Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Filipino norms: Pakikisama and Utang na loob.

I’ve finally decided to write an article after quite sometime now.
In this article, I will talk about “pakikisama” and “utang na loob”.
There are no exact English translations for the two words.
But I will try to explain to all of you what these words meant.
I read an article about pakikisama and the author said:
“Pakikisama is micro-management at best.

The root word of pakikisama is sama which means to join or to adhere, ergo if you must be part of the group you have to do the bidding of the group or prove that you are worthy of inclusion which ispakikisama. Case in point, if your buddies drink beer, if you cherish the company of this group, you will not risk their ire by doing otherwise, makisama ka….or you augment in a way that you are part of the group.
This is just basic social dynamics in a very society not in love with individuality which the Philippines mostly is.
pakikisama is a societal pressure via passive aggression to comply with the herd or those in power and not some pastel-esque greeting from a Hallmark card as you deftly colored pakikisama.”

Well now that you have an idea on what pakikisama is, here’s what becomes the problem.
When you live in an apartment in the Philippines, and you have neighbors that will ask you “hey, can I tap on your cable?” and when you refuse because it is illegal, they will answer “wala ka naman pakikisama eh” (oh c’mon, where’s your pakikisama?).
It becomes a problem. People will try to reason with you using the word pakikisama to take advantage of a situation like tapping on your cable or electricity, borrowing things and probably never be returned, borrowing money that will also, probably, never be returned to you, and you can never refuse to whatever they are asking you to do.
Because they will make you feel like you’re betraying them.
And now another word associated to pakikisama is utang na loob or in English,
debt of gratitude.
Here’s another article I picked up on the internet:
1.) “Utang na loob” in the context of moral and social traditions in Filipino culture. In general, the concept of “utang na loob” is akin to “karma” because Filipinos value the idea of returning the favor to those who have done good deeds. There is also a saying in Tagalog, “Ang ‘di marunong tumingin sa pinanggalingan ay di makakarating sa paroroonan.” This proverb serves as a kind of reminder that one has to be thankful, grateful, and always remember those people who have helped them reach their goals in life. This is the basic context of “utang na loob”, where one has to have an attitude of gratitude and a commitment to return the favor of being the recipient of good deeds and moral support from his family, relatives, and community.

2) “Utang na loob” in the context of blind loyalty. Used in the context of blind loyalty, “utang na loob” has negative ramifications. This includes blind loyalty to one’s family (“blood is thicker than water”, “my family, right or wrong”), friends (“he is my best friend”, “he is my son’s ninong”), political leaders (“he has done so much for my family”, “he gave us money when we needed it”). Often this blind loyalty is invoked by those who have the power”and material resources to sustain a dependent relationship, and by those who have not been empowered to break from these ties or relationships. Thus, one finds many poor and uneducated people in the Philippines in this kind of dependent relationship, and “utang na loob” is a tie that binds them for a long while.
3) “Utang na loob” in the context of enlightened loyalty. There are Filipinos who are able to look at “utang na loob” as a social concept without having to be blind to the limits of loyalty. They appreciate the meaning of “utang na loob” as a moral concept, but it does not mean that they will give up the higher set of principles that they value for the sake of family, friendships, and community loyalty.
“Utang na loob” may be invoked by some people to demand favors from someone, for the right or wrong reasons. One is free to return the favor or not, but must take the risk of “burning his bridges”. Social conformity in Filipino culture is valued (the term “pakikisama” captures this virtue), and one has to face the possibility of being ostracized for not being loyal. This is the immediate drawback.
In the end, it is a choice between social conformity and one’s valued principles. ”

“In Filipino culture, one way to avoid social conflict is to explain things with sincerity and honesty, without being confrontational. As in other Asian cultures, saving one’s face is very important, and this is also true in the context of fulfilling social obligations, even in the context of “utang na loob”. In our culture, “talu-talo na kapag nagkasubuan na. (No more pakikisama when things get too heated up).


Now, majority or almost all of the Filipinos use these two words as an excuse to reason with you when they want to get something from you.
Pakikisama and pag tanaw ng utang na loob aren’t really bad.
But just like other issues that become a problem in the society,
It becomes bad when you take advantage of these words and manipulate them for your own gain.
Even if it means using your relationship with other people to get what you want.


