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Ruby S. Suazo University of San Carlos Cebu City, Philippines
The identity of the Filipino is seen in its values.1 Reflecting on Bago’s stylized framework for development in the Philippines is very instructive. Integrated development according to her framework is founded on the cultural values of the nation.2 Based on her framework, the present situation of the country can be deemed as results of the Filipino’s cultural values because “they have far greater influence and impact on the way of life of the people.”3 Her idea corroborates the insight of Ramirez that the values of the people are reflected on the workings of institutions. This follows from the fact that the workings of institutions are externalizations of the culture of which the deepest layer are values. 4 So much has been done as to the re-understanding or clarification of the Filipino values. Right after the EDSA I revolution, Licuanan points out that the government embarked on a moral recovery program for the reason that “[s]elf-interest and disregard for the common good rears its ugly head. We are confronted with our lack of discipline and rigor, our colonial mentality, and our emphasis on porma (form). Despite our great display of people's power, now we are passive once more, expecting our leaders to take all responsibility for solving our many problems.”5 The government embarks for this
Alejandro R. Roces, “A Nation Is Known By Its Values” in Lourdes R. Quisumbing and Felice P. Sta. Maria, Peace and Tolerance: Values Education Through History, pp. 122-124.
Adelaida L. Bago, Curriculum Development: The Philippine Experience (Manila: De La Salle University Press, Inc., 2001), 9.
Mina M. Ramirez, “Toward a Revolution of Mindsets: A Critique of the Present Socio-Cultural System” in Reflections on Culture, Occasional Monograph 2 (Manila: Asian Social Institute, 1991): 3.
Patricia Licuanan, “A Moral Recovery Program: Building a People – Building a Nation” in Manuel B. Dy, Jr., ed. Values in Philippine Culture and Education: Philippine Philosophical Studies I
crvp. and the need to achieve the goals of peace and genuine social justice.htm.ph/records/eo_no314. 2005.ops.Arroyo formed the Presidential Commission on Values Formation. 6 Ibid. 2004). April 30. accessed November 5. mendicancy. It remains relevant up to the present for the desired integrated development that should be sustainable. The commission is formed because of “the existence of the Filipino’s strong desire to see the establishment and institutionalization of just and moral governance and the imperative to have a continuing and intensified drive against graft and corruption. available from http://www.org/book/Series03/III-7/chapter_iv. Pres. Gloria Macapagal . Executive Order No. passivity. available from http://www.gov. 7 Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo.program because of the following needs: the need for economic recovery. In line with this. Bago notes that this has remained to be the main thrust of the values education curriculum which is “a response to a general feeling on the need for social transformation after the February 1986 People Power Revolution. 1994) [article on-line]. . the need to reestablish democratic institutions. apathy.”8 This thrust is spelled out even more in the goal of the Values Education Program: “to provide and promote values education at all three levels of the educational system for the (Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press & The Council For Research in Values and Philosophy. and socially integrating has not fully materialized yet.6 Recently. patronage politics. 132. spiritually uplifting.”7 This recent development suggests that rethinking of the different values of the Filipino is not yet a passé. equitable. 8 Bago. 314: Creating the Presidential Commission on Values Formation (Manila: Malacañang. accessed December 6. factionalism and lack of patriotism. 2006.htm.
. Landa Jocano. love. and spiritual. 133. orientations or attitudes. Maria likewise study the Filipino value system whether it is compatible with the UNESCO project for peace and tolerance. the human person is divided into four dimensions: physical. What is noteworthy about Andres’ framework is its being a synthesis of the studies conducted by Lynch. 27. 1996). economically. eds. he has to develop the 9 Ibid. 117 as cited in Bago. Sutaria. . In community. Talisayon. Socially. and idiosyncrasies. Hollnsteiner.. Politically. he is taken in terms of its family and society. et al. 105 & 119. As self. Inc. He was able to discern commonalities and consensus among various authors. intellectual. The four dimensions in turn aim to develop respectively the values of health. Guerrero and Paulina M. the Filipino Value System framework of Serafin Talisayon11 and the Philippine-Value System framework of Tomas Andres. Peace and Tolerance: Values Education Through History (Manila: UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines. truth. 10 Minda C. This is a result of Talisayon’s compilation and review of almost a hundred academic. moral. 12 11 Tomas D. there are several frameworks to look upon the different values of the Filipino.development of the human person committed to the building of a just and humane society and an independent and democratic nation. Economically. Sta. there is the widely disseminated The DECS Values Education Framework of Minda C. 1989). he is to develop economic efficiency. Quisumbing and Felice P. Serafin D. and Quisumbing. the person is expected to develop the value of social responsibility. “The DECS Values Education Framework” in Philippine Education: Visions and Perspectives (Manila: National Book Store. journalist and opinion articles about Filipino values. “Values In Our Quest for Freedom (1896 – 1898) and Their Application for Future Development” in Lourdes R. Bulatao.”9 To understand the Filipino values in general.12 Quisumbing and Sta. the human person is seen socially. Juanita S. Castaño. Gorospe. To name a few. Understanding Filipino Values: A Management Approach. The framework of Sutaria looks into the human person in relation to its self and community. and spirituality. Sutaria. Maria. Andres.10. Mercado. and reduce them into a set of identifiable value clusters with some internal consistency or coherence. Socially. and politically.
