MANILA (UPDATED) – Despite financial problems and getting hit by disasters, Filipinos are culturally inclined to be hopeful by smiling, according to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
In an interview on ANC's "Talkback with Tina Palma," Cardinal Tagle said smiling is Filipinos' way of coping with difficulties.
He said this shows that Filipinos can put things in perspective, as well as have hope over having none at all.
"Smiling is not really dismissing things or not regarding them as serious...but thinking 'wait, let's put things in perspective,'" he said.
“It reveals a heart that is able to see something,” he said.
According to Tagle, smiling does not necessarily indicate that one is making fun of a situation, but rather, is an act of resilience.
“There's always a danger of making use of humor [and] light-heartedness in order to escape, but as I've learned from people who've also been through suffering, the capacity to smile is really an act of hope —really an act of resilience,” he said.
“Culturally we [are like this as a] people [and] I've noticed as I've been travelling …[that] we take things seriously but in a light way,” Tagle said.
Tagle also said Filipinos also know how to deal with serious problems head on.
“In a sense, we know that while something in front of us is important, we also know our life doesn’t depend on this,” he said.
“It may be important, and you will do your best to make it succeed, but there is something in the Filipino psyche that says 'well, even if it fails, it is not the end of the world,'” he added.