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Asian Journal of Social Psychology (2000) 3: 49–71
Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino psychology): A legacy of Virgilio G. Enriquez* Rogelia Pe-Pua The University of NewSouth Wales
Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino University of the Philippines
Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino psychology) refers to the psychology born out of the experience, thought and orientation of the Filipinos, based on the full use of Filipino culture and language. The approach is one of ‘‘indigenization from within’’ whereby the theoretical framework and methodology emerge from the experiences of the people from the indigenous culture. It is based on assessing historical and socio-cultural realities, understanding the local language, unraveling Filipino characteristics, and explaining them through the eyes of the native Filipino. Among the outcomes are: a body of knowledge including indigenous concepts, development of indigenous research methods and indigenous personality testing, new directions in teaching psychology, and an active participation in organisations among Filipino psychologists and social scientists, both in the Philippines and overseas.
The beginnings of Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino psychology) From the beginning of the periods when the Philippines was colonized by Spain, and then the USA, academic psychology, or the psychology taught in schools, was predominantly Western in theory and in methodology. Many Filipino intellectuals, notably the two Philippine heroes Jose Rizal and Apolinario Mabini, expressed dissatisfaction at the pejorative interpretations of Filipino behavior by Western observers. This disenchantment continued as Filipinos struggled to assert their national and cultural identity. In the 1960s, many Filipino intellectuals and scholars were already sensitive both to the inadequacy as well as the unfairness of the Western-oriented approaches to psychology. For instance, in the area of personality, the Western approach in research of not being enmeshed and bound by the culture being studied has resulted in a characterization of the Filipino from the ‘‘judgmental and impressionistic point of view of the colonizers’’ (Enriquez, 1992, p. 57). For example, the predisposition to indirectness of Filipino communication was regarded * The authors acknowledge with thanks the contribution of Ma. Angeles Guanzon-Lapen˜a to the section on the Development of Indigenous Personality Measures. ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
as being dishonest and socially ingratiating and reflecting a deceptive verbal description of reality (Lawless, 1969, cited in Enriquez, 1992) rather than a concern for the feelings of others. (There are many other examples which are discussed further in this article.) Thus, using American categories and standards, ‘‘the native Filipino invariably suffers from the comparison in not too subtle attempts to put forward Western behavior patterns as models for the Filipino (Enriquez, 1992, p. 57). However, there was no concerted effort in the 1960s to reject and correct the traditional way of teaching and studying psychology. It was in the early 1970s that this was initiated when Virgilio Gaspar Enriquez returned to the Philippines from Northwestern University, USA with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology and lost no time in introducing the concept of Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino Psychology). Together with then-chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of the Philippines (U.P.), Dr. Alfredo V. Lagmay, Enriquez embarked on a research into the historical and cultural roots of Philippine Psychology. Subsequently, the research included identifying indigenous concepts and approaches in Philippine psychology and developing creativity and inventiveness among Filipinos. From these researches, a two-volume bibliography on Filipino psychology and a locally developed personality test, Panukat ng Ugali at Pagkatao (Measure of Character and Personality), were produced. In 1975, Enriquez chaired the Unang Pambansang Kumperensya sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (First National Conference on Filipino Psychology) which was held at the Abelardo Auditorium at U.P. In this conference, the ideas, concepts, and formulations of Sikolohiyang Pilipino were formally articulated.
What is Sikolohiyang Pilipino Sikolohiyang Pilipino is anchored on Filipino thought and experience as understood from a Filipino perspective (Enriquez, 1975). The most important aspect of this definition is the Filipino orientation. For centuries, Filipino behavior has been analyzed and interpreted in the light of Western theories. Since these theories are inevitably culture-bound, the picture of the Filipino has been inaccurate, if not distorted. Enriquez (1985) later defined Sikolohiyang Pilipino as ‘‘the study of diwa (‘psyche’), which in Filipino directly refers to the wealth of ideas referred to by the philosophical concept of ‘essence’ and an entire range of psychological concepts from awareness to motives to behavior’’ (p. 160). Reservations regarding the appropriateness and applicability of Western models in the Third World setting have been expressed by a growing number of social scientists (Enriquez, 1987, 1992; Diaz-Guerrero, 1977; Sinha, 1984). The Philippine experience has proven that approaching psychology using these models cannot encompass the subtleties of Asian cultures. Thus, the move towards understanding the particular nature of Filipino psychology. It must be stressed at the outset though that developing a particularistic psychology such as Filipino psychology is not anti-universal inasmuch as the ultimate aim of Sikolohiyang Pilipino is to contribute to universal psychology, which can be realized only if each group of people is adequately understood by themselves and from their own perspective. Sikolohiyang Pilipino is a step towards contributing to universal psychology. (We will return to this important issue towards the end of this article.) Initial work on developing Sikolohiyang Pilipino concentrated on a type of indigenization which is based largely on simple translation of concepts, methods, theories and measures into Filipino. For example, psychological tests were translated into the local language, modified in content, so that a Philippine-type version of the originally borrowed ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
test was produced. On the other hand, another type of indigenization was given more emphasis after the translation attempts failed to capture or express a truly Filipino psychology. This is called indigenization from within (as against indigenization from without), which means looking for the indigenous psychology from within the culture itself and not just clothing a foreign body with a local dress. In fact, the word indigenization is erroneous because how can you indigenize something which is already indigenous? Cultural revalidation is a better term for it, as Enriquez (1992) suggested. Much of the strategy for discovering Sikolohiyang Pilipino is based on assessing historical and socio-cultural realities, understanding the local language, unraveling Filipino characteristics and explaining them through the eyes of the native Filipino. These resulted in a body of knowledge which includes indigenous concepts and methods, in short, a psychology which is appropriate and significant to Filipinos. The principal emphasis of Sikolohiyang Pilipino is to foster national identity and consciousness, social involvement, and psychology of language and culture. It is thus concerned with proper applications to health, agriculture, art, mass media, religion, and other spheres of people’s daily life.
