A Portrait of a Filipino
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
September 18, 2013
BATALLA, JOSHUA J.
Master in Psychology
Hopefully this 2016
A Portrait of a Filipino is a descriptive analysis on
the biological, psychological and socio-cultural
components that makes a Filipino a Filipino.
-Faith in God
-Short in Stature(average 5’3” in
-Hair Mostly Black
- Brown Eyes
-A mixture of different Races
BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL APPROACH – An integrated approach that incorporates biological,
psychological and social-cultural level of analysis, this integrated viewpoint incorporates various
level of analysis and offers a more complete picture of any given behavior or mental process.
What's a Filipino?
Never has a question so simple spawned answers so many and complicated.
Is being a Filipino merely citizenship as determined by the Constitution? Is it love of country? A state of
mind? Or is it by parentage or by race alone?
So what's a Filipino?
A Filipino cannot be defined by one component alone, so as to make a complete description of who we
are as a Filipino. We would look at the Mind, Heart and Soul of a Filipino.
The Mind of a Filipino – Sa Isip , Biological
WHY I AM PROUD TO BE A FILIPINO
Roses are red
FILIPINOS are brown!
That’s my race
So don’t put it down!
My FILIPINO pride
I will not hide
My FILIPINO race
I will not disgrace!
My FILIPINO blood
flows hot & true
My FILIPINO people
I will stand by you
Through thick & thin
Until the day we die
Our PHILIPPINES flag
Always stands high
I yell this poem
Louder than all the rest
Because everyone knows
FILIPINOS ARE THE BEST
FILIPINO BLOOD is my kind
So step aside and let me through
Cause it’s all about the FILIPINO crew
Life sucks and then you die
but if you’re FILIPINO
You die with some damn pride !!
June 12, 2013. Good News Filipinas. Retrieved from http://goodnewspilipinas.com/2013/06/12/why-i-am-proudto-be-a-filipino/
The Filipino people are natives to the island of the Philippines, there are about 104
million Filipinos living in the Philippines. There are around 108 languages spoken in the
Philippines. Filipino and English being predominant. Most Filipinos are bilingual and
trilingual. Most Filipinos refer to themselves colloquialy as ―Pinoy‖ (feminine: ―Pinay‖).
Before colonization we come from a group of Malayo-Polynesian speaking people including
those from Indonesia, Malaysia, malagsy the non-hanchinese Taiwanese Aboroginals. Also
adding to our list is our own ―ITAs‖ or native of the Philippines. With them we’ve got our
Asian blood,which is mostly brown in complexion, short in stature and brown eyes.
In later years we have been colonized by three more Countries, Namely Spain, which
colonized us for more than 400 years, Japan and the Americans.
Physical Characteristics of a FIlipino
Eyes: Most have almond shaped eyes, not really slanted. Some have double eyelids, others have
single eyelids. Chinese and Japanese have single eyelids. Most of us have dark irises: the darkest
shade of brown; almost black. Though there are some who have medium brown eyes or light brown.
With the facial features, most of the people from Baguio - Ifugao area have slanted eyes and
rounded faces. Sometimes, I think they look like Chinese. There's a place in Rizal province, around
Cainta... the people there look like Indians -- aquiline nose, brown skin, round, deep set eyes, but
they speak Tagalog like native Tagalogs, Indians intermarried with Filipinos.
Face : Most of the people I see here have oval shaped faces. It depends on the person as well,
expect chubby people to have more rounded faces. Though there are some who have prominent
jaws... their faces appear to be square. Some have angular faces -- pointy chin and high or
prominent cheek bones.
Complexion: it varies, people of Chinese or Spanish descent are usually fairer. Some older people
from Cavite City Area look like mestizas , they have got fairer skin compared to others and they
have freckles or maybe age spots. They speak a Spanish-like dialect called Chavacano.
Though it still varies cos some people get a fake tan. Basically our complexion ranges from fair,
olive, light tan to dark brown. Most fall under "olive to brown skin".
Nose: it varies as well, Filipinos of Spanish descent usually have aquiline noses. Most have low
bridged noses (mmm not really literally flat). Chinese girls have somewhat "small" noses, even at the
tip -- a dainty feature. Most of the Filipinos' noses have somewhat a rounded "tip", which make
them appear bigger.
