Humor In The Filipino Culture Essay

1249 words - 5 pages

Often people find themselves running on autopilot, doing a routine, and just being where they are supposed to be without even noticing it. Human beings consist of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects. Therefore, from time to time everyone needs a break from reality to fulfill not only their tasks, but also their wants and needs to survive. Through humor, human beings could take a break from the serious, day-to-day activities in life. Humor serves each person tendencies to laugh to provide amusement. From a student whispering a funny comment about the teacher to his/her seatmate, to stand-up comedians throwing knock-knock jokes in front of the audience, humor serves as entertainment and amusement to people. Though the intent of humor is amusement and laughter, others may tend to disagree like Peter Hyman in his essay “Stop Before They Joke Again,” in which he argues that humor is only used in a negative manner nowadays. Although it is true that there are some who uses humor negatively, there are still cultures alive that still make use of humor in a positive manner, and an example of that is the Filipino culture. Within the Filipino culture, humor is used to ease tragedies, to lessen conflicts, and to help socialize.
Filipino culture is also known as the “happy culture.” Despite the natural calamities, economic crisis, and other problems the Philippines face, how do Filipinos manage to have a happy culture? One of the best examples is during calamities like typhoons, floods, landslides, and earthquakes; the media try to capture footages from the scene of the incident. And as soon as cameras appear, Filipinos affected by the calamities jump up and down to be seen in the camera and give all their biggest smiles. Despite of the tragedy that happened to them recently, Filipinos still have the strength to smile and feel excited with the fact that they will appear on TV. This only shows that Filipinos use humor as a distraction in times of hardships and somehow get the strength to be resilient. Through humor, Filipinos tend to focus on the fact that they will be “famous”, rather than weeping and feeling hopeless. The distraction humor brings can brighten up their day, and make them smile despite the tragic situation. In Hyman’s essay he argues that, “we now all feel the need to be actors.” (Hyman, 616) Thus, in times of hardships, Filipinos use humor to act like they are fine in front of the camera—even just for a while—in order to toughen their spirits to conquer the situation, because humor is also associated with optimism in the Filipino culture.
The use of humor within the Filipino culture is not limited to tragedies, but is also applicable to ease conflicts. A very popular local gay comedian in the Philippines named Vice Ganda (Vice: shortened for his first name Viceral; Ganda: meaning beauty) is known for being hilarious in his own unique way by incorporating humor into serious issues. He often uses the issues in the...

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