“Pag may tiyaga, may nilaga”, is the subject of our discussion on this issue. It is called “salawikain” in Tagalog, or proverb in English. Translating this “salawikain” to English, it is “If you persevere, you will reap the fruits of your labor”. But what relates to a lot of people around the world is the more popular “No pain, no gain”, which is the necessity to work hard and suffer in order to succeed and make progress in our endeavours. We consider “suffering” in the physical and mental sense. And basically, it has become the motto of famous individuals who reaped the fruits of their hard work. We know quite a few of them, a good example is Michael Jordan, just to name one for purposes of this write-up. Those who succeeded in attaining their goals and aspirations in life have literally used this adage without let up and we have known the results.
Let us go back to the Filipinos. I know quite well that lots of Filipinos are aware of this “salawikain” for ages. We have heard of various stories and testimonies of those who are now famous personalities and perhaps other low-profile Filipinos that have reached their objectives with great success because they stuck in their minds the adage “pag may tiaga, may nilaga”. If there are such exemplary Filipinos who rose from “rugs to riches”, how come a lot of Filipinos remain poor? Is it that the likes of Manny Pacquiao – “a national hero” of sorts has not served much of an inspiration to a good majority who remained bystanders to those who are openly succeeding? It makes one think therefore that Pacquiao’s example isn’t good enough to serve as a model. Or it is that Filipinos (not all) were meant to be poor, unlucky, or simply do not want to exert that “elusive” effort to excel in what they do or in what they think they can do or perhaps they are not ambitious enough to reach a comfortable status in life.
Our “salawikain” is about perseverance. Remember that perseverance is a virtue. It measures a person’s commitment, determination, and patience with oneself and others. Those who have succeeded have time and time again demonstrated that. No amount of failure should stop us from continuing our path to success if we really aim for progress.
It reminds me of what Thomas Edison – light bulb inventor said: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. Edison failed thousands of times before he finally succeeded in inventing the light bulb. Had he stopped when he stumbled a number of times, we would not have the joy of seeing what is going on when it is dark.
It occurs to me as well that Filipinos who are failing must have abandoned their belief to succeed, have lost motivation in life and have resigned themselves to another Filipino “salawikain” – “Bahala na” roughly translated as “”be as it may” or “come what may”” – which in my opinion runs counter to “pag may tiyaga, may nilaga”.
A “salawikain” is – a wise precept, a maxim, that effectively expresses some commonplace truth or a thought. And I reckon that Filipinos have to take more awareness of the true wisdom of this “salawikain” that “WORKS” and have time and again proven to show effect if one would pay close attention to the outcome or the result when practiced by anyone. It is a famous proverb that some Filipinos had adhered to for decades in the past and even now, with certainty.
But, my thoughts tell me that it has been utterly or totally forgotten by lots of Filipinos. I could also perceive that a good majority may not even know about it nor the many other “salawikain” we profess in the Philippines.
The Philippines is repleted with a good number of “salawikain”, some of them I have discussed in my past issues. In my opinion, they should be learned and observed by Filipinos, young and old alike. Out attention had been engulfed into technology, degrading our life to depend on technological advances like – cell phones, computers, cameras, and the social media. Our reliance to technology has gone far beyond our human nature and we are a hairline away of being “robots” in some ways. I am just as well as guilty like the rest of the people. We have forgotten our cultural values and traditions that remain valuable in the conduct of our lives. It is admitted that we can no longer live without the telephone on our side, wherever we find ourselves in. It is as factual as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west.
However, we cannot ignore the fact that we are all emotional beings and technology does not possess the emotions necessary for us to live within the bounds of what a human being should actually be. To my mind, technology clashes with our moral values as we no longer pay the necessary attention to what is truly conceivable and valuable to our physical and emotional growth. As human beings, we seemed to have downgraded ourselves in the “mechanical sense” than acting more as flesh and blood beings with emotions and spirituality to consider. We have become more reliant on our gadgets making ourselves look more like “electronic gadgets” as well.
It is never too late to believe that as individuals, we can still accomplish anything if we have the guts and the will to do so. True that it is easy to be overwhelmed by difficulties as they are tempting to lose our hopes. But, what we do not know is that each one of us is capable of being a one-man army, capable of changing the lives of many and literally capable of moving mountains if so needed. Putting in mind “pag may tigaya, may nilaga” within the boundaries of our thoughts and consciousness to boost our goals and aspirations, will surely aid us in achieving what we long for. Filipinos are known for their creativity, as emotionally packed people, for their spirituality and hospitality. They are proven qualities and our reality. We need to use those qualities to our advantage and start reflecting on the virtues of our “salawikain”.
Before I go, I want you to contemplate upon another quote:
“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”. – Confucius (551 to 479 BC) Chinese philosopher
These are my thoughts. With a profound hope that we take a look and consider the “wealth” we can attain from our own “salawikain”. They can help us, Filipinos, to be more an accessory to ourselves and with those virtues we were born with. They are, in more ways than one, valuable tools that can cause us to live our lives through the challenges we keep on facing in every facet of our life, at the present moment and in the future to come.