Sikolohiyang Pilipino

JFPV Handout in Sikolohiyang Pilipino

Filipino Theorists Paradigm: The Filipino Personality

Biography of Virgilio Gaspar Enriquez (Doc E)
Father of Filipino Psychology


  • Born on November 24, 1942 in Balagtas (formerly called Bigaa), Bulacan
  • Youngest of five of Arsenio and Rosario Enriquez
  • Education:
  • Primary Grade School in Manila Central University
  • Elementary Education in Espiritu Santo Parochial School
  • High School: Colegio de San Juan de Letran (among the top 15)
  • His father trained him to speak in his Filipino language; he is asked to translate a newspaper from English to Filipino while reading it out loud; discussed with him in native language
  • Delivers speeches and poems about saints
  • Religious and wants to become a priest
  • Reader and stay most of the time in his school library
  • College: A.B. Philosophy in UP Diliman (1961)
  • Graduate Studies: Psychology in UP Diliman
  • Actively leading and participating in curricular and co-curricular activities
  • (UP PsychSoc President, PRO of UP Math Club, Charter Member of UP PhiloSoc, Elected Member of Rizal Center Honor Society and Philippine Statistical Association)
  • Student Assistant and subsequently Teaching Assistant in UP
  • Psychology Instructor in UP (1963)
  • *use of Filipino Language in discussion & writing
  • Rockefeller Foundation Scholar in Humanities and Social Sciences in Northwestern University in Illinois, USA where he finished M.A. Psychology (1970) and Ph.D. Social Psychology (1971)
  • Communication with Alfredo Lagmay (UP Psychology Department Chairperson) and other colleagues abroad regarding the use of Filipino in instruction
  • Assistant Professor in UP Psych (1971)
  • Founded the Philippine Psychology Research House (PPRH) wherein years later became Surian ng Sikolohiyang Pilipino (part of the Akademya ng Sikolohiyang Pilipino at Akademya ng Kultura at Sikolohiyang Pilipino)- a depository of more than 10,000 materials and works in Filipino Psychology as well as a research and training center
  • Professor in UP Psychology Dept. and President of Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP)
  • Led the “Unang Pambansang Kumperensya sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino” in November 1975 and this is where the “Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino (PSSP)” was born
  • Became the Chairperson of UP Psychology Department (1978-1982), Professor and Professor Emeritus in the same institution
  • Became the Founding Chairperson of the Language Education Council of the Philippines (LEDCO)
  • He never married and devoted his life to research and teaching
    • Thesis and Dissertation Adviser and Panel reviewer
    • Inspiration behind the creation of various organizations
    • Finished M.A. Filipino in UP Diliman (1982)
    • Taught in other universities such as DLSU, PLM, UST and CEU
  • Visiting Professor in University of Hawaii, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, University of Malaya and University of Hongkong
  • Frontrunner in Indigenous Psychology and Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • Consulting Editor of Sage Publications, Inc. in Psychology and Developing Societies
  • Pioneered effective use of indigenous methods in Philippine Social Science Research
  • Awards and Recognitions:
    • Gawad Pagkilala from PSSP (1980)
    • Oustanding Young Scientist of the Philippines from NAST (1982)
    • Oustanding Alumni Award from Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Professional Achievement Award in Psychology from UP Alumni Association (1987)
    • Chairperson of National Committee for Lowland Cultural Communities
    • Worked for the First International Congress of Indigenous Psychology and Culture (Dec. 8-10,1994 in Manila)
    • Died August 31,1994, 51 years old in San Francisco, California due to colon cancer
    • Posthumous Awards:
      • Ama ng Sikolohiyang Pilipino from PSSP
      • Outstanding Psychologist from PAP
      • National Achievement in the Social Sciences from National Research Council of the Philippines

Biography of Fr. Jaime Bulatao
“Fr. Bu”


