Rethinking of Filipino Values Essay

Enriquez was critical of this approach to the study of Filipino values. He encouraged Filipino scholars to take a second look at these values using a Filipino orientation. Social scientists such as Lagmay, Salazar, and Bonifacio took up the challenge in their own research. Let us examine three of these ‘‘Filipino values’’ from the exogenous and indigenous perspectives. 54 Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino ? Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000Bahala Na.

The Filipino cultural value of bahala na has no exact English translation.

Bostrom (1968) was the first psychologist to analyze this value by comparing it with American fatalism. This is obviously a pervasive interpretation that when Thomas Andres published the Dictionary of Filipino Culture and Values, he still defines bahala na as ‘‘the Filipino attitude that makes him accept sufferings and problems, leaving everything to God. ‘Bahala na ang Diyos (God will take care of us)’ . . . This attitude is a fatalistic resignation or withdrawal from an engagement or crisis or a shirking from personal responsibility’’ (Andres, 1994, p.


The Sikolohiyang Pilipino perspective interprets bahala na differently. Lagmay (1977) explained that bahala na is not ‘‘fatalism’’ but ‘‘determination and risk-taking’’. When Filipinos utter the expression ‘‘Bahala na! ’’ they are not leaving their fate to God and remaining passive. Rather, they are telling themselves that they are ready to face the difficult situation before them, and will do their best to achieve their objectives. The expression is a way of pumping courage into their system so that they do not buckle down. In fact, even before they have said ‘‘Bahala na!

’’ They have probably done their best to prepare for the forthcoming situation. Hiya. Sibley (1965), an American scholar, translated hiya as ‘‘shame’’. Another American, Lynch (1961) saw hiya as ‘‘the uncomfortable feeling that accompanies awareness of being in a socially unacceptable position, or performing a socially unacceptable action. ’’ For example, when an employee is scolded in front of other people. To add to the negativity of this interpretation of hiya, Andres (1994) described hiya as ‘‘an ingredient in why Filipinos overspend during fiestas in order to please their visitors, even to the extent of going into debt’’.

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