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. 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 but also of what Fr. Horacio de la Costa, S.
J. alls the Filipino “nationalistic” tradition(pagsasarili,pagkakaisa,pakikisama, pakikipagkapwa-tao, and pagkabayani. )
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. 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. 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 Revolution).
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