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Philippine Culture

By kroll002 Nov 08, 2008 2708 Words
Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator explored the Philippines in 1521. Twenty-one years later, a Spanish exploration party named the group of islands in honor of Philip II of Spain. Spain retained possession of the islands for the next 350 years. The Treaty of Paris ceded the Philippines to the U.S. in 1899 after the Spanish-American War. Meanwhile, the Filipinos, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, had declared their independence. They initiated guerrilla warfare against U.S. troops that persisted until Aguinaldo's capture in 1901. By 1902, peace was established except among the Islamic Moros on the southern island of Mindanao. The first U.S. civilian governor-general was William Howard Taft (1901–1904). The Jones Law (1916) established a Philippine legislature composed of an elective Senate and House of Representatives. The Tydings-McDuffie Act (1934) provided for a transitional period until 1946, at which time the Philippines would become completely independent. Under a constitution approved by the people of the Philippines in 1935, the Commonwealth of the Philippines came into being with Manuel Quezon y Molina as president. On Dec. 8, 1941, the islands were invaded by Japanese troops. Following the fall of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's forces at Bataan and Corregidor, Quezon instituted a government-in-exile that he headed until his death in 1944. He was succeeded by Vice President Sergio Osmeña. U.S. forces under MacArthur reinvaded the Philippines in Oct. 1944 and, after the liberation of Manila in Feb. 1945, Osmeña reestablished the government. The Philippines achieved full independence on July 4, 1946. Manuel A. Roxas y Acuña was elected its first president, succeeded by Elpidio Quirino (1948–1953), Ramón Magsaysay (1953–1957), Carlos P. García (1957–1961), Diosdado Macapagal (1961–1965), and Ferdinand E. Marcos (1965–1986). Geographical Setting

Location: The Philippines is located in Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam Climate: The Philippines has a tropical marine climate dominated by a rainy season and a dry season. The summer monsoon brings heavy rains to most of the archipelago from May to October, whereas the winter monsoon brings cooler and drier air from December to February. Manila and most of the lowland areas are hot and dusty from March to May. Topography

The topography is extremely diverse, with 20 active volcanic mountains on most of the larger islands. Mt. Apo in Mindanao, is the highest point in the Philippines at an elevation of 9,692 ft. Along with volcano eruptions, the islands have also faced the destruction from earthquakes, frequent flooding, and typhoons. There are many rivers in the Philippines including the Cagayan, Agno, Bicol, Pampanga, Abra, Agusan, and the Cotabato etc. Most of these rivers flow seasonally and are generally short. Social Institutions

Family in the Philippines is very important for social welfare. A nuclear family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and other relations, such as godparents, sponsors, and close family friends is common for most Filipinos. In Philippine families, parents sometimes have trouble letting go of their children and let them stay in the nest for as long as they want. This explains why grandparents are commonly seen living with their children in the Philippines. It is also common for members of the same families to work for the same company. Divorce is non-exist and is stated to be immoral, unconstitutional, and a danger to the Filipino family. Courtship is very popular but most families do not approve to the girls visiting the boy’s house. Usually, the boy must come over to the girl’s house and introduce himself to her family. In a traditional Filipino family, the father is considered the head of the household and the provider of the family. Children view their fathers as strong and the most important figure in the family. The mother usually takes the responsibility of managing the family’s household income and is in control of emotional support and formation of values for the children. Filipinas, or Filipino women have more social equality than women in most countries in Southeast Asia. Today, educated women in the Philippines are strongly represented in politics, business, and other professions. There are many Filipino families that practice strict discipline and hit their children with belts and their hands. Education

In the Philippines children enter school at the age of four. At the age of seven they proceed to primary school for 6 to 7 years. This is followed by four years of secondary school. They then have to pass a college entrance examination and proceed to college for 3-5 years. In the Philippines school sessions begin in June and end in March leaving 2 months for summer. In 2005 the Philippines spent an average of $135 per student while the US spent $1,582 per student. Based on the 2000 census, 95% of the population ages 15 and older are literate; 92.5% are males and 92.7% are females. Political System

The political system is based on a multi-party system based on a constitution. There are two types of major political parties: The Team Unity (together everyone achieves more unity) and GO (Genuine Opposition). Under each of these categories there are many major parites such as: Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats , Nationalist People's Coalition, Philippine Democratic Socialist Party, and the Liberal Party. There are three separate and independent branches of government: the executive branch, legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Currently, the President is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2001-2010) and the vice president is Noli de Castro (2004-2010). The Philippines is divided into 1,600 municipalities that are recognized as towns or cities. Each town/city is headed by an executive mayor and a vice mayor each elected for three-year terms and cannot serve more than three consecutive terms. Legal System