Hair : Usually black, some have brown-black hair. Some have pin straight hair, most have wavy hair,
others have curly hair. But since hair rebonding is available, people can avail of getting a straight
hair... there was a time in year 2003-2007 I think... Long black straight hair for women became a
national obsession! Until now it applies to some.
The Heart of a Filipino – saSalita , Psychological
I AM A FILIPINO
by Melvin Banggollay
I am a Filipino, in blood and spirit
born from immortal seeds of heroes
Whose heart were willing to commit
their lives to fight any kind of foes
even those that has the power to spit
the nation of my birth with volcanoes
of fire and balls of cannon that can split
thy land unto tiny dusts to unseen echoes.
I am a Filipino, proud of my humble roots
of a gentle loving and valiant Malayan spirit
land been conquered but never surrendered
the culture of its birth and ancestor’s merit
of great love for country that can’t be toppled
even by nation with powers that can delete
this land out of the face of this great world
as all thy children vow to die with all valor
to defend the pride and honor of the Filipinos.
Bangollay, Melvin June 12, 2013 Good News Filipinas. Retrieved from
Filipinos are known for being hospitable, but it’s not only the positive trait that Filipinos
possess. Having been colonized by various countries, the Philippine culture, in effect, is mixed with
Asian and Western influences. Thus, the Philippine culture is diverse and can be reflected in the our
Filipinos over the years have proven time and time again that they are a people with an industrious
attitude. Sadly, this is seen by others as Filipinos being only useful as domestic helpers, working
abroad to help their families in the country. This is also present in the country’s workforce
particularly the farmers. Even with little support, technological weaknesses and the country’s
seasonal typhoons, the Filipino farmer still strives to earn their daily meal.
Even though the government provides small support to the country’s workers, many people choose to
engage in micro businesses—the so-called sari-sari stores and tiangge, the Filipino version of local
markets and ukay-ukay, or second-hand stores.
Some would also pursue engaging in transportation with jeepneys, tricycles and such to offer lowcost transportation to the ever mobile masses.
Though these are some examples on how Filipinos get by with everyday living, these work
opportunities offer only minimum pay but Filipinos still pursue them in hopes of giving their children
a decent life and proper education so they could elevate themselves to a higher standard of living.
Strong family ties
In the country the people put family ties and relations as one of their top priorities. Filipinos would
do all they could to provide and sustain their respective families. This is present in Filipino festivals
where they invite the whole family and in Sundays where they would make time to use it to spend
the whole day for their families.
You will find that it is common in the country to include the extended members not just the normal
nuclear family. It is not unusual that in a single household it would reach up to ten members of a
family living under the same roof. They value each other’s company, and everyone strives to provide
for the whole and not just for them.
Even grandparents still have an active role in the family. It is now the norm in the society that both
parents are out working, leaving the care of their children to the lolos and lolas, especially if the
family cannot afford to hire a nanny. Grandparents therefore become responsible for instilling into
their grandchildren the values and morals they taught to their own children, further increasing the
importance of the elderly in our society.
Being a hard-working people, the Filipinos are also honest. In general, they would prefer to work
hard for an honest day’s pay than to find an easier way like stealing or cheating.
As in the case of overseas Filipino workers or OFWs, they are mostly domestic helpers and though
given a job which requires a lot of trust from the employer as they are left alone with their
belongings or children, it is rare that Filipinos would do anything to betray or lose the trust that is
given to them. We see so many Filipinos working in the homes of other families precisely because
they can be trusted.
But even in our own country, Filipinos have displayed honesty in various forms, may it be from a taxi
driver returning a dropped phone or wallet. Filipinos would choose to do the right thing, though
sometimes this is not necessarily true.
The Philippines is one the most religious countries in world, particularly in Catholicism and Islam.
Families would encourage and strengthen the values of their children and would at least have one
day a week for worship and at the same time strengthening family ties.
Religion is the foundation of most of the country’s morals and values and sometimes, the church
greatly affects the minds and opinions of the general populace, affecting its decisions. Sadly, this
also applies to the government as they are troubled by whatever the Church’s stand is in every
matter, as people see their opinion to be the ―right‖ one. Thus, many of our politicians go with
whatever the Church says, fearing that they would lose vote if they go against it.
