Relearn Bayanihan: The Essence of Filipino Community Spirit
With the modern advancement we are enjoying, looks like some of us have forgotten about the traditions that define us Filipinos. One concrete example would be bayanihan. yes, maybe everyone recognizes the term, but does everyone know where this came from and what it really is? It’s time to relearn bayanihan and reapply what this Filipino tradition has taught us.
Helping your neighbor is the core essence of being a Filipino. Doing a task together helps lessen the workload, making any job easier—this is exactly the way of the bayanihan culture. Also called the community spirit, this is best exhibited when people in the rural area wish to move locations. The traditional Filipino house called bahay kubo could be moved using wooden poles, which can then carry the kubo from one place to another with the help of able-bodied men. Women and children stand and watch, cheering them on. Afterward, there is a small gathering as a form of socialization.
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Relearn Bayanihan: What Does This Tradition Teach Us?
The days of the bayanihan are gone now. With the change of environment as well as the change of house materials from slit-houses to concrete infrastructures, the rural areas adopted more and more to the urban jungles, adding a change in people’s attitude and disposition. Because of this and all other factors, only a very few still adhere to the ways of the bayanihan.
Another problem is the development of the crab mentality, which Filipinos seem to have gotten in the Spanish era. This phenomenon shows how Filipinos are like crabs, if you put a group of them in a bucket, they will try to get out by stepping on one another to get up. Cooperation and collaboration are gone, and in its place comes the “me first” idealism. It’s the thought that to get further in life, one must step or use other people.
The constant flourish of the crab mentality has brought people problems. The thought, for instance, that some people are lower than others and that they can be tread on is a problem. Everyone is supposed to be equal in dignity and in value, no matter the class or social strata. To work better, people have to learn being team players.
Selflessness is rare in this day and age, and people should not be treated as if they’re merely means to an end. Many seem to think that the world revolves around one’s self, or that in order for a country to run better, one person is in charge of it all. This is a global world—cooperation and collaboration is a necessity. The ability of being a team player is needed not only in the school or in the workplace, but is too, should be applied in life. No man is an island, that is true, and with our over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, Filipinos should learn not only to get along with each other, but to respect each other despite opposing opinions.
This is where the value of bayanihan comes in. With the changes in home structures, the actual bayanihan remains today as a metaphor—to be able to help people by lifting each other up and helping them move forward, not by bringing them down and trudging them in the mud. If we relearn bayanihan and maintain the kind of thinking it implies, then one day, the Philippines could rise back up from the trudges of the bad economy.
Respect and tolerance are among the few things that Filipinos have learned from this tradition, and the same they will get if they start to relearn bayanihan and the values that come with it. Supporting others instead of pulling them down is something that we should keep in mind.
Who knows, the move to relearn bayanihan could be the one missing link to finally get our people to where we should be and for the world to acknowledge our country as a competitor and equal in the world economy.