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Hygiene is something which man should give importance to. It is an aspect of one’s life which reflects one’s personality. It is through hygiene that a man acquires his cleanliness and safety from threats that pose potential harm to him. More than that, through hygiene, man can socialize with others without proper hygiene, interacting with others is a very intricate and annoying task. There are different aspects of hygiene and two of the most common are personal and environmental hygiene.
In talking about personal hygiene, Filipinos are known to be good at it. There had been comparisons and studies which compared Filipino hygiene and the practice of other cultures. Filipinos ranked first in the latest Google-Trends wherein the different hygiene terms were mentioned, and following the Philippines are the countries India and the USA (Google Trends, 2007).
Also, compared with other nations, the everyday hygiene that Filipinos practice is one of our edges compared to other nationalities. In fact, in an article published, it was found out that “Filipinos are recognized for their exceptional hygiene and personal grooming […].” This was released by the TESDA as they disclosed the feedback of passengers regarding Filipino seamen and seafarers from other countries (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2007).
This aspect of Filipinos indeed is an edge since many employers external to the country prefer Filipino workers because of their presentable grooming and exceptional priority regarding everyday hygiene. Perhaps, this is one aspect that contributed to the title of the Philippines as the “Manning capital of the World.”
Though Filipinos excel in this certain type of hygiene, a very concerning fact comes when we talk of environmental hygiene. Filipinos greatly fail on this side because of the unhealthy practices they exhibit like passing out urine in the streets (especially for the males), the throwing of garbage everywhere, spitting on the streets, and other sorts of unhygienic practices. Because of this, being personally hygienic would still be overcome.
The worse thing, in this case, is that when these Filipinos migrate or work in other countries which are very strict in their environmental sanitation, they successfully conform to the rules. For example, a person who is fond of spitting in the streets of the Philippines finds it hard and controls himself to do so when in Singapore. This fact is very saddening since it shows that although Filipinos can control themselves into doing such things, they do not try to because of the lax rules that are being implemented if there are.
Perhaps this is one weakness of the Filipinos against Americans since in America; people practice sanitation and environmental friendliness. This is one reason why it is hard for the Filipinos to be assimilated into mainstream American culture because the attitudes of Filipinos when it comes to environmental hygiene show off though they try to conceal it. Also, although Filipinos try to conform to the rules in America, for example, assimilating is rather an intricate task since discrimination is still a large and would never cease to exist. The image that Americans see of themselves as the superior race is a big barrier. Likewise, the image of Filipinos as an inferior race also serves as a barrier. Another is that Filipinos have no strong voice in a place strange to them. Because of this, they won’t be able to express their concerns and problems since they are strangers struggling for their lives in a place where they deem before as a place for extravagance. The never-ending xenophobic attitude which some Americans show to immigrants and non-natives is also another threat that inhibits the immigrants to get along with the mainstream culture of America. The blame that these “immigrants crowd up the city, consume government welfare and corrupt the society with uncivilized and foreign practices (Johnson, n. d.)” turns the supposedly amicable relationship into a hostile one.
With these facts shown, it would be ideal to initiate a scientific inquiry on why Filipinos act in a behaved manner (in terms of environmental hygiene) in other countries and do otherwise on their native land. Another is that why these Filipinos prioritize everyday hygiene among other things, despite their problems in other aspects of their lives.
Blogspot.com. (2007). Filipinos lead the world in personal hygiene. Web.
Google.com. (2007). Google-Trends On-line. Web.
Johnson, Diarra. (n.d.). Coming to America: The Opportunities and barriers of Assimilation. 2007. Web.
Ortiz, Margaux. (2007). Filipino seamen smell better than others—TESDA. The Philippine Daily Inquirer Online. Web.