The Grey Chronicles


The Filipino Pride, Postscript

Grey DayPart I of this series, The Filipino Pride, attempted a literature review on pride. Yesterday, Part II delved into the National Pride of Filipinos. This installment, using the insights of the literatures previously reviewed, will make sense of the Filipino pride. For purposes of the discussion, the Filipino, also commonly known as Pinoy, used here is based on Rolando M. Gripaldo (2000) exposition:

“Historically, the term “Filipino” was used in contrast to “[p]agan and wild tribes” (Rivera 1985: 150) or to the term “Moro” (Asani 1981: 27-33; Rivera 1985: 150). In the long, long past there was no Filipino concept of a nation. … The concept of a Filipino nation took some time to develop. … The constitutional concept of the Filipino, as expressed in the various Philippine Constitutions, from 1899 to 1987, slowly filtered down to the consciousness of various tribes. The faster the members of the tribes or cultural communities are integrated into the body politic, the greater is their absorption of the concept of being Filipino and the lesser is their resistance to being Filipino. Every now and then, of course, there are cases of individual and group resistance to this concept, mostly on political and historical grounds.” [Emphasis added.]

The 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article IV Citizenship, Section 1, states:

“The following are citizens of the Philippines:
1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;
2. Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;”
3. Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and
4. Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.”

We have seen from previous posts, particularly in Part I, that proper or justified (Ridling, 2001: 1044) pride is a feeling by human beings, not his mind or brain (Haller, 2009); an emotion (Bateson, 1936) emanating from Plato’s so-called ‘spirited’ part [thumos or to thumoeides], (C.C.W. Taylor, 1997); a disposition (Scruton, 1995); or a desire for self-mastery (O’Daly, 1999). Pride is between the two vices: vanity and humility (Russell, 1945: 173-4); thought as a virtue by Aristotle or Nietzsche, yet disapproved by Christian ethics (Russell, 1945: 177) restored during the Renaissance (Ridling, 2001: 601; Russell, 1945: 827-8) through the triumphs of science (Russell, 1945: 538).

National Pride, also termed as pride of place, discussed in Part II, is related to patriotism and nationalism (Smith & Kim, 2006). Initiated by Jose Rizal (Guerrero, 2003) and numerous others, defended by Filipino martyrs in World War II, and culminated in the first People Power, which gave us Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino and Cory Aquino. Filipinos have ample doses of this type of Pride, both in general and domain-specific terms, except probably during the Japanese occupation.

Thus, going back to Pepe Diokno’s (2008) quote:

“The truth is, Pinoy pride is prejudice. It only exists because we think ourselves to be inadequate.”

Diokno is right. Pride in his statement is personal, written in Part I, not the national pride discussed in Part II. Proper or justified pride desires self-mastery, revived during the Renaissance, and based on the triumphs of science.

Prejudice, defines Morales & Gilner (2009), is a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation. Our prejudice probably stemmed from our own myopic view of our very own standards; of adopting Western standards and applying them locally.

Inadequacy is the lack of competence (Morales & Gilner, 2009). The Filipino competence have been proven time and again: consider our very own Overseas Filipino Workers [OFWs]. Although a diaspora of sort is happening at this very minute you are reading this, they have made the country proud and each one of these OFWs is a living testament to what the Filipino can do if they put their minds and heart to it. Each have mastered their respective arts and sciences to compete in their chosen fields: entertainment, services, engineering, medical, technical, etc.

Lest we forget, most of those who chose to remain here or unlucky with external opportunities have equally amassed the same competence as those toiling abroad. Andrew Gonzalez, F.S.C. (1994) suggests, “while we place a premium on a sense of self-worth and self-esteem and pride in things Filipino, especially our common language, we cannot afford to be parochial in our approach to global realities.”

When we Filipinos think of ourselves as inadequate, it might also be due to our un-ending utang na loob and our ever-present hiya. Francis Dancel (2005) explains:

“Such metaphysical underpinnings of indebtedness are surely not without its complexities, the foremost of which is repayment. Unlike an ordinary loan or mortgage which one easily repays by fulfilling the financial obligations one has incurred, utang na loob is essentially very difficult, if not impossible to repay, primarily because the debt is an informal and intangible one. There are no contracts, no formal agreements as to how or how much utang na loob is being incurred.”

“In addition to the informality, utang na loob is incurred implicitly and is an indebtedness that is not easily and readily assumed. Filipinos find this kind of indebtedness as something rather uncomfortable. It is a humbling, and sometimes even a humiliating experience which does not sit well with the Filipino’s sense of amor propio, or loosely, pride or self-esteem. Often, it is only in dire circumstances that a Filipino will entreat another for help. In general, however, it is rather uncommon for Filipinos to ask for favors, especially large ones, because it involves incurring utang na loob. In those occasions when utang na loob is reluctantly incurred, sincere efforts are made by the beneficiary to not only return the favor, but to do so as soon as possible, so as to avoid feeling hiya (loosely, shame) and the loss of face. It is this feeling of hiya (which arises out of the beneficiary himself and not from any external source) that compels the beneficiary to repay the utang na loob.”

