Isang Pang Kulturang Pagsusuri sa Paggamit ng Tisyu sa Gawaing Pampalikuran
ni: Felissa Samaniego
Ang nakasanayang pamamaraan ng mga Pilipino sa pag gamit ng palikuran ay hindi madalas na tinatalakay. Kahit pa parte ito ng pang- araw araw nating pamumuhay, hindi parin naman ito binibigyan ng atensyon. Ngunit sa kasalukuyang panahon, marami narin satin ang lumalabas ng bansa at nahaharap sa iba’t ibang kultura at kasanayan. Karamihan pa naman sa mga Pilipino ay napakahusay makisama at madaling masanay sa kanyang paligid. Isa sa maraming nararanasan nilang pagbabago ay ang mga kasanayan sa pag gamit ng palikuran.
Alam natin na dito sa Pilipinas, tubig ang pinang lilinis pagkatapos dumumi, ngunit hindi pala pareho sa ibang bansa. Marami sa aking mga kamag-anak ang nangibang bansa at doon na nanirahan, ang ilan ay sa US at Canada. Umuuwi sila kung minsan, tulad ngayon dahil bakasyon sakanila. Hindi mawala ang pag kukumpara nila sa buhay doon at buhay dito sa tuwing kami ay nag kukwentuhan. Malaki rin ang pag babago mula noong napunta sila doon. Isa na nga sa mga ito ay ang pag bili nila ng bulto bultong tisyu para sa aming banyo. Noon naman ay sapat na ang ilang rolyo para sa aming pang gamit, ngunit ngayon ay tila ito na ang tubig na ipinambubuhos nila. Mas naging matindi pa ang ganitong pangyayari nang may imbitahan silang Amerikano upang bumisita sa bahay. Kailangan daw talaga na may tisyu sa banyo dahil para sakanila ay inaasaahan na nilang pangkaraniwan nalamang ito. Itinuturing na kabastusan ito para sakanila kung ang isang palikuran ay walang nakahandang tisyu. Samantalang kung tayo ang pupunta doon, malamang sa hindi nila maisip na iba ang ginagamit natin sa ginagamit nila. Isang nakatutuwang halimbawa dito ay ang pag tataka daw ng mga Amerikano kung bakit may timba ang mga Pilipino sa kanilang banyo.
Maaaring marami na saatin dito sa syudad ang nakasanayan nang may tisyu sa banyo, ngunit saaking pag oobserba sa maraming pangkaraniwang Pilipino sa probinsya, ito ay hindi madalas na makikita. Tabo lamang at timba ng tubig ang naroroon at iyon ay sapat na. Bukod dito, marami parin ang mas gusto na ipanlinis ang tubig kaysa tisyu lamang dito sa Pilipinas sapagkat ito ay mas praktikal. May ilang tao din ang kahit na lumipat na sa mga bansa sa kanluran ay dala dala parin ang kulturang kanilang nakasanayan. Maaaring nahahaluan ito ngunit hindi parin daw nila maialis.
Kung kalinisan naman ang pag-uusapan, natitiyak kong mas malinis ang pag-gamit ng tubig. Ayon sa isang guro na nakausap ko tungkol dito, maaaring sinasabi ng mga nasa kanluran na mas malinis ang kanilang pamamaraan kaysa satin dahil maging sa konsepto ng kalinisan ay may iba iba tayong pananaw. Kung kukuhanin ko ang mga pangungusap ng aking guro, ayon sakanya, “para sa kanila (taga kanluran) ang malinis ay ang hindi pag hawak sa marumi samantalang para satin naman, ang malinis ay ang pag huhugas dito ng husto kung saan tayo ay gumagamit ng sabon at tubig.” Kumausap din ako ng isang manggagamot tungkol dito, maaaring may bayas ito dahil siya man ay isang Pilipino, ngunit sinabi nya na mas malinis parin talaga ang pag gamit ng tubig kaysa tisyu lang. Una, sinasabing mas mainam gamitin ang tubig sa mga sensitibong balat tulad nang sa mga matatanda sapagkat maaaring hindi maging maganda ang tisyu sakanilang karamdaman, ang tubig ay mas banayad sa balat; ikalawa, ang maling pag-gamit ng tisyu ay maaring maging dahilan ng impekyon lalo na sa mga babae, halimbawa kung mali ang direkson ng pag punas; at ikatlo, sinasabi din na may mga tisyu ang hindi ligtas gamitin sapagkat ang ilan dito ay mababa ang kalidad.
Hindi lamang pang-kulturang usapin ang pag gamit ng tubig o tisyu sa gawaing pang palikuran, tumatalakay din ito sa pang ekonomiyang estado ng isang lugar at usaping pang kalikasan. Sa usaping pang ekonomiya, kung mapapansin natin, ang mga bansang gumagamit ng tisyu ay yoong mga bansang itinuring na pinakamayayaman sa mundo (Amerika at Europa). Maaaring dahil sa mabilis na takbo ng kanilang buhay, kinakailangan din nila ng mga mabibilis na pamamaraan sa mga bagay na kailangan nilang gawin. Ang tisyu ay mas mabilis gamitin kaysa sa tubig. Maaari rin na ang dahilan nito ay ang mas lalo pang pag papauunlad ng kanilang ekonomiya. Ang industriya ng tisyu ay nakadaragdag sa gawaing pang ekonomiya ng isang bansa sapagkat ito ay tila isang pangunahing pangangailangan narin para sakanila. Kapansin pansin na isinasabay na nila ito sa pamimili nila ng pagkain. Samantalang dito sa Pilipinas, iilan lamang ang kayang isabay sa bawat pamimili ang tisyu. Mas mainam pang unahin nalamang ang pagkain kaysa dito. Bukod dito, iba rin ang sistema ng tubo ng palikuran natin dito sa Pilipinas, hindi nito kayang palubugin ang mga bagay na tulad ng tisyu ng hindi ito nag babara. Samantalang sa mga bansa sa kanluran, ang kanilang mga palikuran ay sadyang dinisenyo para dito.
Kasama rin sa kumukundina sa pag gamit ng tisyu ang mga taong maka kalikasan. Ang tisyu ay gawa sa puno, ibig sabihin, maraming puno ang nawawala para sa pag gawa nito. Isa pa, kahit na ang mga material na ginamit dito ay mga nabubulok na bagay, nakadaragdag parin ito sa patuloy na pag dami ng basura sa mundo. Kung ikukumpara sa tubig, ang tisyu ay nananatili ng mas matagal bago mawala sa kapaligiran. Hindi rin ito bumabalik tulad ng tubig sapagkat kailangan pa itong dumaan sa maraming proseso na tao ang gumagawa bago maging tisyu.
