We don’t have a monopoly on everything we do
Last night, 24 Oras featured some news that wasn’t really…news. It mainly talked about how Filipinos have practically made it a tradition to get together with their families during All Saints’ Day in order to remember their loved ones. Some priest was interviewed and he said, “”It’s really like that with us Filipinos. This particular practice can only be witnessed here in the Philippines.”
Maybe we’re so insecure as a people that we have to grasp at straws think that everything we do is solely ours, that nobody else in the world has ever done it. Or call it being overconfident and self-centered. For one thing, trooping to cemeteries this time of the year isn’t something that only Filipinos do; Italians, Mexicans, among a great many others, also visit their deceased and lay flowers on their graves, as well as stay and make sure everything’s nice and tidy. We’re no more devoted to the people who have left us than the rest of the world.
And speaking of being devoted and caring, we also seem to suffer from the misconception that we are absolutely the most family-oriented people in the world. It most likely stems from the fact that people here are often told that in the U.S., kids are kicked out of their houses at age 18 so they can live on their own and that elderly parents are left in nursing homes. As a result, we take pride in the fact that parents here keep their kids living with them until they’re x years old, even when they get married and have their own kids. News flash: Just because that’s how things are done in the U.S. doesn’t mean they don’t care at all for their families, and it also doesn’t mean the entire world behaves similarly, nor does it mean that they’re automatically wrong because they do things differently.