Wagas Na Ngiti




MESSAGE: The Filipino Smile is a priceless legacy that will never die.



Cut this image in half, throw away the bottom half, and you would have missed a stunning view of one of the world’s most heartwarming sights, the Filipino smile. The Philippines may be the 12th most populous country in the world, but many foreigners are still baffled about the reason behind the Filipino smile. After all, the Filipino smile is an indescribable phenomenon. The question, “What makes the Filipino smile so special?” cannot be answered via a blog post, or even a thread in a forum. Indeed, the best way to understand it is to try it for yourself. Plaster a smile on your face, not an ordinary smile, but a perpetual one, a smile the Filipinos would term as “wagas”, and do it again the next day, and the next day, and the next day… A dirty thatched roof. A makeshift house curtain. A nonexistent bed. A woven market basket. These are just some things that comprise a vulnerable rural abode, a nipa hut that can easily be swept away by hurtling flash floods and earth shaking landslides. It is a quintessential example of a structure that is here today, and gone tomorrow without anyone to even remember it by. A girlish giggle, an impish grin, a resounding laugh, a joyful camaraderie. These are the characteristics that a Filipino embodies with comfortable familiarity. A tickling laugh transforms into a rippling burst of genuine mirth that transcends from one friend to the next, one family to the next, one generation to the next. It is a priceless legacy that will never die.A silent confrontation. A strike of harsh reality. A dose of unadulterated laughter. A unanimous victory. It might be ironic to see Filipinos only seeing the rainbow after every storm, but they do. The French may be famous for their joie de vivre, their exuberance for life, but it takes a Filipino to display calidad humana, the strength of human character to sustain this uncontainable happiness.


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