i remember during our sibika class way back in elementary, my favorite teacher, miss santillan, discussed to us how filipinos are unique from other societies. she said with her mellow well toned voice, that filipinos are hospitable (no wonder, we were so easily colonized), respectful because of the use of "po", "opo", "ate", "kuya" etc. (that is why most of us are afraid to express our opinions), god-fearing (we believed there is salvation for all of our hard times) and very helpful to our fellows which is portrayed with what was known as bayanihan.
it just came to me earlier the word, bayanihan. its been a while since i've heard of the word. basically, we imagine a group of people carrying a nipa hut whenever we heard of it. but come to think of it, we're you able to see an actual bayanihan before? because i really never had the chance.
i came up with the picture of bayanihan from movies, television shows and paintings mostly of galang's. as far as i could remember, the practice is usually done among families who need to relocate their house form one location to another. the people who participate it are usually friends and neighbors of the respondent family. they would cooperatively carry and move the house to its destination. after which, no compensation is expected in return. sometimes, the family would just offer food and drinks to the participant as a sign of gratitude.
but not in one chance that i was able to see an actual one. i even remembered before whenever we go to the province of my mom, i always asked if there would be bayanihan that would pass my grandmom's house. my uncle usually tell us that it is seldom happens during those days. because most of the houses in the barrio were already in concrete. there are only a few people left who prefers having nipa huts and most of them lives in the middle of the ricefields. ever since then, i lose hope of seeing an actual one.
i just realized, how does teachers or parents, nowadays discussed bayanihan to the younger ones without them actually witnessing it on their everyday life? is bayanihan only already a part of history and could only be seen among history books?
ofcourse, the absense of bayanihan would not mean that filipinos are no longer helpful. i think being helpful is innate among filipinos because our culture and traditions reared us to be one (bragging aside). but i just noticed that most of the time, people will either help and expect a compensation in return, would not help unless asked or would not help at all.
basically, the reason why i came up with this topic is because of what happened earlier. while thinking of something to post with inside a jeepny, a woman was trying to pass her fare to two passengers who were infront of each other next to her. the woman was struggling to hang her arms to reach the next person and saying 'bayad po! bayad po!" but the two people: a boy and a girl, pretended as if they were not hearing and seeing anything. they were expecting the next person to them to reach it instead. but what was really annoying about this two people was, the girl turned her back on the old woman and stared blankly outside the window. while the man pretended to be sleeping. i really can';t believe that was happening. i even thought that i was in wow mali or noypi and throwing a big joke on me that time. i was really anticipating that any moment somebody will just knocked me and spill the spoof. but nobody did.
i slid my butt against the bench and made the initiative to reach for the fare eventhough i was sitting on the other end. i checked out the girl and the man. but they are still on their act of ignoring the other passenger of the jeep. i was really on the verge of kicking them out, i swear.
for me, riding a jeep is like our modern version of bayanihan. you help each one for you to be able to reach your destination. if you don't want to cooperate then its better you stepped out of the vehicle and get yourself a cab so that no one will bother and asked you to pass the fare. it just give me the temper.