Filipinos’ Bayanihan Spirit Amidst COVID-19
Maria Pilar Lorenzo
In the past two decades, the field of development cooperation has seen the emergence and proliferation of a gamut of novel actors that form part of what Develtere and De Bruyn call the fourth pillar of development, a term coined in the field of international development cooperation to refer to non-traditional players and non-development specialists. Within the Philippine context, this concept resembles the local notion of bayanihan, a spirit of solidarity exercised by Filipinos in times of need. Similar to the fourth pillar actors, Filipinos who exercise the spirit of bayanihan, impelled by the commitment to solidarity, extend a non-domain-specific aid and carry out ad hoc initiatives in response to a particular need. This paper argues that in spite of the fact that the Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit is laudable in facilitating their resilience amid the ongoing crisis, it must also be admitted that the COVID pandemic situation has laid bare deep fractures of socio-economic inequality in Philippine society. It is within this context that this paper discusses these similar concepts of the fourth pillar and bayanihan, and unpacks some of the socio-economic realities these thresh out within the ambit of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Keywords: development cooperation, fourth development pillar, bayanihan, Philippines, COVID-19
This paper was presented in the AAB College’s virtual international academic conference with the theme of Transformations and Consequences in Society due to COVID-19 Pandemia. It was held on 5 September 2020.
Photo by Pavel Nekoranec from Unplash