Localized Thunderstorm

MANILA, Philippines -
A sudden and heavy downpour caused floods and traffic jams across parts of Metro Manila on Wednesday night.
A localized thunderstorm caused the heavy rains, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical, and Services Administration(PAGASA).
Extreme heat causes localized thunderstorms, PAGASA explained.
Temperature readings reached 35.9 degrees Celsius in the metropolis on Wednesday, while 37 degrees Celsius was recorded in both Sangley Point in Cavite and Subic Bay.
PAGASA expects localized thunderstorms to bring rains in many parts of the country during afternoons and early evenings.
The state weather bureau also explained that no tropical storms are in the Philippine Area of Responsibility at the moment.
We’ve been experiencing these localized thunderstorms every 4:00pm to some time around 5:00pm everyday. Whilst it’s been sunny and really hot during the day.
Today is June 7, 2011. That article above with the link was posted on May 19, 2011.
So has it been like this since May and upto now?
Come to think of it, I never really noticed ‘til the past few weeks. Yeah.
It has been like that everyday since the month of May.
Our weather is all messed up. And during at this hour of 5:00pm, the sky is just orange and everything outside is a little yellow-ish.
It’s kinda scary if you observe it. I don’t know for how long it would be raining like this during hot sunny days but the temperature seems to be getting higher and higher each day that passes.

What are we going to do when the RH bill is passed and then the government corrupts the funds and nothing’s changed?

It just suddenly hits me. I have been all pro-RH ever since reading everything about the bill and everything that is stated in it.

I have been reasoning and thinking critically to defend it against the people who opposes it. Though, I still find the Catholic Church’s say on this matter just way too silly.

Anyway, I was suddenly struck by reality.

What happens when the RH bill (Reproductive Health bill) becomes a law?

Thinking back to the previous laws in the past that the government implemented, such as no smoking in public areas, no giving of alms and no begging in the streets especially by young street children, no this and no that.

But just the other day, I saw this kid begging in the streets of Metro Manila.

And just a few steps across the road is a policeman standing next to his police motorbike. I don’t know if he’s blind or just plain retarded, but according to the law, he should fine the ones who give alms to them and bring that child to custody. I don’t know, perhaps to be put on DSWD.

Well, that’s their job.

Now back to the RH issue, tracking back the past, I can already foresee what’s going to happen. The RH bill has a good cause. I’m all go for it.

But if it means that the corrupt will once again, use something good as a medium for their crimes, then I think this is just another doorway to a goldmine that will only benefit THEM.

I have been reading aswell a lot of really interesting comments about the bill. Some of them actually makes sense.

We already have sex education.

We already have women rights.

Contraceptives are legal and available at your nearest Watsons store.

We already have health care services.

But you know what the problem is?

The lack of implementation and action. People are just irresponsible.

How the heck do we deal with that??

It’s stated in the bill that RH is for the poor. To help them, etc.

How do we specify “poor”? Head to the nearest center and say “Excuse me, I’m poor.”? Should I wear a tag that says or categorizes me as poor?

Oh, and also, another problem is when the government funds this program and it reaches down to every single barangay in the country, what most of those local officials do is pocket that money and voila! WALA na rin ang project.

Before we can actually deal with something and really make a step,

Let’s make sure first that our officials are really concerned about their citizens. And it’ll take more than just concerns, for what we need is action.

Can we make sure they take these necessary actions?

Sure, pass the RH bill. Make it a law. But after that’s been done and we don’t feel the effects of that law being enforced, we have again failed to take that step and sadly, nothing has changed.

Another waste of taxpayer’s money, another medium of corruption under the guise of good cause, and just another issue that will send people rallying to Malaca├▒ang.

RH bill isn’t the problem. It’s not bad at all, in fact. But let me share you these words I found on a random argument about capitalism and corruption. And I quote:

“All government’s are essentially flawed. Communism, Fascism, Democracy, Feudalism etc. are all placed over a system already in place over everything. This is the monetary system. The monetary system ensures that no government can exist that is not corrupt.”

-Robcayman (http://robcayman.tumblr.com/)

And that statement is followed by:

“We may be stuck right now in a world that requires us to follow the rules so we can pass it all on to our kids, who will do the same, etcetera etcetera etcetera…. but it doesn’t have to be that way forever.”

end quote.

So anyway, what I’m simply pointing out is that before we let these politicians run us over with “laws” that never even takes effect, let’s see first if the previous laws they passed made any effect felt on anyone.

I am pro-RH.

But I won’t let these corrupt officials in position and in power to just fucking screw us around.

And one more thing,

CBCP, please just butt out of this one.

Your arguments are just as humiliating as your logic that wasting someone’s cum is mass murder.