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In 1989, Virgilio Enriquez, a PhD holder in social psychology from the University of Illinois, proposed a personality theory based on the IKSP of Filipinos. Using Western scientific lingo, he established a framework for understanding the ways of the Filipino culture-bearers. Pagkataong Filipino emerged the first academic theory that formulated a value-system of Asian personality. While its framework emulates Western models of personality-theory, its concepts do not. The emerging value-structure is, therefore, unique from other psychological models.

This most blatant difference between the Filipino personality theory and its Western counterparts is the distinction between “personhood” (pagkatao) and “personality”. 

Enriquez, who coined the term “personhood”, chose the English suffix “hood” to underpin his psychological reasoning. When this “ ~hood” is added to a root-word, it draws attention to the state, quality, or condition of this person (or thing). For example, by entering into “manhood”, a boy acquires the qualities of a man. The concepts formed with “~hood” are closure seeking.  They convey essences that are shared by many. Thus, “~hood” concepts are deeper, wider, more generic, more complex than those suffixed with an “~ity”.  The “~ity” words point to a personalized or individual domains (i.e. the repeated act of being generous turns into “generosity”).  Such “~ity” words mark distinctions-- characteristics that separate one person (or thing) from an Other. For example, “motherhood” is common to many women, while “maternity” singles out one pregnant woman from a group of others who are not.  Pagkatao-- “personhood”-- then, asserts the shared humanity of a people while “personality” is confined to the individual viewpoint of an outsider observing an Other.


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