Cultural Critique of Filipino Indolence

by: Charliemaine S. Diag-aoan

“Failure is not the only punishment for laziness; there
is also the success of others.”
- Jules Renard (1864-1910)

indolent (ĭn'də-lənt)adj. Disinclined to work; habitually lazy...-in'dolence n. -in'dolently adv (The American Heritage Dictionary 4th Ed.).” The synonyms of the word indolence are laziness, sloth and idleness (The American Heritage Dictionary 4th Ed.). I believe that everyone of us in this planet has felt this feeling in a way or another. Indolence exists in all societies. It is human nature. The difference is that there is no one standard of indolence that we can base our judgment from.

The saddest part of knowing the word idolent is that it is always being attached to the word Filipino which result to the “Filipino Indolence” when combined. What is worse here is that we, the present Filipinos has accepted the notion.

Tracing the history the Philippines, we will find out that it were the Spaniards who first regarded us as indolent. One of the letters of a fray named Gaspar de San Agustin to a friend in Spain stated that the Indian natives were fickle, malicious, untrustworthy, dull, and lazy. He also stated that the natives were fond of travelling by river, sea and lake. In addition to that was the fondness of the natives to fishing, the best livelihood to sustain their living. He observed that the natives had little courage and were not disposed to work (Blair and Robertson 1973:194). In the latter part of the letter, Fray San Agustin emphasized the laziness of the natives. According to him, the laziness of the Indians is such that if they open a door they never close it. This was also true in respect to borrowing material things. If the Indians borrowed anything except for money, they would never give it back not until it was requested. Also, in the Indian homes, they did not practice returning things such as knife to where they got it first from (Blair and Roberston 1973: 208). Why would they regard the natives to be such?

Before the coming of the Spaniards, there was no central or regional authority or dominion that existed. Social organizations, governance, and economics were local in scale(Corpuz 1997: 13). Families settled in a linear formation along the river side or the seaside. The waters served for roadways, and watercraft were also useful for gathering (Corpuz 1997:15). This made the physical feature of the early barangays and its economy to be closely linked to water. This also justified the place names in the country to be related to water such as Agusan (Corpuz 1997: 14). The barangays were small because kinship was the organizing principle in each community. Small communities existed separately from the each other (Corpuz 1997: 13).

As what was stated earlier, there was no supra-barangay authority in the communities. This was illustrated by the hundreds of dialects spoken in the archipelago (Corpuz 1997: 13). This meant that there was no external pressures that unified the communities(Corpuz 1997: 14). The people in this time were self-sufficing. People hunted, gathered and fished for the family's     day's sustenance. There was no concept of working for someone higher. The power over nature was widely spread since the people separately settled from each other.

In connection to nature,  the warm climate of the country is good for resting. The fact is that in the tropical countries such as the Philippines severe work is advisable (

All of us know that the reasons for the conquering of the Spaniards were for God, glory and gold. But thinking of this deeply, who will ever travel for months during that time just to Christianize? The funds used by the questers for imperialism and colonialism was from the king of Spain. As a gratitude for the king's support, the colonizers should pay back the king.

Prior to the coming of the Spaniards, the communities were resettled to the pueblos. The process of pueblo organization consolidated the natives into communities that were much larger than the old barangays (Corpuz 1997: 24). The reason behind this was the aim of the Spaniards to centralize power and easily Christianize and extract surpluses  from the native Filipinos. Since it was inculcated to them that they were in a special care for governance, protection and spiritual administration, following the  Spaniards was done easily. Exaction of surpluses were done through the collection of tributes, the compras, the polo y servicios and contributions to the church.  (Corpuz 1997: 30-35).

The native Filipinos were in a way forced to work since they were frightened to the punishment of not doing so. Indolent or sloth should not be a part of everyone's lifestyle. In the Pocket Catholic Catechism, indolence or sloth as what it was used, is the desire for ease even at the expense of doing the known will of God. And the payment for slothfulness is to be thrown in a snake pit in hell (

Rizal, in his The Indolence of the Filipinos criticized the misuse of the word indolence. How could be that the Filipinos were called indolence when they have been trading with the Chinese even before the coming of the Europeans ( Indolence.html). In addition to this was the technologies that the native Filipinos had such as boat making technology, pottery making technology, spinning and weaving technology, fish corral technology, black smithing and etc. (Corpuz 1997: 14-16).

If in that case, the Filipinos were considered to be the standard of indolence, the Spaniards then must be considered as more indolent.  First, the cool climate of Europe  was suitable for working. A day's work in Europe is equivalent to just an hour's work here in the country. But still during the Spanish time, it were the Filipinos who worked more than the Spaniards. Second, Spain and other European countries quested not just for raw material but for human labor. The slaves gathered were the ones who served and worked for the sustenance of the  lords, friars, government officials, kings and queens ( Indolence.html). Who then were acting more idle that time? Who then should we consider indolent?

