Review of Related Literature and Studies
This chapter consists of four sections. The first section deals with Holistic Relationality as a broad theoretical orientation of this study which is primarily, but not exclusively, based on Fuellenbach’s Life Giving Relationships. It explores the Filipino value nakakaluwag both at its locus and context. Relationality refers to fourfold relationality, namely to God, to oneself, to neighbors and to creation. Holistic refers to every position of truth which represents just one part of a larger truth. The second section presents the five distinct but mutually interrelated assumptions underpinning this study namely: a system theory, interdisciplinary educative research, ethics across the curriculum, eco-justice education and finally, the participatory transformative task. The last two sections are the review of related literature and the review of related studies. The present study cross-referenced to the works of purposely selected authors, namely Braudis, 2006; Cairns, J., 2003; Capra, 1981; de Guia, 2005; de Leon, 2007; Ećimović, 2009; Fuellenbach, 1998; Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan, 2001; Hornedo, 2009; Ingles, 2006; and Benedict XVI, 2009. The following categories, cosmic-anthropological orientation, holistic relationality and pedagogical viability are drawn from the works of these authors. It is through the lens of these three perspectives and directions that the present study is carried out. Without seeking to preempt the outcome of the study, they serve as a particular frame of reference to look forward with anticipation of something new that may emerge from the interpretation of the nakakaluwag lived-experiences. In the third section are valuable related literatures based on the forgoing three interdependent perspectives. In the fourth section, the related studies on other Filipino values are presented but on nakakaluwag no study is available to date. The study cross-referenced to the works of, namely, Clarke, Mair, Morales, Black, & Sevilleja, 1999; Laborte, 2006; Ingles, 2006; Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan, 2001 and Nagahama, 2006. The detailed outline of all the sections and sub-sections of this chapter is as follow:
Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature and Studies
Theoretical Orientation: Holistic Relationality
Assumptions of the Study
1. A System Theory
2. Interdisciplinary Educative Research
3. Ethics Across the Curriculum
4. Eco-justice Education
5. Participatory Transformative Task
Review of Related Literature
1. Cosmic-Anthropological Orientation
1.1 Nakakaluwag or Nakaluluwag as a Word
1.2 Nakakaluwag as Socio-Economic Status
1.3 Nakakaluwag as a Filipino Value
1.4 Nakakaluwag as Cosmic-Anthropologically Oriented
2. Holistic Relationality
2.1 Relationality as Holistic Life-Giving
2.1.1 Relationality with Fellow Human Beings
2.1.2 Relationality with Themselves
2.1.3 Relationality with Nature
2.1.4 Relationality with the Transcendence [God]
2.2 Relationality as Holistic Time
2.2.1 Relationality as Culturally Rooted and Situated Study
2.2.2 Relationality in Asian Traditions
2.2.3 Relationality in the Filipino Character
2.2.4 Relationality as Precedent of Identity
2.2.5 Relationality as Future-Oriented
2.3 Relationality as Holistic Space
2.3.1 Relationality in the Context of Creative Living Principle
2.3.2 Relationality as Human and Non-Human
2.3.3 Relationality as Human Capacity for God
3. Pedagogical Viability
3.1 Top-down Pedagogical Approach.
3.2 Bottom-Up Pedagogical Approach.
3.3 Middle-In Pedagogical Approach.
Review of Related Studies
1. Clarke, Mair, Morales, Black, & Sevilleja, 1999;
2. Laborte, 2006;
3. Ingles, 2006;
4. Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan, 2001;
5. Nagahama, 2006
Translations of Nakakaluwag
Justification of the Study
Theoretical Orientation: Holistic Relationality
Holistic Relationality is primarily, but not exclusively, based on Fuellenbach’s Life-Giving Relationships, which, for the purpose of the study, offers itself as a possible broad framework to take a second look at the Filipino value nakakaluwag at its locus and context. This framework forms both the conceptual rationale and basis of this study, which integrates varied but related perspectives into a cohesive approach.
By virtue of the writer’s educational training, experiences and his current academic journey in the Applied Cosmic Anthropology (ACA) Program of Asian Social Institute (ASI), this study prefers integrative approach and interdisciplinary research for it draws a lot but not exclusively on the principles of relationality derived through Ecological, Philosophical/Theological, Biblical, Ethical, Pedagogical and Cosmic-Anthropological starting points, resources and perspectives.
The writer further elucidates in the subsequent discussion these principles of relationality, also referred to as Life-Giving Relationships, which he re-named and hereinafter referred to as Holistic Relationality. The basic notion of ‘relationality’ is referred to as the essential relations that extend in four directions or fourfold relationality, namely to God, to oneself, to neighbors (both referred to an individual and individuals who are part and parcel of a society) and to creation as a whole, while the basic notion of ‘holistic’ is referred to every position of truth that we hold, which represents just one part of a larger truth (Koukl as cited in Ingles, 2006). Likewise, the writer also borrows Arthur Koestler’s ‘holon’ to refer to “any entity that is itself a whole and simultaneously a part of some other whole” (Mairesse as cited in Ingles, 2006, p. 32).
Assumptions of the Study
The following are the five (5) distinct, but mutually interrelated assumptions underpinning this study:
1. A System Theory. Applied Cosmic Anthropology (ACA) Program of Asian Social Institute (ASI) is being confronted by divergent views and in particular by the issues and concerns on sustainable living. The writer through ACA and by virtue of the principles it upholds, subscribes to a value and “a system theory that looks at the world in terms of the interrelatedness and interdependence of all phenomena, and in this framework an integrated whole whose properties cannot be reduced to those of its parts is called a system” (Capra, 1981, p. 43). This same framework is shaping the way we look at the world. And having an open mind to divergent views appears not as easy as it seems for it considers striking a balance and requires respecting all possibilities.
In his intention to present a balance relation between these two seemingly diverse views, the systems theory and ancient Chinese thought, Rhee (1997) contends in the following words:
It is suggested that the basic elements of the Eastern worldview are also those of the worldview emerging from modern physics. In Eastern thought the notions of unity, interrelation of all phenomena and the intrinsically dynamic nature of the universe are paramount. The further we penetrate into the submicroscopic world, the more we realize how the modern physicist, like the Eastern mystic, has come to see the world as a system of inseparable, interacting and ever-moving components, with man as an integral part of this system (par. 8).
2. Interdisciplinary Educative Research. In a report entitled, ‘Transdiciplinary Research (TRD) and Sustainability,’ Dr Karen Cronin (2008) defines disciplines in the following words:
Disciplines are constituted by defined academic research methods and objects of study. They include frames of reference, methodological approaches, topics, theoretical canons and technologies. Disciplines can also be seen as ‘sub cultures’ with their own language, concepts, tools and credentialed practitioners (Petts et al as cited in Cronin, 2008, p. 3).
Cronin (2008) not only defines but also distinguishes from each other the following three research approaches, namely Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary:
Multidisciplinary research occurs when a range of different disciplines are assembled for a research task. [It] juxtaposes rather than combines separate disciplinary perspectives, adding a breadth of knowledge, information and methods. Work is done independently following separate perspectives (Klein as cited in Cronin, 2008, p. 3). [In Interdisciplinary research instead of] operating in parallel, it involves a synthesis of knowledge, in which understandings change in response to the perspectives of others. The aim is to seek coherence between the knowledges produced by different disciplines (Petts et al as cited in Cronin, 2008, p. 3). [Transdisciplinary research (TDR) does not only] integrate across disciplines but includes a set of approaches that can generate new, comprehensive knowledge and an overarching synthesis (Klein as cited in Cronin, 2008, p. 3).
Different fields of disciplines must be interrelated and interdependent. This study tries to be interdisciplinary in approach by harmonizing and balancing the field of Ecology (Physical Science), Philosophy/Theology and Pedagogy/Education (Arts and Humanities) in the discussion throughout the paper. Nobody can do Ecological Theology or Ethics without adequate scientific understanding (Nash as cited in Hessel, 1996).
3. Ethics Across the Curriculum. It is impossible to achieve sustainable living without holistic and all embracing ethics and an appropriate education for life. Nakakaluwag is a concrete cultural feature and an example of a Filipino value that contributes to the global ethic [universal value] for sustainable living. The challenge now is how to articulate and teach this value for sustainable living into lessons within learning and teaching context across the curriculum.
In an interview with Janine M. Benyus, which was posted in Michael Prager’s blog, she, by giving a bit of her biologist’s wisdom, defines life in the following words: “Life creates conditions conducive to life” (Prager, 2008). Unfortunately, Kaufman (2001) keenly observed today that:
It was becoming evident that we humans were attaining the power to destroy the very conditions that made our lives (and much other life as well) possible; and the notion that God would save us from ourselves, as we pursued this self-destructive project, became increasingly implausible (par. 3).