  • Born on September 22, 1922 in Lingayen, Pangasinan
  • Youngest child in a brood of four
  • Father was a doctor and the mother was a teacher
  • Excelled in academics at a very young age mentored by Belgian nuns
  • Valedictorian in Ateneo High School
  • Quiant memories of sticking love notes for his girlfriend and coercing his sister to play “boy games”
  • Joined the Society of Jesus in 1939 and received his college degree in Sacred Heart in Novaliches
  • Taught in the Ateneo de Manila University
  • Master Degree in Experimental Psychology and Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University
  • Became the Head of Central Guidance Office of ADMU
  • Established the ADMU Department of Psychology in 1960 and co-founded the Psychological Association of the Philippines
  • Introduced group dynamics in the Philippines and wrote “The Technique of Group Discussion”
  • Advocate of the importance of understanding of the Filipino psyche and undertook studies on Filipino culture and the phenomena of spirituality and consciousness
  • Undertook experiments about altered states of consciousness and taught hypnosis and hypnotherapy
  • Published book on “Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy”
  • Denied writing and signing a psychological report that the then Sen. Ninoy Aquino underwent depression (April, 2010)
  • 10, 2015, he died at 92 years old of senile emphysema, a degenerative disease of the lungs

What is Filipino Psychology or “Sikolohiyang Pilipino”?

  • Refers to the psychology born out of the experience, thought and orientation of the Filipinos, based on the full use of Filipino culture and language
  • Anchored on Filipino thought and experience as understood from a Filipino perspective
  • Using the approach of “indigenization from within” whereby the theoretical framework and methodology emerge from the experiences of the people from the indigenous culture; a better term is “cultural revalidation”
  • Based on assessing historical and socio-cultural realities, understanding the local language, unraveling the Filipino characteristics, and explaining them through the eyes of the native Filipino.
  • Another process where Sikolohiyang Pilipino knowledge was born: Indigenization-from-without (search of local equivalents for the assumed universal psychological concepts or the contextualization of important methods and techniques, and tools and instruments.
  • Enriquez believed that uncritical rejection of anything foreign is as dangerous as uncritical acceptance of Western theories.

Subject matter of indigenous Filipino Psychology:

  • The study of emotions and experienced knowledge (kalooban and kamalayan), awareness of one’s surroundings (ulirat), information and understanding (isip), habits and behaviors (another meaning of diwa) and the soul (kaluluwa) which is the way to learning about people’s conscience.


  1. Four Filiations of Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Zeus Salazar)


  1. Academic-scientific Psychology: The Western tradition; birth of scientific psychology (German tradition) in 1876 and the entry of Western Psychology (mainly American tradition) at Philippine Universities
  2. Academic-philosophical psychology: The Western (mainly clerical) tradition: pursued by University of Santo Tomas and other schools under the leadership of individual monks and preachers and the Jesuits; Thomistic philosophy and psychology
  3. Ethnic Psychology: Major basis of Sikolohiyang Pilipino; integrating the other two filiations; includes:
  4. Indigenous psychology (common to the Filipinos, culled from language, culture, literature, etc., psychological systems worked out by Filipinos with indigenous elements as basis)
  5. Psychology of Filipinos (as observed by foreigners or as felt and expressed by Filipinos)
  6. Practice of Psychology by Filipinos (normal techniques of enculturation/socialization and proto-clinical practice)
  7. Psycho-medical System: with religion as cohesive element and explanation





Characteristics of Sikolohiyang Pilipino as an indigenous Asian Psychology


  • Emphasis on identity and national consciousness, social awareness and involvement, psychology of language and culture and applications and bases of Filipino Psychology in health practices, agriculture, art, mass media, religion, etc.
  • Encourages cross-indigenous method, multi-method multi-language approach, appropriate field methods, total approach (triangulation method)
  • Areas of protest: Sikolohiya ng Pagbabagong-isip (against the perpetuation of the colonial status of the Filipino mind), Sikolohiyang Malaya (against the imposition to a Third world country of psychologies developed in industrialized countries), and Sikolohiyang Mapagpalaya (against exploitation of masses)
  • Endorses the conceptualization of psychological practice in a Philippine context (e.g., livelihood psychology instead of industrial psychology); concerned with folk practices or indigenous techniques of healing, etc.
  • Concerned with scientific and humanitarian approaches; psychology as science and art
  • Greater emphasis on the collective experience of a people with a common bond of history; kamalayan over ulirat
  • Methodologically on the side of analysis but interprets the results with a bias for wholeness
  • Step towards the development of a universal psychology and rejects a non-selective use of imposition of Western knowledge
  1. Concepts:
    Bahala Na

