Utang Na Loob

11 12 2009

Our group has got a topic for our presentation as a phrase “Utang na loob,” which means the to give back the to the ones who did favor for us. Utang na loob can be anything from money, material stuff, or even do a favor back to them. What I learned from the class, I know that the old people usually say to their children to have utang na loob, to pay back the debt to their parents. I think the concept is very similar to the concept of Filial Piety in Confucianism and Buddhism. However, the utang na loob concept extends to people who are not the parents, but everybody else that did you a favor.

The concept of Filial Piety means that as a child, you have to repay your parents by look after them when they are old, or even having them live in the same house as you do. Also, you cannot say any bad things to your parents because even if they did wrong things to you, they gave you this body; they gave you this life. You owe them the hugest thing in your life, which is your life itself. When talking about Filial Piety, people don’t usually think about giving money to the parents, even though those are the obvious and easiest things to do. People usually think about taking care of them when they are old more. But when we talk about utang na loob, it usually means giving them the material things. However, our group interviewed several Filipino-Americans and found out that they understand that the utang na loob can be anything, not only money.

Both of the concept must be done by heart because if you don’t feel like you have to repay someone, but you are forced to, you will not do it well. Especially when you have to take care someone for the rest of your life, you repay them the great gratitude. I think utang na loob should be taken seriously by the new generations of the Filipinos, or even other race/ethnicity because it is a good concept that teaches us to repay people who had done favor for us.

Paween Itthipalkul

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