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Our Filipino Values: a Connotation to the World

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Our Filipino Values: a Connotation to the World

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  • September 14, 2011
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Our Filipino Values: A Connotation to the World

What are Filipino values? What is distinctly Filipino in our value system? 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. The Greek ideal of moderation or meden agan, the Roman in medio stat virtus, the Confucian and Buddhist "doctrine of the Middle", find their Filipino equivalent in “hindi labis, hindi kulang, katamtaman lamang”. 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 like being 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. calls the Filipino "nationalistic" tradition . A Filipino value or...