Está en la página 1de 16

Filipino Values

Philippine Values is defined by the way of people live their life as an influence of one’s
culture. Philippines, having been an archipelago, has not become a hindrance towards
having a single values system throughout the country. In whatever part of the country you
may be, one will find the same hospitality that the Filipinos are known for as well as
many other values that have originated from our forefathers.

The values of Filipinos have been looked upon by foreigners as a weakness instead of
strength due to the nature of how they may be abused and manipulated due to these
values. But values are what make up a certain nation both in growth and unity. Some may
see that Filipino values as a hindrance to the growth of the country and yet others may
say that his is what makes our country powerful.

In order to understand these concepts, let us look into the different values of the Filipinos
and how they may be of influence to a person’s growth.

The Philippines is known to be a family centered nation. The Filipinos recognize their
family as an important social structure that one must take care of. They give importance
to the safety and unity of one’s family. The Filipino family is so intact that it is common
for members of the same family work for the same company. It is also common to find
the whole clan living in the same area as that the Filipinos are afraid to be too far from
their own family.
People get strength from their family, thus a child may have several godparents to ensure
his future in case his parents will not be there for him. They also do not let their elders
live too far away from them. The Filipinos take care of their elders by taking them into
their homes. Unlike the Westerners, the Filipinos do not send their elders to nursing
homes to be taken care of. They believe that when their elders are unable to live alone,
the time has come for them to pay their respects and to be able to serve their parents just
as they were cared for when they were younger.

Filipinos are taught to become respectful individuals. This is mainly due to the influence
of Christianity that tells us to honor both our parents and our elders. The use of ‘’po’’ and
‘’’opo’’’ when in conversation with an elder or someone who is older is a manifestation of
how Filipinos respect their elders.

The Filipinos are very hospitable when it comes to their fellowmen. They will invite their
visitors to come into their homes and offer them treats such as snacks and drinks after a
long journey. There are also instances when the Filipinos will serve only the best to their
visitors even if at times they may not be able to afford it. They also go the extremes as to
give up the comfort of their own bedrooms for their guests and to the point of sleeping on
floor just to ensure that their guests are comfortable.

Gratitude or ‘’’utang na loob’’’ is a very popular Filipino characteristic. One does not
forget the good deeds that others may have done to him or her especially at times of great
need. This debt of gratitude are sometimes abused by those who have done well to others
as they may ask favors or things that may either be unreasonable or beyond the means of
the one in debt.

Shame or ’’Hiya’’ is a very common Filipino value. It is said that Filipinos would go to
great lengths in order for one not to be ashamed. Hiya has a great influence on one’s
behavior for one will do everything, even if it is beyond his means just to save his
reputation as well as the families. The Filipinos feel pressured to meet the status of the
society when it comes to economic standing. One indication of this might be a
willingness to spend more than they can afford on a party rather than be shame by their
economic circumstances.

Flexibility, Adaptability, and Creativity

Filipino's sense of joy and humor is evident in their optimistic approach to life and its
travails. The ability to laugh at themselves and their predicament is an important coping
mechanism that contributes to emotional balance and a capacity to survive. These are
manifested in the ability to adjust to often difficult circumstances and prevailing physical
and social environments. Filipinos have a high tolerance for ambiguity that enables them
to respond calmly to uncertainty or lack of information. Filipinos often improvise and
make productive and innovative use of whatever is available. These qualities have been
repeatedly demonstrated in their capacity to adapt to living in any part of the world and in
their ability to accept change.

Loyalty or ‘’’Pakikisama’’’ is another Filipino value. Filipinos are said to be loyal to their
friends and fellowmen in order to ensure the peace in the group. This is manifested in
their basic sense of justice and fairness and concern for other's well being. Filipinos
recognize the essential humanity of all people and regard others with respect and
empathy. With this orientation, Filipinos develop a sensitivity to the nature and quality of
interpersonal relationships, which are their principal source of security and happiness.

Hard work and Industry

The related capacity for hard work and industry among Filipinos is widely recognized.
Filipinos are universally regarded as excellent workers who perform well whether the job
involves physical labor and tasks or highly sophisticated technical functions. This
propensity for hard work, which often includes a highly competitive spirit, is driven by
the desire for economic security and advancement for oneself and one's family. This
achievement orientation is further accompanied by typically high aspirations and great
personal sacrifices.

