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FILIPINO VALUES:

NATURE,
CONSTELLATION
AND CONTEXT
What are Filipino values? What is
distinctly Filipino in our value system?
• The Filipino value system arises from
our culture or way of life, our
distinctive way of becoming human in
this particular place and time.
We speak of Filipino values in a
fourfold sense.
• First, although mankind shares universal
human values, it is obvious that certain
values take on for us a distinctively Filipino
flavor. The Greek ideal of moderation or
meden agan, the Roman in medio stat virtus,
the Confucian and Buddhist "doctrine of the
Middle", find their Filipino equivalent in
hindi labis, hindi kulang, katamtaman lamang.
• Secondly, when we speak of Filipino values,
we do not mean that elements of these
Filipino values are absent in the value
systems of other peoples and cultures. All
people eat, talk and sing, but they eat
different foods, speak various languages and
sing different songs. Thus, we easily
recognize Filipino, American, Chinese,
Japanese or any other foreign food, language
or music.
• The difference lies in the way these elements are
ranked, combined or emphasized so that they
take on a distinctively Filipino slant or cast. For
instance, in China, honesty and hard work may
rank highest; Chinese and Japanese cultures give
great value to politeness and beauty; American
culture to promptness and efficiency; and
Filipino culture to trust in God and family
centeredness. In this sense of value-ranking and
priority of values, we can speak of dominant
Filipino values.
• Thirdly, universal human values in a Filipino
context (historical, cultural, socio-economic,
political, moral and religious) take on a
distinctive set of Filipino meanings and
motivations. This is true not only of the aims and
goals, beliefs, convictions, and social principles
of the traditional value system of the lowland
rural family(4) but also of what Fr. Horacio de la
Costa, S.J. calls the Filipino "nationalistic"
tradition (pagsasarili, pagkakaisa, pakikisama,
pakikipagkapwa-tao, and pagkabayani.(5)
• A Filipino value or disvalue does not exist
alone, in isolation or in a vacuum.
• Filipino values like bahala na, utang na loob,
hiya, pakikisama, pakiusap are clustered around
core values like social acceptance, economic
security, social mobility, and are always
found in a definite context or set of
circumstances.
• Both positive values and negative disvalues
together form a characteristic constellation in
school (aralan at dasalan [studying and
praying], kuwentuhan at laruan [story telling
and game], inggitan at tsismisan [envying and
gossiping]),
• which differs from the configuration found in
government offices (pagkakaisa [unity] ,
pagkabayani [heroism], intriga [intrigue],
palakasan [show of power], sipsipan [bribery],
palusot),
• in business firms (palabra de honor [word of honor],
delicadeza [finesse], "commission", "kickback", padulas
[grease money], lagay [bribe]),
• or in the barrio barangays (paggalang [honoring],
pagdadamayan [comforting], bayanihan [cooperation],
bahala na [come what may], utang na loob
[gratefulness], hiya[shame]/pakiusap[appear],
palakasan [show of power]).
• To change a framework of values, it may be
necessary to change the constellation and
context of those negative values that hinder
Filipino and Christian development.
• Fourthly, we can speak of Filipino values in the
sense that the historical consciousness of values
has evolved among our people.
• The Filipino concept of justice has evolved from
inequality to equality, and to human dignity;
from the tribe, to the family, and to the
nation(6).
• Filipino consciousness of these different values
varies at different periods of our history.
• It is only in the last two decades that the Filipino
people have become more conscious of overpopulation
and family planning, environmental pollution (Kawasaki
sintering plant) and wildlife conservation (Calauit
Island), and the violation of human rights (Martial
Law), active non-violence and People Power (1986 non-
violent Revolution).
THE FILIPINO VALUES
• Values
• may be defined as those standards of which a
group or society judges the desirability and
importance of persons, ideas, actions and goals.
• are shared convictions or beliefs in what are
considered contributory to the welfare of the
group.
What are the positive traits that show the
strengths of the Filipino character?
• Katapatan and Pakikipagkapwa-tao
What are the traits that hinder the
advancement of the Filipinos?
• "Bahala na" attitude and the "Kanya-kanya"
syndrome
• Pakikipagkapwa-tao and Family Orientation:
• This indigenous Filipino trait is the regard for the
dignity of others and being with them. It consists
of all levels of interaction with one's fellowman in
times of crisis, like illness and death. This is
embodied in the concept of neighbourliness like
mutual visiting and exchange of food. Pleasant
attitudes are also exhibited towards relatives and
friends such as extending moral and emotional
support. This is also evidenced in the insertion of
many light scenes wherein there is light-hearted
bantering, jokes among friends and kin.
• Because of the Filipino's collective nature, they
have a deep sense of concern for one's dignity
and respect. This pakikipagkapwa-tao is
manifested in their sensitivity to other people's
feelings. This is often evidenced in the relations
among the characters. Polite language, soft
pleasing voices and meek manners are
employed to avoid open disagreement with
others. Personal relationships are likewise
almost always important in any transaction
among the characters.
• Katapatan:
• The Filipino virtue of righteousness in thought
and deed. In a person, this virtue strengthens
him against cheating and lying. It results in the
cooperation and trust among neighbors, friends
and co-workers. This positive character trait is
dominantly displayed in Philippine movies and
television by its leading characters. Viewers are
attracted to the character and story because
righteousness is considered a rare trait nowadays
and the expression of this in the leading
protagonist gives them hope in siding with the
good.
• Bahala na:
• Extreme reliance on higher force or fate. Bahala
na is a common expression among Filipinos
which rests on the fatalistic outlook and strong
dependence on spirits. It literally, the Bahala na
means "Leave it to God." The abundance of
superstition can further encourage the
superstitiousness of the Filipinos. This can
promote the lack of initiative among Filipinos.
Rather than relying on one's own effort and
industry to solve problems, one leaves his fate to
gods or "spirits". This trait also encourages the
Filipino to be matiisin or being too patient for
long suffering.
• Kanya-kanya:
• A negative Filipino trait is a selfish and self-serving
attitude. This is often elicited when one's peer has gained
honor or prestige. Most if not all of the conflicts in the
Filipino stories are a result of envy and jealousy. This
"crab mentality" that characterizes many Filipinos is
counter-productive.
• Certain negative behaviors may be picked up by
the youth if they are consistently exhibited and
are not shown in the end to have negative
consequences. At the same time, an
understanding of the strengths of the Filipino
character would help in recognizing the
traditional and positive Filipino values that
should be perpetuated.
Values of Modern Filipino
• PANANALIG
• Faith - Madonna and Child epitomize the kind
of faith every Filipino carries in the heart an
assurance that the Divine Being watches over
each and every one of us.
• KATAPATAN
• Faithfulness - Resembling marriage bands, this
arrangement celebrates the modern Filipino
hero's faithfulness to husband or wife, as well as
faithfulness to country and all the ideals for
which our Republic stands.
• PAG-AARUGA
• Nurturing - Every Filipino child grows and
learns under the wing of a mentor who instills
in the child the sense of love, compassion,
heroism and courage.
• KASIPAGAN
• Industry - The Fruits of the earth spring forth only
through our industry and it is only through our work
that we will be able to achieve the rebuilding of our
mother country, the task of every one of us, modern
Philippine heroes all.
• TIBAY NG LOOB
• Courage - Stalwart and firm in idealism and
goodwill, the modern Philippine hero stands by
his or her values and ideals.