Join John Adams, world renowned Intl Matchmaker, Thurs nights 8:30 EST for Live Webcasts with FREE Prizes!
And check out Five Reasons why you should attend a FREE Live AFA Seminar! See locations and details.


Scam free! Check out Christian Filipina - Meet Asian women with Christian values! Members screened.
Exclusive book offer! 75% off! How to Meet, Date and Marry Your Filipina Wife



View Active Topics       Latest 100 Topics       View Your Posts       FAQ Topics       Switch to Mobile


Understanding the “Hindu-Malayâ€￾ Filipino Mind

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

Understanding the “Hindu-Malayâ€￾ Filipino Mind

Postby ladislav » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:03 am

Winston and I noticed something simultaneously- Filipinos act Buddhist. I actually thought they were more Hindu- like. So, I have written my observations about this phenomenon not mentioned in travel brochures. It is not even realized by Filipinos themselves.

When a Western foreigner reads about the Philippines, the first things that he will encounter in most books will make him feel like he is becoming acquainted with a brotherly culture- it is a Christian country, the people speak English, and they have Spanish last names. “It would be an easy fit if I went there to liveâ€￾ he thinks. When he arrives in the country, again he might smugly say to himself- “Hey, this looks easy!â€￾- all the signs are in English, the newspapers are all in English, people wear Western clothes -T-shirts with huge letters “ USAâ€￾ on them, and maps of the United States predominating. Everyone is happy to see him. The only thing that looks different is the physical aspect of the people- most of them look Malay or S.E. Asian- same as Thais or Cambodians or Burmese. “But no sweat- they are Western on the inside, Christians. I’ll have a great time here, and I won’t need to adjustâ€￾. Or so he thinks.

So, unlike when going to live in Japan, where one expects people to be different and be exotic and Eastern, Filipinos seem easy to understand and the country seems cool to live in.â€￾ Hey, these are just brown Americans- every time I go to a night club, they sing all these American oldies!â€￾ No place in Asia seems more like home than this country. Or so you think.

However, after one starts living there, sooner or later, one becomes aware of the deep cultural undercurrent that is not obvious at first glance, but which really is the Philippines. It is like a giant river that flows under the ice and all you see is ice while missing the river. Or, it is as if you are attending a costume party with people dressed in all these Western outfits but, underneath them, a subterranean reality resides. Soon, you will see that, while they were not deceiving you on purpose, the true and profound soul of the Filipino, which is as deep as the Mariana Trench nearby, is as even more inscrutable and unpredictable than that of the Japanese.

The reason for the inscrutability is precisely that- it is implied and unseen by naked eye. The actuality is that a Filipino is really a Hindu Malay more than anything else. And the most shocking thing of all is that Filipinos themselves are not aware of that fact. It took me two decades of being around these pseudo-understandable people to finally figure that out.

One needs to understand that when one lives in the Philippines, one is located not even in Asia, but on the Malay Archipelago. The people are mostly ethnically Malay. And before the advent of Christianity and Islam, Malays had been Hindus (and Buddhist) for a very long time. The same can be said about Indonesia- while on surface the country is Muslim and follows Muslim teachings, the daily interactions, the life philosophy, the attitude towards things and people is profoundly and truly Hindu. Just like in Bali, where it is explicitly Hindu. Once you look underneath the new religions which these people have had for only a few hundred years, you will see the true nature of these islands.

The Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of Luzon such as Tondo may be gone physically, but their legacy lives on and it can only be “felt by one’s soulâ€￾ but not easily seen.

Tolerance and acceptance of different points of view: Christians, at least countries where Christianity has been for a long time, such as in Europe, are by nature very polar- things are either good or bad, right or wrong. Majority opinion rules. Judgementalism predominates. The same can be said about many Muslims. Not so with Filipinos. A Filipino does not readily decide whether someone is good or bad, but offers all people an attitude of tolerance. He is just as tolerant about other religions. A Filipino will buy a statue of a Buddha and put it in his house. Many Filipinos naturally believe in karma and reincarnation. A true Christian will not believe that. This is more of a Hindu attitude- that of acceptance and forbearance. And of open-mindedness. Majority opinion does not rule but compromises do. People adjust to each other and do not force others to be like them.

Emotional balance and “even-mindednessâ€￾: When I was living in Pampanga last year, I heard that one tricycle driver whose services I often used had died in a trike accident. He was only 30 years old and left a pregnant young wife and was survived by his parents and siblings. I went to the chapel to pay my last respects and was expecting to see people tearing hair on their heads and wailing and beating their chests in angst. Instead, I saw something that amazed me very much- all the people there were sitting in a state of utter tranquility, the wife had shed a few tears, but they had dried up very quickly and she and the mother were just seated in a most serene condition of mind with an expression of calm acceptance and no obvious “vibeâ€￾ of grief coming from them. Was it fatalism? One can say that, but it was more than that. It was as if they understood that death was something normal and could happen any day to anyone and they looked beyond it. And even though I saw Jesus on a cross in that chapel, I could not help feeling that I was really inside of an ashram or a Hindu/Buddhist temple.

