By: Haydee C. Chavez
Last time I had a chat with my Kuya (my oldest brother) who is an OFW through FB. It came to our conversation on how our nephews and nieces deal to their parents and grandparents and to other people in our vicinity. My Kuya asked me if “po and opo” are still preserved in their values. Are they doing the “pagmamano” (touching the hand of an elder people through your own forehead as a sign of respect) to their parents, grandparents and elder people in our vicinity? I told him that these values are properly inculcated and nothing to worry about.
It was retained to my mind on how those Filipino values are intact with my brother and perhaps he really wants that those values should be kept to our nieces and nephews or the next generation of our family as a whole. It was a challenge for me as a government employee on how we should inculcate these values to our family, colleagues, and friends and these drive me to research and to review some of the Filipino values which I considered beneficial to our community.
Nations way of life is based on the beliefs, goals, ideals, aspirations, and values. To the extent that transparency of daily lives depends on how they believe. In attaining national unity and progress, the country needs the full cooperation of its people. Values of people for each country/nation give the identity that differentiates one race from the others. These values may improve or hinder development and progress but nonetheless, with unity of diversity, development and progress are achievable. I had identified some Filipino Values which serve us our strength and distinct to others being a Filipino:
1. Strong Faith in God – Believing God is the most admirable values among Filipinos. We strongly believed for the intervention of a Divine Power in our lives. Filipinos faith in God keeps them united to overcome all the problems and challenges of life.
2. Close Family Ties - We Filipino considers family as an important social structure that we must treasure, love and care. Close family ties results to the family still being intact regardless of the children getting old and with families of their own.
3. Respect for Elders - the use of “po” and “opo” in conversing or addressing older people is a sign of a Filipino’s respect for the elders. Filipinos do not send their elders to nursing homes because they still value the worth and presence of the elders at home. “Pagmamano” (touching the hand of the elders through your forehead) as a sign of great respect is included also in this Filipino value.
4. Hospitality – the Filipino community is very warm and hospitable. We even give “pasalubong” (welcome gifts) and “pabaon” (farewell gifts) to our guests. But it should not come to the extent of sacrificing our own comfort to accommodate our guests very well.
5. Flexibility / Adaptability / Resiliency – We Filipinos are strong and cheerful whatever challenges of life may bring. This is the result of our strong belief in God. We believe that someone up there will look for us in the midst of everything. Also, Filipinos have the trait to laugh at themselves and their misfortunes or failures. This is a coping mechanism to balance emotional stress and to boost the capacity to survive. Even, we are smiling in midst of problems and hardships. We are still cracking jokes despite the stresses of our daily lives and during calamities. They are strong and cheerful people.
6. Hardwork and Industry, Patience and Self-sacrifice – Being a Filipino we are proud that we are globally and internationally recognized for our exemplary performance whether it is physical or technical tasks.That’s why enduring/coping difficulties and hardships in lives are easy for us Filipinos. Maybe we can also relate it with the long suffering we had endured during the colonization in Philippine history. We are patient enough to wait for our turn to be blessed with greener pastures as long as they do what is right and good.
7. “Power of Bayanihan” (Being Helpful) – We are always ready to lend a hand to our fellow men, especially in times of crisis, calamities and disasters.
8. Innovative – We often improvise and make productive use of available resources to the extent that even if it is already scrap, we can make new things out of it.
9. Fairness and Justice – We are God fearing people that’s why we always show concern for the well-being of others. We treat others the same as our brother so that equality and justice can be attained. We uphold the humanity of all people and regard everyone with respect and empathy.
It is stipulated in our constitution that every students should be equipped with values that can prepare them to navigate their day to day activities that will eventually result in deep-rooted and lifelong learning, so these Filipino values should be inculcated in the minds and hearts of our students/pupils. These will help them know who they are and will give them the chance on how they can actively participate in shaping the future of the Filipinos. These will enable them to know more about their rights and duties and their role so that they will grow up to become useful and productive citizens of our country.
These Filipino values should not serve only as a “TEXT”, a “DISPLAY” and as a “STATUS QUO” in our community but it should become a way of life on how we should live a straight life serving God and our fellow men. This is really a challenge for all of us not only as a parent, as an educator but as Filipino citizen who has a concern to his country and to his fellowmen.
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