Sentro Rizal’s Mandate

Cultural Education for
Filipinos Overseas
Felipe M. de Leon, Jr.

Three Main Value-Orientations
Engendered by core value of Kapwa
(we are all one)


 Among, if not the
most, highly relational
in the world, Filipinos
are hardly alone. They
are happy being
together - when they
eat, sleep, work,
travel, pray, create or
celebrate. They like to
feel connected to the
world, God and
nature, but most of all
to people.

“Walang gustong maiwanan sa kodakan” (Nobody likes to be left out of a photo op) .

number one in social media .Sharing of Being: Togetherness is happiness  Filipinos hardly eat alone  Invite a person to your party. how many will come?  The ubiquitous smile  Eagerness for social networking.

facebook. and selfie capital of the world  Bantay(watcher) & extra bed  Prizes for everybody  “Do not praise small items” Juan Flavier .Sharing of Being: Togetherness is happiness  Texting.

“scooping”) . bonus (forms of sharing)  Pasalubong( quasi-sacred ritual: gift from a journey)  Cannot keep secrets  Relational terms for calling each other  No isolated notes (hagod. balato. slides.Sharing of Being: Togetherness is happiness  Pabalot.

concerns (“Saan ka pupunta?”. “Saan ka galing?”). relatives. etc. your life will be one of sharing with others such things as making choices. food (“Kumain ka na ba?”). feelings. . resources.SHARING OF BEING: SOCIAL BASIS OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS  Developing an expanded sense of self means including in your sphere of being not only your individual self but also your immediate family. friends and associates. time.  Thus.

and a sense of belonging that have been observed to bring very positive psycho-physical results.Sharing of Being  Sharing of being makes possible a remarkable degree of openness. . a higher degree of mental health and sense of well-being. expressiveness. and appreciably longer life spans.  Among these are lower rates of depression.

members of religious groups and the like often live longer  Social isolation breeds depression. mortality rates decrease  Married people. which may lead to lower immunity to disease and even suicide .Loners More Prone to Heart Disease  People with lots of friends are usually the healthiest in the world  Lack of friends and close social ties are the hidden cause of heart disease  As social ties increase.

alcoholism and mental illness rates are much higher among people living alone  A massive study confirmed that those with the fewest close friends. relatives and social connections are 2 to 3 x more likely to die earlier than those with high levels of social connectedness (like Filipinos!) . Study after study has shown that feeling connected with people is extremely important for physical and mental health.  Suicide.

Love = Survival  Selfless love is absolutely necessary for the survival of newborn babies and for their healthy growth  Human immune systems function well only when basic emotional needs such as acceptance and love are met .

especially in the mother-child connection*.Devotion to the Home and Family  Filipino popular culture is the culture of devotion to the family and sanctity of the home. which is its source of happiness because connectedness to one another is strongest within the family. *This could perhaps be the reason for the Philippines’ having the longest Christmas celebration in the world(from Sept to Jan).  Thus. since Mother Mary-Baby Jesus bond has become a mythical symbol of the sacred mother-child relationship in Filipino popular culture . ancestors are revered and the ancestral house has become a symbol of family continuity and stability.

who was monitoring every action outside on television monitors . . causing the latter .to run berserk and start shooting at the Hongkong tourists.  They roughed up the brother of the already desperate hostage taker in front of TV cameras.Case Study  The tragic hostage-taking fiasco in Luneta would not have happened if the SWAT were properly-oriented culturally. They should have been told that family is sacred in Filipino culture.

the more Filipinos delight in it. . or idea connects people to one another. then they will enjoy and excel in activities and making things that bring people together.  The more an object. activity.Identifying Filipino Strengths  If Filipinos love to connect to people.

Activities that Bring People Together  Those with many functions or purposes – they attract different kinds of people and connect them to one another  Friendship. Kinship. Wakes. leisure . Rituals  Expressive activities especially artistic performance  Games and sports  Reunions. Celebrations.Ideas. Family  Shared Devotions. Festivities. Objects. shopping. Crises  Fulfillment of Daily Needs like eating.

functions and qualities as possible.MULTI-SIGNIFICANCE: Bringing People Together  An effective Filipino tool for connecting people to each other is to endow an activity. presentation or creation with as many different meanings. .


e. music. .  Medley – all-inclusive of everybody’s favorite songs.g. an action film may feature elements of comedy.Filipinos love multiples  Sinigang (3-in-one dish) – essentially Filipino for it combines soup. or fantasy. fish or shrimp in one bowl. Filipinos also love combining different dishes on one and the same plate. drama.  Filipino films – difficult to classify because every genre contains a little of the others. vegetable and meat.


Filipino malls could be the most multi-purpose in the whole world! .

Filipino furniture design is recognized international ly. .Filipinos are very creative in things that bring people together. like furniture.












. which is not even close.S.The world’s most emotional countries  The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country.  Singapore is the least emotional country in the world. scores well above second-ranked El Salvador. a former colony of Spain and the U.” Bloomberg Businessweek writes of the country’s “emotional deficit. The heavily Catholic. Southeast Asian nation.” citing a culture in which schools “discourage students from thinking of themselves as individuals.” . ”Singaporeans recognize they have a problem.

