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Common Traits of the Filipinos Essay

Common Traits It is difficult to define and ascertain the very core of what it is to be a Filipino. History tells us that the Filipinos as we know now had an untraceable origin. All that we can do now is to determine the common traits that are common to all of the Filipinos. Common traits among Filipinos can be traced throughout its existence, from the pre-colonial era up to the present era that we have now. There is something that is particularly common and at the same time unique from among all of us as oppose to different races from Asia.

And from this point of view we can depart and establish in some commonalities what it is to be a Filipino which is unique in particular throughout Asia and in general throughout the world. A. Hospitality One of the common traits of a Filipino is the word Hospitality. Hospitality comes from the Latin word, “Hospes”meaning “Host”, “guest”, or “stranger”. Hospes is formed from hostis, which means “stranger” or “enemy” which is synonymous to hostility. In a nutshell, Hospitality means welcoming the guest, stranger, or even the enemy into your own house.

According to Derrida there two(2) types of hospitality, the first one is Conditional Hospitality, and the second one is the Absolute Hospitality. In the vernacular language, Conditional Hospitality means, you welcome the stranger, guest, or even the hostile within the bounds of condition e. g like they should only sleep in the master bedroom and only sleep in the couch or sala, they cannot go into the bedroom or they should not touch anything. In other words, they are bound to certain restrictions.

On the other hand, in contrast to Conditional Hospitality, Absolute hospitality is a form of welcoming the other with open arms up to the point of embracing the other unconditionally. Absolute hospitality knows no boundaries, in fact, welcoming the other might be dangerous because this other’s personality is unascertainable, maybe he is a convict or any other psychopath but absolute hospitality will welcome any other stranger that will knock into your own homes even if such stranger would kill you.

And this Absolute hospitality is the kind of hospitality that is present and predominant among Filipinos, this is a kind of hospitality that is selfless at its purest up to the point of even sacrificing his own family just for the sake of the visitor or guest. And this was clearly depicted by the historian Teodoro A. Agoncillo when he wrote that: “Perhaps you happen to drop in at an unholy hour of the day or night. Sensing that you are hungry, he prepares the best food for you, ignoring the fact that there would not be enough for the next supper for his family.

Meanwhile, he gives you something with which you could eat whiles away your time. You hear him or his wife puttering about the kitchen desperately hurrying up the preparation of the food in order not to keep you waiting. There is always a sense of urgency in his movements, for he does not want to inconvenience you. He makes you feel that he is honored by your invasion of his privacy at an unholy hour of the night. ” This Absolute hospitality is the one that is being misunderstood by foreigners, especially by the Spanish colonizers, who thought that such trait is an embodiment of inferiority and obsequiousness.

And only that such trait is also prone to abuses made up by the Foreign colonizers which proceeded to tell their hearers that they fell victims to the wiles of the Filipino women. B. Close Family ties The family is one of the oldest and most important social institutions on earth in it is the basic institution of the government, all starts from and within the family it is the primordial institution of our society. With this, it is noteworthy to mention Anthropologist Margaret Mead,she based her research and affirmed the centrality of the nuclear family in human society.

She said: “As far back as our knowledge takes us, human beings have lived in families. We know of no period when this was not so. We know of no people who have succeeded for long in dissolving the family or displacing it… Again and again, in spite of proposals for change and actual experiments, human societies have reaffirmed their dependence on the family as the basic unit of human living—the family of father, mother and children. ’’

In consonance with such research, one of the traits among Filipinos is its close family ties because even up to time immemorial Filipinos are still dependent and interdependent with their families, that even some are already at the age of 40 and having produced so many kids, his existence is still closely related to his Parents. Parents up to the end of the adolescent period of their sons or daughters still have the capacity to support and even provided sustenance to their own sons or daughters. Unlike in foreign countries, particularly in the U.

S wherein the their sons or daughters have achieved the age of 18, they are already free to go out of the boundaries of their home and eventually establish a life outside the reach of their family, they can already rent their own apartment and have a job. Which is particularly remote to the traits of a Filipino, if such person was allowed by their parents to live in own life and establish his own stance then eventually such Family would be treated or lookup upon with unbecoming eyes, like such parents is not a worthy parent to father their own child. In Filipino Family, it ordinarily consist of the grandparents, the parents and the children.

The Father is the head of the family, but while he rules, the mother governs. For it is the mother that reigns in the home, she is the educator, the financial officer, the accountant, the censor, the laundry woman, and the cook. But above the ruler and the governor are the grandparents, who opinions and decisions on all important matters are sought. Will a newborn child be baptized? The grandparents are consulted and what they say carries much weight. It is the grandparents that have the last word from every decision that the family would make, would they consult a doctor in case the child or sick?