Trust in God or the concept of ‘’’Bahala na’’’ has been over-used time and again. This
ideal is used when a person does not know what to do or is to lazy to do anything at all.
This belief to put fate in God’s hands may be a sign of how religious Filipinos may be at
the same time, it may show that the Filipinos are free-spirited and that they put their life
in fate’s hands.

Amor Propio

“Amor propio” is Spanish word which means self –love; a sense of self-esteem or self
respect that prevents a person from swallowing his pride. It includes sensitivity to
personal insult or affront. A slight remark or offensive gesture, though insulting, would
not trigger a sense of “amor propio ᄃ ” . The stimulus that sets it off is only that which
strikes at the Filipino ᄃ’s most highly valued attributes.


Delicadeza is a Spanish term which when translated in English means daintiness. It is

defined as an act of being refined or delicate in tastes or manners. But in simple terms,
its commonly referred to as a sense of propriety or how to behave rightly in all
circumstances. It is in essence an etiquette that was passed on to us as a legacy of the
Spanish culture.

Filipino Time

Filipino Time, which means things get done whenever they get done. Official Timing of
The Philippines.

I set up part for 6:00. This is interpreted as 7:00 filipino time

In Some cases, Filipino hosts deliberately set the time and hour or so earlier, knowing
that the guests will arrive an hour or so late. In this case, the poorAmericans are surprised
to see that they’re the first ones to arrive and the only ones there for the first hour or so.

Mañana Habit

The Mañana Habit is something that we have learned from the Spaniards. The word
"Mañana" means ‘tomorrow’ or ‘specified future time’ also known as “procrastination” in
plain English, “mamaya na” in Filipino.

How it Works:

1. You need to do something now.

2. But then you decide to do it later.

3. As a result of the delay, you end up not doing it.

4. Now, you tell yourself or somebody that you will do it tomorrow.

5. Tomorrow comes. The same cycle happens.

Ningas Cogon

The popular Filipino phrase "Ningas Cogon" refers to the unnerving attitude of starting
an initiative but fails to continue it, or the lack of a follow-up. It is generally viewed as a
negative trait and i do not know if there is any one person who feels that this is good

Palabra De Honor

Another value of the Filipinos is lack of a “Palabra de Honor” which means a verbal
commitment by one person to another agreeing to do (or not to do) something in the
Colonial Mentality

ANTI-FILIPINOS say that Filipinos, because of their colonial mentality, always prefer
foreign talents and products to local ones. This mentality does exist, but it is wrong to
accuse us Filipinos as always practicing it.

Colonial mentality is the thinking that foreign talents and products are always the good,
the better, and the best, and that the local ones are of poor or no quality at all. Colonial
because our Spanish and American colonizers, during their four-century rule of the
Philippines, instilled into the Filipino mentality the belief that foreigners and anything
associated with them were the superior, and that Filipinos and anything associated with
them were worthless.

Crab Mentality

Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, describes a way of thinking
best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you." The metaphor refers to a
pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they
grab at each other in a useless "king of the hill" competition which prevents any from
escaping and ensures their collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is that
members of a group will attempt to "pull down" (negate or diminish the importance of)
any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, conspiracy or
competitive feelings.
This term is broadly associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a
unified, long-term, constructive mentality. It is also often used colloquially in reference to
individuals or communities attempting to "escape" a so-called "underprivileged life", but
kept from doing so by others attempting to ride upon their coat-tails or those who simply
resent their success.




Since the February 1986 Revolution(1)ᄃ, values development has been one major
concern of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS). Undersecretary
Minda Sutaria has publicized the second draft of the DECS Overall Values Framework,
designed to assist teachers at all levels. This latest draft, basically similar to that proposed
by Fr. Raul Bonoan, S.J. in "Paideia, Humanism, and Magpakatao: Values for National
Reconstruction,"(2)ᄃ bases its framework on the provisions of the Philippine Constitution
of 1986.

If we are to discover our traditional values and make sure that they contribute to the "just
and humane society" and "total human liberation and development" of which the
Philippine Constitution speaks, we must ask some basic questions.

1) What is the philosophical basis of Filipino values?

2) What is distinctive about the Filipino value system?