The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the highest judicial body. The Chief Justice heads the Supreme Court along with 14 associate justices. Philippine law is based on code law. The Philippine government recognized patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Social Organizations

Significant economic divisions exist in the Philippines. In 1997, more than 37% of the population was living in poverty. Income is generally higher in the urban areas than in rural areas. This draws a constant flow of migrants to the cities. Some migrants survive as squatters, living in congested slum areas in temporary housing that do not have running water, sewerage systems, and electricity. They tend to work as vendors and unskilled laborers. The wealthy upper class, which includes landowners and business executives, enjoys a high standard of living. Meanwhile, many rural families cannot afford to provide basic essentials such as clothing, food, healthcare, and medicine for their children. Religion

Traditionally, Filipinos have adopted two of the great religions of the world - Islam and Christianity. The Philippines is one of the 2 countries in Asia which has the Christian community as its major population. Islam was introduced in the 14th century and today most of its followers reside in the southern regions of the country. There are two prominent independent Filipino churches: the Aglipay (Philippine Independent Church), founded in 1902 and the Iglesia Ni Kristo (Church of Christ), founded in 1914. Rizalist cults, such as the Iglesia Sagrada ni Lahi (Holy Church of the Race) and the Banner of the Race Church (the largest group), combine Roman Catholic rituals, images, and organization with traditional Filipino elements. Over 300,000 rural people are members to these cults. Their beliefs are based on a man named José Rizal who was a national hero put to death by the Spanish in 1896. There are numerous ethnic religious groups in the Philippines that believe in the divinity of Rizal. Among many peasant cults it is generally believed that he is still alive and will revisit to deliver his followers from poverty and oppression. Rizal has been recognized as God, as the second, or Filipino Christ, and as the god of the pre-Spanish Malay religion.

3. Prominent Religions
The Philippine religion is predominantly Christian: 82.9% are Catholics, 5.4% are Protestants, 4.6% are Islam, 2.6% are members of the Philippine Independent Church, and 2.3% are members of Iglesia ni Cristo. Aesthetics

1. Visual Arts
In 1976 Napoleon V. Abueva, became the youngest Filipino to become a National Artist at the age of 46. He became known as the “Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture.” His works have been executed using almost all kinds of materials, including hard wood like molave, langka wood, palm wood and bamboo, adobe, metal, stainless steel, cement, marble, bronze, iron, alabaster, coral, and brass. He even combines different materials, like wood with metal and stone. Some of his works include Kaganapan (1953), Kiss of Judas (1955), and NineMuses (1994). Another famous Philippine artist, Fernando Amorsolo (1892-1972) was a portraitist and painter of rural landscapes. He is best known for his craftsmanship and mastery in the use of light. Many other include Ang Kuikok, Victoria Edades, Cesar Legaspi, Vincent Manansala, and Jose Joya. 2. Music

Filipino music is a mixture of European, American and native sounds. The Philippine Madrigal Singers has helped develop and popularize the Philippine choral music. The choir became the only one in the world to win twice at the European Grand Prix in 1997 and 2007 for choral singing. The European Grand Prix is considered the most celebrated chorale competition in the world. The blues, folk music, R&B, and rock music are all very popular in the Philippines. Alternative groups and tribal bands promoting Cultural awareness around the Philippines including other a number of other Genres are growing in popularity in the Philippine Music scene. 3. Drama, Ballet, and Other Performing Arts

Currently, Ballet Philippines, Philippines Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Manila are the three major ballet companies in the Philippines. Ballet Philippines places emphasis on modern and contemporary dance. On the other hand, the Philippines Ballet Theatre is the completely opposite focusing on classical ballets in the Vaganova tradition and Ballet Manila in somewhere in the middle of these two. There are many variations of dances, both ceremonial and traditional, that are performed for many different occasions. The most popular and best known dances are those from the Philippine lowlands where the people are very passionate for music. Binasuan is a lively dance from Bayambang, which is essentially a balancing act. A dance usually performed at birthdays and weddings, the dancers skillfully handle glasses that are partially filled with rice wine. 4. Folk Dances