105. In terms of his perception of reality. economic security and social mobility. convictions and attitudes. convictions and attitudes. intimates that the core or central clusters of the Filipino value system revolve around seven values: (1) family/kinship orientation. on his part. concrete. in terms of principles and norms. language. Maria. Talisayon. (5) pakikiramdam. (3) “loob complex” (religious/psychic orientation). and aspirations. and even religion. The values developed are expected to improve the human dignity of the human person. Ultimately. Operationally. and (7) economic security. on their part. (2) makatao/kapwa tao (personalism). the framework of Andres analyzes the Philippine value system into three aspects: first. People are divided according to social class. in terms of belief. interpersonal. and intuitive. he is non-dualistic. (4) social acceptance.values of nationalism and global solidarity. There is too much affinity to the family and kin. Quisumbing and Sta. goals and aspirations of the Filipino are social acceptance. He is non-scientific and non-relational. solidarity. harmonizing. and democracy. structurally. (6) pakikisama (group centeredness). On matters of principles and norms. poetic. study intensively the values of the Filipino and come up with this position: education for peace. second. artistic. compassion. He deduces that the aims. for international understanding and tolerance is essentially a matter of changing values. and non-interference is overdone. emphasis on equivalence. human rights. In terms of belief. he is segmented. lastly. power. the Filipino has a personalistic and a supernaturalistic world-view. goals. in terms of its aims. Age-grading is overemphasized. 13 Lastly. region. . reciprocity. 13 Talisayon.
”15 In fact. Maria as she sees a need to pay attention to the dream of peace because “we face the twenty-first century and the new millennium with raised hopes of economic development for our country and a better life for our people. pagtanggap. This list of synonyms is provided by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as assisted by the Commission for the Filipino Language. Sta. “we need to foster a culture of peace. xi. pagpayag. goals. Peace and Tolerance: Values Education Through History. Maria. “Filipino Attitudes Towards Tolerance” in Lourdes R. . 15 Patricia B. these expressions can be deduced as extensions if not manifestations of one of the Filipino’s dearest values: SIR (smooth interpersonal relationships) which is closely related to what Andres says as the aims. 3. pagpapaubaya. human rights and fundamental freedoms. 19 Ibid. 16 Ibid. and aspirations of every Filipino. vii..16 In connection with this. 18 Ibid. Harmonious social relations are values that are very important to the Filipinos. Maria.attitudes. and behavior. and where citizens of a nation and of the global community can work together in solidarity and in peace. 17 Sta. peace that upholds … economic and social justice. and sustainable development. pagpapaumanhin. she adds. 10. pagpapahintulot.. Quisumbing and Felice P. Peace and Tolerance: Values Education Through History.19 Thus 14 Ibid. especially the youth – at home.18 Noticeably. Maria. Sta. the UNESCO has identified tolerance as a tool for peacekeeping.14 Licuanan affirms the position of Quisumbing and Sta. Licuanan. Quisumbing and Felice P. in the school. Hence the need and importance of values education for our citizenry. and in the total learning environment of the society – should be our absolute priority if we want our children to live and develop in a genuine of peace and tolerance where people learn to live together in harmony. “Preface” in Lourdes R.17 The following are the synonyms of tolerance in Filipino: pagpaparaya.
