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  • Filipinos: Why We Speak in Codes

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    Why do Filipinos speak in codes? It is a common complaint by the younger breed of Filipinos both in diaspora and in the Philippines that their elders need to be read like a book with no words.

    In many of my blogs, I have spoken about the Filipino core value of Pakiramdam, not as popular as Kapwa in Filipino American psychology because of its deep cultural nuances. If you’re interested in learning about both it’s beauty and shadow side, check out the Masterclass: Pakiramdam-Filipinos on Affection Beyond Words.

    Many times, socio-political, geography and many other variables that influence culture including history of colonization drive cultural norms and behavior.

    Listen to the podcast episode on the Pinoy Love Language Podcast: Why We Speak in Codes here.


    Filipina therapist

    In this episode, we will explore-

    • How/Why history shapes our language
    • Why the cultural context of how we use language in the Philippines and in America/diaspora differ and matters
    • How culture and the environment can shape our parenting strategies
    • Adaptive versus Toxic shaming in parenting
    • How Filipinos express and seek love uniquely

    Related Blog Posts

    Is this Healthy Attachment or Codependency?

    Pakiramdam: The Most Misunderstood Filipino Core Value

    Collective Coregulation: Anatomy of Filipino Affection



    Language can be expressive or receptive: verbal or non-verbal. It is assumed in the Western world that the former is more superior than the other. Meaning, those that can speak out and be direct in their assertion are deemed more insightful. How else can they utter how they feel?

    A cultural group develops verbal language as a form of expression. Every culture adapts to its need to survive and for an individual, a need to get a sense of safety and belonging.

    The ancestral lineage of Filipinos are from animism and the worship of multiple gods. Listening to nature, sensing one another beyond words were healing to our natural instincts as island people. If you want to expound on this learning check out the Masterclass:Pakiramdam-Filipinos on Affection Beyond Words.

    Colonization, oppressive regime, natural and man-inflicted disasters can transform a beautiful form of expression into one conjured up by fear. When this happens, any core value is met with its shadow side (negative). Listen to the Pinoy Love Language Podcast here.

    Before you conclude that its simply “the culture,” it may be worthwhile to read the entire book rather to browse on a few chapters. 

    When you can integrate both the light and shadow side of your culture, you strengthen your cultural identity, not from false grandiosity but from a grounded sense of knowing.

    When you can navigate the island from within and without, you’ve reached your destination.


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