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Culture of the Philippines: language, customs and other information

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Philippine Festivals and Culture

Filipinos are known as settlers in many parts of the world because they think of themselves as chameleons…they adapt easily to the different environments they may find themselves in. They thrive to survive, they know what survival is.

The Republic of the Philippines was named for King Philip II of Spain in 1543. Filipinos are from South Asia. There are origins from China, India, the United States and Spain, people who married Filipinos, so there is a great mix of cultures among its inhabitants. 79 indigenous ethnic groups make up the Filipino people and according to Wikipedia, the last five centuries have had a great impact in terms of the cultural mix in the Asian and Western population.

The colonial rule of the Spaniards in 1570-1898, as well as that of the Americans in 1903-1946, gave rise to an expansion of Christian values. and a new identity for all Filipinos.In addition, the interaction with the cultures of other countries like those of China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia has given a specific Asian touch to the cultural heritage from the Philippines.


Filipino language

In the Philippines there are about 175 languages ​​spoken and almost all of them are classified as Malayo-Polynesian languages ​​and about eighty dialects. Of these languages, there are 13 that are indigenous with nearly one million speakers.

For more than three centuries in the Philippines, Spanish was the official language under Spanish colonial rule. It was spoken by 60% of the population. But the use of Spanish began to decline after the occupation of the Philippines by the United States in the 1900s, and it was in 1935 that the Constitution of the Philippines made Spanish and English official languages. But in 1939, the Tagalog language became the official national language. The language named “Filipino” was named in 1959 and Since 1973 and till now, Filipino and English are the most common languages ​​among its inhabitants.

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Culture in the Philippines

Filipino cultural traditions

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The Philippines is a country that has varied a lot in terms of cultural influences, although most of these influences are the result of the colonizations they have had, so the culture of Spain and the United States is the most obvious. But despite all these influences, the ancient Asian culture of the Filipinos remains and is clearly seen in their way of life, in their beliefs and in their customs.. Filipino culture is well known and appreciated by many people around the world.. Here are some interesting facts about Filipino culture:

  • Filipinos are very fond of musicThey use various materials to create sound and like to present dance and singing groups.
  • Christmas is one of the most popular holidays for Filipinos. Families gather on December 24 to celebrate the traditional “Nochebuena”. The new year is also celebrated by bringing all the relatives together again. It is celebrated with knitted clothes and fruits on the table.
  • Filipinos are sports experts, the traditional of the country is called Arnis which is a form of martial arts. Although they also like to watch basketball, football or boxing matches.
  • Family is very important to them and uncles, grandparents, cousins ​​and other external relations such as godparents or very close friends are also included. The children have loving godparents and when the parents are not there, it is the grandparents who take care of the little ones. It is common for families to work together in the same businesses. There are different social classes.
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Some interesting facts about the culture of the Philippines

Filipino market

Filipino culture has been shaped as a result of a mixture of foreign influences and indigenous elements, as I mentioned above.

Although traditional theatre, literature and kundimans (love songs) in the local language have regained prominence with the advent of Corazón Aquino’s People Power movement, visitors today will witness beauty contests , soap operas, Filipino action films and love bands and local music inspired by Western pop.

Only 10% of Filipinos (so-called minority cultural groups or tribal Filipinos) retain their traditional culture. There are about 60 ethnic clans, including the Badjao, sea nomads who inhabit the Sulu archipelago, and the Kalinga headhunters in northern Bontoc.

filipina women

The Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia, a belief held by more than 90% of the population. The largest minority religious group is the Muslim, whose stronghold is the island of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. There is also an independent Filipino church, a few Buddhists and a small number of animists.

The geography and history of the Philippines have contributed to the multiplicity of existing languages, which altogether number some eighty dialects.. The concept of national language was developed after the Spanish-American War of 1898, and in 1936 Tagalog was declared the national language, despite the fact that there were other candidates for this title, such as Cebuano, Hiligaynon and Ilocano.

As I mentioned above, in 1973 it was agreed that Filipino was the official language. It is a Tagalog-based language, but incorporates elements of other languages ​​of the country. Despite everything, English remains the most widely used in commerce and politics.

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Typical Filipino food

Filipino cuisine has received Chinese, Malay and Spanish influences. Merienda designates both mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack while pulutan (appetizers) are served with alcoholic beverages. For dinner, grilled meat or seafood skewers are popular.

Among the most common dishes, which are always served with rice, are meat and vegetables cooked in vinegar and garlic, grilled grouper, meat stews and a wide variety of soups: rice, noodles, beef , chicken, liver, patella, organ meats, or bitter greens.

The dishes are accompanied by slices of green papaya, fish paste or fermented shrimp and pieces of crispy pork rind. The halo-halo is a dessert made with crushed ice cream with caramel and fruit, all covered with powdered milk.

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