Virgilio Enriquez: Pioneer of Sikolohiyang Pilipino Born in the province of Bulacan, Philippines, Virgilio Gaspar Enriquez was trained by his father to speak the native tongue fluently since he was a child. His father would always find time to have a discussion with him in Filipino. For example, he would ask the young Virgilio to read the day’s English language paper, but read it out loud in Filipino as if it was originally written in that language. Even with his Ph.D. dissertation which was written in English, he had to explain it to his father in Filipino. Enriquez was formally initiated into psychology in 1963 when he started teaching at the University of the Philippines (U.P.). As early as 1965, he was using the Filipino language in teaching. For example, in a Psychology class exam, he did not translate a certain dream to English because this was an actual dream told to him by a resident of Bulacan. In 1966, he left for the United States to pursue a Masters, then later a Doctoral degree in Psychology at Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois. While in this foreign land, amidst foreign theories, he watched the disenchantment of young student activists in the Philippines over the deteriorating political and social conditions of the country. The stream of nationalism was starting to have an effect on the teaching of different courses at U.P. Through his correspondence with Lagmay, Enriquez learned that the matter of teaching in the Filipino language was being taken up eagerly. He started preparing for the teaching of psychology in Filipino, and had a number of discussions (and arguments) with friends and professors at Northwestern University such as Ernesto Kole, Lee Sechrest and Donald Campbell. Enriquez returned to the Philippines in 1971, bringing with him a wealth of Western knowledge which he did not impose on his Filipino colleagues and students. His Western education actually drove him to be more Filipino-oriented in his teaching and research in psychology. He established the Philippine Psychology Research House (PPRH) which later became the Philippine Psychology Research and Training House (PPRTH). This place became home to materials on Sikolohiyang Pilipino, growing to its present size of more than 10,000 references. It also became home to research with a Filipino perspective; as well as an abode to individuals inspired by Enriquez’s enthusiasm, who eventually made their own contribution to the growth of Sikolohiyang Pilipino. ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
Enriquez became Chairman of the Department of Psychology in 1977–1982. He motivated students to write their papers in Filipino to discover important ethnic concepts, thus contributing to the growth of the national language. He was adviser and reader of theses and dissertations written in Filipino in psychology, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy, and Philippine Studies. His influence went beyond the U.P. He taught at other institutions, such as De la Salle University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, University of Santo Tomas, and Centro Escolar University. He was also Visiting Professor at the University of Hawaii, Tokyo University for Foreign Studies, University of Malaya, and University of Hong Kong. (Pe-Pua, 1991) A prolific scholar, Enriquez authored several publications in indigenous psychology, Filipino personality, psychology of language and politics, philosophy and values, crosscultural psychology, and Pilipinolohiya (Philippine Studies). The list includes Indigenous Psychology and National Consciousness (Enriquez, 1989), From Colonial to Liberation Psychology (Enriquez, 1992), a chapter contribution to Blowers and turtle’s (1987) book Psychology moving East (Enriquez, 1987), and his last publication before he passed away in 1994, Pagbabangong-Dangal: Indigenous Psychology & Cultural Empowerment (Enriquez, 1994). Enriquez received numerous awards during his lifetime – fellowships, scholarships, recognitions and grants – both in the Philippines and internationally. He made significant contributions to the awareness of Sikolohiyang Pilipino and Asian psychology. One of his most significant award, the Outstanding Young Scientist of the Philippines from the National Academy of Science and Technology in 1982, was in recognition of his work in Sikolohiyang Pilipino. After his death, he was given a posthumous award, the National Achievement in the Social Sciences Award (1997), by the National Research Council of the Philippines for outstanding contribution in the social sciences on a national level.
Basic elements and features of Sikolohiyang Pilipino Defining Sikolohiyang Pilipino Enriquez’s most significant contribution to the Sikolohiyang Pilipino movement probably lies in clarifying what Sikolohiyang Pilipino is. Without a clear definition, the direction of the movement would not have been as focused and solid. In his 1975 article on the bases of Sikolohiyang Pilipino on culture and history (Enriquez, 1975) and a 1976 article on perspectives and directions of Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Enriquez, 1976), he distinguished Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino psychology) from Sikolohiya sa Pilipinas (psychology in the Philippines – the general form of psychology in the Philippine context) and Sikolohiya ng mga Pilipino (psychology of the Filipinos – theorizing about the psychological nature of the Filipinos, whether from a local or a foreign perspective). Enriquez searched the Filipino culture and history for the bases of Sikolohiyang Pilipino instead of tracing these back to Western theories. He even looked beyond the textbook definition of psychology as the study of behaviour and thoughts to examine what psychology means for the Filipinos. He came up with a definition of psychology that takes into account the study of emotions and experienced knowledge (kalooban and kamalayan), awareness of one’s surroundings (ulirat), information and understanding (isip), habits and behavior (another meaning of diwa), and the soul (kaluluwa) which is the way to learning about people’s conscience. (Enriquez, 1976) ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Four filiations of Sikolohiyang Pilipino Zeus Salazar (1985a), a historian, later examined the history of Sikolohiyang Pilipino and came up with a description of the four filiations of Philippine psychology: (a) The Academic-scientific psychology: the Western tradition – This coincided with the birth of scientific psychology (German tradition) in 1876, and the entry of Western psychology (mainly American tradition) at Philippine universities. (b) Academic-philosophical psychology: the Western (mainly clerical) tradition – This was pursued by the University of Santo Tomas and later other schools of higher learning, under the leadership of individual monks and preachers and the Jesuits. The study of psychology as an aspect of philosophy continued in the tradition of Thomistic philosophy and psychology. (c) Ethnic psychology – Major basis of Sikolohiyang Pilipino for integrating academicscientific and academic-philosophical tradition into a national tradition of Psychology and Philosophy as universal disciplines. This stream includes indigenous psychology (common to the Filipinos, culled from language, culture, literature, etc., psychological systems worked out by Filipinos with indigenous elements as basis) psychology of Filipinos (as observed by foreigners or as felt and expressed by Filipinos), the practice of psychology by Filipinos (normal techniques of enculturation/socialization, and protoclinical practice). (d) Psycho-medical system with religion as cohesive element and explanation. Major characteristics of Sikolohiyang Pilipino as an indigenous Asian psychology Enriquez (1985, 1992) set out to define the major characteristics of Sikolohiyang Pilipino. Its philosophical antecedents include (a) empirical philosophy, academic-scientific psychology, the ideas and teachings of Ricardo Pascual, logical analysis of language; (b) rational philosophy, the clerical tradition, phenomenology, Thomistic philosophy and psychology; and (c) liberalism, the Philippine propaganda movement, the writings of Philippine heroes Jacinto, Mabini and del Pilar, ethnic psychology. Sikolohiyang Pilipino’s principal emphasis in psychology is on identity and national consciousness, social awareness and involvement, psychology of language and culture, and applications and bases of Filipino psychology in health practices, agriculture, art, mass media, religion, etc. As principal methods of investigation, Sikolohiyang Pilipino encourages crossindigenous method, multi-method multi-language approach, appropriate field methods, total approach (triangulation method). In terms of areas of protest, Sikolohiyang Pilipino is against a psychology that perpetuates the colonial status of the Filipino mind. It is against a psychology used for the exploitation of the masses. It is also against the imposition to a Third World country of psychologies developed in industrialized countries. Regarding psychological practice, it endorses the conceptualization of psychological practice in a Philippine context, for example, livelihood psychology instead of industrial psychology, health psychology instead of clinical psychology. It is also concerned with folk practices or indigenous techniques of healing, popular religio-political movements, and community or rural psychology. ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
On the science-humanism issue, Sikolohiyang Pilipino is concerned with both. Scientific and humanistic approaches are both valid. It develops psychology as a science and psychology as an art. On the mentalism-behaviorism issue, Sikolohiyang Pilipino admits both but with lesser emphasis on individual experience and with greater emphasis on the collective experience of a people with a common bond of history. Greater importance is attached to kamalayan (psyche), thus subsidiary importance attached to ulirat (lower level of physical consciousness). The analysis-wholeness issue is not a big issue in Sikolohiyang Pilipino. It is methodologically on the side of analysis but interprets the result of analysis with a bias for wholeness. Enriquez also clarified that Sikolohiyang Pilipino is not inconsistent with a universal psychology but is actually a step towards the development of a universal psychology. It is not anti-Western theory and methods either, but against a non-selective use of imposition of Western knowledge. A liberating, liberated and interdisciplinary psychology Adhering to a philosophy of Sikolohiyang Pilipino being liberated and liberating, he eliminated its bondage to the Western perspective, not only in theory and method but in practice. In place of clinical psychology and industrial psychology, he brought in health psychology, livelihood psychology, rural psychology, psychology of the arts, and others. Sikolohiyang Pilipino also became more ‘‘responsible’’ and responsive to the needs of Filipinos due to the philosophy that we need to make psychology benefit and be of service to the people. Sikolohiyang Pilipino also became interdisciplinary – enriched by the different disciplines to become more solid and closer to Philippine reality. Enriquez would be heard saying, ‘‘Psychology is too important to be left to the psychologists alone.’’