Filipinos Most Emotional in the World (Out of 150 Countries) .

EXPRESSIveness  Openness  culture of trust  maximalism  Performance excellence  Life as a celebration .

management  Ict skills  Social networking  Passion for travel and mobility . such as Law.COMMUNICATion  Facility for language  Prominence given to languagebased professions. Politics.

Most Romantic in Southeast Asia  A Mobile Lifestyle Survey conducted by Asia Market Intelligence for Siemens in late 2002 among six SEA’n countries found that Filipinos send “I love you” messages the most often: Filipinos Indonesians Malaysians Singaporeans Thais Indians 58% 41% 36% 31% 30% 24% .

in this order. the Philippines (93 percent). .Countries where people feel the most loved  The three countries with the very highest scores are. followed by Southeast Asia and Western Europe. Rwanda (92 percent) and Puerto Rico (90 percent). The region that appears to experience the most love is Latin America.

and three African states: Ethiopia. Central Asia. . those countries also tend to have very high smoking rates. Chad and Morocco.Countries where people feel the least loved  Most of them are former Soviet republics: Russia. Interestingly.  Other low-scoring countries included Burma/Myanmar. Eastern Europe and the Caucusus region all consistently scored poorly. Yemen.

Filipinos Number One in Feeling Love (93%) .


OUR KINSHIP SYSTEM IS BILATERAL. The West is beginning to catch on but mixed gender hosting is still a novelty in the U.S. WE DO NOT LIKE TO BELONG TO ONLY ONE SIDE OF A RELATIONSHIP. .  In hosting shows. Filipinos traditionally pair a man and a woman rather than just have one or the other as in Western countries. HAVING TWO KIDS IS ENOUGH AS LONG AS THEY ARE A BOY AND A GIRL.

World Ranking of Women in Managerial Positions .




HOLISTIC LOGIC: The Unity of Opposites  An intuitive logic more profound than the either/or of mechanistic cultures is Filipino holistic polar logic. . then its opposite must also be true or valid.  In polaristic logic. it is axiomatic that if a thing is true or valid.



Balance is a Supreme Principle in a Holistic Culture           Malasa-Matabang Kanin-Ulam Puto-Dinuguan Kutsinta-Niyog Tamis-Asim(Sweet-Sour dishes) Manggang Hilaw-Bagoong Balot-Asin Kulintang-Gandang Palook-Toppaya Maugong-Pagak na tunog .

FILIPINOS ARE HIGHLY PARTICIPATORY  FILIPINOS DEMAND COLLECTIVE. DECISIONMAKING AND SELF-DETERMINATION. no matter how small (salimpusa) . No one must have a monopoly of the decision-making process Everybody must have an active role. EQUAL PARTICIPATION IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

Participation in the creative process is primary In Filipino society. Filipinos prefer consensus as a mode of reaching decisions or settling conflicts. everybody is a participant/performer. Thus. or creator and spectator. Nobody is a mere spectator. There is no separation of performer and audience. .

but on the basis of its social value. “Malasakit” time and Celebrative time  “Malasakit” time: As malasakit (the capacity to take upon oneself the burden of the other) increases. the importance of clock time diminishes. not according to the clock.Case Study The Filipino Sense of Time: Sociallyrooted. . thus Flexi-time  The Filipino senses time not mechanically. As the social value of an activity increases. the more we go by the feelings of the other.

brings Filipinos together. thus Flexi-time  Celebrative time: The more an event. like the fiesta.Case Study The Filipino Sense of Time: Sociallyrooted.  Persons in individualistic cultures are like isolated fragments of being who can easily be pressured and controlled by mechanical time because there is no other way they can be organized socially. the more we undervalue clock time. .

and dignity. . justice. dictatorship and the curtailment of choices are anathema. Decision-making is participatory. Monopoly.PROVIDING CHOICES Development as the Proliferation of Options  The deepest social aspirations of the Filipino are freedom.


at least outwardly  The privilege of one must be the privilege of all.ARROGANCE IS A NO-NO  The Filipino concept of kapwa (shared identity/goodness) and non-duality of life make people absolutely equal in principle and nobody has a right to regard himself as above or more important than others  Humility is highly-prized. Equal application of the law is a must .

Floyd Mayweather promotes himself as “the best of the best”." -. A right hook.msn. . 2009 In May 10. that he is even greater than Muhammad Ali.MAGNANIMOUS MANNY "I’m just lucky … I hit first.Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao plays down his world title victory over Briton Rick Hatton.

. balitaw. kulintang. kuntao and okir. tultul. balagtasan. Creative spontaneity is highly valued.CREATIVE IMPROVISATION  Extemporaneous or on-the-spot creativity comes very naturally to the Filipino who has the finest artistic yet improvisatory traditions such as the duplo.


especially through music and dance. releases harmful emotions  Everyday creativity promotes well-being  Touching as a way of life increases immunity to disease  Deep belief in God makes Filipinos optimistic and provides meaning to life  Strong sense of humor and joy of life enable us to rebound easily from any tragedy .a Healing Culture: celebrating life  We are highly relational – Social interconnectedness leads to longevity  Expressiveness.