The answer depends on the grandparents since they would prefer a herbolario (herb doctor) It is in their experience that will go against any written knowledge that their sons and daughters have achieved, it is with experience that they will use to override you knowledge. And besides such characteristics, one of the predominant characters of the Family is its hierarchical status, since the Philippines is a predominantly catholic country, the impact of such religions echoes even up to the deepest depth of the Family which is embodied in its patriarchal stance.

Every decision if you would not be consulted with the grandparent should be consulted with the Father, and nothing more nothing else. The mother may have to say many things, but if the head of the family started to talk then it is the end of the line for is words, would be the law and only the prevailing law of every family. C. Respect for the elders In addition to the power of the grandparents, every grandparents should be treated with respect in all kinds of behavior towards them. In casual conversation, the should be an additional words of respect like “po” and “opo.

” It is unthinkable for a Filipino do utter words of ingratitude to their elderly. If in other country, they just call their elderly in their own names as oppose to the Filipinos which they approach their elderly in a courteous manner characterized by words of gratitude and respect. And the respect for the elderly includes respect for the elder sister and brother. It is the responsibility of the elder brother to perform the duties of the father and mother to the younger members of the family. One finds that among Filipino family the elder brother or sister sacrifice his career for the sake of the young ones who must have an education.

Even after his marriage, the elder brother sets aside a small part of his salary for his younger brother and sisters. The latter, in turn, are expected to look up to their elder brother with awe and respect. Kissing the hands of the parents and old relatives or neighbors as a sign of respect is extended to the elder brother or sister. Among “old” and “respectable families,” even cousins kiss the hands of their elder cousins as a sign of respect. D. Fatalistic Filipinos are intrinsically fatalistic. Fatalism is defined as a doctrine that events are fixed in advance so that human beings are powerless to change them.

In other words, everything is determined, it is a doctrine that amplifies the subjugation of all events or actions to fate. Philosophically, fatalism generally refer to these ideas, that humans are powerless to do anything other than we can actually do, e. g the power to influence the future which is very similar to pre-determinsm. An attitude of resignation in the face of some future event or events which are thought to be inevitable, that actions are free, but nevertheless work toward an inevitable end, and lastly that acceptance is appropriate, rather than against inevitability.

These fatalism is best symbolized in the phrase “Bahalana,” a phrase that defies translation but which may be rendered loosely as “come what may. ” Can you go through that wall of fire? Bahalana. Are you sure you can convince him to give up his plan of leaving home? Bahalana. There are dangers ahead, Bahalana. Such fatalism has bred in the Filipino a sense of resignation. It is tis that he faces disaster or tragedy with resignation. HE appears indifferent in the face of graft and corruption. He appears impassive in the face of personal misfortune. Yet this “Bahalana” attitude prevents him from being a crackpot.

E. Loyalty As Joyce Mayanrd puts it, “A person who deserves my loyalty receives it. ” Loyalty is defined as a faithfulness or devotion to a person, country, group or cause. For Josiah Joyce loyalty is the willing and practical and thoroughgoing devotion of a person to a cause. The cause has to be an objective one. It cannot be one’s personal self. It is something external to oneself that one looks outward to the world to find, and that cannot be found within. It concerns not one’s own person, but other people. The devotion is active, a surrendering of one’s self-will to the cause, that one loves.

Moreover, according to Royce, loyalty is social. Loyalty to a cause unites the many fellow-servants of that cause, binding them together in their service. That is why loyalty to a friend or benefactor is one trait that is very strong with every Filipino. Do him a little favor and he remembers you to the ends of his days. And such trait is best described and characterized as “utangnaloob. ” For the Filipino, friendship is sacred and implies mutual help under any circumstances. A friend is expected to come to the aid not only of personal friend but also to the friend’s family.

That is why when the Americans gave their help to oust the Japanese imperial army here in the Philippines, such help was inculcated to every minds of the Filipino people and throughout the history books, the such a friend help you in such detrimental situation. For the Filipino, it is hardly conceivable that the United States should turn out to be an ingrate, knowing that they stood by her in the darkest hour. Such attitude is beyond the comprehension of the Americans, for the latter understands of friendship is different from that of the Filipino.

