Social Philosophy

The Filipino and the other things

  (Mercado, 1974, 1994, 2000)

A. Philosophy of time

          The Filipino wants to be in harmony with nature through equilibrium-maintenance. If this balance is upset, the Filipino expects suffering and other forms of misfortune. On the other hand the Western has a mastery-over-nature orientation. Nature for him is a tool which is to be exploited. He therefore tries to make nature serve him by altering the flow of a river, by changing the weather and his genes. He hampers with the balance of nature to the extent that nature rebels in form of ecological revenge such as polluted rivers, smog and extinction of certain biological species. In the practical sense, the westerner with his mastery-over-nature orientation also wants to be master of time. He can make the night his day. He makes time and not time makes him. But the Filipino instinctively knows that nature is wiser so that he does not tamper with the ways of nature.

          But cosmic time for the Filipinos is cyclic, or rather, spiral and dynamic. While the westerner looks on time in its linear progress, the Filipino looks at it in its spiral movement. A coil never returns to the same point. There is progress in spiral motion for the new cycle is not the old cycle. For the westerner time wasted is gone forever, but for the Filipino there is always tomorrow, a philosophy which is reflected in his maxims. Although time is cyclic for the average Filipino, he also knows its value.

B. Philosophy of Space

          The Filipino has also a non-dualistic world of view and that in particular he thinks concretely and has non-linear time in orientation. The Filipino prefers to measure time through his existence, the same can be said to be his norm of space.   

C. Philosophy of Causality

          The Filipino non-dualistic world view explains therefore why Filipino causality, in general, is not as dominant at it is in western thinking. Instead, disorders occur in progressions, which may or may not be causal, from each other or from other outside factors. 

D. Philosophy of Private Property

          Private property for the Filipinos is communal because of his communitarian (sakop) orientation. The concept of private property will have more light if we look at the Filipino philosophy of law. 

E. Philosophy of Law

          The Filipino views the law from its interior aspect whereas the westerner looks at it form without. The spirit of the law for the Filipino can ultimately be traced to his world view. Unlike the abstract approach to law of western thought, Filipino perceives the law concretely. The difference between the Filipino and western philosophy of law has its implications. And the study of the Filipino of law needs further investigations. 

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