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In Philippine Culture, Loob or Kalooban refers to one's inner self, or, more specifically, to the internal dimension of a person's identity. Its external counterpart is labas - the physical, outward appearance.[1] Loob is a core concept in Filipino Psychology, a field which is unthinkable without both the internal and external dimensions, "loob"/"labas".[2]

Loob or kalooban has been compared to similar concepts in other Southeast Asian and Oceanian cultures, such as the Indonesian concept of batin or kebatinan.[1]

Concepts whose expression involves "loob"[edit]

The word Loob, simply taken as 'inside' and not a construct, is also used for "looban," which means an interior compound, or community; and for the term "manloloob", which means 'robber', literally 'someone who enters'.

As a core concept of value, Loob and its variants are a critical aspect of numerous Filipino value constructs, of which the following are examples:[3]

Concept Definition Literal Meaning
Utang na loob Debt of gratitude 'Borrowed inner self'
May utang na loob A good person, a person who understands what it means to owe a debt of gratitude 'With an inner debt'
Nakikingutang ng loob To seek a favor from someone 'To borrow one's inner self'
Ipagkaloob To entrust 'To put inside someone's inner self'
Lagay ng loob Mood, one's state of mind or feeling 'State of the inner self'
Lakas-loob Courage 'Inner force'
Tibay ng loob Inner strength, resilience 'Durability/strength of the inner self'
Tining ng loob Clarity of thinking, feeling, volition 'Calm of the inner self'
Kababaang loob Humility 'Lowness of the inner self'
Kabutihang-loob Good naturedness 'Inner goodness/kindness'
Kagandahang loob Generosity, noblemindedness 'Inner beauty'
May kusang-loob One who does his work without prodding 'With inner direction/volition'
Payapang loob A calm person, to be at peace, to accept 'Inner peace'
Mapagkaloob A generous person 'One who shares his inner self'
Mahina ang loob A coward 'Weak inner self'
Malakas ang loob A daring person, can be positive (to be courageous) or negative (the phrase Ang lakas ng loob mo! is often synonymous with the English rebuke 'How dare you!') 'Strong inner self'
Malamig ang loob An indifferent person 'Coldness of the inner self'
Pikit ang loob One who is blind to injustice 'Closed inner self', 'Shut from the inside'
Mabigat ang loob The state of being sad, heavy-hearted 'Heaviness of the inner self'
Maluwag sa loob A state of being willing, cheerfully ready 'Loose from the inside', 'Inner openness'
Wala sa loob A state of being unwilling 'Not to have it in oneself'
Tapat na kalooban Sincerity, loyalty, trustworthiness 'Truth of the inner self'
Masasamang-loob Criminals 'Those with bad inner beings'
Kapalagayang loob Confidante, intimate 'One you would entrust your inner self with'
Pampalubag-loob Consolation 'Salve for the inner self'
Kagaanang-loob Grace, something to pacify intense emotion such as anger 'Lightness/Lifting of the inner self'
Saloobin One's inner thought or inner feelings, attitude 'The entirety of the inner self'
Masama ang loob To hold a grudge, to be angry with 'Feel bad inside', 'Sickness of the inner self'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mercado, Leonardo N. (September 1994). The Filipino Mind: Philippine Philosophical Studies II (Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change Series III Asia). Washington, D.C.: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. pp. 226 pages. ISBN 1565180631. 
  2. ^ de Guia, Katrin (2005). Kapwa: The Self in the Other: Worldviews and Lifestyles of Filipino Culture-Bearers. Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc. p. 378. ISBN 971271490X. 
  3. ^ Enriquez, Virgilio (1992). "Unit 15 - Kaugalian, Halagahin, at Pagkatao (Customs, Values & Character)". From Colonial To Liberation Psychology: The Philippine Experience. Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines Press. ISBN 971-542-002-8. Retrieved February 5, 2008.