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Felipe M. de Leon, Jr

Cultural Identity

The world view and values, beliefs systems, knowledge, skills and practices, core principles and ideas shared by a society - the unique totality of which constitutes what we call cultural identity.

Cultural Identity

Cultural identity is a sine qua non for becoming active in the world. It is the fundamental source of social empowerment. Rob a people of their identity and they become passive, lost, indolent, uncreative and unproductive, prone to depression and substance abuse, and plagued by a pervasive feeling of malaise and powerlessness.

The Genesis of Subservience

To suppress and weaken this identity and successfully impose an alien culture on a people is to reduce them into a passive, docile mass subservient to the power wielders of the alien culture. They lose their originality, native intelligence and skills, treasure troves of knowledge, accumulated wisdom, and creativity.

They lose their collective will and vision of life. They become disunited, selfserving, indulgent and short-sighted. This is why the first objective of a colonizing power is to erase the cultural memory of the conquered people, to induce a collective amnesia about their past and supplant it with the culture of the colonizers, especially through education.
In this lie the roots of Filipino derivativeness and inferiority complex vis-a-vis the West.

The Genesis of Subservience

Un-Filipino Perspective

The moment we began to view ourselves through Western eyes, what we held sacred suddenly became worthless, our virtues turned into vices, and our strengths began to be seen as weaknesses.

Un-Filipino Perspective

Anything indigenous became a source of embarrassment and uneasiness. We would hide whatever is native sounding or native in origin. Centuries of being regarded as backward and inferior by the white colonizers engendered in us this collective self-contempt, a psychic malady that afflicts all of us but most especially the elites.

The Beauty of Filipino Names

AGANI - harvest AKASI god of well-being ALAYA - dawn ALO - console ANDEL - trust ANNI - spring ARO - love ASI - mercy AVID beauty, MAVID - beautiful AYAD goodness AYO fineness, goodness BANAAG - ray of light BIGHANI - allurement, fascination BIKAS elegance BINI modesty

The Beauty of Filipino Names

CHAYA - heaven, sky DANIW - poetry DARIL - reason DAWANI goddess of the rainbow; rainbow DAYON - lasting, stable DIAYA - gift, offering; hero DURRI a precious gem EDEL - gem GITING heroism, determination HALI - repose, peace of mind HAMILI - noble HIRAYA, HARAYA - vision INARO beloved IGI - fineness IJIN fortune, luck

The Beauty of Filipino Names

JAN - reason JANJI promise, pledge JATTI - pure KAISA harmonious KALI - repose, peace of mind KARI promise, oath KASI love, affection KASIL strength, vigor KAYA ability, competence KISSA - legend LAAD flame, ardor LAGOR love, affection LAILO affection, caress LAMI joy LAYA freedom, emancipation

The Beauty of Filipino Names

LENOS wind LIKHA creation, invention LINANG cultivated, refined, developed LIYAG beloved LOREM cloud MAAN to understand, know; meaning NILAY to reflect MALIW knowledge, wisdom MANI harvest MARIGON strong MARIS color SADYA happiness SANGHAYA charisma, distinction SIDHA perfection SIDHAYA - eloquence

The Beauty of Filipino Names

SIDHI intensity, potency TIMYAS purity, of love, regard, loyalty, etc. MAVID - beautiful MIRAD pillar MITHI ideal, virtue MUNI reflect, ponder NATRA legend NAYAD care NURI a magical bird PAROS - wind PATNUBAY guide PITHAYA deep desire RAMIL reason RAYA to grow RIGA red

The Beauty of Filipino Names

SAHAYA - splendor, clarity SEGA - sun SIBOL growth SUDI brilliance, luster TAL indigenous, genuine TALIMA to care for TANI pledge TASI - witness UPPI dream WAGAS pure WALI seer WILI appreciation, interest

Identity Is Power

Having no identity is like having no name If a person or thing has no name, it is as if it does not exist We feel slighted if somebody forgets our name The more important and wellknown a person is, the more he is said to have a name, may pangalan.