Development of indigenous concepts and theories There is a good deal of literature on the Filipino personality which has become available. The Filipino personality is a popular area of study of many foreign scholars who came to the Philippines. Using language interpreters and without really immersing themselves in the culture of the people, these foreign ‘‘experts’’ have published their versions of Filipino values. These depictions filtered into the textbooks of the Philippine educational system, which was already greatly influenced by Western ideas to begin with. These ‘‘Filipino values’’, together with other colonial interpretations offered by the foreign scholars, have been transmitted from one generation to another, thus perpetuating a distorted, if not false, picture of the Filipino. Rethinking Filipino values Enriquez was critical of this approach to the study of Filipino values. He encouraged Filipino scholars to take a second look at these values using a Filipino orientation. Social scientists such as Lagmay, Salazar, and Bonifacio took up the challenge in their own research. Let us examine three of these ‘‘Filipino values’’ from the exogenous and indigenous perspectives. ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Bahala Na. The Filipino cultural value of bahala na has no exact English translation. Bostrom (1968) was the first psychologist to analyze this value by comparing it with American fatalism. This is obviously a pervasive interpretation that when Thomas Andres published the Dictionary of Filipino Culture and Values, he still defines bahala na as ‘‘the Filipino attitude that makes him accept sufferings and problems, leaving everything to God. ‘Bahala na ang Diyos (God will take care of us)’ . . . This attitude is a fatalistic resignation or withdrawal from an engagement or crisis or a shirking from personal responsibility’’ (Andres, 1994, p. 12). The Sikolohiyang Pilipino perspective interprets bahala na differently. Lagmay (1977) explained that bahala na is not ‘‘fatalism’’ but ‘‘determination and risk-taking’’. When Filipinos utter the expression ‘‘Bahala na!’’ they are not leaving their fate to God and remaining passive. Rather, they are telling themselves that they are ready to face the difficult situation before them, and will do their best to achieve their objectives. The expression is a way of pumping courage into their system so that they do not buckle down. In fact, even before they have said ‘‘Bahala na!’’ they have probably done their best to prepare for the forthcoming situation. Hiya. Sibley (1965), an American scholar, translated hiya as ‘‘shame’’. Another American, Lynch (1961) saw hiya as ‘‘the uncomfortable feeling that accompanies awareness of being in a socially unacceptable position, or performing a socially unacceptable action.’’ For example, when an employee is scolded in front of other people. To add to the negativity of this interpretation of hiya, Andres (1994) described hiya as ‘‘an ingredient in why Filipinos overspend during fiestas in order to please their visitors, even to the extent of going into debt’’ (p. 64). This conventional interpretation of hiya is inadequate because it does not take into account the importance of understanding how affixations in Philippine languages can give a new meaning to a word. Bonifacio (1976) alerted us to the different meanings of the word hiya depending on its form – nakakahiya (embarrassing), napahiya (placed in an awkward position), ikinahiya (be embarrassed with someone), etc. With some affixes, it becomes negative, e.g., napahiya; with others, positive, e.g., mahiyain (shy); and in still other forms, it can either be positive or negative depending on the context, e.g., kahihiyan (sense of propriety, or embarrassment). Salazar (1981, 1985b) expounded on affixation and hiya and showed the internal and external aspects of hiya. Evidently, it is the external aspect which foreign scholars have captured. After all is said and done, the more appropriate translation of hiya in English is not ‘‘shame’’ but ‘‘sense of propriety’’. Utang na loob. Utang na loob was translated by Kaut (1961) as ‘‘debt of gratitude’’. Andres (1994, pp. 190–191) defined it, following Kaut’s logic, as ‘‘the principle of reciprocity incurred when an individual helps another. The person helped then feels an obligation to repay the debt in the future when the helper himself (sic) is in need of aid, or he (sic) may repay his debt by sending gifts. It is often not clear when a debt has been fully paid, so that the relationship becomes an ongoing one.’’ Hollnsteiner (1961) took this interpretation further by claiming that the recipient of the favor is forced ‘‘to show his (sic) gratitude properly by returning the favor with interest.’’ Enriquez (1977) dared to speculate that there is an element of wanting to promote reciprocity which is useful for maintaining the image of the colonizer as benefactor. But looking at utang na loob more closely in the context of Filipino culture, it actually means ‘‘gratitude/solidarity’’. It is not necessarily a burden as the word ‘‘debt’’ connotes, because in the Filipino pattern of interpersonal relations, there is always an opportunity to return a ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
favor. It is not absolutely obligatory in the immediate future, for the opportunity to show utang na loob might come only in the next generation, maybe not in your lifetime. Your children will see to it that it is recognized and respected. It is a beautiful element of Filipino interpersonal relationships that binds a person to his or her home community or home country. In fact, this is expressed in a popular Filipino saying, ‘‘Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan. (Those who do not look back to where they came from will not reach their destination)’’. Utang na loob is a calling heard by many Filipinos who go to other lands but who still retain strong ties with their homeland. Pakikisama vs. pakikipagkapwa. Pakikisama was identified by Lynch (1961, 1973) as a Filipino value, giving it the English translation of maintaining ‘‘smooth interpersonal relations’’ by going along with the group or the majority decision, i.e., conformity. Enriquez (1978, 1994) started unfolding the concept of kapwa (shared identity), which is at the core of Filipino social psychology, and which is at the heart of the structure of Filipino values. He discovered that it is not maintaining smooth interpersonal relationships that Filipinos are most concerned with, but pakikipagkapwa which means treating the other person as kapwa or fellow human being. There are two categories of kapwa: the Ibang-Tao (outsider) and the Hindi-Ibang-Tao (‘‘one-of-us’’). In Filipino social interaction, one is immediately ‘‘placed’’ into one of these two categories; and how one is placed determines the level of interaction one is shown. For example, if one is regarded as ibang-tao, the interaction can range from pakikitungo (transaction/civility with), to pakikisalamuha (interaction with), to pakikilahok (joining/participating), to pakikibagay (in-conformity with/inaccord with), and to pakikisama (being along with). If one is categorized as hindi-ibang-tao, then you can expect pakikipagpalagayang-loob (being in-rapport/understanding/ acceptance with), or pakikisangkot (getting involved), or the highest level of pakikiisa (being one with). Using the Sikolohiyang Pilipino perspective, Enriquez (1992) re-conceptualized the Filipino behaviour patterns and value structure where he designated hiya(‘‘propriety/ dignity’’), utang na loob (‘‘gratitude/solidarity’’) and pakikisama (‘‘companionship/ esteem’’) as colonial/accommodative surface values; and bahala na (‘‘determination’’), sama/lakas ng loob (‘‘resentment/guts’’) and pakikibaka (‘‘resistance’’) as confrontative surface values. He emphasized kapwa (‘‘shared identity’’) as core value; pakikiramdam (‘‘shared inner perception’’) as pivotal interpersonal value; and kagandahang-loob (‘‘shared humanity’’) as linking socio-personal value. Associated with the above are societal values such as karangalan (‘‘dignity’’), katarungan (‘‘justice’’), and kalayaan (‘‘freedom’’). Thus, the area of Filipino personality developed as a strong area using the Sikolohiyang Pilipino perspective. The Filipino is a blend of East and West. The Western influence can be seen more in external ways – dressing, liking for hamburger and other food, Western music and dance, etc. However, the internal aspect, which is at the core of his pagkatao (personality), is Asian – deference for authority, modesty/humility, concern for others, etc. Indirect communication Another aspect of Filipino personality that was given attention by the Sikolohiyang Pilipino perspective is the propensity for indirect communication. Part of our socialization is being sensitive to non-verbal cues, having concern for the feelings of others, being truthful but not at the expense of hurting others’ feelings. This has made the sharpening of pakikiramdam (shared inner perception) a particularly desirable skill in many situations involving Filipino social interaction. Pakikiramdam is a request to feel or to be sensitive to. It is a shared feeling, a kind of ‘‘emotional a priori’’. There is ‘‘hesitation to react, attention to subtle cues, ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