Ilan lamang sa marami pang puntos ang inilahad sa itaas ukol sa kung bakit mas maganda parin gamitin ang tubig. Ngunit imbes na tumungo sa pag gamit nalamang ng tubig, lalo pang lumalago ang kultura ng pag gamit ng tisyu. Sa mga Pilipino, hindi man tuluyan pang nababago ang pamamaraan natin ukol dito, ang pag gamit ng tisyu ay unti unti nang ipinapasok at itinatanim saatin. Maaring hindi natin napapansin sapagkat tayo ay gumagamit parin ng tubig at ginagamit lamang ito ng marami upang pantuyo. Ngunit sa panahon ngayon, ang mga kababaihan ay inaasang palaging may dalang tisyu. Tila sumisimbulo ito na malinis ang isang babae kung may dalang tisyu dahil kahit saan pumunta ay kakailanganin nya ito. Mula sa paglilinis ng mukha, pampunas ng maruruming bagay at pag punta sa palikuran.
Sa pagpapatuloy ng ganitong kulturang maka kanluran, hindi malayong darating ang araw na mas piliin nating gumamit ng tisyu nalamang lalo na kung ito ay gawing mas abot kaya kaysa sa tubig. Sa patuloy na lumalawak na pamamaraan ng pakikipag kalakal at sa patuloy na pag gawa ng paraan upang mabili ang mga produktong ito, maaaring aakapin din natin ang kulturang hindi naman atin. Muli nanamang matatakpan ang kultura natin ng mga kulturang dayuhan na siyang inaakala nating maganda at maunlad.
Ang papel na ito ay nag lalayong patingkarin ang ganda at kahusayan ng ating sariling kultura. Maaaring mababaw lamang kumpara sa marami pang ibang bagay na bumubuo at humuhubog saatin. Ngunit sa mga ganito kasimpleng bagay makikita kung paano natin pinababayaang matakpan ang kulturang dapat naman ay siyang binibigyang pansin. Bakit ba napakadaling maging universal knowledge ng mga kaalamang galing sa kanluran? Bakit kung nang gagaling saatin ang isang kultura ay napaka hirap para sakanila na sumunod dito? Kailangan ba na tayo ang palaging susunod sakanilang mga pamamaraan? Madalas nilang sabihin na mas mahusay kasi ang kanilang mga pamamaraan at walang ibang magaling kung hindi sila lamang. Sila din daw ang naka tuklas ng maraming kapaki pakinabang na bagay at kaalaman dito s mundo. Itinuturing lamang nila na laos o makaluma ang ating mga pamamaraan sapagkat ang mga pamamaraan nila ang pinaka makabago sa lahat. Sa pag gamit ng tisyu o tubig, kitang kita naman na mas mahusay ang tubig ngunit hanggang ngayon ito ay hindi parin nagiging kaalamang pang lahat.
Dr. Laila Macalalag. University Doctor, University of the Philippines Baguio.
Prof. Lelet San Luis. Teacher of Sociology, University of the Philippines Baguio
Merlita Visita. American Citizen
Corry Castro. Canadian Citizen
Cultural Critique of Christmas
by: Vida Karna C. Dejos
Christmas is widely known or universally believed to be the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. This paper presents a cultural critique on that premise. When is the real birth of Jesus Christ? Is December 25 his exact birth date? These are the questions that this paper focuses on. It tries to unveil the truth behind the notion that Christmas is the day of the birth of Christ.
“Christmas is based on the story of Jesus’ birth as described in the Gospel according to Matthew 1:18-2:12 and the Gospel according to Luke 1:26-56. Roman Catholics first celebrated Christmas, then known as the Feast of the Nativity, as early as 336 ad. The word Christmas entered the English language sometime around 1050 as the Old English phrase Christes maesse, meaning “festival of Christ.” Scholars believe the frequently used shortened form of Christmas—Xmas—may have come into use in the 13th century. The X stands for the Greek letter chi, an abbreviation of Khristos (Christ), and also represents the cross on which Jesus was crucified (Microsoft Encarta 2007).” Indeed Christmas is an annual celebration commemorating the birth of Christ. It is celebrated mostly on December 25. Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas on this day while others celebrate it on the evening of December 24. “Some Orthodox Christians in Russia, Ukraine, the Holy Land (the historic region of Palestine), and elsewhere celebrate Christmas on January 7 because they follow the Julian calendar. Members of the Armenian Church observe Christmas on January 6, following the unique custom of celebrating both the birth and baptism of Christ on the same day. (Ibid)”.
If we are to know the account of the birth of Christ, the bible is the best tool or means to enlighten us and give details. According to Microsoft Encarta, Holy Bible is the sacred book or Scriptures of Judaism and of Christianity. Moreover, “The term Bible is derived through Latin from the Greek biblia, or “books,” the diminutive form of byblos, the word for “papyrus” or “paper,” which was exported from the ancient Phoenician port city of Biblos. By the time of the Middle Ages the books of the Bible were considered a unified entity. (Ibid)”.
The Bible has no account on the exact date of the birth of Christ. As a matter of fact there was no verse that tells the day when he is born. This is my first point of view and argument to this paper. According to Seiglie, “Neither the Bible nor the early Church fathers mentioned the date of Jesus' birth, although they did provide details of the circumstances surrounding His birth. If the ancients had known when Christ was born, we would expect to find ample evidence of the celebration in early writings. Yet, in the first 200 years of Christian history, no mention is made of the calendar date of His birth. Not until the year 336 do we find the first mention of a celebration of Christ's birth.” During the three centuries after Christ’s life on Earth, the church fathers considered the birth of Christ as insignificant. The event they considered most worthy of commemoration was the date of his death (Seigle). Another, the article entitled Christ’s Birth also mentioned that we really do not know when Christ was born. Furthermore, it is stated that neither the year, nor the month, nor the day and nor the time of the day is unknown.
Second, the details of the circumstances surrounding Christ’s birth are significant in understanding the connection of Christmas as celebrated annually on December 25 to the birth of Christ. The shepherds of Bethlehem and laid in a manger are those of the details in his birth that most analyst find it as a proof that will contradict the December 25 date of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Starting with the shepherds of Bethlehe”, according to Luke 2: 8: "And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night." If December 25 is the real and exact date of the birth of Christ then it would probably be cold since it is a winter season. The shepherds in Bethlehem could not have stayed all night watching their flocks in that kind of weather. Bethlehem is indeed experiencing a wintry weather during December because “Israeli meteorologists tracked December weather patterns for many years and concluded that the climate in Israel has been essentially constant for at least the last 2,000 years. (Seiglie).” Moreover, Seiglie also acknowledged the statement from The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible that says “broadly speaking, weather phenomena and climatic conditions as pictured in the Bible correspond with conditions as observed today.” As a proof of the weather conditions there, “The temperature in the area of Bethlehem in December averages around 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) but can drop to well below freezing, especially at night. Snow is common for two or three days in Jerusalem and nearby Bethlehem in December and January. These were the winter months of increased precipitation in Christ's time, when the roads became practically unusable and people stayed mostly indoors (Seiglie).”