The American is ruthlessly businesslike and will not allow sentimentalism to stand in the way of fulfilling his destiny or objective. This “ruthlessness” the Filipino does not understand. Thus, it can be considered as a misplaced loyalty, which is an unreciprocated loyalty, because the Americans would only be loyal only to such an end that it will satisfy their desires and needs, and as long as they are being benefited with such they would not care if such things would be treated as sentimental as the Filipino’s see as it is. F. Tendency to be indolent For Luc de Clapiers “Indolence is the sleep of the mind.

” It is a state where the body and mind of a person is idle. Nothing innovative to do nor to say. This trait is common to every Filipino, as Rizal explained, the Filipinos has this tendency to be indolent as the result of the tropical climate which makes even the Westerner indolent in these parts of the paradise. But aside from the warm climate, indolence may partly explained by the abundance with which Nature has endowed the country, a fact which makes the Filipino exert less effort in the belief that he does not have to work hard to make both ends meet.

Then too because of the close family and personal ties, the Filipino is assured of three square meals every day if only e would have the nerve to go from one relative to another. He knows that no relative or friend would turn him out and so he imposes himself on his willing or unwilling victims. G. Jealousy For Lawrence Durrell, “it is not love that is blind, but jealousy. ” One of the trait of a Filipino is the feeling of being jealous. For every Filipino does not look with favor on a woman who flirts with several men. To him the sweet heart’s or the wife’s eyes are meant only form him and for no other.

Even his closest friend cannot kiss his wife with impunity on the pretext that it is a brotherly kiss. The Filipino, therefore, requires complete faith and loyalty of his wife or sweetheart. A deviation from this unwritten law oftentimes leads to a bloody mess. Among the many examples is when a Jealous husband stabs his wife and hacks his neighbor, It is in a fit of jealousy that a husband stabbed dead his wife then attack the woman’s alleged paramour in barangay Yati, Liloan, northern Cebu. Police said that the husband was furius when his 41 year old wife, admitted to him that she and a married neighbor in 39 years of age had a relationship.

It was their daughter who told the police that she heard her mother shouting for help in the 1:30 a. m in that morning. The daughter ran to her parents room and saw her knife wielding father standing in front of her mother, who was lying bloodied on the top of the bed. Her mother died because of multiple stab wounds. It is not only this instance that the jealousy of a betrayed husband was actualize there are many instances wherein such things had happened, bloody killings, are often enough reported in the daily newspapers, and are frequent and usual upshot is jealousy, for to a Filipino blood is required to was the stain of his honor H.

Camaraderie “Pakikisama” or camaraderie among other nation is also one of the best traits that Filipino possesses. The spirit of comradeship makes Filipinos trustworthy beings. The idea of bayanihan was established because of Filipino camaraderie. Filipino shows no elements of deceit, dishonesty and selfishness. Everybody is willing to help one another is the other is in need of help. I. Regionalism Regionalism is defined as a Political subdivision of an area into partially autonomous region, which characterize by loyalty to the interest of a particular region.

A Feature of such is an expression, a pronunciation, or a custom, that is characteristic of a geographical area. It is also a quality in literature that is the product of fidelity to the habits, speech, manners, history, folklore, and beliefs of a particular geographical section. That is why a Filipino, does not think in terms of national boundaries but in regional oneness. This feeling is an extension of the closeness of family ties. Invariably, the Filipino believes that the person known to him, no matter how bad is btter than the one unknown to him no matter how.

Good. Thus one finds college or university students calling a meeting of all those who come from the different parts of county. ——————————————– [ 2 ]. C. Lewis, Elementary Latin Dictionary (Oxford Univ. Press, 2000), p. 371. [ 3 ]. Who is derrida [ 4 ]. Teodoro A. Agocillo, History of the Filipino People eight edition, C&E publishing Inc. ,2012, p. 6-7 [ 5 ]. Teodoro A. Agocillo, History of the Filipino People eight edition, p. 7 [ 6 ]. Editorial, Familiy Ties, Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 20, 2011 [ 7 ]. Teodoro A.

Agocillo, History of the Filipino People eight edition, p. 7 [ 8 ]. Hugh Rice ,”Fatalism”. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved December 2, 2010 p. 71 [ 9 ]. Teodoro A. Agocillo, History of the Filipino People eight edition, p. 9-10 [ 10 ]. Martin, Mike W. ,Virtuous giving: philanthropy, voluntary service, and caring. Indiana University Press. p. 40. [ 11 ]. Teodoro A. Agocillo, History of the Filipino People eight edition, p. 10 [ 12 ]. Teodoro A. Agocillo, History of the Filipino People eight edition, p. 11 [ 13 ]. Teodoro A. Agocillo, History of the Filipino People eight edition, p. 12.


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