and non-verbal behavior in mental role-playing (if I were in the other’s situation, how would I feel)’’. In other words, it is ‘‘feeling for another’’, exercising great care and deliberation (Mataragnon, 1987). Pakikiramdam is especially useful in conducting research in the rural areas. Filipinos find it difficult to refuse when asked directly to participate in an interview or survey. But if you have pakikiramdam, you can tell from their body language or the tone of their voice that the participation they will show is ‘‘half-baked’’, thus not valid. If you have taken the time to understand their cultural ways, you will know that it is very important to spend time establishing rapport, letting them ‘‘interview’’ you first so they would feel comfortable enough to disclose their opinions, knowledge and experiences to you. The indirect pattern of communication of Filipinos has thus resulted in indirectness or euphemisms in verbal exchange, expressive body language, voice intonations that say more than the words themselves, and other similar behaviors. Among Filipinos, these are a matter of fact, taken for granted, because they are what they are born into and grow up with. It is only when these behaviors come in conflict with Western ways that the Filipino gives them a second thought. In reality, the foreigner or the Westernized Filipino is impatient with this mode of communication, and questions the usefulness of this cultural way. The indirectness, for example, not saying ‘‘no’’ outright, has often been misinterpreted to mean untruthfulness, dishonesty or hypocrisy. To the Filipinos, they are being frank about their feelings, but they just do not express this verbally. It thus poses as a great challenge for non-Filipinos to ‘‘read’’ these messages communicated indirectly, or rather, non-verbally. Internality-externality Salazar (1985b), through his analysis of indigenous history and culture of the Filipinos, points out the internality-externality component in the Filipino personality. The Filipino language has two words for the English word ‘‘honor’’: puri and dangal. Puri refers to honor which is physical, such as that bestowed through compliments or applauses for a good performance, thus external. It can also refer to virginity which is a virtue expected of unmarried Filipino women. Dangal is honor from within – knowledge of one’s true worth, character, achievement and success. It can be acknowledged through an award or a tribute (parangal, which is actually pa-dangal) but even without such gestures from outside, it is within you. Thus, a poor person who is a kind and honest person and respects the dignity of hard work has a lot of dangal. A woman who was raped is not stripped of her dangal even though her puri was taken away. Other examples of internality-externality includes saya and ligaya for the English word ‘‘happiness’’; pigil and timpi for ‘‘control’’; and dama and damdam for ‘‘feel’’. This is not to say that this internal-external dimension is unique to the Filipinos, but this is something researchers should be conscious of when trying to understand the Filipino personality. The great cultural divide Enriquez (1992) also explored the idea of a ‘‘great cultural divide’’ in the analysis of Filipino personality. On one side of the cultural divide are Filipinos who have maintained a more mass-oriented worldview, culture, and way of life. They read the komiks (popular illustrated magazines in Filipino), listen to soap operas on radio, watch soap operas on television, and so on. They visit the indigenous healers for both physical and mental or emotional ailments. On the other side of the cultural divide are the Filipinos who have adhered to a more elitist ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
viewpoint. They go to performances in cultural centres and theatres. They look down on people on the other side of the divide. Not only do the poor eat different food, if they eat at all, but they also have their own tastes in leisure and entertainment. They are supposed to be bakya or ‘lacking in sophistication’ (bakya refers to the traditional wooden clogs, popular among the masses who cannot afford expensive shoes). In fact, they have their own culture and speak their own language. While the elite speak English and occasionally throw in some French for comfort, the Filipino masses speak Filipino and a regional language’’ (Enriquez, 1992, p. 22).
Thus, it is not regionalism which divides the Filipinos. (In fact the authors believe that regionalism is a myth, woven to sow disunity among Filipinos.) It is in the cultural aspect where we witness a disparity. The concept of a great cultural divide is a legacy which Enriquez has left behind, food for serious thought, for both academician and layman alike.
Development of indigenous personality measures In the area of Filipino Personality, Enriquez, together with PPRH, developed the Panukat ng Ugali at Pagkatao (PUP) (Measure of Character and Personality) in 1975 which utilized dimensions of personality that are relevant to Filipinos. While psychological testing is of Western origin, the substance of the PUP originated from an understanding of the Filipinos. The test administration procedures were also adapted to Filipino ways (Enriquez & Guanzon, 1985). It must be noted that Enriquez’s PUP and three other examples of Philippine personality measures may actually have cross-cultural similarities in the dimensions they measure (Guanzon-Lapen˜a, Church, Carlota, & Katigbak, 1998). Filipino personality test development efforts have in fact come a long way, as can be seen in the history of psychological measurement in the Philippines. Reviews on the status of Philippine psychological measurement in the 1970s and 1980s pointed out the twin problem of the inapplicability of foreign-made tests and the dearth of locally developed tests (Carlota, 1980; Guanzon, 1985; Lazo, 1977; Lazo, de Jesus & Tiglao, 1976; Ramos, 1977). Carlota (1980) noted several trends in personality measurement, citing developments in the areas of personality testing, and the measurement of abilities and aptitudes, and of deviant behavior. Guanzon (1985) also noted the phenomenon of measures being locally developed particularly in the area of personality measurement. Despite this welcome development, however, she decried the tendency of local test users to use foreign-made tests lock, stock, and barrel, with no attempt whatsoever to adapt these tests through item or test modification, test translation, or development of local norms. Cipres-Ortega and Guanzon-Lapen˜a (1997) documented and organized the information on both published and unpublished work in the area of psychological measurement, and saw a recent upsurge in the development of indigenous psychological measures. Interest has grown by leaps and bounds from the handful of tests in educational psychology which were locally developed in the 1950s, to the interest in personality testing of the projective type in the 1960s. They further noted that ‘‘the 1970s saw tests developed in creativity, selfperception, personality and vocational testing, and the 1980s an increased interest in personality testing, with a number of researchers doing studies on the Filipino child and the Filipino adolescent. And in the 1990s, tests were developed to measure a wide variety of ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Filipino characteristics – katalinuhan [intelligence], pagkarelihiyoso [religiosity], kaasalang sekswal [sexual behavior], kakayahang magdala ng tensyon [ability to handle stress], pagkamabahala [anxiety], kahustuhang emosyonal [emotional stability], kakayahang berbal sa Filipino [verbal ability in Filipino], Filipino management style, dementia screening, empathy, and trustworthiness, to name a few’’ (Cipres-Ortega & Guanzon-Lapen˜a, 1997, p. 7). In the history of Philippine psychological measurement, Enriquez’s Panukat ng Ugali at Pagkatao clearly stands out as one of the first, if not the first, instruments that are culturally sensitive in its assessment of the Filipino personality.
