Filipinos as a people do not have a philosophy similar to Western tradition of thought. We do not have the likes of Plato, Socrates or France's Jean Paul Sarte, Rousseau and the like. We are a predominantly Chirstian country with the majority being Catholic, thanks to the Spaniards. Hence, the closest we can be to a Western philosophy is Christian which, ironically was handed to us by Westerners when it started in the East where we are located. And yet, apart from our religion, it is not that we do not have a philosophy to guide our lives for we do. We do have a common set of values with wihich we see the world. These are guiding principles that govern our lives from time immemorial. This is a kind of folk wisdom handed to us by our forefathers that has withstood the test of time. Emerita Quito liken these philosophy to the German volksgeist, or a collective sense or diwa of a given set of people. I am referring to our Bahala na which can be attributed to leaving everything to God (probably originating from the word Bathala or God); Hiya (shame), ningas cogon (procrastination) and pakikisama camaraderie or group loyalty. Before you raise your eyebrows saying that these are negative traits we have inherited from our forefathers, Quito maintains that there are positive effects to these traits.
At any rate, let me talk about pakikisama. This word is very important to a Filipino as one would not want to be seen as not having one. We should always be a team player. We should always go with the community and its wishes. We do not want to be branded an outcast. Especally that we have a devotion to the family which extends beyond imagination. Thus, we have friends call our parents "tatay" or "nanay", the househelp calling us "kuya" or "ate", etc. denoting closeness. It is a sense of shame to be referred to as "walang pakisama" or one who does not know how to go along. As has been stated earlier, this trait carries with it both positive and negative outcomes. Because ot this trait, we learn that our lives depend on one another for survival and that "peace or lack of dissension is a constant goal." Yet, it also brings about being blind to evil doings "like graft and corruption in order to conserve peace and harmony in a group at the expense of one's comfort."
I have been feeling the pangs of pakikisama's negativite effects lately. You see we have a neighbor who had just moved in. The thing is we live in a very small subdivision where two cars besides each other can hardly be accomodated. If you happen to live in the middle of two blocks like I do, you can park your car outside your garage but at the risk of having it bumped on the sides. Me and my old neighbors have an unwritten understanding that should it happen that our vehicle is blocking the way, all that has to be done is to honk the horn and the owner of the car will move it immediately. My new neighbor lives at the corner where we pass everyday. The guy has a garage but he has this nasty habit of parking his car right at the middle of the road making it entirely impassable. Not only that! The family is fond of parties and they would literally close the entire road blocking it with tables and chairs and you guessed it correctly - drinking till midnight. Nevermind that the teen-aged family member would blast their stereo every afternoon while people are napping. I don't anyway.
I never say a word about the disturbance they are causing out of "pakikisama". However, they are beginning to become a nuisance. When I got home today, their car was parked again outside of the house. I couldn't get through as there was not enough room. I asked my son to politely tell the owner to please move it and let me pass first before he put it back where he wanted it parked. To my dismay, it was the househelp who went out only to tell me that her boss was out for an errand and won't be back for a while. I had no other way but to find another route praying that there won't be any cars blocking the way or it will be a long, arduous way to back up. Bwisit di ba?
I guess it is high time to demand from them to exhibit pakikisama for a change!