Firstly, let us look at some of the basic characteristics of the Filipino. The Catechism for Filipino Catholics (CFC) identifies five characteristics: family-oriented, meal-oriented, patient and long-suffering, hero-followers, and firm believers in the spiritual world (CFC, 58). Thus, Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Son of Man, in terms of these five character traits can be seen as:
He nourishes us in the meal/celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Jesus as the Suffering Servant, portrayed through the Filipino images of the Sacred Heart, Hesus Nazareno, and the Santo Entierro, reaches out to Filipinos as a healing and forgiving Savior who understands our weaknesses, our failures, our feelings of depression, fear and loneliness because He experienced all of these himself.
Jesus as Christ the King is our hero and example in doing the Father’s will, through his mission of being prophet, king and priest.
Since Filipinos have a deep-seated belief in the supernatural and spirits, we welcome the Holy Spirit in our lives, to give us new life and help us in authentic worship of the Father. (CFC, 33-54)
We therefore become more truly Filipino by becoming more truly Christian. By discovering and proclaiming Jesus Christ in our personal and national Filipino culture, we Filipino Catholics invite Christ to purify and heal us, and enrich us with fuller life in his Spirit in the Church. (Catechism for Filipino Catholics, 56)
Even the principles of Catholic social thought are not foreign to Filipino culture. These values can be recognized in the context of Filipino national tradition existing within the Filipino community. Fr Horacio dela Costa, S.J. lists these Filipino values as:
pagsasarili: the willingness to develop oneself into a responsible human being;
pakikisama: willingness to share with one another both the burdens and rewards of living together;
pagkakaisa: building up the national community through forms of social organizations understood, accepted, and undertaken by the people themselves;
pakikipagkapwa-tao: treating the other person as an equal, giving him or her equal importance as you give yourself, eventually leading to the total development of mankind; and,
pagkabayani: the readiness to put the common good of the nation above private interest. (Evangelizing Presence: The Heart of Social Transformation – Nancy Russell Catan and Pasquale T. Giordano, S.J. (Rex Book Store, c2014), pg 43).