Before modern transportation and communication made emigration possible and easy, practically all the people in an average Filipino neighborhood were related in one way or another, because of these family relationship there was solidarity in the Filipino neighborhood. In fact, the Filipino neighborhood was an extension of the family.
This explained the mutual trust among members of a Filipino community and their deep concern for one anothers problem and welfare. Although the people took great care to surround their yards with hedges, their gates and their front doors did not have lock and keys. Any man might enter his neighbors house as though he were entering his own. It was not unusual for a housewife, whenever an unexpected visitor dropped in at mealtime, to run to her neighbors for some food. And whenever she prepared a special dish, she was not happy unless she shared it with her neighbors.
This characteristics of the Filipino neighborhood also explained their cooperation practices, such as the palusong and the bayanihan. Whenever a Filipino wanted to build an annex to his house or a new one, repair his kamalig or barn, clear his hand, transplant his rice seedlings, or harvest his rice crop, he could depend upon his neighbors to help him out. He, in turn, was expected to show willingness to help his neighbors when they needed his services.
This custom was practical way of turning a heavy and tedious task into a gay and festive occasion. The Filipino made this cooperative work an opportunity, no only for working together but also for eating, drinking, and making merry together. And they loved it because it broke the monotony of their country life.
The Filipino and his wife considered it their duty to share in both the joys and sorrows of their neighbors. When a neighbor fell ill, for example, they would not simply drop in n him to express their sympathy but give him medicines to bring about his speedy recovery, and even help in nursing him back to health. And if he died, they would come with gifts of money stuff, for they knew only too well that the family would find it difficult to defray the funeral expenses and to feed the great crowd of visitors.
The Filipino and his wife would never think of attending any festive gathering such as a christening, a birthday celebration, or a wedding feast empty-handed. A cluster of special coconuts (the makapuno), a choice cut of meat, live chicken, a bunch of bananas, a few bottles of wine, even a bundle of firewood were considered suitable gifts to show their friendly regard for their hosts and their eagerness to participate whole-heartedly in the festivity. These customary or traditional practices made Filipino festivities, in a sense, communal.
Aside from the spirit of neighborliness and cooperation that bound the Filipino neighborhood in the countryside's there were the bells. These bells played significant role in the Filipino community. The bells were used to give the message about a babys christening or the wedding of a young couple. The bells also gave notice of the people – their joys, their thanksgiving, their sorrows, and their ringing at sunset was the blessing of God upon the earth and upon mankind.
Click here to view the presentation about how man act towards their culture and tradition. Use headphones. After watching the presentation create your own reaction paper based on the video. Click here to view the history about the Filipino values and traits. Write your observation about what are the difference between our tradition before and our new tradition now.
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