A brief introduction to the philosophy of human values is necessary for an understanding

of Filipino values and values education. A Filipino experiences family closeness and
solidarity (pagpapahalaga sa pamilya), politeness (use of po or ho), hospitality (tuloy po
kayo), gratitude (utang na loob) from "within", that is, subjectively and emotionally,
unlike a non-Filipino observer, social scientist, or psychologist who studies Filipino
values objectively from "without" or "from a distance". Such Filipino values as social
acceptance, (pakikisama, amor propio, economic security, pagmamay-ari), and trust in
God (paniniwala sa Diyos, bathala or Maykapal) find their philosophical basis in man's
dynamic openness toward nature and the world (e.g., the value of hanap-buhay ng
magsasaka), one's fellowmen (the values of paggalang, hiya, katarungan, pag-ibig), and
God (the values of pananampalataya, pananalangin, kabanalan).
This dynamic openness of man is an openness to the possibilities of the future. That is
why values are something to be realized. Take the value of peace. The Philippine
situation is now characterized by insurgency; conflict between the NPA, the MNLF and
the AFP; vigilante groups; hostility and division--in short, an absence of national peace
and order. Human values are not merely private. All values have a social aspect. The
government official who demands porsiyento, the fireman or policeman who extorts tong
or lagay for a service which is his duty, all contribute to the worsening graft and
corruption. We are all responsible for one another (tayong lahat ay may pananagutan sa

Values are both subjective and objective. They involve a subject or person who values
(e.g., a young girl) and an object or value to be realized (e.g., pagkamahinhin). Justice is
objective because it is a value that should be realized by all. It also becomes subjective if
justice becomes a value for me. There is an objective difference between value and
disvalue, pleasure and pain, life and death, poverty and affluence, heroism and cowardice,
truth and error, right and wrong, holiness and sinfulness. The difference is not only in the
mind or a matter of personal taste or preference. Even if I close my eyes to the ugly
poverty around me, the poor will not disappear.

Values are not objective in the sense that they are found in some static heaven: they are
relational and embodied in person-value-types (ideal moral persons). For example, to a
tipong-mukhang kuarta [an avaricious look] profit is more important than service; to a
tipong-politiko [political type], pera [money], propaganda, politika [politics] are more
valuable than honesty; tipong siyentipiko [scientist type] ortipong-artista [actor type]
personify agham [science] and sining [art]; tipong madasalin [pious type] may exemplify
kabanalan (piety). Cory Aquino embodied all that we wanted our President to be--
credible, honest, just, with a strong faith in God and in our people. The ideal type or
Filipino model during the "parliament of the streets" was the tipong-maka-Diyos
(religions), makatao (people-oriented), makabayan(nationalistic).

The heroes of EDSA placed the good of the Filipino people before the safety and security
of their families. They were willing to risk their lives for God and people. Value-ranking
or the priority of values is not merely arbitrary or subjective. There is an objective
ranking of values based on existence or reality and other objective criteria. Using the
criteria of permanence, ability to be shared, and depth of satisfaction, Max Scheler ranked
human values from the lowest to the highest as follows:(3)ᄃ sense values like sensual
pleasure are exemplified by the lakuatsero or pabling; utilitarian values like profit and
efficiency by the businessman and technocrat; life values, by the doctor and the hero, e.g.,
Dr. Bobby de la Paz and Emilio Jacinto; cultural values, by the genius and the artist, e.g.,
Jose Rizal and Francisco Balagtas; religious values, by the saint, e.g., Mother Teresa or
Lorenzo Ruiz. Moral and religious values are pre-eminent and claim the highest priority
in the objective scale of values because they are absolutely necessary in order to become
fully human (magpakatao).


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)ᄃ but also
of what Fr. Horacio de la Costa, S.J. calls the Filipino "nationalistic" tradition
(pagsasarili, pagkakaisa, pakikisama, pakikipagkapwa-tao, and pagkabayani.(5)ᄃ

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)ᄃ. 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



Are Filipino values good or bad? The truth is that Filipino values are ambivalent in the
sense that they are a potential for good or evil, a help or hindrance to personal and
national development, depending on how they are understood, practiced or lived. They
can be used in a good or evil context, e.g., pakikisama sa kabuktutan or sa kaunlaran.
Filipino values have both positive and negative aspects depending on the context in
which they are found. In a social system or atmosphere of extreme insecurity, the positive
qualities of the Filipino take on negative and ugly appearances. For example, utang na
loob can lead topakiusap, nepotism and "cronyism". Pagmamay-ari ng kapangyarihan
(the possession of power) and their abuse could lead to class distinction or the "malakas-
mahina system". Hiya can become pakitang taoor gaya-gaya; machismo (tunay na lalake)
is partly responsible for the "querida system" and the doble kara morality.

