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What is a culture? I believe it is a way of life, beliefs, customs, old habits and practices included that have been lived and practiced for long periods of time by a common race which have been passed on from one generation to another.

The Philippines is rich in culture and tradition. It is unique in the sense that we derived our culture and tradition from our past colonizers – Spanish, Americans, and if I remember correctly, even the Brits colonized us for a short period of time, and lastly not to mention our own Malay race.  And oh, by the way, do we even include the Japanese here?  At least that is how I remember my history.

Rich and unique. It makes me proud of our rich heritage. Be that as it may. I have observed that there is a correlation between our culture and our progress as a nation.

Fast track to modern time, is our culture a bane or boon?

Here are a few examples for you to decide if it helps our country move forward to growth and progress:

1. RH bill – enough has been posted in the social media. The pro-RH group representing the logic and reason while the anti-RH side representing tradition. In a larger scale, this is a war between birth control and overpopulation. Consider the countries that practice birth control and those that do not. See the difference in their economies.

2. Legal Matters – legal documents like pre-nuptial agreement, last will, are rarely practiced among Filipino families hence when divorces or deaths happen, it can’t be helped when legal complications arise due to the lack of these preventive legal measures.

I can cite a few more things in the area of religion where sometimes we are prevented from doing certain things because of the long-held beliefs or superstitions of our elders; in the area of Personal Finance, where we are taught that we should study hard so that we will have a good job instead of putting up a business; that we should all put our savings in a bank instead of diversifying it. Ask anyone what the winner will do with his lotto jackpot money and most of the time, you will correctly guess the answer – yes, the winner will put it in a bank. I have nothing against banks but because of our culture, we have a number of advocates, who saw the need to instill financial literacy in this country because the demand is great to teach this generation how to stay out of debt, how to be good financial stewards, etc.

My point? I’m not totally saying that we discard our culture.

Until we have learned to adapt to the times, as the law or necessity dictates, our culture will drag us as a nation from going where we want to be. We can always treat it in its proper context but in every situation, our country must move forward.

 

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