Key to understanding Filipinos and Filipino culture:


  Pre-Spanish -  prehistoric to 1521

  The Chinese traders

  The Malays

  Spanish Colonial Era – 1521 to 1898

  The road to nationhood

  The Muslims and the Cordillerans

  The American Period – 1898 to 1935


  Liberal democratic government

  The Marxist Insurgency

  The Japanese Occupation – 1940 to 1945


  The Post War Reconstruction – 1945 to 1972

  The Martial Law Years – 1972 to 1986

  The EDSA Revolution to the Present


  Off the Asian continent

  Asian  roots,  Western influence


  Variation in culture

  Ring of Fire, The Typhoon Belt

  Understanding roots of Filipino poverty

  Colonial history

  Ongoing Insurgencies

  Economic policies

  Modern institutions but feudal culture

  Natural Calamities

  Understanding  Filipino traits and behavior

  The traditional vs the modern

  The rural vs the urban

  Impact of  education, modern communications and transportation

  Impact of technology

  Impact of globalization

  Filipinos are a happy blend of several races, basically Malay with Chinese, Spanish and American admixtures.

  values and ways of life were shaped by several, sometimes conflicting cultures and the resulting blend is what makes their own uniquely Filipino

  In their veins run the rich Christian values of Europe, the pragmatic and democratic values of America, and the spiritual values of Asia.

  country of warm smiles and vivacious people.

  Filipino is so outgoing by nature,  can make friends out of total strangers or chance acquaintances 

  Filipinos are fond of giving and attending parties. Any event can be an excuse for having a small or big party – the baptism of an infant, a birthday, a daughter’s debut, a wedding , or an engagement. Even a promotion in a job, passing a government exam, getting one’s first paycheck or recovery from illness is enough reason to give a party.

  Philippine society may be characterized as familial.  influence of kinship, which centers on the family, is far-reaching.

  Religious responsibility, for example, is familial. Many home has a family shrine.

  The influence of the family upon economic and entrepreneurial business activities is also great. The so-called "corporations" found in urban areas are generally family holdings.

  emphasizes loyalty and support of the family, not of any higher level of social organization. The interests of the individual in Philippine society are secondary to those of the family.

  The Filipino, compared with Westerners,  prefers to give in or conform rather than be assertive

  Thus, a Westerner will find the Filipino less autonomous and more dependent.

  concept of self is identified with his family.

  encouraged to submit to his parents’ direction, counsel and advice, is admonished to be good because any disgrace that he commits is a disgrace to the family; in times of misfortune he is assured of his family’s support, sympathy and love.

  By western standards, the Filipino parents can be considered overprotective and sometimes intrusive.

  However, if one understands this seemingly unreasonable control in the context of the Philippine culture wherein exists the belief in the primacy of the family over that of the individual and that the only source of emotional, economic, and moral support is the family, one will be more tolerant and respectful of such actuation.

  The Filipinos have two sets of paradoxical traits and patterns of relationship that are imbued by his culture.

  The first set is the highly structured and authoritarian familial set-up where roles are prescribed especially for younger members of the family. This is characterized by autocratic leadership of the elder-members, submitting one’s self to the decision of the family elders, and almost one-way communication in the pecking order.

  The second set of social relationship that the Filipino has, which ironically exists side by side with the highly structured set-up, is the strong communitarian practice called "Bayanihan"

  This practice ignores social ranking, structures, leadership roles and authority relationships. The roles in the structured set-up mentioned earlier cease to exist.

  Surprisingly, the Filipino is at home with both cultural practices in his social life. He shifts from one setting to another with unbelievable ease and grace.

  In the first set up, there is no way that a child can lead the elders in any form of decision-making.

  In the Bayanihan set-up, however, if a child proves that he has the right qualification needed for the task, he may lead the elders, not excluding his father and elder brother.

  Unlike in other Asian countries, women in the Philippines occupy a high status. Equality with men is a birthright of the Filipino women. Unlike her Western sisters, they didn’t have to march the streets to be heard. 


                                                                                                                                                      Mr. Louie Molina

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