe the results and to come to conclusions. But the correct conclusions would have been sussed out by intuition beforehand – and borne out by sensing. To my mind, an Intuitive scientist (like a Theoretical Physicist) is more likely to win a Nobel Prize than a Sensing scientist (Experimental Physicist).

      2.1. The prevalence of the Sensing type over the Intuitive type may be just a fact of nature?

      3. Do we have statistics for Filipinos?

      3.1. ‘Kutob’ is hunch which would be intuition. But doesn’t ‘pakiramdam’ translate to ‘feeling’ – which is sensing rather than intuition? Albeit by limited senses?

      3.2. Although it is ‘wrong’, I tend to place the Intuitive type above the Sensing type on the evolutionary scale. Which is why I tend to pigeonhole Filipinos as Sensors, because we are not that ‘developed’ yet.

      3.3. Intuition, per the definition, is (a) relying on the imagination, (b) being introspective and absorbed with ideas, (c) and focusing on what might happen. The following are my impressions and why I say that Filipinos are Sensing rather than Intuitive:

      (a) In learning, do Filipinos rely on their limited senses or on their imagination? Filipinos learn by imitation, by hands-on experience rather than by thinking a process through. Rather than reading the training manual, they will say, “Ipakita mo sa akin”. (“Show me”).

      (b) Are Filipinos introspective and absorbed with ideas? Not in the very least. Filipinos do not reflect much – they are not cerebral. They are not noted as philosophers, writers or scientists. They are copycats and plagiarists rather than innovators.

      (c) Do Filipinos focus on what might happen? Looking at the muddle we are in, Filipinos do not think about consequences. They act impulsively, often to gratify their senses, and they live for the day and do not plan for tomorrow.

      Please let me know if I am confused and have it the other way round. 🙂

      • cha says:

        We have to bear in mind that the MBTI measures preference, not ability.

        At his core, the Sensing person prefers to deal with reality, i.e. what his 5 senses tell him. He may be predisposed to certain modes of thinking or processes as an offshoot of this preference but what he is actually able to do with what his senses tell him has more to do with his training and education than the preference identified.

        The iNtuitive person on the other hand is not overly concerned with reality; he is happy to go with what his “sixth sense” leads him to. He sees possibilities and connections that the Sensing person often doesn’t see or care to see. It doesn’t matter that the possibilities and connections seen are actually correct or plausible. Again, how the iNtuitive predisposition is channeled such that it leads to actual productive or useful opinion or output is dependent on how well developed one’s mental or creative thinking faculties are and is beyond the scope of the MBTI.

        The problem is that MBTI interpretations or profiles in an effort to expound and show how the preference may be observable in a person often describe the manifestations of the preference, e.g. being introspective and absorbed with ideas, which may not actually be present in all people of the type, as I said earlier due to possible limitations in on’s training or educational background.

        A simple illustration of the difference between the Sensing and the iNtuitive type can be how one responds to a natural calamity, let’s say a flood; the Sensing person will look at the damage done, perhaps the amount of rainfall perhaps, the accuracy of the storm warning etc. The iNtuitive type (whose critical thinking abilities are not well developed) might see it as a “sign from above”. Or one with more advanced mental abilities will want to look at ways to improve on equipment or tools people have to respond to floods. They may find that not all people are able to afford rubber boats so they use their imagination and develop the concept or design for a “bahangka”, made of wood that people can make themselves and use in lieue of the more expensive rubber boats.

        • edgar lores says:

          1. Ah, so preference not ability. And the preference may not actually be present for some reason!

          2. In that case, I will disagree with the MBTI definition of intuition, .

          2.1. To me, sensing is knowing via the five senses. Intuition, as you say, adds a sixth sense. So intuition is a higher form of knowing. It is sensing what is there – almost automatically, and sensing something more, something beyond the senses. I say automatically, because it is not long-drawn process of ratiocination but a gestalt. And I say almost because the gestalt may not occur on the instant but after a night’s sleep or years of labor.

