Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reflection: Gifts in Every Filipino


Rose Marie Yenko, a clinical psychologist, delivered her lecture on "Gifts in the Filipino Psyche" (9/22/12). Below is my reflection:

For a while, the lecture led me into wondering why introduce the class about power, ethics and accountability with a discussion about something psychological. I readily grasp the gist. Knowing the Filipino psyche, especially the collective unconscious, would prepare us to deeply understand how we view power and how we interpret what’s good and what’s not. That is, we have the basis of our ethical standards. It tells us what dictates the propensity to do things, our way.


As the lecture concludes, we can look on the individual psyche and touch on each one’s ego and/or the personal unconscious. Then, we can pan on the collective unconscious which is more social and cultural in context. We cannot deny the fact that our current views on power and ethics always has a link on our cultural roots, also with our colonial experiences. As some Filipino traits have negative connotations when viewed by foreign lenses, I love the use of the term “gifts” as it suggests pure positivism. Ms. Rose Yenko shed light in delivering the concepts, as well as succeeds in the call to reflection and action at the end. We should definitely claim the “gold” in our selves.

The lecture is actually very familiar to me. While listening to it, it brought me to the concepts of the Sikolohiyang Pilipino (SP).  We, in Parole and Probation Administration, used the SP paradigm as a framework in encouraging people to become volunteers. These volunteers help criminal offenders in their rehabilitation in a community-based setting. We believe that before we invite anyone to participate in a social cause like this, we should tap on their inner core first. This core is basically their being human and their being a Filipino. The offenders they are about to care and reform are their “kapwa in need”, such that they need to explore both their persona and shadows. They need to know their thinking processes, and they can see this clearly using the Filipino and kapwa contexts. This lecture in the gifts in Filipino psyche is parallel to this paradigm. 

The whole approach is a breath of fresh air. My expectation of the class is that it would be full of legalities. This came from the thought that power and accountability is highly political and that ethics in the Philippine bureaucracy is basically governed by what’s stated in RA 6713 or the ethical standards for government employees. With the lecture on Filipino psyche, I think it goes beyond what is expected. Furthermore, the exercise on finding one’s archetypes is enjoyable. I’m quite surprised to know that there is a warrior-protector and an islander in me, as I scored high on these categories. On the other side, my not being a reveler is expected. These Filipino archetypes let us to be grounded, and somehow appreciate more of our roots. For us in the government service, the fire to serve is there, and it is being fanned by the affirmations like these lectures that we Filipinos have a lot to be proud of. It also let us go back to the core: that service entails responsibility, and that we are accountable to our bosses, the Filipino public at large. 

Not a conqueror but of a Warrior-Protector, that's how to exemplify this hero. This same Lapu-Lapu character is said to describe my archetype during an exercise with Ms. Rose Yenko. I'm quite surprise. 

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