Hospitality is a trait inculcated in Filipinos since the pre-colonial times which is still inherited by the recent generations. Some parts in our history show that we were welcoming towards the Spanish invaders. It can be argued that our hospitality is one of the reason why they easily colonized us.
Part of the Filipino culture is to always treat our guests warmly, whether they are foreigners or not. Therefore if there is one thing that foreigners would usually comment about right after they visit the Philippines, it would probably not be the food or the places they visited, but the hospitality of the people. Since we were young, we noticed everytime when we have a visitors in our home, our moms tend to show off the fancy plates, curtains, and other objects stocked and displayed in the cabinet for years already. This trait of Filipinos was sometimes be called as “pakitang tao”, like we do not want to be underestimated by other people even though we, working Filipinos are pushing blood and sweat to earn money.
If the Japanese are disciplined during disasters, then the Filipinos are happy go-lucky. We have proven it so many times in the face of disasters, especially with floods as the Philippines happens to be a typhoon magnet. Even though our homes are flooded and our properties are destroyed, we will just smile away and laugh (and make countless memes). By extension, we smile and laugh at our personal, social, and economic troubles.
Just how do Filipinos in general cope up with life’s problems? The answer lies of course in the national psyche, known as the “Bahala na” or fatalistic attitude. Filipino fatalism can be double-edged; while it resigns a Filipino to his fate, it also gives him the strength to endure.
In cases of troubles and disasters, “optimistic fatalism” gives Filipinos the resiliency they need to survive in the belief that such problems will eventually go away. And as we have seen, this good kind of “Bahala Na” has served Filipinos well countless times already.
Nicole Pauline Plagata
Ma. Lorena Serisola