Friday, March 14, 2014

Why 'examples' of family #honor do not prove Filipinos are an honorable people @jabjimenez

Noted social media personality and COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez cited the following examples of "Filipino honor"...

(1) Rido? That's when generations of muslim filipinos actually sacrifice much - even lives - to protect family honor. Also honor driven.

(2) Fiesta syndrome? That's when filipinos go into debt to fulfill a social obligation to protect family honor. Perverse? Yes. But honor driven.

(3) True story: artist raises 500K in cash for a charity. refuses to touch it for personal gain and scrambles to make 3k for his family. Honor.

The question, however is whether these "examples" are representative of the overall character of Philippine society. Even more important, we will find that the last two are family- and ethnic/faith-centric. Honour to one's family is easy -- because the motivation to be so is practically ingrained in our DNA as vessels for propagating our genetic code.

The bigger challenge is finding evidence of honour that transcends family and religious ties -- as what we can see in TRULY modern societies where all ethnic and religious groups and minorities are treated fairly and respected unconditionally.

"In Japan there are very few lawyers and the codes are mostly unwritten, but they are binding, nonetheless." - Greg Sheridan, *Asian Values Western Dreams*

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