Borrowing an Identity is to Empower the Source of the Identity

The one who names (or is the source of the name) will have the power and authority because he defines who we are. This holds true for the source of concepts, ideas, images, theories, structures, tools and techniques for all of these are forms of identity. We can harness with a certain

The Power of Indigenous Thought

Harnessing our own minds, understandings, definitions, categories and concepts is certainly to have confidence, power and control over our own lives. Economic power naturally follows from this.
For instance, if we worship alien ideas of beauty, whose art works, music, fashion models and beauty products do we glorify and spend for? If we do not develop our indigenous pharmacology and healing modalities, how much do we

The Power of Indigenous Thought

Our misplaced belief in the superiority of English and other foreign modes of thinking largely explains our lack of cultural leadership and assertiveness in the world. We have instead a gaya-gaya mentality and tendency to worship anything from the West. The more entrepreneurial Chinese would rather dominate English with their own thought patterns:

Chinese English

Efficacy: This product by use of natural plant Vitamin B3, Vc and mulberry extraction distillate, availability wipe off face die cell, restrain melanin, strengthen cell renovate, restr in melanin and blemish, skin whitening, look brand- new. USE: Days for sub-two, first shall face wetness, and weild the product gently knead, then with cleanly water washing. Notice: avoid into eyeball, if immodesty, shortly washing for cleanly water.

As a result, Chinese productivity does not suffer.


These are readily available, at no cost at all or requiring minimal capital Our minds are in full command of the indigenous, thus can produce superior and creative results, unlike when we think with a borrowed mind Our indigenous strengths/cultural genius is our contribution to the



A definite notion of identity, of who we are, gives us a basis for Determining our direction in life Organizing our priorities Making commitments Knowing our responsibilities Defining our place in society/world

Lack of pride in being Filipino results in lack of commitment to the nation and, consequently, a low level of achievement or even mediocrity, the pwede na yan mentality.
For the anthropologist Dr. F. Landa Jocano, Pride, commitment and excellence are inseparable

Lack of pride in being Filipino


The negative programming of colonial experience:

Cult of smallness Celebration of Defeat Dona Victorina Syndrome

The Curse of Smallness

Representations of the Filipino seemingly encouraged by the American colonial regime were of the smallest kind. The bahay kubo became very small.

The little rice bird, the maya, became the national bird. The tiny sampaguita was declared the national flower by American Governor General Frank Murphy in 1934. Photographs taken of Filipinos and Americans together often deliberately exaggerated the Filipinos diminutive stature beside that of the towering American Caucasian.

The Curse of Smallness

Could this be an important reason why until recently many Filipino school children were expected to memorize the Latin name of, and even to be proud of having in Bikol, the smallest fish in the world? Most Filipinos then were not aware that we also have the biggest fish in the world in the same province.

The Curse of Smallness

Could this also be one of the psychological reasons why many Filipinos think small? Rather than become innovators, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, producers and manufacturers, Filipinos, including graduates of elite schools, are just too happy to find employment, especially overseas.
In 1954 our government enacted a retail trade nationalization law, which took effect in 1964, preventing the Chinese from doing tingi, so the Chinese simply shifted from retail to the much bigger

Low Self-esteem Bordering On SelfContempt: TheDona Victorina Syndrome

Doubt in the Filipino capacity for achievement Perverse delight among Filipinos to constantly belittle themselves Serious lack of respect or contempt for each other Wallowing in a negative selfimage that is tantamount to a self-fulfilling prophecy

TheDona Victorina Syndrome

Filipinos are perhaps the worst self-bashers in the world. We are blind to our own capacities and idealize those of others, especially Westerners. If something is poorly made it must be Filipino. If it is well made it must be foreign.

Even negative qualities that are universal human failings are claimed by Filipinos as distinctly Filipino, e.g. crab mentality, graft and corruption, greed, lack of discipline, etc.

Bukas ang kalooban, not private

Windows all around ancestral houses Aliwalas, airy spaciousness and openness of interiors Space surrounds space High value placed on being natural, informal, personal

TheDona Victorina Syndrome

The underdevelopment of Philippine society is fundamentally rooted in this chronic loss of Filipino selfesteem due to centuries of colonization and miseducation. Yet we do not have a monopoly of human faults. Other nations, even those nations Filipinos tend to idolize, are equally, if not more stuck with negative traits that we

Crab Mentality Worldwide

Crab mentality, for example, is very much a worldwide social phenomenon: From Ottawa, Canada, Autumn 1995 Bucket of Crabs

