Pronounced like "buy-uh-nee-hun," bayanihan is a Filipino word derived from the word bayan meaning town, nation, or community in general. "Bayanihan" literally means, "being a bayan," and is thus used to refer to a spirit of communal unity and cooperation.
Coming back from our trip to the Philippines last month, I really experienced the notion of "Bayanihan" and wished to discuss how valuable this idea could be when applied within Canadian culture, too.
When we were in the Philippines, there were 40+ family members that celebrated Christmas Eve together. We really experienced the concept of Bayanihan in terms of the community feel and the sense of community when it came to everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, sweeping, boiling water, taking turns watching over the kids, setting the table to eat, clearing the table, and washing the dishes. Everyone came together and helped one another out without even being asked, it was an unspoken expectation that each person had a role and responsibility to help. This made Christmas Eve so enjoyable and fun as all the tasks were shared amongst each person.
In Canada, culture is different. People tend to be more individualistic and care for their own needs first and foremost and that is a trend that goes into other parts of life such as work. But how much more could we accomplish if we had this mentality of community, cooperation and helpfulness when it came to our work lives. I feel that we would accomplish so much more, raising our own standards as well as the standards of those around us as we all build cooperatively, in community, together towards our shared goals.
When it comes to community and cooperation, what are your experiences? Do you experience these in the workplace, at home, with friends? I'd love to know in the comments below. Signed, Filipina Budget Girl.