Friday, August 28, 2015

“OO.” “OHO.” “OPO.”

Let it be said with rightful wonder and pride that the Filipinos have certain rather sensitive and admirable cultural values that have developed much and well in the passage of time – such as in certain modes of relating one with the other.  Yes, there are liars, covetous individuals and even criminals among them.  Yes, a certain number of them have become rather good at deceiving others, stealing from them, making these miserable and desperate.  And yes, there is a good number of phenomena they may not be in any way proud of such as drug manufacturing in their midst, women-selling they see, gambling unlimited they know.  And while Filipinos are exported long time since, lately, nothing less than garbage is imported to the Philippines.

Filipinos in general are kind.  They are used to helping one another.  They rejoice with those celebrating as they condole with the grieving.  While they may simply shake hands with ordinary people, they readily embrace their long-time friends and close relatives.  And one observance that is quite rare to see if not altogether undone among people, Filipino boys and girls, as well as young men and women, kiss the hands of their parents plus their elders as a sign of affection and deference.  As a rule, Filipinos are warmhearted and humane.

Filipinos in general are industrious.  Yes, there are those who can be said as indolence incarnate, i.e., they are addicted to doing nothing, to depending on others, to but existing and not really living.  But these are the exceptions to the rule.  Most of them sweat much to earn a living, employ their mind to work with, used their hands to toil and be productive as personified by farmers.  They till the soil.  They plant seedlings.  They do the harvesting – and do the same the whole year round, year after year.  This is not to mention vendors in the markets as well as by the sidewalks.

Filipinos in general are optimistic.  Yes, they know how to lament but also how to celebrate.  They can cry much but also laugh out loud.  They know how to shed tears but more so how to rejoice.  So it is that the Philippines appear to have the biggest number of both religious and secular feasts.  It is said that if feast they have none or have but few of them.  No problem.  They would even invent and declare this and that celebration dates.  And behold, they have these and those feasts.  But said optimism is better understood and appreciated with their well-known national shout of “Mabuhay!”  Translation:  May you not only live but have a long life!

But there is something rather interesting to take note of – and also do as much as possible.  This is in the phenomenon of Filipinos having become respectful.  It goes this way:  Among friends and equals, they say “OO” which is understandable.  Towards the elders,  they say “OHO”.  But most noted and admirable is that not really long time since, even equals address themselves with “PO” and “OPO”.  The easiest way to hear, to know, and appreciate this phenomenon is to listen to conversations over the radio.  Though those conversing may be unequal in physical age or public standing, they address each other with “OPO” and “HINDI PO”.  This is great!  This is admirable!  This is the Filipino – now!