Human beings have the capacity to either create or destroy life through their own work, and their capacity to live either sustainably or unsustainably is primarily an ethical question, which requires an ethical response. Today, the problems on society, economy, environment and culture must be addressed by education, by learning and teaching the ethical principles, values and practices of living sustainably, and particularly the Filipino value nakakaluwag. As Cairns, J. (2003) noted, Kung claims that, “Earth can and should be held together by ethics.” The writer believes from the very start that there is a need in general to restructure education, and in particular in the area of religious studies or theological education to asses and utilize a wider range of learning methods and theories to renew creation and seek eco-justice, to achieve ecological integrity and social equity together (Hessel, 1996).
4. Eco-justice Education. When you bring these two values together into the hyphenated word eco-justice then we affirm the emergence of constructive human responses that concentrate on the link between ecological health and social justice (Hessel, 1996). Ronald Engel defines the term eco-justice to mean “the kind of human activity that nourishes and perpetuates the historical fulfillment of the whole community of life on Earth” It also means developing as an adequate ecological ethic to interact with a social ethic—both as theologically rooted (Hessel, 1996, p.10). According to Hessel (1996) eco-justice occurs wherever human beings receive enough sustenance and build enough community to live harmoniously with God, to achieve equity among humans, and to appreciate the rest of creation for its own sake and not simply as useful to humanity (p. 12). This very description is identical with the principles of holistic relationality (Fuellenbach, 1998).
In this context and in the midst of varied theories on sustainable development that proliferate today, it is but right to make ACA as the backbone and frame of reference for a participatory research towards a transformative pedagogy for sustainable living by embracing and adopting a praxis-oriented eco-justice education. Why eco-justice? Because as Tobin (2007) claims, “Environmental degradation is not a dilemma to be addressed separately from matters of human dignity and justice, but rather as directly analogous to and even interwoven among them” (p. 3). Eco-justice education should invite deeper reflection, investigation, relation, and analysis. (Spencer as cited in Hessel, 1996, p. 210–211). Eco-justice education should lead our reflection to adopt a holistic framework, looking at the world in terms of relationships and integration, transcending our mechanistic and reductionist views with holistic and ecological views in order to participate in the current cultural transformation (Capra, 1981, pp. 48–49, 97 & 266).
5. Participatory Transformative Task. It is an urgent call to identify an appropriate participatory process that involves people actively. The absence of active contribution of all of them in finding real solutions to today’s globally urgent ecological and ethical crises demands that we should enable communities to take an active role to become ecologically responsible and just, despite the fact that “the task of achieving global sustainable development go well beyond anything one country or even a group of countries can accomplish alone” (Corell & Susskind, 2000). Since nobody can do it alone, the writer opines that he must take the initiative to be retooled [re-educated] first before he enables himself to helping others and eventually seeks also the help from his colleagues and students to face the challenges together to become and create an ecologically responsible and just school-based community, where people even in different fields must collaborate (Ruether as cited in Hessel, 1996). The task to restore the environment and foster social justice is a collective task and all of us have to search and find individuals with enthusiasm, passion and commitment to seek for a transformation towards a sustained future. These are the individuals who are either already-retooled as cosmologists, anthropologists or cosmic anthropologists and those who are still willing to be retooled for life for this global task.
Review of Related Literature
1. Cosmic-Anthropological Orientation
1.1 Nakakaluwag or Nakaluluwag as a Word. The word nakakaluwag is a derivative from the Tagalog word luwag or maluwag, which also means maluwang, maalwan, maaliwalas; maginhawa ang espasyo; malawak, malaki ang sakop; nasasaklawan ang lahat (Gaboy, 2010). The term maluwag is synonymous to twenty four (24) English words: spacious, ample, big, boundless, broad, comfortable, endless, enormous, expansive, extended, generous, great, huge, immense, infinite, large, limitless, roomy, sizable, spacey, vast, voluminous, wide, and widespread (Dictionary.com, 2010).
‘The Filipino Self-Learning Module’ on a topic entitled, ‘Modyul 2 Heograpiya ng Asya Salita Ayon sa Tindi ng Ipinahahayag Tekstong Argumentativ’ teaches the different meanings and the varied usage of the following words: maluwang, maluwag and malawak. The example sentences below show how they are used in different contexts. Ang maluwang ay ginagamit sa mga bagay na isinusuot tulad ng damit, medyas, sapatos, kamison at iba pa. (The word maluwang is used to those things that are worn like clothes, pair of socks, pair of shoes, petticoat and more.) For example, Maluwang sa kanya ang damit na binili ng ina. (The dress that the mother bought for her is loose.) Ang maluwag naman ay ginagamit sa paglalarawan ng espasyo ng isang lugar. (The word maluwag is used to describe how spacious a place is.) For example, Maluwag ang silid na ito para sa ating tatlo. (The room is spacious for the three of us.) Ang malawak ay ginagamit naman sa laki ng sukat ng isang pook o lugar. Maaari ring gamitin sa paglalarawan ng taong may katangian ng pagiging maunawain. (The word malawak is used this time in terms of how big the size of a place or a territory. It can also be used to describe a person with characteristic of being considerate.) For example, Malawak ang kanilang lupain sa lalawigan kaya kilala roon ang kanilang angkan. Malawak ang kanyang pang-unawa kaya naman iginagalang siya ng lahat. (The area of their land property in the province is so huge that is why their clan is well known. He is a broad-minded person that is why he is respected by all) (Project ease filipino self-learning module, 2009).
Based on the guidelines set by Gabay Tungkol sa Ispeling, Bokabularyo at Balarilang Pilipino, the following rules are applied here. Between the two given variants namely ipakikita and ipapakita, both of them is correct. Generally speaking, the first syllable of the root word is repeated. In some words, what is repeated is the last syllable of the prefix. Both methods are acceptable.
For example, for the first one: kita is the root word; ipa is the prefix; ki, which is the first syllable of the root word kita is repeated. Thus, ipa + kikita = ipakikita. And for the second one: kita is the root word; pa, which is the last syllable of the prefix ipa is repeated. Thus, ipapa + kita = ipapakita.
In the case of the word nakakaluwag, for the first one: luwag is the root word; naka is the prefix; lu, which is the first syllable of the root word luwag is repeated. Thus, naka + luluwag = nakaluluwag. And for the second one: luwag is the root word; ka, which is the last syllable of the prefix naka is repeated. Thus, nakaka + luwag = nakakaluwag. Between the two variants namely, nakaluluwag and nakakaluwag, the second one is preferred by the writer to be used throughout this study (Gabay tungkol sa ispeling, bokabularyo at balarilang pilipino, 2008).
1.2 Nakakaluwag as Socio-Economic Status. According to the two studies mentioned above (referring to both the Bontoc’s and Ilocos Norte’s studies), the denotative meaning of nakakaluwag indicates the notion of belongingness to the rich economic strata or status of society or being better-off.
1.3 Nakakaluwag as a Filipino Value. The writer’s initial study and findings mentioned above had initially addressed the question on how the nakakaluwag as Filipino value contributes to a sustainable worldview and global ethic.
1.4 Nakakaluwag as Cosmic-Anthropologically Oriented. Cosmic view implies a cosmic viewer— the anthropos— who views and knows reality in a given situation. Human being who assesses her/his place in the universe is and always a situated-viewer or situated knower. In an essay on ‘The Cosmic Perspective,’ Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (2007) claims that what we are all made up of reveals our identity:
Want to know what we’re made of? —The chemical elements of the universe are forged in the fires of high-mass stars that end their lives in stupendous explosions, enriching their host galaxies with the chemical arsenal of life as we know it. The result? The four most common chemically active elements in the universe— hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen— are the four most common elements of life on Earth. [Thus] we are not simply in the universe. The universe is in us (par. 29).
He also argues that knowledge implies the right action, saying that:
The cosmic perspective flows from fundamental knowledge. But it’s more than just what you know. It’s also about having the wisdom and insight to apply that knowledge to assessing our place in the Universe (par. 35).
He then offers several attributes of the cosmic perspective, and one of which is saying, that:the cosmic perspective [does not only embrace] our genetic kinship with all life on Earth but also values our chemical kinship with any yet-to-be discovered life in the universe, as well as our atomic kinship with the universe itself (Tyson, 2007, par. 35).
