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 Thesaurus.com 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”?
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 Thesaurus.com. 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
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