The Philippines is a hotspot for disasters, natural and otherwise. Couple that with poverty, and one
would think that Filipinos have the most reason for being a depressed people. However, we have
demonstrated time and again that Filipinos can bounce back from a tragedy, emerging stronger and
better than before. In the middle of a disaster, Filipinos can still manage to smile and be hopeful
that the next morning brings new hope.
We have shown the world that by working together as a nation, we have what it takes to recover
from a bad situation. This is something that all of us should be proud of, no matter where in the
world we are.
With all of these good traits (and more!), one would really be proud to say, ―I am a Filipino.‖
Filipinos have shown the world that by working together, we have what it takes to recover from a
bad situation—and this is a trait that we should all be proud of.
The Soul of a Filipino – saGawa, Socio-cultural
I AM A FILIPINO
by Antonio Liao
Malay is my race, build like
a warrior whose body and shape
ripen my strength to any battle
to protect the native land
live in a simple and fashionable
style amongst neighbor in Asia,
respected and love by the people
who share the common vision of
what is Life
thou blood shattered in every
canon and sword, the flesh conquer
the journey to live in the shield
of independent nation of the
South East countries
our home has always allure other
to walk and find life, a Paradise
to live, abundantly the sweat and
sweet mixed with passion makes the
land a great home to live on
brave as we are honest
and peace loving as we do, yet the
greatness of our smile makes the world
I am proud to be a FILIPINO
Liao Antonio, June 12, 2013Good News Filipinas. Retrieved from
Close family ties – To a Filipino, family comes first & family is everything. He lives with it and
depends on it. His dreams, aspirations and life are always centred on his family. This family
solidarity keeps a Filipino to be positive amidst everything. He works hard to ensure a better life
for the family. Family is evidently highly valued in the Philippines, thus, the government also
strengthens Filipino family and in great support to ensure work-family balance.
“Utangnaloob” or debt of gratitude – Filipinos always recognize one’s indebtedness. This means
that he owed to a person who has helped him through the trials he had undergone. He repays that
person in whatever kind, whatever time and situation. It is one way of showing deep appreciation
for lending out a hand.
Hiya – It is a Filipino value that is difficult to translate. Literally it has several meanings such as
shy, timid, sensitive rather than ashamed. Filipinos believe they must live up to the accepted
standards of behaviour and make it a point not to cause another person’s embarrassment. Each is
anticipated to have hiya in the way they behave to win respect from the community. This is a value
that gives a Filipino a sense of social decency and politeness.
Pakikisama – There is no exact English translation for this word. It means getting along with
others to preserve a harmonious relationship. It invites the Filipinos to do good and to be a nice
companion. The value of pakikisama results in camaraderie and a feeling of closeness to one
another. Pakikisama is also sharing one’s wealth, talent, time and self with fellow human beings and
working together for a common good. This value bridges the gap between cultures.
Respect to Others - Filipinos regard others with dignity and respect This is being observed in a
basic sense of justice, fairness and concern for others fellowmen, nature or animals.
The above values are the root of many other values. Close family ties makes a Filipino a
hardworking and industrious person. A Filipino will do anything for his family that also makes him
optimistic, flexible, adaptable, and creative.
Hiya, pakikisama, utangnaloob & respect to others make a Filipino an individual with unique moral
obligation to treat one another resulting to community ties. These values make Filipinos friendly,
hospitable, polite & loyal.
In brief, the Filipino core values influence how they behave in any situation. The Philippines is
recognized in having “collectivist” culture indicated by close family ties and community ties in
society. Filipino values are centred at preserving social harmony, motivated mainly by the
desire to be accepted within a group. This makes a Filipino a reliable person that can easily
integrate and work with anyone, anytime, anyhow & anywhere.
I am a Filipino by Carlos Romulo
I am a Filipino,
I am a Filipino - inheritor of a glorious past, hostage to the uncertain future. As such I must prove equal
to a two-fold task- the task of meeting my responsibility to the past, and the task of performing my
obligation to the future.
I sprung from a hardy race - child of many generations removed of ancient Malayan pioneers. Across the
centuries, the memory comes rushing back to me: of brown-skinned men putting out to sea in ships
that were as frail as their hearts were stout. Over the sea I see them come, borne upon the billowing
wave and the whistling wind, carried upon the mighty swell of hope- hope in the free abundance of
new land that was to be their home and their children's forever.
