Pinoy word of the day: KAPWA

4 May

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Kapwa, meaning ‘togetherness’, is the core construct of Filipino Psychology. Kapwa has two categories- Ibang Tao (other people) and Hindi Ibang Tao (not other people).

  • IBANG TAO (“outsider”):
    • Pakikitungo: civility
    • Pakikisalamuha: act of mixing
    • Pakikilahok: act of joining
    • Pakikibagay: conformity
    • Pakikisama: being united with the group.
  • HINDI IBANG TAO (“one-of-us”):
    • Pakikipagpalagayang-loob: act of mutual trust
    • Pakikisangkot: act of joining others
    • Pakikipagkaisa: being one with others


As we Filipinos strive to survive in foreign lands, we tend to focus on the other culture and how we can somehow fit in. What we don’t realize is that these values that help us adapt are an important part of being truly Filipino, and are the ones that help make living so far away bearable and even happy. And if reminded of them, perhaps even more Filipino than ever. Kay S. Abaño

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