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The Difference Between “Kuripot” and “Madamot” (On Frugality and Stinginess)

The long Filipino Christmas season is almost over. I’m saying that because as for some Filipinos, Valentine’s Day is part of the final stretch of the “Christmas” season. Believe it or not, some malls and local products still have their Christmas promos running up to this very date.

Regardless of denomination and creed (except for some “Christians” who don’t celebrate Christmas), this is a special season for reconciliation and happy reunions. It’s the time for giving and of course, receiving.

If you are a Godparent (Ninong or Ninang), you must have gotten your ears and hands full (and emptied) last December. You ears were “full” of either praises and curses (because some of your godkids told you that you are stingy or kuripot).


What’s The Difference Between Frugality and Stinginess?

But wait a minute. It seems like people are mixing and messing things up. Being kuripot (frugal) doesn’t make one madamot (stingy) automatically.

A kuripot one can be frugal yet generous in times of need. But you may find a stingy person really unwilling to give regardless if it’s for luxury or emergency.

A kuripot person knows how to control his/her spendings. A madamot person does not want to spend even if it’s already a matter of life and death.

A kuripot friend will not easily give in to your invitation to dine in a first-class restaurant. Unless an event calls for a just celebration. A madamot friend won’t even bother listen to your invitation even if you are part of his/her success.

A kuripot neighbor will not give a share for a “lechon-for-everyone” street party. But he/she will surely lend a helping hand to a neighbor who is sick and in pain. A madamot person will not shell out a cent for both occasions.

A kuripot lover will take you to the cheapest yet cleanest carinderia in town with the yummiest and most popular home-made viands for a Valentine’s date. He will give you flowers freshly-picked from his mother’s backyard matched with a warm hug and kiss.

A madamot lover may bring you to the finest fine dining restaurant in the city but will embarass you by keeping on reminding you to order the cheapest meal on the menu…right in front of the waiter.

A kuripot person is a saver or investor with a generous and compassionate heart to help others in need. A madamot person keeps money in his/her baul or savings accounts but helping people is always the last thing on his/her mind.

Do you now know the difference between a kuripot and a madamot? Can you give some more examples of people you know who are either or both kuripot or madamot in the comments section below?

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Photo credit: Matthew Hunt

4 thoughts on “The Difference Between “Kuripot” and “Madamot” (On Frugality and Stinginess)”

  1. Great post Burn! I would consider my mother kuripot hehehe. When I was in college, she would not give in to our desires to buy unnecessary things but when it comes to our education or our needs in school, she always has money to spare.

    I can’t remember madamot people in my life though. Although I know people who do not prioritize like they could spend for a party but not for their education. On the second thought, maybe they prioritize. They just do not have the same priorities as I have or my mom has. :)

  2. i think the correct equivalent of frugal is masinop not kuripot. A kuripot is one who make sure every centavo counts. No fancies, only needs. Quite a negative term. But a masinop is one who has a wholistic view of life… one who does not only consider the worth of every centavo but also its implication in his economics and life in general. Very positive term.

    Your post however is something everyone should read. Thanks for posting.

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