Another, According to the article entitled Christ’s Birth, “Luke is also the one to inform us that the shepherds were still overnight in the fields around Bethlehem. It was not the custom for shepherds to keep the flocks out in the fields in the dead of winter. It would be very cold in the Judean hills in December and the shepherds did not abide in the fields by night that late in the season. In fact late fall was the rainy season in Palestine and the shepherds brought the flocks in from the fields before the beginning of the heavy fall rains. The rainy season generally started sometime from mid to late October.” Same thing with Best, he said that “If shepherds near Bethlehem were watching their flocks at night during the birth of Jesus, then the birth would not have been in a winter month like December.” More surprisingly, “A common practice of shepherds was keeping their flocks in the field from April to October, but in the cold and rainy winter months they took their flocks back home and sheltered them (Seiglie).” This is of the same idea that the article entitled All about Christmas raised. According to the article, “In Palestine - as in the rest of the Middle East at the time - shepherds stayed with their flocks in the fields only from Spring to Autumn. They brought their sheep in during the winter to protect them from the cold and rain. It is thus unlikely that the shepherds went to Bethlehem in December.” This is facts presented are considered important evidences to disprove a December date of Christ’s birth.
Next, laid in a manger is also an important detail in the account of the birth of Christ. This is in relation with the arguments presented above. It also has something to do with the weather conditions in Bethlehem during December, if it is really the month date of the birth of Christ. The article entitled Christ’s Birth, again disapproves that December is his birth month. “It is also difficult to imagine Mary putting the baby Jesus in a manger if the temperatures reflected the cold of a winter night in the Judean hills. She would surely have kept him in her bosom and warmed him with her body warmth. However, in late September or early October it could have been quite comfortable and been a reasonable expedient in light of the circumstances (Christ’s Birth).”
The third argument is of the birth of John the Baptist. This is also considered as evidence to disproof Christ’s Birth as falling on December 25. According to Luke 1:35-36: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.” This is what the angel said to Mary just before she miraculously conceived Jesus. The important part of this passage is that of the sixth month. That is significant because it tells us that Jesus is six months younger than John.
“The Bible mentions that Elizabeth conceived shortly after her husband, the priest Zacharias, had finished serving his course at the temple, called "the division of Abijah" (Luke 1:5, 8). This was six months before Mary became pregnant with Jesus. Back in King David's day, the priestly course had been separated into 24 turns, or divisions (1 Chronicles 24:7-19). These began in the first month (1 Chronicles 27:2), March or April of our modern calendar, and, according to Talmudic and Qumran sources, rotated every week until they reached the end of the sixth month, when the cycle was repeated (beginning in September-October) until the end of the year. During the festival season, all the priests would come to the temple to serve. Luke shows us that Zacharias's service was not during a feast season, since it was the division of Abijah that was in charge of the temple, and Zacharias was chosen to present the incense offering. The division of Abijah was the eighth division, or shift, which normally would take place close to three months after the start of the cycle in March-April. This would place Elizabeth's conception around June or, if it was Zacharias's second yearly turned, around December. The Bible does not specify which of the two shifts it was. Regardless, nine months after one of the two dates John the Baptist was born. This would place his birth in March or September. Six months later, Jesus' birth would have been around September or the following March. Whichever way it occurred, according to the time of the division of Abijah, a December birth for Christ is out of the question (Seiglie).”
Samething with Deschesne, “Using Zacharias’ ministry, Elizabeth’s pregnancy term and Mary’s visit at the start of her sixth month, this shows the conception of Christ in the first part of the last week of December and His birth occurring on or around September 29, 2.B.C. - which was also known as Rosh Hashanah - the 1st day of the Hebrew civil New Year - not December 25 as is commonly celebrated today.”
With these facts presented, it is now clear that the celebration of Christmas as to be in December 25 has no substantive basis. But the question now is that how did it originated and popularized? To answer this question we must therefore look at its history.
“Historians are unsure exactly when Christians first began celebrating the Nativity of Christ. However, most scholars believe that Christmas originated in the 4th century as a Christian substitute for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Before the introduction of Christmas, each year beginning on December 17 Romans honored Saturn, the ancient god of agriculture, in a festival called Saturnalia. This festival lasted for seven days and included the winter solstice, which usually occurred around December 25 on the ancient Julian calendar. During Saturnalia the Romans feasted, postponed all business and warfare, exchanged gifts, and temporarily freed their slaves (Microsoft Encarta 2007).”
Deschesne also believed that the festival on December 25 which we are celebrating year after year was in existence long centuries before Jesus was born. Like what the Microsoft Encarta revealed, he said that it was a pagan festival and that most of our customs during Christmas are of pagan origin like the Christmas tree. Christmas trees are common in pagan Egypt and Rome. Moreover, he said that Christmas was actually the old Babylonian Feast of Bacchus or the drunken festival. And in Rome, the Feast of Saturn is celebrated during December 25. It was derived from the Babylonian Feast so it was also a feast of unrestricted drunkenness.
According to Best, “It was the 6th century monk Dionysius Exiguus who created the B.C./A.D. system of dating based on the birth date of Christ. His calculations were not very good. Dionysius had Christ born on December 25, 1 B.C., seven days before January 1, 1 A.D. (no year zero).” This is also true on the article entitled All about Christmas. On the article it was said that “In the 6th Century, the Roman monk-mathematician-astronomer named Dionysis Exeguus (Dionysis the Little) reformed the calendar to pivot around the birth of Christ. He dated the Nativity 753 years from the founding of Rome, calculated to the date King Herod died. But Dionysis miscalculated, because Herod died only 749 years after the founding of Rome, thus 4BC. Herod, who ordered all the babies in Bethlehem younger than 2 years killed, was, of course, alive when the Magi visited the baby Jesus. So we know that Jesus was born in or before 4BC, as astronomers point out when referring to the Star of Bethlehem.”
How did it popularized? According to Seiglie, “In Rome December 25 was made popular by Pope Liberius in 354 and became the rule in the West in 435 when the first "Christ mass" was officiated by Pope Sixtus III. This coincided with the date of a celebration by the Romans to their primary god, the Sun, and to Mithras, a popular Persian sun god supposedly born on the same day. The Roman Catholic writer Mario Righetti candidly admits that, "to facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, the Church of Rome found it convenient to institute the 25th of December as the feast of the birth of Christ to divert them from the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honor of the 'Invincible Sun' Mithras, the conqueror of darkness" (Manual of Liturgical History, 1955, Vol. 2, p. 67).”
To end, Christmas is truly a universal knowledge because people around the world are celebrating it as the birth of Christ year after year. This proves that it is widely accepted. But the truth behind it is quite intriguing. That is why a cultural critique is done about it or concerning it.
And as a conclusion, we have revealed that there were no accounts on the bible that tells exactly the date of Jesus Christ. It does not say that He was born on December 25. There were no actually no dates regarding his birth day. There were on details of the circumstances mentioned on his birth. And these details are considered proof that it does not fall on December because of the discrepancies on the weather conditions. Practically, December in Bethlehem is experiencing winter so it is very cold out there contradicting the birth accounted on the bible that Christ was born on a not snowy weather. Another conclusion is that the date December 25 was actually invented by some people in history. It was not written in the Bible that it was the day when Jesus was born neither the celebration of it was not mentioned in early history. What was actually celebrated during December 25 was a pagan festival, not the birth of Christ. And these facts made this cultural critique possible.