          2.2. To me, this does not imply that intuition is lack of critical thinking. I would say that intuition may be the result of inspiration or indeed of critical thinking. And intuition, in order to be proved correct, must be subjected to critical thinking.

          2.3. Let us say we are faced with an intractable problem, one that cannot be solved readily by logic, by thought. A solution might come to us from inspiration. Or a solution might be intuited after a period of hard thinking, of perspiration. Both solutions come out of the blue. And critical analysis will prove whether the solution is valid.

          2.4. To the example of a flood, the attribution of cause to a “sign from above” is not intuition. It is superstition. An intuitive type will look at the flood and instinctively know the cause: “heavy rain + clogged drains” or “heavy rains + low-lying land”. And he will imagine a solution. The Keirsey school thinks that the intuitive Rational will make for a good engineer (constructing) and coordinator (arranging). The sensing type, the Artisan, will help expedite the construction of the solution and will improvise where necessary.

          2.5. True, the idea of a deity or deities may come from intuition, from instinctive knowing. We intuit the existence of God. But to attribute ‘natural’ phenomena to the existence of God is no longer intuition. It is reasoning of some sort in that it establishes causation. And because the reasoning is not directly observable and because there exists a more viable and rational explanation, the false reasoning falls into the area of superstition.

          3. I think the failure of MBTI to grasp the difference between sensing and intuition lies in the false dichotomy of observation (sensing) and introspection (intuition). The assumption is that you cannot engage in observation and introspection at the same time. This is false. Introspection – say, of the Buddhist kind – can be either samatha (sensing: tranquility) or vipassana (analytical: insight). (Disclosure: I have read about this but do not know directly.)

          4. I have tested myself in Enneagram and score highest in Types 1 and 5:
          – Type 1: The Reformer. The rational, idealistic type.
          – Type 5: The Thinker. The perceptive, cerebral type.

          • cha says:

            That is why MBTI interpretations can become problematic, the definition of the psychological preferences being measured are somewhat nebulous. I used it mostly as an icebreaker before in some team development sessions we were running, mainly to start off the process of self-introspection and also trigger feedback giving and receiving. (People were sometimes perceived differently by their peers from the personality type identified for them by the test).

            I feel a bit more confortable with the Enneagram than MBTI in terms of being able to grasp the personality type descriptors, which is to say they’re more clear-cut, including the definition of the 3 personality centers (thinking, feeling, instinctive). I also like how both the healthy and unhealthy or dysfunctional manifestations of the type are indicated and not just the positive ones as is the case with the MBTI. Although of course, the Enneagram system too has its critics. The article from Guardian also has links to the more scientifically acceptable personality tests like the 16PF and the MMPI.

            And yes, I do see clearly the 1 and 5 (Enneagram personality types) in you. To a T.

          • cha says:

            Forgot to clarify on your 2.2:

            My point is that not all people who will fall under iNtuitive wil have well developed critical thinking abilities. But of course there will be those who do. Just as will be the case on the other end, i.e. the Sensers. That is why I pointed out that MBTI is not a test of ability, simply preference.

      • cha says:

        On Education

        My bias or paradigm in all this is that anyone, Filipino, American, Chinese, African etc. etc.m is capable of developing their mental abilities to full potential. What limits or pushes a person are often cultural practices or preferences and more importantly educational opportunities. Introspection, analytical/ creative/ holistic/ lateral thinking etc. can all be developed through training, coaching, mentorship, and yes, a proper education.

        I do not think that the usual problems or criticisms of the Filipino mindset are “genetic” . They do hot have anything to do with being born Filipino. They are rather the result of a combination of acculturation and possibly religious “indoctrination” , and limited access to good and sound educational and development opportunities.

        Other useful references / resources

        If you are interested in further explorations into the realm of Personality types, particularly on the interplay of the Thinking, Feeling and Intuitive centers of a person, I think you might find the Enneagram also interesting.

        I also like Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats approach to developing mental/ thinking abilities.