I do not blame anyone for the indolence of the Filipinos except for the Spaniards. There coming had forced the early Filipinos to work, believe in miracles and punishment. The early Filipinos worked except that they were abused. What made them not more work was that they became so attached to the idea of God's sufficient grace and miracles.

In our present time, we are still attached to the adjective indolent. If Rizal is still living, I guess he will not argue this statement. I do not argue the fact that everyone in a way or another feels the feeling of being indolent. In the Pantayong Pananaw of Zeus Salazar, he stated that indolence is now presently used by the elites to address the “masang Pilipino”. Are we really indolent? Every year thousands of college students graduate from college. But not all of these students are guaranteed of jobs. Some seek livelihood by going abroad, part time jobs and even illegal jobs. Even if we add all the kinds of job we have today, the sum is still not enough for the number of graduates which lead these young lives to just stay at home and “tambay” as we call it.

In connection to jobs, even if our graduates get their own job, it take a lot of guts for these starters to endure the politics,turfing and bureaucracy  of professions. This then become a discouragement to the new workers.

Easy money pursuits have become a culture in our present generation. Game shows, raffles, lottery and contests have not only motivated people to rely on chances but also made impatient of earning in the right way. This politics of easy money have underdeveloped the skills and abilities of the Filipinos for professional development and personal advancement.

Filipino ties in a way still exist in our society. Unlike in the United States that they send their oldies to a home for the aged, we Filipinos choose to take good care of our loved ones until their last breathe. In effect, Filipinos are given less time to work for family's financial growth. In addition to the old family members are the young ones and the teenagers. Again, unlike the Americans who find their separate ways from parents when turned 18, young Filipinos stay at their homes until they get their own jobs or when married or so. But as we can see today, parents still support their children even if married or with children. This then makes some family members too dependent to their parents and even relatives who are outside of the country. The problem behind this is our over dependence to the ones supporting us to the extent that we do not work for our own living.

Indolence is human nature. No one can escape from it. But we should always put in mind that each individual is a part of a certain culture. Attitudes vary in every culture. It does not mean that when a word exists in the dictionary it is universal. The meanings attached to a word in the dictionary is just a denotation. The true meaning of a word relies on its context. But every culture should be careful not to make the connotation  the denotation of a word.

A Cultural Critique of the New Trend on the Health-Care Industry in the Philippines

by: Jayme Natasha K. Paggao

       In the year 2002, at least half of the fresh graduates from my high school applied for BS Nursing in various schools within and outside the city. In 2005, more than half of my batch applied for the same course. And in the following years, those who did not apply for BS Nursing shifted from their original courses to Nursing. Take note that this phenomenon is not only taking place here in Baguio City, but in other cities and towns as well in the country.

Every year, the number of applicants to universities and colleges pile up, but more so with the applicants for BS Nursing. Unable to attain a Bachelor’s degree? There are 2-year training programs that guarantee you a position as a caregiver in the newest nursing home in Florida. But it is not just the students who are jumping into the nursing pool, but doctors of various specializations drop their private practices to be able to train as a nurse to be able to apply for the NCLEX.

Everyone in the country seems so keen on getting a taste of the sweet life in a land far away from our own. The demand for nurses and care-givers abroad continue to push the Filipino people to maximize their resources in the hopes of remaining the top exporter of nurses and care-givers. Universities, Colleges, review centres and other educational centres – accredited or not – seem to be popping about like daisies to produce the next board passers. Nursing graduates are hailed next to OFWs as hope for our country’s failing economy. More and more families in the Philippines are reaping the benefits of having a son, a sister, or a mother working as nurse in America.

But, as there are benefits to the popularity of the health-care industry in the Philippines, there are also its detriments to the Filipino culture. When you take BS Nursing today, you are guided by the dream of a successful career. However, this career does not serve the mother country, but rendering service to the alien nation. We, as Filipinos, are given the idea that the road to success cannot be found in our own country, but we must rely on foreigners to provide us with employment. We are taught not to rely on our country for success, but to look for it in other countries.

In connection to serving a foreign country over your own, the way nursing and care-giving lures us to seek our future from foreign lands tells us how little we think of our own country. In the Philippines, the monthly paycheque of a doctor in the most prestigious hospital in the country is menial in comparison to what a resident nurse could make in a day in America. And to add insult to injury, the lowly pay cheque is accompanied by equally lowly social services, where hospitals cannot offer even their own doctors and nurses medical insurance. The corruption, political instability, social conflict, environmental pollution, and ever increasing poverty – it is no wonder our graduates and professional sector thinks so low of our own country. The Philippines offers mediocrity to its citizens, so why not go for the bigger and better thing – work for the United States, for United Kingdom, or Australia! Nursing and care-giving had contributed to the idea of a more internationalist view on life, without any sense of nationalism whatsoever.

