The Philippines was one of the earlier
landfalls of the Western Voyagers. The Spaniard Ferdinand Magellan sighted Homonhon Island in the Western Visayas less than
a generation after Vasco da Gama's breakthrough to southwestern India in 1498. From the time the conquistadores set up their
capital in what is now Manila in 1571, the western presence in the archipelago was constant and pervasive.
for over three centuries, the Spaniards were displaced by the Americans in 1898, who themselves stayed for 48 years. This
protracted colonial experience imprinted itself deeply on Filipino religion, language and mass culture.
now concede that the state of Philippine culture at the coming of the Spaniards was generally higher than had
There is evidence of Chinese trade. Hindu
influences have been traced in Agusan and Palawan, while
Islam had been
introduced into the southern islands almost 200 years before Miguel de Legazpi's arrival at Manila Bay.
there are about 79.3 million Filipinos; approximately 8 million of whom live in Metro Manila. Filipinos are basically of Malay
stock with Chinese and Spanish ancestries. Although an ever growing number of Filipinos are becoming urbanized, a great majority
of Filipinos still till the land and live off it comfortably. Known for their hospitality, Filipinos are a warm and friendly
people. Visitors are welcomed like members of the family and it is no surprise to find house guests being offered the best
room in a Filipino home. Smiles are abundant in the islands
There are 111 linguistic, cultural and
racial groups in the
Philippines speaking a total of about 70 languages. The major linguistic groups are the following:
Ilocano,Hiligaynon, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, Pangasinan and
Maranao. While the Philippines has a
national language called Pilipino (also referred to as Tagalog), English remains the language of instruction in the secondary
and tertiary schools and is spoken and understood throughout the country, in varying levels.The Philippines is the third largest
English-speaking nation in the World.
Philippine education is patterned after the American system,
with English as the medium of instruction. Schools are classified into public (government) schools or private
schools.The general pattern of formal
education follows four stages:Pre-primary level (nursery and
in most private schools; 6 years of
compulsory and free primary education in public schools (7
years in some private
fee-paying schools) followed by 4 years of secondary education. College education usually takes 4, sometimes 5 and in some
cases, as much as 8 years.
Graduate study is an additional 2 or more years.
There are more than 600 private and
public colleges and
universities in the Philippines, such as the University of The Philippines, Ateneo De Manila University,
University of Santo Tomas, and De La Salle University. The Asian Institute of Management, a graduate school of business, offers
high-quality management education specifically designed to meet Asian needs.
Arts & Culture:
visitor to Manila commonly sees the Philippines as the most westernized of Asian countries, and in many ways, it is. But there
is also a rich underlay of Malay culture beneath the patina of Spanish and American influence.
National cultural life
is a happy marriage of disparate influences, as the indigenous Malay culture assimilated and adjusted to different strains,
in a practice typical of the eclectic Malay temperament.
An upsurge of Philippine nationalism in the 1970s may have
stimulated a desire to conserve the ancient heritage, but it has never restrained Philippine culture from becoming attuned
to the finest international influence in the arts.
In general, the Philippines has a maritime and
tropical climate with relatively high humidity, mild temperature, abundant rainfall and gently winds. Three main seasons describe
the overall climatic pattern. The wet or rainy season is from June to October, the cool dry season is from November to February
and the hot dry season is from March to May.
Most visitors prefer the period from November to March to enjoy the natural
beauty of the country.
Rather than trying to solve problems, Filipinos
take a "What will be, will be" attittude. Bahala Na is uttered only after every effort has been expended toward achieving
a particular goal. Roughly translated, this means "Leave it to Fate" or "Leave it to God".
Too Eager to Please :
even when they mean "No" or not sure of their
commitment. In Philippine sociey, Hospitality is an essential feature. Filipinos
hate turning down visitors, since doing so would not only disrupt social harmony but also reflect negatively on their capabilities
Thin Skinned :
Filipinos are very sensitive to critism, insults, and hurt feelings. As elsewhere
in Asia, the concept of "face" remains crucial in social interaction, whether in business or pleasure. amor propio, a Spanish
phrase that means "self esteem" is the local expression for it. Westerners who insists on offering on confrontational, "tell
it like it is" criticism, either in business or social settings, will find their approach counter-productive. And criticizing
a Filipino colleague or subordinate in front of someone
else, especially on front of another Filipino, is like to be viewed
as as attempt to humiliate.
"Utang Na Loob" and "Pakikisama" :
Filipinos are sticklers for pakikisama - smooth
relations, camaraderie, togetherness -- and it's taught at an early age to all. Pakikisama means avoiding arguments,
when possible, and settling differences amicably. Without
pakikisama, a person will be looked upon as worthless.
na Loob is another trait Filipinos invoke as a sign of good character. It means "debt of the inner self" or "debt of gratitude".
This attitude binds people together, and Filipinos will avoid being bound by utang na loob outside his or her own group.
for elders :
Respect for elders is one Filipino trait that has remained in the book of unwritten laws. The Filipino
parent exercise almost absolute powers over the children. It is unthinkable for a Filipino to do an important thing without
consulting his parents. The latter do not condone children talking back not only to them, but also to those older than they
are. The particle "OPO" and "PO" maybe innocent to you but those little word shows respect for one another. In no other language
it is respect for another carried to higher point than in Philippine language. Are you speaking to an older man or woman?
Then use the second person plural, which is kayo, inyo, or ninyo. Always remember the particle "PO". It is a sign of good
breeding! The elders believe and demand that they be obeyed. Right or wrong. That if you have a
string of degrees to your
credit that does not impress the elders, they know for certain that your academic degrees cannot compare favorably with their
experience. Yours is the knowledge; theirs is the wisdom-they say they have drunk more water than you have!
for the elders includes respect for the elder brother or sister. It is the responsibility of the elder brother to perform
the duties of the father and mother to the younger members of the family. One finds that among the Filipino family the elder
brother or sister sacrifices his career for the sake of the young ones, who must have an education. And the later in turn
is expected to look up to them with awe and respect. Kissing of the hands of the parents and old relatives or neighbors is
a sign of respect is extended to the elder brother or sister.
The Filipino people have strong close family ties. The
family has been the unit of society and everything revolves around it. The Filipino consists of grandparents, parents, and
the children. The father is the head of the family but while he rules, the mother governs. For it is the mother that reigns
in the home, she is the educator, the financial officer, the laundry woman and the cook. But over all and above the 'ruler'
and the governor are the grandparents, whose opinion and decisions on all-important matters are sought. The grandparents are
consulted and what they say carries much weight. Ignore them and you risk their stinging rebuke and they always say they have
reached their ripe old age.
Possessiveness is another trait of the Filipino; he does not
look with favor on a woman who flirts with several men. To him the sweetheart or the wife eyes are meant only for him. Even
his close friend cannot kiss his wife with impunity on the pretext that is "brotherly kiss". The Filipino therefore requires
complete faith and loyalty of his wife or sweetheart. To kill or to be killed is an easy way to avenge his honor.
Ancient Characteristics :
Filipinos has many more bad "habits" and archaic idiosyncrasies. For instance, Filipinos
are known to foster the ningas cogon attitude and the colonial mentality. They often also exhibit the "mababaw ang kaligayahan"
character flaw by allowing themselves to be Easily influence by the western world and the corrupt practices of traditional
politicians. Filipinos has also this crab mentality ancient characteristic which most of the time make a downfall of an individual.