I saw Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Episode on the Philippines, which affirms what many (foreigners) have previously said about its people: that Filipinos are a caring and accommodating people. On one level, this is true, for they dominate the global care industry.
But I for now find it hard to reconcile this fact with the reality that Filipinos are said to be kanya-kanya, who are only concerned with family, and who don’t treat you well if you are not kakilala. If we are indeed a caring, accommodating people, why is our nation in such a sad state? Is it only just because of bad governance? Is it wrong of me to connect our being caring with the plight of our country?
Filipinos are championed for taking care of children who are not their own, for leaving behind their own to take care of their own. But if we really are a caring people, why can’t we care for our nation and for each other the way we do with non-Filipinos?