The Toxic Side of Filipino Hospitality: "Pakikisama" Culture

The Filipino hospitality essay explores the concept of Pakikisama in Filipino culture and how it has become toxic despite the reputation of Filipinos as hospitable people. It delves into how the expectations of reciprocity and the fear of losing "face" in social situations can lead to a toxic environment. It also discusses how the concept of "saving face" can sometimes lead to avoidance of conflicts and the tendency to sweep issues under the rug instead of addressing them head-on. Furthermore, the essay examines how the toxic culture of Pakikisama can affect mental health, relationships, and personal growth. This essay seeks to shed light on this complex cultural phenomenon and spark conversations towards positive change.

Pakikisama or roughly translated in English to “fellowship” come from the word “sama” and the prefix “paki” which means organization of people is a widespread trait integrated in the Filipino culture. It is defined by Morato as the manner in how we form and maintain interpersonal relationships with others. These relationships can range from relatives to people that we interact with in our daily lives. She emphasizes that most Filipinos have mastered the art of getting along because of how important it is in society. It is stated by Murphy that connections formed through fellowship with others give many benefits that help us progress our lives and status. They can serve as emotional support, social support, financial support, and etc.

Pakikisama in the older days is a way where we can be united, but now a days it has been developed in which you are forced to change your preference and beliefs so you could be a 'member of an group' and prevent being one of the outcast. The notion about this quite annoyed by many because instead of inspiring and giving us a chance of being united, it makes us more intimidated on how others would think about which we preferred and choose, and that is why most of the Filipinos are trying to keep up with their group for good so they will not be left and that is somehow affects the Pakikisama of Filipino as “toxic”.

Though pakikisama is commonly regarded as being “good”, it becomes an issue when certain situations are presented. Firstly, conformity serves as an example of how pakikisama can become detrimental. According to McLeod conformity is yielding to what the group wants. It is an action done because of the desire to “fit in” or be liked by other members of the group (normative), or because of the demand to be correct (informational), or to perform a certain role (identification). Through normative conformity, we can see how it can negatively affect people depending on their social groups. As said by Benitz, pakikisama with the wrong people can make people do poor decisions, change their habits and even negatively affect their personalities. Filipinos have a habit of shaming people who doesn’t go with the group’s wishes. They tend to regard them with the phrase “walang pakikisama” . That is one of the reasons why it is so hard to let your voice be heard especially when a person is a teenager, where adolescence takes place and emotional support outside of their family is needed. People should not be forced on their decisions, but instead have the liberty to do what they think is right.

Pakikisama is the most iconic trait that Filipinos are proud of. To be with someone you enjoy the moment indicates affinity and friendliness. Filipino are taken by the idea of a strong bond and a good relationship with each other. Pakikisama comes from the word “sama” which means go along. In todays generation, pakikisama has become the bridge of camaraderie in norms of friendship, it is the core value of each one member of a group, Saito. As Filipinos began to move away from their familiar home and community for a better life, they form new clans established in the soul of pakikisama. Going past closeness, Filipinos outside their home ground meet up along shared interests with others. Filipinos are amazingly social and friendly; they additionally prefer to eat and drink frequently. You are probably going to be offered a beverage (espresso, soda pop, squeeze or water) and a tidbit (scone cake and so on.) very quickly on first gathering.

In conclusion, Filipinos are not perfect, but they do have great characteristics and qualities everyone of them must be proud of and here are some examples; first is being hospitable, foreign who have gone in the Philippines fall in love with this popular trait of a true Filipino. When one visit a friend's house, they offered them with warm welcome, a good relationship with foreign people is a must for most of the Filipinos, next is being respectful, children's respect elders by saying 'po' and 'opo', the tightness of their closeness with the elders is strongly appreciated because they are taught to be kind to older people. Third is having a strong family ties, Filipinos value their families so much that they tend to be intact with each other. Fourth is being generous, Filipinos tend to give more if one person has nothing they would share what they have to them. Fifth is Filipinos are very Hardworking, they are hard working to the point that they are willing to work several times even whole day just to feed their families. Lastly is that Filipinos are very loving and the sweetest human in the world. And that is some of the good value that Filipinos inherited from pakikisama with their personal relationships.

10 October 2022
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