        • Joe America says:

          Also, I think there is a difference between personal character and “national character”. National character is not the average of all the characters that comprise its citizenship. You can have a bunch of sensing people who ascribe to the simple notion that laws matter, and get a different national character from a bunch of sensing people who believe laws are only “guidance”. The latter may have evolved for good reason; the empowered learned to skirt the laws for personal advantage and the un-empowered said, “me too”.But the national character emerges as very different.

          • cha says:

            Yes. And the national character may easily influence the development of one’s personal character, but it will take a very determined, strong and influential person/s to make a mark on reshaping the national character.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            Amen, Amen! It is no surprise a Filipino escapee from the Philippines that found its way in America is more intelligent than left-behind Filipino. It is difficult to swim against the Philippine current of idiocy that eventually they just get swept over and washed away.

          • edgar lores says:

            On national character.

            1. Agree that national character is not the average of all citizens. As I interpreted the national character of Joe, I took the best of the American character. As I interpreted the national character of Juan, I took the ‘average’ because I said Filipinos are “pretty much average.”

            2. By that I meant that I would be hard-pressed to name Filipinos of distinction in any field except politics. In politics, there is PNoy… and who else? In literature, there are Nick Joaquin and Jose Garcia Villa, but they are not internationally known. In science, there is… I draw a complete blank. In philosophy, ditto. In medicine, ditto. In economics, ditto. In sports, ah, in sports there is Pacquiao, and he is the most famous of all.

            2.1. I believe Pacquiao would fit the ESFP type: he is elected, he sings, he fights, and he performs. 🙂

            3. My impression is that law does not matter to Filipinos both as an attribute of personal character and national character. Is the basis for the disregard the same? Or is it a case of me-tooism? I don’t know; I have reached the limits of my powers.

            4. I agree with Cha below that we are shaped by a national character (nurture) and that it is difficult to reshape both personal and national characters. PNoy is doing it insofar as the wangwang mentality and the dependence on the Church are concerned.

        • edgar lores says:

          On education.

          1. I gather that knowing the personality types of students allow educators to use different methods to foster learning. Certain methods will agree with certain types, and other methods will agree with other types.

          2. I agree that anyone can develop to their full potential. But the importance I take from personality types is that we have different potentials, different intelligences. I am still trying to understand the difference between Myers-Briggs and Keirsey, but the latter correlates temperament to careers. Again certain careers will agree more with certain types.

          2.1. As a certain type of Rational, I will laugh if someone says I can become a good Artisan, say, an auto-mechanic. At the same time, I will laugh if a good Artisan, like my brother-in-law who is an all-around handyman, will be good at computer programming. No doubt he can be taught to program but he may not be able to program well. And no doubt I can learn to be an all-around handyman or an auto-mechanic. But will I excel in it? And, perhaps more importantly, will I love being one?

          2.2. True, we may be trained (nurture) in potentials that are not natively our own (nature), but I do not think we will excel in those potentials. As types, we have native strengths and weaknesses. We are born equipped with certain strengths that may well be genetic. We are all plants but we bloom with different flowers.

          3. I am not arguing that we should not be aware of other potentials or not try to develop them. I am arguing that we should develop our native potential to its fullest whatever that may be. Creating a well-rounded personality may be self-defeating. We may become a Jack of all trades but master of none.

          3.1. I would think that education should (a) discover what type a child belongs to, so that he can be developed to his full potential; and (b) teach an awareness of all personality types so that everyone can recognize the diversity and plurality that exists in the world.

          Note: I am giving my feedback on this sub-section on education before I consider the main section on Sensing and Intuition. All of this thought-provoking. Thanks.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            I truly believe Filipinos has the “it” but when they graduate from Ateneo, la Salle, U.P. and PMA, when they hob nob, rub elbows and klink Heineken with their superiors they loose all they learn in ivy-schools and become just another simple Filipino.

          • cha says:

            Learning theories would be more useful to developing educational systems or approaches than personality types, like the learning styles theory if one is interested in finding out how different types of people learn.

