Google Joins Pinoys in Celebrating Philippine Independence Day with Bayanihan Doodle

Of the many Filipino values and traditions that my parents and teachers taught me growing up, Bayanihan is perhaps my favorite and the closest to my heart as it highlights the mutual support that Pinoys give one another despite our differences. Although I've never quite participated in an "actual" bayanihan (just yet), as a financial scholar back in high school and in Ateneo, I know that I'm a product of people working together to help others. That's the kind of Bayanihan that I know and one that I will always be grateful for.

Today - June 12, 2014 - Google joins all Filipinos across the globe in celebrating our country's 116th Independence Day with a doodle depicting our Bayanihan tradition.

Google Doodle, Philippine Independence Day

"Bayanihan is a popular Filipino ideal that refers to the communal effort necessary to move a house. More specifically, it is a Filipino tradition that arose among indigenous populations where community members would band together to relocate one’s home by placing it on a grid of bamboo sticks and lifting together.

This tradition began in small villages throughout the country even before Spanish colonization, and has been an important part of Filipino culture ever since. Its emergence was likely necessitated by the high occurrence of natural disasters in the area, and the number of typhoon events in particular, that would regularly push communities to higher ground or more stable areas in order to survive."

Bayanihan by Waldz Villanueva, 2009.

The term Bayanihan (buy-ah-Nee-hahn) is rooted in two Tagalog words: 'bayan,' meaning town, nation, or community; and 'bayani,' a hero who dedicates personal service to his or her community (known as ‘polo’ and or ‘falla‘ during Spanish times) (Rivera, 2003). These two root words together contribute to the meaning of Bayanihan, where an individual contributes for the good of the group, not for themselves, becoming a hero to others in his or her community." [source]

When we look back at all the tragedies and natural calamities that happened in the Philippines within the past few months, Google's Bayanihan doodle really makes a lot of sense. As we celebrate Philippine Independence Day, may we remember to help our fellow Pinoys -- to lift each other up and not tear one another down. Thanks for the reminder, Google! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!