Culture and Tradition:
Filipinos are known to adapt easily as they settle in many parts of the world. Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain in 1543. Filipinos are from southern part of Asia. China, India, United States and the Spain were the countries that gets to have great deal and stock blending in result of marriages. Philippines has many ethnic group scattered on its 7,000 islands.
Through the colonial reign of Spain and America, the Christian values has expanded which gave the identity of the Filipinos. Interactions with other countries cultures gave a specific Asian touch to Cultural heritage of the Philippines.
Varied cultural influences derive from Spain and the United States previous colonization. Even with all the influences, the old Asian Culture of Filipinos has remained with its beliefs and customs. It is evident that in many parts of the world Filipino culture is appreciated and applauded.
There are 175 estimated languages spoken in the Philippines. Almost all are classified as Malay-Polynesian languages. Among those languages, there are 13 indigenous languages with nearly 1 million speakers.
For more than three centuries Spanish was the official language under Spain’s colonial rule. It was spoken by 60% of the population as either a first, second or third language in the early 20th century. However, the use of Spanish began to decline after the United States occupation in the early 1900’s. In 1935 the Constitution of the Philippines named English and Spanish the official languages. In 1939 the Tagalog language was named the national language. The language was renamed “Pilipino” in 1959 and finally “Filipino” in 1973. The present Constitution names Filipino and English as joint official languages.
The family structure is base with intermediate family members from aunts, uncles, godparents and cousins. Many children have several godparents. When parents are out of the country to work their kids were mostly left to the grandparents to watch over them. It is common for members of the same family to work for the same company, a practice which was influenced by the first Chinese settlers in the Philippines. Filipino families live in different kinds of house depending on their status or area. Some families live in houses that are made of Nipa Hut (bamboo and coconut weave leaves house) while others are made of bricks, stones and expensive woods.
Most Filipino people practice the Christian religion. Spain highly influenced the people to the extent that the Philippines became one of the two predominantly Christian nations in the Asia Pacific, the other being East Timor. According to Wikipedia, Christianity is the religion of about 80% of the Philippine population (mostly Catholics) while Islam is the religion of 11%, and other religions and beliefs comprise the 9% of the rest of the population.
Music, Arts and Literature
Filipinos are very fond of music. They use various materials to create sound. They love performing dances and group singing during festive celebrations. Variety of musical instruments like the ukulele, trumpet, drums and violin were introduce by the Spanish settlers. Most of their music is contemporary and they have also learned to write their own songs based on real life events. The early church and Spanish literature made an influence of the people in believing on folklore. Jose Rizal is the country’s national hero and was famous for his literature and novels inspired from the independence story of the country.
Filipinos has many celebrations in every year. One, was eastern week for those that are Catholics. All saints day and all souls day were all family members gather in the cemetery to remember their lost loved ones and honoring them. They also celebrate Christmas which is one of the most loved celebration by Filipinos. Families and relatives gather on the 24th of December, to celebrate food prepared for “Noche Buena,” a Spanish term which means “midnight meal” to greet Christmas Day. New Year is another celebration that gathers the Filipino families. Wearing dotted clothes and preparing round fruits on the table, which symbolize prosperity, is one of the many customs of the Filipinos.
The uniqueness and variety of their food made the Philippines as the melting pot of Asia. Filipinos eat tocino and longganisa. Tocino is a sweetened cured meat made with either chicken or pork and is marinated and cured for a number of days before frying. Longganisa is a sweet or spicy sausage, typically made from pork though other meats can also be used, and are often colored red traditionally through the use of the anatto seed but also artificial food coloring. Filipinos can’t go a day without including rice in their meals. They love plain rice matched with salted fish, chicken and meat. They serve rice first followed by the various viands they have grown to eat and cook. Filipinos have a very regular eating schedule: morning, mid-morning, lunch, afternoon (merienda) and dinner.
Researching and understanding the Filipino culture can provide learning for you, specially if your dating a Filipina. Not all Filipino are the same, although everyone grew up with same values. Some regions in the Philippines are now more diverse than it is many decades ago due to influences. Provincial regions are more likely to stick on the old ways while the cities are more adapted to mix cultures.