KATAHIMIKAN SA KAPAYAPAAN:
A FILIPINO CULTURAL PHENOMENON AND CULTURAL VALUE
CELESTINO A. GIANAN
This paper aims at looking into the phenomenological dimension of katahimikan sa kapayapaan [“peace of mind” in “socio-political peace”] using the phenomenological reduction [epoché or bracketing] of Edmund Husserl. Though Husserl is not a Filipino thinker, the researcher believes that his thoughts on phenomenology can shed light on how Filipino men and women should understand katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a phenomenon and as a cultural value; how this understanding could manifest in Filipino thinking; how they should understand their own existence; how they should behave on the basis of the value katahimikan sa kapayapaan; and how this would create a constructive passage to national progress. On the other hand, the researcher in effect establishes a new paradigm, thereby replacing the old one, which says, “Where there is katahimikan, there is kapayapaan.” In replacing the old paradigm, the new paradigm takes its stance, “Where there is kapayapaan, there is katahimikan.” This is so insofar as not every katahimikan is indicative of kapayapaan. However, every kapayapaan is indicative of katahimikan. Ultimately, the researcher claims that it is via this new paradigm that a constructive passage to national progress shall be directed.
The researcher believes that katahimikan sa kapayapaan plays a very crucial role in constructing a passage to national progress. In view of this, the researcher looks into the phenomenological dimension of these cultural values and how these in effect pave the way to national progress. To accomplish this, the researcher employs the Husserlian phenomenological reduction as a tool in analyzing these Filipino cultural values. Given this consideration, a series of questions is dealt with the answers of which shall, in effect, provide that which brings about the true sense of katahimikan sa kapayapaan and how it affects national progress which all Filipino men and women are craving for. It must be noted that when the researcher speaks of katahimikan sa kapayapaan as cultural phenomenon and as cultural value in this paper, he does not imply the idea that these can only be found in Philippine society. Frank Lynch, S.J. (Hollnsteiner 1979: 37) declares that “when we speak of certain values as being characteristic of Philippine society, we do not mean that these conceptions of the desirable are found only in the
First of all, when we speak of “traditional Filipino values” such as bahala na, utang na loob, pakikikisama, hiya, we do not claim that they are peculiar to the
The focus indeed of this paper is to do a second look at katahimikan sa kapayapaan considering its phenomenological dimension and, in the process, put up a new paradigm, which is essential to paving a passage constructive of national progress.
First set of questions concentrates on katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a cultural phenomenon: What is the meaning of phenomenon? What brings about a phenomenon? What makes phenomenon cultural? What therefore makes katahimikan sa kapayapaan a cultural phenomenon?
The second set of questions concentrates on katahimikan sa kapayapaan as cultural value in Philippine society: What is the meaning of values? How are values brought about? How do these cultural values emerge in Philippine Society?
The third set of questions focuses on the implications of katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a cultural phenomenon: What is its logical implication? What is its metaphysical implication? What is its psychological implication? What is its epistemological implication?
The fourth set of questions deals with katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a constructive passage to national progress: What sort of tragedy does our nation experience? What becomes of our nation in the midst of this national tragedy? What possible remedy can be looked into?
After having gone through all these questions, it is expected that katahimikan sa kapayapaan will be given a “new paradigm” as a result of this phenomenological analysis. This presupposes the fact that there has been and there is an “old paradigm” which, for the researcher, has made less contribution to the passage of national progress. This is the old paradigm: “Where there is katahimikan, there is kapayapaan”. The researcher claims this is a non sequitur, that is, it does not follow insofar as not all katahimikan is kapayapaan for there is a sharp distinction between katahimikan and kapayapaan. Katahimikan is that which is being expressed; whereas, kapayapaan is that which expresses. If ever there is kapayapaan, there is katahimikan insofar as katahimikan, from the researcher’s point of view, is indeed the consequence of kapayapaan, that is, the latter is the by-product of what is inside [the loob] and the former is that which produces this by-product [the labas]. Thus, where there is kapayapaan, there is katahimikan and not the other way around. There is no other significant way in which katahimikan takes place in any society other than the emergence of kapayapaan. This is the new paradigm, which the researcher tries to pose in this paper.
PART ONE: KATAHIMIKAN SA KAPAYAPAAN,
A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
The thesis of this particular discussion is that the phenomenon of katahimikan sa kapayapaan is cultural in character. It is intrinsic and not extrinsic to the Filipino people. Thus, it belongs to their consciousness. It is through, with, and in their consciousness that the realization of katahimikan sa kapayapaan would take place. The term “consciousness” [the Husserlian third level of consciousness] is the depth-ego or samadhi in Hinduism wherein the yogi is not only able to contemplate being as a whole but also to be one with it (
What is the meaning of phenomenon? Emerita
Taken in this study are the fifth and sixth meanings of the word “phenomenon” which are basically relevant to the Husserlian phenomenological method. This is in reference too to what Emerita S. Quito claimed in her book entitled Phenomenology: Edmund Husserl and Edith Stein.
What brings about a phenomenon? Understood from a Husserlian perspective, that which brings about a phenomenon is the pure I or the phenomenological I or the transcendental Ego wherein a more trenchant object or phenomenon becomes its correlatum and where true apodicticity is achieved (
What makes phenomenon cultural? The context of the text “katahimikan sa kapayapaan” is the very culture of the people concerned. Culture, in this regard, basically means the consciousness of the people. Apart from this, culture becomes something that is foreign to the people as if it is something introduced and brought from the outside. The researcher would like to stress the fact that culture and consciousness of the people are co-existent. In fact, the consciousness of the people is so vital in understanding the very meaning of culture. In effect, the consciousness of people therefore determines the kind of culture they have. Katahimikan sa kapayapaan, as a Filipino cultural phenomenon, belongs to the consciousness of the Filipino people. And, therefore, it is not something imported nor is it something being imposed upon by certain forces outside. This goes without saying that the phenomenon of katahimikan sa kapayapaan is not brought about, for instance, by the presence of military forces deployed in designated places. The deployment of these external forces does not mean the creation, preservation, and sustenance of this cultural phenomenon. The deployment of these external forces is meant to protect and safeguard the people from external and foreign aggression and not primarily to bring about katahimikan sa kapayapaan in the lives of people. To think of external forces such as military forces as those which bring about this cultural phenomenon is an erroneous understanding.