This is the land they sought and found. Every inch of shore that their eyes first set upon, every hill and
mountain that beckoned to them with a green and purple invitation, every mile of rolling plain that
their view encompassed, every river and lake that promise a plentiful living and the fruitfulness of
commerce, is a hollowed spot to me.
By the strength of their hearts and hands, by every right of law, human and divine, this land and all the
appurtenances thereof - the black and fertile soil, the seas and lakes and rivers teeming with fish, the
forests with their inexhaustible wealth in wild life and timber, the mountains with their bowels swollen
with minerals - the whole of this rich and happy land has been, for centuries without number, the land
of my fathers. This land I received in trust from them and in trust will pass it to my children, and so on
until the world no more.
I am a Filipino. In my blood runs the immortal seed of heroes - seed that flowered down the centuries
in deeds of courage and defiance. In my veins yet pulses the same hot blood that sent Lapulapu to
battle against the alien foe that drove Diego Silang and Dagohoy into rebellion against the foreign
That seed is immortal. It is the self-same seed that flowered in the heart of Jose Rizal that morning in
Bagumbayan when a volley of shots put an end to all that was mortal of him and made his spirit
deathless forever; the same that flowered in the hearts of Bonifacio in Balintawak, of Gergorio del
Pilar at Tirad Pass, of Antonio Luna at Calumpit; that bloomed in flowers of frustration in the sad heart
of Emilio Aguinaldo at Palanan, and yet burst fourth royally again in the proud heart of Manuel L.
Quezon when he stood at last on the threshold of ancient Malacañang Palace, in the symbolic act of
possession and racial vindication.
The seed I bear within me is an immortal seed. It is the mark of my manhood, the symbol of dignity as
a human being. Like the seeds that were once buried in the tomb of Tutankhamen many thousand years
ago, it shall grow and flower and bear fruit again. It is the insigne of my race, and my generation is but
a stage in the unending search of my people for freedom and happiness.
I am a Filipino, child of the marriage of the East and the West. The East, with its languor and
mysticism, its passivity and endurance, was my mother, and my sire was the West that came
thundering across the seas with the Cross and Sword and the Machine. I am of the East, an eager
participant in its struggles for liberation from the imperialist yoke. But I also know that the East must
awake from its centuried sleep, shape of the lethargy that has bound his limbs, and start moving where
For, I, too, am of the West, and the vigorous peoples of the West have destroyed forever the peace and
quiet that once were ours. I can no longer live, being apart from those world now trembles to the roar
of bomb and cannon shot. For no man and no nation is an island, but a part of the main, there is no
longer any East and West - only individuals and nations making those momentous choices that are
hinges upon which history resolves.
At the vanguard of progress in this part of the world I stand - a forlorn figure in the eyes of some, but
not one defeated and lost. For through the thick, interlacing branches of habit and custom above me I
have seen the light of the sun, and I know that it is good. I have seen the light of justice and equality
and freedom and my heart has been lifted by the vision of democracy, and I shall not rest until my land
and my people shall have been blessed by these, beyond the power of any man or nation to subvert or
I am a Filipino, and this is my inheritance. What pledge shall I give that I may prove worthy of my
inheritance? I shall give the pledge that has come ringing down the corridors of the centuries, and it
shall be compounded of the joyous cries of my Malayan forebears when they first saw the contours of
this land loom before their eyes, of the battle cries that have resounded in every field of combat from
Mactan to Tirad pass, of the voices of my people when they sing:
Land of the Morning,Child of the sun returning...Ne'er shall invadersTrample thy sacred shore.
Out of the lush green of these seven thousand isles, out of the heartstrings of sixteen million people all
vibrating to one song, I shall weave the mighty fabric of my pledge. Out of the songs of the farmers at
sunrise when they go to labor in the fields; out of the sweat of the hard-bitten pioneers in Mal-ig and
Koronadal; out of the silent endurance of stevedores at the piers and the ominous grumbling of
peasants Pampanga; out of the first cries of babies newly born and the lullabies that mothers sing; out
of the crashing of gears and the whine of turbines in the factories; out of the crunch of ploughs
upturning the earth; out of the limitless patience of teachers in the classrooms and doctors in the
clinics; out of the tramp of soldiers marching, I shall make the pattern of my pledge:
"I am a Filipino born of freedom and I shall not rest until freedom shall have been added unto my
inheritance - for myself and my children's children - forever.