Philippines is a nation that is located in South Asia. The Filipinos are a mix of the Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, and the Indians. About 95% of the Filipinos trace their origin to the Malayan ancestry (World Travels, 2016). Culture on the other hand is the way of life of a group of people living in a particular area (The University of Minnesota, 2016). This paper is a research on the culture of the Filipinos. It also documents the findings of the Filipino culture based on an interview I held with a co-worker who migrated from the Philippines but is currently living in the US.
Food and economy
The staple food of the Filipinos is rice. From my interview with Sharon, she informed me that rice in Philippines is served at least in every meal. Rice is also usually accompanied by sauces, assorted fruits and vegetables. Also, shellfish, pork and fish form an important part of the Filipinos diet as they are eaten almost on daily basis. However, Sharon informed me that she is no longer tied to their traditional cuisine as she prefers to eat chicken, hamburger, and pizza. Moreover, through the interview I learned that the Filipinos prefer to eat food using their hands as spoons and knives are commonly used during dinning. Besides, the Filipinos serve Lechon, which is a roasted suckling pig during important ceremonial occasions. The Lechon is usually served with sticky rice that is made from sugarcane syrup and coconut milk (Rodell, 2002). Furthermore, I noted from Sharon that the Filipinos usually eat more than three meals in a day. They eat several meals in a day such as breakfast, mid-morning, dinner, afternoon, and lunch.
The economy of Philippines is mainly based on fishing, forestry, and agriculture. Many of the people work in the manufacturing industries which are common in the Philippines. The manufacturing industries that are common in Philippines include food, textile and machinery. Manufacturing in the homes is also practiced particularly in the remote areas.
Family and Division of labor
The family is the basic social unit among the Filipinos. The family includes father, mother, children, and the extended family which involves the relatives of both the mother and the father. The father holds the highest social status as he is considered the head of the family (Senkotiros Incorporation, 2005). The extended family is highly valued among the Filipinos. Sharon informed me that she has maintained close ties with her grandparents in most of her childhood. The grandparents act as caregivers for children in homesteads where both parents work.
The mens role in the family is that of protection and provision. Men role in the rural areas also entail that of cultivation. However, field activities such as rice planting, checking water levels, replanting, and separating the rice is done by both men and women. Women responsibility mainly entails taking care of the children, doing house chores, and managing the house. In urban centers, women work as clerks, healthcare providers, and as teachers whereas men perform tasks that are perceived as requiring more physical energy such as machine maintenance and construction. However, in professional fields gender roles are less emphasized as men and women work in professions such as law and medicine in the urban areas (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2016).
Education and Religion
Education is highly valued in Philippines. Education is perceived as the main source of upward social mobility. Sharon informed me that in their family there have lawyers, engineers, and teachers. She stated that knowledge is perceived as power in their family and schooling is perceived as one way through which knowledge is obtained.
On religion, Philippines is mainly a Christian nation. About 80% of the population is Roman Catholics. Also, the Church of the Latter Day Saints is the most active protestant denomination present in Philippines. The Sunni Muslims form part of the largest group of non-Christians in Philippines. The Muslims live mainly in Sulu and Mindanao Island (World Travels, 2016).
Language, Leisure, and Sports
The native language of Philippines is Tagalog which is mostly spoken by almost half of the population. The language is also the official language in Philippines. However, English is the main language used in education, governmental and commercial purposes. Filipinos also mix English and Tagalog in their communication. The mixture of the two languages is known as Taglish (World Travels, 2016). From the interview, I noted that Filipinos value their native language as Sharon informed me that she would teach her children her native language. Also, she informed me that she would prefer using Tagalog or Taglish whenever she is among a group of people who speak her native language. Moreover, there are over 120 dialectics that are also spoken in Philippines (Missionaries to Asia Inc, n.d).
Arnis is the national sport of the Filipinos and also forms part of the Philippines recreational activity. Other common sports among the Philippines also include boxing, cock fighting, football, bowling, chess, horse racing, and football. Traditional games on the other hand include games such as luksong tinik, yo-yo, and sungka . The leisure activities engaged by many Philippines include watching television, basketball, cockfighting, and other sporting activities (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2016).
Traditions and Customs
Greeting among the Philippines are mainly formal when people meet for the first time and follow a certain protocol with the most important persons being greeted first. The use of titles or surnames of individuals is expected whenever referring or calling someones name. The calling of a person by their nickname or first names is perceived as lack of etiquette and respect. The standard greeting in Philippines is a handshake accompanied with a smile. People who are familiar to each other can great using hugs and kisses whenever they meet (World Travels, 2016). Besides, I learned from the interview that whenever one meets an elder, they bow down their heads and then placing their hands at their foreheads which is a sign of respect.
Holidays and Celebrations
The most practiced celebrations among the Filipinos is Christmas. Relatives and families usually meet on the evening of December 24, to share a meal as a way of ushering in the Christmas celebrations. The New Year is also celebrated by majority of the Filipinos. Labor and independence days also form part of the holidays observed in Philippines (Senkotiros Incorporation, 2005). I learned from Sharon that other holidays and celebrations among the philipines include Ninoy Aquino Day which is a non-working day to honor a famous Senator that was assassinated. In addition, Eidul Adhais which is a Muslim prayer day is also designated as a holiday. Moreover, all saints day which is similar to Halloween is also celebrated by the Filipinos as part of their celebrations.
Encyclopedia Britannica. (2016). Cultural life. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Philippines/Cultural-lifeMissionaries to Asia Inc. (n.d). Philippine history and culture. Retrieved from https://missionariestoasia.org/philippines-2/filipino-history-culture/Rodell , A. (2002). Culture and customs of the Philippines. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press
Senkotiros Incorporation. (2005). Understanding the Filipinos values and culture. Retrieved from http://www.senkotiros.org/Philippines/philippine_culture.htmlThe University of Minnesota. (2016). Culture. Retrieved from http://carla.umn.edu/culture/definitions.htmlWorld Travels. (2016). Philippines history, language and culture. Retrieved http://www.worldtravelguide.net/philippines/history-language-culture
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