As there are underlying ideals that health-care industry boom is propagating, there are also the undermined ideals. Wanting to serve your country in the professional sector is nowadays laughed at and looked down upon by members of society. Although it, in some ways, proves nationalism, it is no longer practical. Practicality, in the real world, outweighs ideal and principle. Often, today, we find ourselves claiming that what is foreign is better. However, what we don’t see is that the reason why foreign things are better is that we don’t give what is Philippine a chance to prove its worthiness.

Another marginalized alternative is actually contributing to reshaping our country. The various present re-shaping of the country comes in the form of our further Westernizing or Americanizing ourselves. But we don’t see reshaping as honing our being Filipino and our country. We see our country as a wreck and point out its flaws, but we leave the need for change to our government, and we run to the farthest place from here. How can we change when we, ourselves, are running from our problem? If people actually participated in reshaping our country, then maybe we need not keep exporting our professionals just to placate the external demand for nurses and caregivers. If everyone strived for a positive change in the country, then maybe our graduates would not be looking in other countries for any income to keep their youngest brother in school.

Isang Panunuring Kultural sa Kapistahan

ni: Marjorie S. Abad

       Hindi maihihiwalay sa mga Filipino ang pagiging masayahin sa kabila ng mga suliraning dumarating sa kanilang buhay. Tuloy pa rin ang mga pagdiriwang ng mga kapistahan. May panahon pa nga na sa sobrang dami ng mga holiday at mga pampamilyang okasyon sa Pilipinas, nagkaroon ng panukalang-batas noon na alisin ang lahat ng pistang bayan dahil napakalaki ng pondong winawaldas umano ng mga tao sa pagdiriwang na siyang nagbubunsod sa pagbaon nila sa utang. Subalit ang hakbanging ito ng Lehislatura ng Pilipinas sa pangunguna ni Senador Raul Manglapusay binalewala ng mga tao. Sang-ayon silang mabaon sa utang para lang makapaghanda sa pista (Hornedo, 2000). Maitatanong natin marahil ngayon kung anu-ano nga ba ang katangian ng pista at kung saan ito nag-ugat.

Bilang bahagi ng lipunan, ang pista ay may iba’t ibang katangian. Sinasabi ni Hornedo na isa itong katutubong tradisyon at nagsimula pa sa mga ninuno ng mga Filipino kaakibat ang mga natatanging kultura. Sa makatwid, isa itong kanlungan ng kultura, simbolo ng pinagmulan, patutunguhan at pagkakakilanlan ng isang Filipino. Nalampasan nito ang koloniyalismo at pagpasok ng ibang kultura. Sa kabila ng paggamit ng mga dayuhan dito  bilang okasyon para sa politikal at rebolusyunaryong layunin, naging matatag pa rin ang institusyong ito. Bukas ito sa mga pagbabago. Mula sa simpleng selebrasyon, nagkaroon ito ng kulay at iba’t ibang anyo. Isa itong mainam na paraan ng pagdaraos ng mga reunion o pagsasama-sama ng mga pamilya. Dito naibabalik ang mga nawalay na samahan at mga napawing kasiyahan. May katangian itong makiangkop at tumangkilik ng mga pagbabago. Tulad na lamang ng mga elementong ipinakilala ng mga Kastila gaya ng prusisyon at pagsamba sa mga santo. Nakikiayon din ito sa mga pagbabagong hatid ng teknolohiya (ibid).

Bago pa man dumating ang mga mananakop sa bansa ay may sariling konsepto ng pista na ang mga katutubong Filipino. Ang terminong pista lamang at ang iba’t ibang anyo nito ang nagmula sa mga Kastila. Ang mga maituturing na pista noon ay ang Cañao sa mga pamayanang Muslim sa Timog na bahagi ng Pilipinas maging ang mga piging o ritwal na ginaganap pagkatapos ng pakikibaka o pakikipaglaban sa mga katutubo sa Ifugao o bahagi ng Mt. Province. Ang konseptong ito  ng pagdiriwang ng pista ay maituturing na unibersal sapagkat lahat ng bansa sa mundo ay nagdiriwang ng iba’t ibang okasyon at naghahatid ito ng ibayong kasiyahan sa lahat. Nag-iiba lamang ito dahil nakaangkla ito sa kultura ng isang lugar.

Isang manipestasyon ng kapangyarihang dulot ng pananakop ng mga Kastila sa Pilipinas ang pagdiriwang ng kapistahan sa ngayon. Malaki ang papel na ginampanan ng mga Kristyanong misyonero sa tagumpay na maipalaganap ang impluwensyang Hispaniko sa buong kapuluan. Naging sunud-sunuran ang mga katutubo sa mga Kastila dahil sa pagyakap nila ng Kristyanismo. Napagtibay ang pagdiriwang ng mga pista na nagpaparangal sa mga patron ng bawat bayan sa pamamagitan ng mahigpit na pagtangkilik ng mga Filipino sa relihiyong ipinakilala ng mga Kastila. Kaya nagkaroon ng modipikasyon ang mga katutubong gawi ng pagdiriwang ng pista.

