Despite the undeniable advancement of technology in today’s modern era, our admirable values instilled over the years remain innate with in us. The boom of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc has been an important and effective tool in preserving Filipinos’ core values of family-orientedness, religiosity, “bayanihan”, hospitality, compassion and more. To prove my claim, let me scrutinize these further.
According to a research on August 22, 2015, a survey covering over 4,000 freshmen ages 16 to 18, 74.3% states that one of the reasons these youths intend to work abroad is to raise good families in the future. This shows that even at a young age in the 20th century, Filipinos’ top priority is still the welfare of their families. To support their loved ones the best they could is one of their goals in living a meaningful life.
I can personally attest to this as my two siblings, other relatives and some friends work abroad for the same noble reason. Although they arethousands of miles away from home, we use the social media to communicate with each other regularly especially during important occasions like Birthdays, Christmas and New Year. The technology has made our relationship even closer.
The beauty of love among families flows in our blood that we remain loyal and supportive to each other regardless of any challenges that life bring us. As they say, “Blood is always thicker than water.”
Personally, I was born in a Catholic familyand studied in Catholic schools too. At young age, our grandparents taught their grandchildren to be God-fearing people. It has become our custom to pray the Holy Rosary as one family in the evening. We also go to mass every Sunday. We pray before we eat and sleep. My family deeply enrooted within me the love for God. It has become the center of my life. This is one of the important factors why I am a teacher of Values Education now. It is my own simple way of serving the Almighty as a sign of my faithfulness to His unconditional love and grace to me and my family. Filipinos are religion devotees. Notwithstandingthe differences in beliefs, we all worship one creator.According to Wikepedia (a free online encyclopedia), “The Philippines is the fourth largest Christian country on earth, with about 90% of the population being adherents. It is also one of two predominantly Roman Catholic nations in Asia (the other being East Timor), and is the third largest Catholic country in the world.” As per Philippine Census in year 2000, “approximately 85.5% Filipinos are Christians that consists of 80.1% Roman Catholic, 1.8% Evangelical, 1.1% Aglipayan, 0.7% Iglesiani Cristo, and 2.2% other Christian groups including other Protestant denominations (Pentecostal , Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, and Seventh-day Adventist) as well as Orthodox. Between 5%-11% of the whole country is Muslim; about 1% to 2% are Buddhist; 1.8% of the entire population adheres to other independent religions, while 1% to 11% are irreligious.”
“Bayanihan” is defined in Oxford dictionary as “A traditional system of mutual assistance in which the members of a community work together to accomplish a difficult task. In later use also: a spirit of civic unity and cooperation among Filipinos.”
This Filipino value is very evident among us especially during the worst and deadliest natural calamities that hit our country. This included strong typhoons like Yolanda in 2013, Pablo in 2012, Sendong in 2011 and Reming in 2006 . In 2013, typhoonYolanda left a heart-breaking and devastating effect to the Philippines that lead to the loss of about 6,000 lives and destruction of properties amounting to about $2.86 billion (89.6 billion pesos) in the affected places (as per online news). Millions of Filipinos inside and outside the country hand in hand supported each other physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially in helping the affected families.
Hospitality is the act ofbeing generous and friendly in welcoming and treating guests and visitors. Filipinos are known for their great customer service. Tourists from all walks of life are warmly greeted at the Philippine airports, restaurants, malls or other entertainment centers.
Hospitality is not only innate among ordinary individuals but also the country as a whole. We hostedsome international,glamorousevents such as the Association of the Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) and beauty pageants like Ms Universe, Ms Earth, etc. The government has always put its first foot forward in welcoming different delegates from different countries ensuring that they aresafe, welcomed and happy. We advertise the events through the internet, TV, newspaperor billboard forthe participants feel a world-class experience in the Philippines.
Filipinos are sympathetic and concerned to others even to strangers.There are numerous non-profitable organizations in the country that provide relief goods to natural disaster victims, shelter to the homeless and abused women. Some do volunteer services for poor children, the old, the needy and the sick. Others post online to solicit support and help for the less fortunate.
Compassion is also apparent among families who open their homes to relatives who are in need or in trouble. Despite our shortcomings, we wholeheartedly share what we have to our kins and friends.
Indeed, there are more outstanding values that are ingrained in our mind, heart and soul but most importantly, we are epitomes of family-oriented, religious, helpful, hospitable and compassionate people who remain positive and hopeful as we battle countless trials that we may encounter in our journey of life. We envision each day as a brand new start to live by our mission not only for ourselves but most especially for others.
By Amelita Apalling