Filipinos are fond of wise sayings. Philippine salawikain are maxims that reflect the culture of the Filipinos. They are poetic proverbs that talk about values, virtues and truths about life. They reflect the culture of the Philippines specifically the thinking of Filipinos. Philippine salawikain also reflects the richness of Philippine literature. They can be traced back to the original Filipino natives who lived before the colonization of the Philippines.
One very popular example is this:
Aanhin pa ang damo
kung patay na ang kabayo.
In English it means:
What good is the grass
if the horse that will eat it is dead.
This means that we have to know the important things and concentrate our lives on them. It is a reminder to value life more than material things. This Philippine salawikain reflects Filipinos’ value on the things that truly matter
Another example is this:
Matibay ang walis
In English, it means:
The broom is sturdy
Because it is tightly bound.
It reflects the Filipinos’ culture of being together. It emphasizes team work and helping each other out. Individualism is not a value in the Philippines. Filipinos are family-oriented. They want to do things together. It reflects the “Bayanihan” philosophy of the Filipinos. Bayanihan means that everyone in the community helps even without payment.
One more example is this:
Bahay mo man ay bato
kung tumitira’y kuwago
mabuti pa ang isang kubo
na ang nakatira ay tao.
In English it means:
Even if the house is big, if the inhabinant is an owl
It is better to have a small hut
whose inhabitant are real caring people.
This Philippine salawikain means that it is better to live in a simple house with real people who care for you than in a very big mansion. This reflects Filipinos’ values for significant human interaction. It reflects Filipinos’ values that rejects materialism.
Philippine salawikain are wise, poetic and beautiful sayings. It has been around even before the Spanish and US colonization of the Philippines. It reflects the wisdom, values and culture of the native Filipinos.