Sometimes, working abroad is one of the dire circumstances when a Filipino will ask for a large favor. Then, the utang na loob will kick in, as though a Filipino was only able to get hold a foreign-based employment because of connections, not because of one’s competence. More often, the same is true for employees working locally. They mistakenly believe that any employer is due their never-ending fountain of utang na loob because the latter gave a Filipino his job. Is it not a rule of thumb in capital and labor that payment means not only the delivery of money but also the performance, in any other manner, of an obligation?

Delicadeza is connected to amor propio, which gives us self-esteem, knowing that we behave accordingly. Amor Propio, Guthrie (1971) defines, may be understood as insecurity, indolence, arrogance, or irritability but is more accurately described as a strong sense of individual dignity.

As the moral standard, dangal, which means social honor, reputation refers to one’s character, identity, pride and commitment to revered ideals. This includes knowing what is morally right, feeling what is morally good, and acting in a morally desirable way. Dangal is manifested in values such as respect and deference or paggalang, reciprocity or utang na loob, and pagkabahala or concern and responsibility (Manauat, 2005).

As an old saying goes: there is sometimes a higher stupidity of people who are humble and do not have intellectual pride.


Bateson, Gregory (1936). Naven: A Survey of the Problems Suggested by a Composite Picture of the Culture of a New Guinea Tribe Drawn from Three Points of View. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1936. As cited by Lindholm (2007: 105). back to text.

Bolman, Lee G. & Deal, Terrence E. (2003). Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. 3rd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass / John Wiley & Sons, 2003. p. 6. back to text.

Dancel, Francis (2005). Utang na Loob: A Philosophical Analysis, Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change, Series IIID, Southeast Asia, Vol. 4. McLean, George F. [Gen. Ed.] Filipino Cultural Traits: Claro R. Ceniza Lectures; Gripaldo, Rolando M. [ed.] Washington, D.C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 1994 back to text.

Diokno, Pepe (2009). Phony Pride. Manila: Philippine Star, 19 June 2008. back to text.

Gonzalez, Andrew F.S.C. (1994). Values Education and Teaching Language, Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change, Series III. Asia. Vol. 7. Values in Philippine Culture and Education, Philippine Philosophical Studies I; Manuel B. Dy, Jr., [ed.] Washington, D.C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 1994 back to text.

Gripaldo, Rolando M. (2000). Filipino Philosophy: A Critical Bibliography 1774-1997, 2nd ed. Manila: de la Salle University Press, 2000. p. 11—12. back to text.

Guerrero, Leon Ma. (2003). The First Filipino. Manila: Publisher, 2003. back to text.

Guthrie, George M., [ed.] (1971). Six perspectives on the Philippines, Makati: Bookmark, 1971. pp. 61—62. As cited by (Manauat, 2005). back to text.

Haller, A.von (1966). First Lines of Physiology. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1966. p. 45. As cited by Shanker (1996: 369). back to text.

Lindholm, Charles (2007). Culture and Identity: The History, Theory, and Practice of Psychological Anthropology. Oxford, England: Oneworld Publications, 2007. p. 105. back to text.

Manauat, Natividad Dominique G. (2005). Contextualizing the Filipino Values of Pagkalinga, Pag-Aaruga, Pakialam, and the Feminist Ethics of Care, Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change, Series IIID, Southeast Asia, Vol. 4. McLean, George F. [Gen. Ed.] Filipino Cultural Traits: Claro R. Ceniza Lectures; Gripaldo, Rolando M. [ed.] Washington, D.C.: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 1994 back to text.

Morales, Franc and Leah Gilner (2001-2009). TheSage’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus. Princeton University. back to text

O’Daly, Gerald (1999). Augustine, Routledge History of Philosophy, Vol. II: From Aristotle to Augustine. David Furley [ed.]. London and New York: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2004. p. 408. back to text.

Ridling, Zaine (2001). Philosophy Then and Now: A Look Back at 26 Centuries of Ideas That Have Shaped Our Thinking. Kansas, MI.: Access Foundation, June 2001. pp. 601, 1044. back to text: 1 | 2.

Russell, Bertrand (1945). A History of Western Philosophy and its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945. pp. 173—77, 312, 827—8. back to text: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5.

Scruton, Roger (1995). A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 1995. p. 187. back to text.

Shanker, Stuart G. (1996). Descartes’ legacy: the mechanist/vitalist debates, Routledge History of Philosophy, Vol. IX: Philosophy of Science, Logic and Mathematics in the Twentieth Century. Stuart G.Shanker [ed.]. London and New York: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2004. p. 369. back to text.

Smith, Tom W. & Kim, Seokho (2006). National Pride in Cross-national and Temporal Perspective. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 18 (Spring, 2006). pp. 127—136. back to text.

Taylor, C.C.W. [ed.] (1997). Routledge History of Philosophy , Vol I.: From the Beginning to Plato. London and New York: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005. p. 429. back to text.

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  1. […] The Filipino Pride, Postscript […]

    Pingback by "Filipino Pride", Pepe Diokno, and The Grey Chronicles | Anti-Pinoy — 2010.June.17 @ 19:48 | Reply

  2. […] justified (Ridling, 2001: 1044) pride is a feeling by human beings, not his mind or brain (Haller, 2009); an emotion (Bateson, 1936) emanating from Plato’s so-called ‘spirited’ part [thumos or to […]

    Pingback by “Filipino Pride”, Pepe Diokno, and The Grey Chronicles | Anti-Pinoy :) — 2010.April.5 @ 13:43 | Reply

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