The researcher in this regard would like to look at this cultural phenomenon as something not extrinsic but intrinsic to Filipino men and women. When the researcher claims that katahimikan sa kapayapaan belongs to the consciousness of the Filipino people, he strongly stresses the fact that this cultural phenomenon, insofar as it is intrinsic to them, is at the same time a manifestation of what is inside of them. This manifestation, the researcher claims, is founded on the Filipinos’ personal faith, which is, properly speaking, the third level of consciousness understood from a Husserlian perspective. Katahimikan sa kapayapaan, therefore, becomes a phenomenon inasmuch as it is a “correlatum” or the object of consciousness of the Filipino people or, in simple terms, it belongs to the consciousness of Filipino men and women.
The researcher would like to believe that katahimikan sa kapayapaan perceived in this fashion is neither appearances to be looked into as well as to be cried about as in a slogan, nor manifestations under the form of resemblance with other things as in symbols nor symptoms like other things which for the moment are not yet apparent. It is but a “correlatum” of people’s consciousness which when people look deeper into themselves, they are better able to see, judge, and act, that is, to see the significance of these cultural values, to judge their value to personal as well as societal life, and to act on the basis of the value of this cultural phenomenon. It goes without saying that the Filipino people must go back to themselves and look into themselves, for the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan dwells in their inner selves. Husserl (
There have been various attempts by the Philippine government and its agencies and institutions to create, maintain, and sustain katahimikan sa kapayapaan by organizing law enforcers and deploy them in designated places, but it seems these are in vain considering the present status as well as the conditions of our Philippine society. On the other hand, moves have been initiated by the Philippine Church as well as its organizations, but still the very same situations are being experienced by our Filipino people. Deployment of external forces is not the answer. It is the employment of an inner-directed activity that paves the way for the emergence as well as realization of these cultural values in kapayapaan in our Philippine soil. Seeing, therefore, the significance of katahimikan in the Filipinos’ inner selves and judging its value to personal as well as social life, and acting on the basis of the value of these cultural values would make our very own Philippine society a place where the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan would set people free.
What makes katahimikan sa kapayapaan a cultural phenomenon? From the point of view of the researcher, a cultural phenomenon means that which belongs to the consciousness of the people. A phenomenon becomes cultural, therefore, insofar as it belongs to the consciousness of the people. Perceived otherwise makes the phenomenon senseless. Katahimikan sa kapayapaan, as a Filipino cultural value, is said to be intrinsic to the consciousness of the Filipino people insofar as this is a cultural phenomenon. As a cultural phenomenon, then, katahimikan sa kapayapaan must be looked at not from without but from within. The personal conviction of the nearness of this cultural phenomenon to the Filipinos themselves is what matters most. For, indeed, it is the inner self that is of paramount importance. Seeing this cultural value from a distance is in itself a betrayal of the capacity of the Filipino people to manifest the amount of goodness that is in them. In view of this, the researcher relates the data contained in the writing of Francisco R. Demetrio (Mercado 1980: 118-119) which narrates how Zeus A. Salazar explains his notion of meaningful historiography of the Filipino people:
From the way Salazar put it, it is clear that his historiography has a program and a purpose. It contains the promise of united nationality, it is to demonstrate the still unfinished becoming of the Philippine nation. It presupposes that there are such things as a shared spirit, or world of values and ideas; a common language, and a particular civilization. And if these are not in place, they need to be created.
The greatest obstacles to this project are those who have been acculturated to the West, and Salazar never tires of lashing out at the self-colonization of those who mentally dwell at the cosmopolitan side of the great cultural divide. It is the latter who stands in the way of the development of a truly national civilization that roots in the Philippine community. They keep cultivating their ties with foreign lands, and fail to develop a deep understanding of the psychology, culture and worldview in which Philippine history is grounded. Needless to say that this understanding, which is part of the common experience and the collective consciousness of the masa, must be brought to the surface by the unfailing efforts of the new Filipino historiographer.
The above citation must be taken as a great reminder for the Filipino people of the importance of the necessity to introspect and establish ties with themselves for, as the researcher believes, the truth of the emergence and realization of any desire dwells in the inner self. Within this context, Grietje P. Kartagi (Osi 2000: 10) makes this observation:
The first fundamental value is that of the self, manifesting in a human person. The human person has value, not because of what he is in terms of possessions, but for what he is as a creature gifted by God with intellect and will. Because he has human dignity, he possesses certain rights and duties essential to his development.
However, it must be clearly noted, the researcher claims, that this form of belief does not deprive the Filipino people of their capacity to relate to and with others, that is, with men and women in foreign lands. Otherwise, it would be a great shame on the part of the Filipino people not to look out to others. For the truth that underlies this belief of the researcher is that the more Filipinos understand themselves, the more creative, productive, and effective they become in their relationship to, with, and for others.
Thus, the cultural character of katahimikan sa kapayapaan extends an invitation to all Filipino people to give importance to their consciousness which in effect brings about the emergence and realization of this cultural value in Philippine society. This is so insofar as this cultural character is intrinsic and not extrinsic to the Filipino people.