            Personality types as identified through personality testing are somewhat problematic because the results are more often not static and have been found to change for one person for as short a period as from a few weeks or months. Factors such as changes in life circumstances, roles played in the setting in which the testings are conducted, or even the need for social acceptance or desireability all come into play.

            The article in the link below may help put personality testing such as that of the MBTI in perspective:


          • edgar lores says:

            Cha, thanks.

            1. The linked article is quite recent, 19 March 2013. So MBTI testing is used by a lot of companies world-wide. The article says and I agree: “Generally, although not completely unscientific, the MBTI gives a ridiculously limited and simplified view of human personality, which is a very complex and tricky concept to pin down and study.”

            2. Learning styles may be customized for different types of people? But how do you establish those types?

          • JosephIvo says:

            We used Kolb learning styles when dealing with individual managers, found out that Siliman University too is using them to personalize their education. Quite some overlap with the system presented here.


          • JosephIvo says:

            But careful, some American research suggested that more than 90% of the training budget in companies nationwide is wasted, partly due to inefficient methods. Paul Hersey (Situational Management) stated that using the right individual teaching method can increase training efficiencies (on impact level) with 60%.

            For students education has to be more than preparing efficient employees, it has to develop “mature” human beings too. (or as the University of Perpetual Help System tells in its motto: “Character Building is Nation Building”… thus teachers come late to prepare students for accepting Filipino time, teachers accept whatever exception for a little money to prepare students for corrupt civil servants, a thesis should be based on an existing one to prepare students for efficient plagiarism… but this might be a different subject)

  10. JosephIvo says:

    Interesting, I assume the scale for each dimension goes from 100% on one side to 100% at the other side? I am a INFP, only the P differs from Joe. But my I is 1% and the F and P less than 10%. Is it due to my schizophrenic genes or is it my original self conflicting with my engineering education and career, saturated with logic and mathematics? Nature, nurture?

    In Reddin’s 3D and Hershey’s Situational Leadership there is something like style flexibility, some people are chameleons adjusting to a situation others are more rigid. I would answer e.g. the question on the need to follow rules as very important after a day’s struggling with jeepney and tricycle drivers and very unimportant after wasting a day making copies or original receipts to please the useless requirements of a Philippine bureaucrat.

    But regardless, looking in a mirror can be terrible one day or very nice the other. And this mirror give definitely a more unambiguous picture than my daily horoscope.

    • edgar lores says:

      Joseph, You display the self-questioning of a true introvert, although I find 1% negligible. I think the personality types outline our basic orientation (nature), but the position of the scale within a range may be a result of conditioning (nurture) or self-change. We are free agents – and I say that not as a predetermined result of nature or nurture but as a result of thinking – which is the outcome of my previous nature and nurture in an endless spiral.

      Yes, this business of personality testing is like fitting square pegs in round holes. The peg goes into the hole, but it is not a perfect fit. As an idealist, there is no inconsistency in your polar reactions to the need to follow rules if you view them from the criterion of necessity. You follow traffic rules to avoid accidents and you abhor bureaucratic rules of filing multiple copies because they are only necessary for filing purposes and not to validate the intent of the original receipt.

      The mirror reflects an image – and what we see depends on the quality of the mirror but also on the quality of our sight and on the day and on the time of day. Still and all, any insight is beneficial because it raises consciousness.

  11. edgar lores says:

    Cha and Joseph,

    1. Joseph, thanks for the Kolb input. My impressions are:

    1.1. Kolb seems to have dispensed with the extraversion/introversion dichotomy.
    1.2. It has replaced the sensing/intuitive dichotomy with a concrete/abstract dichotomy.
    1.2.1. This is similar to Kiersey’s emphasis on sensing/intuitive rather than on the Myer’s emphasis on extraversion/introversion.
    1.3. It has expanded the concrete/abstract dichotomy with reflective observation/active experimentation.
    1.3.1. This is a semantic improvement on Kiersey’s interpretation of the sensing/intuition dichotomy into observation/introspection. Mere “Introspection” becomes “reflective observation” and mere “observation” becomes “active experimentation”. This is in line with my analogy of Theoretical Physicist vs. Experimental Physicist.
    1.4. Kolb has incorporated 4 learning styles associated with the two dichotomies.
    1.5. I note the warning on “unproven methodologies” versus the acceptance of limited “value and benefit”.

