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Why Do People Work?• To make a living• To be recognized for abilities• To attain a certain status in society• To attain a certain lifestyle• To save enough for retirement• To meet old-age medical costs• To finance children’s education
Hanapbuhay para MabuhayTowards a Filipino Theology of Work George N. Capaque, Ph.D.
• How does a Filipino understand work?• What meaning does he/she give to it?• This is an attempt to develop a contextual understanding of work; a people’s theology of work using local materials (culture) mutually interacting with biblical faith
A Filipino Concept of WorkCulture LanguageHanapbuhay = hanap + buhayhanap - “search,” “quest”buhay - “life”Literally, hanapbuhay means “search or quest for life”Usual English translation, “means of living” or “earn a living”
Filipino Concept of Work• Hanapbuhaymeans more than just economic survival• Synonymskabuhayan = ka + buhay +an ka-an joined to a noun indicate the qualification or nature of a thing; lit., “the means by which one lives”
Filipino Concept of Workikinabubuhay = ika+ in + rep. of first syllableika– the cause or reason for what the root word says literally, “to cause or to be the cause of life”
Filipino Concept of Work• Work in Filipino thought deals with, or relates to, life.Work and life are intimately connected• Work affirms and sustains life• To work is to live• Work is part of human life; it is life-giving
Filipino Concept of WorkThe quality of and the attitude to one’s work determine the kind of person I am
Work in the Bible• “image of God” – relationship; tells us what human beings are like (God-like) or what is human life.• Work is an essential expression of God-likeness. Through work we realize who we are.
Work in the Bible• Human work – to exercise dominion; to take care of creation. As we do so we preserve& enhance both the life of human beings& of created beings.• In the NT, to work is to provide for ourselves, family& to help the needy (2Th 3:10-13; 1Ti 5:8; Eph 4:28)• Both testaments affirm that work affirms who we are& sustains human life
The Filipino Concept of BuhayLoob – the Filipino true or whole self; literally, “inside” Kalooban (inner self)
The Filipino Concept of Buhay• Kaluluwais associated with ginhawa(relief, well- being, but in other languages, “breath”)• Essentially, kaluluwa is diwa (= “essence” or “spirit”)• Diwaholds together the different elements (physical& spiritual) of existence& integrates them into one functioning whole called buhay or life• Diwa is what “endows spiritual status to our earthly existence,” the “divine in us,” “God within men”
The Filipino Concept of Buhay• Buhay presupposes connection with the divine• Buhay is used in two ways: life as existence (buhay)& animating spirit (buháy =“alive”). Cf. walang kabuhay-buhay (no life, no vitality or power)• Buhayis both a natural phenomenon& a spiritual event• Work as hanapbuhayhas a spiritual dimension or meaning.
Life in the Bible• nephesh (soul= “living being”) is the whole person formed by God from the earth with the divine breath breathed into him (Ge2:7)• “eternal life” = life in the kingdom (rule of God in the world). Kingdom is both personal salvation and social transformation• Hebrew shalom – the whole human being dwelling at peace in all his/her relationships
What Makes a Filipino Alive (Buháy)• Core values = the heart& soul of the Filipino• Loob is the Filipino whole self experienced as kalooban (inner self – heart, spirit, but also relational, ka + loob + an), kaluluwa(vitality, power),&katawan(embodied, relates with the material world)
Core Values• The Filipino loob is relationally- oriented• Kapwa (other, neighbor) is in the loob• Pakikipagkapwa (personalism) characterizes all Filipino relationships and emphasizes belongingness to a social collectivity. It also implies no separation between task and emotional involvement• Dama or damdamin (feeling) connects one loobwith another. Accounts for Filipino sensitivity.• Dangal (honor, dignity) – synthesizes personalism and sensitivity
Contrasts between Western& Filipino value orientations (F. LandaJocano) Western Filipino Individualistic Personalistic “emphasis on “emphasis on subjective objective & concrete &euphemestic orientation” orientation” contrasts Distinctiveness Collectiveness “personal gain” “group gain” Accomplishments as basis of Good behavior as the basis of rewards rewards
Some Implications1. From hanapbuhay to mabuhay (lit., “to live,” the Filipino greeting). Work affirms& sustains life. “May you live” MABUHAY
Implications2. Being& doing flow from each other. The Filipino worker brings his/her whole self to the workplace. E.g., bayanihan(lit., “to be a hero to each other”)= spirit of cooperation and collaboration.cooperation/collaboration makes the Filipino work better
Implications3. From value formation to value transformation = virtue formation
Issues to Consider in Developing a Biblical Work Ethic From An Asian Work Ethic: The Malaysian Perspective by Wong Siew Li
Issues to Consider in Developing a Biblical Work Ethic• How do I love my neighbor when their ‘right’ infringes upon my right to fair treatment& justice?• How do I inspire an ethic of excellence in the workplace in the absence of meritocracy?• Even if I were willing to join the civil service, can a minority voice change the prevailing culture of inefficiency?
Issues to Consider in Developing a Biblical Work Ethic• What can I do about bribery& corruption which have become systematic problems?• Can we change our lifestyle& live on less so that my spouse can quit his/her job to stay home to parent our children instead of the maid?
Issues to Consider in Developing a Biblical Work Ethic• Given the high cost of college education, how many children can I afford to have?• If I stay, will I be able to provide a good education for my children?
Issues to Consider in Developing a Biblical Work Ethic• How do I maintain a healthy family life with all the travelling for work?• How do I balance the competing demands of work, family and church?
Towards a Contextualized Theology of Work Called to do my best (Col 3:22-25) • Look to God our ultimate master • Called to do our best (‘work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord’) • Even if no earthly recognition/reward • Real boss is God; sure reward
Towards a Contextualized Theology of Work Called to be salt & light(Mt 5:13-14) • Choose to stay in country: join civil service or not-so-lucrative professions • Commit to bring kingdom values to transform workplace, community and society
Towards a Contextualized Theology of Work Called to love my neighbor (Mt 22:39) • Look beyond personal concerns (trust God with them) to the needs of neighbor, society & nation • What about those who have fallen through the cracks? • In a restrictive environment, how else will the majority people know Christ?
The Way ForwardMulti-pronged approach• Commitment of individual Christians• Church to show concern for national issues (Mic 6:8): pray, speak up, support and act• More Christians to participate in ‘political process’ for change (as politicians; members of NGOs and media)