All about Christmas. On what date was Jesus born? Available at http://www.didyouknow.cd/xmas/Jesus.htm. Accessed on June 27, 2008.
Best, Ben. The History of Christmas
CHRIST’S BIRTH. When Was Christ Born?
Deschesne, David. Part 3: Elizabeth and Mary of Christ’s Real Birth Date Is Not December 25. FORT FAIRFIELD JOURNAL (Real. Educational. News.) December 5, 2007, p. 9 December 19, 2007, p. 9
Microsoft Encarta 2007. 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation.
Seiglie, Mario. When was Jesus Christ Born? The Good News Magazine: Magazine of Understanding. Available at http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn08/whenwaschristborn.htm. Accessed on June 27, 2008
Ang Masuring Pag-Aanalisa ng Kulturang Kaalamanan ng Kagandahan
ni: Annalee Quiliza
Lahat tayo ay mayroong kanya-kanyang konsepto ng kagandahan. Ayon nga sa sikat na kasabihan, na ang kagandahan ay depende sa tumitingin. Ngunit paano nga ba natin titignan ang isang magandang bagay? Ano ang ating basehan upang matawag na maganda ang isang bagay?
Ang ating kapaligiran o ang nakikita natin ay may malaking epekto kung paano natin tignan ang mga bagay. Noong bata pa ako madalas akong kinukwentuhan ng aking mga magulang. Doon ko unang nakilala sila Snow White, Cinderella, Belle at iba pang tauhan sa tinatawag nilang Fairy Tales. Sa mga kwento ng aking ina at maging sa mga palabas sa telebisyon, nahubog ang aking pag-iisip patungkol sa klase ng buhay at sa mga pinapakita ng mga tauhan. Kung ating titignan sa mga fairy tales ang mabait ang nagwawagi. Sila ang mga inaapi sa umpisa dahil sa mabait nilang katangian ngunit hindi rin nalalayo na sila ay kainggitan dahil sa kanilang kagandahan. Sila ay mga guhit lamang, ngunit kung paano sila inilarawan, makikita natin kung ano ang kaanyuan ng maganda mula sa paglalarawan na iyon. Maging sa sikat na laruang pambabae na si Barbie. Kung titignan, si Barbie ay ang pinakamagandang manika sa lahat. Kaya ang mga batang babae ay kaagad nagpapabili nito. Ano nga ba ang kanilang nakita kay Barbie? Si Barbie ay may mahabang buhok na makinis ang kutis at maputi. Kung si Barbie na ang maganda sa mata ng karamihan, paano na ang iba na may kabaliktaran na katangian kay Barbie? Si Barbie at ang mga tauhan sa Fairy tales ay nanggaling sa kanluran. At dahil sa impluwensya ng kanluran pati ang sarili nating pagtingin sa kung sino ang maganda ay naimpluwensiyahan na rin. Nung bata rin ako, ang mga kwentong Pilipino o sariling atin na napapanood at napapakinggan ko ay mga kwento patungkol sa kagandahang asal, tulad ng kwento ng mag-inang gamu-gamo, ang kwento ng kuneho at pagong, pagong at matsing at marami pang iba na mga hayop ang tauhan. Kaunti lamang ang kwento na tao ang pangunahing tauhan. Kung meron man hindi sila nakatuon sa kaanyuan ng tauhan kundi sa katangiang panloob nito. Tulad na lamang ng kwento ng bata na naging pinya dahil sa pagsuway sa kanyang ina, impeng negro at iba pa na nakatuon sa katangian ng mga tauhan.
Sa panahon ngayon mas alam na ng mga bata ang kwento nila Snow White, Belle, Cinderella, Barbie at iba pa kayse sa ating sariling kwento. At dahil sa ganoong kaisipan pati ang pagtingin o perspektibo ay nag-iba na rin mas naging kanluranin na mas tumitingin sa panlabas bago ang panloob na kaanyuan. Sa kasalukuyang panahon magandang halimbawa ay ang mga patalastas sa telebisyon. Madalas ipinapakita na ang may unat na mahabang buhok at ang may maputi at makinis na kutis ang nagiging basehan natin ng kagandahan. Ngunit likas nga bang mapuputi ang mga Pilipino? Unat na unat nga ba ang buhok ng Pilipino? Natatandaan ko sa Kasaysayan ng Pilipinas ang kaanyuan ng mga Pilipino ay likas na kayumanggi at ang kanilang mga buhok ay hindi ganoon tinitigan. Nasasalamin sa mga kwentong sinulat n gating batikan na manunulat kung ano talaga ang mas mahalaga at ang binibigyan ng pagpapahalaga at ito ang kagandahang asal.
Sa ngayon, natabunan na ang ganitong kaisipan. Mas mahalaga na ang panlabas na anyo kaysa sa panloob. Mabilis nating hinuhusgahan ang mga tao base sa kanilang panlabas na kaanyuan. Sa labas tayo tumitingin hindi sa magagandang katangian mayroon ang tao. Sa ngayon, halos pawala na ang ganoong kaisipan, natatabunan na ng kaisipang dala ng mga taga Kanluran na sumakop sa atin. Maganda ka kung papasa ka sa kagandahang batayan ng kanluran. Hindi na mahalaga kung maganda ang asal o ugali ng isang tao basta maganda ka sa panlabas maganda na rin nag tingin sa iyong kalooban. Nakalungkot isipin na sa panlabas na ang konsepto ng kagandahan at nawala na an gating konsepto ng kagandahan. Sana tayong naabutan pa ang pahapyaw ang konseptong pinapahalagahan at tumitingin sa panloob ang pag-uugali at asal ay magawang baguhin ang pananaw na ipinakita sa atin ng taga Kanluran. Mas bigyan natin ng pagpapahalaga ang panloob na kagandahan kaysa sa panlabas.
Cultural Critique on Meritocracy in the Educational System
by: Kristia Angela B. Marcelo
Meritocracy is the system dealing with giving opportunities or privileges to people on the basis of their “individual merits” (www.sociology.org.uk/tece1n1.htm). Lawson and Garrod adds to this that the allocation of these opportunities and privileges is justly done rather than biased, for example on the basis of “ascriptive factors” (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200511/college-and-meritocracy). In the educational system, meritocracy is a policy enforced for the admission and provision of degree for students based on their achievement regardless their socio-economic status (www.theatlantic.com/doc/200511/college-and-meritocracy). The meritocracy in education may be inferred to have started in the West where capitalism, individualism, and free competition originated. In light to education, meritocracy started as formalization of education was established. Formal education, and thus meritocracy, is brought to all over the world by the Westerners.
The aim of meritocracy is to provide equal opportunity for education to all who aspires to have educational attainment and a college degree, for that matter. Meritocracy was said to be a fair, non-biased, and, objective means of choosing who deserves best quality education. As formal education has spread to every corner of the globe, meritocracy has also been a globally accepted policy for universities. Why the importance of education to our lives? This is because, in our modern lives, to have a college degree is to ensure a golden ticket for a good life in the future (www.theatlantic.com/doc/200511/college-and-meritocracy).
