What is it?
Pakikipagkapwa-tao means relating to someone else as a fellow human being. Filipinos most evidently exemplify pakikipagkapwa-tao through the practices of bayanihan and the ‘boodle fight’. The former is more widely done in rural areas of the country. When one person needs to accomplish a task (such as moving house) for example, the whole community pitches in to help – no questions asked. The latter is a dining practice where large groups of people eat together (with their hands, no utensils). This was initially done in the military as a way for the higher ranking officials to show unity with their troops.
What are the benefits?
Pakikipagkapwa-tao helps people by fostering solid communities and families that look out for one another. It gives Filipinos assurance that during times of hardship, they can rely on the people around them for help.
How can I do it too?
In today’s world where everyone seems driven by what benefits them, pakikipagkapwa-tao can be practised simply by looking out for other people. This means being more empathetic, more conscious of the needs of others, and more willing to help unconditionally (whether you get something out of it or not). Living this way can help foster a less selfish, more loving and humane world.