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What Can Filipinos Be Proud Of

By Andrea Chloe Wong

Philippine Daily Inquirer
What is it that Filipinos can boast about the Philippines? Quite hard to figure especially when
the country struggles with an image problem: excessive corruption, extreme poverty, and
source of cheap manual labor. These are some of the general impressions of the world about
the Philippines that, while unpleasant, are undeniably true.
However, despite the many negative comments that quite often overshadow the positive, there
are definitely so many things to be proud of. Chief of which is actually: ourselves. The Filipino is
renowned all over the world for remarkable qualities, often downplayed or overlooked, but
which nonetheless brings pride to the country.
Our caring ways
Essentially, we Filipinos can be proud of our humanity. We are a highly-relational people,
proficient in emotionally and socially connecting with others.
Our innate humanity is very much apparent in the caring ways we interact with those close to
us including others outside our kin circle. In fact, this trait is one of the distinct assets of millions
of Filipino doctors, nurses, care givers, and nannies who work abroad. Generally, we are known
for our heartfelt concern, nurturing spirit, and caring touch, which naturally make our workers
in demand overseas. Though it may sometimes rub us the wrong way that our country is
frequently associated with overseas labor (especially domestic help), we can always look at it in
a more positive view. We can stand proud of those Filipino workers who give exceptional and
genuine care to the rest of the world.
Hospitality even abroad
Also, our inherent humanity is also reflected in our world-famous hospitality that truly amazes
anyone who has experienced it. Foreigners who come to visit the Philippines speak of Filipinos
going out of their way to help them when lost, or the heartwarming generosity of a Filipino
family hosting a visitor in their poverty-stricken home. Meanwhile, most foreigners who attend
Filipino gatherings abroad (which are frequently organized for hundreds of reasons) testify to
the warmth and friendliness of Filipinos as they experience that feeling of belongingness.
Indeed, the legendary Filipino hospitality is not limited to the Philippines. It is everywhere
wherever there are Filipinos.
Our intrinsic humanity is perhaps best exemplified in our compassion for others. The kind of
compassion that, not only feels sympathy, but bothers the conscience to give help and relieve
the suffering of others. Our compassion is eminently reflected in our personal capacity to assist
others and in our collective spirit of volunteerism.
Pinoy creativity
Aside from our humanity, we Filipinos can be proud of our creativity. While being creative is not
an exclusive trait possessed only by Filipinos, what makes ours distinct is the artistry,
expressiveness, spontaneity, and humor that altogether define Filipino creativity. Aside from

the abundance of world-renowned Filipino talents in music and the performing arts, our
country is rich with visual artists, fashion designers, animators and many other artists. Filipinos
are making waves in the international scene, particularly in the entertainment, creative, and
design industries.
Filipino creativity, however, is not limited to the professional artists. The countrys tourism
campaign Its More Fun in the Philippines is a remarkable testimony to the creative minds and
spontaneous wit that Filipinos generally share. This impromptu show of support to Philippine
tourism merely proves that we can unite and use our collective ingenuity to rally behind a
common cause for the benefit of the country.
Besides creativity, we Filipinos can be proud of our adaptability. We are highly adaptable to
different people, cultures, and situations that generally make us well-rounded beings. While
overseas, we not only connect with fellow Filipinos but we also adjust easily to different
cultures and diverse people. We tend to make do with what little we have and find pleasure in
the simple things. We adapt well in difficult situations that likewise showcase our resilience as a
nation. Others may view this as a general acceptance of fate or a strange kind of coping
mechanism. The Filipinos optimistic reaction to diversity, uncertainty and adversity truly
baffles, or at most amazes.
How many times do foreigners get astounded with Filipinos after every storm? Aside from
pictures of the Filipinos survival efforts, foreigners are astounded by images of children having
fun swimming in the floodwaters or people in evacuation centers smiling and waving at the
cameras. Truly, Filipinos reveal a positive spirit of adapting to distress and finding something
pleasant amidst the misery.
These are just some of the qualities (among many others) that can truly make us proud of who
we are and where we come from. Though sometimes we tend to channel them in
nonconstructive ways (like being compassionate to government crooks at the expense of
justice), we should instead exemplify these traits for the benefit of others and our nation. By
doing so, we continue to embody the best and the positive in us.
Oftentimes, we are constrained by our negativity that causes us to ridicule or think little of
ourselves. And this somehow spills over to how we easily scorn our country. While the negative
traits in us are admittedly real and contagious, these should not overpower us and define our
overall identity.
Perhaps what better way to brag about the Philippines is to live out these legendary Filipino
qualities the best way we can. After all, each one of us is the most convincing spokesperson of
our country the good and the bad we project ultimately impacts the countrys image.
Hopefully we can reduce the tendency to disparage ourselves, and instead accentuate the good
in us with confidence towards transforming our nation.
It is no small wonder that the most celebrated icons of the Philippines are actually its people:
Lea Salonga, Manny Pacquiao, Cory Aquino, Jose Rizal, Kenneth Cobonpue, Efren Peaflorida
and so many others who all make us proud of our country. Not to mention some of the millions
of Filipinos here and abroad who serve as living examples of the best of the Philippines. Truly,

there is always something good in us that give us reasons to not give up on ourselves and to
have hope in our home.


Filipino Hospitality Tops Tourists List

Manila Bulletin Mon May 27, 2013
The online statistical report, ''Beyond the Numbers,'' released on May 10, 2013 by the National
Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) showed that 52.6 percent of foreign visitors in 2012 said
the warm hospitality and kindness of Filipinos was at the top of the list of things they like most
about the Philippines.
The NSCB said that more than fascinating caves, shopping, and fun destinations, it was the
attitude toward visitors that was most liked by tourists who visited the country. Beautiful
sceneries and white-sand, powdery beaches were second at 22.6%, while good food, liquor,
and fruits were ranked third, 9.9%. Tourists liked having seen their friends and loved ones in the
Philippines, 8.7%; and see it as a good place to relax, 4.5%.
Several tourist spots received global accolades, the latest of which were The Farm at San Benito
in Batangas, awarded Best Medical Wellness Resort at Internationale Tourismus Borse 2013 in
Berlin, Germany on March 6-10, 2013, and El Nido Resorts in Palawan, given the Community
Benefit Award by the 13th World Trade and Tourism Council at Abu Dhabi on April 9-10, 2013.
Visitor arrivals last year breached the four-million mark for the first time at 4.27 million. A
fourth or 24.1% of the visitors came from South Korea, while 15.3% were from United States of
America, and 9.6% from Japan. The government expects to welcome 5.5 million tourists this
year and 10 million by 2016.
We congratulate the Department of Tourism headed by Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. and
National Statistical Coordination Board Secretary General Jose Ramon G. Albert, other Officers
and Personnel, in their coordination to pursue tourism-related programs to contribute to
sustained socio-economic growth and job generation in the Republic of the Philippines.