Filipino Character Traits

Written By Lorna on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | 2:16 AM

Given some handicaps and defects, and despite the burden of our poverty and history, we Filipinos have nevertheless many beautiful traits, among which are the following:
Family Orientation
Filipinos possess a genuine and deep love for family which includes not simply spouse and children, parents and siblings, but also grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, godparents and other ceremonial relatives. To the Filipino, one's family is the source of personal identity, the source of emotional and material support and one's main commitment and responsibility.
Concern for family is manifested in the honor and respect given to parents and elders, in the care given to children, the generosity towards kin in need, and the great sacrifices one endures for the welfare of the family. This sense of family results in a feeling of belongingness and rootedness and in a basic sense of security. 

The Filipino on knocking at the door of another says, "Tao po". "It is a human being." he presents himself to another as a fellow human being. His ideal is to behave like a human being to another. "Magpakatao." One of the worst reproaches you can make against a Filipino is, "HIndi marunong makipagkapwa-tao." He does not know how to deal with others as a human being. He practices pakikipagkapwa-tao through the famous Filipino hospitality, his generosiity and helpfulness in times of need (pakikiramay), his deep sense of gratitude (utang na loob), and his spirit of cooperation (bayanihan). A prime value of Filipinos is smooth interpersonal relationships. Because of his pakikipagkapwa-tao, the Filipino is usually easy to get along with. We are very friendly people. 

Flexibility, Adaptability and Creativity
Filipinos have a great capacity to adjust and to circumstances and the surrounding environment, both physical and social. Unplanned or unanticipated events are never overly disturbing or disorienting as the flexible Filipino adjusts to whatever happens. We possess a tolerance for ambiguity that enable us to remain unfazed by uncertainty or lack of information. We are creative, resourceful, quick learners and have the ability to improvise and make use of whatever is on hand in order to create and produce. 

Hard Work and Industry
Given the proper conditions and incentives, Filipinos work hard indeed. This is perhaps best illustrated by our overseas workers who do both menial and superior jobs competitively in other countries. Even here, despite the often meager compensation. Filipinos show themselves remarkably industrious. 

Faith and Religiosity
There is no Filipino atheist. The Filipino psychology is essentially religious. We pray often. We are attached to the church. When we have problems, we turn to God. 

Ability to Survive
Despite grinding poverty, many Filipinos survive. They can even make a livelihood from garbage dumps. We have survived many invaders, oppressors and natural calamities, and have come out with hope and determination to carve out our existence anew. Significantly, the typical Filipino greeting is "Mabuhay! Live!"

All of these values are eminently evangelical. The Filipino has what "Tertullian calls" a naturally Christian soul.