“In Unity There Is Strength”

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Filipinos are known for their hospitality, or the wholehearted acceptance and reception of vistors, guests or even strangers. They willingly share their food, home and their warm smiles and laughter with their known or unknown visitors. That kind of virtue is amplified when we speak of collective concern for their community as a whole. We call it “BAYANIHAN” or social spirit of communal cooperation, understanding and togetherness. It is simply the individual ability to lend a helping hand to members of a community specially in times of need without the benefit of expecting any kind of reward or remuneration.

During the Spanish colonial period up to the mid 60’s, community members would help in moving an entire house made up of bamboo and “nipa” or footstool palm by carrying it on their shoulders and transporting the house by foot to its pre-destined location. And that can be more than a kilometer in most cases.

“Bayanihan” is also manifested during town fiestas, where every member of the community has a role to play. Food is served potluck style for everyone to enjoy.

In times of calamities or disasters, “Bayanihan” is displayed at its finest. Genuine and sincere concern for their fellow men is the heart and soul of “Bayanihan”.

When a someone passes away, members share whatever they can to show their sympathies and give their assistance to the bereaved family in many ways.

“Bayanihan” is unique to us, Filipinos. It is perhaps due to the tightly knit and clannish nature of a typical Filipino family, anchored in spirituality and togetherness. The family is the basic unit of society.

The bloodless EDSA People Power revolution of 1986 is another classic example of Filipinos binding and bonding together at will for a common cause. And indeed, it succeeded in toppling a dictatorial regime.

Try to dislodge a stick broom and you can easily break each of its numerous sticks in half or in many pieces. But binding the sticks together will only frustrate you in breaking the whole stick broom in half. Aptly said, “IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGHT”.

[Originally published at bitLanders.com rated 4/5 Star]

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