The Filipino and the other World
(Mercado, 1974, 1994, 2000)
A. The sacred and the Profane
The Filipinos non-dichotomy of the sacred and the profane by other Orientals. For the Jewish, the Indians and the Chinese philosophers there is no separation between philosophy and religious thought. The Filipinos way of thinking or outlook sees the divine transparency in nature and in holy persons. If he considers certain places or objects as sacred, the object is not the thing itself but because it symbolizes a possible encounter with the divine. The profane and the sacred are inseparable for the Filipino. His relationship to the other world is incarnational.
B. On God, The Spirits and the Departed
God’s existence is a fact for the Filipino. There is no need of proving his existence (as a preoccupation western philosophy). Perhaps his way of reasoning (psychological, knowledge of connaturality) intuits God’s existence through the Filipinos reading nature and harmony with nature. Closeness to nature occasions the experiencing of God’s existence. Indian philosophy also claims that the existence of God (who 0is above and beyond finite resoning) cannot be proven by reason but rather is intuited.
Implied in the Filipinos philosophy and behavior is his desire for harmony. This desire for harmony is similar to the Indian and Chinese desire for oneness with the absolute. The Filipinos philosophy of God, the spirits and the departed ancestors is a reflection of his social philosophy as well as of his general philosophy of harmony.
C. The Filipinos Bearing
The Filipino has non-western concept of conscience because he thinks holistically and “psychologically” he is more communitarian than individualistic, whereas westerners tend to be more individualistic; and conscience can also be viewed from the point of good and evil. The “lack” of conscience is from the western viewpoint. The Filipino has his equivalent for it since he knows what is right and wrong.
The Filipino generally believes in the innate goodness of man. He does not have the western concept of moral conscience. His “lack” of moral conscience (and consequently, “lack” of guilt feelings) is balanced by his philosophy of retribution. The sanction flows from within himself.