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Filipino Customs

HELPFULNESS

The Filipinos are a helpful people. They live the members of their family, their relatives, neighbors, friends and even strangers. If the family is poor, the members help one another and the elders sacrifice for the education of the younger ones.

The bayanihan spirit makes it possible for the people to build houses, move houses, plant crops, harvest crops, build roads and other things with little expense. The people of the community help one another in doing this. Bayanihan is also an occasion for fun because it brings the people of the community together. It means getting together or helping one another in a common project or work. Many hands make light work is the idea behind the bayanihan.

Palusong means helping neighbors in building a house and in working i the fields. The owner of the house or fields who gives the palusong returns the courtesy by helping the other farmers when it is their turn to be helped.

When a member of the family dies, the neighbors. relatives and friends give voluntary contributions called ambag among the Tagalogs to help in the burial expenses. They stay during the wake to comfort the family. They also join the pasiyam or nine-day prayer. They help in the household work.

During fiestas, weddings and other celebrations, neighbors, relatives and friends help the family in the preparation of the food.

COURTESY

The Filipinos are polite and courteous. They greet their parents and elder relatives by. kissing their right hands or by touching them against their foreheads. They do this before going on a long journey and upon arriving home everyday. They do it after prayers and after coming home from the church. They also kiss the hands of their elders and relatives when they visit them.

The Filipinos use polite words when they address their elders. They use titles of respect for all elders like Kuya, ate and the like. When they talk to them,. they use the words po and opo.

When people pass through someone's yard they say, May we pass through your yard? The owner of the house usually invites them in or gives a sign of recognition by asking. Where are you going? This question is merely a form of greeting and it is not asked out of curiosity.

When Filipinos visit a house, they wait until they are asked to come in before entering. They remain standing until they are asked to sit down. Sometimes it takes two or three invitations before they accept the invitation to dine with the family.

In crowded buses, men and boys offer their seats to older men and women.

FAMILY PRAYERS

The Filipinos are religious people This means that they are devoted to their religion. Most of the Filipinos are Christians. Some are Muslims and a few are pagans. Pagans believe in more than one god. Most pagans live in the mountains and forests.

The Filipinos observe the angelus at the coming of darkness. When the church bells ring, they stop whatever they are doing, bow their heads and pray.

Most Filipino homes have altars, This is the place of worship at home. The Filipino family prays before going' to bed. An elder leads the group in the prayers. They believe that a family that prays together stays together.

The children are also taught morning prayers and prayers upon leaving the house. The Filipino family goes to-church on Sundays and other days of Worship.

FAMILY UNITY

Unity means closeness. Filipinos have close and strong family ties. Members of the family love one another. They want to be with their family always. When a member of the family goes to a tar place, he communicates with his family through letters. His parents feel concerned about his safety. Even after marriage they still want to be with their family so that in a house are sometimes two or three families staying together. If the married children live in separate houses with their families, they make it a point to visit their parents.

The members of the family usually come together or have reunions during Christmas an New Year. On Christmas Eve, the members of the family celebrate Noche Buena together. when there is a fiesta, wedding, baptism, anniversary or death in the family, the relatives are sure to be there.

Family unity makes the Filipino family strong. The family is not alone when there is trouble. Any member gets help when he needs it.

Family unity makes the Filipino work hard. He knows he has a big family to support and so he has to earn more.

RESPECT FOR PARENT'S AUTHORITY

The Filipino children love and honor their parents. They listen to their teachings. They follow what they say. They respect their parent's authority. Authority is the right to command. The Filipino parents have the right to command their children. The commands of the parents are obeyed by. the children because they respect and love their parents.. They are trained to obey their superiors, to be. respectful to their elders and to be polite to other people.

HIGH RESPECT FOR WOMEN

The Filipinos respect the women very highly. The Women has a high place in the family she is the Queen of the home. She is luckier than the women in other Asian countries. Men offer women seat in buses and in public places. They open doors for them and help them get on and off vehicles.

HOSPITALITY

The Filipinos are welt-known here and in other countries for their hospitality. Hospitality means receiving and treating guests and even strangers kindly. It shows the friendliness of the host to his visitor. He wants his visitors tot eel happy while they are in his houses. He wants them to feel that they are in their own houses. The Filipino host shares with his guests the simple things he can afford. He offers them drinks or refreshments. When the visitors stay overnight, he gives them the best food and bed. Hospitality does not mean spending too much and showing off to guests.

During the olden times, our forefathers punished those who did not show respect for women. Respect for women was also a rule of the Katipunan. The Katipunan was a secret society organized by the Filipinos against the Spaniards.

Our laws also give the women rights to show that they are respected. Our women are allowed to vote and hold public office. They can own property and they can go into any kind of work. There are women doctors, lawyers, engineers and government officials.

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