Cf.Mercado says that inasmuch as interpersonalism requires much diplomacy. Understanding Filipino Values: A Management Approach. particularly the foreigners. 16.” our silence borne out of deference or sensitivity to feelings of others as “concealed dishonesty. This negativism in turn creates a crisis of national identity and a crisis of national self-confidence. They say that these values have “damaged” our culture. Cf. Positive Filipino Values (Quezon City: New Day Publishers.” brought about “weaknesses in our character” as a people. 22 23 Andres.” our kinship loyalties as “nepotism. 17. Ricardo S. 2.21 Nevertheless. 1999). and have caused the “moral breakdown” of our institutions. the Filipino wants to avoid outside signs of conflict.” The high premium we place on reciprocal obligations is described by them as “scheming. Jocano. 1967). Andres explains. brought about “the ills in our society. Elements of Filipino Philosophy (Tacloban City: Divine Word University Publications.” our gift-giving.22 Andres shares the same sentiment as the most observers and critics alike who believe that the values of the Filipinos are anti-development but he believes that this attitude is due to the emphasis of the negative features of the Filipino values. Soler. Many critics… see Filipino traditional values as something we should not have valued in the first place…. Jocano explains. as “bribery” and our utang na loob (debt of gratitude) as “cumbersome system of patronage and major source of corruption. . and lack of initiative. frankness is not a cultural value for them20 because.” our firmness and discipline as “authoritarianism. critics see the aforementioned values of the Filipinos as antidevelopment. even see our conformity to traditional norms as “passivity. 7. 21 Andres. Filipino Value System: A Cultural Definition. says that “the principal cause of the present economic conditions may be attributed to the negativism in the Filipino national personality. “A Crisis of National Self-Confidence” in Industrial Philippines (January 1972). subservience. 98. Leonardo Mercado.” given rise to our “undesirable traits.” our concern for consensus as “lack of leadership. Some critics. Soler.”23 20 Ibid. as cited by Andres.
26 Jocano. The Philippine Cultural Systems 24 Jocano. 4. 4. has long been answered by Jocano when he told the many critics that they are wrong. Seemingly. our social institutions are not responding to people’s life-needs”25 because the people do not fully understand the dynamism of their value system. This observation.” 27 Nevertheless.. desirable and positive. 5. 27 . 26 Thus. is there really something wrong with the Filipino values? No.Nevertheless.” 24 It is just a matter of looking at them in the right perspective. We need to shift our value paradigms – to recast our mindsets and to redefine our perspectives from one which sees our traditional values as source of social ills to another which sees them as sources of inner strength and moral will to survive and excel. There is nothing wrong with the Filipino values. The appropriate application of the said values to the Filipino’s desired goal will make them good. 25 Ramirez. they are just different. “Toward a Revolution of Mindsets: A Critique of the Present Socio-Cultural System” in Reflections on Culture. he emphasizes the “need to free our minds from the biases of the old colonial value-models and to build new ones that reflect the best in us. the present value system fails them. Ibid. 5. there is nothing wrong with the Filipino values! “They have to be challenged. there is still a pervading confusion that arises among the Filipino people on how to perceive those values due to the present value system of the Filipinos. however. He says that their judgments are not correct and that they have to be challenged since their judgments of the Filipino values are based upon the values of the colonizers who earlier wrote about them. Filipino Value System: A Cultural Definition. Ramirez charges that “at present. Filipino Value System: A Cultural Definition.
by culture she means “the totality of a people’s enduring shared patterns of thinking.” 28 Accordingly. “The Dominant and Popular Cultural Systems in the Philippines” in Reflections on Culture. Primarily. The traditional value system has pananalig sa diyos. The latter. The former originates in the indigenous roots of the Filipinos and is relegated to the collective unconscious and lives in their minds and hearts. 15. that is. for Ramirez. although they are different from the standpoint of the perceiver. It is imbibed especially through our primary groups – family. and acting in response to their life-needs. buhay. 4. It is projected in secondary institutions. peer. 29 Ibid. and ginhawa as operating values. They are the popular (traditional) and the dominant (modern) cultural systems. inasmuch as the two cultural systems that operate in the country today cannot be done away with for they are part of its socio-cultural heritage. . neighborhood and work group. and democracy as the operating values. free enterprise. the western-imbibed or modern value-system has Christianity. 14. there are two cultural systems that operate in the country today that the Filipinos cannot do away with for they are part of its socio-cultural heritage. they have the same goal or intention.Ramirez observes that the problem that besieged the Philippines today is cultural by nature. they also have different sets of operating values. Culture is all pervasive in life. has been imposed by the colonial powers and is explicitly advocated by the modernizing elites of the Philippine society. feeling. In the deepest layer of our culture are our operating values.. the promotion of life.29 Correspondingly. Thus. on the other hand. hinga. loob. On the other hand. with the folkways and languages serving as its main vehicles. Nevertheless. pakikipagkapwa tao. as made visible through symbols…. formal education. elements of both 28 Ramirez.