I think meritocracy in itself is not actually problematic. However, as time passed by, as modernization transformed our lives, and as education put people in the pedestal, meritocracy has become quite skewed as educational system has itself become skewed. How did this happen?
First, let us consider the factors brought about by the modernizing world. When we say modernization, we mean not only a small-scale kind of transformation but a massive world transformation we call globalization. The global transformation is not making life easy for all nations. For a nation like ours, the demands to be able to keep up with globalization are costing us much. Competition is in the way because society demands only for the best of the best. So the same is true not only to a student who undergoes the merit system but also the universities who compete with each other. When modernization floods in, we started to believe that the best way to live is to go with the flow. We started to measure quality education with how modern our facilities and how well-paying our instructors are. To be able to achieve this, an increase in the cost of education has to be done by universities who aspire to give “quality education”. Students patronize these quality and “quantity” schools, and so the system of increasing the cost of education goes on.
Secondly, as universities then offer higher cost of education, the equal opportunity for education is actually equal no more. Even at the basis of merit, if an achiever cannot afford the cost of education, he/she cannot have quality education and resorts to good enough schooling. Even if the governments subsidize those who are really achievers but could not afford the cost of education, the problem is the subsidy is not enough and that even our state universities have increased their fees. Well in the part of the university, Douthat (www.theatlantic.com/doc/200511/college-and-meritocracy) mentions that “not only is admitting too many low-income students expensive, but it can be bad for the school’s ranking and prestige”. Education and the merit system no longer exist as the play of individual achievement but is now a play not only of wealth but also of prestige and power. In the end, only those who are both achievers and are in the higher status of the socio-economic ladder can have the quality of education we all aspired as our golden ticket. Moreover, the rich possesses the influence over the prestige and welfare of our educational institutions.
This global system of education has not occurred only recently but has started in the 1980s and continues until today (www.theatlantic.com/doc/200511/college-and-meritocracy). Today, I see that we begin to conceive that merits and quality education are achieved only by the wealthy and famous as the result of years of lenience of the educational system to the rich. As years passed, those who could have social achievements are those who could afford the cost of quality education and thus who are rich. Michel Young, who coined the term meritocracy feared “that the meritocracy would become hereditary” as he pertained to the advantage of the wealthy in having proper education over the less fortunate and the passing on of wealth to the family. The capability to achieve and survive in the merit system is now tied to being wealthy as the rich almost monopolize the field of quality education.
Why do I raise these issues? What do these things mean to us? Imagine farther in the future when all who have had education and the successes of life are only those who are rich. We go back to an elitist society where the lower class people suffer from the loss of opportunity to study and make their lives better. Meritocracy as we know today is no longer a fair, non-biased, and just means for providing what we deserve, for it can only give way to the wealthy. Meritocracy in the educational system no longer provides for us equal opportunity to have quality education and ensure a successful life in the future. It promotes selective and elitist society where the gaps in the stratification of intellect are increasing more and more (www.theatlantic.com/doc/200511/college-and-meritocracy). It further promotes inequality among the people and denies the poor of the equal privilege with the rich.
I can say that this problem is more of a social one than a cultural one. This problem is in all less fortunate nations like ours, surpassing every culture that each nation has. If we are to try remedy this problem, I think that we can start in the government by allocating a bigger fund subsidizing achievers who could not afford the fees of universities or also, by ensuring that our government schools could put up with the quality education that prestigious schools all over the world offer. This way, everyone can afford to secure quality education and life, and can truly have the free competition of wits and intellect.
Douthat, Ross. “Does Meritocracy Work?”http://www.theatlantic.com. Accessed on June 28, 2008, 2:13 PM.
“Meritocracy” http://www.sociology.org.uk. Accesed on June 28, 2008, 2:20 PM.
A Cultural Critique on Fairness as a Standard of Beauty
by: Mary Nhol C. Lustanas
Despite the worsening economic status of our country, medical clinics and beauty salon continue to multiply like mushrooms. Almost everyday, a new beauty product was launched in the market, from cosmetic to medicine. Surprisingly, despite the unending crisis that Juan dela Cruz is going through, many Filipinos’ never forget the concept of beauty and patronize such products of the industry. They never forget to pamper themselves even if it costs quite much for as long as their physical appearance is at its best.
Beauty is an asset which not everybody was born with. Accordingly, blessed are those given with such an investment for some desire so much of such to the extent that they are willing to spend hundreds of thousand, even millions, just for plastic surgery, liposuction, and other easier method for body enhancement. They viewed it as a measure of self-worth: the more beautiful you are the more valuable you perceived yourself to be. Thus, it goes without saying that one is confident when he or she is beautiful.
In modern times, beauty is primarily attributed to ones skin color: the fairer your skin is, the more beautiful they say you are. For this reason, there is this Bleaching Syndrome not only in the Philippines but in most parts of the world. Almost everyone avoid to be exposed in the sun. And almost all brands of soap and lotion contain pappein and/or sun protection (SPF). But in accordance with this, the dark skinned also faces discrimination from the light ones. Where can we attribute such ideology and why is it widespread?
The ideology of fairness as a standard of beauty arises from cultural imperialism. Spanish colonization and US occupation in the Philippines have brought alienation of native ideals and ideologies. Maria Clara, the Filipina mestiza, represents the ideally beautiful woman. According to Ronald Hall in his book entitled The Filipina Eurogamy, upon the arrival of these colonizers, the status of a Filipino was “valued commensurate to the quantity of Western blood that ran through his veins” (Hall 2001: 53). Accordingly, Spanish ancestry “would vary the color of the skin making it increasingly lighter” and the association between value and skin color imposed discrimination of the dark-skinned Filipino (ibid). Margaret Mead’s concept of the ‘generalized others’ justify the internalization that people practice, reflecting and “taking on the attitude of the dominant” which the Western societies being the first world countries regard themselves to be (ibid).
The Western concept of beauty is further perpetuated through the introduction of education and media. The image of the Caucasian woman as a liberal and superior woman adds to our idea that Whites are beautiful. Media, as a social institution, prolong the ideals of the Western societies. A quick survey on all the commercials in the television and advertisements in newspaper would make us believed that a woman’s destiny depends upon the color of her skin. After seven days of using a fairness cream, a woman was again notice by her husband. A dark complexioned woman was immediately promoted in her job after she used a whitening lotion. And what characteristics does the promising actors and actresses dominating in the big screen has in common?... Most of them have fair complexion.
On a thesis entitled The Filipino Female Adolescents’ Beliefs and Consumption Behavior towards Skin Whitening Products presented by Maria Victoria Bisana and Ann Lovelle Prepose, self concept was recognized as a factor affecting consumers’ behavior. According to a study (conducted among UPB students), satisfaction with current complexion prohibited buying whitening products. Thus, this merely imply that those who buy such were not satisfied with their skin color and perceive it as a problem that need to be solved. Hawkins said that consumers do not buy products. Instead, they buy romance, sex appeal, confidence, sophistication and a host of other emotional and psychological benefits (2001). In addition, those who can afford yet choose not to use whitening products weren’t unfamiliar or unconscious with fairness as a standard of beauty. It’s just that they are probably satisfied with themselves.
