Even when no one is looking

How to Do What Is Right (Even When No One Is Watching

Delicadeza, a term deeply rooted in Filipino culture, is more than just about how we present ourselves; it is about our genuine intentions and actions, especially when no one is observing.

The crucial distinction lies between actions performed for mere display and those done out of genuine regard for others. Integral to this is the essence of integrity, pakikipagkapwa tao, and amor propio — values that help sculpt the essence of our character.

Why Having Delicadeza is Beneficial

Delicadeza, often understood as a code of conduct in Filipino culture, harbors deeper implications than many might recognize at first glance. While its essence is reflected in our everyday interactions, the advantages of embodying delicadeza are extensive, reaching beyond the immediate and manifesting in not-so-obvious ways across different facets of our lives.

1. Self-respect and Inner Peace

Consider the scenario where a team leader admits to a project oversight instead of blaming a team member. This action not only saves the team from undue stress but also nurtures the leader’s self-respect, knowing they acted honorably.

In friendships, when one refrains from gossip even if it’s tempting, it leads to a personal satisfaction, knowing they safeguarded someone’s trust and dignity.

These instances underscore the peace and self-respect that come from upholding delicadeza, reaffirming our faith in our moral choices.

2. Builds Genuine Relationships

Authenticity and transparency, hallmarks of delicadeza, lay the foundation for trust. For example, an employee who openly communicates challenges to their supervisor, rather than hiding them, fosters a transparent relationship.

In personal relationships, being truthful in difficult situations, like admitting a mistake to a loved one, strengthens bonds and ensures longevity.

In both contexts, delicadeza acts as a bridge, solidifying relationships based on trust and authenticity.

3. Promotes a Conducive Community

When a company prioritizes ethical conduct over quick profits, it cultivates a work culture of mutual respect. Employees feel valued, not just as contributors to revenue, but as integral members of a community.

In neighborhoods, consider how one resident’s act of returning a lost item can inspire others to act similarly, fostering a community of trust and mutual care.

These ripple effects, spurred by acts of delicadeza, enrich both professional and personal communities.

4. Ensures Long-term Growth and Development:

Companies like those that emphasize ethical sourcing or fair-trade practices may face higher costs initially but eventually gain loyalty and trust, ensuring sustained growth.

 Similarly, in personal ventures, choosing to invest time in learning a skill authentically, rather than seeking shortcuts, ensures genuine expertise and long-term fulfillment.

Whether in business or personal endeavors, the integrity embedded in delicadeza guarantees lasting growth and true mastery.

5. Strengthens Pakikipagkapwa Tao and Amor Proprio

 Acts of kindness, like mentoring a new colleague without any ulterior motive, reinforce the spirit of communal harmony and elevate one’s professional stature.

Similarly, helping a neighbor in need without expecting anything in return showcases genuine concern, amplifying the principles of pakikipagkapwa tao.

These actions, guided by delicadeza, not only benefit others but also nurture our self-worth and esteem.

Do What is Right (Even When No One is Watching)

Doing the right thing is not as difficult as it might seem. With a little awareness and intention, it’s a habit you can nurture easily in your everyday life. I promise, these five strategies are simple, effective, and will guide you to act righteously and maintain your sense of delicadeza.

1. Self-awareness and Reflection

 Regular introspection ensures alignment between your actions and your values. By frequently checking in with yourself, you become conscious of any drift from your moral compass and can course-correct before it becomes a bigger issue.


Take a few minutes each day to reflect on your actions and evaluate if they align with your values.

Learn from past experiences. Recall moments of moral dilemmas and internalize the lessons.

Actively seek feedback to ensure consistency in your actions and beliefs.

2. Educate and Nurture Moral Values

Continual learning reinforces our ethical beliefs, ensuring they remain fresh in our minds and reflect in our actions.


Dedicate time to read books, articles, or watch documentaries on ethics and morality.

Surround yourself with morally upstanding peers.

Celebrate acts of moral courage, both yours and others, to strengthen these values.

3. Hold Yourself Accountable

Personal accountability ensures you remain true to your standards. By taking responsibility for your actions, both good and bad, you develop a robust moral integrity that is resistant to external pressures.


Set personal benchmarks and revisit them regularly.

Admit mistakes and learn from them, understanding that everyone is human and prone to errors.

Welcome feedback as a tool for growth, not criticism.

4. Practice Empathy

Understanding others’ feelings and perspectives ensures your actions are considerate and respectful, even when you might not personally agree.


Before making decisions, consider their impact on others.

Engage in open dialogues to understand different viewpoints.

Always prioritize kindness and compassion.

5. Celebrate Small Acts of Integrity

Recognizing and celebrating acts of righteousness, no matter how small, reinforces their importance and encourages their repetition.


Acknowledge when you do something right, even if it’s as simple as returning lost money.

Keep a journal documenting these acts, highlighting their significance.

Share and learn from others’ acts of integrity, creating a supportive community.


The principles of delicadeza, integrity, and doing the right thing can sometimes seem outdated or even irrelevant. Yet, as we’ve explored, the benefits of embracing these values are profound, permeating not only our personal lives but also our professional domains.

They build trust, foster genuine relationships, and promote communities where individuals feel respected and valued.

The challenge is this: Embrace the depth of delicadeza and its associated values. Recognize its importance, nurture it, and witness its transformative power in your life and the lives of those around you.

Let’s be champions of a culture that prioritizes genuine intention and righteous action, ensuring we remain true to our values, even when no one is watching.

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