Ang prusisyon, misa at novena ang pinaksentro ng selebrasyon ng pistang bayan. Hindi na lingid sa atin na ang elementong ito ng pista ang nang-akit sa mga tao upang mahikayat silang umanib sa simbahang katoliko. Subalit sa pagpaparada ng mga kababaihan nailalantad ang mga hungkag nilang katawan at isa itong manipestasyon ng patriyarkal na lipunan. Ginagawang palamuti ang mga babae upang makapang-akit ng mga lalaking manonood. Subalit patuloy pa rin ang ganitong aktibidad dahil naging bahagi na ito ng tradisyon at ang tradisyon ay hindi basta-basta nawawasak o nasisira. Para sa akin, dapat na maging mapanuri ang mga tao sa tunay na esenya ng kanilang pagdiriwang ng kapistahan. Hindi beauty pageant ang dapat abangan kundi ang prusisyon ng mga santo at ang paggunita sa kasaysayan ng bayan na siyang orihinal na diwa ng pista.

Ayon kay Nick Joaquin, isang instrumento ang pista na nagbubunsod sa pagkakatuklas ng kasaysayan at mitolohiya ng mga pamayanan. Kaakibat ng iba’t ibang kaugalian at seremonyang isinasagawa ng mga Filipino ang paglalarawan ng kanilang bukod-tanging pagkakakilanlan (Roces, 1980).


·        Hornedo, Florentino H. (2000). Culture and Community in the Philippine Fiest and Other Celebrations. Manila: University of Sto. Tomas Publishing House.

Roces, Alejandro R. (1980). Fiesta. Hongkong: Vera-Reyes, Inc. and Toppan Printing Co. (Ltd.).

A Cultural Critique of the Filipino Concept of Utang na Loob

by: May Anne B. Soriano

       As social and rational human beings, we naturally make critical responses to our environment. We instinctively behave in a certain way in response to a certain stimuli and are concerned and receptive. As rational beings we base our reactions to a particular criteria or standards of judgment. We evaluate concepts as either good or bad, truth or falsity. We base our behavior in a system of values that is also part of our culture. Our beliefs, convictions and values became our standards for decisions. We pattern our behavior in accordance with our values.

Sociologists such as Maciones (1997) and Williams (1974) define values as culturally defined standards or criteria by which people assess desirability, goodness and what ought to be. They are good guidelines to determine whether something is good or bad and by which norms are judged.

According to the Jesuit anthropologist, Frank Lynch S.J. (1975), there are no values uniquely Filipino. He argues that ‘one should not expect these values to be uniquely Filipino, because notable differences in value systems are caused not so much by differences in the individual values as by the differences in ranking and emphasis.’ He continues on by stating that ‘when we speak of certain values as being characteristic of Philippine society, we do not mean that these conceptions of the desirable are only found in the Philippines… almost all the values… constitute elements in the value systems of other nations’ (p. 36-37).

In a study done by Mary Racelis Hollnsteiner on the values systems of the Filipino society, she equated the Filipino concept of utang na loob to reciprocity. She argues that ‘reciprocity is a kind of social exchange, which is a universal form of behavior.’ She articulates that ‘it is a principle where every service received, solicited or not, demands a return, the nature and proportion of which is determined by the relative status of the parties involved and the kind of exchange at issue.’ Literally translated as ‘internal debt of gratitude’, the person in debt has the obligation to repay the person from whom one has received a favor (Panopio and Raymundo 2004:201-202). In this sense, utang na loob is not just observed among and done by Filipinos, it is also practiced in other foreign societies only as form of reciprocity just as emphasized by Lynch.

Hollnsteiner’s study of reciprocity in the Philippines’ value system concluded that there is threefold classification of reciprocity, i.e. contractual reciprocity, quasi-contractual reciprocity, and utang na loob reciprocity. The last type of reciprocity, which is an ancient Filipino operating principle, spawns when there is an exchange or transfer of goods and services between individuals or groups of people. The author emphasizes that it compels the recipient of the favor ‘to show his gratitude properly by returning the favor with interest to be sure that he does not remain in the other’s debt’ (1979:41). It is also said that every Filipino is expected to recognize and practice utang na loob. One should be aware of his obligations to those he owe some favor and should repay them in an acceptable manner whether in goods, gifts or services. It should also be noted that the repayment can be unequal because quantification is possible yet very difficult to determine. The failure to give full or partial payment should cause the one in debt hiya.

Hollnsteiner (1979:42) defines hiya as ‘a universal social sanction that regulates the give and take of reciprocity and, in general, all social behavior. Hiya may be translated as ‘a sense of social propriety;’ as a preventive, it makes for conformity to community norms. When one violates such a norm he ordinarily feels a deep sense of shame, a realization of having failed to live up to the standards of the society.’ In this case, a shameless person who is unable to repay the favor or service that was rendered to him is called walang hiya. Lastly, the author believed that emotional attachment is at its most important in utang na loob reciprocity because voluntary initiation of the action to repay is expected from the debtor.