Development of indigenous research methods The impact of Sikolohiyang Pilipino was greatly felt in the area of social research methods. In 1975, Carmen Santiago, a postgraduate student of psychology at U.P., did a study on pagkalalaki (no equivalent in English, but approximately, it means ‘‘masculinity’’, ‘‘maleness’’, ‘‘manhood’’, or all of these) for a class under Enriquez. This study was to be the turning point in Philippine social research for it was in her articles (Santiago, 1975, 1977) that the pakapa-kapa (‘‘groping’’) approach was first introduced. To many traditional researchers, her approach was avant-garde for she believed that it is not necessary to have a clear-cut research design nor a review of related literature before embarking on a research, especially if existing written materials are foreign to the culture being studied. In a subsequent paper, she and Enriquez discussed the loopholes of Philippine social research, including the lack of relevance of research topics to the needs of the people being studied, inappropriateness of (Western) methods to the ways of the people, definitions based on Western theories, and overemphasis on data rather than on the process. As an alternative, they proposed ways of making research more Filipino, which eventually became the backbone of indigenous research methods – methods which are not imported nor invented, but are natural or existing patterns of behavior (not methods), discovered and developed as research methods. (Santiago & Enriquez, 1976) In searching for appropriate research methods that are indigenous to Filipino experience, Filipino scholars have learned to assume the pakapa-kapa perspective, ‘‘a suppositionless approach to social scientific investigations. As implied by the term itself, pakapa-kapa is an approach characterized by groping, searching and probing into an unsystematized mass of social and cultural data to obtain order, meaning and directions for research’’ (Torres, 1982, p. 171). There are at least five basic guiding principles relevant to the use of indigenous perspective in general, and indigenous research methods in particular. First, the level of interaction or relationship that exists between the researcher and the researched significantly determines the quality of the data obtained in the research process. The levels of interaction are the same ones as the kapwa classifications – Ibang-Tao (‘‘Outsider’’) and Hindi-IbangTao (‘‘One-of-us’’). It is recommended that the first level under Hindi-Ibang-Tao, which is pakikipagpalagayang-loob (level of mutual trust, understanding, rapport) should be reached, at the minimum, in order to be assured of good quality data. The dichotomy of the ‘‘One-of-us’’ and the ‘‘Outsider’’ categories reflects a value for defining membership in a group which determines the boundaries or the extent of allowable behavior for a person. Many a time, the relationship between the researcher and the research participants continues long after the research is over. Second, research participants should always be treated by researchers as equal, if not superior – a fellow human being and not like a ‘‘guinea pig’’ whose sole function is to ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
provide data. From this principle, certain behaviors on the part of the researcher are prescribed. For example, in the method of pagtatanong-tanong (literally, ‘‘asking questions’’, marked by casualness when in fact, the researcher is truly determined to get answers to his questions), the research participants are free to ask the researcher as many questions as they want, therefore acting much like a ‘‘researcher’’ themselves. These questions should be accorded the same respect and not avoided (Pe-Pua, 1989). In many of the research methods, research participants actually have an input in the research process itself – in terms of time management, structure of the questions, interpretation – without their being aware of it. Third, the welfare of the research participants take precedence over the data obtained from them. The goal of research is understanding, but not at the expense of the very people from whom this understanding will spring. The primary ethical responsibility of researchers should be to the people and not to their institution or funding agency. For example, if the publication of the research report will jeopardize the situation of the people, then it should not be continued. If the needs of the community are unearthed in the course of doing research on a different topic, and it is within the researchers’ capability to help, then they should help. The research, aside from being enlightening for the respondents, should also be empowering. Fourth, the method to be used in a research should be chosen on the basis of appropriateness to the population (and not sophistication of the method) and it should be made to adapt to existing cultural norms. For example, having somebody else butt in in the middle of an interview session is not something to be upset over; one should go through the process of getting to know each other first informally before asking questions on topics that are not that common to people. Researchers cannot expect people to adjust to the method; the method should adjust to the people. And here is where pakikiramdam (sensitivity) is most needed – in trying to figure out how the research method will work most effectively. One essential ability that researchers must possess, whatever method they are using, is pakikiramdam, a special kind of sensitivity to cues which will guide them in their interaction with group members, especially with Filipinos who are used to indirect and non-verbal manner of communicating and expressing thoughts, attitudes, feelings and emotions. It is through pakikiramdam that a researcher will know when to ask personal questions and when not to pursue them; when it is time to leave; or how to interpret a ‘‘yes’’ or a ‘‘no’’. Fifth, the language of the people should be the language of research at all times. If this is not possible, local researchers should be tapped for assistance. It is in their own mother tongue that a person can truly express their innermost sentiments, ideas, perceptions, and attitudes. Some of the indigenous research methods that have been identified are pagtatanongtanong (improvised informal, unstructured interview) (Pe-Pua, 1989), pakikipagkuwentuhan (‘‘story telling’’ or ‘‘informal conversations’’) (Orteza, 1997), ginabayang talakayan (collective indigenous discussion), nakikiugaling pagmamasid (participant observation) (Bennagen, 1985), pakikisama (‘‘getting along with’’) (Nery, 1979), pagdalaw-dalaw (‘‘visiting’’) (Gepigon & Francisco, 1978), and panunuluyan (‘‘residing in the research setting’’) (San Juan & Soriaga, 1985).
