A study of (Amami): Matungpal coma ti nakem Mo (may Your will be done ): A re-appropriation of the concept of God's will as nakem ti Apo in an Ilocano cultural experience

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Theology

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts


Theology and Religious Education

Thesis Adviser

Rebecca G. Cacho

Defense Panel Chair

Dominador F. Bombongan

Defense Panel Member

Ferdinand D. Dagmang
Luis C. Sembrano
Jaime A. Belita
Jose M. De Mesa


I call this endeavor lakad (journey) - an action rather than the result of an action, a process rather than product, a verb rather than noun. Theology is primarily not a cryptic academic science but the work of every truly believing Christian. It is seeking understanding, not as a discipline of learning things but the effort to understand the Godself by consciously reflecting on communal experiences of faith in a particular context or culture. To paraphrase Stephen Bevans, SVD, as I personally noted during a lecture entitled, Variations on a theme by Anselm: Implications of Fides Quaerens Intellectum, at De La Salle University, Manila, on July 26, 2006, he emphasized that theology, the synthesis between culture and faith, is not just a demand of culture, but also of faith and faith which does not become culture is a faith which has not been fully received, not fully thought, not fully lived out. Thus, every genuine theology is contextual theology, indigenous theology, incarnated theology, inculturated theology, mabathalang-pag-aaral, or however we prefer to call it. This means that doing theology does not only consider Scripture and Tradition seriously but also equally mindful of the richness of cultures in specific milieus.
With this in mind, I embarked on a journey of discovery and re-discovery. I commenced on the Ilocano cultural experiences of God's will. A group of Ilocano students served as respondents to a preliminary survey conducted to derive some common themes of God's will in their concrete experiences. I used the descriptive quantitative-qualitative approach in the analysis of the collected data. Prominently embedded in the Ilocano version of the Our Father found in the Doctrina Christiana is the translation of God's richness of meaning, I explored the dynamics of the term nakem. After a cultural exegesis and thematization on nakem ti Apo, I continued my journey to the community of Matthew as a primary source of the Judaeo-Christian Tradition (JCT) to shed light on the meaning of God's will in their experiences. A biblical exegetical endeavor was utilized on the version of the Our Father in Mt 6: 9-13, particularly verse 10 on Your will be done. Some themes on God's will were also formulated based on the analysis of some biblical exegetes particularly with the lead interpretations of F.D. Bruner.
After I have explored the concepts of God's will in the Ilocano culture and the JCT through the community of Matthew, I tried to analyze through the mutual interaction of two poles, the JCT and the human cultural faith experiences of Ilocanos, and eventually arrived at some themes as a result of theological reflection. A re-articulation of the concept of God's will as nakem ti Apo concretized this interaction. The proposed theological concepts are tentative and inexhaustive. Hence, as a form of intervention, I crafted lecture modules to be piloted in class discussions in order to see the possible potentiality of these theological concepts in Christian faith articulation.
The lecture modules were evaluated through a one-group pre-experimental pretest-posttest approach using descriptive quantitative-qualitative method of research. The results were statistically analyzed using paired sample t-test comparisons to determine their significant differences or correlations. Notwithstanding its limitations, as an initial and preliminary assessment, the results of the survey yielded an affirmative result which provides an impression that the respondents gained from discussions of the theological concepts on Gods will re-appropriated as nakem ti Apo. Thus, though our theological lakad (journey) untiringly continues, this exploration brought us a bit closer to what we call home.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer disc; 4 3/4 in.


God--Will; Religion and culture; Theology; Theology, Doctrinal; Tradition (Theology); God (Christianity)

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