You may categorize yourself as a Baby Boomer, a Gen X, Gen Y or a Millennial. You may call yourself a 70’s, 80’s, 90’s or a 2000’s kid. Call yourself whatever you want but if you live or are even remotely related to the 7, 107 island nation, called the Philippines, you cannot help but have peculiar Filipino traits and values. You may not be aware but practice it at work, in school, in our families, and wherever we deal with other people.
If you are a Filipino, chances are you also profess to be a Christian. While it is often easy to waive and declare the Christian banner on high, we sometimes act more Filipino than Christian. Most of us may not realize that it is often easier to talk, write and declare our Christian faith but still practice and show our Filipino traits. Which leads to the question, how does the Christian faith and the Filipino values mix? How does it affect my actions, thoughts and principles?
For several weeks, Project grow has an on-going series called “Pinoy Ako.” For several weeks, a specific Filipino trait is put on spotlight. Every attendee gets to discuss and dissect a trait or value and compare it with our faith and spirituality.
Wouldn’t it be nice to learn how pakikisama (camaraderie) plays a role in the way we behave in the office? How we get to have that katatagan ng loob (resilience) during calamities and problems? How does kahihiyan (shame) prevent us from getting to know God? On the flipside, how does maawain (pity) help us to follow God’s call to help the needy and poor?
Each session allows us to accept the influence of our culture with the way we practice our faith and interact with the world. It also allows us to see how our culture distorts or reinforces the Christian faith. From this acceptance and realization, we arrive at the idea that we still need and can improve as individuals.
More importantly, the sessions clearly show that despite everything, we still need a Saviour who understands both our positive and negative traits and still love us despite everything. The glaring lesson that we all could learn is that we are all people who are in need of redemption because there still exists a flaw in each of us whether we profess to be Christians or not. Where else could we find redemption and salvation but only through Christ?