Unit 12 - Pananalig at Pananampalataya (Faith & Belief Systems)

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Pananalig at Pananampalataya
Faith and Belief Systems

“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.”             From 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 elders would usually say in the face of a crisis and challenging situations such as a life threatening surgery.   Another expression of faith that speaks to the optimism of the Filipino that things would work out well in the end is “Bahala na,” (“It is up to God”).  In the face of uncertainty, leave it to God. 

Western observers may construe this as fatalism and passivity. “Faith healing” and “faith healers” abound in the Philippines.  Faith, in majority of the poor people in the Philippines, is equated with fanaticism, amulets or anting-anting, and  superstitions.  Yet, in its true sense, it was this Faith that was instrumental in the overthrow of a dictator during the 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines.  This Faith was also the moving force that mightily resisted the onset of colonialism; the same Faith that kept the Filipino people united under the domination of Spain for more than 350 years.  FAITH, a very important Filipino cultural domain, permeates through the whole being of a person and the core from which one’s actions originate.  (Tita Pambid)


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