    2. Cha, thanks for the input on the learning centers and Enneagram. Now that I think about it, I have encountered this system before as I have encountered Gurdjieff in my readings.
    2.1. I have also encountered de Bono, and am familiar with lateral thinking, but have not read him.
    2.2. I note that you have incorporated, consciously or unconsciously, his Six Thinking Hats methodology in your replies. 🙂

    3. The general state of psychology and education seems to be… chaotic. Primarily because the observations of psychology are not precise and its conclusions are not conclusive. Education is based on the shifting ground of psychology and learning styles seems to be in a fluid state of experimentation.
    3.1. And yet we pin our hopes of a better world on education!
    3.2. Cha, you and your kind have a great task ahead of you.

    4. Could it be that – theories and methods aside – we can approach the intractable problem of education by a shift in attitude and assumptions?
    4.1. On assumption. We view education as a preparation for livelihood when really it should be a preparation for daily living. Some of us are retired already and yet we are still learning and educating ourselves.
    4.2. On attitude. We see education as instilling knowledge and thereby developing potential. As I said before, education should recognize the particular type of potential that a child has, however that potential is identified. But instead of cramming that potential with useless knowledge — which is now just a click away as JoeAm notes — shouldn’t we be instilling respect and reverence for all things and for all life? Because it is under this condition of respect and reverence that that potential will fully grow, bloom and flower. And it is under this condition that respect and reverence – (cue: drum roll) – will suffuse the world.

    • cha says:

      Ethics Classes are being trialled in Australian public primary schools, amidst much resistance and protestation from (surprise!surprise!) the religious sector. The classes are being offered as an alternative to scripture classes (which include cathechism for those who are catholic) and are taught by trained volunteers. So far, there’s been a lot of interest and support from parents and students alike, with more students (than expected) opting out of the scripture classes to instead attend Ethics.

      Have had a look at the curriculum sometime ago and it does look promising. Hopefully (if the program becomes successful enough and generate interest worldwide, including the Philippines, when those CBCP bishops come out of the dark ages or when the people decide to leave the bishops there. For good. ) it can eventually become part of the general school curticulum everywhere, just like maths and english etc. And then it can be one of those steps we take towards that better world we want for this and future generations to come.

      Here’s how it’s being done:

      • edgar lores says:

        Thanks, Cha. I was aware of the controversy and aghast at the resistance of religionists to secular ethics courses. But I did not know the trialling of these courses had begun, and it is heartening to know that parents and children are positively involved. Indeed that parents and children are electing to join these courses.

        On the first video, I like the passing of the red balloon to respect the speaker, the marker on the floor that shows the range of possible answers in terms of acceptability, the objectivity of the teacher and the lessons, and the kids’ answers!

        What kind of mindset would object into an open inquiry on ethical behavior?

  12. Ji says:

    I’m an INTJ and a Filipina 🙂

  13. Jackie says:

    That explains why I feel I’m not belong. As an ISTJ, I absolutely hate those who lack discipline, time management, idealistic, sensitive, irresponsible, love to be in love, commitment-phobes and happy-go-lucky types just like the majority of Filipinos. No wonder the country remain poor. Seriously I think Filipinos (the majority) need to grow-up, take responsibility and stop those annoying self-pity, playing victim and whining like a 3 year old kid.

    • edgar lores says:

      Welcome to the club of introverted (I), thinking (T), and discerning (J) Filipinos.

      The events in the intervening 5 years since I wrote the essay prove our original assessment of the Filipino — extroverted (E), emotional (F), and lack of discernment (P). The last two factors in particular.

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