Three Filipino Traits We Can Be Proud Of
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Three Filipino Traits We Can Be Proud Of
While I was in Europe, a couple quipped to me and whispered, “You Filipinos are forever young unlike us who mature early.” The simple couple praised us, Filipinos, for always smiling and hospitable even in the face of adversities. Others observe our Strong Family Ties and Strong Religiosity whenever and wherever we are. I would say that these three traits make me really proud of my identity as a Filipino. The trait of strong family ties is a distinctive feature that makes us Filipinos stood out to the rest of the world. Foreigners who visit and those who choose to live in our country have begun to imbibe in their own family, this unique way of life of the Filipinos. Where on earth can you see that even in their old age, members of Filipino families still live together in one roof, if not, adjacent to each other? In advance and rich countries, especially America and Europe, youngsters who reach 18 years old are free to leave their homes, to look for a job and venture into a new life. These people are trained to be independent without the need of help from their parents. In some aspect, this kind of training is somehow effective, yet, in the process, it breaks and destroys the strong sense of intimacy among household members. Another danger in living far from your love ones is the risk of disuniting the family. There are times of course, when the demands of work force us separate ourselves from our families. The pressure of earning money and to support the whole family is a big factor in working in a far away land. This reality needs to be attended to with careful study and reflection. The involve parties have to bear in mind the difficulties and danger that they may encounter along the way. The mental anguish, home sickness and, nervous breakdown, are just some of the anxieties that causes these separations. We, Filipinos, should be proud of our strong family ties, yet, we should root out some aspects that don’t contribute to the development of our society. I may propose to compliment our unique trait with some “useful” ones from our European and American counterparts, but of course without compromising the original Filipino trait. At the end of the day, strong family ties should be at the top and must shine forth among the rest.
The Deep Religiosity is another trait which is innate in the Filipinos. When we say innate, it is already imbedded in the very nature of every Filipino. Even before the advent of the Christianization of the Philippines by the Spaniards, early Filipinos were already engaged in some spiritual rites and practices. They already believed in some supreme deities, that there is life after death. With the arrival of the Spanish missionaries and priests, these aspect of “Filipino spirituality” have been raised “a notch higher”, and the rituals and practices have been “organized and put into proper perspective.” The sense of deep religiosity is what makes the Filipinos face every trial; economic, political upheaval, natural disasters and, even personal ones, with firm courage and strong belief in the providence of God. Sometimes, natural disasters are “sparks” because they awaken the nature of Filipinos to call out to their god for help. We can notice that in the recent natural calamities, people would no one to turn to but to god who gives them strength, hope and courage in the face of seemingly uncontrollable situations in life. Even in different religious congregations around the world, Filipinos have the most active members and they outnumbered their foreign counterparts in terms of religious and priestly vocations. This reality just somehow attest to the ever religiosity of Filipinos. Even a certain Pope commissioned the Philippines to be the Evangelizer of the word of god to all the ends of the earth. And what can we say of the turning point in our political life in Edsa. Did it not happen because of the influence of our religiosity? One could really feel the “hands of god” in those troubled times. Blood shed and countless innocent civilians would be killed where it not for the people’s unceasing prayers to move heaven and earth; Democracy would not be restored. Religiosity in every Filipino is a mystifying force that unites each one, especially if their motivation is good. This trait is also manifested in every Grand fiesta of each city or barrio. In Cebu for instance, a foreigner would be filled with awes and wonder upon observing the Sinulog festival and the way the Cebuanos celebrate it. Hospitality coupled with smile is another rarity found only among Filipinos. A “very gracious host” is always the positive comment of every foreigner once he leaves or depart from the Philippines. In fact they would comment that Filipinos everywhere love to smile even though they are suffering. Being hospitable adorned with lovely and natural smile is almost like a second nature to every Filipinos. With pride and dignity, we can say that these unique traits make us really proud as Filipinos, for they are rarely found anywhere in the world, but here in the Philippines they abound all the more.
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