The myth of Filipinos being “matulungin”

Hand Reaching

I was in Megamall earlier when I stopped by Chris Sports to look at their exercise bikes. After canvasing the prices, I began walking out of the store but then suddenly fell from an approximately 3-inch platform. I was on all fours wincing in pain for about a minute then stood up shakily. I have week knees and I’m prone to such accidents. This particular accident however disgusted me. There were quite a number of people in the store and not one single person offered any help nor asked if I was okay when I stood up. Even the salesperson who earlier assisted me just stood silently as I told him that they should put warning signs about the platform lest it cause more accidents. After telling him that, I left the store sorely and procedeed to do my errands.

As I was walking, I began thinking why nobody offered any help or showed even the remotest sign of concern. Are Filipinos so cold now that they only help others when it affects them personally or there’s a major disaster. I’ve heard of mugging cases when there were witnesses but they were just that, witnesses. Filipinos are known for being “matulungin,” right? Or is that just a myth? Guiltily, when I help other people, it’s usually coursed through charity work but when there are signs of danger, I freeze up and become one of those mute witnesses. Why is this? What happened to us? Is our sense of self preservation hindering us from helping our fellowmen?

When I tripped and fell in Europe, so many strangers were concerned about me. They even wanted to call an ambulance. Here I’m lucky if someone offers a hand so I can stand up. I hope I am wrong about how I see our helpfulness. I don’t want to think badly about our race but my experiences say otherwise.

The Filipino is talented

I believe that the Filipino is talented. Look around you and you’ll see Filipinos belting out tunes (even if they are out of tune), dance even if they have two left feet and act even if they have the same expression when trying to be happy or sad.

So many times, we Filipinos have demonstrated our talent. We no longer just look at Lea Salonga or those who are half Filipino by blood making it big in the international scene. We have designers, musicians and a boxer to show who we really are. A year ago, Efren Penaflorida showed the world that with a kariton classroom, education is not just for the wealthy. Designers Jerome Lorico, Jay Nicholas Sario, Oliver Tolentino and Anthony Tentativa showed their craftsmanship with the clothes they’ve designed, earning them recognition from international fashionistas. Charice belted her way to the US popular show Glee and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao displayed pride when he won against Antonio Margarito. Now, isn’t that talent?

Yes, the Filipino is talented, we know that. Instead of putting ourselves down, we should encourage ourselves way up. We have issues in our lives from poverty to unemployment but talent can be used to defeat these problems if used properly. Now if only the government can allot money for culture and arts as well as sports, Filipinos can shine and prove to the world that they are definitely world class.