Inpact on the teaching of psychology in the Philippines In a U.P. Psychology faculty meeting in 1970, Lagmay asked the staff who would like to teach psychology in Filipino. This was the time of the First Quarter Storm in the Philippines ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
when nationalism was sweeping the country. Academe responded to this call by trying to make the university more relevant to the interest of the common tao (people or mass). Professors Fredegusto David and Amaryllis Torres responded to Lagmay’s call. Lagmay had always been supportive of a Filipino orientation in psychology. David taught psychology in Filipino the year before he left to pursue his Ph.D. at Temple University in Pennsylvania. Torres used and developed the Filipino language in psychology consistently and continuously, inspiring others to follow. Initially, she used the terminologies recommended by the National Science Development Board. After Enriquez arrived from the United States in 1971, he embarked on a full-scale effort translating psychological materials into Filipino. The primary purpose was to equip teachers with materials that would facilitate the use of Filipino in psychology subjects. Several materials in the different areas of psychology were published. Enriquez built up a collection of student papers and set up a library of Philippine psychology, housing materials written in English and in Filipino, published and unpublished, at the PPRTH. The reaction to the use of Filipino was varied. Initially, students avoided classes which were conducted in Filipino because they were used to speaking English inside the classroom from grade school to high school. But after a few years, they became comfortable in Filipino classes. Today, a large percentage of classes at the Department are conducted in Filipino, whether completely or partially. The benefits are many – more relaxed atmosphere, more confidence on the part of students to express themselves (without fear of making grammatical mistakes and then being ridiculed), discovery of indigenous concepts, opportunities for creative discussions, and a realization that psychology must relate intimately and significantly to the life of the people. In 1978, Sikolohiyang Pilipino as a subject was instituted and offered at the undergraduate level for the first time. The U.P. was the first university to offer it. The first faculty member to teach the course was Jose Ma. Bartolome. Rogelia Pe-Pua took off where Bartolome left as far as teaching the subject Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Psychology 108) was concerned. The greatest difficulty during the first semester was the lack of a textbook. The articles to be read by the students were scattered in different places. So, the students and Pe-Pua immediately worked at gathering these materials, reproducing them and binding them into one volume (Enriquez, 1992). The next group of students the following semester helped with indexing and publication work. The final printed form of the book Sikolohiyang Pilipino: Teorya, Metodo at Gamit was launched towards the end of that semester. Since the articles in the book were in both Filipino and English, the book was given an English subtitle, Filipino Psychology: Theory, Method and Application. Enriquez described this as a reflection ‘‘of the language situation in the Philippine academic setting. English is still dominant in academe but Filipino has emerged as the language of the educated Filipino in the seventies’’ (Enriquez, 1987, p. 281). Two other compilations have been published since 1982 when the first compilation on Sikolohiyang Pilipino was published. In 1985, Sikolohiyang Pilipino Isyu, Pananaw at Kaalaman (New Directions in Indigenous Psychology) edited by two postgraduate students of Enriquez, Allen Aganon (a priest) and Ma. Assumpta David (a nun), was published. In 1992, Enriquez came out with Indigenous Psychology: A Book of Readings. Aside from these major books, proceedings of the conferences on Sikolohiyang Pilipino have been published by the Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (PSSP, National Association for Filipino Psychology), as well as several monographs by the PPRTH. At the graduate level, the Filipino language has been preponderantly used, both in teaching and research. Several theses and doctoral dissertations have been written in ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
Filipino. The first M.A. Psychology thesis in Filippino was written in 1972 by Amelia Alfonso. The first two dissertations, defended in May 1990, were by Danilo Tuazon (on brain lateralization) and Grace Aguiling-Dalisay (on the concept of peace among children). Lagmay was the first to teach Philippine Psychology as a ‘‘special topics’’ course at the graduate level before it was formally instituted as a separate graduate course in 1978. Since then, it has been offered by Enriquez, Salazar, Pe-Pua and others. Theoretical and scientific issues are discussed, as well as social and political issues, psychologies in contact, the etic and emic issue, and the extent to which psychology in the Third World is international or Western. Philippine Psychology is an area of concentration in the Ph.D. program of the U.P. Department of Psychology, which makes the discipline of Psychology quite distinctive at U.P. In 1994 and 1996 respectively, Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino and Sylvia EstradaClaudio became the first graduates to receive their Ph.D. with Philippine Psychology as the area of concentration.
Areas of applications of Sikolohiyang Pilipino There are several areas where Sikolohiyang Pilipino has been applied. Much of the early work was focused on the use of the local language in teaching, research and in the conduct of various conferences and symposia in Psychology. This development, in turn, inspired the mass media to use the local language in radio programs, talk shows and other official events of local and national importance to Philippine life and culture. This further led to the popularity of inviting Flipino psychologists to talk shows to give some insight on the relevance of Sikolohiyang Pilipino to the various topics under discussion. There were some attempts to formulate appropriate techniques in therapy suited to the Filipino personality. Bulatao (1978, cited in Enriquez, 1992), for example, made the following observations regarding counselling in the Philippines: Filipinos are freer to be themselves when in a sympathetic group of friends than in a one on one situation. When supported by the group, Filipino clients prefer paternalistic counsellors to non-directive ones who are perceived to be detached and non-caring. Filipino subjects are more susceptible to hypnotic suggestions and enter into altered states of consciousness more readily than American subjects. Another area of application was in providing psychological help to children in especially difficult circumstances such as children in situations of armed conflict, street children, prostituted children, etc. Pioneering efforts were made by Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino and her colleagues at the Children’s Rehabilitation Center. Their program focused mainly on crisis intervention through treatment and rehabilitation of these traumatized children. It applied the orientation of Sikolohiyang Pilipino by looking at the problem of the children at two levels. The first level focused on the specific needs and problems of the individual child. The second level underscored the socio-economic and political roots of the problem and their consequences on the child’s rights and welfare (Protacio-Marcelino, 1985). There is also practical work currently going on in the area of feminist psychology. Using the same principles of Sikolohiyang Pilipino, social and clinical psychologists have helped battered women understand their problems in the light of the different socio-cultural conditions affecting women in Philippine society. Sikolohiyang Pilipino has also been applied in industry particularly in the marketing of specific products and understanding consumer behavior. Several multi-national ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
companies have contracted the PPRTH to train their personnel in this field. Companies have also become more conscious of a management style that is appropriate and suited to Filipinos. Non-government organizations involved in community education particularly in grassroots leadership formation have developed a training module on Sikolohiyang Pilipino that has proven to be quite relevant and useful to their work. The PPRTH is currently doing a three-year research project commissioned by the Education for Life Foundation (ELF) to look into the Filipino concept of a grassroot leader and the elements of Filipino leadership.
Associations, conferences and other professional meetings Further to his role in defining the characteristics and perspectives of Sikolohiyang Pilipino and charting its direction, Enriquez spearheaded several activities that have continued long after his death in 1994 such as the holding of annual national conferences on Filipino psychology. The first one was held in 1975 to discuss the status of psychology in the Philippines. From this conference, the Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (PSSP, National Association for Filipino Psychology) was born, aiming to promote Filipino thought. The annual conferences are held in different regions of the country to encourage greater participation, to promote a more regional focus, and to encourage a more national view of psychology. Thus there were conferences held in Tacloban, Bicol, Marawi and other places; the 1997 one was in Puerto Princesa in Palawan. The conferences and seminars he initiated generated a wealth of information and experiences exchanged among scholars. Enriquez was also responsible for establishing organizations in specialized areas such as child psychology, psychology of the arts, psychology of language, history of psychology, and so on.
