Monday, August 25, 2014


by Antonio C. Antonio
August 25, 2014

What is so unique about the Filipino that sets him apart from the rest?  Like most of the peoples of the world, the Filipino also has weaknesses… but, since everybody has weaknesses anyway, allow me to just focus on the Filipino strengths.  I am sure there are more you could add after reading this article…

Family Orientation:  Most societies limit their family ties to 3 filial generations (therefore, grandparents, parents and siblings).  The Filipino has a widely extended family but in spite of this, expresses deep love and concern for this huge family circle.  Respect and honor is always given to elders as generosity is offered to a kin in need. Only in the Philippines will you hear of people talking about string of relationships… 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th-degree cousins.

Deeply Religious:  The Filipino is deeply religious.  It is his understanding of the concept of good and evil that makes him adopt a high ethical standard as well.  Whatever religion and spirituality he possesses, the Filipino is always true to his faith.  Even tragic events are viewed in a highly religions manner… therefore: everything is God’s Will.  This is a coping mechanism which makes the acceptance of tragic events and moving on easier.

Hard Work and Industry:  The only reason why the Filipino could not succeed in his own country are the social-political-economic barriers which keeps him poor and challenged.  But in a society where there is equal opportunity, his success is a “given”.  Filipinos here and (especially) abroad even take 1 or 2 more jobs to maximize his time.  The Filipinos is never lazy… he just lacks the opportunity to show his ability and brilliance.

Adaptability and Creativity:  The Filipino has a proven capacity to adapt to life-changing events, and to his environment and surrounding.  The Filipino who migrates and merge with other societies have more often coped with his new environs (both social and physical).  He is normally unfazed by changes since he possesses a strong tolerance for ambiguity.  His willingness to sacrifice and learn makes integration to a new lifestyle or way of life faster.  The Filipino way of life, characterized by poor existence makes it easier for him to cope with new found luxury or does not mind temporary hardships.  His creativity and "remedio" mentality makes it easy for him to survive in a highly commercialized world where everything is throw-away and DIY (do-it-yourself).

Survivability:  Throw a Filipino in the desert, the frigid north or south poles, or alone in a deserted island and he will survive and adapt faster than most people of different race.  This is the survival ability and tolerance that decades of hardships has given him.  While others will become hopeless and petrified into inaction and, perhaps die where they sit, the Filipino will rise to the occasion and challenge and find ways and means to live longer with an endless chain of hope for salvation.

“Pakikipag-Kapwa Tao” or a deep sense of Fellowship with Others:  The Filipino always treat others with respect and dignity; with a deep sense of justice and fairness for others; and, with a natural tendency to empathize with others.  Nowhere in the world could the “bayanihan” spirit (the willingness to things collectively out of one’s kindness of heart) be found except in the Philippines.

Filipino Hospitality:  Ask any foreign tourist what he thinks about the Filipino people and he will most certainly say that he is very impressed by the hospitality he has been shown.

“Pakiramdam” or Sensitivity:  The Filipino is always sensitive to the feeling of others.  More often, he would offer the best of what he can offer to others.  Oftentimes too, he would think less of himself and think more of others.

“Pagtitiwala” or Trust.  The Filipino is very trusting and very dependent on interpersonal relationship which gives him a sense of security and belonging.  Ask any Filipino and he will always describe himself as belonging to an organization, formal or non-formal.  His social and developed sense of camaraderie is rooted on these organizations which he trusts with his life.

Humor:  The Filipino has the ability to make jokes out of any conceivable event and almost anything under the sun.  Oftentimes, he will be seen laughing away at jokes at wakes and funeral processions.  Through life’s ups and downs, the Filipino can still manage to smile (or even laugh) at his own trials and tribulations.  This humorous view of life is a playful coping mechanism to the fortunes and misfortunes of life.  This also provides him with a capacity to survive and laugh through problems.  If there is one person who could readily laugh at himself and not feel guilty about it, it’s the Filipino.

Bravery and Daring:  The Filipino is a very daring breed.  Nowhere in the world will you find people who are willing to offer their mortal bodies as barricades to tanks as manifested in the EDSA Revolution.  In February 1986, the whole world watched and marvelled at the bravery and daring of the Filipino.  It showed that the negative attitude of “bahala na”, mixed with nationalistic fervor, can also be a positive trait of the Filipino.

Just my little thoughts…

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