Monday, May 18, 2015


“ALE” – “MAMA” – “ATE” – “KUYA” – “LOLO” – “LOLA”
 “00” – “OHO” – “OPO”

Who thinks that there is nothing good taking place in the Philippines?  Who says that the Country is only good for political debauchery, omnipresent criminality, hopeless deterioration in social values and cultural features?  Yes.  The present confused and confusing administration came but is soon going to disappear.  Yes.  There are categorically mysterious positive perorations about overwhelming economic progress while poverty and even misery have in fact worsened.  There are even claims of great achievements in peace and order while there is no day without killing, no letdown in the drug business, no stopping thieves, rapists included.

But there is a very welcome and much appreciated development that has taken place and still taking deeper roots in the Country.  Perhaps it is still unnoticed.  Probably it is in fact taken as a matter of course.  But what an inspiring, what an edifying relational-cultural phenomenon!  It is perhaps still unnoticed, still unappreciated.  But it is already a part of Filipino culture, more concretely in matters edifying relational interactions – when individuals address one another.

There was a time that an adult woman was called “ale” and an adult man was called “mama”.  Such were the customary words used and heard.  These times however they are usually addressed as “Ate” and “Kuya” respectively.  And when the persons concerned are much older, they are ordinarily referred to as “Lola” and “Lolo”.  Needless to say, the use of such terms is not only pleasing but also edifying.

There was also a time when “Yes” was “oo” or at most “oho”.  The fact is that not few are the instances when even an elder man or woman addresses someone younger with “opo”.  When one hears and ponders upon this phenomenon of respect for others, he or she cannot but be not simply edified but also delighted.

Question:  How did these addresses of respect and deference come about?  Where did they come from?  Who exactly taught them?

Answer:  They could have been inculcated within family circles.  They could have been taught in schools.  They could be but spontaneous expressions.

No matter how this “Filipino Relational-Cultural Attribution” came about, the following thoughts come to mind: Notwithstanding a disabled government plus certain public officials infamous for their incarnate graft and corrupt practices, no matter how despondent and helpless many Filipinos feel, the truth remains that their Country is certainly not hopeless.  Most of their sound cultural values remain.  Most of their admirable relational features still work.  In other words, a good number of Filipinos are dejected – but hopeless they are not, they should not be.