The above discussions undoubtedly imply relationality, and borrowing Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan’s statement, relationships precede and define one’s identity. In the same argument, Tyson’s view on kinship likewise precedes one’s cosmic identity. This cosmic orientation presupposes the identity of a cosmic viewer and assumes the anthropological view by virtue of the same viewer— the anthropos. From Tyson’s cosmic perspective, three inseparable but distinct key concepts can be derived, namely, the cosmos, the anthropos and the applied-knowledge. Thus, his cosmic perspective on these key concepts is simply an affirmation of applied cosmic-anthropological orientation. Where is the place then of the Filipino value nakakaluwag in this cosmic-anthropological perspective? Tyson (2007) finds a place for Filipinos in this vast universe (malawak na sansinukob) by explaining:
[I] think of people not as the masters of space and time but as participants in a great cosmic chain of being, with a direct genetic link across species both living and extinct, extending back nearly 4 billion years to the earliest single-celled organisms on Earth (par. 17) —Again and again across the centuries, cosmic discoveries have demoted our self-image. Earth was once assumed to be astronomically unique, until astronomers learned that Earth is just another planet orbiting the Sun. Then we presumed the Sun was unique, until we learned that the countless stars of the night sky are suns themselves. Then we presumed our galaxy, the Milky Way, was the entire known universe, until we established that the countless fuzzy things in the sky are other galaxies, dotting the landscape of our known universe (par. 33).
The Filipino value nakakaluwag is not only a wide locus where it made manifest a global ethic [universal values] and a sustainable worldview of reality as integrated whole, it is fundamentally the condition for holistic relationality, a circle of compassion conducive to a free and secured life. As context of holistic relationality, the Filipino value nakakaluwag in cosmic-anthropological perspective is best described in Einstein’s words:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security (Bhaneja, 2005, p. 7.)
2. Holistic Relationality
2.1 Relationality as Holistic Life-Giving. “[C]reation and redemption, Christ and the cosmos, humanity [to oneself and to neighbor] and the natural world are intimately related, and these relationships are the frame within which the contemporary environmental crisis is seen” (WCC Inter-Orthodox Consultation, 2009). It is also from the same relationality frame that the topic under investigation in this study is explored. But to make a really serious effort to explore and find a real solution in response to these ecological and ethical crises, we must be driven by our most fundamental commitment and conviction to work for the promotion of justice, which is rooted in Jesus Christ’s command to seek the Kingdom: “But seek first the Kingdom (of God) and his righteousness (justice), and all these things will be given you besides” (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 6:33). According to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. (1973) action for justice and liberation from oppression cannot be separated from seeking the Kingdom. To seek and proclaim the Kingdom implies a rational and benevolent use of nature, a use that is respectful of its purpose and destiny and is mindful of the needs of the present and future generations. To be just, it is not enough to refrain from injustice. To heal this wounded home, it is not enough to simply be sorry for the injustice being done. “Just as the cosmos itself can be ruptured and torn apart by injustice, it can be healed by all human efforts to bring justice back to human relationships to earth, air, fire, water and one another” (Schreck, 2003).
In the New Testament (NT), Paul describes the Kingdom of God as, “…not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness (justice), peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (New American Bible, Romans 14:17).” In the Old Testament (OT), the Hebraic Covenant Theology best translates justice concept as “Right-Relations” or even better as “Life-Giving Relationships” (Fuellenbach, 1998). This “Life-Giving Relationships” as value can be associated with the concepts of harmony, wholeness, caring, compassion, reciprocal regard, and mutual valuation of intrinsic worth (Acorn, 2004). According to Fuellenbach (1998) to be just means human beings should live in life-giving relationships in the following holistic essential relations in four directions or the fourfold relationality: (1) with their fellow human beings, (2) with themselves, (3) with nature (creation) and (4) ultimately with God (p. 195).
In an essay, ‘Ecojustice at the Center of the Church’s Mission,’ Ruether (2000) calls this ecological theology as covenantal type which draws strongly from Hebrew Scripture and claims that the Bible as the primary source of ecological theology. She further explains:
In the covenantal tradition we find the basis for a moral relation to nature and to one another that mandates patterns of right relation, enshrining these right relations in law as the final guarantee against abuse (par. 8). When humans repent and return to fidelity to God, then justice and harmony will reign, not only in the city, but in the relations between humans and animals, the heavens and the earth. The heavens will rain sweet water, and the harvests will come up abundantly (par. 13). The basic insight of the Biblical covenantal tradition that we have to translate right relation into an ethic, which finds guarantees in law, is an essential element in building an ecological world order (par. 27).
In a paper, ‘Values Education in the Social Sciences,’ Florentino Hornedo (2009) speaks of justice in that same Fuellenbach’s fourfold relationality, and explains them in greater detail:
Justice is meaningful in terms of the relationships man has and creates (1) between himself and other humans and human institutions, (2) between himself and nature, (3) between himself and himself, and (4) between himself and the Transcendent (par. 74).
2.1.1 Relationality with Fellow Human Beings. Hornedo (2009) claims that doing justice is to recognize the value and rights of the individuals and to give them their due:
Nutrition if they are hungry, clothing if they are naked, medicine if they are sick, education if they are ignorant, deliverance from bondage if they are oppressed, and so forth. The recognition of the rights of others means the proper rendering to them of that to which they have a right…. —But most importantly, the rights of others is to be read as one’s obligation towards them: they have rights precisely because I have obligations (par. 75).
Hornedo (2009) expands human beings relations with their fellow human beings to include institutions, unfortunately he observes that:
Rebels against the government frequently have been elevated to the status of folk heroes while the law enforcers are shown as bungling, terroristic, and corrupt. This is an indication of an anarchistic attitude, a failure to relate to the largest natural institution —the government and its agencies (par. 76).
2.1.2 Relationality with Themselves. It is justice to self and to society, Hornedo (2009) claims to care for one’s development personally and professionally. It is injustice to fail to value peoples’ potentials and grow up to become burdens both to themselves and to society. Thus, every school child ought to know these facts to motivate her/him towards growth and to make her/him perseveres to learn and know more (par. 79).
2.1.3 Relationality with Nature. Doing justice with nature, Hornedo (2009) argues involves the promotion of the beneficence of nature for mankind. He argues that it is unjust to society to resort to hasty aggression upon nature that plagues man in the form of shortages of natural resources. What is just in dealing with nature is the provident use of natural resources for the sustenance of society’s necessities (Hornedo, 2009, par. 28).
2.1.4 Relationality with the Transcendence [God]. The relationship of man with Transcendence Hornedo (2009) contends is recognized legally under the provision of law assuring freedom of belief and religious expression. He proposes that “values education needs to confront squarely the developing religious consciousness of learners, especially their growth towards tolerance and the positive appreciation of the religious culture of other people” (par. 80).
Nagahama (2006) speaks of Makabayan, an integrated learning subject in the Philippines values education that stems from the People Power Revolution in 1986, whose teaching method is referred to as a Holistic and Integrated Approach who contends that Makabayan as a practical study helps Filipinos become: Makabayan (Love for Country), Makatao (Love for Humanity), Makakalikasan (Love for nature) and Maka-Diyos (Love for God) (p. 5).
2.2 Relationality as Holistic Time
2.2.1 Relationality as Culturally Rooted and Situated Study. The study incorporates the following: First, it includes the writer’s initial findings on the Filipino value nakakaluwag as the locus and context of the principle of relationality. This study is a Filipino contribution to a sustainable worldview and global ethic that affirms Filipinos’ vision of living peacefully and in harmony with each other and with respect for life and dignity. Second, it considers the Filipino indigenous construct reflective of the relational character or the relationality in the Filipino character which refers to these two (2) Filipino values: (1) the pakikipagkapwa (the principle of Filipino relationality) and (2) the kapwa (the core of the Filipino personhood). And finally, The bayanihan (relationality) spirit embodies these Filipino principle and core reflective of the ancient Filipinos who had been sailing together as one balangay/barangay (boat). It is an accompaniment where ancient Filipinos come alongside in a cosmic journey, moving forward and together towards life and beyond.
Solheim (2006) claims that barangay or balangay (meaning boat) was a word known by the first Spaniards to come to the Philippines. Pigafetta, meeting with the chief of Limaswa, found out that balangay was also used for the smallest political unit of Tagalog society (Solheim, 2006, p.7). According to Solheim (2006), an elderly informant on Itbayat of the Batanes Islands told Dr. Mangahas that one of the words for boat (vanua) also means homeland. Its cognate words vanua, banua, benoa, and fanua all denote the concept of village, port, town, house, land, country, cosmos, and even boat (Vitales, 2005 as cited in Solheim, 2006).
According to Abrera (2007) one important concept of this (spiritual) boat journey is abay, which refers to the boats traveling together. In Bikol, it means to travel with several boats as companions, in the Visayas, it refers to boats sailing together, and in Tagalog it signifies accompanying a person (p. 10).
In March 1964, Victor Decalan, Hans Kasten and volunteer workers from the United States Peace Corps came upon the “find of the century” in the Tabon Cave Complex (in Lipuun Point, Quezon, Palawan), a unique burial jar with a cover featuring a “ship-of-the-dead” [boat-of-the-dead] motif. It has henceforth been called the “Manunggul Jar” and declared a Philippine National Treasure (Valdes, 2004, par. 16).
