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Understanding the Filipino notion of “Pakikisama” in

the light of William James concept of “Will”

A thesis presented to

Saint Anthony Mary Claret College

Undergraduate Department

In Partial Fulfillment of

The Requirements for the Degree

Bachelor of Arts

Major in Philosophy

Bonggay, Ben Daynos

September 2017
A. Background of the study

Looking for the meaning of life has been a long quest in the field of philosophy. It’s been

almost 4 years of studying philosophy but still the researcher is like Socrates saying- “the only

thing that I know is I know nothing”. The researcher studied already from ancient to

contemporary philosophy but still left in the hanging situation of the ideas that were given by

many philosophers. This course (philosophy) is not that ideal course of the researcher, but it is

still helpful even if it has two effects, it would be to doubt and weakening or to deeper to

strengthen the vocation of the researcher.

Upon reflecting many times the researcher decided that the topic will be about human

relationship. The researcher believe that he can deepen more the understanding of human

relationship which is “pakikisama”. We can see that it is Tagalog as the researcher chose the

Filipino context about human relationship.

The researcher is a Filipino that’s why he found this topic interesting. For the filipino we

may heard this word many times, and sometimes it is being said as; “Makisama”,

“Pakisamahan”. But the researcher discovered that sometimes we are confused what is

“Pakikisama” really means. So the researcher will try to elaborate more the meaning of this

word and how it really give a good impact to Filipino values.

Pakikisama is a basic tendency for Filipinos, and is expressed in their private lives, their

public workplaces, and in their relationship with their neighbors. ... This indicates that this is a

typical Filipino trait. Pakikisama refers to an interpersonal relationship where people are

friendly with each other.

The researcher observed that Filipino has this interpersonal relationship than other people

in the world. He had an experience of it already especially when he encounter a stranger

foreigner. The foreigner was so silent and it seem that he was so hard to approach, his face was

kind of strict, but still the researcher was the one who approach the foreigner first. Even if the

foreigner speak limitedly the researcher was still trying to be close to the foreigner so that they

will not feel awkward to each other. And when the researcher met a stranger which is Filipino

also it was very different than to the foreigner. The Filipino was very friendly and he didn’t

hesitate to become a close friend of the researcher.

The researcher would like to use the concept of “Will” in order to understand why we

come up with that idea of “Pakikisama” and why are we still following and doing it even

B. Research Methodology

The researcher will use books that would be helpful to achieve the goal. The goal here is

to show the importance of “Pakikisama” in the Filipino and what’s the reason behind why we are

doing it. The researcher will do some research online also and see if the researcher can find any

articles that is related to the topic.

Statement of the problem:

The researcher’s topic will be about the William James concept of “will”. William James has

different types of “Will” and so the researcher will try to connect it in order to deepen the

understanding of the Filipino notion of “Pakikisama”.

In order to fulfill this, there are following questions that need answers:

1. What is the Filipino notion of “Pakikisama”?

2. What is William James concept of “will”?

3. How the concept of “Will” of William James can be applied in the Filipino notion of


C. Significance

To make this topic helpful and meaningful to the readers, the researcher listed down

some institutions and people that would have benefit to this topic. These are the following:
1. Filipinos

The researcher’s topic will be more on Filipino context so it will give benefits to those

Filipino people to deepen more there understanding about “Pakikisama”. Since we are becoming

blind to the importance of this particular values, the researcher will elaborate it more in the light

of William James concept of “Will”

2. Church

The researcher will relate this Filipino notion of “Pakikisama” to religion especially

catholic. In the light of William James concept of “Will” it will give enlightenment to the people

on why we come up to this religion. So it will give understanding that this “Pakikisama” and

William James concept of “Will” has influenced.

3. In the field of philosophy

Since the researcher will use philosopher and this topic will be more on man’s philosophy

it is significant in the field of philosophy. It will help to those people who want to study the

man’s philosophy, particularly Filipinos.

4. The congregations

This thesis is about internal relationship of the people, and the researcher is studying in

the seminary school, so it will be helpful to the congregations as community life is important

in the seminary life.

3. The researcher

It will be helpful to the researcher itself, being a seminarian dealing people is the most

important aspect that needs to improve. In this thesis, relationship with the people will be

emphasize so it can give to the researcher a deeper understanding about the significance of

this notion of “Pakikisama” in his life.

D. Objective of the Study

The researcher’s goal is to use the William James concept of “Will” to have a deeper

understanding of what “Pakikisama” is for the Filipino people. There are ways to achieve the goal of this

topic and these are:

1. To explicate the Filipino notion of “Pakikisama”

2. To study the William James concept of “Will”

3. To propose a clearer understanding of “Pakikisama” in the light of William James concept of


E. Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study limits itself to Filipino notion of “Pakikisama” which is the internal

relationship of the Filipino people. It maybe include other values of the Filipino and this is to

understand why we come up with this kind of Characteristic.

The term “Pakikisama” is derived from two Tagalog words: the root word “sama,

accompany, go along with” or come along with and the prefix paki, please or kindly. Basically it

will be on a Filipino notion only. Other foreign understanding will not be included.

From the topic William James concept of “Will” the study will be limited only to Human

will. William James has different types of understanding the “Will” of human being and these

are: Rational will, circumstantial will, Habitual will, modal will and the Doxastic will. And these

will be the scope of the study to understand better the Filipino notion of “Pakikisama”.

F. Review of related Literatures

In order to expound the researcher’s ideas and to gather important information which are

related to this topic the researcher studied and reviewed some books.
Conceptual framework

Deeper understanding
of “Pakikisama”
Filipino notion of

William James
concept of “will”