PART TWO: KATAHIMIKAN SA KAPAYAPAAN AS
A CULTURAL VALUE IN PHILIPPINE SOCIETY
After having illustrated that katahimikan sa kapayapaan is in fact a cultural phenomenon, the researcher now delves into another significant dimension, that is, katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a cultural value. Thus, the thesis of this particular discussion is that katahimikan sa kapayapaan, aside from its being a cultural phenomenon as illustrated in Part One of this paper, is perceived too as a cultural value in Philippine society. If ever a cultural phenomenon exists in a given society, it should, the researcher claims, in effect necessitate the emergence of certain cultural values. This is following common sense, the pragmatic principle that if ever something comes into being, that which comes into being should in itself be and become a value to beings—otherwise its existence would be of no sense at all. In the case of katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a cultural phenomenon, the researcher asserts that as a cultural phenomenon it in effect is a cultural value insofar as it is a value to the Filipinos themselves.
Jose R. Vergara, in his foreword to the book entitled Filipino value system: A literature survey (FVS 1980: I), states that “values while an important aspect of a culture are sensitive issues that must be approached with the modest acceptance of clear facts and the unquestionable sincerity to utilize these to attain worthwhile goals.” On the other hand, Pedro T. Orata (FVS 1980: 1) once said, “The best inheritance for our children is not the form of property, money, or brains or even education, although these would be helpful if properly used but values or character traits. As the values are, so will the family become, and as the family is, so is the nation.”
Values, then, the researcher claims, are of value insofar as they contribute to the realization of a certain goal and to the making of a deserving society.
What therefore is the meaning of values? There is a variety of meanings attached to the term “values.” Fr. Jaime Bulatao, S.J. (FVS 1980: 3) defines values as the object of positive attitude. It is the good to which a man tends. It is the goal, the vision of which motivates him to action. It is the thing that people want. Bella R. Munsayac (FVS 1980: 3) defines values as the conception distinctive of an individual or characteristic of a group, of the desirable which influences the selection from available modes, means, and ends of action. Two Filipino authors, Paz Policarpio Mendez and F. Landa Jocano (FVS 1980: 3), share this definition of values as the worth of certain aspects of behavior. Another Filipino author, Rodolfo R. Varias (FVS 1980: 3), gives the meaning of values in relation to the medical profession: “Values may be of some usefulness to the psychiatrist in his desire to understand his Filipino patient.” Fr. Vitaliano R. Gorospe, S.J. (FVS 1980: 3) offers his view that “Filipino values serve as matrix or potential for maximum Christian renewal and spiritual maturity of the Filipino people and especially of the Filipino youth.” Chester L. Hunt, Socorro C. Espiritu, Richard W. Coller, and Onofre D. Corpus (FVS 1980: 3) collectively define value as “the quality of desirability or undesirability believed to inhere in an idea, object, or action.” Briefly, Frank Lynch (FVS 1980: 3) used values as “standards used in the making of a decision.”
In effect, then, there are three important concepts (FVS 1980: 4) to be drawn from the above definitions and these are the following:
1. That values as a conception of what is “good” or desirable can become goals.
2. That values are the wellspring of attitudes and behaviors.
3. That values can predict probable decisions and judgments.
Given the above-mentioned consideration, the researcher at this point in time would dwell now on the dynamics of value formation. This is very important insofar as value formation is a process in itself. It involves the cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions of the human person.
How values are brought about—how this particular
cultural value emerges in Philippine society
The researcher himself perceives the dynamics of values formation as that which entails interplay of the three basic dimensions of human life, that is, the cognitive, the affective, as well as the behavioral. Anything that dwells in the cognitive faculty of the human person becomes an idea, a product of one’s conception. In the case of katahimikan sa kapayapaan, this cultural phenomenon is a concept which dwells in the cognitive faculty. This “dwelling in the cognitive faculty” is an affirmation of the fact that katahimikan sa kapayapaan does belong to the consciousness of the Filipino people who have been endowed with this cognitive faculty. This is so inasmuch as this cultural value is a “correlatum” of the consciousness of the Filipinos. The fact that the Filipino people have in mind this cultural phenomenon as evidenced by the overwhelming demands of peace and order in our society shows that it certainly belongs to and dwells in their consciousness. Tomas D. Andres (1989: 9) has this to say:
We, Filipinos, hold the possibility of being thoughtful and wise. The most appropriate values will only come when we use our intellect freely and reflectively to define our relationships with each other and with an ever-changing world.
The need to clarify our values is based on the belief that values are personal matters and that they cannot be of much significance unless they penetrate our lives. Our values are true values if we act upon them with pattern, consistency, and repetition because they have been freely chosen by us after consideration of the consequences of each alternative. Furthermore, a true value is prized and cherished and publicly affirmed.
Now, this goes to show that the cognitive faculty [intellect] of Filipino men and women, when used freely and reflectively, is filled in and is in touch with this object of consciousness [correlatum] regarded in this particular context as the phenomenon of katahimikan sa kapayapaan and, thereby, making this as something personal. It would become very significant only insofar as it shall penetrate the lives of Filipino men and women. What is needed is for Filipinos to be more conscious of the value of their own knowledge vis-à-vis their cognitive faculty [intellect]. Somebody occupying a very important position in our government (Mulder 2000: 25) once said:
Filipinos should be more conscious of the value of their own knowledge. We have looked to other nations for new technologies and cures, even for ordinary ailments. Indeed, many other nations have been exploiting the potentials of our resources, claiming them as their own discoveries without giving credit to us, and making tremendous profits at our expense.
What is being implied in the above statement is a clear reminder to Filipinos to look into their cognitive faculty to see and understand what dwells in it; the neglect of this would mean ignorance of the Filipino people. Years have passed and the experience of katahimikan sa kapayapaan generally has been of negative output. This indicates only that something greater has to be done, that is, Filipinos must take the initiative of suspending (“bracketing,” the Husserlian phenomenological method known as epoché or reduction) those preconceived false notions of these cultural values after all the experience has not been so well, and make a first hand move of getting in touch with the deepest region of their selves (the Pure I or the Phenomenological I of Husserl) where their goodness is to be introspected. The researcher believes that this amount of goodness can be explored in the innermost part of their being via their cognitive faculty, which is the intellect where Filipinos would start saying “Now we know; now we learn; now we understand.”