In this kind of Western-oriented analysis, the Filipino concept of utang na loob is put into an imbalance situation. A Filipino concept that is analyzed using Western categories, models and standards yields an erroneous and distorted conclusion. Is the term utang na loob really translatable to any other languages? Does it have any direct correspondence to other cultures and language particularly the dominant Western culture? Is utang na loob just ‘contractual’ without recognizing the emotions that goes with it?

Lynch’s and Hollnsteiner’s analyses of values can be criticized as ahistorical, that means taking for granted the historical aspect of the concept and failure to consider the place where the exchange and indebtedness takes place. Ileto (1979) argues that the said their analyses are based on a structural-functionalist perspective. According to Rafael (1988:123), while Ileto’s analysis is different from Lynch’s and Hollnsteiner’s, ‘it nonetheless tends to join them in regarding the loob in utang na loob as privileged, a priori entity… loob assumes its coherence on the basis of a given ontological status as that which is part of yet apart from the process of exchange.’

In their analysis, Filipino concepts and values were lifted or taken from its original cultural context and being examined using inappropriate foreign models. They patterned their analysis using categories and standards which are alien to our own. Enriquez (1992:60) argues that studies conducted by most authors, foreign or local, ‘rely uncritically on a borrowed language, inapplicable categories of analysis, a token use of the local language and culture.’ Philippine terms were used with limited research and understanding of the deeper significance and content. Enriquez says that as a whole, the analysis, investigation and interpretation of Filipino values is substantially keyed to a foreign language and perspective. Most studies fail to see the values and concepts in terms of Filipino perspective, experience and context.

When a Western-oriented researcher studies a certain Filipino concept, the view becomes distorted when one affixes a label to that concept which seems to him the closest one to describe it. Making such labels without deeper study and respect for the local language involved and without considering its historical and cultural origin may cause incorrect or erroneous results. They may or may be no English equivalent or correspondence to a certain indigenous term. Labeling or translating such local term to another language may lose it true meaning and context.

Virgilio G. Enriquez studied the concept of utang na loob with two other concepts, namely: hiya (propriety/dignity) and pakikisama (companionship/esteem). Futhermore, his translation of utang na loob is gratitude or solidarity. He categorized the three concepts as accommodative surface values which function primarily to maintain the status quo either on an individual or group basis (1992:66). His analysis of utang na loob went broader and deeper when he also studied the concepts of hiya and loob. In his study he identified two aspects of hiya, one is the external or interpersonal and the other is internal or being. The external aspect of hiya pertains to the one’s behavior towards other people or the social interaction while the internal aspect of hiya is concerned with the emotional aspect or the intensity of one’s feeling of hiya. On the other hand loob refers to one’s being or individuality which is internal in nature. Also the concept of pakiramdam, plays an essential role. Without pakiramdam, one cannot have a sense of hiya thus the meaning of utang na loob will be reduced to just reciprocity or exchange. There is more than just exchange in utang na loob, there is also an emotional aspect attached to it. One can feel hiya if he is not able to reciprocate the gratitude given to him. And someone without utang na loob is considered as someone with no dignity and has bad relationships with other people.

Moreover, he says that Charles Kaut’s 1961 study of utang na loob was misused and misinterpreted by other later researchers such as Hollnsteiner ‘without due regard to the dangers of reductionism when the interpretation of utang na loob, in terms of direct exchange of goods and favors, became the interpretation of utang na loob” (Enriquez 1992:69). In addition to that, Hollnsteiner considered utang na loob as a contractual interaction and the repayment of the favor rendered should be given with interest. This analysis takes for granted the significant role and meaning of the loob-related concepts.

For de Mesa (1987) he argues that utang na loob is a commitment to human solidarity, it functions ‘prior to any reception of favor… the debt owed to another person who shares a common humanity (loob), exists just because we are fellow human being.’ Lastly, Enriquez (1992:70) concluded that ‘utang na loob is a value which moves to recognize respect, promote, and at times defend the basic dignity of each person.’

The Filipino concept of utang na loob is not just a simple form of reciprocity that Hollnsteiner argued. It is not just a mercantilist, contractual form of exchange. This interpretation is a product of colonialism and not indigenous to the Philippines. The concepts of hiya, loob, pakikisama, and pakiramdam play essential roles to a deeper understanding of utang na loob. Utang na loob or any other Filipino values should be studied in an indigenous perspective and should not be taken out from its context. Language is a complex system and is a difficult problem on its own. It is multidimensional and dynamic. Language plays an important role in our culture and is essential for a better understanding of our way of life. Assuming that there is already a problem of language not being able to fully grasp the meaning or reality, it is more problematic to translate an indigenous term to another language without losing its correspondence to the original one and retaining its real significance and context.


de Mesa, Jose M. 1987. With a Listening Heart. In Solidarity with a Culture: Studies in Theological Re-rooting. Quezon City: Maryhill School of Theology.

