It is not uncommon for Filipinos to borrow money from friends or relatives. Usually, the amounts are not that big, i.e., from less than a hundred to a few hundreds or thousands, that the transaction is done on purely verbal basis. The Filipino culture of "hiyâ" (shame) also plays a big role that putting such transactions in writing between friends or relatives is a sign of mistrust and is practically considered taboo.
Once in a while there's someone who ends up not paying back a portion, or worse, the full amount of the money borrowed. Maybe the intention to swindle was not there at the start, but defaulting eventually becomes an easier and self-benefiting alternative that even "hiyâ" has to take the back seat. That's when you'd hear "balasubas" being used to describe such people. In fact, the description can even become part of their persona when others refer to them in their absence. You will hear references like, "ang balasubas kong kápit-bahay" (my swindler neighbor), "si Paul na balasubas" (Paul the swindler), or "'yung anák na balasubas ni Maria" (that swindler son/daughter of Maria).
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