Having done this, what dwells in the cognitive faculty, that is, what has been thought of regarding katahimikan sa kapayapaan as influenced by that amount of goodness, should flow into the affective faculty where Filipinos would start saying “We like this; we love this; we treasure this; we value this.” This is where katahimikan sa kapayapaan becomes a value for it is in the affective faculty that liking, loving, treasuring, and valuing take place. But sad to say, it has been a common understanding that values reside in the cognitive faculty. This is a fallacy, an erroneous understanding for that matter. No wonder the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan has been suppressed and has been stagnated insofar as it has been wrongly perceived. In view of this, the researcher further proceeds by saying that what is in the affective faculty should influence behavioral manifestations thereby making people valuable. It is in these manifestations that Filipinos are able to express themselves freely, saying: “We are at peace; we are in order; we are happy, we are liberated.” It goes without saying that it is only when Filipinos would value katahimikan sa kapayapaan that this cultural phenomenon would take effect. The power that enables Filipinos to value katahimikan sa kapayapaan comes from within, not from without. It is intrinsic, not extrinsic. It is only through this so-called phenomenological process (a term coined by the researcher himself in relation to the concept of “correlatum” or object of consciousness) that katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a cultural value would emerge in Philippine society.
As a Filipino cultural value, the researcher claims, katahimikan sa kapayapaan shall reflect the Filipino identity. This identity is very crucial in the Filipino search for something higher and greater in the order of values. This means that it is only in katahimikan, that is, katahimikan sa kapayapaan, that Filipinos would be able to appreciate something, which is higher and greater in the order of values. On the other hand, as a Filipino cultural value, katahimikan sa kapayapaan is a widely-held belief insofar as it is a vehicle for making human affairs not only move smoothly but for enabling these human affairs to be identified with what and who a Filipino is. Tomas D. Andres (1987: 5) shares his thoughts, saying, “Filipino cultural values are widely-held beliefs which make some activities, relationships, goals, and feelings important to Filipino people’s identity.”
PART THREE: CERTAIN IMPLICATIONS OF KATAHIMIKAN SA KAPAYAPAAN AS A CULTURAL PHENOMENON AND AS A CULTURAL VALUE
After having illustrated that katahimikan sa kapayapaan is in fact a cultural phenomenon and at the same time a cultural value, the researcher considers in this paper another important dimension, that is, its implications. The thesis of this particular discussion is that as a cultural phenomenon and as a value, katahimikan sa kapayapaan has certain implications in the way Filipinos should think (logical implications); in the way Filipinos should understand their own existence (ontological implications); in the way Filipinos should behave on the basis of this cultural value (psychological implications); and in the way Filipinos should become knowledgeable of how this value affects personal as well as societal life (epistemological implications). Though these implications are interrelated, the researcher would like to treat them one by one in this paper.
Logical Implications. The researcher would like to claim that this cultural phenomenon and cultural value manifest how Filipinos should think. Here we see that the consciousness of the Filipino people dictates how they think about katahimikan sa kapayapaan. This shows that nobody in this world can and would dictate the Filipino people as to how they should consider katahimikan sa kapayapaan. Otherwise, listening to the dictates of other foreign nationals regarding what katahimikan sa kapayapaan means in its truest sense and how it is realized would mean insulting the Filipinos’ capacity to look into their inner selves where the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan resides. In other words, both the consciousness of the Filipino people and how they think are to be understood inseparably. This is so insofar as the consciousness of the Filipino people manifests how they think, and how they think is reflective of their consciousness. Filipino consciousness determines Filipino thinking. This in effect is an effective way of determining how Filipinos should think of katahimikan sa kapayapaan. Thinking of and about katahimikan sa kapayapaan would be tantamount to going into the Filipinos’ consciousness. On the other hand, what they value is what they also think. Here we see in effect the relationship between what is in the cognitive and that which is in the affective. What is in the cognitive is an idea; what is in the affective is a value. That which belongs intrinsically to the consciousness of the Filipino people colors katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a cultural value. Katahimikan sa kapayapaan as a cultural value is not taught from the outside but is effected from the inside. Thus, the thought that katahimikan sa kapayapaan is in fact a cultural phenomenon and a cultural value shows the distinctness and uniqueness of Filipino thinking. Virgilio G. Enriquez (Mercado 1980: 12) observes:
Ang pagkatao ay may higit na malalim na batayan at sa pananaw ng Pilipino ang mga katangiang panloob ang higit na binibigyan ng diin at hindi ang katangiang panlabas lamang.
[Personhood has a deeper grounding, and from the Filipino perspective, the inner personal traits are emphasized more, not the outward personal traits.]
This is an affirmation of the fact that truth dwells in the inner selves. This is an indication and at the same time an assurance that the inner selves of the Filipino men and women are very crucial in determining and realizing their cravings which are beneficial to themselves and to the wider society. Where else can Filipinos find the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan except in their inner selves? “Inner selves” is associated with consciousness in this regard. In a Husserlian manner of thinking, it is the Pure I or the Phenomenological I.
Ontological Implications. Aside from the idea that this cultural phenomenon and cultural value manifest Filipino thinking, this portion of the study seeks to demonstrate too the fact that katahimikan sa kapayapaan as both cultural phenomenon and cultural value manifests the way Filipinos should understand their own existence [being–ontos]. Since katahimikan sa kapayapaan is intrinsic to the consciousness of Filipino men and women, it then reflects the kind of thinking Filipinos should have in the course of time. As mentioned a while ago, the Filipino consciousness determines the Filipino thinking, the researcher on the other hand postulates that the phenomenal character of katahimikan sa kapayapaan does color the way Filipinos should understand their own existence. It therefore has certain ontological implications. The emergence of katahimikan sa kapayapaan in the lives of Filipino men and women tells something about the way they should understand their own existence. The researcher now postulates his idea in this fashion:
1. That Filipino existence becomes insignificant without katahimikan sa kapayapaan;
2. That their existence becomes significant only insofar as this cultural phenomenon affects not only their thinking but also their existence;
3. That their existence becomes sensible only insofar as this cultural value effects its valuability;
4. That their existence becomes valuable only insofar as these cultural phenomena and cultural values contribute to their own growth and development as well as to that of their society.
