“Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, religion is to take off our shoes,
for the place we are approaching is holy, else we may find ourselves treading on man’s dream,
More seriously still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival.”
--Cultural workers from Mindanao (Pambid, 60)
Faith. “Faith can move mountains.” This is a western aphorism. In Filipino, the word is pananalig at pananampalataya, faith and belief. “Manalig ka sa Diyos, at lakasan mo ang loob mo, may awa Siya,” (Have faith in God and have courage, He is merciful) is what the elders would usually say in the face of crisis and challenging situations like a life threatening surgery. “Bahala na,” in the face of uncertainty and the courage to face the consequences or result of the action is another form of belief in the optimism of the Filipino that things would work out well. On the other hand, some western observers construe this as fatalism and passivity. Faith is also related to “faith healing” and faith healers for which the Philippines is famous for. On the down side, faith in majority of the poor people in the Philippines is equated with fanaticism, amulets or anting-anting, superstition; but on the other hand, faith was used to overthrow a dictator as what happened in the 1986 People Power Revolution. Faith was also the moving force that motivated and resisted the onslaught of colonialism; and ironically, it was also faith that kept the Filipino people under Spain for more than 350 years.
This very important Filipino cultural domain that permeates and affects the whole being of a person and the core from which his actions and motivation originate is the backdrop for the study of modals in the Filipino language. This unit can be adapted for beginning to advanced level of instruction and provide activities using the four modalities: reading, speaking, listening and writing.