A Filipino Heart

By: Arianne Pagador & Hazel Mae Pagal

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The closest Filipino word for social competency is pakikipagkapwa. According to Guevarra (2005), pakikipagkapwa recognizes the otherness in another person and triumphs over egocentrism. Relationships that are social in nature for the Filipinos are considered ethical since ethical decisions are based on social relations. Empathizing is impossible if Filipinos are egotists because it would be very difficult to understand how it is to be in another person’s shoes. In pakikipagkapwa, it is a requirement to let go of egotism to be able to recognize the otherness of the other. In the same light, Marcelino (1990) acknowledged that pakikipagkapwa is psychologically and philosophically very important. As a paninindigan (conviction), it is a value with moral and normative aspect which makes its implications more profound and deeper.

In pakikipagkapwa, one needs to deal and accept another person with respect, dignity, and with equality (Calaguas, 2012). In addition, there is a sense of openness and feeling of one with another among Filipinos. Others are regarded with dignity and respect and are dealt as fellow human beings.

Pakikipagkapwa-tao is manifested by having a sense of justice and fairness, and concern for others. Empathy to others is demonstrated by being helpful and being generous in times of need (pakikiramay), by practicing mutual assistance (bayanihan), and being hospitable (Filipino hospitality). Sensitivity to how others feel (pakikiramdam), trust (pagtitiwala), and recognition of gratitude (utang-na-loob) are equally very evident among Filipinos. Sensitivity to the quality and dependence on interpersonal relationships is brought about by pakikipagkapwa-tao (Licuanan, 1994). Moreover, caring is very compatible with the different levels of the relational value system of pakikipagkapwa-tao. The caring for family members, as well as with neighbors and friends (taga-atin), and others is very evident among Filipinos. The concept of one’s self is completely the opposite of the Western concept (specifically the value given by Americans to personal liberties) in the sense that it is not autonomous. Asking and knowing what is happening to others (pakialam) is a way of showing concern. Being a member means may pakialam (Manauat, 2005).

Related Literature:
Calaguas, G. 2012. Investigating Social Competency in the Filipino Context. Retrieved
April 29, 2019 from https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-3019546771/investigating-social-compe tency-in-the-filipino-context.

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