Who is a Pinoy? What makes one a Pinoy? What is the Pinoy spirit?
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines asked the above questions in order to probe into the Filipino psyche, and to thereafter forge a new pastoral resolve for the local church in facing the hopes and fears, the joys and pains of the forthcoming new millennium. And it thereby offers the fruits of its intense and prolonged reflections to the Filipino people in preparing themselves for the same forthcoming new days.
Here are the five basic findings of the CBCP: the Pinoy is family oriented. He is hospitable. He loves songs of love. He hero worships. He is spiritually oriented.
Needless to say, unless well guided and duly led, the said Pinoy traits can readily turn to liabilities than assets, can become the undoing instead of the building of the person of the Filipino in the challenging years ahead.
One’s love for the family may not be translated to indifference towards the sad plight and lot of other domestic communities. Hospitality does not extend to gang members and other vicious personalities. Love songs cannot but transcend the carnal and the worldly. Heroes must be first and foremost morally upright people. Spirituality does not mean gullibility given to pious loquacity.
Much of the country’s woes come from the exploitation of the fundamentally good Pinoy spirit. The basic kindness, simplicity and understanding of the Filipino can be readily abused in the absence of wisdom and prudence. But it is worst when such a spirit is poisoned by un-Filipino values and/or anti-Filipino culture.
The fast and much world communications have big relevance in the honing or the damaging, in purifying or adulterating the Pinoy spirit. The former negative factors have already taken some root in the Filipino psyche in the times past. Would that their reversal takes place in the new millennium.
15 August 1999