1992). . 32 Ibid. Hallig. often forcing the loob into conflict situations which satisfy neither value system fully. Landa Jocano. 13.” in Filipino Value System. 2006.com/nazarene/docs/didache_2_1_Hallig. many of them remained traditional because “his loob (inner self) is still governed by the values he possesses from his traditional orientations that determine his thoughts. 3. consensus. Jocano has the same observation with Ramirez when he compares the conflicting foreign-derived and traditional values that simultaneously affect Filipino behavior. Cf. Maria says. and jeopardize the local sense of 30 Ibid. accessed November 5. 32 On the other hand.”31 Thus. flexible.” 30 This is due to the observation that although Filipinos are strongly affected by modernism. The exogenous model has characteristics of being legal. F. “the two incongruous systems make simultaneous demands on Filipinos. Thus. Filipinos know when to use one or the other value system. and behaviors. Philippines: Punlad Research House. vol.33 For that reason. the indigenous model which guides the Filipino subconscious behavior has characteristics of being customary. “Issues and Challenges in Filipino Value Formation. and rigid (through channels) as best exemplified in the bureaucracy in the Philippines inherited from western culture.pdf . Maria. formal.premierstudios. 31 Jason V.value systems operate in every dimension of the Filipino life. 1 (Quezon City. 1-22. 33 Sta. Communicating Holiness to the Filipinos: Challenges and Needs – The Path to a Filipino Theology of Holiness. emotions. available from http://media. Sta. she proposes that “to have access to life. non- confrontational. 22.. non-formal. the failure to realize the dynamics of the dual value system leads to stagnation for its dynamism confused them. [article on-line]. n.
169 – 170. the evolution of Philippine society and culture is viewed using these parameters: (1) allocation of goods and services. explain the issue.. “Ideologically. Sta. (2) allocation of power and authority. and (3) Period of cultural solidarity (1898 -1998 and beyond). Quisumbing and Felice P.. (2) Period of struggle and national consolidation (1565 – 1898). Synchronically. 14. and (3) ideological enculturation. According to Covar.upright conduct.”36 34 Ibid. “Unburdening Philippine Society of Colonialism” in Lourdes R. Maria. 171. 35 Prospero R. Diachronically. Knowing its history makes understanding its vulnerabilities and constraints instructing. The diachronic and synchronic parameters of Philippine history. . Peace and Tolerance: Values Education Through History. 36 Ibid. however. as viewed by Prospero Covar. The promise of working for the national interest and general welfare has been the political discourse since the time of the Propaganda Movement and the first Philippine Republic. namely: (1) Formative period (0. The period of Struggle and national Consolidation was to ‘civilize’ some ‘natives’ as Spanish mesticillos and little brown Americans who eventually became the illustrados.35 The concern.5 M to 1565. Covar. on the understanding of the dynamism of dual value system focuses on the third parameter: the ideological enculturation. the Formative Period was concerned with the ginhawa (inner comfort) of the tao and the well-being of the sakop (ward).”34 This is still due to the failure of the people to realize the dynamism of both models. Historical Development of the Dual Value System To understand the dynamism of the Filipino value system is to go back to its historical beginning. Philippine history is divided into three periods.