Enriquez, Virgilio G. 1992. From Colonial to Liberation Psychology: The Philippine Experience. Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines Press.

Hollnsteiner, Mary R. (ed). 1979. Society, Culture and the Filipino: A textbook of readings in Anthropology and Sociology. Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City: The Institute of Philippine Culture.

Ileto, Reynaldo C. 1979. Pasyon and Revolution: Popular movements in the Philippines, 1840-1910. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Kaut, Charles R. 1961. Utang na Loob: A system of contractual obligations among Tagalogs. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 17, 256-72.

Lynch, Frank, S.J. 1979. The Study of Values. In Society, Culture and the Filipino: A textbook of readings in Anthropology and Sociology. Mary R. Hollnsteiner, ed. Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City: The Institute of Philippine Culture.

Maciones, John J. 1997. Sociology. 6th ed. NJ: Prentice Hall.

Panopio, Isabel S. and Raymundo, Adelisa A. 2004. General Sociology. 4th ed. Quezon City Philippines: Ken Inc.

Rafael, Vicente L. 1988. Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society under Early Spanish Rule. Quezon City, Metro Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Williams, Robin Jr. 1974. American Society: A sociological interpretation. 3rd ed. New York: Knopf.

Isang Panunuring Kultural kay Rizal bilang Pambansang Bayani

ni: Reina V. Nilo

       Ilang dekada na rin ang lumipas at patuloy pa rin ang pagtangkilik ng mga Pilipino sa itinuturing nilang Pambansang Bayani. Bagamat maraming listahan ng mga bayaning maaaring ilagay sa pedestal, namukod tangi pa rin si Rizal na sa kasalukuyan at itinuturing rin bilang sugo ng Diyos. Idineklara ang kaniyang pagiging martir na naging isang basehan upang ituring siyang bayani ng mga Pinoy. Iba’t-ibang nobela rin niya ang nailathala na mas nagpalawak pa ng kaalaman kay Rizal. Isinabatas rin ang pag-aaral sa buhay ng pambansang bayani. Isa itong hakbang ni dating pangulong Jose P. Laurel at Claro M. Recto na gawing instrumento ang mga paaralan upang lalong mapag-aralan ang buhay ng bayani at upang ang kaniyang mga gawa ay mabuhay sa diwa ng kasalukuyang henerasyon ng mga kabataan.

Hindi maitatatwa ang kontribusyon ni Rizal sa kasaysayan ng bansang Pilipinas. Iminulat niya sa kaniyang mga kababayan na ang edukasyon ay mabisang paraan upang makamit ang kanilang nasa sa buhay. Isa itong hakbang upang umangat ang kalidad ng kabuhayan ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino. Si Rizal ay masasabing isa sa pinakamagaling na tao noong kaniyang kapanahunan sapagkat marami siyang nalalaman. Hindi maikakaila na sa dami ng kaniyang napag-aralan ay tinitingala siya ng mga tao.

Sanay tayo na kilalanin si Rizal bilang tanyag na bayani. Ang mga maliliit na detalye ng pagkahirang sa kaniya bilang pambansang bayani ay nalimot na o dili kaya’y hindi naiparating man lang sa kaalaman ng mga tao. Ang mga nangyari sa likod ng pagkakatalaga ni Jose ay nananatiling kulang sa pagkapresinta sa publiko. Ang ilang akademiko at iskolar lamang ang may sapat na kaalaman at matiyagang nagtatanong tungkol sa iba’t-ibang dimensyon sa pagkabayani ni Rizal.

Si Rizal ay tinalikdan ang rebolusyon sa pagsasabing ang kalayaan ay makakamit sa pamamagitan ng edukasyon. Ang pag-aaral umano ang siyang magiging susi upang makuha lahat ng ninanais ng kaniyang mga kababayan.  Ayon pa sa kaniya, hindi sagot ang pagdanak ng dugo sa paghahangad ng kasarinlan sa bayang Pilipinas. Higit na pinagtuunang pansin ang tahimik na paraan ng pakikipaglaban ni Rizal kaysa mala-rebolusyong tipo ng pag-aaklas tulad ng ginawa ni Bonifacio at iba pang mga bayani.

Kilalang kilala si Rizal simula nang italaga siyang pambansang bayani ng Pilipinas. Kahelera na siya ng sampagauita, sipa, bangus narra at iba pa datapwat binigyan ng seryosog pagpapahalaga si Jose. Ginawa siyang komersyal na ultimong mukha ng bayani ay nabebenta at nakukuha kahit saan. Maaari mong dukutin ang mukha ni Rizal mula sa iyong bulsa. Pakalat-kalat rin ang piso ni Rizal sa palengke o kadalasan naman ay nakalagay sa arenola sa pag-aakalang lumago ang kita ng mga tindera. Wala na nga marahil ang tatalo sa kasikatan ng pambansang bayani ng mga Pilipino. Kung buhay si Rizal sa kasalukuyan, marahil ang itsura niya ay mababago din sa pamamagitan ng iba’t-ibang klase ng teknolohiya.

