I was sitting comfortably in the MRT last Friday when a middle-aged woman walked in front of me. I contemplated on whether I should I give my seat but I ended up offering my seat since I can barely stand watching her wobble while the train is in motion. She got off earlier than I did but when I was about to reclaim my seat a mother and child came in. I offered them my seat again.
While standing and enduring the long ride from Trinoma to Ayala, I resorted to my usual habit of observing people to kill time. I sad realization struck me. Young people these days, especially the female ones, barely exhibit the “mapagbigay” attitude. Almost the MRT riders were scramming for a seat. Some barely recognize other people who might need the seat more than they do.
Upon arriving at Ayala, I saw a family of four. I think the two kids were around 5 and 7 years old. They were talking to their parents in English and they sounded very demanding. I thought back to the days when kids use po and opo and their mouths were firing Filipino dialects and not strutted English statements.
When I got home, I looked for my aunt “para magmano”. I thought again, “How many people still do this?”
Pagbibigay, po, opo and pagmamano. Where are you, precious Filipino values? It seems the improvement of this country is inversely proportional to your existence. Is it inevitable? As people improve, do they care more and more about themselves and less of other people? As much I love advancement, I miss the days when people do not stare at me pag nagmamano, when offering a set was not a second thought, and when the use of opo and po was a subconscious habit.
The more we advance, how many more precious Filipino values will become extinct?
Close Kinship – a Filipino considers family as an important social structure that they must love and care. Close family ties results to the family still being intact regardless that the children are old and with families of their own. 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. Hospitality – the Filipino community are very warm and hospitable. They even give “pasalubong” (welcome gifts) and “pabaon” (farewell gifts) to guests. At times, they sacrifice their own comfort to accommodate their guests very well. Strong Faith in God – their faith in God keeps them united to overcome all the problems and challenges of life. Flexibility / Adaptability / Resiliency – the 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. They can smile in midst of problems and hardships. They can still crack jokes despite the stresses of their daily lives and during calamities. They are strong and cheerful people. Ingenuity and Creativity – they are good inventors.
They often improvise and make productive use of available resources. Patience and Self-sacrifice – a remarkable quality of a Filipino is his capacity to endure difficulties and hardships. Maybe related to the long suffering they endured during the many colonization in Philippine history. They are patient enough to wait for their turn to be blessed with greener pastures as long as they do what is right and good. Hard work and Industry – Filipinos are globally recognized for their excellent performance in any physical and technical tasks. Maybe visible due to the desire for economic security and advancement for one’s self and family. Readiness to Share and Help – they’ re always ready to lend a hand, not only in times of need (calamities or disasters) but also in festive occasions (“fiestas”, baptisms and weddings). The “bayanihan” spirit, or giving help without expecting something in return, of a Filipino is widely admired.
Fairness and Justice – they always show concern for the well-being of others. They uphold the humanity of all people and regard everyone with respect and empathy. They are keen on interpersonal relationships, their primary source of security and happiness.Fairness & Justice –> Equality –> Social Justice –> Development & Progress. “Ningas Kugon” – “kugon” is a kind of grass that burns easily when dry but extinguished easily as well. Like the cogon grass, Filipinos start things with great enthusiasm but at the first sign of difficulty, the enthusiasm is consumed as fast as it has ignited. Colonial Mentality – Filipinos prefer foreign-made products instead of patronizing Philippine-made ones. This result to higher gains for foreign businessmen than local businessmen. Thus, it motivates Filipino businessmen to improve the quality of their products to make it more competitive against foreign ones. “Mamaya Na” or “Bukas Na Lang” Habit – a poor habit, a sign of laziness, of leaving for a later time what can be done at the moment or today.
Thus resulting to stacked workload to be done and then complain about it. Crab Mentality – a troublesome trait evident in a Filipino where when one sees the progress of a comrade, the other becomes resentful rather than happy for the achievement. Rather than to praise, he would highlight everything negative about that person in an effort to bring him down or destroy his reputation. They would focus on other’s own faults rather their own inadequacies. “Patigasan” – most Filipinos find it hard to say “I’m sorry” or “pasensya na”. Their precious pride always gets the best of them. “Kanya kanya” – a trait which shows self-centeredness and lack of regard for others. There are Filipinos who give priority to what they and their families could have, rather than what they can do to share their wealth and serve others better. This trait shows poor signs of patriotism, loyalty to community, and concern for the needs of others.