Silence is defined as the absence of sound. On the other hand, culture is referred to as the way of life or the practices of a certain group of people. In a society, when silence and culture is combined, we will produce culture of silence or simply the practice of being silent. It is a phenomenon where in people choose to be unheard of what they feel, hear, see and experience.
In the Philippines, it is said that Culture of Silence is one of the biggest problems that we are facing right now along with poverty, corruption, malnutrition and others. Maraming sinasabing dahilan kung bakit nanatiling tahimik ang mga Pilipino, nawalan na sila ng tiwala sa mga leader natin, o kaya nagkakalyo na ang mga puso natin dahil sa paulit-ulit na mga problema. Kahit saan ka tumingin, yun at yun din naman. Nakapapagod na. Nakakawalang gana.
This culture that we have can be rooted back in the Spanish Regime where in Filipinos were not allowed to speak up. Our tradition of not letting our children explain their sides is also a factor. Another reason might be the declaration of Martial Law since we did not have freedom of speech back then.
Naniwala na ako noong una, na maaaring yun nga ang mga dahilan.Dapat na lang isisi sa nakaraan ang problemang meron tayo ngayon. Pero nagkamali ako.
Habang ginagawa ko ang column na to, narealize ko na wala naman talagang culture of silence sa Pilipinas. When I interviewed people at random and when I texted friends regarding the topic: “May pag-asa pa bang umunlad ang Pilipinas? and “Paano mo nakikita ang Pilipinas sampung taon mula ngayon?” I got an overwhelming response!
No matter what class of society they belong, or their age or even their educational attainment, or how busy they were during the interview, they all had the answers right away, both positive and negative even giving the explanations why they said so and their vision of what the Philippines will be in the future provided we change our leaders and practices. They also mentioned other problems which they think must be addressed. Those who seldom reply with my text message- “msta n?” flooded my inbox with the longest answer they could give. Some even apologized for their late replies.
The interview gave me the concrete picture that the problem the country has right now is not the culture of silence but the culture of knowing something about the problem and yet not doing anything about the situation.
This problem is a state of mind. We know that there is problem, there is something going on, and yet we do not act. You ask any Filipinos about what they could say in the country, you will definitely receive answers. Filipinos are not silent or are not reserved with what they feel. The problem is, Filipinos tend to be apathetic. Only a few act, most are only after self preservation. Unless we change this mentality, all the other problems will not be solved.
Listen to 702 DZAS.