A wise old sage (actually, my father-in-law) used to say that some people are like a bunch of crabs in a shallow bucket: when one crab manages to get a claw up and is on the verge of escape, another crab will inevitably grab him and pull him back down. The crab mentality is, "If I can't have it, then neither can you. Our egalitarian federal Health Minister, Diane Marleau is our choice for "Crab of the month. While our debt-drowning federal government certainly can't adequately fund health care, Ms. Marleau will make sure that "wealthier Canadians" (read: other crabs that have half a claw up on you) do not jump ahead of the worsening line-ups and spend their own money to better, or perhaps even save, their lives. To allow someone to buy superior health care is, according to Ms. Marleau's thinking, self-evidently evil, and her government will do all it can to suppress a private market in health care. What her government's policy amounts to is:"Better that we all stay and die in the bucket together."

American Crab Mentality

From Boston, Massachusets A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane Published by HarperTorch; Reissue edition (April 2003) Among the poor and middle-class suburbs of Boston,like those who live on the narrow streets of Dorchester, hope is a dream, not a goal. The crab mentality pulls back on those who try to climb their way out. Crime is the realm

Indian Crab Mentality

The Magic Of Teamwork Sam Pitroda, Chairman & CEO of World Tel.

(One Indian = 10 Japanese, 10 Indians = One Japanese) Lack of teamwork and co-operation is one of the most serious problems affecting progress in all areas of India and wherever Indians work worldwide. The key problem in India is always implementation, not lack of policies. We have great policies and ideas about how to do things, but severely lacking in teamwork.

When the Japanese came to work in India to develop the Maruti Suzuki car, a joke went around that one Indian was equal to 10 Japanese: Indians were very smart, capable and dedicated individuals. But 10 Indians were equal to 1 Japanese: Indians lacked team spirit and co-operation. What makes matters even worse is our crab mentality. If someone is trying to climb higher and achieve more, the others just drag him down. The signal that the others send out is, " I wouldn't do it; I wouldn't let you do it; and if by chance you start succeeding, we will all gang up and make sure that you don't get to do it."

Celebration of Defeat

Fall of Bataan Fall of Corregidor Fall of Tirad Pass Capture of Aguinaldo Death of Rizal, etc.

Why not celebrate triumphs like The Siege of Baler, The Bells of Balanginga, The Defeat of the Spaniards by the Filipino Revolutionaries?

Alienation from Our Sources of Cultural Energy: Thinking in Borrowed Forms and the Economics of Dependency

Up to the present time, our educational system remains colonial rather than culturally appropriate, causing a great loss of cultural energy. As a result, many of our schools do not produce people who are highly resourceful, creative and adaptable to a fast changing and extremely complex contemporary world. They encourage dependency, a job-seeking, employability mentality rather than originality of thought, entrepreneurial qualities and selfreliance on native skills, knowledge and strengths.

Serving Another Countrys Need Through Education

Our country has been spending valuable public money for the education of Filipino professionals in the arts and sciences and many other fields. But since the cultural sources of their education are Western, it is inevitable that the expertise they acquire will be more applicable or appropriate to a Western industrialized society than to the rural, agricultural setting of most Philippine provinces. So a great number of our graduates will end up migrating to rich Western or Westernized countries.

Serving Another Countrys Need Through Education

It looks like the Philippines is spending its money for the training of manpower for the more affluent countries...This, then, is the essence of our colonial education - the training of ones countrys citizens to become another countrys assets. (Florentino Hornedo, The
Cultural Dimension of Philippine Development)

Diminution of Self*


*Those who receive a well-rounded, interdisciplinary education in which subjects are taught within a broad social, cultural and humanistic context, showing the interconnectedness of all things do not necessarily succumb to this diminution process.

As one ascends the academic ladder, the more Westernized and alienated from his cultural roots the Filipino becomes. That is why the more specialized a Filipinos education is, the more likely he or she will find his means of livelihood away from his community, perhaps in Manila or some other country. An Ifugao child who receives only a high school education is more likely to remain in his community than another who finishes college. And the reason for this is not just because the latter has greater work opportunities, but because his education is often not culturally rooted in his community, especially if it is a rural, indigenous village.

