One of the main factors that distinguish a country is its culture. The culture of the Philippines, a Southeast Asian country, is greatly influenced by the Spanish and American colonizers. The country saw a great transformation in terms of culture, religion, lifestyle, cuisine, etc., during the Spanish colonization period. External influences such as foreign trade (with neighboring countries and far-off countries like China, Arab, etc.) also shaped the Filipino culture. Thus, today's Filipino culture can be described as a fusion of the cultures of the East and West.
Understanding the culture and traditions of a place is a part of traveling. If you are planning a trip to the Philippines and are keen to know the Filipino culture beforehand, we have got you covered. Go through our article on Filipino culture and traditions and go for flight bookings to the Philippines with iEagle
Filipinos are family-oriented. Extended families live together, and kids are taught to use respectful words like 'po' and 'apo' while addressing their grandparents. “Pagmamano” is a gesture symbolizing respect where children take the hand of the elders and place it on their forehead as if accepting their blessings. The young generally live with their parents until they get married. Filipino culture gives much importance to family bonds. They celebrate every festival and fiesta together with the whole family.
The Philippines is Asia’s largest Christian nation. About 90% of Filipinos are Christians, and 80% of them are Catholics. They are staunch followers of Christianity and attend a church service and offer prayers every Sunday. Many fiestas are celebrated in honor of the Patron Saint, and the processions and parades organized by the locals showcase the rich Filipino culture. Filipinos also celebrate the longest Christmas season starting from September till the first week of January.
Filipinos love for revelries:
If you like partying and fun, you are going to have a blast of a time in the Philippines. The friendly-natured Filipinos are also known for their love for music and dance, which defines their party culture. Karaoke partying is a very common theme of nightlife in the Philippines. It is also said that every home has a karaoke machine, and Filipinos love to organize karaoke home parties for every special occasion.
Food is their second love:
Be it a birthday party or a casual get together, a festival celebration or a family function, every event celebrated by Filipinos involves a grand feast. It is a part of Filipino culture. They love to eat and bond over an elaborate meal featuring soups, stews, rice cakes, salads, desserts, and also a wide variety of drinks. It is said that eating is their favorite pastime, and they intake six meals a day.
Festivals as mirrors of Filipino culture:
The Philippines is a country that celebrates nearly 42,000 festivals (both major and minor) in a year. Some are religious in nature, while some others are cultural festivals. Nevertheless, most of the festivals are characterized by zealous cultural activities, dance performances, loud beats, street parties, pageants, fairs, etc. They put up a grand display of the culture, creativity, and passion of the Filipinos. Every first-time traveler to this “Capital of the World's Festivities” must witness the exuberant celebrations to truly soak in Filipino culture.
Some of the notable traits of Filipino culture:
Utang na loob: Utang na loob, which translates to "debt of gratitude," stands for a cultural belief of Filipinos. According to this, they are bound to repay the favor received in one or the other form.
Pakikisama: This trait values the harmonic relationship. The Filipino word Pakikisama means ‘getting along with others.’ It necessitates that Filipinos overlook minor indiscretions to avoid offending others.
Kapwa: This core value motivates the feeling of ‘togetherness’ and ‘inclusiveness’ in every Filipino.