Horacio de la Costa, S.J. (Lumbera 1977: 336) stresses the fact that:
Now the development of people can only be brought about by the people themselves. No one can do it for them; not the government; not the Church; not foreign aid. Only they can do it. But they cannot do it if their energies are sapped and their initiatives thwarted by an unjust and oppressive social order. And so it is there that development must begin: in the dismantling of institutionalized injustice; in setting people free.
From a phenomenological point of view, to exist is to develop. The consciousness of Filipino men and women should in one way or another anticipate the fact that to exist is to develop. This is what is implicated in the above citation, that is, the development of people can only be brought about by the people themselves. And only they can do it. However, the researcher claims, this can only be realized if Filipinos understand their existence in a manner that would manifest katahimikan sa kapayapaan, which in the mind of the researcher is very crucial in bringing about the development of their society. In a much deeper manner, the researcher would like to postulate the idea that existence understood apart from katahimikan sa kapayapaan is no existence at all. For what is existence without the phenomenon and the value of katahimikan sa kapayapaan? It’s nonsense. The Filipino’s existence should be understood in a manner that would enhance development and this can only be done by going into their inner selves where the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan dwells and by virtue of which they as a people can bring about their own development. Development is enhanced only in a society where there is katahimikan sa kapayapaan. In fact, development, according to Pope Paul VI, is the new name for peace (Lumbera 1977: 336).
The cultural phenomenon and the cultural value of katahimikan sa kapayapaan, considered as something intrinsic to the consciousness of the Filipino people, should shape the Filipino understanding of their own existence for indeed these have ontological repercussions. They tell something about how Filipinos should exist, that is, they exist in order to develop. The logic behind this is that if Filipinos exist in order to develop, then it is a must that katahimikan sa kapayapaan should reign in Philippine society. For a chaotic society is a disturbed society and a disturbed society is one that drives away the impetus of any form of development.
Psychological Implications. If the cultural phenomenon and the cultural value of katahimikan sa kapayapaan have logical (thinking) as well as ontological (existing) implications, it cannot be denied too that it has its psychological (behavioral) implications insofar as this cultural phenomenon and cultural value ushers the way Filipinos should behave based on the value of katahimikan sa kapayapaan. Filipino men and women, the researcher asserts, should be made aware that katahimikan sa kapayapaan is a cultural phenomenon and, as such, it belongs to their consciousness. The fact that this phenomenon belongs to their consciousness, Filipino men and women should be made to understand that whatever is in their consciousness, that is, whatever is in the innermost region of their being which is the goodness in them should be valued. Here, the researcher would like to say that it takes one’s transcendentality to be able to get in touch with that, which is a value in itself. In the case of katahimikan sa kapayapaan, Filipino men and women should transcend to that region where they shall encounter the goodness (their potentialities, capabilities, and abilities) that is in them which is the domain of the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan. In other words, Filipinos should suspend (Husserlian perspective) whatever preconceived ideas or judgments they may have regarding katahimikan sa kapayapaan and should become transcendent towards that which opens themselves to that which brings about katahimikan sa kapayapaan, which is the domain of goodness that is in them. For it is in this domain of goodness that the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan resides, which in effect makes katahimikan sa kapayapaan a value. Filipinos therefore should behave on the basis of the value that katahimikan sa kapayapaan provides if only to put up a constructive passage to national progress. Horacio de la Costa, S.J. (Lumbera 1977: 327) makes a comment, saying:
It is the burning ambition of every Filipino to be himself; to be his own man; to be a person in his own right; to make up his own mind; to do his thing. He may not say so in so many words. He may not even be conscious of this drive within him. It is there. Pagsasarili: to own oneself.
This is a comment which invites all Filipino men and women to go deeper into themselves in the process of being with themselves; to explore what is inside (loob) of them regardless of biases and prejudices they acquire from outside (labas) of them; to discover that region of goodness which enables them to do what is valuable; and to expose through behavioral manifestations that which is of great value. In other words, to behave on the basis of the value that the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan offers.
Epistemological Implications. This portion of the study shows the fact that Filipino men and women should be knowledgeable of how katahimikan sa kapayapaan affects one’s personal as well as societal life. Earlier in this paper, the researcher postulates the idea that katahimikan is the by-product of kapayapaan. This shows that kapayapaan as a cultural phenomenon generates katahimikan. Dionisio Miranda (1992: 146) shares his thoughts:
Negatively considered, katahimikan is freedom from things like threat, danger, disorder [panganib, peligro, sakit, pinsala, ligalig]. It is freedom from war, strife, conflict. It is freedom from worry, fear, doubt, anxiety, unease [suliranin, takot, alinlangan, pagka-bahala, alala, sindak, pangamba, pagka-ilang, di-mapakali]. In short, it is freedom from anything that disturbs or tires, troubles, or pains [hirap]. On the other hand, and in a more positive key, katahimikan is stillness, quite, and rest [palagayang loob, tahimikang isip, etc.]. Katahimikan implies, basically, a freedom to be what one wishes or is meant to be free [hence, also ginhawa, tuwa, ligaya, saya].
Katahimikan, which is the by-product of kapayapaan, provides an atmosphere of freedom from threat, danger, and disorder. When there is a threat of oppression and exploitation caused by society’s oppressive and exploitative structure, the tendency of Filipino men and women is to react and to rebel. This reaction and rebellion often result in war, strife, and conflict. This is very obvious in the Philippine scenario, most particularly, between the administration and the opposition, between the formulation as well as the implementation of the programs of the government and the ideologies of certain militant groups, the perpetuation of which decontextualizes development. And where development is decontextualized, progress becomes invisible and unobservable. Filipino men and women should know for certain and should be made knowledgeable of this if only to enhance a movement, which is directive of progress.
