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Virgilio Enriquez – Father of Filipino Psychology

Yes, there is a psychology specific for the Filipinos. It is called Sikolohiyang Pilipino.

For a long time, when people talk about psychology, they almost invariably means psychology of the Americans. With the nationalistic feelings stirred by the Martial Law in the late 1970s, some Filipinos thought of establishing a psychology of, for, and about Filipinos. This was how Sikolohiyang Pilipino was born.

Virgilio Enriquez was the founder of Filipino psychology. Together with some colleagues in the University of the Philippines–some were in Psychology but some were also in associated fields like Sociology–they pushed for the usage of Filipino language and concepts in teaching Psychology.

Filipinos love to celebrate festivals in honor of patron saints. ©IRRI Images

They identified two types of indigenization: indigenization from within and indigenization from without. Indigenization from within looks for the indigenous psychology from within the culture itself (and not merely a translation of concepts not ours in the first place) while indigenization from without  asserts that there are universals.
According to Enriquez, the main strategy in discovering a Philippine psychology is to assess historical and socio-cultural realities, understand the local language, unravel Filipino characteristics, and explain them through the eyes of a native Filipino. 

Enriquez already passed away, but even without him, Sikolohiyang Pilipino continues to develop and broaden the indigenous psychology for Filipinos. His colleagues continue their research work, in the pursuit of the dream started by Virgilio Enriquez, of attaining a true Filipino psychology.

For more information about the development of psychology in the Philippines, check out the article
Sikolohiyang Pilipino – The History of Philippine Psychology.

Aleah is a blogger, runner, traveler, diver, and soon to be cook. You can read her solo travels in her blog Solitary Wanderer, her tales of running in Running and Happiness, and her food posts and reviews in Adventuring Foodie.

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User Comments
  1. Bhart Verma

    On December 25, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Nice article

  2. TaylermnHill

    On December 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    good share


    On December 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    thanks for sharing a good article

  4. Geny

    On December 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing..

  5. sloanie

    On December 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Much food for thought, thanks for the read.

  6. lapasan

    On December 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    It’s the first time that I heard this name. I’m appreciative of his achievements.

  7. Likha

    On December 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Yes, I know Doc E, as we called him back in my UP and Buklod-Isip days. He indeed had great vision for Filipino Psychology. I’m sure his colleagues (Rogie Pe-pua, Beth Marcelino, etc.) will continue the noble work he has started to establish the true Filipino identity. Thanks for remembering the man.

  8. aleah

    On December 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    @ Likha: I wish I had known him, but alas, I’m only familiar with him through my psych subjects in UP.

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