HABI: Weaving the Language Patterns of Filipino Bayanihan




May 28, 2020
7:00 pm
7:45 pm

A Presentation on Philippine Languages with Collections Highlights from the Field Museum

About this Event

Strong community spirit, or bayanihan, has always been a marked identity of Filipinos worldwide. Aside from the idea of a group of men carrying a kubo (nipa hut), the bayanihan spirit is also captured in different symbolic materials such as the colorful, indigenous fabrics of the Philippines. Filipino-made textiles, such as the inabel from the Ilocos Region in Luzon, the gablon of the Hiligaynon-speaking people of Iloilo in Visayas, and the t’nalak of the T’boli tribe in South Cotabato in the island of Mindanao, all capture a sense of community and shared industry that Filipinos have preserved throughout the years.

Interestingly, the Tagalog language is linked to these weaving traditions. When constituents of Tagalog words are woven together, their meanings also signify reciprocity, unity, and communal relations. From words such as “kapamilya” and “magbigayan,” the spirit of bayanihan is truly extensive in the Tagalog language. Even other languages in the Philippines communicate the same semantics of collective and united Filipino spirit.

Although we are all sheltering-in-place at present, this presentation is the opportune time for many of us to explore how components of a language create beautiful meanings of togetherness and solidarity.


  • JAMIE KELLY Head of Anthropology Collections | Anthropology Collection Manager, Field Museum
  • JOHN PAUL DE LA ROSA Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA), Northern Illinois University
  • RHODALYNE Q GALLO-CRAIL Instructor | Program Director - Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP), Northern Illinois University


Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University | Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago | Philippine Co-curation Group at the Field Museum | The Sampaguita Scholarship Group


The Speaker Series

<  Go Back