Friday, November 23, 2012

Culture

When taking a look at and/or studying a culture of people, there are usually two ways of doing this in order to know its "in’s and out’s” and to understand its “outside in” as well as “inside out.” Thus it is that considering the Filipino art, tools, and way of saying and doing things – the Filipino behavioral modes and social interactions, and the Filipino customs and traditions plus value system and pursuant behavioral pattern – the three following more distinct and particular features are particularly found in the Filipino culture:

First is that the Philippines is a pluralist society with diverse cultural heritages. This reality is more readily and specifically verified even but the many “talks” – native, foreign, mixed – used or spoken in the country. Such is their differences and distinctions that they are no longer called “dialects” but “languages” in the strict and proper sense of the term.

Second is that nevertheless, there is some kind of a generic Philippine culture with a common structure of social and ethnic values. For one thing, though divided by many languages and islands, the country still remains one in reality and spirit through the accommodation of separatist movements not only in Mindanao but also in Luzon.

Third is that the most common and basic social ethnic trait of Filipinos is their family orientation plus pursuant perspective and consequent preferential consideration. Said domestic reality is in effect, one of the Filipino traits that foreigners readily notice. From birthday to death anniversaries, these are occasions for families to gather.

Following are some of the most noticeable Filipino cultural features: “Palakasan” or influence seeking “Pakikisama” or indiscrimate collegiality. “Kahihiyan” or shame unlimited. “Bigayan” or give and take. “Utang na loob” or undying gratitude. “Nasa Dios ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa,” a saying that God and man are partners in having things done.

At the other end of the above said Filipino culture, values and traditions is the undeniable fact of globalization and the consequent deculturation of the country – that is true not only for the Philippines but for practically all Third World Countries in the world. It is experienced and duly noted that other than its economic impact, globalization carries much un-Filipino socio-cultural influence.

Among other negative effects of globalization to Filipino culture are: Lesser family values. More hedonistic perspective. Lesser recognition of Divinity. More materialistic dependence. Lesser community spirit. More individualistic orientation. Where will all such ill-effects of globalization bring the Filipino culture? Just asking.