Annotation: Enriquez, Virgilio. 2008. From Colonial to Liberation Psychology

Enriquez, Virgilio. 2008. From Colonial to Liberation Psychology: The Philippine Experience. Quezon City: University of the Philippines

The Sikolohiyang Pilipino (Philippine psychology) movement, as the author writes, is a call for action. The movement promotes a Philippine psychology that “seeks to put things in their proper perspective and check the imbalance resulting from extreme reliance on Western models as basis for analysing Philippine realities” (32). In the first three chapters, Enriquez explicates the development of the academic discipline of psychology as linked to the country’s colonial history. The author discusses its increasing move towards a liberated (malaya) and liberating (mapagpalaya) psychology that considers the research of indigenous concepts and the application of indigenous research methods such as pagtatanungtanong (asking around), pakiramdam (shared inner perception), panunuluyan (staying with), and pakikipamuhay (living with), etc.. In this kind of method, the researcher acts as “facilitator” rather than decision maker. There is also an extensive discussion of indigenous values such as the concept of kapwa (Chapter 4) and the Filipinization of Personality Theory through the study of the concepts of pakiramdam (shared inner perception), and the triad hiya (dignity), utang na loob (gratitude), and pakikisama (companionship), etc (Chapter 5). However, sikolohiyang Pilipino had been critiqued for its functionalist and universalizing tendencies, and as a response, Enriquez suggests (in Chapter 3) that attention must now be paid on the country’s ethnic diversity, using for instance “the local language as a tool for the identification and discovery of indigenous concepts and as an appropriate medium for the delineation and the articulation of Philippine realities” (35). Enriquez also suggests that sikolohiyang Pilipino seeks to articulate the voiceless of Philippine minority groups such members of ethnic communities and the overseas workers. Thus, the explanation of Philippine realities is acknowledged as a task that must also extend to the Filipino life outside the confines of the Philippines, but also to those places where the Filipino now lives.

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