Filipino Cultures

The Philippines is the third largest English-speaking country in the world and is comprised of more than 7,600 islands. Most of the population lives on 11 main islands, of which Luzon and Mindanao are the largest. About 28 percent of the country’s land is covered with forests.

The Philippines has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American influences.  The Philippines is a collectivist society, in which the needs of the family are prioritized over the needs of the individual. Filipinos value social harmony and maintaining smooth relationships, which means they may often avoid expressing their true opinions or delivering unwanted news. Many Filipinos celebrate traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints.

Host a Filipino student in the U.S.

Filipino People and Community

In the Philippines, family life is highly treasured, and households often include extended family. The average rural family has about three children, while urban families tend to be smaller. The main responsibility of most children is to complete their education, but some children are also expected to work for their family.

After children marry, many decide to continue living with their parents. Children are usually disciplined by both their mother and father, but a mother’s advice is especially taken seriously. As parents age, it is the responsibility of their adult children to care for them. Many women work outside the home, sometimes even overseas.

Language and Communication Styles

English and Filipino are the official languages of the Philippines. However, depending on the classification, 120 to 175 languages are used.

Food in the Philippines

Filipino cuisine is one of the richest cuisines in the world influenced throughout its long and colorful history by the Malays, Spanish, Mexican, Arab, Chinese, American, Indian and Japanese. Different regions and islands of the country also have their own unique flavors and produce. The staple food is rice, and it is usually served at every meal. Dishes range from the very simple, like fried salted fish and rice, to the more elaborate ones, such as the paellas, which include rice, beans, meat, snails, and seasoning. Filipino taste buds tend to favor robust flavors, but the cuisine is not as spicy as those of its neighbors.