The Relationship Between “Libangan” and “Libingan”

One of the hallmark characteristics of Filipinos that I keep mentioning in this blog is the desire to always be on a high and to have some form of libangan or distraction.

Filipinos are not masaya unless there is pagkain, pelikula, internet, pakikisama, social media, salu-salo or any other form of distraction.

Many Filipinos, whom I know and interact with, seem to have an underlying feeling of restlessness that constantly pushes them to look for occasions to get some form of stimulation and libangan.

Where does the need for constant libangan ultimately stem from?

There is an interesting quote from Blaise Pascal: Blaise Pascal said that most of our problems stem from lack of the ability to sit alone and quietly in an empty room. We fear the silence of existence and boredom and we must fill it with some distraction.

Rarely can Filipinos (at least the ones I have regular dealings with….many Filipino fellow-bloggers of mine are actually quite different) sit still in silence and bask in being.

This is, I guess, an attempt to run away from the fact that being, at its fundamental level and stripped of all the noise of doing and activity, is hollow.

Human beings, generally speaking, cannot stand silence and stillness.

The reason is probably the fact that the void of silence and stillness calls to mind that libingan is what awaits us. People who cannot stand katahimikan are probably trying to run away from the reality of libingan.

The Philippines is one of those cultures where this fear of katahimikan and the need to fill every single hour with some libangan (many Filipinos listen to music or use their gadgets even while they are working) is particularly strong.

And the giant karatula that can be seen everywhere in the Philippines encourage Filipinos to buy, consume and have plenty of libangan.

The reality is that running away from libingan with too much libangan often leads to early libingan as many Filipinos ruin their health with too much pagkain or alak.

The fact that in Tagalog only a vowel separates the concept of libangan from that of libingan shows that these two things are actually closely related.

Running away from the reality of libingan gets Filipinos to stuff their lives with sobrang libangan and this often leads to libingan….more food for thought bilang pampatunaw….