Ang malaking bulto ng pagkakilala kay Rizal ay napupunta sa pagturing natin sa kaniya bilang napakagaling na bayani. Ginamit niya ang kaniyang isip na nagpamulat sa damdamin ng napakaraming Pinoy sa halaga ng kaalaman sa isang bagay. Ang pagkakatalaga kay Rizal bilang bayani ng lahing Pinoy ay nabigyang implementasyon noong panahon ng mga Amerikano. Tama, mga Amerikano nga ang pumili kay Rizal bilang pambansang bayani. May sarili silang batayan kung paano pumili ng itututring na pambansang bayani. Ang mga personalidad tulad nila Mabini o dili kaya ay si Bonifacio ay hindi gaanong nabigyang pansin sapagkat sila umano ay napakaradikal, ayon sa mga Kano. Ang katangian ng isang radikal na tao ay hindi kailanman maaaring gawing batayan upang pangalanan ang isang tao bilang bayani. Ayon sa kanila, si Rizal, na nagtataglay ng mga katangian tulad ng pagiging mahinahon at matalino ang siyang dapat tularan ng mga Pilipino. Sa kabila nito, ilang mga akademiko ang pumuna sa ganitong klase ng batayan at pagpili kay Rizal bilang bayani. Naniniwala ang mga akademikong ito na ang pagkakatalaga kay Rizal bilang pambansang bayani ay may halong politika na sa huli ang mga Amerikano rin ang makikinabang. Para sa kanila, naging bayani si Rizal sa kadahilanang hindi nito maaaring kalabanin ang mga Kano. Pabor sa mga Amerikano ang pagkakapili kay Rizal bilang pambasang bayani sapagkat hindi na nito kailanman kukwestyunin ang patakaran ng kanilang pamahalaan. Paano nga nama’y ilang dekada ng patay si Rizal bago pa man siya italaga bilang pamabansang bayani ng mga Pilipino. Kung gayon ay maaari nating isipin na maraming bulag sa pag-akala ng pagiging isang ulirang bayani ni Jose. At maaari ring sabihin na si Rizal ay bayani ng mga Amerikano.

Marami ng pag-aaral tungkol sa naging tunay na papel ni Jose Rizal sa kasarinlan ng Pilipinas. Ang kontribusyon niya ay minaliit na rin ng ibang iskolar. Sa aking palagay, hindi rin maaaring isantabi ang kontribusyon ni Rizal sa larangan ng siyensiya, at ang kaniyang pagiging magaling na guro at huwaran ng maraming kabataan. Sino nga ba ang unang maiisip ng mga kabataan kung katalinuhan rin lang ang pag-uusapan. Sa kabilang banda, hindi rin maaaring isantabi ang puna ng maraming iskolar na gamay na ang pagtuligsa sa pagiging lehitimo ni Rizal bilang pambasang bayani. Marami pa rin katanungan na hindi makuhanan ng sagot gaano man kalalim ang pagsiyasat. Hindi na mabubura ang pagdakila sa kaniya ng kaniyang mga kababayan sa pag-iisip nila na siya ay namatay dahil sa kanilang mga prinsipyo bagamat hindi siya naging kaisa sa paglulunsad nito. May mga nagsasabing dahil sa isinulat niyang nobela tulad Noli Me Tangere, maraming buhay ang nawala. Iginiit rin niya na ang pagmamahal sa wika ay napakaimportante upang mapakita ang pagmamahal sa Inang Bayan. Ang siste, nasulat ang lahat ng nobela sa wikang Espanyol. Inamin rin niya ang hindi pagkagamay sa wikang Tagalog nang siya ay nasa Madrid pa. Isang malaking isyu ito sapagkat hindi niya rin mapanindigan ang mga prinsipyong kaniyang binibitawan.  Maraming mga agam-agam ang hindi nabibigyang linaw dahil sa kakapusan ng mga tala tungkol kay Rizal. Ang pagreretrak ni Rizal bago siya mamatay ay nanatili pa ring malaking katanungan sa maraming iskolar sapagkat maraming tala ang kulang tungkol dito. Matagal ng patay si Rizal ngunit ang paghahanap ng katotohanan para sa kapakanan ng kaalaman ng nakakarami ay hindi tumitigil. Ilang taon na ring target si Rizal ng maraming matang matulis ang tingin at inuusisa ang lahat ng nakakalap nilang impormasyon na maaring magbigay ng kaliwanagan sa maraming katanungang bumabalot sa likod ng pagturing kay Rizal bilang pambansang bayani.

