My country is a Spanish colony for 300 years. The etymologies of most of the words in our dialect are from Spanish words, but we made them more of “our” words by incorporating our ethnicity in it. I would like to introduce some words in my dialect on this particular blog and my blogs to come, just for the sake of entertainment and a little “education”. I would like to start with this word;

KUMPYANSA” – From the Spanish word “Confianza” which means “Confidence“. It is pronounced as spelled.

That particular word, although meant to be taken positively by its English translation, connotes a bit more negativity in our dialect. Often, that thin line of difference makes a huge impact as I have witnessed many bad situations gone worse due to this so-called “confidence” resulting from lack of consciousness and awareness of even the littlest things around us and even with ourselves. The word that seeps through the fissure between the words “confidence” and “stupidity” is “kumpyansa” or shall I say, the “stupid confidence”.

One interpretation of it is that it is the summation of a lot of situations where in one person assumes that another person already understands and knows what to do, when to do, or how to do without giving instructions to that person at all, or worse, even telling that person list of instructions, which still were not followed. When the bad thing happens, the first words uttered would be “I wish I knew…“. The second would be “Had I known, I should never have…” Regrets are always at tail-ends. That is how “stupid confidence” always ends up.

I bet every single person on earth at one time in their lives experienced trusting someone to do things for them but failed, some have relied on it for their lives. One perfect example is when a person is crossing the street. The person is very “confident” when the green lights in the form of a walking pedestrian is already a “go” to cross and at same time a circle red light a “stop” for vehicles. And from nowhere, came a driver speeding through under the influence of “whatever” and suddenly hit that person head-on at the pedestrian lane. The person crossing the street couldn’t care less because he is “kumpyansa” that all drivers of the vehicles would halt at red light. Naturally, the driver will be filed a reckless driving case, but the person crossing the street might already be dead. The person died not because he was hit by the car, but because of his “kumpyansa“.

My experiences commonly sprung from my workplace. At some point, I am “kumpyansa” that my workmate already gave my report to our boss weeks before the deadline. Came the due date, I was told to go the office to steer clear of something. I got to the office only to find that my report was nowhere near my boss’ table. I confronted my workmate and she just answered me carelessly,”I thought you just want me to file them for you“. She neatly filed them in a folder and placed inside the cabinet. I recalled that I never gave her instructions; I just gave her the file assuming that she already knew what to do with them. The wide-eyed me felt so frustrated that I just turned my back thinking, “If I only knew…“, No one to blame but me and my “kumpyansa.

That silent danger called “kumpyansa” can make the worst of everything. It can be life-threatening or can put your job at risk or anything for that matter, but it can be proactively treated. I cannot find its most accurate single English term, but I am trying my best to relay the message one way or another through the example situations. No one had to suffer the consequence and regret, had one been thinking in advance.

To avoid the bait of “kumpyansa“, one must always expect the worst at any time and any place. Be conscious and assess risks on even the trivial things like overhead photo frames. An earthquake might happen anytime, making one a candidate for injury by falling objects. Second, always communicate. Better to be frank than be sorry. Third, a little faith won’t hurt, but never fully trust anyone to do things for you without giving them firm and clear instructions, and always hear out the answer to the question,”Do you get me?”. Always, always second guess. Lastly, pray that after all your proactive actions, nothing can go wrong anymore. If its HIS will, then so be it.

It can be a good thing, though, when taken as a caution. Commonly we would say,”Ayaw kumpyansa“, in which “ayaw” means “no”. The whole of it would literally mean “No confidence”, or in other words, “Be vigilant always because kumpyansa doesn’t have an over-the-counter medicine just yet. 🙂


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