In India in the old times, people could come and settle in and become Indians. It was an open society devoid of nationalism and intolerance. It was only when it came in contact with Western religions that Hindu nationalism arose. The Malay race in the Philippines must have also developed its own version of Hinduism whereby they would absorb others easily, too, and take them into their fold regardless of who they were. They were largely peaceful and they liked to get along with each other and outsiders. People from many lands, even Greeks and Arabs and anyone else would be naturally absorbed into their society. Because they had no national or religious intolerance, they easily accepted other creeds and other populations, and that was also the reason why they were so easy to colonize- peaceful passivity and conflict avoidance in their dealings with others were the reason why so many aggressive conquerors succeeded in occupying the islands- or so they thought. Eventually, they too would be absorbed by the “Malay seaâ€￾. Foreign influences would become grafted upon the Malay core and stay there as decorations rather than new essences and did change the Filipino’s mind in its depth.

A meditative “force fieldâ€￾ envelops the country: If you are a spiritual person, when you go to different countries, you pick up on the “vibeâ€￾ of that country. So, when you arrive in the Philippines, you will also be able to pick up on the vibe that hovers over it and penetrates everything around it. But it is more than a vibe. It is like a cord that hangs in the air and sounds continuously. It is a major sound and its sound is so fine and subtle that it takes time to hear it but when you do, it will be pleasantly deafening. Every person who is in the country will drown in it and will fall under its spell. It is a cord of intense meaning which cannot be described in words. It basically stands for- union with all others, union with happiness of being alive, union with joy of being in company of others, in society, union in friendship and union in love. When you feel – I cannot even say “hearâ€￾- that cord and let it go inside of you, you will realize that it is a cord of supreme spirituality and happiness. This is why the Filipinos are such happy people.

This is especially obvious when you look into the eyes of children in the country. They are wide open, the expression is not self-absorbed, they are constantly taking in information; they seem to be filled with wonder and joy of simply being alive. You can see in them peace and friendship with other children, respect towards adults and in tune with life. At the same time, they are full of strange calmness that is very deep and spiritual. Sometimes, when you look at them, you can see the origins of the nation- how it came to the islands in boats, under a warm sun, and how they had obviously enjoyed the journey.

Just like in India, many ethnic groups live in peace and speak many different languages, but unlike in Europe, they do not attack each other, but coexist and mingle with an easygoing attitude towards one another.

Mental illness and suicides are rare, families and friendship are strong and, in many ways, one can see great excellence in the structure of the social fabric of the country and it all seems to be coming from the ever reverberating cord- an “Omâ€￾ of sorts hanging above the land and echoing evenly and steadily day and night.

When witnessing people in traffic, stuck on buses for hours while going to work, one does not see frustrated faces or impatience nor hears complaints. They display composed countenances with eyes as clear and pacific as if they were meditating in a temple – only someone with the fortitude of a yogi or an Eastern monk would display such qualities.

The demeanor and gracefulness of an average person, the smooth manners, the quiet voice, the harmony and politeness are neither Spanish nor American. The closest I can think of is probably Burmese and Sri Lankan. Or Balinese.

Seeing Filipinos sick in hospitals is a strange sight- they look calm and their faces do not show much suffering. The same can be said about them working hard jobs at Jollibee or in department stores or factories. They do not complain, do not show pain or anguish and, what is more interesting, they do not seem to hurt because their stoicism is of a happy kind of, not that of bearing great pain, but of being strong, patient and enduring.

Are such traits good? That is a matter of opinion. If there is an evil person who tries to oppress others, such a person is tolerated for a long time before measures are taken to control him. If there is a criminal doing something bad, you often see a guard who looks happy and who does not immediately take action to stop the evil-doer. Forgiveness, kindness and a mild state of bliss are pleasant to observe, but what if there is someone who is wicked and wants to harm others? Such a person is not instantaneously rebuked. People also do not complain if they are given food that is not tasty, or if they receive service that is not up to par. They look upon it philosophically with acceptance of the status quo. And that is very Hindu.