Chua (2007) declares that the Manunggul burial jar is unique in all respects, which dates back to the late Neolithic Period at around 710 B.C. (p. 1). This secondary burial jar is classified as funerary pottery. The form of the jar’s body is full, reminiscent of the womb, and incised with curvilinear scroll designs like the waves of the sea. Its lid is adorned with the image of a small ship [boat] with two passengers (Braudis, 2005, p. 14). The two passengers each were wearing a headband, which until today is used for the preparation of the dead among some ethnic [indigenous] groups in the Philippines (Fox as cited in Braudis, 2005). Abrera (2007) argues that the concept of the abay (companion) explains why there are to be companions for the dead, who will help and serve him in the afterlife (p. 10). It is worthy of note that the boatman is the abay, who is steering rather than paddling the ship [boat], and the dead is the front figure, whose hands are folded across the chest, a widespread practice [in the Philippines] when arranging the corpse (Fox as cited in Braudis, p. 17). Thus, abay refers to the following: boats sailing together; a person who accompanies another in a journey; the soul of another that would accompany the dead to the afterlife (Abrera , 2007, p. 12).
Fox (as cited in Braudis, 2005) claims that vessel [jar] provides a clear example of a cultural link between the archaeological past and the ethnographic present. Jocano (1998) adds that our prehistoric past embodies the wisdom of our ancestors, i.e., their established pattern of thoughts, feelings, actions, and aspirations (1998, p. 21). Abrera (2007) further explains that the hero’s boat, Gadyong in the epic Sandayo of the Subanon of Zamboanga has its own mind, which explains why the boat atop the Manunggul burial jar has a face at the prow, where one can see the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Likewise, the prow of the lipa or houseboats in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are called sampong (face). It reflects a belief that even inanimate objects, plants and animals have souls. Abrera (2007) also clarifies that since these objects have souls they can accompany the dead on her/his journey and be brought over to the afterlife. Thus, the dead of the ancient Filipinos is never alone on her/his journey.
Jocano (1998) appeals that we need to change our prehistoric perspective in the Philippines, in the face of new evidence to firmly establish our cultural roots and national identity as a people within Filipino grounds or ever appreciate the long historical development of our cultural heritage (p. 55). As Chua (2006) puts it, the Manunggul burial jar is a testament of our history and culture, an embodiment of our experience and aspirations as a people and how we must look at ourselves —Maka-Diyos, Maka-tao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa. It is also a vision for a new generation of Filipinos who will once more take the ancient balanghay as a people (pp. 3–4).
The Philippine bangka according to Abrera (2007) comes from the Austronesian baŋka which means boat, a term also found in Indonesia and the Melanesian islands such as Fiji and Samoa (p. 1). For Solheim (2006), this balangay (boat) or barangay is referred to as a smallest political unit, and vanua (another term for balangay) is referred to as homeland and even cosmos. Though Abrera (2007) used frequently the term bangka, she never missed mentioning balangays (boat) as she refers to the oldest ones that were discovered in Butuan (p. 9). For her the bangka [balangay] is a boat that transported souls to the afterlife and that same boat had a soul of its own (Abrera, 2007, p. 12).
To the writer’s mind, the ancient Filipinos are people sailing together as one balangay/barangay/bangka (boat), and that they accompany one another [in bayanihan spirit] in a cosmic (cosmos = vanua/bangka/balangay) journey of life and beyond (afterlife). Jocano (1998) insists that we have to go back to prehistoric times to know how our culture developed to appreciate our cultural heritage as a people and rekindle the Filipino diwa (spirit) [bayanihan spirit] to guide us along the pathways of the 21st century (p. 19). The writer borrows the words of Jose Rizal to remind us of the importance of prehistory to our nationhood: “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” [Free translation] “They who do not learn the lessons from the past cannot reach their intended destination” (as cited in Jocano, 1998, p. 22). Two important lessons can be initially drawn from the above discussion, first, (1) that today’s relationality in the Filipino character is culturally rooted in the prehistoric past and second, (2) that the wisdom of our ancestors are embodied in this relationality, therefore, the Filipinos’ bayanihan (relationality) spirit lives on.
2.2.2 Relationality in Asian Traditions. Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan (2001) claim that “indigenous psychologists argue that there is a need to develop conceptual frameworks and methodologies rooted in Asian cultures.” This is due to the fact that much of Western psychology is inapplicable in Asia, including the bias toward individualism in Western theories (p. 927). Based on relational conceptions, Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan (2001) reconstruct selfhood informed by Asian traditions by confining the analysis to indigenization rooted in four Asian intellectual traditions, Confucianism, Daoism (Taoism), Buddhism, and Hinduism (p. 926). As the dominant tradition in China, Japan, and Korea, Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan (2001) attest that Confucianism is, above all, an ethic governing human relationships (p. 932). This means that self-cultivation toward leading a proper life is achieved through harmonizing one’s relationships with others (Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan, 2001).
The writer finds particularly relevant to the issues explored in the paper the above description of an interdependent individual as self-in-relations whose relational identity is defined and determined by relationality. In a similar vein, this study looks further at the significance of a life lived in a holistic relationality with others, including one’s relationships with the self, the creation and God.
2.2.3 Relationality in the Filipino Character. In 2005, Katrina Müller de Guia published a book entitled, ‘Kapwa: The Self in the Other,’ where she scholarly explored on the value kapwa, the shared Self of Filipino personhood. The German writer clearly articulated a personhood theory proposed by Virgilio Enriquez, the “Ama ng Sikolohiyang Pilipino” (Father of Filipino Psychology):
He called attention to the fact that the Philippine language provided a commonplace term that implied the extension of the Self to the other. This word was kapwa, a concept that combined the Self and the Other. From this linguistic fact, Enriquez concluded that sharing the Self was a common trait among Filipinos. He postulated that kapwa made up the core of the Filipino personality which should be called personhood (pagkatao) rather that a personality (de Guia, 2005, p. 7).
In an essay, Pakikipagkapwa, Guevara (2005) borrowed Enriquez’ definition of kapwa as the “unity of the self and others, the recognition of shared identity.” de Guia (2005) affirms this shared Self as she further writes that kapwa is:
widely used when addressing another with the intention of establishing connection. It reflects a viewpoint that beholds the essential humanity recognizable in everyone, therefore linking (including) people rather than separating (excluding) them from each other” (p. 8).
For Guevara (2005), pakikipagkapwa goes beyond the goal of establishing connection. Following the line of thinking of Mark Johnson’s empathetic [moral] imagination, claims that, pakikipagkapwa is to participate emphathetically in another’s experience:
[U]nless we can put ourselves in the place of another, unless we can enlarge our own experience through an imaginative encounter with the experience of others, unless we can let our own values and ideals be called into question from various points of view, we cannot be morally sensitive.” Pakikipagkapwa… reaches to the other in his otherness. [Her/]His [Filipino’s] empathy is grounded in [her/]his ability to imagine what it would be like to be in the other’s shoes.… Social relations for the Filipino are ethical relations. It is within the social relations, in the light of the kapwa of the other that the Filipino bases his ethical decisions.… Pakikipagkapwa… does not mean that the self has fully grasped or is capable of grasping the experience of the other. …the other is not the self and the self is not the other (Guevara, 2005, pars. 31, 39–40).
The writer finds the significance to the frame of reference used in this study both de Guia’s position on the personhood theory of Enriquez and Cairns, J.’s stance on the comprehensive ethics of Kung, which are all converging in Guevara’s presentation on the emphatic moral imagination of Johnson. The writer recognizes in the three authors the origin and source of ethical decision, which manifest how relationality in the Filipino shared Self (fellow being) and the encompassing respect for humanity serve as basis for establishing a common ground necessary for a sustainable living. Undoubtedly, the critical role of ethics is at work through pakikipagkapwa. However, the writer in view of holistic relationality has the intention from the very beginning to include moral sensitivity in one’s relationships with non-human and seeing its application beyond human relationships.
2.2.4 Relationality as Precedent of Identity. Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan (2001) describe relational identity as personal identity defined by a person’s significant interpersonal relationships. Relational selves are construed as interdependent, not independent from one another, as in individualism (p. 933). On empirical, conceptual and ethical grounds, Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan (2001) have pointed out between “self as relationship” and “self-in-relations” their reservations about the construction of the first one, because it reduces the self to a relationship, thus becoming relationship-tyranny that suffocates individuality (p. 935). Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan (2001) further explain that, the relational self is intensely aware of the social presence of others as integral to the emergence of selfhood. Thus, in terms of phenomenological representation, self and others are conjointly differentiated from the rest of phenomenal world to form the self-in-relation-with-others (p. 933).