Another consideration is the fact that when Filipino men and women are filled with worries, anxieties, fears, and uneasiness, the phenomenon of katahimikan sa kapayapaan becomes invisible and unobservable in their faces. Take for instance the traffic problem in our metro localities both in cities and in towns. This is just one of the many forces making Filipino men and women feel worried, anxious, and fearful as to when and how to organize things in order to get to work or to school on time and to get home in the soonest possible time as there are other things to be done at home. Napoleon G. Rama (1990: 210), in his article “Use hi-tech to solve traffic mess,” shares with us his thoughts on this:
For years now we have been talking our heads off trying to remedy the traffic and transport problem. There have been many solutions, from purchase of more buses, and streetcars, which would also choke the streets, construction of another, a wider very expensive EDSA beyond EDSA, posting of traffic policemen, or tanods at every junction, or equipping traffic cops with loudspeakers to scold and shame both drivers and pedestrians into following the rules, building bridges across the Pasig river—most of these are stop-gap or wrong solutions under our circumstances or are too expensive or it takes too long to implement them. All these years none of the experts in the engineering profession have bothered to inform the public or the President about this simpler, more sensible, less painful way of ridding the country of a national disgrace that compels the wage earners and students to wait for hours and hours in the streets for transportation and all vehicle owners to waste billions of dollars in gasoline at jammed intersections.
The above citation clearly indicates the reality of the traffic problem in the metropolis, which in effect affects the lives of Filipino men and women. The effect is so destructive, but even at this time, no concrete solution has been taken. This in effect means that Filipinos have not realized the impact of this problem. But it is not only the traffic problem that dehumanizes the people. Drug abuse, homelessness, unemployment, and many other problems likewise dehumanize Filipinos. Given all these sorts of problems, katahimikan sa kapayapaan can never be and is never seen in the faces of Filipino men and women.
Again, given this reality, where is that amount of goodness which dwells in the inner selves of the Filipino people and which could in a way set them free from these problems? Oftentimes, problems are caused by outside forces. The
What the researcher conceptualizes at this point is the fact that only through, with, and in katahimikan, that is, katahimikan sa kapayapaan taken as a cultural phenomenon and as a cultural value that Filipino men and women can think (logical), exist (ontological), behave (psychological), and move in progression in their attempt to reach their goal as a people and as a nation. Apart from this and outside of this context, Filipinos will always be moving in regression and failure. Its epistemological implications, too, are very important insofar as katahimikan sa kapayapaan belongs to the consciousness of Filipino men and women. As a cultural value, it would give them knowledge of its effects to personal as well as societal life.
PART FOUR: KATAHIMIKAN SA KAPAYAPAAN:
A CONSTRUCTIVE PASSAGE TO NATIONAL PROGRESS
Following the flow of discussion, a certain direction is being aimed at, that is, towards putting up a constructive passage to national progress. It is the intention of the researcher to relate this cultural phenomenon and cultural value to a very important indispensable craving of the Filipino people, that is, a craving for national progress. This is a goal. As a goal, it needs to be attained. In the process of attaining it, a constructive passage must be pursued. This constructive passage is that of katahimikan sa kapayapaan. Since it is a constructive passage, it ushers the way to the attainment of this goal, which is national progress.
By national progress is meant a nation whose movement is always in progression, not in regression. However, certain national realities need to be considered to give meaning to the so-called national progress. These are national tragedy, national poverty, national progress, and national recovery.
National Tragedy. By national tragedy, the researcher is referring to the sad experiences encountered by the Filipino people. In Philippine society, there is so much dissension between and among peoples both in civil as well as in ecclesiastical sphere. The frequency and intensity of these dissensions make Philippine society a troubled nation.
Before, during, and after elections, for example, political factions continue to exist. There is constant war between the administration and the opposition, and this affects disastrously the entire nation. Terrorism and insurgency in the various parts of the country equally threaten the lives of Philippine and foreign nationals.
Between and among religious denominations there are quarrels and conflicts. There are ecumenical activities but there is no ecumenical unity. In this sense, ecumenism becomes a great pretense. People expect so much from the church but such expectations have been frustrated. A great number of people nowadays seem to shy away from the church and cling more to something else.
Moreover, mass media have become so sensational that they de-intellectualize people in society. They seem high in technicality but low in morality. Criminality, rather than civility, is well portrayed. Bad news is more publicized than good news. There is much entertainment in radio and television that caters to the visionary and the auditory components of people’s bodies. Less attention is given to the education of people’s minds and hearts.
In the field of education, there is much competition involved rather than participation for a good cause. Colleges and universities compete with each other not only in curriculum-making but also in money-making. Students seem to be more information-seekers rather than formation-designers. Teachers seem to teach more the subject matter rather than teach life using the subject matter. Schools seem to be interested more on what system to be adopted (semestral, trimestral, or quarterly) rather than on making teachers and students more systematic in life. This is the sort of tragedy our nation is faced with.
Given these realities, the Filipino people should be able to cry out: “What a national tragedy!” In this tragedy, the face of katahimikan sa kapayapaan becomes indescribable and hard to behold.
National Poverty. Immanoel J. DePedro (2000: 8-10) makes this very significant comment, saying:
We have seen and met the enemy. National poverty, brothers, is our singular enemy. Our common enemy. No other enemy is amongst us anymore, not even a foreign one.
Exactly a century ago, during the heroic times of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Emilio Aguinaldo, and Andres Bonifacio, we had a common enemy—the hated Spanish colonizers, who exploited us for 333 years.
Today we proclaim a common enemy, National Poverty.
Brothers, let us put to rest our troubled past. Let us cast aside our divisive politics for once. Just once.
