Pulling Together (T. Adams)

3 12 2009

One amazing trait of the Filipino is pakikisama, which can be roughly translated as comradeship or being cooperative.  It has many manifestations in Philippine society, one of which is extending support or offering help to neighbors who are in need.  Pakikisama reflects the bayanihan spirit, which involves cooperation among fellow men to come up with a certain idea or accomplish a certain task.  While bayanihan refers to a community-support deed, pakikisama has a more individualized sense.

After a week of being in the hospital and having tests done constantly my uncle was allowed to return home.  My grandma and my aunt were overwhelmed by the enormous task that faced them. The hospital was making arrangements with a private organization to move a hospital bed into my grandma’s house and set up necessary machines as well as teach my grandma and aunt the proper way to take care of my uncle. While having to readjust to having my uncle home they received a lot of offers to help from friends and members within their community.

A day after coming home from the hospital my uncle passed away in his sleep.  Once again friends and community members gathered around my grandma and offered to help out in any way that they could.  Members of the church choir offered to sing and play music at his funeral, others offered to help the family organize everything, many people brought food over to the house and offered to bring food for fellowship after the funeral as well.

The outpouring support that my grandma had received from others in the Filipino community was overwhelming.  There is a strong sense of katapatan or loyalty that is a strong trait amongst Filipinos. I believe that this trait is often associated with a football team or a foundation and it is slowly being removed from having loyalty to family, friends, and neighbors.  However through an extremely difficult and emotional time katapatan, pakikisama, and  bayahihan were demonstrated in the best way possible.  Through this difficult time I am able to reflect on how what I’m learning in this class about relying on friends and classmates can be connected with the Filipino community as a whole.  These traits that are associated with Filipinos cannot be lost.  We all must continue to incorporate them into our daily lives.  They help us become stronger people and when you do something good for someonelse it will eventually come back full circle.

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