Alienation from the Community

Constriction of Social Consiousness

Especially prone to the diminution of social consciousness are professionals in highly technical, narrow specializations. It used to be that a doctor specialized in EENT medicine. But eye specialists have since parted ways with the ear-nose-throat doctors. And now there is even a left-eye or right-eye specialist. By reducing reality into small pieces, the narrow specialist is in danger of losing all sense of reality. He and his tiny circle of coexperts tend to define their own limited field that is, their specialized theories and methods - as the final reality or the representation of total reality

Specialistic Innocence

This naivete makes him utterly helpless in facing many complex issues of today. Thus, he is apt to surrender easily to all sorts of ideologies. The modern specialized intellectual gets nervous outside his field of expertise where he feels an awful sense of emptiness. All throughout history, it has been the technocratic scientists or engineers, who, because of their ignorance of the social processes and political contexts in which they operated, easily succumbed to the whims of dictators and fascists of all kinds.

Professional Tribalism

Narrow technical, professional education may develop expertise and the professions but may also breed selfishness, lack of social responsibility and professional tribalism, which arises from the cult of the professional ego
(promoting ones profession at the expense of public good).

This is clearly a manifestation of the materialism of industrial or industrializing societies where, for instance, scientists advance science for its own sake no matter what the social costs, medical doctors gang up on outsiders to protect the medical establishment, and businessmen sacrifice valuable goods or form cartels just to maintain enormous profits.

Professional Tribalism

Society becomes splintered into ruthlessly competing self-interest tribes of experts, each with its own god or king (celebrity figures such as Stephen Hawking in physics or Bill Gates in technology and business) church or temple (convention hall, opera house, museum, etc.) holy book (professional journal or manual), sacred language (jargon) and religious attire (business suit, white laboratory gown, etc.).
Each tribe is after its own good alone. Professional advancement is the highest good. And financial success the highest reward (a market of warring, competing tribes?)

Barbarism of Specialism*

The specialist and his small circle of coexperts are inclined to define their own little field(i.e. their specialized theories and methods) as the final reality or as the representation of total reality. (Zejderveld, Abstract Society). Thus, he has a tendency toward arrogance inspite of his naivete in all matters outside his own limited field. Typically, he feels detached from the larger communal, social context in which he lives and become solely devoted to the advancement of his profession.

* Narrow specialization

Barbarism of Specialism
(or Narrow Specialization)

Who then cares for society as a whole? It seems that with few exceptions, we have in our midst economists who formulate policies as if people do not matter, scientists who pursue knowledge uninformed by social considerations, artists who create for other artists and art experts alone, politicians who place party interests above all else, and officials more worried about self-preservation than their peoples well being.
These things are now common knowledge and much thought and study have already been made on the barbarism of specialism. Can we educate the Filipinos, whether formally and non-formally, against this barbarism?

The Monstrous Cultural Divide

Paradoxically, our colonial, narrowly specialized education creates a situation where our most educated class turns out to be the least nationalistic Filipinos - an elite with whom the colonial powers could easily collaborate. A serious consequence of this is cultural fragmentation. In the Philippines, this created the monstrous cultural divide between the Western-educated ruling elite and the more or less culturally indigenous majority.

The Monstrous Cultural Divide

Without a common cultural identity there is no common, unified action. A culturally fragmented and atomized mass is the worst conceivable source material for the development process.

Monstrous divide between the elite and common people

The alienation of the elite from the culture of our people makes them feel no sense of responsibility to the people. We have a soft state because of selfserving elite intervention and manipulation. As a result, the culture of the bureaucracy, including the police and the military, is more attuned to the needs and values of the elite than to the vast majority of Filipinos.

A People Can Only Be United By the Things They Love, and Divided By the Things They

Generations of contempt for Filipinos by the colonizers have been imbibed by many Filipinos themselves, especially by the ruling elites, who were most exposed to Western rule. Actually, as a research of SWS has indicated, it is this class who have the lowest regard for themselves as Filipinos, having been the most conditioned to idolize Western ways. Their low regard for Filipinos


Anything Positive About Themselves Always Unites a


If we are to become one nation, we have to begin deconstructing the very negative self-images that have been ingrained in us by centuries of colonial misrule and miseducation, especially among the elites who are the power wielders and thus have the greatest responsibility to serve and be one with our people. We can never erect a viable nation if we continue to denigrate ourselves, even in the presence of foreigners.