We are a people replete with revolutions, all political revolutions. Examine our history, how we glory in our pride as the First Asian Republic, the first Asian Democracy to go up in arms against foreign aggressors.
But they were all political revolutions.
Our mass poverty is ironic. We are and have become Rich Nation—Poor People. Why?
Mass poverty is in our midst, our reputation worldwide. A significant number of our people (a recent United Nations report indicated 60%) grovel below the decent meridian, living from hand to mouth. Only 10% are rich, and 30% are middle class.
We have more natural resources than Japan, yet Japan is undisputedly Asia’s Number One and chief economic rival to the only global superpower, the United States of America.
We are a nation endowed with troves of nature; unrivalled bounty from our internal seas of lapu-lapu, lobsters, bangus, coral fish. The finest woods in our forest, gold in our mines, iron ore for steel, oil newly discovered in our offshore areas. And, unlike Israel, good soil for our agriculture.
And we ask like you: Who is perpetuating our shameful mass poverty? Who is deliberately keeping us poor? Who has been exploiting us? Why are rich getting richer even while the poor multiply?
Let it be understood, loud and clear, it is mass poverty that is breeding our revolts, our revolutions, our criminality, our corruption.
The time has come, finally, to extirpate the roots of our poverty. We must close ranks in the process. Let us bury past bitterness. Let us not recriminate. Let us heal wounds. Our past must become part of history, we must forgive and understand. Let us forge ahead with a New Vision.
It is our clear and fondest hope that in so blazing and reshaping our thoughts and direction, we will not be opening old wounds.
For we seek to unite, for we had been so much divided.
Thus, we appeal at the outset to the sensitive Filipino soul. Let us honestly look at ourselves, now, with courage, not to hide a scar but to discover the truth; for it is the truth that will set us free.
The above quotation indicates the reality of poverty in our nation. However, national poverty is an internal affair, which does not come from outside. If there is something from outside that causes poverty, it is because Filipinos from the inside allow it. From a phenomenological perspective, it has something to do with how Filipinos value their inner selves and integrate these inner selves with the cravings of the nation. Dr. Mina M. Ramirez (1980: 22) recommends her thought, saying:
At the heart of each Filipino is a desire for more access to life, and more meaning to life. But, if each Filipino also realizes that this can only be attained by common actions, then the fight for more life necessitates the awareness of national goals and of a calling to contribute one’s best to these goals. Paradoxically, when one gives something of his/her life for others, the benefits of these redound to one’s or his/her family’s growth process.
National poverty is a disturbing reality. Where there is disturbance, there is no peace and order. Poverty in the Philippines is not just a poverty of a number of families. It is a national poverty brought about by a conscious negligence on the part of Filipinos to maximize their qualities and potentialities and to integrate them with national interests. In the words of Immanoel J. DePedro (2000: 56):
Let us scrutinize the decayed foundations of our neglect, from whence sprung this national shame of poverty. So that perchance we may find cures.
This process of analysis pains us; there is grief buried in our hearts; the passage is dangerous.
We are trying to remind ourselves, as we write these particular passages lonely upon a distant land, the sensitivity of the Filipino soul.
Many of our wounds are not yet healed. We still have a madness in us, in all of us; and we shed a tear.
We have a reverence for the Filipino thought. Our approach is an appeal, not to ignite passion but to enlighten reason.
If we are to respond to national poverty, then Filipinos should dig deeper into the very foundation of its emergence. Napoleon G. Rama (1990: 37) claims “that the beginning of wisdom, they say, is to know oneself. For sure, what the sages meant was knowing one’s defects first.”
Filipinos, therefore, should get to know themselves first, by being conscious of the realm of their consciousness and by maximizing their own potentialities and qualities. Otherwise, government and Church programs to alleviate poverty will be to no avail. Is there a way to remedy the situation?
National Progress. To remedy the situation from national tragedy to national poverty and from national poverty to national progress, a course of action must be taken. But what should this be? Napoleon G. Rama (1990: 36-37) lays a phenomenological foundation of this course of action, saying:
To peer into the interior of the Filipino is to glimpse the future of the Philippines. The picture is not reassuring. But it isn’t hopeless or irreversible. When all is weighed and said, a nation’s salvation and ability to survive or makes its mark in history is determined by the quality of its people.
No coincidence, Rizal’s main formula for national redemption is educating the Filipino. Not even a revolution, he wrote, would help an uneducated Filipino populace. Our generation’s most urgent task is not just steadying the political situation and gaining economic recovery but upgrading the quality of the Filipino, through education.
On the other hand, Emeterio Barcelona, S.J. (Montes 1982: 71) asserts his mind, saying:
The need is for a reaffirmation of our values—of the search for happiness, of the characteristic of freedom of human beings, of the need to concern ourselves with productivity, of reaffirming the transcendence of human life into a next world, of reemphasis on honesty, hard work, cooperation, self-sacrifice for the common good, or redefining the ideology or spirituality that binds us as a nation.
It takes an effort on the part of Filipino men and women to peer into their inner selves and be educated just as it takes education on the part of Filipino men and women to be able to bring about national progress. To be able to move into progression, Filipinos should reaffirm the cultural value of katahimikan sa kapayapaan to generate productivity and efficiency. Director Galo B. Ocampo (1963: 1) stresses a point:
As educators, we sincerely believe that education prepares the individual not only for the specific task of work or specialization he has planned to do but also for the more important function of leading a well-rounded life in society.
Education, in this regard, leads individuals to something higher and greater in the order of values. It makes them move progressively. There is no other effective way to construct a passage to national progress except through education. Education is not just an accumulation of knowledge, but the process of forming men and women into beings whose Being is sustained by katahimikan sa kapayapaan and, by virtue of this Being, the nation into which they belong moves progressively. It is this phenomenological stance of katahimikan sa kapayapaan that paves the way to national progress.
National Recovery. Where there is national progress, there is national recovery. It should not be perceived the other way around. It is only when our nation becomes progressive that it is said to recover. National recovery, therefore, is in the real sense of the word an outcome of national progress.
