There are some cultures that have traditions or customs that are unique and distinct to it. In the Philippines, particularly in rural areas, they have an ancient practice known as Bayanihan. This is the act of villagers gathering around to literally carry and transfer a person’s entire house from one place to another as a way of welcoming them into the locale. The name Bayanihan is derived from the word bayan which means community. Essentially, Bayanihan refers to the spirit of communal unity by working together to attain a specific goal. It is a way of showcasing the fellowship between neighbors, and it symbolizes the extent one is willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. The benefit of this tradition is that it helps form a sense of camaraderie between individuals that strengthen their bond.
Since traditional houses in the Philippines called bahay-kubos are usually made up of light materials such as bamboo sticks and woven nipa leaves, a group of men could easily carry it by attaching bamboo poles at the base of the house. After the process is complete, the family then feeds the whole community to show their gratitude. This is done not only for formalities sake but also as a precautionary measure to avoid natural disasters such as floods and typhoons. However, due to urbanization of houses from bamboo to concrete, the practice is no longer that common. Though the practice of Bayanihan is no longer as wide spread as it was before the spirit of it still manifests in different ways such as helping each other out when calamities strike.
In its essence, Bayanihan embodies the spirit of community and cooperation. Although it may be a little over the top, I like that the it shows just how much it is engraved in the hearts of Filipinos to help one another without expecting anything in return. Having a community centered mentality is good because it ensures that no one gets left behind. It is a beautiful tradition to have that helps develop kind and supportive citizens.
Yumul, Imelda. (2013, September 25). The Bayanihan Spirit. Retrieved from: