Saturday, July 23, 2011

PAKIKISAMA: A Good Filipino Trait Or A Hindrance To One's Success?

People always say that it's always better to get along with everyone else and that it's always good to be liked by everyone. At least, that's what most people believe. I read a blog entry the other day about the same topic I am writing about now but to him, he saw pakikisama as something else. He thinks pakikisama means pakikipagplastikan or in other terms, not being true to yourself and to other people. I somehow feel the same thing at some degree. But before we delve into the world of this word, let's learn more about its origin first. Personally, I think this has been a part of our culture for a long time now. Most people care more about what others would say and think than by doing what they want to do or saying what they think is the truth. In a way, pakikisama is like telling a white lie to other people so that they won't get hurt but in the process, sometimes you put yourself in harm's way. What's to gain in that? Honestly, I can't answer that.

Through the years I have learned that by being too kind, you often put yourself out there only to be exploited and taken advantage of. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing bad about being a nice person. All I am saying is that nice people should know when to be nice and when to be tough as nails too. For if they always stay nice, then people might abuse you for it. Through pakikisama, this is possible. I have learned this lesson the hard way many times and I never want it to happen to me again. Pakikisama is one concept that we, Filipinos have. It means a way of showing what it is to be united with a group by trying to get along with everyone even if sometimes we don't want to. Often times, we get stuck in awkward situations that we don't want to be in and then end up with just sucking it up and doing it. Nobody knows really where it originated which is why most people say it is solely the brain child of us, Filipinos.

I can't say I am proud of having pakikisama as a part of my culture and my upbringing as it restricts us in many things. I don't mind trying to get along with people but I do not want to be forced to do it just because it is rude to not bother in the first place. Sometimes I am called apathetic, cold and uncaring. Why? Is it because sometimes I would rather not say anything, stay neutral but still try to have a good relationship with others with sacrificing less of what I want? I am a person too. I am an individual who has a mind that can think for itself and I have opinions as well so to restrict me of thinking those and expressing those is rather odd in my sense. I guess if you're going to think of it differently, you can consider pakikisama as one of the rules that binds us in our daily lives. Filipinos cannot escape this part of our culture to the extent that sometimes people go overboard. To be honest, most people believe that pakikisama should always be followed no matter what.

What happens when we try to break away from tradition and culture? I know most old people would not approve of it but we live in modern times. I do not want to disrespect our heritage or our beliefs but I believe it is time to make a change. I think it is always better to say the truth than to lie about it and in terms of pakikisama, it is always better to tell others that you have feelings and thoughts too that should be considered which is why you shouldn't always just do whatever they please. Pakikisama can make people miserable and I have experienced that first hand but did I do anything about it? The answer is no. Why? Because of many conflicting reasons. Maybe in the long run, I will be able to do something about it that will not cost me so much. Maybe its this innate need inside me that I should please others no matter what that makes me continue with what I am doing now. I know I do not like it but how can one break away from something that has been there forever? 

The only thing I know is that pakikisama is perceived in more ways than one. Some like it, some hate it while others don't care at all. To be honest, I used to be in the haters corner but now it looks like I am becoming a part of the apathetic corner. I don't want to be here but hating it for the most part won't do me good and I don't feel like liking it either so I guess that's why I'm just keeping quiet whenever a situation that needs pakikisama happens to me. Yes, I still do it but to some extent. I rarely socialize now because of this and I also do not act like my normal self anymore when I am around people I don't know very well yet. I just wish more people would know that pakikisama is alright at some level but then again, at some point, it can really get you fed up. Looks like we Filipinos have so many traditions that we can no longer change no matter how hard we try. Too bad some of the good traditions are dying. I wish pakikisama would just die along with them including all the other bad ones. I love my country and my tradition but sometimes some are just too much. 
 Trying to please others at the expense of your happiness is just not right. If you can please them then maybe they can understand it why you can't please them too.
 Amen to this one!
 I never want to be stuck in this cycle ever.
In the end, all I can ever do is this. 

1 comment:

  1. "To be honest, most people believe that pakikisama should always be followed no matter what." I agree with this but I also often argue about it. I always say "Hindi ako humihinga sa ilong nila." So who cares, I will do I want as long as I am not hurting people. I guess, this is no longer part of my ethics as I have been through a lot of circumstances that made me disregard this concept. Some people question me " bakit hindi mo ako pinansin kanina?" And I always answer, should I to please you? Not all the time, I am in a good mood to do that. It dawned on me that nowadays, this concept often times the reason why there are a lot of misunderstandings. Very nice blog best!