Bayanihan

Bayanihan

People in today’s world are generally sociable and conscious of one another, however, there has been a noticeable trend towards increased selfishness and self-centeredness in society. Although it can be argued that a certain degree of selfishness is required in order to survive, this is not what is being discussed here. Most likely sparked by economic differences, there is an underlying notion that everyone is out solely for the benefit of themselves and their direct family. In the Filipino culture, Bayanihan is a core principle. Bayanihan is the helping of one’s neighbors as a community, which is why it is also commonly referred to as “the community spirit”. The idea behind Bayanihan is simply to lessen workloads to make jobs easier.

The best and most intriguing example of this aspect of their culture was displayed in rural areas of the Philippines, in which natives lived in traditional Fillipino houses known as ‘bahay-kubo’. These houses were very small, but a unique characteristic of them was the ability to lift and move the house with the use of wooden poles. Obviously help was needed if one wished to move their house to a new location and this is where the act of Bayanihan was on full display. Able-bodied members of the community would gather to assist with the move, generally cheered on and supported by other members of the community that did not have the ability to physically participate. After the move was complete, small gatherings would form to both celebrate and socialize. While the act of moving houses may no longer be necessary, the underlying principle of Bayanihan, helping others without the expectation for something in return, still holds great value for society as a whole.