In conformance to Presidential Proclamation No. 479 dated October 7, 1994, and Department of Education (DepEd) Memorandum No. 161, s. 2019, the country is celebrating the annual Filipino Values Month (FVM) this November.
This year’s theme is “Pamilyang Pilipino Patatagin: Susi sa Paghubog ng Kabataan Maka-Diyos, Makatao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa.”
It highlights the role of the Filipino family in nurturing pro-God, pro-people, pro-nature, and pro-country individuals during this digital age as the Filipino culture is rich in tradition and values. For example, when we go through rough times and challenges, we look for one of three things: humor, the silver lining, or the brighter side of things.
Our ancestors have taken the time to keep these values alive and enriched. It’s about time we take to pass it on. In line with this, here’s a list of the Top 7 Filipino values future generations should continue practicing:
1. Showing Empathy
Every person is unique. Therefore, our experiences are unique as well. Putting oneself in another’s shoes can help us understand their emotions and their responses to certain situations. This way, we can learn to think before we speak, be compassionate, and be careful of our actions.
Filipinos are known to be welcoming to guests. Foreign tourists who explore the country are often warmly welcomed and quickly made to feel right at home. Similarly, Filipino gatherings abroad radiate friendliness and the feeling of belongingness. Friends who frequently visit each other’s homes often grow to be treated like family as well.
3. Keeping Family Ties Strong
Families are the basic units of society. It’s fairly common to spend quality time with close and extended members of the family to develop a strong sense of family ties. This is why Filipinos highly value eating meals together—making reunions a popular tradition for most families. For the same reason, parents who grow old are taken in by their children, in contrast to the Western tradition of admitting them into Homes for the aged.
4. Work Ethic
With an intrinsic nature to spend more time with family, Filipinos have adapted to be more efficient and hard-working during their work schedules—decreasing the need to work overtime hours. The country also thrives from agricultural products, retailing, and tourism. Moreover, it serves as a center for companies that are looking to have certain services outsourced.
5. Showing Respect
Conversations include “Po” and “Opo” to politely address people who are older or in authority. When we greet elder relatives, we bring the back of their hand to our forehead (“mano po”) as a gesture of respect.
Furthermore, Filipinos know that knowledge and wisdom are priceless. This is why we look up to our elders as role models in their respective communities. They’re one of our greatest sources of wisdom. We thoroughly understand this. That’s why we listen to their advice and follow the examples they have left us.
From a young age, Filipinos have always been taught the national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, and patriotic oath (Panatang Makabayan). These serve as our reminder to love our country and offer our support in working toward its growth. More than fulfilling our obligations as Filipino citizens, we can also manifest patriotism by learning about the Philippines’ history, patronizing local products, and staying informed on recent events.
7. Sense of Community
Lastly, Filipinos are proof that no man is an island. In the face of adversity, we do whatever we can to help each other. For example, relief operations for areas that have been hit by natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes extend nationwide. And on the flip side, as much as possible, every birthday, anniversary, and festival (or fiesta), among other celebrations, is celebrated by a crowd of people gathering together to feast.
Kapwa: Where They All Came From
Despite having multiple Filipino values, we all go back to a single core value, Kapwa (togetherness), which establishes a sense of community. It’s further divided into two categories: other people (Ibang Tao) and not other people (Hindi Ibang Tao). Kapwa gives Filipinos, who share their culture and memories with each other, a sense of identity. It can be used to give voice to organizations that are fighting for certain advocacies. At its peak, it’s an instrument for social change.
While it seems like values are beginning to get lost as we transition into more fast-paced lifestyles, it’s important to remember that values are only truly lost when they are neglected. Immerse yourself in a community where you can actively and continuously practice Kapwa and before you know it, you’ll slowly begin to embody the rest of the Filipino values.