If Hindu has a theory of karma that will guide to their ethical conduct, the Filipinos particularly the Visayan have also their own concept which is called gaba. Both are two concepts from two different places but they mean one thing to us. Gaba is defined as punishment for an evil deed, injury called down by a bad deed; retribution. The same also with karma, it pertains to the results of one’s action. Both theories are concern on causation. This means that the same cause will result the same effect and at the same time the same effect is the consequence of the same cause. In Western philosophy, Aristotle once said: “Nothing will come of nothing.” Likewise, good seeds bear good fruit and evil store releases an evil one. If one acts now with cleanliness of desire and abstain from any kind of falsehood then, in the future that person can attain a peace of mind. On the contrary, if one does with unjust deeds he will have to face his punishment. Given this argument, there is no action that does not result to either merit or demerit. 
The experience of gaba can be classified in three human experience. First, gaba can be experienced in terms of personal as a payment for personal mistakes being committed. There is only one person who is liable to the mistake. The second is collective which includes the group such as family, clan, organization. The last is temporal to refer to all who has a contingent existent like us. The examples of this are the calamities we suffer such as floods, landslides, and earthquakes. The term gaba is related to the Tagalog term pagbabayad. With regard to human conduct, “pagbabayad is expiation for a fault, and pagbabayad- puri is atonement” (Mercado 1974). It can also be extended to the Tagalog concept of utang na loob or in Cebuano as utang kabubut- on which refer as a debt of gratitude. In order that a person cannot be punished, gabaan, one must see to it that he must observe the sense of giving gratitude to others. This implies the form of life which we can observe the communal life of every Filipino. One is called to be socially oriented and renounce selfish endeavors.
Further, one important thing to remember in the concept of gaba is that there is only one being who has the credible authority to act as a judge and that being is the Supreme God. Hence, gaba is a God’s punishment. In the theory of karma, people aim to have a union with Brahman. Likewise, the Filipinos pray to God to ward off from gaba and so attain unity through praying, offering sacrifices, and reconciliation. In this case, the theory of karma and gaba mean one thing to us when it concerns as a guide to our ethical action. They are both the same by ethical function which is to persuade us to perform just deeds, by their persuasion of good thoughts, words, or deeds, and by their discouragement of evil thoughts, words, or deeds. 
3/17/2011 07:07:15 pm

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4/30/2011 10:00:42 pm

How long ago did they live? What were they like? Were they really dim witted brutes who were outwitted by our ancestors, and doomed to extinction?

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5/2/2011 05:01:20 pm

Death is a natural process because it makes way for new life.

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Liza Gabato
9/20/2012 03:50:16 am

Very interesting!

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