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 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.