    • no exact English translation; compared to American fatalism
    • “the Filipino attitude that makes him accept sufferings and problems, leaving everything to God” (Bostrom, 1968)
    • “Bahala na ang Diyos” (God will take care of us)
    • Not fatalism but determination and risk-taking (Lagmay, 1977)
    • Ready to face the difficult situation themselves and will do their best to achieve their objectives
  1. Hiya
  • Translated as “shame” by American author; or “the uncomfortable feeling that accompanies awareness of being in a socially unacceptable position or performing a socially unacceptable action”
  • Overspending for fiesta in order to please visitors, even to an extent of going into debt
  • Forms of hiya (nakakahiya, napahiya, ikinahiya, mahiyain, kahihiyan) as external aspects
  • Salazar translate hiya as “sense of propriety” (internal aspect)
  1. Utang na Loob
  • “debt of gratitude” (Kaut); recipient of favor is forced “to show his gratitude properly by returning the favor with interest” (Hollnsteiner)
  • “gratitude/solidarity” for Enriquez; not absolutely obligatory in the immediate future, for the opportunity to show “utang na loob” might come only in the next generation, maybe not in this lifetime
  • Binds a person to his or her home community and home country
  • “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan”


Filipino Concept of “Hiya” according to Fr. Bulatao:

  • Hiya: “a painful emotion arising from a relationship with an authority figure or with society, inhibiting self-assertion in a situation which is perceived as dangerous to one’s ego. It is a kind of anxiety, a fear of being left exposed”
  • Walang Hiya:“means a recklessness regarding the social expectations of society, an inconsideration for the feeling of others, an absence of insensitivity to the censures of authority and society”
  • Hiya is conceived as rooted in unindividuated ego, which depend upon its primary group as its normal mode of operation rather than upon its individual self.
  1. Pakikisama vs. Pakikipagkapwa
  • Pakikisama as maintaining smooth interpersonal relations by conformity with group (Lynch)
  • Pakikipagkapwa means treating the other as kapwa or fellow human being as equal; both a conviction (paninindigan) and a value; it means a regard for the dignity and being of others (Enriquez)
  • Note: Pakikibaka (joining a struggle) is a valid aspect of pakikipagkapwa in the face of injustice and adversity
  1. The Kapwa Theory/ Indigenous Social Interaction Theory
  • Kapwa as shared identity; core of Filipino psychology and which is at the heart of Filipino values (Enriquez)
  • Kapwa is not “others”; but the unity of self and others
  • Pakikipagkapwa: eight modes of interaction are levels of interaction which range from the relatively uninvolved civility in pakikitungo to the total sense of identification in pakikiisa
  • Ibang-tao or Outsider Category Levels
    • Pakikitungo (level of amenities/civility)
    • Pakikisalamuha (level of mixing/interaction with)
    • Pakikilahok (level of joining/participating)
    • Pakikibagay (level of conforming/in accord with)
    • Pakikisama (level of adjusting/being along with)
  • Hindi Ibang Tao or One of Us Category Levels
    • Pakikipagpalagayang-loob (level of mutual trust and rapport/acceptance with)
    • Pakikisangkot (level of getting involved)
    • Pakikiisa (level of fusion, oneness and full trust/being one with)

Filipino Value Structure

  • All derived from kapwa
  • Three-tiered value structure (core, surface and societal) to demonstrate relative importance of values
  • Surface values are considered to be least important in comparison to both kapwa and pakikiramdam

Surface Values of Filipinos

  • Surface values to refer to a set of values that are easily obvious, especially to the notice of outsiders (non-Filipinos), but not necessarily the important ones.
  • Accommodative surface values (pakikisama, hiya, and utang na loob) would lead foreigners to assume that Filipinos are other-oriented, and to a distorted and incomplete view of Filipino (pasukong Pilipino/the submissive Filipino)
  • Confrontative surface values (bahala na, pakikibaka, and lakas ng loob) are as equally important to Filipinos when situations call for asserting one’s individual rights.


