Sunday, February 13, 2011

Filipino Culture

The culture of the Philippines reflects the complexity of the history of the Philippines through the blending of many diverse traditional Malay heritage mixed with Spanish,American and other Asian cultures.
Pre-Hispanic, and non-Christian Philippine cultures are derived from many native traditions of the Austronesian  primitive tribes called Malayo-Polynesian or the Malay people. The prehistoric Philippine mythology and Philippine indigenous culture was later influenced by the Malay cultures of Southeast Asia  accompanied by a mixture of Western-Christianity, Eastern-Islamic Hinduism  and Buddhism  tradition.
Spanish colonization in the Philippines lasted from 1565 to 1898. Most of that time the islands were governed from Mexico and later directly from Spain. As a result, there is a significant amount of Spanish and Mexican influence in Philippine customs and traditions. Hispanic influences are visible in traditional Philippine folk music and dance, cuisine, festivities, religion, and language, though usually integrated with other influences. The most visible example of this are the Spanish names of Filipinos, which were given through a tax law. The thousands of Spanish loanwords in native languages such as Tagalog and Cebuano, and the majority Catholic religion.
Later, the Philippines was a territory of the United States from 1898 until 1946. American influences are evident in the use of the English Language, and in contemporary pop culture, such as fast-food, music, film and basketball.

Muslim Filipinos also celebrate their own customs and traditions. These groups follow a Philippine Islamic culture, and other Muslim recreation such as the Kali, Kulintang and Gamelan, are used by Islamic groups in the southern islands of Mindanao and Sulu archipelago .

Religion of the Philippines

The Philippines is one of two predominantly Roman Catholic nations in Asia-Pacific, the other being East Timor. Over 90% of the Philippine population are Christians. About 5% Muslim and the rest either practice other religions or practice no religion at all.


The literature of the Philippines illustrates the Prehistory and European colonial legacy of the Philippines, written in both Indigenous and Hispanic writing system. Most of the traditional literatures of the Philippines were written during the Mexican and Spanish period. Philippine literature is written in Spanish, Filipino, Tagalog, English and other native Philippine native language.

Typical Muslim Maranao

Tribal  Groups

The Indigenous peoples of the Philippines consist of a large number of Malay ethnic groups. They are the descendants of the original Austronesian inhabitants of the Philippines, that settled in the islands thousands of years ago, and in the process have retained their Indigenous customs and traditions.
 A Negrito woman is one of a few indigenous tribal groups who is completely different from the Malay population of the Philippines.

Negritos and a group of Austronesian speaking people called the Malay people were the first people to settle the islands of the Philippines who brought with them influences from Hindu, Malay and Islamic cultures.
The Philippines was governed from Mexico City as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1565 to 1821 and it later became a province of Spain from 1821 to 1898. It also became a territory of the United States following the Spanish-American war and Philippine-American war in 1902. This long period of colonization brought European influences to the country which was adopted by the majority of the population.

Spanish influence on Filipino culture

influence on Filipino culture are customs and traditions of the Philippines which originated from three centuries of Spanish colonization. The Philippines has also received influences from the United States and other cultures of Asia such as Chinese, Malay, Hindu and Muslim. This makes the Philippines a multicultural society. Filipinos today speak a variety of different languages; the most common being Tagalog, Cebuano, English and Spanish. There are thousands of Spanish loan words in most Filipino languages and a Spanish creole language called Chavacano is spoken by about one million Filipinos in the southern Philippines. The Philippines, having been one of the most distant Spanish Colonies , received less migration of people from Spain, compared to the colonies in Latin America. Nonetheless, many of the Spanish elements in the culture of the Philippines have become part of the country's traditions.
 The most common language spoken in the Philippines today is English and Filipino which is based on Tagalog. Spanish was an official language of the country until the change of government in 1987, which led to Spanish being dropped as an official language for political reasons. The Filipino government then chose Tagalog and English as the official languages. There are a minority of people who still speak Spanish in public; these people are mostly of Hispanic origin.

The Spanish spoken in the Philippines today has a great affinity with Mexican Spanish. Filipino Spanish contains many Mexican Spanish loanwords of Nahuatl origin which were first incorporated into Mexican Spanish, and which do not exist in European Spanish. Examples include nanay (nantl), tatay (tatle), bayabas [from guayaba(s), guava], abokado (avocado), papaya, zapote, and palengke.
Various Filipino languages have significantly assimilated aspects of the Spanish language, and contain thousands of loanwords. Numerous words, and some grammatical concepts of the Spanish vocabulary, are used in Chavacano, Cebuano, Tagalog, Bicolano, and Ilocano.

Name of the Philippines

The name of the Philippines comes from the king of Spain Philip II. It was given by the Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos who named the islands of Samar, and Leyte "Las Islas Felipinas" (The Philippine Islands), during his expedition in 1543. Throughout the colonial period, the name Felipinas (Philippines) was used, and became the official name of the Philippines.


The majority of Filipinos are group within the Southeastasian  ethnic group. There are also a minority of mixed-blood Filipinos, called Mestizos who are descendants from the Spaniards, White American and Chinese people. According to a recent study conducted by Stanford University, about 3.6% of Filipinos have White or Caucasian ancestries from Spanish and American colonization during the colonial period.

 Performing arts

MUSIC The early music of the Philippines featured a mixture of Indigenous, Islamic and a variety of Asian sounds that flourished before the European and American colonization in the 16th and 20th century. Spanish settlers and Filipinos played a variety of musical instruments, including flutes, guitar, ukelele, violin, trumpets and drums. They performed songs and dances to celebrate festive occasions. By the 21st century, many of the folk songs and dances have remained intact throughout the Philippines. Some of the groups that perform these folk songs and dances are the bayanihan,filipinescas, Barangay-barrio, hariraya, the karilagan ensembles, and the groups associated with the guilds of Manila and Fort Santiago theaters.

 The Philippine Palabuniyan Kulintang musicians performing the kulintang instruments which is the music of the Maguindanao people.

Dance Philippines folk dances including Tinikling and Cariñosa. The other Philippine ethnic dance are Singkil, Pandango sa ilaw, Kuratsa, Itik-itik, Maglalatik, Maria Clara, La Jota Manileña, Sakuting, Pantonomina and many more..

Singkil ( or sayaw sa kasingkil) is a famous dance of the Maranao people of lake Lanao


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