Tuesday, May 22, 2007


My father was a wise man. One of the things he taught me was, “If you want to know a person's character; Do not listen to their words ; Watch what they do”. Your actions reveal your true character. Everyday, I learn more about the Philippine people and their values.

I was standing in Hypermart the other day counting my money to be sure I could pay for my groceries. A young Filipino tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a fist full of pesos. He said simply, “Sir, your dropped this”. In many countries where I have lived this would never have happened. My money would have been gone. A cynic might suggest this was an aberration but this is not the only example of the true values of the Philippine people I have experienced.

While volunteering at a local high school I saw two young girls turn into the office several thousand pesos they had found. This was a small fortune to these young girls yet they returned it to its rightful owner.

This and other examples force me to the conclusion that the basic nature of the Philippine people is to be honest. The graft and corruption you read about in the news is the “aberration”.

Let me show you one more example of the “true” nature of the Philippine people.

While living in Cebu, I rode an elevator each morning. Often I shared the elevator with Filipinos. Consistently when they left the elevator all of them would stop, reach back and press the close button. They took time out of their busy day to help me have a better day by not waiting for the timer to close the door. Admittedly this is a small thing but it speaks volumes about Pinoy culture.

Most Filipinos accept these events as just how things are done. They find nothing remarkable or extraordinary but trust me in a world filled with selfishness, insensitivity and greed it is very remarkable.

It is the true face of the Philippines.

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