Sun.Star Davao

OVERBOARD HOSPITALIT­Y

While Filipinos are known for their hospitalit­y to their guest, some find it hard to extend it to family members

- BY MAY DE JESUS

Filipinos are known to be hospitable.

It is a trait that is branded to Filipinos wherever we go. As a Filipino myself, I grew up seeing my parents, relatives, neighbors and even strangers displaying this trait.

I always remember when visitors came to our house. My father would cook lechon while my mother prepare drinks that could last for the day. They would also prepare other dishes and even dessert to complete the feast. When visitors are around, everyday was a holiday.

Stories of Filipino hospitalit­y especially when there are foreign visitors are unparralle­led.

Even when wearing shoes inside the house is normally forbidden yet they would give exception to the visitor.

They would give the best seat, their best food, their best plates, curtain, beddings that are reserved for guests.

While this is all good, some behind the scenes are actually sad. The truth is many Filipinos go overboard in treating their guests.

Even when the blankets of their own family members are torn and new ones are sitting in the drawers, they would not allow the use of it because it is reserved for the guests. Same goes with other household items.

In order to provide the best food and accomodate guests, many would tend to spend more than they can.

If they do not have the means of preparing such abundance, why would they go such length? And why don’t they prepare the same for their own family? Could it be considered an act of hypocrisy?

I am not saying that hospitalit­y is wrong. It is actually a good deed. Even the Bible agrees to it.

Leviticus 19:13-34 says “When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt”.

The Bible does not only command but it also commends hospitalit­y. Yet, its definition of hospitalit­y is to treat visitors same with how one treats oneself and family members.

This is what I think many Filipino families are doing it wrong.

While its good to treat visitors well, we should also treat our own and our family members the same way.

I do know that Filipino hospitalit­y is our way of showing pride and respect. Being hospitable shows how we respect other people and we take pride on showing what we have. But wouldn’t it better if we do it like how it is described in the Bible? Treat them as one of yours.

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