2.2.5 Relationality as Future-Oriented. For the survival and redemption of humankind, Timi Ećimović (2009) in his paper, ‘Philosophy of Sustainable Future,’ proposes a solution and a vision:
The sustainable future or harmony of global society with the Nature of the Planet Earth, and its coexistence with other creatures in nature as a part of the Earth’s biosphere is the solution, to the best of our knowledge, which should be adopted as the vision for our survival. We need a society wide global approach, and not the dilution of scarce financial means, for it is impossible to buy the survival of mankind with a financial approach however great (Ećimović, 2009, p. 12).
Human beings must learn how to “transcend from sustainable development to sustainable future as concept, policy, technique that is needed for the survival of mankind” (Ećimović, 2009, p. 12). Ećimović (2009) asserts that it is necessary to introduce the concept of a sustainable future of humankind to attain harmony with our environment and nature, since present society has lost touch with nature (p. 12). To operationalize this society wide global approach, Ećimović (2009) begins it with the creation of a description of sustainable future:
It is pertinent at this point to provide a short description of “sustainable future”: Sustainable future of mankind is harmony of the humankind system/civilization with system of nature/biosphere of the planet Earth. It is a short description of a very complicated and complex concept of present global human society and its basis – the biosphere of the Planet Earth. We believe that all good work of countless individuals towards achieving sustainable development should now be reoriented to the more complex concept of achieving a “sustainable future” (p. 13).
Ećimović (2009) argues that, “[N]atural system works on contents and under the rules of interdependences, interactions and co-operation relations…” (p. 12). At the end of his paper, Ećimović (2009) recommends to enforce ethics, including values that “should assist as to transcend to a sustainable future of planet Earth’s human global community” (p. 12).
2.3 Relationality as Holistic Space
2.3.1 Relationality in the Context of Creative Living Principle. In a paper on ‘Hiyang,’ presented at a Conference on Holistic Healing at the Mother Earth Healing Center in Chicago, U.S.A., Prof. Felipe M. de Leon, Jr. de Leon (2007) captures this view of moral sensitivity or empathy for others in the following words:
[I]n Philippine culture, there is an underlying belief in the psychic unity of all of creation… [that] we all exist within a cosmic matrix of being at the deepest center of which is a creative living principle…. [—This innermost sacred core is] permeated by a divine essence that seeks fulfillment [creatively and the interdependence of all that exist. It affirms the celebrative sharing, and together they produce] “a culture that is highly creative in interpersonal relations.… [—No wonder,] there is no concept of the ‘other’ in the other person. The ‘other’ (kapwa) is also yourself. This makes Filipinos a highly relational [people] (pars. 1–2, 4).
2.3.2 Relationality as Human and Non-Human. Since “the resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air,” then it shows that relationality is “central to the universe, not little bits of matter but how matter interrelates. At the sub-atomic level of being now we are told that everything is everything else. Perhaps for most people this seems like a strange concept. But for the Filipino, rooted in the sense of pakikipagkapwa, this makes sense” (Braudis, 2006).
To proceed with theory building, Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan (2001) claim that in Filipino Psychology (Sikolohiyang Pilipino) the intellectual tools used are indigenous constructs that reflect the relational character of human existence:
Enriquez (as cited in Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan, 2001) identifies kapwa (fellow being) as the “core value of the Filipino personality.” Unlike the English word other, kapwa is not used in opposition to the self and does not recognize the self as a separate identity. Rather, kapwa is the unity of self and others, and hence implies a shared identity or inner self. From this arises the sense of fellow being that underlies Filipino social interaction (pp. 927–928).
Pakikipagkapwa is “accepting and dealing with the other person as an equal (Guevara, 2005). In pakikipagkapwa, “one arrives at the level where the kapwa (other) is sarili na rin (oneself)” (Ibita, 2005). Pakikipagkapwa-tao is a sense that we are so intimately connected that my very soul penetrates yours and mine. This concept has its application beyond human relationships which includes relationships with the plants, with the animals, with the sea (Braudis, 2006).
Mercado (1994) noted that such relationships with nature (kalikasan) are considered by the Filipinos as something to be in harmony with. By borrowing Hornedo’s words, he explained it further:
The traditional Filipino lived with nature. The forests and rivers were his ‘brothers.’ Their preservation and conservation was his life. Their destruction, his destruction. He had lore to teach his society this fact. When he told his children the divine beings prohibited the desecration of the forest, he was speaking with the authority of life and in the name of life, not of money (Mercado, 1994, par. 7).
Hornedo claims (as cited in Mercado, 1994) that for a traditional Filipino preservation and conservation of nature would mean his own preservation and conservation, and their destruction, his destruction. His statement echoes with Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) in his his encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth): The deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when “human ecology” is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits (2009, n. 51). “Experience shows that disregards for the environment always harms human coexistence, and vice versa. It becomes more and more evident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace among men” (Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message 2007, n.8). Ryan (n.d.) writes that Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) has authored another chapter [about peace, human rights and economic justice] in this rich tradition through his encyclical Caritas in Veritate.
Since his encyclical is much too comprehensive to summarize in a brief reflection; three themes have been identified and considered relevant to our contemporary situation, namely (1) Catholics should be committed to the material and spiritual welfare of all people, (2) Economics needs ethics and (3) There is an intrinsic relationship between human and environmental ecology.
Moreover, in his Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II (as cited in Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message 2007, No. 8) wrote: “Not only has God given the earth to man, who must use it with respect for the original good purpose for which it was given to him, but man too is God’s gift to man. He must therefore respect the natural and moral structure with which he has been endowed.” By responding to this charge, entrusted to them by the Creator, men and women can join in bringing about a world of peace. Alongside the ecology of nature, there exists what can be called a “human” ecology, which in turn demands a “social” ecology.”
Expounding upon this third theme above, Ryan (n.d.) says that Benedict XVI proceeds to argue that Catholic teaching on respect for human life at every stage and on concern for the environment are mutually related. Benedict XVI affirms that an essential dimension of social justice is care for creation, God’s first gift to the human family. As he puts it: “The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole” (as cited in Ryan, n.d., n. 48).
Ryan (n.d.) is convinced that when there is a lack of respect for the right to life, natural death and other dimensions of human dignity, “the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology” (n. 51). Berry (1996) even insists then that any damage that we did to the outer world of nature would be a damage to our own inner life. The devastation of the environment was something more than damage to our physical being; it was also a soul-damage, a ruin within.
2.3.3 Relationality as Human Capacity for God. In an essay, ‘Persons as Gifts: Understanding Interdependence through Pope John Paul II’s Anthropology,’ Lee, S. (2009) clearly captures in the following statements the meaning of relationality in the context of the Catholic Teaching on the Trinity:
[T]he Trinitarian God is a trinity of Persons precisely because of the Godhead’s intrinsic relationality. The term “substance” (or “essence”, “nature”) is used to designate God in His one-ness, that is, His unity; the term “Person” (or hypostasis) is used to designate the real distinction between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; while the term “relation” designates that this distinction lies explicitly in the relationship between them (CCC no. 252). In other words, the Being (ens) of the Godhead is one (unum) in essence (res); but simultaneously, God is also a trinity of Persons in virtue of the substantial relations (pp. 326–327).
In support of the above teaching, an article on ‘Trinitarian Virtues of Relationality,’ Lee, E. (2009) claims that:
[S]ome Christian virtue ethicists have pointed to the Trinity as a model for human relationality, these discussions have tended to be cursory. Because God is a community of persons in loving relationship, the argument goes, we believe that to be created in the image of God is for us also to be essentially social and relational (pp. 1–2).
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) (1995) affirms this conviction in his book, ‘In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall’:
To be the image of God implies relationality. It is the dynamic that sets the human being in motion toward the totally Other. Hence it means the capacity for relationship; it is the human capacity for God. Human beings are, as a consequence, most profoundly human when they step out of themselves and become capable of addressing God on familiar terms (pp. 47–48).
In an article entitled ‘Recovering the Sacred Mystery: How to connect Liturgy and Life,’ Richard R. Gaillardetz (1997) contends that, “the trinity is about the divine movement toward us in love and God’s desire to draw us into life-giving relationship.” He declares that, “There is no self-contained, divine individual residing in heaven far away from us; there is simply a dynamic movement of divine love which is God” (Gaillardetz, 1997). Succinctly, he captures this divine and dynamic movement in the following words:
Conceiving the triune life of God as a divine movement toward us in love points toward the essential insight of Trinitarian doctrine, namely, that God’s very being, what it is for God to be, is loving, life-giving relationality. God does not just have a love relationship with us; God is loving relationality (Gaillardetz, 1997, p.12).
