Delicadeza is a Spanish-derived term commonly used in the Filipino language, which translates to ‘delicacy’ or ‘propriety’ in English. It is a value deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture and refers to a sense of appropriateness, decency, and discretion in one’s actions and decisions. 

Delicadeza is about doing the right thing, even when no one is watching, and it involves being sensitive to the feelings of others, being respectful, and maintaining a sense of honor and integrity.


Importance of Delicadeza 

Delicadeza involves maintaining a sense of honor and integrity in all our actions and decisions. It means doing the right thing, even when it is difficult, and even when no one is watching. 

This sense of honor and integrity is crucial in building trust and credibility, both in our personal and professional relationships.

It also involves being sensitive to the feelings of others. It means being considerate and thoughtful in our actions and decisions, and being aware of how they may affect others. 

This sensitivity is important in maintaining harmonious relationships with others and in fostering a sense of empathy and compassion.

Respect is a key component of delicadeza. It involves treating others with kindness, consideration, and respect, regardless of their status or background. It means being polite, courteous, and maintaining a sense of propriety in our interactions with others.

Delicadeza in Daily Life

Practicing delicadeza involves being mindful of our conduct and behavior in various situations. It means being aware of the social norms and expectations and acting accordingly. It involves being respectful and courteous to others and maintaining a sense of propriety and decency in our actions and decisions.

It also plays a role in our decision-making process. It involves considering the potential consequences of our decisions and how they may affect others. It means making decisions that are fair, just, and considerate of others.

In the professional world, Delicadeza involves maintaining a sense of professionalism and integrity in all our interactions. It means being respectful, considerate, and thoughtful in our interactions with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders.

Delicadeza in Action

Carlos is a manager at a company and is responsible for making important decisions that affect his team. 

One day, he was faced with a difficult decision: whether to lay off some of his team members due to budget cuts, or to find alternative solutions to save their jobs. Carlos knew that laying off his team members would have a significant impact on their lives and their families. 

Therefore, he decided to explore alternative solutions, such as reducing expenses in other areas, or reallocating resources. In the end, Carlos was able to save the jobs of his team members while still meeting the budgetary requirements of the company.

Another story.

Anna is a student who was assigned to work on a group project with several classmates. 

One of her classmates, Mark, was unable to contribute as much to the project due to personal reasons. Anna knew that Mark was going through a difficult time, and she decided to be considerate of his situation. 

Instead of complaining or making Mark feel guilty, Anna and the other group members decided to divide Mark’s tasks among themselves and offer their support to him. 

This act of kindness and consideration helped Mark to feel supported and valued, and it fostered a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among the group members.

Comparative Analysis

The concept of ‘delicadeza’ shares similarities with values found in other cultures. For example, the Japanese value of ‘Omotenashi‘, which involves a deep sense of hospitality and consideration for others, is somewhat similar to ‘Delicadeza’. Both values involve being sensitive to the needs of others, being considerate, and maintaining a sense of honor and integrity. Omotenashi is already related to the Filipino value of malasakit.

While there are similarities, the way this value is practiced in the Filipino culture is unique. In some Western cultures, for example, there is a stronger emphasis on being direct and assertive, which sometimes can be perceived as being insensitive or inconsiderate by Filipinos. ‘Delicadeza’ involves a more subtle and nuanced approach to interactions, which is reflective of the broader 

Filipino cultural emphasis on harmony, respect, and consideration for others.

Do What Is Right

When we think of our nation, what image comes to mind?

Do we see the shadows of a few who lost their way or the bright hopes of many who strive to do good? We’ve heard stories of officials losing their path, but many of our leaders still work tirelessly for us, upholding what’s right.

Every Filipino knows the values of matino (honorable) and mahusay (excellent). These are more than words; they’re what makes us Filipino. But how do we bring these values alive today?

Good governance isn’t just fancy words. It’s about doing the right thing, always. We need to support leaders who show us what matino and mahusay truly mean. By focusing on their positive actions, we set the standard for all leaders. This is what we expect, and we won’t settle for less.

Our schools play a huge role. The Department of Education has a responsibility to teach our kids not just facts, but values. Lessons about integrity, honor, and doing right, even when no one is looking, are just as important as math and science. Let’s make sure our children grow up knowing and living these values.

We face a choice. Do we let the actions of a few decide our future, or do we stand up and make our voices heard? This is our home. For many of us, there’s no other place we’d rather be. So, let’s fight for it.

Let’s remind each other to always do what’s right, support our dedicated leaders, and teach our kids the values that make us proud Filipinos.


“The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.” – Thomas Babington Macaulay.

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.” – Laurence Sterne.


‘Delicadeza’ is a key Filipino value that involves a sense of appropriateness, decency, and discretion in our actions and decisions. It is about doing the right thing, even when no one is watching, and being sensitive to the feelings of others. 

Practicing it involves maintaining a sense of honor and integrity, being considerate and thoughtful, and treating others with respect and kindness.

As a teacher with experience in values formation, I believe that fostering a sense of delicadeza is crucial in building a society that is empathetic, compassionate, and respectful. 

By practicing this value in our daily lives, we can contribute to building a better world for ourselves and for future generations.


  • Jocano, F. L. (2002). Filipino value system: A cultural definition. Punlad Research House.
  • Enriquez, V. G. (1994). From Colonial to Liberation Psychology. De La Salle University Press.
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