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Filipino Philosophy

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Kira Villagracia

on 18 April 2013

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Transcript of Filipino Philosophy

Philosophy In other nations, philosophers are regarded as wise and learned sages. In China, for example, Confucius is widely revered. In the Western World, even the relatively unlearned know that the likes of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle are to be respected and emulated. Yet in the Philippines, to be called a “philosopher” is a dire insult, a term of extreme derision. To the Filipinos, a “PILOSOPO” is a Smart Aleck--

~someone whose sarcastic, wisecracking, or humorous manner is delivered in an offensive, obnoxious, or cocky way.

~is a negative term for a person who thinks he is intelligent and who always has an answer for everything. According to Leonardo Mercado,

he accepts the definition of philosophy as “the system of motivating values, concepts, or principles of an individual, group, or culture.”

This definition is based on the etymological and common meaning of philosophy as a love/pursuit of wisdom. He adopted the position of Richard Rorty that philosophy is a humanistic and behavioral science. So philosophy in his perspective is not a rigorous science which embodies the ideals of analytic, logical and positivistic philosophies. Mercado criticizes the individualistic philosophy of the west. He said that as philosophy becomes more and more specialized, it also becomes more and more absurd and useless. So in order to avoid the esoteric character of philosophy, it must be holistic and interdisciplinary. As such, philosophy could compare and contrast cultures. It is something to which the average Juan could relate into, something that is real and tangible. Philosophy, in this sense, transcends everything and may eventually be an instrument for unity. The Filipino has its own Philosophy which is based on his being an “eastern man” with the influences of culture shaped by the rich history and nurtured by the major Filipino languages and dialects, and by the education imparted to the Filipino Mind. Filipino Philosophy is the rich blend of culture of the West and of the East. A statement good for developing and understanding a philosophy that could bridge the Western and the Eastern Mind. We do not have a clear definition of what is Filipino Philosophy, first of all because there is the question, “Is there such a Filipino Philosophy?” “Does it exist?” Second is that our mindset is more of Western and we use these philosophical concepts and ideas in solving our national, social, political, technological problems and identity crisis, which sometimes are in contrast to the reality of the Filipino culture and mindset. Samples of Filipino Philosophies “Pakikiramdam” or known as Smooth Interpersonal Relationships is the core identity of the Filipino. It is a natural skill for all Filipinos to read between the lines. He has this internal language to sense the surrounding. Pakikiramdam Barkada A Filipino has a "barkada" aside from his immediate family where he/she can pour out his/her angst and happy moments with. It is the ultimate manifestation of small-group centeredness because it is a tight bond among friends which dictate what the group would think, do or say.
Pakikisama Pakikisama is very important in a group, in a workplace, and in areas where there is a social group.

The expression wala ka namang pakikisama easily coerces Filipinos to act in peculiar manners especially if the pakikisama is determined by the barkada. HIYA Hiya is a Filipino social behavior regulator that prevents a Filipino from violating a norm, a family value, and a group goal. This is also the root of the Smooth Interpersonal Relationships that Filipinos highly prize. This is the golden rule among Filipinos in the sense that a Filipino makes it a point not to intentionally embarass a person just as he wouldn’t want to be embarassed by another. Utang Na Loob a Filipino is indebted to another until
such a favor is returned in kind. This utang na loob is very much rampant in 95 % of Filipinos specially those who are native of the
Philippines and among Filipinos in other countries.
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