The Filipino society could be understood by looking on the people’s common and shared thought of social standards and a deeper sense of values system which set by its kahalagahan, kagalingan and kabuluhan that a social being should be able to follow to find him/her accepted in the collective group.
I personally believe, that norms and values system of a society is a changing standard. Why so, because the consciousness of the people depends on their social practice. The determinants of Halaga: Katangian, Kagalingan and Kabuluhan varies a lot on what social class looks at it and what prevailing culture affects mainly the ruling and middle class.
In the early communal times Filipinos used to pray to the “anitos” and “bathala” who lets nature give them abundant supply of food for their well-being and sustenance, for their protection and guidance. During the time that we still don’t have doctors for the barrio, the albularyo’s and babaylan heal us by a mixture of herbal medicines and prayers to the gods and beings. In a communal society, babaylan and albularyo who prays to the “anitos” and “bathala” for the well-being of a person or a group’s endeavor is given a high social regard. They also play an important role to the society while their authenticity is challenged by how effective their healing process and prayers were.
The people of cordillera the “kalinga” have a strong valuing system of life. They consider a wound by an evil doer to his victim as a threat to the life of the person. This evil doer is dealt with by the tribe accordingly; to kill or attempt to kill a member of the tribe will involve the tribesmen killing the villain to obtain justice. Life valuing of the Kalinga basically evolves in about life by respecting your own and that of others. The people of cordillera also have a high regard to their ancestral land being the land of their ancestors and the land where their children were raised and their people lived in. The valuing of ancestral land seems to be universal as this practice is not only seen in the practice of Filipino indigenous people but as well as of other races in some parts of the world too.
During the Spanish colonization, Filipinos were forcibly subjected to accept a foreign culture even a foreign god. The Spaniards baptized, dressed and made us talk and understand español. Babaylan’s were murdered and condemned as they introduce to us a new religion: Catholicism: the holy family and the saints. A Filipino woman who used to dress in baro’t saya is made to wear European dresses. They were made to embody the characteristics of the Virgin Mary who was depicted to be meek, obedient, silent, prayerful and forbearing. The Spanish culture of “sugal” such as card games, mahjong and cockfighting as well as siesta permeated the culture of those who cannot and refuse to resist.
Then presently we have the Americans, our valuing system was affected by what is in and acceptable in the American culture. The American standards influences as not only physically but psychologically and politically too. American music: pop, rock, ballad, r and b, and rap, American food: chocolates, apple, oranges, grapes, canned goods etc. The concept of beauty became someone who possesses a white skin, high bridged nose, blue eyes, long legs and other Barbie doll characteristics. Truth has become so colored Filipinos can no longer define by himself what and who he really is. Sovereignty is jaded by the scare that we are a terrorist hotbed and a militarily weak country so we need to keep up Uncle sam’s help. Sovereignty is sovereignty with uncle sam’s thumb meddling on our internal affairs such as the case of Nicole whose American rapist Daniel Smith was convicted by the Manila tribunal court but was rejected by the Supreme court through the aid of political pressures from the US of A.
Today, we only have a few remnants of original and good Filipino values and norms. The large and overarching understanding of us as a people has become badly permeated by the culture of another posing Supra country. Making our true culture a subculture of another will affect the social practice and consciousness of a people thus, the norms and values system too. It has been terribly affected to show a social norms and values system detached from reality. To understand the norms and values system of the current generation, we must first consciously struggle to decolonize our minds. Look around, our alignment to the global competition has affected even the beggars; drop a coin and he’ll say thank you instead of salamat while I write about my people’s norms and valuing system in a foreign tongue.