Bayanihan is a unique Filipino word whose closes English equivalent is “Team work”. But the word speaks of more than that. It is derived from the word bayan which means “nation, town or community.” The word bayanihan means a “spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular goal.”
Originally the word bayanihan originated from the traditions observed in Philippine towns where members of the community help a family move to a new place of residence. In the olden days, the whole community literally carry the whole house to its new location. This is achieved by utilizing bamboo poles to lift the house from the ground.
Bayanihan is often depicted in a lot of paintings by National Filipino Artists. It speaks of the Filipino unity and portrays that a particular goal can be achieved if we work together as a united people.
Now that houses are made of concrete, rarely can we see an actual Bayanihan displayed in action. They say that we might not move houses anymore but the spirit of Bayanihan is still with us as a nation.
Sadly in my own opinion, the spirit of Bayanihan has been abandoned in these modern times. It is not because houses are made of concrete that the practice of Bayanihan is not portrayed anymore. Rather it is because the hearts of men today are made of stone that they do not feel anymore the patriotism and the love for our country that our ancestors and national heroes once felt. Nowadays we see Filipinos participating in corruption in all forms, in all levels and even in every opportunity. Some may not be participating in corruption but they are very indifferent towards the situation. By not working as a team to eliminate the cancer of corruption in society this just demonstrates the lack of living up to the spirit of what Bayanihan truly is.
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