Filipino ways (my observations)

 I find more Filipinos to be  dependent on family reason being is their theory of self is associated very closely with their family. An example would be that a child would not be able to easily choose a course to take in college without his/her family’s say on the matter. I’m talking, parents, grandparents,aunts and uncles. We often hear kids at home  say they will go to acting school or arts school, the same is not easy in the Philippines. If the family does not approve ‘well to bad’. Ultimately, the family will prevail. From his youth a child is made to believe that he belongs to the family. He is encouraged to share all of his thoughts and feelings to his parents and yield to their rule, counsel and advice. He is instructed to be good because any disgrace that he commits on himself is a disgrace to the family. In times of misfortune he is assured of his family’s support and sympathy. Parents here can be meddling and intrusive though.

From my observations while in the Philippines,  smooth interpersonal relationship is the rule of conduct. One must, at all times, avoid showing signs of hostility when relating to a Filipino . As much as possible we must never show a sour look nor utter harsh words. We must never disagree openly. We are bringing unneccairy trouble on ourselves. A smile, a friendly lift of the eyebrow (both eyebrows), a word of praise or a friendly concern can easily win the friendship of a Filipino. Do this whether you want to or not.

Filipinos are very sensitive and easily humiliated. One must never ridicule a Filipino. A Filipino more often than not will retaliate in in some way, in situations in which momentary difficulties in interpersonal relations develop, Filipinos are sensitive to hard words and aggressive behavior.”

Another cultural trait of Filipinos is that of being a poor loser or one. If he wins, he is over jubilant; but if he loses, he is exceedingly bitter. In athletics, he is deeply sports-minded but tends to be unsportsmanlike. To a lot of Filipinos, to be defeated is to be humiliated. Thus, when a pinoy loses, he is apt to put up an excuse or alibi. Defeat could lead to a more serious consequence which is redeeming their wounded pride “in any way they can”. The reason for this Filipinos’ attitude towards defeat is the colonial experience suffered by them during the Spanish era during which they have always been relegated to the rank of inferiors. The experience has made the Filipinos very sensitive.. For a Filipino, defeat is a sign of inferiority and subordination. An alibi or excuse when one loses is a defense mechanism against accepting the superiority and dominance of the winner.

We tend to regulate our contact with Filipinos by failing to observe the gap; Filipinos tend to regulate their contact with us by a clear recognition that differences exist and a shallow notion of what these consist of. Filipinos limit their contact with the Westerners in their midst partly by shifting to another dialect, and by a variety of other defensive measures whereby they try, to evade the difference. There are many different dilects here. They will speak in the one they know the best.

Analyzing the meaning of a Filipino based on Western motives and values is not possible. Their behavior must be interpreted in the light of their own habits, motives and values. An example would be the difference in handling of a death in the family. Our funerals require silence. We  also  require that the privacy of the bereaved be respected since we want to be alone. The Filipinos “vigil”, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of ours. In the Philippines, the body of the deceased is laid out in a coffin, placed in the funeral parlor or in the family’s house, the relatives gather, people come and go, express condolences and contribute money for the funeral expenses. There is hustle and bustle of activities, people standing by and gossiping; young boys and ladies play word games and flirt at the door; there’s gambling tables set up and food served, with general merriment, singing and guitar-playing going on throughout the night. It is almost like one huge celebration.

Our handling of bereavement requires that the bereaved person should not be reminded of what has happened, not be asked to talk about it. Tact requires that the name of the deceased person be mentioned only with extreme respect, that the details are to be glossed over, and the emotions not re-aroused. Filipino way of handling bereavement is exactly the opposite way. Filipinos would express sympathy and concern by asking specific questions and the primary assumption about those who have suffered a loss is that they should not be left alone. A Filipino friend starts asking detailed facts about the dead such as “How did he die?”, “Did he suffer much?” , “How much did you spend at the hospital?”, etc. This is the Philippine-born way of saying “They are sorry to hear that one of our relatives has died. They are trying to express concern and affection but still that’s just the wrong way to go about things.

The Catholic orientation of the Filipinos makes them handle death and birth as ordinary familiar experiences while most of us will treat grief with silence and repressed feelings. Thus, in their handling of doom, Filipinos might be characterized by us as down right rude inconsiderate people, while we may be characterized by Filipinos as euphemistic and indirect.

Our cultures are totally different so it is best not to argue with them nor humiliate them in any way. If they even perceive that this is what you are trying to do they will cause lots of trouble for you, Like I said before, they are very sensitive people, even the men.

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