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The Best Things About Filipino

What is being a Pinoy all about--aside from pointing with our lips and having an action star for our President? We talked among ourselves and we tried to come up with the 100 best things about being a Pinoy. Okay, okay! So, the idea is not so original, after all, the Philippine Sunday Inquirer Magazine already published their 100 Best Things in their centennial issue. But we tried to do this on our own, without referring to the SI's article (really!).

We hope that these will make you smile and will make you laugh. Above all, we sincerely hope that these things will make you proud of being a Pinoy.

1. Simbang Gabi. Nine dawn masses during the Christmas season. Attended by the religious, the people with panata, the uzis, and the girl and boy watchers. Of course, Simbang Gabi is not complete without the mouth-watering bibingka and puto bumbong sold outside the church.

Poor Filipinos Are Happy

When is a Filipino considered poor? What is the measure of personal wealth? Is wealth just in mind, in the bank, in landholdings, or elsewhere? Days, ago, they think tank Ibon Foundation said 88 percent of Filipinos are poor. We have not read about the administration's response to that, if any, but we expect it to dispute that figure.

Government technocrats say that a family of six (two parents and four children) that earns only P600 a day is poor, or below what they call the poverty threshold. That means roughly, a household income of a month P18,000.00 a month.

Rosario Bella Guzman, Ibon executive director, said the minimum wage in the National Capital Region has gone lower that the estimated decent income for a family of six.

Filipino, Sweat Brows

THE OCCUPATIONS of the majority, after cultivating their small parcel of land or the orchards of their masters, was reduced to looking for whatever was necessary for their sustenance and their daily necessities. The men fished in the rivers, lagoons or streams with rattan traps or nets, frequently standing in waist-deep water and subsequently contracting fevers and other ailments. They also gathered fruits and uncultivated vegetables in the forests that, mixed with rice and together with a little fish, constituted the essentials of their diet. They dried kindling, rattan, palm leaves and certain filaments to fix their houses and fences, fabricated their utensils and work tools.

They rented out their animals and carts, if they owned any, as well as themselves and their children to transport produce to provincial markets, realizing from this and other products of their orchards something to satisfy their most pressing needs, such as cooking oil, dried fish, bananas and other commodities like tobacco and buyo, or bolos that they used and other hardware goods that the women preferred. They wove textiles from palms and filaments and dried carabao meat to make jerky or tapa.

Kulturang Kalye

Sayang talaga't 'di kami nakapunta nang maaga. Kada taon kasi, nagtataka ako kung bakit biglang isinasara 'yung Visayas Avenue at nagkakaroon ng street painting contest.

'La pa 'ko alam nu'n e, 'kala ko parang project lang ng city hall o ano, pero nung mapunta ako sa NCCA, nalaman ko nang bahagi pala yun ng celebration ng National Arts Month.

Religious Origin

Filipinos do have a unique relationship with the west and share decidedly a heritage of many significant ideas and values rooted in Euro Christian ethics, But their basic traditional social and cultural characteristics contrast sharply with those of western world, certainly the US. The national character and sense of identity is thus complex. And there is a question as to whether or not they even have a national identity. Some believe, as I do, their allegiance does not extend past their province. Some believe it is limited to the extended family. It is certainly stronger within that group.



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