CARE takes preeminence in the heart and core of being Filipino. It is not just love the way most people would understand it, but a type of such that involves a deep sense empathy enough to draw the respondent to action and sacrifice in helping out one’s compatriot or fellow human being.
Davao City mayor Sara Duterte has recognized the Filipino attachment to this word so much that she named her new political party/alliance Tapang at Malasakit. Notice how care is targeted towards those who are afflicted with malas (misfortune) or sakit (sickness), which makes the equivalent word in Filipino bring out a plethora of cryptic spin-off meanings.
The Philippines takes pride in being a country whose core business is in the field of care. Filipinos are not known to design and build things, they are better known for the skill of nursing the sick and elderly, or for wiping off dirt and uprooting weeds.
A child might come up to you and ask about the difference between caregivers and caretakers, and probably you didn’t realize till now they are not antonyms but in fact mysteriously ironic synonyms – just that one targets care for the elderly/disabled (givers) and the other for properties/animals (takers).
Many caregivers and caretakers just make a mere monthly PHP 10,000, give or take, yet they are people who go beyond the call of duty and take that extra mile for all that. It’s enough to qualify them as modern-day Filipino heroes: wiping off a bed-ridden granny’s ass day-in day-out can be a thankless job you know.
So what’s all this fuss talking about caregivers and caretakers? Weren’t the first couple’s job descriptions:”tending a garden” and “caring for one’s mate” – making these such lofty and fulfilling vocations?
Well care is good, but too much emphasis on care so as to make citizens think along the following lines may subtly push a society to the brink of dysfunction:
- It is the government’s primary role to take care of its citizens by providing free education, housing, healthcare…
- It is the politician’s primary campaign strategy to hypocritically offer caring motherhood statements.
- The CARE BEAR business takes the driver’s seat rather than engineering and science based industries to take the nation to the next level.
Yes, there is something quite dysfunctional about the Pinoy’s likely misconstrued understanding of care. Let’s admit it: many Filipinos make loads of kids to ensure their golden retirement years will be “all taken cared of” right?
Wrong! This brings us to the next topic: why do Filipinos keep making the erroneous mistake of saying “taken cared of” all the time? It is so pervasive (even among talented educated professionals), it has now become a national grammatical epidemic. What’s worse is Filipinos don’t know they’re afflicted with it, just like some self-undetectable body odor.
Blame it on the teachers? Yes, why don’t we start opening English as a subject to be taught by native English speakers in public schools? Blame it on local TV? Yes, why not NOT dub those English TV series to native dialects and start rectifying Filipino ears towards hearing proper grammar and pronunciation (a clear illustration of how Filipinos can achieve more by doing less).
Unraveling the grammatical technicalities of the Filipino “taken cared of” syndrome has all been taken care of in other articles:
Simply put, the past participle of “take care of” is “taken care of” since CARE is a noun and the inflection only happens on the verb TAKE. That’s why we say “took care of” for its simple past.
This proves that repeating a grammatical error a thousand times makes it sound right. The same holds true for lies, fake news and empty slogans. But the key to fixing any Pinoy dysfunction is very simple; it just requires a lot of repetition:
Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
So repetition is key folks (say “taken care of” 21 x and you’ll be cured). Those who built the Great Wall of China were only good at repetition: placing one stone over another. And that’s the secret of successful nations.
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