Due to our preoccupation with bleaching, we failed to realize the truth despite the Western society’s criticisms over the dark skinned as explained by Ronald Hall:
“Skin color denigration and idealization in the West is unlikely the result of exaggerated ethnocentricity because the roots ran much deeper and more firmly entrenched in the Western psyche (Kovel 1984). ‘At least three quarters of the world population is non-white or dark skinned’ (Welsing 1970). This fosters in white Westerners a psychological need for wholeness and belongingness to the world community. Their immediate reaction is to denigrate themselves for the lack of something which people of color have but who under later colonization has come to denigrate as well. The psychological scenario is that Westerners desiring skin color but being unable to achieve this end on their own said, in effect, consciously or unconsciously, that dark skin was disgusting to them and began attributing negative qualities to color especially to the extent of darkest skin color. Anyone who questions this desire on the part of the Westerners to have color in their skin need only notice of the reaction to the first hint of warm weather as they shed their clothing and head to the nearest beach or tanning parlor. Most Westerner cannot make the cognitive connection between this behavior and their feelings of color inadequacy” (Hall 2001: 15).
Among the said most beautiful people in the world, the dark-skinned Greeks and the ancient Egyptians, skin color is of no big importance. There is a little if any significant difference whether one is dark skinned or light skinned as expressed by their art. Some of the earlier well-known Westerners also publicly expressed their opinions about dark complexioned individuals:
“Herodotus, the first known among the Westerners to express an opinion about the physical appearance of the Africans described them as the most handsome of all men’ (Snowden 1983). Others put their feeling about dark skin into poetry. Such was true of Philodemus. In reference to a certain Philaenion --- short, black, with hair more curled than parsley and skin tender than down --- he concludes: ‘May I love such a Philaenion, golden Cypris, until I find another more perfect’ (ibid). Still, another named Aeclepiades praises the beauty of the dark skinned Didyme. The poem continues: ‘Gazing at her beauty I melt like wax before the fire. And if she is black, what difference to me? So are coals when we light them, they shine like rosebuds’ (ibid). Another names Theocritus contends that those who refer to his Bombyca as sunburned should know that to him she is ‘honey-brown and charming’ and adds that ‘violets and hyacinths are dark but are the first flowers chosen for nosegays’ (ibid)” (Hall 2001: 13-14).
If people were going to look at the health side of the issue, having a dark skin is better than having a white skin. The darker the skin of a person, the more melanin is present on her skin. Melanin is a hormone that protects the skin from the harmful rays of the sun, thus, avoiding skin cancer and other skin diseases.
I agree with the famous line of Anatole France, “There is no fairer, richer, more beautiful fabric than the skin of a pretty woman”. However, I believe that when she said so, she wasn’t saying that dark is disgusting. I believe that a woman is beautiful regardless of her skin color for as long as her skin is tender and smooth or as long as she has a pretty face. Beauty in a concrete definition has something to do with the symmetry, youthfulness, averageness, and health. Just look at Haley Berry or Salma Hayek, some of the favorite dark skinned Hollywood leading ladies. Should we say that they are not beautiful because of their complexion? If we believe that the idea of fairness as a standard for beauty is legitimate and universal, then, why are they voted among the most gorgeous actresses today?
When we look at skin color as a basis for beauty, we are as if merely looking at the gift’s wrapping rather than the gift itself. And you must believe me that the most beautiful and expensive gifts are not even wrapped for they look at their best just the way they are.
Bisana, Maria Victoria M. & Prepose, Ann Lovelle B. (2006). The Filipinop Female Adolescents’ beliefs and Consumption Behavior Towards Skin Whitening Products: The Case of UP Baguio students. Thesis.
Hall, Ronald E. (2001). The Filipina Eurogamy: Skin Color as a Vehicle of Psychological Colonization. Quezon City: Giraffe Books.
Hawkins, Del I. (2001). Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy, 8th Ed. Boston: McGraw Hill Company.
Cultural Critique on Birthday Celebrations
by: Shamae Geron
In some places, the day of one’s birth, especially that of a child, is celebrated with a party and the giving of gifts. Most people celebrate their birthdays. Whatever their social and economic status in life, they try to set aside some budget if their birthdays is nearly approaching. Most people view their birthdays as an important occasion they must celebrate, that is why they try to make some “handa” or parties. In fact I heard some people saying that if they will not prepare some “handa” on their birthdays, they may get sick or something bad will happen to them. In most places all over the world, prominent people, religious persons, and even the ordinary people really celebrate their birthdays. It seems then that birthday celebration is something universal because most people do it all the way although different cultures celebrate in their different ways.
Birthday celebrations are an ancient Europe tradition. Actually the Bible makes only two references to birthday celebrations. First was Pharaoh’s birthday which can be found in the account of Genesis 40:20-22: “Now on the third day, it turned out to be Pharaoh’s birthday, and he proceeded to make a feast for all his servants and to lift up the head of the chief of the cupbearers and the head of the bakers in the midst of his servants. Accordingly, he returned the chief of the cupbearers to his post of cupbearer, and he continued to give cup into Pharaoh’s hand. But the chief of the bakers he hung up.” The other account was recorded in Matthew 14: 6-10: “But when Herod’s birthday was being celebrated the daughter of Herodias danced at it and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Then she, under her mother coaching, said: “Give me here upon a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Grieved though he was, the king out of regard for his oaths and for those reclining with him commanded it to be given; and he sent and had John beheaded in the prison.” (New World Translation of the Scriptures, 1984: 49, 963)
Early Christians and Jews also celebrate their birthdays which they also call birthday festivals. According to the Imperial Bible Dictionary edited by Patrick Fairbairn (1874), the late Hebrews looked on the celebration of birthdays as idolatrous worship. (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985:69). Nowadays, different people in different places may also have this common view on birthday celebrations.
Moreover, the various customs with which people today celebrate their birthdays, have a long history. In fact, the epistemological and ontological presuppositions lie in the realm of magic and religion. Thousand of years ago birthday were considered a time when the bad spirits as opposed to the good spirits were able to harm you as this day changed the person’s life. It was believed that the only way to keep the bad spirits at bay was to have your friends and family around you so that their good wishes and present giving would keep them at bay (http://www.birthdaycelebrations.net/howbirthdayscameabout.htm)
In addition, the custom offering congratulations, presenting gifts and celebrating-complete with lighted candles-in ancient times were meant to protect the birthday celebrant from the demons and to ensure his or her security for the coming year. The Greeks also believed that everyone had a protective spirit or a daemon who attended his birth and watched over him in life. The spirit had a mystic relation with the God and whose birthday in the individual was born. The Roman also subscribed the idea. This notion was also carried down in human belief and is reflected in the guardian angel, the fairy godmother and the patron saint. (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985:69) Also noisemakers are thought to be used at parties as a way of scaring away the evil spirits.
