Mentality, Pardo [de Tavera] explains, is constituted of two kinds of representations, those that depend on intelligence, which may be termed “knowledge” (conocimientos), and those in the domain of sentiment, “beliefs” (creencias). Knowledge is formed with greater effort and difficulty; it is also more mutable, the result of experience and analysis, changing as new facts require rectification. Beliefs, on the other hand, are our first psychical acquisitions, formed by observation of surrounding phenomena. They penetrate our conscience more easily and do not require great intellectual effort but are also ones that become more firmly rooted. Beliefs come to be founded on faith; knowledge rests on reason. As in biology, where what is simple and primary tend to persist longer, a mentality ruled by beliefs changes little or slowly due to the force of tradition and inheritance. A mentality guided by knowledge and reason on the other hand, is dynamic and progressive. Beliefs and knowledge belong to our psychic capacity, they both constitute what people call our “soul.” They coexist such that man cannot be “absolutely rationalist,” which explains why human error and suffering are not easily eradicated, if at all.
Mentality is not immutable. Its dynamic is always one of movement and change, a development of faculties from simpler, anterior forms, as creencias [beliefs], the “hopes” that sustain us in our state of half-knowledge, are converted into conocimientos [knowledge] by the operations of science. Arguing out of the theory of evolutionary “determinism,” Pardo imagines an inexorable evolutionary process in which man, through a long process of observation, labor, adaptation, and contact with more advanced cultures, develops and perfects — from such primitive inventions as the cane and the plow — the “machinery” of civilization. Employing analogies with biological growth, Pardo [de Tavera] says that progress comes through “a process of new acquisition and rectification of errors, of change of forms.”
Mojares, R. (2006). Brains of the Nation. Ateneo De Manila University Press
Pardo de Tavera, T.H. (1922). The New Filipino Mentality. Independent. December 9, 1922