To show the ambivalence of Filipino values, one example will suffice. Take the well
known but ambivalent Filipino bahala na mentality. On the one hand, this Filipino
attitude could be the root of the positive value of risk taking, entrepreneurship, and social
responsibility. Prof. Jose de Mesa, in a pioneer book on the Filipino and Christian
meaning of bahala na, stresses the positive meaning of this virtue of risk- taking,
enterprise and joint trust in both human effort (bahala tayong lahat) and divine
Providence (bahala ang Maykapal)(7)ᄃ. A people's will to take chances and risks, no
matter what difficulties and problems the future entails, is necessary for a nation's growth
and destiny. Bahala na could be a genuine faith and trust in Divine Providence that also
presupposes a self-reliance (pagsasarili) that took the form of People Power in the EDSA
revolution. Bahala na was a positive and nationalistic virtue for Jose Rizal, who believed
that Filipinos could no longer rely on the Spaniards, but only on themselves and on God.

On the other hand, in the past the negative aspect of bahala

na which dominated Filipino life meant a false sense of resignation (ganyan lang ang
buhay), a superstitious belief or blind faith (malas/suwerte, tadhana, kapalaran), or escape
from decision-making and social responsibility. As such it may be the root cause of
national apathy (walang pakialam) and collective paralysis of action (bakit pa kikilos) to
solve both local and national problems. Everything is already predetermined or fated.
Negatively, bahala na could engender a false sense of security with God as insurance or a
security blanket. For example, if God wants Filipino families to have plenty of children
(anak ay kayamanan), God will take care of everything. Bahala na could be the cause of
the absence of national initiative and of that discipline required for national growth.
When negative bahala naprevails, nothing ever gets done. Potholed roads, uncollected
garbage, countless unsolved murders, carnaping and smuggling remain year after year.
How many have ever been arrested, convicted or jailed for wanton murder or for
notorious graft and corruption? A sense of national frustration, helplessness, and despair
grips the nation and the people no longer care. Nothing is going to happen--Bahala na,
come what may.

From a Filipino perspective, what social reforms are necessary to transform bahala na
positively? No society will long endure unless there is justice; that is, unless a system of
reward and punishment exists and is effective. If in Philippine society lying and stealing
people's money are rewarded and truthfulness and honesty are punished, what else can
one expect but a badly broken political will for national reform? The present government
should therefore prioritize an effective system of universal sanctions for those who hold
power. From a Christian perspective, the Christian doctrines of divine Providence,
creation, stewardship of land and property, and the conservation of our natural resources
remain the challenge and task of parents, educators, and Christian evangelizers.

Split-level Christianity or double-standard morality, the immorality and hypocrisy of

many so-called Filipino Christians, is a scandal to both Christians and non-Christians
alike.(8)ᄃ It is important to distinguish between pseudo Christianity in all its varied forms
and authentic Christianity; between bad and good Christians. We must also take into
account the ambiguity of any religious commitment, which is not something made once
and for all, but a life-long process which demands constant conversion and renewal. We
must also distinguish between Filipino actual and normative behaviour (between what is
and what ought to be). Filipino values are not static, i.e., they are not simply what they
are, but dynamic, i.e., they become. From a historical perspective, the question to ask
about Filipino values is: Ganito kami noon: paano kayo ngayon? How are we to know
towards what goal or direction Filipino values ought to move or become?

Now that we have regained our democratic form of government once again and have
arrived at a privileged historical kairos, how do we transform Filipino values to build a
more "just and humane society" (Preamble, 1987 Constitution)? We need both external
structural and internal cultural change. It is here that the Christian faith should, in the last
analysis, point the way to the kind of values education needed for national reconstruction.

Ateneo de Manila University


Understanding the Filipino Values and Culture

To a person who is not familiar or aware of the Philippine culture, understanding

Filipinos is like playing a game one has never played before and of which the rules have
not been explained very well. Understanding the values of Filipinos pose a challenge, to
enjoy the game without missing the joys and fun of like living in the Philippines.

A stranger or foreigner who has a knowledge of or exposure to the Filipino society’s

customs, etiquette, and manners, is less likely to experience intense culture shock.

