Testimony Examples: Filipino Communication


Filipino-English can largely be interpreted by kapwato give a meaning of “both” and “fellow”. The closest English translation for kapwa is “others”. According to Filipino language, kapwa is far closer to the English translation, “others”. As per the profession of Filipino, kapwa means “self” and “others”. This gives a contradicting meaning to that of English as the word “others” is the actual opposite of “self”. The two translations give the word kapwa a meaning of the self as a separate identity. The actual meaning of kapwa is the recognition of an identity that is shared, this is an inner self shared with others. Pahiwatig, a feeling or sensing each other out, is a collection of the whole and complex verbal and nonverbal modes of communication among the Filipinos. The Philippine culture has a complicated way of maintaining social relationships, conflict handling, and relational development. This journal examines the principle experiences of the first-generation Filipino Americans as a central tool in navigating the integration of Filipino culture with that of the North Americans.

1. When Words Don’t Mean What They Say

A case has been highlighted in the video about a boy who joined his family in the United States. He was invited for a dinner and responded by saying that the idea was alright. The boy could have been shy to express his sentiments or could have been embarrassed. A conclusion is arrived that the meaning of words is controlled by the rules that apply in a certain situation. The host family should have realized what the boy meant because he had not been accustomed to the culture of the North Americans. Another incident comes out when a missionary says that Filipinos cannot be trained for leadership because they consent to things is usually questionable. This brings the issue of culture as a barrier of communication. The misinterpretation ofthe Filipino culture depicts the inefficiency, confusing and the indirect communication barriers that bar information conveyed in the right manner. This phenomenon of the indirect kind of communication is known as making of pathiwatig. The Philippine anthropological and psychological literature links the culture of the Filipinos with human relationships that are based on a human constellation of values and beliefs that are enlisted in the way of being with another human.

A. Denaturalizing Culture

The video displays the progress of language use among the Filipinos who migrated to the United States. The ascent and the complication of word usage among the Filipinos living in America have not demonstrated a significant change. Many researchers about culture have concluded that cultural change is a complex thing to embrace, especially to people who have strong beliefs, values and practices that people have grown up with. They propose that people should research and be cognizant of their surrounding culture and normal beliefs before putting forward a message. This is because effective communication cannot be achieved when the intended message is interpreted to derive a different meaning. Coinage of a message is not an appropriate communication asset.

B. External Influence

The culture of the Filipinos was greatly influenced by countries like Spain for a long time span. They have also been influenced by the language of the United States. This clash of cultures has greatly affected the Filipinos in their quest of integrating the two. They have suffered lack of identity because their culture has been eroded due to the influence of different cultural identities. Many scholars from Philippine have been striving to differentiate the culture of their kinsmen from that of their colonial masters. They have developed a system of eradicating the damages that had been caused by their colonial masters (Lopez, 2006). These scholars are slowly degrading the colonial interpretations of the Filipino culture to allow them heal the wounds of lack of culture…

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