The spread of Sikolohiyang Pilipino outside the Philippines During his lifetime, Enriquez traveled a lot and in some cases lived for some time in various countries to teach, do research, and participate in conferences. It was during these trips that he was able to influence scholars living abroad (Filipinos and foreigners) to take a keen interest in Sikolohiyang Pilipino. This brought them together in various occasions and eventually led them to set up organizations and associations that supported the goals of Sikolohiyang Pilipino. In the 1970’s and 1980’s there were quite a number of these organizations in the United States (San Francisco and New Haven), Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Hongkong. With the death of Enriquez, however, only one has managed to continue with its activities and this is the association in San Francisco, California. However, there are still a number of individuals in these countries who believe in the Sikolohiyang Pilipino orientation and tradition though they may no longer have the organizational expression.
Debates within Sikolohiyang Pilipino Since the inception of Sikolohiyang Pilipino there has been a number of issues and concerns articulated by its proponents and critics. The most prominent debate in the area was initiated ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
by Zeus Salazar, a historian who did most of his graduate and postgraduate training in Europe. He made significant contributions to Sikolohiyang Pilipino by underscoring the need for a socio-historical perspective in understanding the psychology of the Filipino. Salazar was both a friend and critic of Enriquez’s work. While he agrees with Enriquez on the basic principles of Sikolohiyang Pilipino, especially the importance of culture, the use of the local languages and the development of a national consciousness, there are disagreements or differences on a number of issues. Significant among these is the issue of Filipino-Americans. Salazar criticized Enriquez for including the study of FilipinoAmericans in the discourse of Sikolohiyang Pilipino. For Salazar (1991), FilipinoAmericans are not ‘‘Filipinos’’ since they are not legitimate culture bearers – they were born in the United States, do not share the Philippine cultural experience, and hardly speak any Philippine language. Sikolohiyang Pilipino, according to him, should focus on the lived experiences of people immersed in Philippine life and culture. Filipino-Americans do not have what both Salazar and Enriquez calls a ‘‘national consciousness’’ precisely because they are ‘‘outsiders’’ and unable to participate in national discourse that shapes consciousness. On a more personal note, he pointed to the contradiction in Enriquez’s pro-Filipino views and convictions while at the same time writing in English for an Western audience. Enriquez, on the other hand, called Salazar’s (1991) ‘‘pantayong pananaw’’ (the insider view representing ‘‘us’’ – ‘‘tayo’’ and excluding ‘‘them’’ – ‘‘sila’’) as ‘‘unabashedly emic’’. He labeled Salazar’s position as ‘‘reactionary ethnocentrism’’ which limits his views to the confines of national boundaries’’. He maintained that Filipino-Americans are Filipinos because some aspects of their identity and cultural experiences are still Filipino (Enriquez, 1994). Protacio-Marcelino (1996) responded to these points in her Ph.D. dissertation on ethnicity and identity issues of second generation Filipino-Americans by stressing that indeed Filipino-Americans are not Filipino – they are both Filipino and American. They have different cultural experiences growing up in America. However, they can still lay claim to Filipino cultural identity (differentiated from a national identity) because both their parents are Filipino, some of them still speak or at least understand one Philippine language. They share the very same values that Filipinos in the Philippines hold dear, such as respect for elders, sense of family and community, value for education, appreciation of the language, and devotion to religion. They may be ‘‘outsiders’’ to everyday Philippine experience but they still possess some critical elements of Philippine life and culture as transmitted by their parents and reinforced by their regular visits to the Philippines. This makes them ‘‘insiders’’ to a significant extent. Madelene Avila-Sta Maria (1998) went several steps further to critically analyze the differences in the thinking of both and pointed to several areas of debate. Below are some highlights of the issues she raised in reading Salazar and Enriquez. Psychology and culture. Psychology, according to Salazar, is necessarily part of culture. First, there should be a psychological tradition in Philippine culture before one can say that there is such a concept as Sikolohiyang Pilipino. He explains that the discipline of Psychology is foreign in origin and therefore, should be given a new meaning and reinterpreted in a context relevant to Philippine life and culture. It is imperative then for psychologists to develop the discipline by abstraction, elucidation and articulation of new concepts and theories, thus, enriching that tradition. Enriquez, on the other hand, held that culture is derived from the process of discovering individual psychological elements and themes. To him, Sikolohiyang Pilipino exists as long ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
as there are Filipinos. This type of psychology is already found in Philippine life and culture. One simply has to examine the attitudes, beliefs, values and practices of the Filipino and give importance to the Filipino’s personhood and aspirations as a people. Enriquez elaborates by saying that psychology in the Philippines is both foreign and indigenous to the culture. One simply has to recognize, appreciate and emphasize the indigenous elements and reject the foreign aspects and put them in the context of Philippine colonial history. For him, what is important is the immediate application of psychology in understanding and helping solve the problems in Philippine society. Universality of psychology. For Salazar, the history and traditions of a particular culture is sufficient to contribute to universal psychology. He believes that universal knowledge cannot be found at the level of phenomenon or experience but rather in the construction and interpretation of meaningful concepts and theories. For Enriquez, it is necessary to understand the experiences of many cultures and traditions before one can contribute to universal knowledge in psychology. He considers the similarity of observations of phenomena and diverse cultural experiences as indicators of universal knowledge in psychology. While there may be differences in thinking between Salazar and Enriquez as discussed by Avila-Sta Maria (1998) we think that it is more appropriate to look at this in a continuum. Salazar’s more ‘‘emic’’ approach and Enriquez’s more ‘‘etic’’ approach (without any one of them neglecting or emphasizing only one approach) when put together eventually leads to the formation of universal knowledge in psychology. Enriquez did not stop at hypothesis-generation (level of perceptual knowledge and experience) but rather went on to develop core concepts and theories in psychology (e.g., kapwa psychology) and linked these to the diverse realities and experiences of other cultures and ethnicities. Salazar, on the other hand, continues to draw material for his theories from his critical understanding of culture and history. Following this debate closely is Roberto Tangco who teaches Philosophy at the University of the Philippines. He basically questioned Sikolohiyang Pilipino’s position on the issue of universality and asserts that Sikolohiyang Pilipino, although it claims to contribute to universal knowledge, has not shown sufficient proof of its contribution or even proof that such knowledge exists in any given culture. He argues that the ‘‘valuing’’ of a universal psychology is not reflected in Sikolohiyang Pilipino’s accumulated body of literature and research data. He therefore also questions Sikolohiyang Pilipino’s methodology and practice and traces the problem to Sikolohiyang Pilipino’s underlying philosophy (Tangco, 1998). Tangco is in the process of writing his Ph.D. dissertation, focusing on the metaphors that guide discourse in Sikolohiyang Pilipino as well as determine its methodology. Although Tangco does not say so, he is implying that Sikolohiyang Pilipino’s phenomenological orientation is not scientific and cannot pass the scientific standards of objectivity, reliability and validity – understood of course from a logico-positivist framework. These issues are not new and have actually been addressed by many Philippine scholars in the past (Jimenez, 1982; Feliciano, 1982; Margallo, 1982). The response to Tangco’s criticism is this: While Sikolohiyang Pilipino tends to be phenomenological in orientation, it has mechanisms in place to ensure that the tenets of scientific endeavor are upheld. While there may be no research as yet on cross-cultural comparisons of the concepts and theories developed by Enriquez, there are already various attempts at applying such concepts ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Rogelia Pe-Pua and Elizabeth Protacio-Marcelino