The Philippine Islands and Filipino Profile:

The Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands with a total land area of 296,912 square
kilometers (1.6 kilometers equal 1 mile). This makes it a little larger than the British Isles
and a little smaller than Japan. Its land area is eight times larger than Taiwan, 2/3 the size
of either Thailand or Spain, but less than 1/30 of the size of the United States or Mainland

The country is bounded on the west by the China Sea, on the east by the Pacific Ocean,
and on the south by the Celebes Sea. It lies a little above the equator and is 965
kilometers (600 miles) off the southeast coast of the Asian mainland. It is about 160
kilometers (100 miles) below Taiwan, and 24 kilometers above Borneo. Just being above
the equator, puts the Philippines in the typhoon belt. The two pronounced seasons in the
Philippines are the rainy months from June to October and the dry months from
November to May. In between these seasons come a number of typhoons that hit the
country yearly.

The Philippines has a population of more than 50 million. The population of the country
is rather unevenly distributed on the larger islands due to livelihood opportunities, social
and economic organizations and historical factors. Its biggest islands in addition to the
three (3) main islands (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) are Mindoro, Samar, Panay, Cebu,
Palawan, Leyte, Bohol and Masbate. Its largest cities are Manila, Quezon, Davao and

The Philippine population is characterized by an almost equal number of males and

females. 40% of Filipinos are below 15 years of age. Literacy stands at 82.9 percent. The
Philippines has for its languages Pilipino, English and Spanish; it has 87 different major
dialects. English is widely spoken; in fact, this country is the third largest English-
speaking nation in the world. Philippines is the first democratic country in Asia.

Filipino Culture:

Welcome to the Philippines! Welcome to this country of warm smiles and vivacious
people. Getting to know the Filipinos is easy enough. If you speak English, you will find
that most of the Filipinos speak the language; and what’s more, they are only too happy to
make your acquaintance in English. Even if you don’t, the Filipino is so outgoing by
nature that making friends out of total strangers or chance acquaintances is simply being
in character.
The Filipinos are a happy blend of several races, basically Malay with Chinese, Spanish,
Indian and American admixtures. Their values and ways of life were shaped by several,
sometimes conflicting cultures and the resulting blend is what makes their own uniquely
Filipino. In their veins run the rich Christian values of Europe, the pragmatic and
democratic values of America, and the spiritual values of Asia.

The seven distinct elements in Filipino culture are: values, basic personality, basic social
unit, politics, economics, technology and ecology. Each of these aspects of the Filipino
culture has a body of ideas called "content" which gives form and meaning to each
aspect. This form and meaning are expressed through "structures" or institutions which
the Philippine society creates for the orderly regulation of behavior in established ways.

Filipino cultural values are widely held beliefs which make some activities, relationships,
goals and feelings important to the Filipino people’s identity. When these Filipino values
coalesce and mesh in a mutually supportive system, it is called "Filipino value system."
The content of the Filipino values are the Filipino myths and religion while the structures
are the Filipino oral and written traditions, churches, sacred places, temples and mosques.
The Filipinos internalize these values of their culture and thus create for themselves a
"world of meanings."

The Filipino basic personality is determined by the Filipino culture because of the
selection of those congruent types that are congruent with the culture. The content of the
Filipino basic personality is made up of Filipino beliefs and knowledge while the
structure is formed by the Filipino initiation and various rituals and formal and informal

The Filipino basic social unit is the family which contributes to and maintains the
Filipino values. The content of the Filipino social unit is the family, groups and
community life while the structure is the lineage, marriage descent, neighborhood, peer
group and villages.

The Filipino politics are the Filipino ideas and structures related to the distribution and
channeling of power within the Philippine society for its well-being, order and regulation.
The content of politics is the Filipino traditional power units and democracy while the
structures are the law, parliament, councils, elders and chiefs.

The Filipino economics are the ideas which the Philippine society develops and the
structures which it creates for provision of food, clothing and shelter for its members. The
content of Philippine economics is the production by private enterprises while its
structure is capitalism and socialism.

Filipino technology includes all that the Filipinos have invented to make their life easier,
less arduous, and shifted from the brink of mere survival thus changing their way of life
and giving them more control of their physical environment. Its contents are
communication and health while its structure is composed of the various media,
professional organizations, medicine, hospitals and laboratories.
Filipino ecology is the relation of the Filipino to the ecosystem such as temperature, type
of soil, amount of moisture, types of crops that can be grown or types of animals present
in the Philippines and other environmental features. The content of Filipino ecology is the
identification of the Filipino with nature and its structure including hunting, fishing,
nature worship and irrigation.

