Filipino hospitality a “myth”

Correct  me if I am wrong,  but,  I am beginning to consider the notion  over  the  “real  significance”  of  “Filipino  hospitality”.  I  have some serious  doubts  over  the  realistic  connotation of the  phrase  because for  many occasions  I have  proven,   at  least  to myself,  that  it is a “fantasy”  created  for  tourism purposes.   And  I think that the  concept  of  Filipinos being hospitable  is  pure  “fantasy” – pure  “myth”.  I  am sure that those who are  reading this  right  now,  are  either  shaking  their  heads,  or thinking  that  I could  be  “nuts”,   that my brain has  gone off course,  or simply put –  “kulang  ng  turnilyo”  (literally translating it – “lacks a nut”),   you may also  vehemently  disagree with my  position.  Perhaps “yes”  and  perhaps  “no”.   But  there are  some  disputable  issues  that  led  me  to  swing  in  that  direction.

Let  me  prove some  points  and  arguments and  you be  the judge  over  what  I  have  written down and let  us come up with a  conclusion.

But first,  it  is  important to discuss the true  meaning of the  word  “hospitality”.   According  to  Merriam Webster,  is  – treatment, reception, or disposition;  and  suggests  that  “hospitality”  is  –  the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers;  it  is  the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

Up to that   point,   we   share the  meanings.   There is  no  contradiction whatsoever  since  Filipinos  really  treat  their  guests,  the foreigners,   in a  warm,  friendly  and  generous  way.   Isn’t  it  that  if  Filipinos  arrive as guests   at  any  given  place  be it  in  a  party,   a  fiesta,  or any other  gathering for  that  matter,  they  are  welcomed  with  open  arms?.   Hospitality  is  truly  shown  to  guests   and foreigners.  But  what  is disturbing  is  that  this   manner  of  receiving  guests   is  done  by  Filipinos  only  in the  Philippines.   In  other  words  the  word “hospitality”  appears  not  to  be  an  inherent  quality  nor  it  is  deeply rooted  in our system and  it  becomes  inexistent  when the situation  differs.  That   Filipino  hospitality  only  extends  within  the  limits  of  the  Philippine  archipelago,  otherwise,  outside of  it,  hospitality  becomes  a  “myth”.      

Filipinos  around  the  globe  have  had  altercations with their  fellow  Pinoys.  Some  Filipinos  around  the world  had   become  a  problem  to their  fellow  Filipinos.   Some  had  been  tormentors  to  others.   Others  do not  even  mind  a  fellow  Filipino  in need.   And  perhaps  this  is  when  the  hospitality  should  really  be  demonstrated.   The  word   should  not  merely  be  strictly  limited  to  signify  what  the  dictionary  has  interpreted  it  to mean.   Take the  case of the Chinese people,  their  “hospitality”   extends  to their  fellow  Chinese.   They  help  each other  to  become  what  the Chinese  giving  the  other  a  hand,  had  become  of  himself.   Whatever  is the  concession   behind  that   help  is  no longer  our  concern.  But  what is  important  is that  they  show  “hospitality”  to  each  other  in whatever  manner  it  could  be  shown.  Perhaps it  is  a question  of  nationality  or  it  could  also  be  a  question  of  standards.  

Filipino  newcomers  in  a  certain  country  could hardly  feel  that “hospitality”  unless  perhaps  you  are   a  province  mate.  There  are  some  Filipinos  who  mistreat  Filipino inexperienced  newcomers  in  their  “adopted country”.   You must  have observed  that  there  are  various  Filipino  organizations  that  clearly show  “separatist”  attitude.  The  Ilocanos  (see photo of an Ilocano  dance)  go  only with fellow  Ilocanos,  the Bicolanos  (see photos of Bicolanos during Peñafrancia festival) with Bicolanos,  the Visayans (see photo of Sinulog festival) with Visayans…etc.   But  everbody  admit  that  they   are Filipinos.   So how  come  Ilocanos sometimes cannot  go along  well with  Visayans  or vice-versa,  how come  Bicolanos  at  some given  moments  do not get  along  well with their  fellow Bicolanos.   Is  the matter  of  ethnic  origin  the  parameter  as  to how  “hospitality”  can  be  shown  to a  fellow Filipino?  Or,  is  “hospitality”   a  forgotten  word  outside  of the country?  Or,  is  it just  a  “myth”  or  “fantasy”?

Ilocano dance “Binatbatan”  Sinulog Festival

Peñafrancia Festival

I  am positive  that  a lot  if  not  all,  will  disagree with  these views,  but  the  experience  of  being  abroad, outside  the Philippines,  has  taught  Filipinos  diverse  standards  of  values  that  have  in  many  ways  influenced  their  native  or  ethnic  values. 

In my  own  perception,  and this  is  my conclusion,   hospitality should encompass  not only  to benefit  the foreigners who  come to visit  our  country  but  it  should  be manifested  at  most  among  Filipinos themselves  inside  or  outside   the  Philippines.  Let  us  interpret hospitality  according  to the meaning given  by  Merriam Webster  or  by   At times  though,  we  observe  that  the  treatment of  a  fellow Filipino  to  another  Filipino  is more  of   “annoyance” or  “intolerance”.   Do   we  mean  “hospitality”  as  being  that?

Today  is  a  great  day,  have  a good Sunday.….Eric