Social Self-Images As Self-Fulfilling: The Need to Develop a Strong Shared Vision

It is the image a people create of themselves that is the psychocultural basis of their strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and failures. For a nations self-image tends to be self-fulfilling (A peoples

perception of themselves inevitably becomes a reality

Kenneth Boulding, The Image).

Social Self-Images As Self-Fulfilling: The Need to Develop a Strong Shared Vision

If in our minds we think we will be defeated, we have already lost. If we think we are an inferior people, we will tend to lower our standards and be satisfied with good enough. Negative self-images, whether individual or collective, can cause untold social and cultural damage.

Social Self-Images As Self-Fulfilling: The Need to Develop a Strong Shared Vision

We lose nothing and gain everything by focusing on the most exalted aspects of our self/being as a basis of our self-image Cultivating our strengths not only empowers us but eliminates our so-called weaknesses in the process

An inspiring image of ourselves emerges from the very core of our culture: a highly relational, holistic, participatory and creative people with a strong nurturing and caring orientation.

Social Self-Images As Self-Fulfilling: The Need to Develop a Strong Shared Vision

Filipino Healing Culture

We are highly relational Social interconnectedness leads to longevity Expressiveness, especially through music and dance, releases harmful emotions Everyday creativity promotes well-being Touching as a way of life increases immunity to disease Deep belief in God makes Filipinos optimistic and provides meaning to life Strong sense of humor enables us to rebound easily from any tragedy


A positive self-image is the basis of social/national unity, synergy and cooperation since everybody identifies with the positive Negativism about ourselves discourages foreign investments, tourism and trade - bringing about a considerable loss of economic, political and social opportunities Self-denigration lowers respect for the Filipino, diminishing our stature in the world and making us unacceptable or unwelcome in other countries.

A Filipino Perspective

Build on Filipino/ Indigenous Strengths

- Need for Positive Self-Image: - Root cause of Philippine underdevelopment: Filipino tendency towards self bashing esp. among the Westernized elite, preventing us from tapping our greatest asset for sustainable development - our cultural strengths and resources.

A Filipino Perspective

Work for the Good of the Nation as a Whole:



Develop Pride, Commitment, and Excellence


Missions and policy research can lay the basis for programs that can: 1. Heighten social consciousness and sense of responsibility to the nation by

Making Filipinos and foreigners know deeply the history and cultural geography of the Filipino people, with emphasis on local strengths. Broadly situating in a socio-cultural context the teaching of highly technical courses, especially


Balancing Individual Freedom with Sense of Community

Our professionals can strive to achieve a balanced outlook, one that can appreciate the Western ideals of individual freedom as well as the profound and lasting Asian values of communal togetherness, national unity, spiritual oneness of humanity and, especially, Filipino psychologies of cooperation and communal ways, such as the Filipino ideal of pakikipagkapwa, whose deepest meaning is shared goodness or


Maintaining core programs or thrusts on: What it means to be human and Filipino, sustainable living and understanding of the ecology, realization of creative potential, etc. Acquiring truly interdisciplinary perspectives that broaden intellectual horizons and promote multiple intelligences and demonstrate the interconnectedness of all phenomena. Establishing, especially for the young Filipinos here and abroad, pasyal-aral activities in selected places in the Philippines for cultural immersion.

DEVELOPING A FILIPINO AND HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE 2. Demonstrate that the arts are not isolated from other cultural phenomena, and are the most lucid mirrors of social consciousness

The arts do not exist in a vacuum. Every artistic statement is also a political one, even from the most seemingly, innocuous decorative ones. There is no escape from social responsibility. Its either you are promoting art for the common people, for the elite, or for the nation as a whole. For whom does the artist create? can always be asked. Interdisciplinary, world arts, arts and ideas, comparative and other expansive approaches to art studies can be an antidote to specialistic innocence


Participation in creative, artistic activities is not limited to a few. Everybody in the community takes part in making art and creative things. This results in a vast resource pool of practitioners of arts and crafts, thus promoting creative diversity.For example, farmers become expert puppeteers, housewives become accomplished weavers, a barber an


3. Promote people participation, local genius and cultural diversity by

Identifying local cultural genius and promoting it nationally and internationally, based on the assumption that we are bound together by the good or the positive