What about the custom of lighting candles on the cakes during birthday celebrations? Again, this custom started with the Greeks. Honey cakes round as the moon and lit with tapers were placed on the temple altars. Also, birthday candles, in folk belief, are endowed with special magic for granting wishes. Lighted tapers and sacrificial fires have had a special mystic significance ever since man first set altars to his gods. Therefore, the candles are thus an honor and tribute to the birthday person and bring good fortune. (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1984:70) In the same way, some also believed that custom of lighting candles and torches they were sending a signal or prayer to the gods so they could be answered (http://www.birthdaycelebrations.net/howbirthdayscameabout.htm). When you blow out the candles and make a wish this is another way of sending a signal and a message.
With regard to birthday greetings and wishes for happiness, they are an intrinsic part of this holiday or tradition. Originally, the idea was again rooted in magic according to Ralph and Adelin Linton (1952). They also add that birthday greetings have power for good or ill because they also believe that one is closer to the spirit world on his/her birthday. (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985:70)
Nevertheless, let us examine the flaws of birthday celebration and the knowledge that is being ignored. Aside from the fact that it originated from pagan customs, the only two Bible references to birthday celebrations do not put them in favorable light. Why? The first reason is that, Pharaoh and Herod are not worshippers of the true God and they don’t even recognize Him. Another reason is the inauspicious consequences of their birthday celebrations. This is true because during Pharaoh’s birthday, the chief of the bakers was hung up. Also with Herod’s birthday, John the Baptist has been beheaded. I also believe that sometimes if not most of the time, birthday celebration has really bad consequences during these days. As I observe, people who attended birthday celebrations usually fill their hearts with wine and they get drunk. So when they go home, they may get into trouble especially the teenager. Others may also have car accidents and many troubles.
For these very reasons I have just mentioned, Jehovah’s Witnesses (fortunately I am one of them) do not celebrate their birthdays. We consider it not to be a Biblical practice. Another reason is that Jehovah’s Witnesses are “no part of this world” where in they do not participate to the celebrations that the “world” or the most people celebrate which are not basically Bible based practices. Aside from us, those people who have no concept of time probably do not celebrate birthdays because they do not have concept of the past which may include the day they were born.
I tried to critique this universal culture because I think there is no basis or no Biblical accounts encouraging us to celebrate this. However, I also believe and admit that I cannot change the mind or the cultural practice of many people in celebrating their birthdays.
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. (New York: Watch Tower Bible and Tract
Society of New York, Inc., 1984).
Reasoning From the Scriptures. (New York: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of
New York, Inc., 1984).
Traditions from Around the World: How Birthdays Came About.
Cultural Critique of English Language as a Universal Measurement of Being Locally and Globally Competitive
by: Daisy S. Fernandez
Once I was ordering at a popular fast food when a small board nailed on the wall smacked my attention. Written on the card board was “SPEAK ENGLISH inside McDonalds. Let us help one another to be more globally competitive”, on big black bold letters. It was supposed to be normal and accepted, but for me it was different. How does speaking English help an establishment like this fast food be more globally competent? What’s with English language that makes it different or somewhat “higher” than other languages? In this paper, I will try to demonstrate according to what I believe are suppose to be the answers to these questions.
Globalization is the trend that each and every country in different continents follows today. From inventing different technologies to discovering new things, place and facts, from intellectual gain and discerning new findings on different fields like the natural sciences as well as the social sciences, the world has been a battlefield among the superpower countries and the third world countries fighting for decolonization. Amidst this “chaos” is a medium that has been used for many years. It has not been questioned and in fact it is being cultivated and taught to people on most if not all of the countries around the wide world. It is considered the universal measurement or the instrument for globalization and especially for being globally competitive. It is the English language.
English language has appeared to be the most spoken language around the globe. Its universality to be the language that measures competency of a country or individual globally has not been questioned. It has been established long before many of us were born. It is even accepted and spoken normally today without any questions of the agendas and values that lies underneath it. It is true that in order to conduct transactions across countries and continents, English language is used. It is the language that most people in many countries consider as their second tongue. It is the second most widely spoken language in the world based on the number of speakers. It is associated with prestige, power and modernity. It is dominant.
But why is it the measure of being globally competent? Who said or establish it? How did it become the most spoken language across the globe despite being the second most widely used language base on the number of speakers? How did it come to be dominant?
English today has been the most widespread of the worlds’ languages. Most people used it as their native tongue or practice it as a second language. According to www.infoplease.com, English is the second most widely spoken language in the world. The first would be Chinese (mandarin), English, Hindustani, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Bengali, Portuguese, Malay-Indonesian and French (www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0775272.html June 27, 2008). The English language according to Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2007, spread as Britain expanded its colonial empire from 1600s on and established legal, military and educational systems in many countries along English lines and the expansion ended by the end of World War II. One of its colonies is our country, Philippines, which is also within the top 10 countries around the globe based on the number of speakers of English. Here in the Philippines, the major ingredient in the spread of the English language was through education. They provided free education to the people of the archipelago, but used English as a medium of instruction, slowly eroding vernacular languages. Accompanied by this expansion of the English language, was also the propagation of some of the values, biases and “facts” that lies underneath this language considered to be the means to being globally competitive. The poignant truth about this hidden agendas is that most Filipinos if not all are unaware of.
Firstly, as we grow up, we are slowly being introduced to and trained with the English language. In primary and secondary education, English is being taught to students. It is included in the curriculum and that sometimes, speaking and communicating through English is mandatory. If students were not able to comply with this, they for example would pay a ‘fine’ for every tagalog or vernacular word. I myself had had experienced this rule during my elementary and high school years. I believe that during these years (primary, secondary and college), the English language is introduced with the connotations of prestige, intellectual capacity and modernity. If a student for example is able to speak fluently in English he/she is looked up to. However, if a student is not able to speak English but then is fluent in Chinese (mandarin), the same recognition would not be given. Students then, because of the education taught to them during school years develop a sense of English language as associated with ideas of ‘progress’ and ‘modernity’.
Secondly, job interviews are usually done in English language limiting the knowledge and facts that are being exchanged between the sender and the receiver. Let us take for example here in the Philippines. I have observed that most Filipinos are not fluent in English. However, most of the job interviews are conducted in English language. Applicants who are fluent enough are often assumed to be more ‘fit’ for the job than those who are not. Those who are not fluent enough are judged then to be people of fewer capabilities for the job. The problem with this assumption is that most ‘capable’ people are not found to be ‘capable’ enough because they could not express and ‘sell’ themselves appropriately and effectively using the English language. Applicants have been fed on the idea that they are more capable and competent than their co-applicants if they are able to speak English fluently. Their capacities then are already limited even at the start of the job hunting phenomena. However, I am not saying that all people who are not fluent in English language are capable for the jobs they are applying. I believe that when conducting interviews it would be better to do it in the language comfortable for the applicant in order for the applicant to express and ‘sell’ herself well especially here in the Philippines. Equal opportunity then should be given during interviews.
