It may be said that the Filipinos are intelligent, have passion for their chosen craft, friendly, cheerful and most of all being hospitable. These are some of the traits that if you are to describe a typical Filipino at this moment but if you take a good look back in the Pre-Hispanic era, there are notable traits that Filipinos possess, to which includes good and bad traits, that we could use to trace the existence of it on our culture. These traits can truly represent what a "Filipino" is.
The most commendable trait of Filipino during the Pre-Hispanic period. All people could be hospitable in their own way but Filipino hospitality is something that is almost a fault. Letting strangers in their home means nothing. They treat every single people equally and if one Filipino offers you something, expect it to be the best that it could offer to you. Making your life easy, feeling you comfortable, making you "at home", means so much to Filipino people. Sometimes, Filipino hospitality is being misunderstood by other race, specifically the Spaniards, seeing it as too inferior and obsequious.
Strong family ties and respect for the elders
Filipinos have very strong family ties to which they consider it as their own treasure to which everything revolves around it. Family means so much to Filipino because they see it as an outlet to every details of their life, on whether a good or bad new struck, the family is the one who is going to be supportive to the fellow member of it. The father serves us the head, ruler and provider of the family. The mother governs to which she will serve as an all-around figure at home (educator, financer, household chores leader, etc.). The grandparents are the one who's going to give pieces of advice to the father and mother to which they will share their knowledge about the matter of handling a family. Abiding to it shows the respect of the parents to their grandparents, which is another valuable trait of Filipinos way back then.
Filipinos are fatalistic
The belief that whatever happens to him or her is the work of fate or commonly known as the expression of "Bahala na" in tagalog or "Come what may" in english. Such fatalism gives Filipino a sense of resignation because he / she appears impassive in time of personal misfortune. Before Spain came along, this mentality is very evident to Filipinos because Catholicism was not yet established and they have no outlet (God) to tell whatever they are going into.
Loyalty to fellow countrymen
Loyalty to a friend is one trait a Filipino is very capable of. Do him a favor and he will remember you to the end of the days. The tagalog phrase "utang na loob" is quite a cemented phrase in Filipino trait dictionary. Expect a friend during tough times and they will come to the aid. Filipino loyalty to a friend always listen and understand the situation and gives piece of advice that could help the other friend ease the struggle he /she is going through. Filipino people during pre-hispanic period are very intact and considers other people as part of the family because they believe, he /she would be loyal to him/ her.
"Pakikisama" or camaraderie among other nation is also one of the best traits that Filipino possesses. The spirit of comradeship makes Filipinos trustworthy beings. The idea of bayanihan was established because of Filipino camaraderie. Filipino shows no elements of deceit, dishonesty and selfishness. Today, however, materialism is making Filipino camaraderie vanish.
Tendency to be indolent and lacks initiative
Certainly, the most undeniable bad trait of Filipino is having a tendency to be indolent at times. Some say it is due to our changing weather (tropical climate) that Filipinos tend to be indolent. Abundance in nature could be a factor of being indolent at times and knowing that a close family ties could help them get whatever they want without exerting too much effort to it. He also know that with this ties, no one could turn him out so he imposes himself on this willingness. Filipinos also lacks initiative to which they see society as cooperative, not competitive.
The trait in which Filipino men are truly guilty of during in the past and for the present. Filipino men during the pre-hispanic period are very over-protective with their other half. They don't want them to mingle with the opposite gender because they believe complete faith and loyalty is the key to have a successful relationship. Filipino men have the tendency to reach beyond the boundaries of jealousy, meaning they can kill someone if he is fooled or double crossed.
These are some of the notable traits that Filipino people possess. Through time, many traits are also being noticed and be classified as ours but these traits simply made us who we are right now, even if some are negative traits. All of these, makes a Filipino Profile.
By: Philip Freddie Mejia
University of the Philippines Open University
Agoncillo, T. A. (1990). History of the Filipino people. Eight edition. Quezon City, Philippines : Garotech Publishing.
The positive side of Filipino values. (2009). Retrieved March 1, 2012 from Word Press: http://reyadel.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/the-positive-side-of-filipino-values/