To achieve this, we must view ourselves from our own cultural perspectives, appropriate to the conditions under which most of our people live, and relevant to their needs. Indigenous concepts and ideas, knowledge systems and practices, forms of expression, traditional arts and native languages that continue to exist today are the basis of policies and programs for sustainable development because they are in consonance with our psyche and our needs, containing wisdom tested through time. Local genius or indigenous

Intangible Cultural Heritage as the Wellspring of Local Genius

According to the UNESCO 2003 convention, ICH is the mainspring of cultural diversity and its maintenance a guarantee for continuing cultural diversity. ICH is manifested in the ff. domains

Oral traditions and expressions including languages as a vehicle of intangible cultural heritage Performing arts (such as traditional music, dance and theatre) Social Practices, rituals and festive events Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe Traditional craftsmanship

Intangible Cultural Heritage as the Wellspring of Local Genius

Regardless of his specialization, it is imperative that a local cultural worker - whether a practitioner, manager or educator - be steeped in the ICH of his community, i.e. in these five domains. In this way, he becomes culturallyrooted, instead of being alienated from his people by a fragmented, narrow kind of education. Cultural education, then, should not only be a smattering of facts and disconnected bits of information but knowing whole traditions, systems, concepts, and practices; acquiring skills; and attaining insights and understandings within the contexts of ones local community and the nation as a whole.

Tapping Local Cultural Genius for Social and Economic Advancement

Programs, projects and activities that lead to the enhancement of these elements of cultural worth among existing Filipino communities here or abroad will go a long way towards the preservation of creative, artistic skills, and thus greatly contribute to their social and economic well-being. A creatively vital community with a rich cultural heritage is preferable to a hundred museums that are merely a repository of dead objects and artifacts that fail to show us the sociocultural contexts in which these artifacts existed in the past.


A museum where collections are shown in a diorama or tableau type of presentation is much better in this regard. Better still would be a museum of this category where the tableaux on display represent living traditions or dynamically existing village cultures in a nearby network of communities to which the museum is connected. The ideal type of institution for the preservation of traditional creative skills, of course, is a School for Living Traditions located right within a traditional community. In this center, living bearers of culture go about practicing their skills in the context of their everyday life, with the presence of students or apprentices who are keenly interested in learning these traditions.

Promoting the Local But Thinking National or Global: Human Communities, not the State, are the Ultimate Actors in the Development Process

In mainstream development thinking, the state is always seen as the social agent or subject of the development process. From a human development perspective, human beings or small communities of human beings, are the ultimate actors. Most states are, after all, artificial territorial constructions, usually the result of international wars or internal colonialism. The concept of a nation-state implies that the territorial boundaries of the state coincide with the boundaries of a culturally homogeneous nation. This is the exception rather than the rule in a world with about thousands of

Promoting the Local But Thinking National or Global: Human Communities, not the State, are the Ultimate Actors in the Development Process

We have to encourage celebration of the unique cultural identities of cultural communities through various activities and expressive forms to provide for communication and sustainable development. Failure to do this may lead to violence, deviant behavior, depression, and suicide. Positive programs can encourage harmony and engagement in society. Underlying these programs is the attitude of tolerance and respect for cultural diversity.

A nations development, then, can be viewed as proceeding along apparently divergent directions, one, towards a shared cultural universe at the national level and two, towards the greatest possible intracultural diversity at the local level.

Salamat Po!!!

Defining the Filipino

Meaning of Identity: Pattern of Organization or Relationships The elements, ingredients, or parts of a whole never determine its identity, because the whole is more than the sum of its parts. It is how the parts are combined or organized to form a whole that determines its identity. No matter how familiar or unoriginal the parts are, the way they are combined can result in something totally new, unique and

Legal (a Filipino citizen)

Meanings of Filipino Identity 1

A person who is a legal citizen of the Philippines may be just that, a citizen on paper. In reality, he may not have developed any notion of responsibility and sense of commitment to the nation of which he is a member. He may even act in a manner contrary to its welfare, either out of ignorance or for purely selfish reasons, like a scientist divulging the ingredients of a highly effective traditional medicine to a foreign corporation for a fee, engaging in corrupt practices in the government, or engaging in illegal logging.

