Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CBCP Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Culture (1999) 2/3

The CBCP asks the following composite questions: How much of the Gospel has become part of the Filipino way of life? How are Filipino values made in conformity with specifically Christian values? How is the Filipino value system made more conformable with the Christian truths? It thus becomes in order to become more acquainted with the matrix of Filipino culture.

Cultural Matrix

As early as 1991, the CBCP as Filipino entity itself, has already made the three following pronouncements:

a. “Ours is a pluralist society, and a prime factor of our pluralism is the diversity of our cultural heritage. Lowland cultures have been heavily influenced by some three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.

The Muslim people of the South by Islamic traditions and the mountain tribes, however, specially in Luzon, Mindanao, and Mindoro, have retained much of their pre-Spanish characteristics.”

b. “The differences notwithstanding, we can speak of a generic Philippine culture. And we can do so if we focus on the structuring of our many social and ethnic groups and the basic values that go with the said structuring.

Thus, we see in all Filipino people – it does not matter whether they are upland or lowland, Christian or Muslim, schooled and unschooled – a common structuring of social relations based on the family and its well being which antedates contacts with Muslim and Christian traditions.

c. “Basic values – such as family itself, loyalty to family, concern for its security, stress on authority and respect for elders among other things – are supportive of this sociological fact.”

The commonalities are more striking than the differences. We can therefore conclude that there is indeed a common culture and a common social structure that can be truthfully called ‘Filipino.’”

Conclusion: There is a generic Philippine culture with a common structure of social and ethnic values. In particular, this truth is based on the fact that the country remains one despite its many islands. The most common social and basic ethnic trait of the Filipinos is their family concerns and pursuant perspective. Such a basic domestic orientation is one f the first Filipino features that foreigners in particular, readily notice.