In defense of Filipino values and norms: Debunking the ambivalence theory
No nation has been so scorned for her values and norms by her own people, including the most educated of them, as the Philippines. This study critically peruses the ambivalence theory of Filipino values and norms to debunk its central claim that Filipino values and norms are ambivalent due to their inherent potential to be good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, strength and weakness. Using as frameworks of analysis the sociological and psychological postulates of ambivalence as well as the Aristotelian notion of virtue, the perusal yields five paramount findings that sum up the errors of this theory. First, the problematic and dichotomic approach to Filipino values and norms as good and bad, right and wrong, weakness and strength, virtue and vice to warrant the forgone conclusion of ambivalence. Second, the epic confusion in which the transgressive attitudes, traits, and behaviors are deemed part of the defining features of Filipino values and norms. Third, Filipino values are blamed for or used to justify the negative attitudes, weak character traits, and misdeeds of Filipinos. Fourth, the proponents' negative and inconsistent interpretations of Filipino values and norms. Fifth, the sociological and psychological postulates of ambivalence and the Aristotelean concept of virtue do not support the claim of ambivalence. On the strengths of the findings, the ambivalence theory is effectively debunked. With the putative post-ambivalence period, comes the challenge to disabuse the minds of those who have credulously professed the ambivalence creed.