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The Filipino value system or Filipino values refers to the set of values or the value system that a majority of the Filipino have historically held important in their lives. This Philippine value system includes their own unique assemblage of consistent ideologies, moral codes, ethical practices, etiquette, and cultural and personal values that are promoted by their society. As with any society though, the values that an individual holds sacred can differ on the basis of religion, upbringing and other factors.

As a general description, the distinct value system of Filipinos is rooted primarily in personal alliance systems, especially those based in kinship, obligation, friendship, religion (particularly Christianity), and commercial relationships.[1]

Philosophical basis[edit]

Filipino values are, for the most part, centered at maintaining social harmony, motivated primarily by the desire to be accepted within a group. The main sanction against diverging from these values are the concepts of "Hiya", roughly translated as 'a sense of shame', and "Amor propio" or 'self-esteem'.[2] Social approval, acceptance by a group, and belonging to a group are major concerns. Caring about what others will think, say or do, are strong influences on social behavior among Filipinos.[3]

According to the anthropologist Leonardo Mercado, the Filipino worldview is basically 'nondualistic'. Based on his linguistic analyses of Filipino value terms like loob (Cebuano buot), he concludes that Filipinos desire harmony, not only in interpersonal relationships, but also with nature and religion, while still remaining nondichotomous.[4]

"The Filipino wants to harmonize the object and the subject, while at the same time holding both as distinct."

Elements of Filipino Philosophy (1974), Leonardo Mercado, SVD

Florentino Timbreza, a cultural philosopher, concludes in his book Pilosopiyang Pilipino (1982) that Filipino values are based on the significance of the world to man. Life experiences dictate the philosophy of the Filipino, augmented by other sources like proverbs, folk sayings, folk tales, and the like.[4]

Models of the Filipino values[edit]

F. Landa Jocano identified two models of the Filipino value system. The first is the exogenous model or the foreign model, while the second is the indigenous model or the traditional model. The foreign model is described to be a "legal and formal" model. The indigenous model is described as a "traditional and non-formal" model or guide but is deeply embedded in the subconscious of the Filipinos.[3]

The foreign model was inherited by Filipinos from Western cultures, particularly from the Spaniards and the Americans. An example of a foreign or exogenous influence is bureaucracy exhibited in the government of the Philippines.[3]

Elements and composition[edit]

Based on studies, surveys, opinions, anecdotes, and other literatures made by experts and researchers in relation to Filipino social values or Filipino core values, along with the Filipino character or Filipino identity of a person or an individual known as the Filipino, the Filipino value system are found to possess inherent key elements. Among them are optimism about the future, pessimism with regards to present situations and events, the concern and care for other people, the existence of friendship and friendliness, the habit of being hospitable, religious nature, respectfulness to self and others, respect for the female members of society, the fear of God, and abhorrence of acts of cheating and thievery.[5]

The core values of Filipinos specifically upholds the following items: solidarity of the family unit, security of the Philippine economy, orientation to small-groups, personalism, the concepts of "loob" or "kalooban" (meaning "what’s inside the self", the "inner-self", or the "actual personal feelings of the self"), existence and maintenance of smooth interpersonal relationships, and the sensing of the feelings or needs of others (known as pakikiramdam). In a larger picture, these values are grouped into general clusters or "macroclusters": namely, the relationship cluster, the social cluster, the livelihood cluster, the inwardness cluster, and the optimism cluster.[5]

Gender-specific values[edit]

In relation to parenthood, bearing male and female children depends on the preferences of the parents based on the expected roles that each gender would assume once grown up. Both genders are expected to become responsible members of the family and their society. Women in the Philippines are expected to become caring and nurturing mothers for their own children.[6]

Female Filipinos are also expected to lend a hand in household work. They are even anticipated to offer assistance after being married. On the other hand, Filipino men are expected to assume the role of becoming the primary source of income and financial support of his family.[6]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Social Values and Organization, Philippines, country studies.us
  2. ^ Chris Rowthorn; Greg Bloom (2006). Philippines. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74104-289-4. 
  3. ^ a b c Hallig, Jason V. Communicating Holiness to the Filipinos: Challenges and Needs, The Path to a Filipino Theology of Holiness, on pages 2 and 10, http://didache.nts.edu.
  4. ^ a b Rolando M. Gripaldo (2005). Filipino cultural traits: Claro R. Ceniza lectures. CRVP. ISBN 978-1-56518-225-7. 
  5. ^ a b Talisayon, Serafin. Filipino Values, Chapeter XIII, Teaching Values in the Natural and Physical Sciences in the Philippines, crvp.orgp
  6. ^ a b MLY. Keynote Speech, City College of San Francisco in the Conference on "The Filipino Family in the 21st Century: Issues and Challenges", ccsf.edu, October 27, 2001

External links[edit]

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