Saturday, March 19, 2005

Paper - Dominant Value of the Society


The dominant value of the society, particularly the Philippine society is power. This is because for several decades the Filipinos were under the mercy of foreigners such as the Americans, Spaniards and Japanese. When they got its independence, every person aspired of acquiring power in its own right.

Filipinos think of power in many forms. In the elite society, people think that money is power. That is why they do everything they can to gather as much money they can, even at the expense of other people. They would rather sacrifice relationship, close family ties and even religiosity, as long as they acquire cash and assets and be considered a moneyed person, thus having power.
For some Filipinos, power is having many friends. This is why the cultural value of “pakikisama” thrives in the Philippines. “Pakikisama” is a desire to blend in, to be part of a group, not to buck the existing system but to become part of it. This quality promotes cooperation, and in a family, it can sustain team effort. An example of this team effort is the people power in EDSA. Not all people went to the street because they were fighting for a cause. Many were there because of “pakikisama”.
The more visible perception of power of the Filipino society nowadays is the spiritual power. This is evidenced from the many religious sectors and sub-sectors, charismatic groups and subgroups, from a very large congregation to a small prayer group. This perception cuts across level in society and is very much noticeable from the actions of the President of the Philippines, down to the slum-dwellers and nomads.
Ultimate power can never be gained. Objectively, if this dominant value of the society will be coupled with peace, harmony and hard work, this will lead to a better Philippine society. Harmony in the family should be promoted since the family is the basic unit of the society. By harmony, it does not only mean physically harmonious, but also seeing to it that each one in the family plays an important role in its economic upliftment, social responsibility and spiritual growth. Economic upliftment is best acquired through hard work. An individual economic contribution affects the economic status of the community. The individual and the community as a whole should do its share to the betterment of the society where they belong. However, the Filipinos as whole can obtain its individual and societal quest for power if there is peace among each other. Peace means that the legislative, executive and judicial bodies of the government working in good tandem. Peace means that there is no more fighting and killings between Christians and Muslims. Peace means that politicians set aside their personally interest in favor of the good of their constituents. Peace means that each family member loving each other. And lastly, peace means being at peace with oneself and the Almighty. With these, the dominant value of the society will lead to a better and more progressive country.