Likewise, the Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches Theological Consultation (Oslo, Norway, April 27–30, 2005) with the theme, ‘Realizing Mutuality and Interdependence in A World of Diverse Identities,’ made a clear statement not only on the reason of who, but also on why human beings are created by God: “The affirmation that human beings are created in the image of God not only has ontological but also functional implications. We are created to be in relationship with God, self, others and creation” (p. 10).
3. Pedagogical Viability. The following conceptual distinction is clearly defined between the opposite approaches (the top-down and bottom-up), but only for the purpose of finding in the future the most viable common pedagogical ground that would facilitate the possibility of synthesizing these two paths that may yield significant contribution in living sustainably. According to Cairns, J. (2003) “the strategies starting at the highest system level are referred to as top-down, and the strategies designed for components, local or regional, are referred to as bottom-up.” The writer expanded Cairns, J.’s meaning and provided the following definitions: On the one hand, the top-down approach is referred to as all the significant efforts that establish common standards in helping meet the global need to move toward sustainable development. These global standards are created by consensus, defined, approved and maintained by a recognized international body composed of representatives from member nations, including but not limited to international organizations, international nongovernmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations. On the other hand, the bottom-up approach, which the writer considered as compassion-driven and community-sustaining in its orientation, is referred to as the groups’ and individuals’ initiatives engaged in organizing from the bottom-up and assuming the responsibility toward living sustainably and saving the Earth from its irreparable damage.
3.1 Top–down Pedagogical Approach. The Earth Charter (EC) is an ethical framework for sustainable development (SD), a clear product of top-down global consensus approach. EC, as a global strategy for sustainability, presents to the peoples of Earth a statement of common ethical values, which calls them to heed and assume a share of responsibility to the Earth and to each other and challenges them to translate these principles into concrete practice. EC as endorsed by thousands of organizations representing millions of individuals worldwide declares that “we urgently need a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community.” As the peoples of Earth, we affirmed EC’s interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life for, it also “provides critical content for development of curricula with the educational aim of teaching values and principles for sustainable living” (Mackey 2001 as cited in Clugston, Calder & Corcoran, 2002).
With industrial and technological development in the last three centuries, the lifestyles, communications, production systems and consumption changed rapidly changing the community of life on Earth, thus United Nations (UN), as an international organization employing a top-down global consensus approach sees that education will help create and sustain a viable and equitable future for humans and all forms of life on the planet:
Education has been identified as an important social strategy for the realization of a sustainable future. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) recognizes that it is impossible to achieve sustainable development without appropriate education, training and public awareness for all sectors of society. In December 2002, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2005–2014 a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), signaling global commitment to ESD (Education and the search for a sustainable future, 2009).
In the Philippines, the Republic Act No. 9512, as another product of top-down approach, also known as National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008, declares:
Consistent with the policy of the State to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature,… the state shall promote national awareness on… the importance of ecological balance towards sustained national development. [All indentified relevant agencies shall] integrate environmental education in its school curricula at all levels, whether public or private… [including the responsibility accorded to] the citizenry to the environment and the value of conservation, protection and rehabilitation of natural resources and the environment in the context of sustainable development (S. 2–3).
3.2 Bottom-Up Pedagogical Approach. Ahead of his time, Pargman established in 1972 the Save the Earth Foundation as a non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to the expansion of environmental awareness in our society. Its overall objective is to enhance the quality of our global environment and understanding of the effects our way of life will have on the long-term health of the planet. Since 1988, the Save the Earth Foundation has raised public awareness of environmental issues by funding research and education programs at colleges and universities. Research grants from the Save the Earth Foundation will help slow — and ultimately reverse — our planet’s deterioration. In his official website, www.savetheearth.org, Pargman (2003) recalls:
In the early 1970’s I began to realize the developing trends of mankind were resulting in the poisoning of our earth. Late in 1972, my thoughts centered around motivating other people to help stop this destruction. My vision soon became focused on Save the Earth, “a message to help create a higher level of environmental consciousness among people” (par. 1).
After the 1990 earthquake that struck the northern Philippines city of Baguio, Sister Ann Braudis, MM, (Maryknoll NGO representative at the United Nations, a U.S.-based Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns: Peace, Social Justice and the Integrity of Creation) envisioned a way for Filipinos to protect its environment. Her vision found its expression in the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary (MES) which articulates a new understanding of what it means to live sustainably on Earth. (Missioners, 2010). For fifteen years, she served as Director of MES (from 1990 until 2005) guiding its growth into a well-known education center for students of all ages, turning the once convent school into a now trail-blazing ecological sanctuary (Cariño, 2009). Sister Ann Braudis (2006) has pointed out that “in these modern times we recognize that all things are interconnected. If we cut down the forest, the rain will destroy the soil. If the soil is destroyed there will be no plants. If there are no plants, there will be no food. The interconnection throughout the universe is called the Integrity of Creation (p. 7).
The environmental film entitled, Home, affirms Sr. Ann Braudis’ observation as Glenn Close, an American actress (in English-language version), narrates that “the engine of life is linkage. Everything is linked. Nothing is self-sufficient. Water and air are inseparable, united in life and for our life on Earth. Sharing is everything” (Arthus-Bertrand, 2009). Home, a visually astonishing portrait of the Earth, is an environmental film produced and directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a French photographer, journalist, reporter and environmentalist. Narrated by Close, Home tells that everything is linked. The film has companion books, ‘Home: A Hymn to the Planet and Humanity,’ and ‘Home: Education, A Teaching Tool to Enhance Understanding.’ They all deal with the state of our planet with all their alarming facts on various environmental, political and social problems, and including the challenges and consequences that humanity will have to face if they do not protect it. Hoping that his efforts will inspire people to act, since we are living in exceptional times Arthus-Bertrand (2009) admits that his film has been conceived because the urgency to act now is compelling. And scientists are telling us that we have ten years to change the way we live, to reverse the trend, to avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate.
According to Ramirez (2009) life has been getting more and more problematic. Enumerating the many pressing issues facing the world today and the many faces of poverty in the country, she reasons that the weakening of life-support systems is due to the degradation of the environment and the future of our children is being threatened. Thus there is the ever pressing issue of sustainability (p.17). In 2006, taking off from the vision of Dr. Sixto K. Roxas’ Ecosystem-based Community-centered Sustainable Development Organization and Management (ECSOM), ASI articulates this vision through Co-creating Sustainable Bioregional Communities (CSBCom) as an integrating program that promotes meaningful life and livelihood that is rooted in spirituality and richness of our culture and nature (Yap, 2007).
3.3 Middle-In Pedagogical Approach. Since this study seeks a viable common pedagogical ground that will integrate the top-down and bottom-up approaches, the writer finds that the middle-in approach may facilitate and accommodate the convergence of all these approaches. Hornedo (2009) proposes and describes how values, in general, are being passed on by society to the people; how values education in schools, in particular, should integrate cognitive and affective learning; how social justice becomes the centerpiece of Philippine values education due to the historic events and their social context; and finally how social justice becomes meaningful in terms of the relationships [relationality] man has and creates with human [other ] and human institutions, with nature, with himself and with the Transcendent [God] (par. 74).
Education is one of the many functions created by society and to assure its survival it has to maintain its functions. In the following words, Hornedo (2009) explains enculturation as one educational function in the society:
The term [enculturation] was introduced into social science by M.J. Herskovits in 1948. He saw people as born with biologically-inherited mechanisms whose manifestations they must ‘transform or control in conformity with their society’s way of life,’ or “convert … to socially acceptable forms of cultural conduct.” Enculturation, simplified for clarity’s sake, means the process whereby a cultural community transmits its values and mores to its young (pars. 5–6).
In that same area of education, he further articulates in the following statements the above ideas and shows how values in a given society are defining one’s identity and the society itself:
In education, enculturation manifests itself in the content and procedures of pedagogy. Through the content, the person becomes more and more knowledgeable in the values and customs of his own people; through the procedures, he discovers that his progress is measured by his achievement in the skills and perspectives which promote the well-being and aspirations of his society. His communication skills, for example, are measured in terms of how effectively he is able to communicate with his own people. Thus, the values of his society become the measure of his achievement and recognition (Hornedo, 2009, par. 9).
However, Hornedo (2009) criticizes the traditional methods in Philippine schools and highlights the relevance of exposure, immersion and reflection below:
The usual methods in Philippine schools—largely due to the lack of imagination on the part of many educators and due principally to the lifeless bureaucratization and minimalism of the system—are lectures and discussions in class, and some laboratory work. The result is a great amount of cognitive learning and a minimum of affective learning. (Values education is profoundly affective!) The social science classroom can benefit greatly from the methods of exposure and immersion and the reflective element that procedurally follows such exercises (par. 41).
To enhance greater fidelity to values, Hornedo (2009) suggests that “it is important to identify the central value-concerns which are seen to have been centrally positioned in the consciousness of those nationals who were in a position to contribute the most visible and effective input into national events” (par. 55). In the late 18th century, Hornedo (2009) claims that the Filipino clergy demanded full recognition and respect for dignity.