Sa kabilang banda magiging dagok rin ang ganitong mga hakbangin sa publiko na naghihintay lamang na ilapag sa kanila ang mga impormasyon tungkol sa matagal na itinuring nilang pambansang bayani. Marahil ay hindi na nila maiintindihan at maguguluhan na ang kanilang mga kaisipan kung ano nga ba ang totoo sa hindi. Ang mahalaga ay maging masusi ang bawat isa sa pagtingin at pagsuri ng mga materyal na kanilang natatanggap.

Kilala si Gat Rizal bilang mama na dalubhasa sa halos lahat ng bagay. Marunong siya ng iba’t-ibang wika at halos lahat ng propesyon ay alam rin niya. Ang mga ito ay ilan lamang sa mga basehan nang pagkilala sa kaniya bilang bayani. Hindi rin maikakaila na naugnay siya sa napakaraming babae noong siya ay buhay pa. Sa kultura ng mga Pilipino, ang ganitong gawain ay kailanma’y hindi katanggap-tanggap.

Marahil dala na rin ng neo-kolonyalismo ang naging dahilan ng pagtingin kay Rizal bilang bayani. Kasabay na rin nito na ang nagtalaga sa kaniya ay ang mga mananakop. Ginawa nila ito dahil alam nila na kailanma’y hindi sasagupain ni Rizal ang mga Kano. Hindi nga naman naisulat ni Rizal na namumuhi siya sa kanila. Hindi man tuwiran o pwersahan ang pagtangkilik kay Rizal bilang bayani ay hindi pa rin maiwawaglit ang politikang maaaring nakapaloob dito. Nagsimula noong panahon ng mga Ameriko ang pagkilala kay Rizal bilang namumukod-tanging Pinoy na kaiba sa ibang bayani ng kanilang lahi.

Hindi masama na patuloy na hirangin si Rizal bilang bayani ng lahat ng Pilipino. At hindi rin masama na may iba pa silang itinuturing na dakilang bayani maliban sa kaniya. Ika nga, kani-kaniyang bayani iyan. Isa lamang si Rizal sa lumpon ng napakaraming tao na may ginawang mabuti sa kaniyang bayan. Ang mahalaga ay ang pagiging mapagmatyag at alerto sa lahat ng impormasyong nakakalap. May kapasidad ang bawat isa na magtanong at punahin ang pagiging pambansang bayani ni Rizal ngunit hindi na maiaalis ang kontribusyon ni Rizal sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas sa mata at pag-unawa ng publiko.

A Cultural Critique on the Commercialization of Tapuy

by: April M. Bangcawayan

       In the advent of Globalization; a lot of cultural practices, beliefs and culture itself have been sacrificed in the name of progress through commercialization. As the West laid out their idea of progress, defining who the rich countries are and who are the developing ones, they have also somehow instilled the idea that everything within reach that is worth something to one or the other can be sold in order to develop. As the Italians and the French have long been selling their wines, the Indigenous Peoples of the Cordillera began to put into market what has long been treated as sacred and what has never been sold before for money—the Tapuy.

The Tapuy, as is also depicted in Cordilleran tales, have been used for rituals and celebrations. In one of its truest form, the Tapuy is not really liquid like the ones sold in the market. In Besao and Natonin, Mountain Province, for instance, the Tapuy is served to guests as fermented rice. Although the rice can be squeezed for the liquid, it is customary that one eats the rice as well as drink the liquid. However, since Western Wines are in liquid form, Tapuy makers now squeeze the liquid from the rice and place them in bottles so that it looks like the Italian or French wines sold in the market. In the olden days, the Tapuy was made and stored by the Cordillerans not only to serve to guests but also to be used in rituals and such festive occasions such as weddings and even solemn ones such as death. It is not a custom that the Tapuy is sold to the ones needing it nor is it given in exchange of something. It is freely given by those who have stored or those who have ready supplies of Tapuy.

As Tapuy began to become known to local and foreign tourists, such figures like the local government of Cordillera and local businessmen began taking Tapuy from the jars and storing them in botteles then selling them to tourists who have taken a liking to the locally made wine. The Tapuy has been widely advertised in web sites and pamphlets as a way of promoting the tourism so much that the original value of the Tapuy became lost as it became just another wine in the market. Even locals who are in need of the Tapuy for rituals and festivities, ironically, have to buy from the market. No longer is the Tapuy given freely as a symbol of help, hospitality and unity but sold as a common commodity.

The Tapuy, which was once drank as people talked and shared stories around bonfires, became just another intoxicating material to locals and tourists alike. While it was once offered to gods and divinities, it is now just a substitute for Tanduay and Emperador. As more and more people become drawn to the “exoticism” being coupled with the commercialization of Tapuy, the monetary value of the once sacred wine keeps mounting. Very few locals, even in the provinces, now make Tapuy for its original purpose—that is for rituals and festivities. The Tapuy’s marketability made it just another way for locals to earn money and for the Cordillera to become “globally competitive.”