Recovery takes its significance when Filipinos peer into their inner selves and see the goodness in them from whence springs the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan. “Peering into their inner selves” is itself suggestive of an initial movement in progression. When this takes place, it means an initial movement to recovery is also being pursued.
What is being peered into is their goodness in which resides the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan. This truth gives impetus to Filipino men and women to move progressively. This truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan is the very reason for one’s authentic existence. The term “reason” is used in a much pragmatic fashion. Horacio de la Costa, S.J. (Lumbera 1977: 331) points a very interesting note:
It is interesting to note how much reliance the founders of our nationalist tradition placed on reason. Rizal, of course, was always appealing to reason. Mabini here insists that freedom must be reasonable, else it is not freedom. Jacinto, in a passage quoted earlier, makes true piety not only in pakikisama, but in “making right reason the rule of every action, work and word.” And when Bonifacio asked the self-same question that Lenin asked—“What, then, must we do?”—it was to reason that he turned for a reply. Reason tells us [he wrote] that we must not waste our time waiting in vain for promises of felicity that will never come, that will never materialize. Reason tells us that we must rely upon ourselves alone and never entrust our rights and our life to anyone else. Reason teaches us to be united in sentiment, thought, and purpose, so that we may acquire the strength necessary to crush the evil that is affecting our people.
Reason tells Filipino men and women that the truth of katahimikan sa kapayapaan resides in their inner selves and is the very reason for their authentic existence. It is this same truth that enables Filipino men and women to move towards national progress which is indicative of national recovery. It is in katahimikan sa kapayapaan that Filipino men and women become more creative, productive, and efficient in making their Filipino nation great. Katahimikan sa kapayapaan, understood as a cultural phenomenon and a cultural value, appears to be the best remedy the Philippine nation can ever have in paving a constructive passage to national progress.
The national tragedy that our nation experiences is not the end but the beginning of a much deserving nation. The national poverty that the nation suffers is not the beginning of its decadence but should end the Filipinos’ negligence. The progress of the nation should be understood within the context of national recovery for, indeed, progress is an expression of recovery.
Through this phenomenological analysis of katahimikan sa kapayapaan, the researcher shows this cultural phenomenon and value would bring into the Philippine scenario a new paradigm which paves a passage constructive of national progress. Though the old paradigm serves as the basis for the emergence of a new paradigm, nevertheless, it is this new paradigm that essentially gives the impetus to the entire Philippine nation as well as to all Filipino men and women in their journey towards the attainment of national progress. This new paradigm runs in this fashion: Where there is kapayapaan, there is katahimikan. It is in katahimikan brought about by kapayapaan that Filipino men and women become more creative, productive, and efficient in their existence as well as in their operations. Phenomenologically, the more intense kapayapaan is in the lives of Filipino men and women, the deeper they become in their katahimikan. The deeper they are in their katahimikan, the more creative, productive, and efficient they become.
Though there are other Filipino values which contribute to national progress, the researcher is very much confident in his belief that katahimikan sa kapayapaan plays an extremely crucial role without which all these other values would become immaterial and unfounded as to their relevance to the realization of national progress. What is so interesting in katahimikan sa kapayapaan is that both are thought of as intrinsic and not extrinsic to Filipino consciousness. It is in there. It is in the innermost region of Filipino existence.
As a cultural phenomenon, katahimikan sa kapayapaan belongs to the consciousness of Filipino men and women. It is not acquired from external sources and forces. It is lived. As a cultural value, katahimikan sa kapayapaan makes all Filipino men and women valuable. There is no other great criterion to gauge Filipino men and women as valuable people than for them to be always in katahimikan, that is, katahimikan sa kapayapaan. What could be more valuable than for all Filipino people to live these cultural values to the fullest?
The new paradigm that this paper tries to conceptualize is aimed at making the Filipino people go back into themselves and set aside the thought that they have been colonized and dominated by foreign forces. It is so disturbing to note that the thought and the feeling of being colonized and dominated do still remain in their minds. This is and shall always be an obstacle to national progress. It is the right time now for Filipinos to dwell in the truth of their existence, that is, they exist in order to develop and not to be a subject of colonization and a puppet of foreign domination. To be able to resolve this national dilemma, it is of utmost significance that this phenomenological dimension of katahimikan sa kapayapaan be the guiding principle by which Filipino men and women live their own authentic existence. To be true to their existence means to cling to peace which Pope Paul VI calls “development.” This, from the researcher’s point of view, is the phenomenological implication of katahimikan sa kapayapaan taken as a cultural phenomenon and as a cultural value.
Katahimikan sa kapayapaan, as a Filipino cultural phenomenon and as a Filipino cultural value, acquires its significance in the lives of Filipino men and women only insofar as they take courage to go back into their own consciousness where the truth that would set them free dwells. In effect, the researcher would like to quote Husserl’s two supreme principles: One positive, “Back to the things themselves” and one negative, “Absolute elimination of all presuppositions that are unapproved and unjustified.” The entire idea of the phenomenal character of katahimikan sa kapayapaan vis-à-vis the logic of Filipino thinking, the way Filipinos should understand their own existence and the way Filipinos should behave on the basis of the value that katahimikan sa kapayapaan offers, is developed in this paper following the spirit of these two supreme principles spoused by Edmund Husserl in his phenomenological method.
However, the actualization of what is being conceptualized in this paper depends now solely on how Filipino men and women would come to terms with the truth of their existence. If ever Filipinos are known to be great imitators, now is the right time to shift from being great imitators to excellent innovators. To become excellent innovators, Filipino men and women should first and foremost dwell in their inner selves where they experience the fullest sense of katahimikan sa kapayapaan which in turn provides them the atmosphere conducive to making them more creative, more productive, more efficient, and more progressive not only in terms of human relations but also in terms of their relationship with the nation as well as with its interests and goals.
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