Promoting Filipino Cultural Identity  Cultural Identity is the Basis of Economic Competitiveness: Cultural identity has its source in originality. indigenousness. one with character. uniqueness. historicity. authenticity. not anything bland and featureless . magnitude. and excellence Anywhere in the world people prefer the distinctive.

Seven Facets of Cultural Worth  Originality (First of its Kind)  Indigenousness (Original or Native to a Place)  Authenticity (Purity.Genuineness)  Uniqueness (The Only One of its Kind) .

Quantitatively Measured)  Excellence or Greatness (in Artistic. or Technical Quality) . Scientific.Seven Facets of Cultural Worth  Historicity (Connection to Past Significant or Momentous Events)  Magnitude (Superlative Degree or Extent. Humanistic. Intellectual.

ORIGINALITY            Jeepney Bahay na bato Tranlucent clothing Baybayin Maglalatik Tinikling Manunggul jar Max fried chicken Edsa revolution Aglipayan church Nayong Pilipino .

Tamaraw of Mindoro. Butanding (whale shark)  Halu-halo  Bagoong  Balut  Sari-sari store . Philippine Eagle.INDIGENOUSNESS  All the native Philippine languages  Tarsier of Bohol.

etc. kare-kare. pinakbet. barako coffee. Balitaw of Cebu. Pantomina  Authentic Filipino foods – sinigang. adobo. . Kuratsa.AUTHENTICITY  Fiesta – authentic devotion to a patron saint  Balisong of Taal  “Mutya ng Pasig” of Nicanor Abelardo. – authentic Filipino music  Kuradang.

UNIQUENESS  Capiz shell windows and ventanilla of ancestral houses  Taal Volcano – features “a lake within a volcano within a lake within a volcano”  Gallinera – three-in-one furniture  Filipino malls – most multipurpose in the whole world .

.HISTORICITY  Colon street in Cebu – the oldest street in the country  The Philippines – First country in Asia to wage and win a war against Western colonizers  General Miguel Malvar .the last Filipino general to surrender to the Americans.

grandest in the world  Basilica of San Martin in Taal .  Taal Volcano – considered the world’s smallest  Rafflesia .the largest church in Southeast’s biggest flower  Christmas lanterns of Pampanga –the world’s most colorful and intricate  Puerto Princesa subterranean river – longest navigable underground river in the world  Tubattaha Reef – said to have the greatest biodiversity in the world  Butanding – biggest fish in the world .MAGNITUDE  Ifugao rice terraces (payo) – greatest engineering feat.

EXCELLENCE  Jose Rizal – the most versatile National Hero in the whole world  Mayon Volcano – most perfect cone volcano in the world  Philippine furniture – considered among the best .

Tapping Local Cultural Genius
for Social and Economic
 Programs, projects and activities
that lead to the enhancement of
these elements of cultural worth
among existing Filipino
communities here or abroad will
go a long way towards the
preservation of creative, artistic
skills, and thus greatly contribute
to their social and economic wellbeing.

Promoting the Local But Thinking National
or Global: Human Communities, not the
State, are the Ultimate Actors in the
Development Process
 In mainstream development thinking, the state is
always seen as the social agent or subject of the
development process. From a human
development perspective, human beings or small
communities of human beings, are the ultimate
actors. Most states are, after all, artificial
territorial constructions, usually the result of
international wars or internal colonialism.
 The concept of a nation-state implies that the
territorial boundaries of the state coincide with
the boundaries of a culturally homogeneous
nation. This is the exception rather than the rule
in a world with about thousands of culturally
diverse peoples but only about 200 states.

Promoting the Local But Thinking National
or Global: Human Communities, not the
State, are the Ultimate Actors in the
Development Process
 We have to encourage celebration of the
unique cultural identities of cultural
communities through various activities and
expressive forms to provide for communication
and sustainable development. Failure to do
this may lead to violence, deviant behavior,
depression, and suicide. Positive programs can
encourage harmony and engagement in
society. Underlying these programs is the
attitude of tolerance and respect for cultural
 A nation’s development, then, can be viewed
as proceeding along apparently divergent
directions, one, towards a shared cultural
universe at the national level and two,
towards the greatest possible intracultural diversity at the local level.

If in our minds we think we will be defeated.Social Self-Images As Self-Fulfilling: The Need to Develop a Strong Shared Vision  It is the image a people create of themselves that is the psycho-cultural basis of their strengths and weaknesses.  For a nation’s self-image tends to be self-fulfilling (Kenneth Boulding. Negative self-images. triumphs and failures. whether individual or collective. . we will tend to lower our standards and be satisfied with good enough. If we think we are an inferior people. can cause untold social and cultural damage. The Image). we have already lost.

participatory and creative people with a strong nurturing and caring orientation. especially because we are a highly relational.Social Self-Images As SelfFulfilling: The Need to Develop a Strong Shared Vision  We have nothing to lose by creating and working for the most exalted and inspiring images of ourselves. holistic. .

WAKAS The End Salamat Po! .