The claim was against what in practice was Spanish racism justified by a plethora of accusations such as immorality, incompetence, and so forth, some of which the Iberians claimed to be congenital to the Indio and therefore beyond remedy. (Hornedo, 2009, par. 55–56).
Another values being demanded, Hornedo (2009) continues is the political independence, which is the only way to attain dignity. However this is not sufficient, for “independence had no real substance unless the nation had enough material sustenance to feed, clothe, house, educate, medicate, and in any way cultivate and promote the life of Filipinos” (Hornedo, 2009, par. 64). Hornedo (2009) noted that while the values of economic development without dignity and independence would be illusory, “Marcos came to be convinced that it was not only development that the nation needed, but some form of social justice” (par. 68). Unfortunately, since Marcos took the authoritarian road by imposing martial law, the social justice value was:
[B]andied about and given much lip service, but still there was no clear evidence of success in that direction, economically or morally. Those who disliked martial law most were among the most desirous to see every Marcos move fail utterly, and so it came to pass. But the national theme of social justice did not pass and as Marcos fell more deeply into failure, the need for social justice become more acute (Hornedo, 2009, par. 71).
In a particular way proper to the Philippine context, themes of justice and all these values, namely: (1) full recognition and respect for dignity and protection of human rights, (2) political independence, (3) economic development and (4) social justice are all, Hornedo (2009) proposes, “can be adapted for classroom learning and for programs of out-of-class education contextualized in the Philippine setting” (par. 81).
Review of Related Studies
Table 3. These four independent studies resonate with the fourfold relationality
|–with their fellow human beings,-with themselves,-with nature (creation) and-ultimately with God||–Makabayan (Love for Country)-Makatao (Love for Humanity)-Makakalikasan (Love for nature)-Maka-Diyos (Love for God)||–Pro-Country (Maka-Bayan)-Pro-People (Maka-Tao)-Pro-Nature (Maka-Kalikasan)-Pro-God (Maka-Diyos)|
1. In Bontoc’s study entitled, ‘Small-scale Farmers and Genetics-based Technology in Philippine Aquaculture,’ it has divided and categorized the community into three income or wealth groups: nakakarao (the poorest), sapat (the middle) and nakakaluwag (the upper/rich). This report shows that nakakaluwag (one of the three terms used to categorize the different socio-economic strata or status) is referred to those who belong to the rich strata or status, either the fishpond owners or those who have large landholdings in such particular municipality studied (Clarke, Mair, Morales, Black, & Sevilleja as cited in Ingles, 2006, p. 34).
2. In Ilocos Norte’s study entitled ‘Multi-scale Land Use Analysis for Agricultural Policy Assessment: A Model-based Study in Ilocos Norte Province,’ it used mahirap (poor), karaniwan (middle), and nakakaluwag (rich). In this same study nakakaluwag is referred to those who “can afford to use alternative agricultural technologies, have a farm size of 2.54 hectares and/or owning almost 1 hectare of farm land, and have higher income from crop activities (Laborte as cited in Ingles, 2006). In both studies above, the writer observes that the term or concept nakakaluwag is used as a category for socio-economic status.
The above two studies applied the denotative meaning of the term nakakaluwag pertaining to the socio-economic profile of the members of the community probably not concerned with the subtleties and nuances of its meaning.
3. Based on the writer’s initial study entitled ‘Nakakaluwag: An Affirmation of A Vision of Persons Living in Peaceful Harmony and with Respect for Life and Dignity: Towards A Filipino Contribution to A Sustainable Worldview and Global Ethic’ his initial findings shows that the Filipino value nakakaluwag is beyond socio-economic status category. In this study, it made manifest the values of pakikiramay (the going out of one’s way in order to share the sorrow of others in times of crises), pagmamalasakit (genuine caring effort) and pakikipagkapwa-tao (having a regard for the dignity and being of others).
The writer believes that these are the principles that underpin the Filipino global ethic which recognizes, respects, and protects the human dignity and equal worth of persons. The same experiences also made manifest the value buhay (life) or mabuhay (survive) as the underlying principle behind the Filipino sustainable worldview of reality as integrated whole, not compartmentalized; as continuum, not fragmented. It is no wonder for the Filipino that love of God and love of one’s fellow human beings are inseparable. S/he believes that the fundamental unity of the family even extends to human family of the world and envisions a life that is lived together in maginhawang buhay (peaceful harmony) (Ingles, 2006).
4. The cross-cultural study entitled ‘Indigenization and Beyond: Methodological Relationalism in the Study of Personality Across Cultural Traditions’ claims that the generation of psychological knowledge is culture dependent. Indigenous psychologies [like Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Filipino Psychology)] go further and insist on viewing a target group from the natives’ own standpoint. It says that relationships precede situations in the study of personality and social behavior. Personality is defined as the sum total of common attributes manifest in a person’s behavior directly or indirectly observed across interpersonal relationships. Towards the end of the study, confronting the self-other demarcation underlying Western theories leads to the construction of self-in-relations (Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan, 2001, p. 926).
The writer observes in this study of indigenous constructs reflects the relational [relationality] character of human existence: Unlike the English word other, kapwa is not used in opposition to the self and does not recognize the self as a separate identity. Rather, kapwa is the unity of self and others, and hence implies a shared identity or inner self. From this arises the sense of fellow being that underlies Filipino social interaction (Ho, Peng, Lai, & Chan, 2001, pp. 927–928).
5. The study by Nagahama (2006) entitled ‘Making Dialogue Among Different Religions: An Analysis of Values Education under the Integrated Learning Subject in the Philippines’ speaks of Makabayan (Love for the country), the new integrated learning subject for the values education of the Philippines that stems from the People Power Revolution in 1986 (EDSA I). It is expected that the values education integrated in other subjects will stimulate students’ holistic human development. The study examines the possibility of making dialogue among religions [Catholics and the Muslim] through values education.
The writer sees in this study reflective of the indigenous construct of relationality of the previous study mentioned above. Makabayan as a practical study helps develop in the Filipinos their national identity as healthy individuals who take upon themselves their rights and duties not only as students but as members of the community and as patriotic citizens of this country. It is very interesting to note that the very fourfold aim of this integrated learning subject Makabayan resonates with (see table 3) Fuellenbach’s fourfold relationality (with their fellow human beings, with themselves, with nature/creation and ultimately with God), which is the basis of formation of every Filipino (student) to become: Makabayan (Love for Country), Makatao (Love for Humanity), Makakalikasan (Love for nature) and Maka-Diyos (Love for God) (Nagahama, 2006, p. 5). Ramirez (2009) affirms this saying, “for the first time [during the People Power Revolution] we Filipinos experienced being Pro-God (Maka-Diyos). Pro-People (Maka-Tao), and Pro-Country (Maka-Bayan). Later [it] added still one category, Pro-Nature (Maka-Kalikasan). These integrated values could lead the people to an experience of real community, a Heaven on Earth” (p. 21).
Translations of Nakakaluwag
Table 4 shows the translations of Nakakaluwag/Nakakaluwag sa Buhay into Top Twelve (12) Languages of the Philippines. These languages are: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano/Ilokano, Hiligaynon/Ilonggo, Pampangan/Kapampangan, Northern Bicol, Pangasinan, Maguindanao, Tausug, Maranao, Kinaray-a and Southern Bicol. The first column with the heading: ‘Translations of Nakakaluwag/ Nakaluluwag sa Buhay’ contains all the translations the term Nakakaluwag/ Nakaluluwag sa Buhay. The second column with the heading: ‘Language’ consists of the Top Twelve (12) Languages of the Philippines as listed above. The third column with the heading: ‘Population’ indicates the number of the known speakers of these living languages. The last column with the heading: ‘References’ simply tells who the native speakers and who the sources are of these different translations of the term and concept: Nakakaluwag/ Nakaluluwag sa Buhay.