Jocano shares the same perspective with Covar and Ramirez as to the Filipino’s retaining his old values. even if they are in grey flannel suits. if one removes the outer trappings of modernity… one discovers that underneath the veneer. Ramirez elucidates that they are not insignificant for they “become[s] the soil in which any external item from other cultures may be grafted to assume its own unique growth and evolution.”38 The answer of Ramirez to the questions is affirmative. However. This hidden dimension”. 4.” Covar explains. and sentiments alive. she explains further. The traces of the Formative period pervades in what Ramirez calls as the suppressed culture that operates vis-à-vis the dominant culture imposed by the colonizers. “usually ask. values. Filipino Social Organization: Traditional Kinship and Family Organization (Manila: Punlad Research House.” Jocano. “is sometimes more powerful than the external elements of a culture [for it] lives in the minds and hearts of people. 174. It might be thought of that the operating values during the Formative period are insignificant for they are now relegated to the collective unconscious of the people. “social scientists and communicators. ‘What happened to the society and culture during the Formative Period? Were they wiped out during the Period of Struggle and National Consolidation? Is there anything left in the indigenous culture and society which we could rally around the Period of Cultural Solidarity?’”37 Then he adds. .”39 37 Ibid. the Filipinos are still traditional in their institutional values and community outlook. “Toward a Revolution of Mindsets: A Critique of the Present Socio-Cultural System” in Reflections on Culture.1998). Indeed. “Our answers to these questions shall help guide us in our quest for values beyond 1998. Thus. 38 Ibid. 39 Ramirez. there are still things left in the indigenous culture and society that pervade in the Period of cultural solidarity. 3. Jocano reveals that in the midst of the rapidly changing environment. This keeps the traditional institutions. “the old rural patterns are retrieved and used to handle the pressure of adaptation to the changing environment..Entering the 21st century.
D. they derive their authority from the implied coercion of colonial rule. citing O. and beautiful in society. Chinese. McCoy (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. Filipino Value System: A Cultural Definition. good. Filipinos become very religious and 40 41 Jocano. 1957). Corpuz. Bureaucracy in the Philippines (Manila: Institute of Public Administration. 1994).’ Punitive measures accompanied these impositions. O. for the Americans. . Henceforth. University of the Philippines. “‘An Anarchy of Families’: The Historiography of State and Family in the Philippines” in An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines.” Native character was seen as “uncouth” and local beliefs were called “superstitions. they can not induce compliance through shared myth or other forms of social sanction because the modern Philippine state does not evolve organically from the Filipino society. and practices became undesirable. They likewise introduced their values as standards for what is desirable. true.” Thus viewed.” Conventional practices were labeled as “barbaric. For the Spaniards.During the Period of Struggle and National Consolidation. the operating values of the people during the Formative Period are forcefully put on the back burner for the reason that colonizers imposed religious.41 Consequently. They are not completely assimilated and grafted to the indigenous practices of the people unlike that of the Malay. 128 – 213. edited by Alfred W.” Therefore they had to be changed. Corpuz. social and political systems on the Filipinos. They were said to be “barriers to modernization. and Arab. beliefs. Cf. it was their plan to establish a politico-economic foothold in Asia. 3 – 4.40 Meaning. On the other hand. They adopt the practices of the colonizers out of fear. disguised as ‘benevolent assimilation. 11. the people are forced to adopt the value system of the colonizers without positively understanding the impact of the modern practices to modernization. colonization was part of their desire to ‘Christianize’ us.D. with the use of the whip. Indian. local knowledge. Alfred McCoy.” Indigenous values were described as “backward” and “corrupt. In the words of Alfred McCoy. he clarifies that although Spain and the United States try to forge a strong bureaucratic apparatus based upon their own laws and social practice. Filipinos who refused to accept the new systems were punished as heretics and insurrectos…. native customary ways were set aside as “primitive.
“The Dominant and Popular Cultural Systems in the Philippines” in Reflections on Culture. with free enterprise. there is really no solidarity that happens for the reason that the operating values in the formative period – the concern for the ginhawa of the sakop – and that of the period of struggle and national consolidation are continually in conflict in the supposed period of cultural solidarity. scheming (like in graft and corruption) or by some illegal way. People realize that if one is clever enough.” the people are able to develop the idea that the indigenous models are inferior compared to the exogenous models brought about by the colonizers. most especially to the needy. the simultaneous demands of the two incongruous systems on Filipinos create conflict situations which satisfy neither value system fully. 4.” indigenous values are described as “backward” and “corrupt.” native character is seen as “uncouth” and local beliefs are called “superstitions. Thus. 42 Ramirez. one could get money through gambling. . Also. 43 Jocano. 5 and “The Dominant and Popular Cultural Systems in the Philippines”. are quite difficult for them.43 As mentioned above. “Toward a Revolution of Mindsets: A Critique of the Present Socio-Cultural System”. See also Ramirez. Filipino Value System: A Cultural Definition. people earn more money but it is not necessarily equated with hard work. 23 – 24.42 When the conventional practices were labeled as “barbaric. in the supposed Period of cultural solidarity.devout Christians but sharing of material goods to others. 19 in Reflections on Culture.
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