The non-violent, non-confrontational nature of an average Filipino and his relative lack of experience in conflicts, physical fights and verbal altercations sometimes lead to situations when, if he is really wound up, he acts without thinking about consequences which may befall himself and others. It is because he has not experienced too many effects of conflicts in the past. So, if there is crime of passion or that resulting from anger, the anger and passion go completely uncontrolled. Woe is to him who, thinking a local to be harmless, tempts him to aggression because the result will be extremely ugly for both parties. One person may end up dead and the other- in prison for life. Un-emotionalism can paradoxically give rise to uncontrolled emotions when these do rise to the surface, and common sense gets thrown to the wind.

The same can be said about morality- there are no clear concepts of right and wrong- it is all situational. Philosophically, one can admire such a point of view, but what if some people decide to be dishonest and cheat and deceive others? Such bad individuals may sometimes not have any pangs of conscience at all because they may not clearly think themselves wrong. This is why the Philippine society is slow in stopping deception and dishonesty. They are just too tolerant and too forgiving. They also forget easily, which is not a quality of traditional Christian or Muslim nations.

Thus, in spite of the very much into-your-face Western façade, you have a country that is about as Eastern as Burma or India with a loud “Om-likeâ€￾ infra- sound that permeates its entire being.

You can live in the Philippines for a long time and think that you understand it. But you don’t. Words can only describe it partially, and appearances of Westernization are onion- skinned as they like to say. The attractiveness of the country is not in the beaches, the climate or even the pretty women you see everywhere. It is in the hidden “Om-ishâ€￾ force-field that permeates this land, a force- field that will permeate you, too. Sit calmly and observe the people. Listen in, and you will hear it. Sense it with your soul and you will feel it.
Last edited by ladislav on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
ladislav
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 3578
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:30 pm







Postby ladislav » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:20 am

Winston, I cannot edit the post - I want to put spaces in between paragraphs but in the edit window it won't accept the cursor and keep jumping away from it.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
ladislav
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 3578
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:30 pm

Postby zboy1 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:47 am

I fixed it for you, Ladislav.
zboy1
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 4441
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:33 am

Postby davewe » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:55 am

Lad:

This is a really nice analysis. I have been a practicing Buddhist for 35 years (though not as fanatical as I was in my youth) and this may very well explain my fondness for both the Philippines and Pinays.

And the India comparison is accurate. If they are influenced by Buddhism it is the older Hinayana Buddhism of India, rather than the more modern Mahayana Buddhism of China and Japan. Therefore the more passive acceptance of what is around them, rather than the more active "change your karma" attitude of Mahayana Buddhism.

And yes, just about every Filipina I met threw around the word karma. When wronged they don't seem to rely on personal retribution or the criminal-justice system, they just assume karma will extract its toll on the wrong doer.

This also might explain our misunderstanding of their lies, assuming them to be just the standard Asian saving face, rather than a profound grace and acceptance of what happens to them. Of course this isn't a great attitude if you are hoping they will solve their economic and internal problems, but it is a great attitude to have when you are looking for a graceful partner.

Think I will share this with a few Filipina friends and see what reaction I get.
Check out my blog @ www.marriedafilipina.com
davewe
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1391
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:21 am

Postby Rock » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:34 am

Very compelling! Way to dig deep from your own personal experience. Hope u will continue down this path - perhaps compare and contrast Phils, Thailand, and Japan from the perspectives you brought up in this essay.

But don't be surprised if your analysis raises lots of new questions from those who's experiences don't exactly fit into the new models you are putting out there. That's great though. Those types questions bring the discussion to a whole new level - a watershed for our HA truth seeking quests on these countries.

Seems like being in the States has given u a lot of time to reflect and share. Lucky for us. Keep it up.
Rock
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 4120
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:16 pm

Postby OutWest » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:23 am

davewe wrote:Lad:

This is a really nice analysis. I have been a practicing Buddhist for 35 years (though not as fanatical as I was in my youth) and this may very well explain my fondness for both the Philippines and Pinays.

And the India comparison is accurate. If they are influenced by Buddhism it is the older Hinayana Buddhism of India, rather than the more modern Mahayana Buddhism of China and Japan. Therefore the more passive acceptance of what is around them, rather than the more active "change your karma" attitude of Mahayana Buddhism.

And yes, just about every Filipina I met threw around the word karma. When wronged they don't seem to rely on personal retribution or the criminal-justice system, they just assume karma will extract its toll on the wrong doer.

This also might explain our misunderstanding of their lies, assuming them to be just the standard Asian saving face, rather than a profound grace and acceptance of what happens to them. Of course this isn't a great attitude if you are hoping they will solve their economic and internal problems, but it is a great attitude to have when you are looking for a graceful partner.

Think I will share this with a few Filipina friends and see what reaction I get.



I have wondered about this very thing- and Filipinos really do seem tuned to karma, except when face has been lost. At this point many of them will leave little to chance and may look for brutal revenge. Little faith is put in the criminal justice system though, since it is a farce to begin with, and everyone knows it. Often there is this resignation in the face of horrific events, and in the Philippines there are plenty of those events.