Cultural Contrast:

The Filipino, compared with Westerners, prefers a "structured" way of life rather than one
in which he can be assertive of his own individuality. Thus, a Westerner will find the
Filipino less autonomous and more dependent. This is because of the social concept of
the Filipino self-esteem. His concept of self is identified with his family. Right from
childhood he is made to believe that he belongs to the family. Since childhood a Filipino
is encouraged to tell all of his thoughts to his parents and submit to his parents’ direction,
counsel and advice. He is admonished to be good because any disgrace that he commits is
a disgrace to the family. In times of misfortune he is assured of his family’s support,
sympathy and love.

By western standards, the Filipino parents can be considered overprotective and

sometimes intrusive. However, if one understands this seemingly unreasonable control in
the context of the Philippine culture wherein exists the belief in the primacy of the
extended family over that of the individual and that the only source of emotional,
economic, and moral support is the family, one will be more tolerant and respectful of
such actuation.

The Filipino Family and Kinship:

The basic units of the Philippine social organization are the elementary family which
includes the mother, father and children, and the bilateral extended family which
embraces all relatives of the father and the mother. Of special importance is the sibling
group, the unit formed by brothers and sisters. There are no clans or similar unilateral
kinship groups in the Philippines. The elementary family and the sibling group form the
primary bases of corporate action.

The Philippine society may be characterized as familial. This means that the influence of
kinship, which centers on the family, is far-reaching. The persuasive influence of the
family upon all segments of Philippine social organization can be illustrated in many
ways. Religious responsibility, for example, is familial rather than church-centered. Each
home has a family shrine. The influence of the family upon economic and entrepreneurial
business activities is also great. The so-called "corporations" found in urban areas are
generally family holdings. The prevailing family structure emphasizes loyalty and
support of the family, not of any higher level of social organization. The Filipino family
is the nuclear unit around which social activities are organized – it is the basic unit of
corporate action. The interests of the individual in Philippine society are secondary to
those of the family.
Ethical and Normative Behavior of Filipinos:

Ethics bases itself on what is human. Not everything is universal in human nature. As
Clyde Kluckholm and Henry A, Murray say "Every man is in certain respects (a) like all
other men; (b) like some other men; (c) like no other man." It is within the context of (b)
that ethical and normative behavior of people in the Philippines has its distinctive

The Filipino cultural orientation is supported by shared values which function as the basis
of shared behavior common to most Filipinos. Values have reference to standards people
use for evaluating what is right or wrong, good or evil. Values are related to norms which
are rules of conduct specific to given social situations.

The Filipinos have two sets of paradoxical traits and patterns of relationship that are
imbued by his culture. The first set is the highly structured and authoritarian familial set-
up where roles are prescribed especially for younger members of the family. This is
characterized by autocratic leadership of the elder-members, submitting one’s self to the
decision of the family elders, and almost one-way communication in the pecking order.
The second set of social relationship that the Filipino has, which ironically exists side by
side with the highly structured set-up, is the strong communitarian practice called
"Bayanihan" which literally means "being a hero." This practice ignores social ranking,
structures, leadership roles and authority relationships. The roles in the structured set-up
mentioned earlier cease to exist. Surprisingly, the Filipino is at home with both cultural
practices in his social life. He shifts from one setting to another with unbelievable ease
and grace. In the first set up, there is no way that a child can lead the elders in any form
of decision-making. In the Bayanihan set-up, however, if a child proves that he has the
right qualification needed for the task, he may lead the elders, not excluding his father
and elder brother.

There are three main imperatives that underlie Filipino value orientation: relational
imperatives (actual person to person encounters), emotional imperatives (emotionally
laden norms), and moral imperatives (Filipinos are more moralistic than ordinarily
perceived and that the most powerful moral imperative in Filipino culture is "utang na
loob" or debt of gratitude/loyalty or commitment).

Unlike in other Asian countries, women in the Philippines occupy a high status. Equality
with men is a birthright of the Filipino women. Unlike her Western sisters, they didn’t
have to march the streets to be heard. Women are highly respected in the Philippines.
They may walk alone on the streets. They can also drive alone.

Filipinos are fond of giving and attending parties. Any event can be an excuse for having
a small or big party – the baptism of an infant, a birthday, a daughter’s debut, a wedding,
or an engagement. Even a promotion in a job, passing a government exam, getting one’s
first paycheck or recovery from illness is enough reason to give a party.

Email This ᄃ BlogThis!ᄃ Share to Twitter ᄃ Share to Facebook ᄃ Share to Pinterest ᄃ