Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Salamat. This seven-letter word is the Filipino equivalent of “Thanks” or “Thank You” in the English language. It was said that the word was derived from an Arabic word which is the plural of “salam” which roughly means hello, or “Shalom” which means “Peace.” It is commonly used as a greeting when people meet after a long time.

For Filipinos, the word is used to express appreciation for something that was given or an act of kindness. The word “Salamat” is only a three-syllable word but it really means a lot. How many times have you been given a gift or even just a word of encouragement and you failed to express your gratitude graciously? How many times have you given a gift or a favor to someone that wasn’t appreciated?

The impetus for writing this piece was a driver of an FX taxi that I rode this morning on my way to the office. He wasn’t the fastest or the smartest driver out there but what struck me and what made riding his taxi special was when he said “Salamat” when I went out of his vehicle. I smiled and muttered the same word to him. You see, giving thanks can be infectious. How many taxis or jeepney drivers are doing what this driver is doing? It may not be a big deal for some but at that time it also made me appreciate the blessings that are coming my way. The fact that I reached the office safely is something to be thankful for and the truth that I still have a job waiting for me is indeed worthy of appreciation. We also had a good sunny weather which is a welcome development after about 2 or 3 consecutive typhoons wreaking havoc in the country. Certainly, all of us have something to thank for. Not to mention that this simple act of appreciation, attracts good vibration. The taxi driver may not know it but he just made my day.

When people are going through tough times and we can see suffering around us we forget to appreciate our blessings, we are blinded by our own disappointments and difficulties that we start to focus and dwell on the negative things and our own misery. We forget to appreciate small good things that are happening in our lives and give thanks to these blessings.

We are often self-centered that we only see the big things in life and we tend to ignore small but very important things that we are enjoying. We complain of not being able to buy a new pair of shoes when there are people who can’t even walk because they don’t have feet. We complain that the temperature is too hot in our own rooms when there are people who have lost their houses because of the typhoon. We complain about a lot of things but we forgot to be thankful for all our blessings. We fret about how our friends have treated us unfairly but we fail to be thankful for the grace of friends with whom we can depend on in times of sorrow and grief.

It is not hard to say “thank you” or “Salamat.” In fact, I sometimes feel that these words are overused, like auto-programmed words that are just quickly and carelessly spoken by anyone without really meaning it. But no matter how shallow or empty our words, it feels good for the person giving to know that the gift or the favor was enjoyed by the person receiving it. It is in itself a gift to be able to say a genuine “thank you” to God and to others who have touched our lives.

Let me borrow a verse from the Bible: “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

“Maraming Salamat!” (Thank you very much!)

Photo credit.


bie bie said...

very well said...salamat bie...mwaahh mwahhh

Anonymous said...

love this post. parang pang chiken soup for the soul. hehe

Badong said...

ako yung guest a! hehe

Arlyna said...

Leo, it's this type of post that makes your blog special in my books. That's the reason why I keep coming back and eagerly waiting to read your latest entry. Unfortunately, I haven't been updating with your blog due to me being sick but I'm better now. You have logic and sense, we need more bloggers like you. Not only do you entertain with your writing but you make your readers think. Til next entry :)


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