In focus: Pakikiramdam

  • Pivotal interpersonal value which is necessarily tied to the operation of all surface values, lead action if accommodative or confrontative surface value is appropriate.
  • Involves tentative, exploratory and improvisatory behavior intended to avoid offending or hurting other people
  • A person high in “pakikiramdam” is often described as thoughtful and caring.
  • Requires that a person actively senses or feels out the situation and the other person in a social interaction, and carefully coming up with an appropriate behavior


In focus: Linking socio-personal value and Associated Societal Values

  • Kagandahang-loob predisposes a person to be attuned to the needs and purposes of the larger collective: the society.
  • A person who values kagandahang-loob is also most likely to value karangalan, katarungan and kalayaan in society.


Indigenous Research Methods Guiding Principles

  • Level of relationship between researcher and researched significantly determines quality of data
  • Participants should be treated as equals
  • Welfare takes precedence over the data obtained from them
  • Method should be chosen on the basis of appropriateness to the population
  • Language of the people should be the language of their research


Indigenous Research Methods: Participant Observation Techniques

  • Pakapa-kapa: suppositionless approach
  • Pagdalaw-dalaw: informal visiting/”napadaan lang po”
  • Pakikisalamuha: interactive research/more direct interaction in the culture bearer’s natural habitat
  • Pakikipanuluyan: “live in” visitor
  • Pakikipanirahan: participant dweller
  • Pagpisan: one of us participant
  • Pakikipamuhay: living with

Three Frequently Used Field Research Methods

  • Pagtatanung-tanong (asking around): more unstructured and interactive questioning session, lead questions are discouraged
  • Pakikipagkwentuhan (exchanging stories): motivate participants to narrate their experiences about an episode or event (one on one or in a group)
  • Ginabayang talakayan (indigenous facilitated discussion): combination of community dialogue, focused group discussion and group attestation

Development of Indigenous Personality Measures

  • Panukat ng Ugali at Pagkataong-Pilipino (PUP, Enriquez, 1975): measure of Character and Personality
  • 1990’s tests measure a wide variety of Filipino characteristics (katalinuhan, pagkarelihiyoso, kaasalang sekswal, kakayahang-magdala ng tensyon, pagkamabahala, kahustuhang emosyonal, kakayahang berbal, Filipino management style, dementia screening, empathy and trustworthiness


 Huquotes from our Filipino Personality Theorists

“Psychology is too important to be left to the psychologists alone.” – Doc E

“American Psychology is a relatively new discipline for the Filipinos but Philippine psychology is as old as the Filipino himself.” – Doc. E

“My best achievement was in teaching.” – Fr. Bu

“Once you are open, to reality, you discover all sorts of truths. Live beyond borders”. “I believe in reality, in life. Do not allow yourself to be trapped by borders”. – Fr. Bu


Fr. Bulatao’s words to psychologists:

“If you can get into the understanding of the mind and work with it, so you can raise and improve it and see this as part of the Kingdom of God, then this is the particular contribution that you can give to [his] Kingdom.”



Bulatao, J.C. (1964). Hiya. Philippine Studies, 12 (3).

Enriquez, Virgilio (1994). Pagbabagong-dangal: Indigenous          Psychology   and Cultural Empowerment. Philippines: Pugad       Lawin Press.

Navarro, A. (2013). Ama ng Sikolohiyang Pilipino: Buhay at         Kontribusyon ni Virgilio G. Enriquez (1942-1994). Diwa E-         Journal.

Navarro, A. & Lagbao-Bolante, F. (2007). Mga Babasahin sa Agham       Panlipunang Pilipino: Sikolohiyang Pilipino, Pilipinolohiya at          Pantayong Pananaw. Manila: C & E Publishing, Inc.

Pe-Pua, R. & Protacio-Marcelino, E. (2000). Sikolohiyang-Pilipino (Filipino      Psychology): A Legacy of Virgilio Enriquez. Asian Journal of Social    Psychology, 3, 49-71.

Yacat, J. (2013). Filipino psychology (Sikolohiyang Pilipino). In K.D. Keith (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology (pp. 551-556).        Hoboken, NJ : Wiley-Blackwell.

Yacat, J. Tungo sa isang Mapagbuong Sikolohiya: Hamon sa       Makabagong Sikolohiyang Pilipino.


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Maraming salamat po! 🙂


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