Filipinos have unique folk dances called tinikling. This is where assistants take two long bamboo sticks and rapidly clap them together while dancers creatively and daringly try to dodge getting their feet smashed between them. Also in the southern part of the Philippines, there is another dance called singkil. This is performed by using the long bamboo poles found in tinikling; however, it is primarily a dance showing off extravagant Muslim royalty. Living Conditions

1. Meat and Vegetable Consumption Rates
Per capita consumption of meat products, Philippines, 2004, Beef- 2.52 Kg/yr. Carabeef 1.76 Kg/yr, Chevon 0.4 Kg/yr. Vegetable per capita consumption is quite low at 39 kilograms, which is ironically really low considering that the recommended intake is 69 kilograms. 2. Typical Meals

Most Filipino foods are prepared by boiling, steaming or roasting. As with most Asian countries, the staple food in the Philippines is rice. Lizards, snakes, and locusts are delicacies in a few places in the country. The Philippines does not only possess its traditional cuisine. Popular worldwide cuisine and restaurant and fast food chains are also available around the island. Popular dishes include lechón (whole roasted pig), longganisa (Philippine sausage), tapa (beef jerky), torta (omelette), pancit (stir-fried noodles), and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls). 3. Malnutrition Rates

Today 30% of the population lives in poverty. In 2003, Philippine malnutrition rate was 9.4% Clothing
1. National Dress
Baro't saya is the national dress of the Philippines and is worn by women. It is an collection of many layers including the: kimona or inner shirt; the baro outershirt. It is usually made of thin materials with fine embroidery and wide sleeves. A barong Tagalog is an embroidered formal garment of the Philippines. It is very lightweight and worn untucked over an undershirt. It is formal attire common at many weddings and worn mostly by Filipino men, however women wear them as well. 2. Types of Clothing Worn at Work

Filipino business attire is conservative. Many men wear dark colored conservative business suits and women were a conservative skirt, blouse or dress. Women are allowed to wear brightly colored clothing as it is made of good quality and is well tailored. Recreation, Sports, and Other Leisure Activities

The national sport in the Philippines is Sipa. On a court that is about the size of a tennis court, the game is played by two teams, indoors or outdoors. The teams consist of one, two or four players in each side. The object of the game is to kick a soft ball made out of wicker fragments, back and forth over a net in the middle of the court. The sport requires speed, agility and ball control. Other recreational activities include boxing, billiards, chess, basketball, patintero, bowling, and football (soccer). “Touch ball” or dodge ball is also another popular sport usually played in schools during recess. In 1948 the Palarong Pambansa, a national sports festival, was founded and eventually became known as a national Olympics for students. Filipino martial arts are also widely practiced and are known under many different names Social Security

The government manages a social security system that includes retirement health-care benefits. Most agricultural workers are not included in the system because they tend to be self-employed or underemployed. Health Care

Pervasive poverty detracts from the overall health of the people of the Philippines. The struggle against disease has progressed considerably throughout the years. In 1923, approximately 76% percent of deaths were caused by communicable diseases. By 1980’s, deaths from communicable diseases had declined to about 26 %. Residents of rural areas have less access to safe drinking water and sanitation. In 2004 the country had 1 physician for every 860 people. Along with modern medicine, many Filipinos also consult traditional and spiritual healers when they are ill. The average life expectancy in the Philippines is 68 years of age. Language

1. Official Language
Filipino official language is based on Tagalog. In spite of being the national language, only about 55 percent of Filipinos speak the language. For education purposes, governmental, and commercial purposes, English is commonly used. The Philippines is the third major group of English speaking people in the world. Filipinos commonly used a mix of English and Filipino words, known as “Taglish.” 3. Dialects

There are eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
(n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2008, from Kwintessential Cross Cultural Solutions: (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2008, from The Utrecth Faculty of Education: (2004-2005). Retrieved October 20, 2008, from Camperspoint: (2005, November 9). Retrieved October 24, 2008, from Country Studies: (2007). Retrieved October 24, 2008, from Info Please: (2008, October 23). Retrieved October 24, 2008, from Central Intelligence Agency: Pabuayon, T. K. (2001, April-June). Retrieved October 24, 2008, from BAR Research and Development Digest: Philippine Council for Agriculture, F. a. (2003). Retrieved 10 24, 2008, from Ruminant Information Network: Stevens, A. (2006, February 12). Retrieved October 24, 2008, from City Mayors Government: Stockinger, J. (2000, April). Retrieved October 21, 2008, from

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