Outwest
OutWest
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:09 am
Location: Asia/USA

Postby Ginger » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:43 pm

Thank you for sharing this Ladislav :)

And btw, from an editorial/journalistic perspective, the article/post is beautifully written.
I do not promise to be gingerly :P
Ginger
Freshman Poster
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:39 pm
Location: somewhere out there

Postby MrPeabody » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:51 pm

There is an interesting Wikipedia article on Hinduism in the Philippines. Towards the end of the article there is a list of Tagalog words that derived from Sanskrit. Fortunately, in India Hinduism has managed to survive the onslaughts of Islam, Christianity, socialism, and secularism. The light hasn’t been snuffed out yet.

Hinduism in the Philippines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_i ... hilippines

Websites to preserve Hinduism in India

http://www.sandeepweb.com/category/indian-philosophy/

http://www.voiceofdharma.org/books/

http://www.hinduwisdom.info/index.htm
MrPeabody
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:53 pm

Postby MrPeabody » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:52 pm

There is an interesting Wikipedia article on Hinduism in the Philippines. Towards the end of the article there is a list of Tagalog words that derived from Sanskrit. Fortunately, in India Hinduism has managed to survive the onslaughts of Islam, Christianity, socialism, and secularism. The light hasn’t been snuffed out yet.

Hinduism in the Philippines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_i ... hilippines

Websites to preserve Hinduism in India

http://www.sandeepweb.com/category/indian-philosophy/

http://www.voiceofdharma.org/books/

http://www.hinduwisdom.info/index.htm
MrPeabody
Experienced Poster
 
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:53 pm

Postby lavezzi » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:04 pm

thanks for sharing these thoughtful and experienced observations. very interesting.

i do think that wealth is the single biggest factor in determining the nature of a people within a culture, far more so than religion.

westerners are brought up to have a very innert and strong sense of being an individual ego which needs to assert itself on the very alien feeling outside world; always resisting what is and trying to change it to suit their view due to being convinced they have the authority of holding the correct position and opinion on all matters. filipinos and similar groups see themselves as much more of a collective. their inherent outlook is one which sees the bigger picture and flows with it, as a result life becomes much easier regardless of circumstances. collective pride triumphs personal pride which they have very little of, practically none in comparison to a westerner.
lavezzi
Junior Poster
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:38 pm
Location: Republic of Éire

Postby ladislav » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:03 pm

lavezzi wrote:thanks for sharing these thoughtful and experienced observations. very interesting.

i do think that wealth is the single biggest factor in determining the nature of a people within a culture, far more so than religion.

westerners are brought up to have a very innert and strong sense of being an individual ego which needs to assert itself on the very alien feeling outside world; always resisting what is and trying to change it to suit their view due to being convinced they have the authority of holding the correct position and opinion on all matters. filipinos and similar groups see themselves as much more of a collective. their inherent outlook is one which sees the bigger picture and flows with it, as a result life becomes much easier regardless of circumstances. collective pride triumphs personal pride which they have very little of, practically none in comparison to a westerner.


The Japanese and Saudis are wealthy, yet their cultures are very collective. Same with Kuwait.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
ladislav
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 3578
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:30 pm

Postby ladislav » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:08 pm

There is an interesting Wikipedia article on Hinduism in the Philippines.


A Filipino is just a Malay with a T-shirt that says USA and a giant cross on the chest. He speaks English and his name is Arvin Rodriguez. All that is part of his surface identity. Inside, there is a deep Malay soul built on Hindu principles which later were dressed in a Christian facade.

What you see.

Image

What you get ( what they really are)

Image
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
ladislav
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 3578
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:30 pm

Postby lavezzi » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:37 pm

ladislav wrote:
The Japanese and Saudis are wealthy, yet their cultures are very collective. Same with Kuwait.


those cultures are just further behind the west in the process of completely abandoning all traditional values. they are in the stage of overt materialism wheras we are further ahead. the japanese will become increasingly individualized on all levels in the coming decades.
lavezzi
Junior Poster
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:38 pm
Location: Republic of Éire

Postby ladislav » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:35 pm

Real unadulterated Malay culture:

This is what a wedding of a Kano to a Pinay could look like

Image

Image

Image

Image

This is probably why the inside of a Filipino is so tranquil- thousands of years of this cannot be changed by a few hundred years of not so many Catholic priests teaching their religion in the country.

Image

Image
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
ladislav
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 3578
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:30 pm

Postby ladislav » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:49 pm

A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
ladislav
Elite Upper Class Poster
 
Posts: 3578
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:30 pm

Next

Return to Asia, China, Philippines, Thailand

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests