The Bayanihan Spirit is instilled deeply in the cultural mores and practices of the Filipinos. The empathetic spirit of helping out your neighbors and fellow countrymen was incorporated into the Philippine culture many centuries back much before the nation was colonized. Filipinos have always gone out of the way to help their brethren whenever they were in distress in every possible manner and this spirit of empathy is still very much intact.
Perhaps no other community understands better than the Filipinos the significance of ‘Bayanihan’ or community service where joining hands to complete a task can make accomplishing the same convenient. In earlier times, when the rural regions of Philippines were actually pastoral in the true sense of the term, the villagers came together to help a family relocate from one place to another. The Filipino home, traditionally known as ‘Bahay-Kubo’ is a very simple structure that is constructed out of bamboo shoots or poles and nipa leaves (palm leaves interwoven with grass thatching).
Whenever a family decided to shift to a new location, they looked upon their neighbors to help them in completing the relocation job. And there was no dearth of volunteers as people were only too willing to lend a helping hand. The task of moving the house comprised tying bamboos underneath the house in the first stage.
In the 2nd stage, a team of volunteers that usually comprised a group of 15-20 men tried to raise the stilt up from the ground and carry the home forward with the end of the bamboo pole balanced on their shoulders. The womenfolk encouraged the volunteers by clapping and cheering them to move on. However, with passage of time the age-old practice of shifting homes has become a thing of the past as rural zones are fast turning into concrete jungles.
Nevertheless, the Bayanihan fellow-feeling spirit is still alive and kicking in the Filipinos.