Filipinos are commonly referred to as all citizens who officially reside on the territory of an island nation. They do not necessarily have to be indigenous people from Southeast Asia, as even an American who has lived in the region for a long time can call himself or herself Filipino. On the contrary, if a person was born there, it does not mean that he or she will identify as Filipino. In other words, nationality can be called a rather abstract but important category to a person that gives them a sense of belonging to a particular culture.
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Filipino ethnicity and cultural heritage
What cannot be argued with is an individual’s ethnicity and cultural heritage. In the context of the Philippines, it should be understood that the island is home to several unique tribal communities descended from the Australian ethnolinguistic family, the largest numbers of which are characteristic of the Visayan people. Other ethnic units there include Tagalog, Iloki, Moro, and members of the Chinese nation. In terms of external manifestations of ethnicity, the peoples of the Philippines have a characteristic southern Mongoloid type of appearance with the presence of Caucasoid combinations. However, this does not mean that the inhabitants of the modern Philippines are of uneducated tribes: on the contrary, the natives of the island state have a unique ethnic-cultural background.
The plurality of social structures in the Philippines generates a differentiated cultural heritage: each of the tribes had its values, religion, and traditions. In general, it can be said that Philippine culture is characterized as a unique symbiosis of Eastern and Western trends, and among one of the most important values of all inhabitants is the emphasis on the family (Thomas). To this day, the cultural code of modern Filipinos contains the priority of the family, which is why this region is so characterized by large families. Other forms of Filipino cultural heritage include unique folkloric dance, local cuisine, and sports games.
Education and their financial status or social class
The island’s historical heritage — including the colonization era — has influenced the social status of modern Filipinos. Early chiefdoms were rapidly transformed into large, male-headed families. Thus, one important component of Filipino social life is characterized by the great value of the family, and it is for this reason that marriage is seen there as a way to continue and expand one’s lineage: it is an example of a collectivist society. However, the economic classes familiar to any other region are found throughout the state, namely low-income, middle-income, and high-income people. Education in the Philippines is compulsory for thirteen years with only 12.9% of the total population having a college degree (PSA). There are prestigious universities there that can give a child a quality education, but one has to realize that Philippine universities are not in the lead in the overall world rankings.
Several interesting national traditions and values Filipinos have that may seem strange to someone from Western culture. One is the importance of a large family and a permanent social environment, which can be difficult for members of American individualism. Another is the consideration of the woman’s role as an object for the continuation of the family: she must be obedient and patient despite any, even unethical, actions of her husband. The third is the desire (or national idea) of Filipinos to go everywhere, not just toilets: this gives rise to a policy of low culture and lack of public toilets on the streets. Fourth, and probably strangest of all, is the fact that they eat hard-boiled eggs with chicken inside them instead of eating incubator eggs.
PSA. “The Educational Attainment of the Household Population (Results from the 2010 Census).” RP PSA. 2013. Web.
Thomas, Alison Jean. “Filipino Culture and Traditions.” Love to Know. Web.
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