By Hannah Joy Gregorio and Khristopher Vincent Defensor
Filipinos are known for being hospitable, but it’s not only the positive trait that Filipinos possess. Having been colonized by various countries, the Philippine culture, in effect, is mixed with Asian and Western influences. Thus, the Philippine culture is diverse and can be reflected in the our traits.
Filipinos over the years have proven time and time again that they are a people with an industrious attitude. Sadly, this is seen by others as Filipinos being only useful as domestic helpers, working abroad to help their families in the country. This is also present in the country’s workforce particularly the farmers. Even with little support, technological weaknesses and the country’s seasonal typhoons, the Filipino farmer still strives to earn their daily meal.
Even though the government provides small support to the country’s workers, many people choose to engage in micro businesses—the so-called sari-sari stores and tiangge, the Filipino version of local markets and ukay-ukay, or second-hand stores.
Some would also pursue engaging in transportation with jeepneys, tricycles and such to offer low-cost transportation to the ever mobile masses.
Though these are some examples on how Filipinos get by with everyday living, these work opportunities offer only minimum pay but Filipinos still pursue them in hopes of giving their children a decent life and proper education so they could elevate themselves to a higher standard of living.
Strong family ties
In the country the people put family ties and relations as one of their top priorities. Filipinos would do all they could to provide and sustain their respective families. This is present in Filipino festivals where they invite the whole family and in Sundays where they would make time to use it to spend the whole day for their families.
You will find that it is common in the country to include the extended members not just the normal nuclear family. It is not unusual that in a single household it would reach up to ten members of a family living under the same roof. They value each other’s company, and everyone strives to provide for the whole and not just for them.
Even grandparents still have an active role in the family. It is now the norm in the society that both parents are out working, leaving the care of their children to the lolos and lolas, especially if the family cannot afford to hire a nanny. Grandparents therefore become responsible for instilling into their grandchildren the values and morals they taught to their own children, further increasing the importance of the elderly in our society.
Being a hard-working people, the Filipinos are also honest. In general, they would prefer to work hard for an honest day’s pay than to find an easier way like stealing or cheating.
As in the case of overseas Filipino workers or OFWs, they are mostly domestic helpers and though given a job which requires a lot of trust from the employer as they are left alone with their belongings or children, it is rare that Filipinos would do anything to betray or lose the trust that is given to them. We see so many Filipinos working in the homes of other families precisely because they can be trusted.
But even in our own country, Filipinos have displayed honesty in various forms, may it be from a taxi driver returning a dropped phone or wallet. Filipinos would choose to do the right thing, though sometimes this is not necessarily true.
The Philippines is one the most religious countries in world, particularly in Catholicism and Islam. Families would encourage and strengthen the values of their children and would at least have one day a week for worship and at the same time strengthening family ties.
Religion is the foundation of most of the country’s morals and values and sometimes, the church greatly affects the minds and opinions of the general populace, affecting its decisions. Sadly, this also applies to the government as they are troubled by whatever the Church’s stand is in every matter, as people see their opinion to be the “right” one. Thus, many of our politicians go with whatever the Church says, fearing that they would lose vote if they go against it.
The Philippines is a hotspot for disasters, natural and otherwise. Couple that with poverty, and one would think that Filipinos have the most reason for being a depressed people. However, we have demonstrated time and again that Filipinos can bounce back from a tragedy, emerging stronger and better than before. In the middle of a disaster, Filipinos can still manage to smile and be hopeful that the next morning brings new hope.
We have shown the world that by working together as a nation, we have what it takes to recover from a bad situation. This is something that all of us should be proud of, no matter where in the world we are.
With all of these good traits (and more!), one would really be proud to say, “I am a Filipino.”
Filipinos have shown the world that by working together, we have what it takes to recover from a bad situation—and this is a trait that we should all be proud of.
(Story courtesy of Manila Times)