In addition to the first and second ones, we can see here in the Philippines, how the government use the knowledge of the Filipinos in speaking English to be ‘globally competent’. Our country can be considered globally competitive when it comes to giving services to foreign countries through the proliferation of call centers. Filipinos then are given the idea that they can be globally competitive if they can speak English. However, most people misinterpret this. The idea of being globally competitive is not fully digested. They perceive speaking fluently in English considers them as a European or American. English language causes the unconscious change of identity for those who speak and accept it uncritically. Western values are the values that are being taught by the English language: progress, ideas, power and modernity.
We can also add the fast food thing mentioned at the start of this paper. Crews working at the fast food are advised and required to speak in English when dealing with customers. English then is also equated with being globally competitive (which I believe to be the biggest impact and assumption propagated by superpower countries).
Like mathematics, education was also the most important instrument of the 1st world countries for the successful propagation of the English language. Though the colonizers are no longer physically present, no more required and forceful feeding of knowledge, we can still feel and sometimes we readily accept their influences and inputs to us. This is possible through education. Educational materials like textbooks, magazines and other main references used in schools are written and published in English (though its contents are about the Filipino people and culture). Dissertations and unpublished thesis of students and faculties are also written in English. We can see here that English has established successfully the assumption that using it would credit the publisher or the author formality and higher form of knowledge. Using the English language in different forms of educational materials continues to propagate the language. Using it (English) gives you a sense of being globally competitive, or someone who can be placed anywhere and anytime across the globe.
Seeing and basing my analysis to such values, biases and facts propagated by the English language, I have seen several assumptions that can be traced from the English language. Firstly is the measure of intellectual capacity. Speaking in English gives people a sense of knowledge and a feeling of superiority over others. This superiority marginalized or slowly replaced some of our values. I believe that Filipinos are born to be achievers and does not progress at the expense of others. We readily assume that someone is more intelligent than other people just by basing it on the capacity of an individual to speak English. Aside from this, English language has also successfully established that it is higher than other languages. For example, the credit or recognition that an individual who speaks mandarin is not equal or the same as the recognition of an individual who can speak fluently in English. Secondly, formality is also established by the English language. Dissertations, thesis and books gain formality by using the English language. Those that are local or vernacular languages are considered less formal than that of English even though it has ways of presenting itself as formal as that in English language. Accompanied by these is also the prestige and power you gain by speaking in English which has become such a powerful political symbol. English language has established the sense of prestige, power, idea and modernity as well as being the universal measurement or means to being a locally/globally competitive individual and country. The reason behind such assumptions is that English language was propagated by the First world countries, and which if we try to analyze are the ones who have big political and economic influence as well as advance in technology across the globe. This would also explain why English has become much more dominant than Chinese (mandarin) despite its(Chinese-mandarin) being the most widely spoken language in the world basing on the number of speakers. In addition to that, we could also look what continent does China belongs.
It is also assume that the English language is the universal measurement to being a locally and globally competitive individual and country. However, if we take into consideration other languages, we can say that it is not universal. In private transactions and especially business transactions here in Asia, most business man and women prefer to negotiate using their native languages. It is because; using their native languages gives them a sense of security on their business transactions. A lot of American and European investors who wished to put up a business in Asian countries I believe must learn the native language or the language widely use in the country of their choice in order for them to make good and ideal transactions. It is not necessary that someone must learn the English language in order for her to be locally/globally competitive, though it helps to know a little of it.
By establishing the English language as the universal measurement or means of being locally and globally competitive, it has marginalized many values on the countries it has successfully colonized. Firstly, the peoples’ vernacular or native languages are slowly being forgotten because of the importance given to the English language. People are being trained to be much more comfortable with the English language that the worst thing that might happen is that the next generations will not be able to learn the native languages of their ancestors. This leads to the death of many native languages, not only here in the Philippines but also in other countries who gives much importance to the English language. Aside from this, it can also bring great impact on the personality on the people who cannot speak English. Because prestige, power, intelligence and modernity are associated with English, those who can’t speak fluently are very much degraded. They feel powerless, unintelligent and ‘uncivilized’ because they are incapable of speaking English. English language has limited the space for growth of people. They just limit themselves to what the English language has propagated. When it comes to being locally and globally competitive, the English language has limited the knowledge of people on the idea of being ‘globally competitive’. Their basis is English per se, which I believe should not be the measure.
I believe that learning the English language is not at all a disadvantage. It has really helped us to be globally competitive since it is the most widely spoken language. However, it becomes disadvantageous if we accept it together with its hidden agendas including values, biases and ‘facts’, uncritically. By immersing ourselves deeply with the use of English and being very fascinated by it, we slowly lose ourselves. We should have resistance to the values that are indirectly being taught to us. Let us be critical and wise enough not to lose our cultural identities.
A Cultural Critique of the Love of a Husband for His Wife
by: Sarah Jinky B. Maramag
Great philosophers and other well-known personalities of our history especially during the times of Aristotle, Plato, and Alexander the Great paved the way to show and prove the bravery, intelligence and smart attitudes of a real man. Also, during the medieval times, the term chivalry was very meaningful. It is all about how men should treat the ladies and the maidens. Men must honor and serve the women. They must not also do something which would displease women (http://www.medieval-life.net/chivalry.htm). When we speak of chivalry, what comes first to my mind is about a mighty and brave knight who can protect anyone against any harm. But during our times, chivalry may be associated with the gentlemen. Gentlemen are those who know how to respect their fellow and not only the ladies.
This paper is about the idea of a husband and a wife. When we speak of a couple, the love between them is always present because it is the foundation of their relationship. Couples around the world will surely relate to this. Even before the Spanish rule in the Philippines , our ancestors already have the attitude of chivalry. Men do have a big respect to women along their love. But how do they really show their sincere and unfailing love if there are husband who have more than one wife?
The idea of a love of a husband to a wife being his one and only wife does not seem to be universal. There are cultural biases regarding this practice. First, we should consider the beliefs of our Muslim brothers and sisters which have Islam as their religion. They are open to polygamy (http://www.apologeticsindex.org/116-which-groups-practice-polygamy). This means that a Muslim can have more than one wife as long as he is able to support the needs of his family not only for his first family but also for the other families that he will be having.
The Japanese are also known about their patriarchal and feudal way of living. In connection to this, Japanese men seem to be above the women. They are dominant which tells us about their negative attitudes towards women or to their wives. At some point, they can hurt physically their wives and so how do they really show their love and affection for their wives?
I can remember that in Alaska , they have a very unique practice of hospitality. A husband may “lend” his wife to their visitor to give him a “warm” night to their coldest weather. Therefore, where is his respect for his wife?
According to the statistics of Asians Against Domestic Abuse, in United States , a woman is battered at least once every 15 seconds and 95% of batterers are men (http://www.aadainc.org/Statistics .htm).
And now where is the universal practice and belief of a husband’s love for his wife? In the Philippines where there are many Christians, the Spaniards influenced us not to practice polygamy because it is against their beliefs. This process continued due to colonization.