to understand other social and cultural realities (De la Torre, 1995; Lopez, 1996) In other words, the body of knowledge is there. Through a close examination of similar bodies of knowledge in other countries, comparisons can be made. Sylvia Estrada-Claudio (1997) was also critical of the notions of indigenous cultural elements and concepts because of the assumption that such are inherent or given in a culture. According to her, culture is not given nor static. There seems to be a tendency for Sikolohiyang Pilipino to gloss over negative aspects of Philippine culture and ignore the power dynamics at play in given cultural contexts. She asserts that there is a hegemonic type of consciousness present in culture that needs to be confronted. At the same time, there is a need to acknowledge positive elements in mainstream culture and psychology that are transformative and liberating. Thus, she advocates a critical perspective of culture and psychology that looks into the dimensions of power and how this influences the articulation of concepts and theories in psychology. She thinks that a phenomenological approach, although perhaps useful in the past, can no longer move Sikolohiyang Pilipino forward. It is therefore important for Sikolohiyang Pilipino to take a more critical stance and re-examine its methodology. She proposes to de-construct the hegemonic discourse by using discourse analysis in the context of a postmodern (post colonial) perspective. Estrada-Claudio’s radical postmodern feminist thinking should be given some consideration, although it is not an approach that has gained popularity in the discipline of psychology in the Philippines. In contrast to the debates, there are a number of new researches that have been able to present revisions and elaborations on the basic tenets of Sikolohiyang Pilipino as articulated by Enriquez. Grace Orteza has improved on Sikolohiyang Pilipino’s understanding of pakikipagkuwentuhan (‘‘story-telling’’) as consistent with the core concept of Enriquez’s kapwa psychology. She compared the pakikipagkuwentuhan of the 1980’s to that of the 1990’s and corrected the mistaken notion that this is used only for sensitive and difficult topics/issues. She made the important point that one can use pakikipagkuwentuhan in practically any given situation in the spirit of pakikipagkapwa. (Orteza, 1997) Guanzon-Lapen˜a has made significant contributions in the understanding of the concept of leadership among the grassroots Filipinos by developing a new framework for leadership among Filipinos. She looked into the essential elements articulated in Sikolohiyang Pilipino in discovering the richness of indigenous knowledge, beliefs and practices as related to the various applications and areas of grassroots leadership formation. There are still no resolutions to these debates at this point. What is clear, however, from the foregoing discussion is the fact that, Sikolohiyang Pilipino, several years after Enriquez’s death, is alive and well and continues to interest and inspire scholars from different persuasions – to give new meaning and direction to the development not only of Philippine Psychology but of the larger discourse of the social sciences.
Sikolohiyang Pilipino in the realm of universal and world psychology We put forward now that what is generally considered as ‘‘universal’’ psychology is based on the psychology of industrialized and developed countries of the West. This psychology aims to be a science comparable to that of the natural sciences, thus approximating the laws of universality. Influenced by logico-positivist thinking to a large extent, this psychology emphasizes what is directly observable, measurable and quantifiable. It has set some kind of ‘universal’’ standard that has come to be accepted widely among the social sciences. ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
Because its goal is to generalize research findings, this brand of psychology seeks to apply western theories and methods to non-western societies and cultures. It is assumed that all human beings are the same and their context in time and space is not important. In so doing it became ‘‘the Psychology’’ by which all other psychologies are judged. Thus, one does not question a textbook with the title ‘‘Introduction to Psychology’’ used to teach undergraduate psychology students in the Philippines, when the correct title perhaps should be ‘‘Introduction to American Psychology’’. This is the brand of psychology that Sikolohiyang Pilipino objects to. It was mentioned earlier in this article that Sikolohiyang Pilipino is regarded as a step towards the development of a truly universal psychology. It has been shown that ‘‘Philippine psychology’s colonial character as a captive of an American dominated, English-speaking world is one of Sikolohiyang Pilipino’s major areas of protest’’ (Enriquez, 1987, p. 279). Sikolohiyang Pilipino accepts the scientific character of psychology but questions its universality which is also questioned in other parts of the world, e.g., in Mexico (DiazGuerrero, 1977) and India (Sinha, 1984). ‘‘The history of psychology as it has evolved in the western tradition can be interpreted as moving towards the goal of a truly universal psychology. Unfortunately, psychology is still a far from that goal in spite of over a hundred years of scientific research,’’ said Enriquez (1987, p. 279). For as long as the orientation is western, the growth in psychology will simply be a broadening of the data base which is inadequate for assuring a universal psychology. Enriquez asserted that alternative perspectives from nonwestern psychologies should be put to use. The history of psychology must be rewritten ‘‘with due consideration to Asian experience and perspectives’’ (Enriquez, 1987). Sikolohiyang Pilipino recognizes the demands of universal science but ‘‘it likewise appreciates the value of affirming the peculiarity and distinctiveness of man as a sociocultural being’’ (Enriquez, 1992, p. 27). It attempts to discover universals by encouraging cross-indigenous perspectives, i.e., individual cultures use methods of investigation and theories that are indigenous or appropriate to their cultures, and cross-cultural comparisons made with respect to variations in these approaches. However, ‘‘this does not mean that one has to set aside and ignore the specific aspects of man associated with his culture’’ (p. 27). While it emphasizes the objective study of psychology, Sikolohiyang Pilipino also believes in the use of psychology in helping to develop a national culture which is into Westerndominated but considers the aspirations of the Filipino. The concept of a universal psychology based on a broader range of cultures is not new. ‘‘Western psychologists themselves, who rally under the banner of ‘‘cross-cultural psychology’’ have pushed for a universal psychology, as contrasted with the psychology based on generalizations from studies done in industrialized countries. While the arguments are forceful and the sentiments real, a ‘cross-cultural psychology’ will remain a promise for as long as the indigenous psychologies are untapped because of language and culture barriers’’ (Enriquez, 1992, p. 81). Through the discovery and use of indigenous concepts and methods, Sikolohiyang Pilipino is contributing to a truly universal psychology which is based on a new set of principles: diversity and equality. Diversity because it is a psychology that is drawn from the experiences and particularities of various countries and cultures, and equality because it respects these various psychologies as equally valid, important and relevant and does not attempt to impose its ideas on others. Such a universal psychology is perhaps more of a vision than a reality. In an effort to understand and discover its own ‘‘particularities’’ not dictated by the West, Sikolohiyang Pilipino attempts not only to test hypotheses based on western theories ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association 2000
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but rather to generate its own set of hypotheses, theories and body of knowledge. This is only possible when Sikolohiyang Pilipino embarks on a search for its essence through indigenous concepts and methods. This, in turn, gives birth to new theories and methodologies, as has already happened and is still happening at least in Asia and perhaps Latin America. Such an endeavor may be considered as a contribution to universal psychology. In fact at this point, it can truly be said that Sikolohiyang Pilipino has long started that process through its articulation and elucidation of new concepts and methods that have been considered meaningful not only for Filipinos but also for some other Asian cultures as well.
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