Table 4. Translations of Nakakaluwag into Top 12 Languages of the Philippines
Translations of Nakakaluwag/ Nakaluluwag sa Buhay
|–nakakaluwag/ nakaluluwag sa buhay||
|–hayahay ang kinabuhi(nakakaluwag sa buhay, maginhawa ang buhay)-arang arang ang kinabuhi(nakakaluwag sa buhay)-maka arang arang ang kinabuhi
(nakakaangat ang buhay, gumanda ang buhay)
–makalug luag ang kinabuhi
(makakaluwag sa buhay, guminha ang buhay)
(M. Amado, personal communication, July 29, 2010)
(J. Donoso, personal communication, September 23, 2010)
|–makalung-aw bassit(makahinga nang konti)-nu makaway-waya ti biag(kapag nakaluwag ang buhay)
–rumangay ti panagbiag
(umunlad ang pamumuhay)
Ilocano / Ilokano
(B. Salvador, personal communication, September 16, 2010)
|–naka guluginhawa ang kinabuhi(nakakaluwag/ nakaluluwag sa buhay)||
Hiligaynon / Ilonggo
(M. Fisher, personal communication, July 16, 2010)
|–maka-kayan king bie(nakakagaan sa buhay)-makaluwalas king bie(nakakaluwag/ nakaluluwag sa buhay)||
Pampangan / Kapampangan
(B. De Guzman, personal communication, September 16, 2010)
|–nakaka guro ginhawa(nakakaluwag/ nakaluluwag)||
(H. Bucad, personal communication, September 16, 2010)
Translations of Nakakaluwag/ Nakaluluwag sa Buhay
|–mankanawanawa/ makanawnawa ed bilay(nakakaluwag sa buhay)-mabolaslas ya panagbilay(buhay na ganap na mamukadkad tulad ng isang puno)
–maaliguas ya panagbilay
(buhay na umunlad tulad ng pagaaral)
(M. Orpilla, personal communication, September 21, 2010)
|–pakagkaluwag sa ginawa(nakakaluwag sa buhay)||
(K. Sinulinding, personal communication, September 22, 2010)
|–masanyang/masannang in kabuhianan(nakakaluwag/nakaluluwag sa buhay)||
(Tausug Net, personal communication, September 24, 2010)
|–pakarunda sa kawiyawiyag(nakakaluwag sa pamumuhay)-kapakalelebodan ko kaoyag-oyag(nakaluluwag ng pamumuhay)
–kapakaluluwagan ko kawiyawiyag
(nakaluluwag ng pamumuhay)
(J. Dadayan, personal communication, September 21, 2010)
(N. Gunting, personal communication, September 21, 2010)
(M. Nithar, personal communication, September 21, 2010)
(A. Qahar Jamel, personal communication, September 24, 2010)
|–maka guroginhawa(nakakaluwag/ nakaluluwag)||
(M. Fisher, personal communication, July 16, 2010)
|–naka guguro ginnawa(nakakaluwag/ nakaluluwag)||
(H. Bucad, personal communication, September 16, 2010)
Justification of the Study
The writer has found quite a number of valuable related literatures that deal with and discuss these three interdependent perspectives, namely cosmic-anthropological in orientation, holistic relationality and pedagogical viability. Among them, the writer considers the work of Hornedo (2009) on ‘Values Education in the Social Sciences,’ as a breakthrough for it resonates with Fuellenbach’s fourfold relationality (1998, p. 195) in a particular way proper to the Philippine context and at the same time facilitates and accommodates the convergence of Cairns’ top-down and bottom-up approaches (2003) through Hornedo’s concrete middle-in approach in values [ethics] education by integrating both the cognitive and affective learning and making relationships [relationality] meaningful (2009, par. 74).
The writer also surveyed most of the studies related to the Filipino value nakakaluwag and observed that although they resonate with the fourfold relationality, they are basically limited to socio-economic profiling, dealt with what underlies Filipino social interaction and focused on the indigenous construct of relationality. To date there is no specific study available on the Filipino value nakakaluwag, except for the writer’s initial work titled, ‘Nakakaluwag: An Affirmation of A Vision of Persons Living in Peaceful Harmony and with Respect for Life and Dignity’ (Ingles, 2006).
Since the value nakakaluwag is a unique Filipino cultural feature that contributes to the global ethic [universal value] and integrates with practices of sustainable development, thus, the writer intends to search further and dig deeper through hermeneutic-phenomenological inquiry from the shared-beliefs and shared-practices among the fourteen (14) purposely selected Co-Rs through their own nakakaluwag lived-experiences on how this Filipino value nakakaluwag harmonizes with sustainable relationships [relationality] and derives from which an indigenous principle of ethical-pedagogy that is essential in making personal and communal decision on a day to day basis to live sustainably and eventually to propose concrete and authentic initiatives that are life-sustaining and life-giving in the pursuit of justice, peace and integrity of creation.
 His paper was published in 2006 in Ang Makatao, entitled, ‘Nakakaluwag: An Affirmation of a Vision of Persons Living in Peaceful Harmony and with Respect for Life and Dignity.’ Ang Makatao, An Interdisciplinary Journal for Students and Practitioners of the Social Sciences, is the official publication of the Asian Social Institute, Manila. The word makatao means humane or humanitarian (Panganiban, 1969). The said paper was eventually presented on three separate occasions, namely, on June 18, 2008, at the International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities 2008 (ICoSSH’08), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia; on August 13, 2008, at the Center for Learner-Centered Instruction and Research (CLCIR) Research Colloquium, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila and on November 20, 2008, at Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (PSSP’08), Holy Angel University, Angeles City, Pampanga.
 Quoted in Bhaneja, B. (2005). Albert Einstein revisited: A centennial relativity theory essay. Philosophy and Social Action, 31(1), 7–16.
 The meaning of Holistic Relationality is multifaceted and context-dependent which is discussed here in this section with greater detail.
 Hirofumi Nagahama presented his study on December 6, 2006 at the 10th Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) International Conference — Learning Together for Tomorrow: Education for Sustainable Development, Bangkok, Thailand.
 The custom of Jar Burial, which ranges from Sri Lanka, to the Plain of Jars, in Laos, to Japan, also was practiced in the Tabon caves. A spectacular example of a secondary burial jar is owned by the National Museum, a National Treasure, with a jar lid topped with two figures, one the deceased, arms crossed, hands touching the shoulders, the other a steersman, both seated in a proa [boat], with only the mast missing from the piece. Secondary burial was practiced across all the islands of the Philippines during this period, with the bones reburied, some in the burial jars. Seventy-eight earthenware vessels were recovered from the Manunggul cave, Palawan, specifically for burial.
 Among the three specimens excavated in Butuan, the oldest of which dates back to 320 A.D. Source: Marcelo, Sam (13 December, 2010). Balangay team completes Southeast Asian odyssey. http://www.allvoices.com/s/event-7607238/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5id29ybGRvbmxpbmUuY29tL21haW4vY29udGVudC5waHA/aWQ9MjI4MzE=
 The Earth Charter, Preamble, par. 2, p. 1.
 Fr. Robin Ryan, CP is a member of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ, better known as the Passionists. Fr. Ryan is an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Catholic Theological Union (Chicago, USA) and the Director of Catholics On Call http://www.catholicsoncall.org/
 The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century. In March, 2000, The Earth Charter Commission came to consensus on the Earth Charter at a meeting held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and was later formally launched in ceremonies at The Peace Palace in The Hague. By In 2008, the Earth Charter has been translated into forty languages and has been endorsed by 4,600 organizations, which represent the interests of hundreds of millions of people. Source: www.earthcharterinaction.org “The Earth Charter Initiative is a global network of people, organizations, and institutions that participate in promoting and implementing the values and principles of sustainability expressed in the Earth Charter. The Initiative is a broad-based, voluntary, civil society effort. Earth Charter International (ECI) is an integral part of the Earth Charter Initiative; it exists to advance the Mission and Vision of the Earth Charter Initiative. ECI endeavors to promote the dissemination, adoption, use and implementation of the Earth Charter, and to support the growth and development of the Earth Charter Initiative. It consists of the ECI Council and Secretariat. ECI works in collaboration with national and local governments, the business community, and civil society organizations on various projects and themes. The Earth Charter Initiative also involves the following stakeholders: the Earth Charter Commission, Advisors, Affiliates, Youth Groups, Partner Organizations, Volunteers, and Endorsers” (Earth Charter International, 2009).
 The Earth Charter, Preamble, par. 6, p. 1.
 National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008, S. 2–3, 14th Cong. (2008).
 The identified Philippine Government Agencies are the following: The Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Source: Republic Act No. 9512, S. 2–3, 14th Cong. (2008), http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2008/ra_9512_2008.html
 The following is the synopsis of the film Home: “The appearance of life on Earth was the result of a balance between elements that took billions of years to stabilize. Humans have profited from the lavish resources of the Earth, but have changed the face of the world by the use they have made of it. The harnessing of petroleum and its subsequent over-exploitation are having dramatic consequences for our planet. Human beings must change their behavior and their way of life before it is too late for them, their descendants and life on Earth.”Source: www.home-educ.org
 The populations estimates of how many Filipinos speak the top 12 languages listed here are based on the ‘Languages of Philippines’ web edition of the Ethnologue, where the 175 individual languages listed for the Philippines, the 171 of those are living languages and the remaining 4 have no known speakers. Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition.Dallas,Tex.: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com
 All these personal communications are facilitated through the use of Facebook, an online social networking site where people can exchange digital messages http://www.facebook.com/facebook