If you’re Filipino, chances are you’ve been inundated by exasperating news about the current state of affairs in the country in the past year. In October, I was so frustrated that I resolved to write about what aspects of being Filipino I still take pride in. I have to admit that I found the exercise too difficult.
Yet, I know that if I want to spend the rest of my life in the Philippines, I need to change my perspective. Luckily, I didn’t have to look far to find inspiration.
Why the Filipinos Will Change the World
A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation to review Mike Grogan’s new book, 7 Reasons Why Filipinos Will Change the World. It was just what I needed to rekindle my passion for my country.
When I picked up this book, I was incredulous: what does a foreigner know of Filipinos? I thought I was going to read a patronizing volume where foreigners praise the beauty and eternal goodness of Filipinos. When I read the first chapter, I was convinced it was going to be cheesy, but my curiosity was piqued: how can someone write “This really is the greatest time in history to be in the Philippines”?
The author then shared seven Filipino values and attributes that he claims to be the reasons why Filipinos will change the world: bayanihan (a culture of service), madiskarte (resourcefulness), masayahin (joy and tenacity), matapang (courageous), kapatiran (solidarity), mapagbigay (generosity), and walang iwanan (compassion). He illustrated how these qualities have inspired him to be a better Catholic and a better person, and how these helped Filipinos get through difficult times.
A Heartening Read
Obviously (in a Filipino’s perspective), the positive attributes that he listed in his book can also become detrimental to a community’s development. Like everything in this world, beautiful values such as kapatiran, mapagbigay, and walang iwanan can be easily corrupted; just take a quick look at newspapers and you’ll find stories of Filipinos doing just that.
Even so, the author focused on the good and shared anecdotes on how such qualities, which are uniquely Filipino, can uplift people. For instance, Mike wrote that “what most Filipinos would consider as just normal hospitality is something that would just not happen in our own countries.” Indeed, I may have missed this because it was far too obvious for me. It was heartening to read about our positive qualities that we have overlooked.
About the Author
Mike Grogan is an international motivational speaker and training consultant for people dynamics. Born in Dublin, he has traveled to countries in in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia and delivered talks as a leadership and lean management coach to more than 100,000 people.
He believes that there is something very special about the Filipino. At present, he travels across the Philippines to motivate and empower organizations to become world-class citizens and to help us Filipinos rediscover our genius.
I’m a person of simple tastes and wants. All I’ve ever wanted since I was 12 was to have my own room where I can display my notebook collection. When I was 16, I was content to stay in bed and write in my journal. At 22, I thought I needed nothing more than classical music and a bowl of spaghetti.