Sunday, March 13, 2011

Filipino Philosophy Today

I am in the (or about) the middle of reading Florentino T. Timbreza's book "Filipino Philosophy Today." I am beginning to understand the challenge of the task of the articulation of the fragments of Filipino Philosophy/ies. Through the comparative analysis of the local sayings, adages, and proverbs with teachings of well known eastern and western philosophers, Timbreza is establishing that the Filipinos are, as well, naturally endowed with the capacity to reflect about causality, morality and existence etc. as the more organized thoughts of other sages. Through his comparative study of the wisdoms (sayings, adages, etc.) in the different languages in the Philippines, he is trying (or proving) the existence of fragmented but unifiable or even organizable platform for the development of a future possibility of discourses and dialogs of philosophy in the Philippine setting.

Although it is well known fact that Filipinos, as observed in our languages, is not an abstract thinking people, yet our philosophy, which , according to Timbreza is more of a philosophy of life than a philosophy of being, has space for conceptual pursue of abstraction in the articulation of our philosophy/ies. It is here I think that the study of Filipino Philosophy is important. Although our language is not suited for abstract thinking yet there is possibility that, through, reflection and dialog, we may be able to discover discourses in the higher pursue of thinking by enriching or establishing our language/s with meanings that may someday be capable of expressing higher and more abstract philosophical reflections. Other Filipino philosophers have been doing this endeavor, of course, and it is bearing fruits (e.g. the exploration of the philosophy of"meron," the philosophy of "bahala na"), there is still a lot to explore.
The possibilities are encouraging as long as our thinkers and future thinkers will not be overwhelmed by the western and eastern philosophy and philosophers. As shown by Timbreza, the teachings of the eastern sages up the pessimistic outlook of Schopenhauer, to the nihilism of Nietszche have parallels in our local wisdoms. This only proves that there is a parallel development, or may I say, revelation of wisdom in the world-or the logos. The task is not to find originality in Filipino thought, for the search for originality will only lead to nowhere, the task is to find the context from which the philosophy came-the psyche, and how it is articulated in the Filipino context.

The search for Filipino philosophy is not just a matter of nationalism and pride. I think one of the most important values of finding a Filipino philosophy/ies is that we are also searching for the psychology of the Filipinos. We are searching for our soul. How we think? What do we think? What do we think about? Second, the search is important because we cannot establish a true Filipino philosophical discourses and even philosophical dialogs with other philosophies if we do not have our own to work from. Third is apprehensibility, a Filipino philosophy will naturally be understandable and explorable by the Filipinos.
Again, the task is not in finding originality in Filipino thought, that task is in finding that we have a philosophy or philosophies that developed from our own being.
Anyway, I’m still reading the book.

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