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  • Examples of How Filipinos Show Respect to Their Elders
  • The Filipino Ritual of Showing Respect to Elders by the Salutation of the Mano

    The Filipinos are a wonderful example of a rich and various mixture of cultures, influences, symbols and rituals.

    The Philippines is a country in South East Asia north of Indonesia and Malaysia and south of Taiwan. The Philippines consists of some 7100 islands who, over time, have had several waves of migrations from the Islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Sarawak [part of the Indonesian Republic] In the 1500's the Philippines was colonized by the Spanish who gave the country its name after King Phillip II [Son of Charles V] of Spain.

    Influences from the South East Asian Migrations and other asian migrations to the islands known as the Philippines are many fold, but one very strong influence that holds even today, is a respect for their elders. From youth, Filipinos are taught to respect those who are older than them. Not only have the elders given birth and raised many, but in their age, they have grown wiser, more experienced, and have, by tradition earned the respect of younger generations.

    Several symbolic ways in which respect is given to elders is in the use of language by calling older Filipinos "Po" and older siblings, cousins, and family friends "Kuya" and "Atee".

  • A Short Synopsis on Filipino History
  • The most fascinating and ritualistic custom of showing respect to elders is of the greeting or salutation, the Mano. The Philippines is the only country in Asia that holds this specific tradition and its origins evolved from the mixture of western and eastern tradition. The Mano [spanish for hand] evolved from the traditions of respect for ones elders which comes from asian cultures coupled with the respect for the clergy during the spanish occupation of the Philippines.

    In certain parts of Asia, it is respectful to bow to another person to show your repect for them. The bow takes several different forms throughout Asia, and is part of the origins of the Mano.

    One of the most influential origins of the Mano began when the Catholic friars who occupied, colonized, and converted many insisted that the Indios [the native people] kiss their hand, as a sign of power over them. At the time, the Pope who was held in high esteem, extended his hand to priests, nuns & lay people as he gave his blessings as they kissed his signet ring. This ritual was appropriated by the Catholic Friars and Priests, especially in the Philippines. As a result the Filipinos appropriated this tradition as a means to show respect to one's elders by way of the Mano. The Mano is when one slightly bows to one's elder as they take the elder's opposing hand and respectfully place it to one's own forehead.

    So, the Asian custom of symbolicly showing respect of the elders, with a bow, coupled with the kissing of an honored person's hand, iswhere the Mano has evolved as one of the Phillipine's distinct rituals.


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