Superficial majority (prevalence of external features)

Meanings of Filipino Identity 2

Another apparent source of Filipino identity is the character or quality that arises from the prevalence of certain external features of the people. These could easily be mistaken for genuine identity because their numerical dominance makes them very visible. Majority of the Filipinos, for example, are brownskinned, flat-nosed, medium-built, and with black hair and eyes. But this does not make Filipinos who do not resemble them any less Filipino. For cultural identity has absolutely nothing to do with biology. Culture is learned, not transmitted through the genes.

Meanings of Filipino Identity 3

Spurious (anecdotal, associative)

A people or a nation becomes easily identified with dramatic and sensational events; extraordinary political, social, and economic phenomena; fortuitous circumstances; charismatic or strong personalities; current conditions; and random impressions

Ideological (politically constructed from the center) A national ideology is a relatively stable system of ideas and principles often formulated by a government to serve as guiding force for the nation. Its aim is to define how the nation must live, ideas it should follow to achieve full self-realization. It is intended to harmonize the nation through a system of values that corresponds to the national character of the people concerned. Only in this case will the full self-realization of a nation be

Meanings of Filipino Identity 4

Meanings of Filipino Identity 5

Dominant Narrative (popular history or interpretation)

The development of Filipino consciousness and identity began as a series of Filipino creative responses to the abuses of the Spaniards, especially when the Filipino priests Frs. Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora were guillotined in 1872 for simply asking for reforms. Dr. Jose Rizal is on record as the first to conceive of a separate Filipino nation. A man of peace, he did his best to pursue the path of reform through La Liga Filipina. When it became clear that the much-needed reforms would not be granted by the Spaniards, Andres Bonifacio formed the Katipunan and, through the leadership of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, waged a successful armed struggle against the Spanish colonial regime. This is the popular history of our nations origin, the

Distinctiveness (a function of the seven facets of cultural worth)

Meanings of Filipino Identity 6

The seven facets of cultural worth may be applied to any culture or place as an instrument for identifying its attractions, distinctive creations, expressions or achievements.

Originality Indigenousness Authenticity Uniqueness Historicity Magnitude Excellence or Greatness

Promoting Cultural Identity

Cultural Identity is the Basis of Sustainable Development: Sources of Cultural Distinctiveness

Originality, Indigenousness, Authenticity, Uniqueness, Historicity, Magnitude, and Excellence

Anywhere in the world people prefer the distinctive, one with character, not anything bland and featureless

Seven Facets of Cultural Worth

Originality (First of its Kind) Indigenousness (Original or Native to a Place) Authenticity (Purity,Genuineness) Uniqueness (The Only One of its Kind)

Seven Facets of Cultural Worth

Historicity (Connection to Past Significant or Momentous Events) Magnitude (Superlative Degree or Extent,Quantitatively Measured) Excellence or Greatness (in Artistic, Intellectual, Scientific, Humanistic, or Technical Quality)

Meanings of Filipino Identity 7

Shared Variety or Richness ( unique or distinctive totality of cultural diversity and creativity)

A bouquet with twelve different kinds of flowers will have a richer aggregate quality than one with only three kinds even if the total number of flowers in each bouquet is the same. Both, however, will have a distinctive totality arising from their unique compositions. What is true of flowers is also true of cultures. Philippine society is fortunate to have a great variety of languages, world views and value systems, artistic traditions, indigenous knowledge systems and practices, and lifestyles that truly make us culturally one of

Meanings of Filipino Identity 8

Shared Values, Traits and Traditions (core culture)

At the very heart of our identity as a people is our core culture. This is an archetypal level of our cultural life where differences give way to similarities because of deeply shared common perceptions, values, and behavioral traits.

This is the stable factor in Filipino identity because it changes very little through time, emboldening even hard-nosed anthropologists Like Dr. Robert Fox, F. Landa Jocano and others to declare that the Filipino of today is basically the same as the Filipino of the 16th century. Only the forms of expressions have changed dramatically, but the essential beliefs, values, attitudes and dispositions, in other words - the Filipino soul or spirit, has survived the passage

Self-Ascription (ultimate basis of identity, a construct of the imagination)

Meanings of Filipino Identity 9

If a person imagines, feels, thinks of himself as Filipino; assigns no other national identity to himself except a Filipino identity, then he is a Filipino. Nobody can take this identity from him. It is a construct of his own imagination, a self-ascribed identity. This may very well be the strongest basis for being Filipino because many other things Filipino can flow from this.