Embark on a cultural journey through the breathtaking Philippines and discover the vibrant customs, traditions, and practices that make this Southeast Asian country truly unique. From colorful festivals and mouth-watering cuisine to traditional dances and spiritual beliefs, there is no shortage of amazing aspects of Philippines culture that you should know about.
Amazing Philippines Culture You Should Know
The Philippines is known for its intricate and lively traditional dances, which are an important part of its cultural heritage. One of the most popular dances is the Tinikling.
Tinikling involves two people rhythmically hitting bamboo poles against the ground while stepping in and out of the poles. This dance symbolizes the movement of the tinkling bird as it weaves its way through grasses and streams.
Another traditional dance is the Singkil, which tells the story of a princess rescued from danger by a prince. This dance is characterized by intricate footwork and the use of bamboo poles.
The Cariñosa is another popular traditional dance often performed during festivals and celebrations. It is a slow and graceful dance performed by couples and is known for its elegant movements and intricate hand gestures.
The family is at the heart of Philippines culture, with strong bonds and close relationships being a central aspect of life in the country. Philippine families are known for their warmth, hospitality, and love of celebration.
Family is everything in the Philippines, with elderly relatives being cherished and respected community members. Extended families often live close to each other, providing support and care to one another daily.
The concept of “Bayanihan” is deeply ingrained in Philippine society, with families and communities working together to achieve common goals and help those in need.
The Philippines is home to various colorful and vibrant festivals, each with its unique traditions and customs. The Ati-Atihan Festival, held in Aklan, is one of the most famous festivals in the country and is a celebration of the Santo Niño (Holy Child).
During the festival, participants paint their faces and bodies in various bright colors and dance in the streets to the beat of drums and other musical instruments. Another famous festival is the Kadayawan Festival, held in Davao City.
Various events, including street parades, beauty pageants, and cultural performances, mark this festival that celebrates the harvest season. Another popular festival in honor of the Santo Niño is the Sinulog Festival, which is celebrated in Cebu City.
The festival features a procession, where participants carry the Santo Niño through the streets and traditional dances, music, and food.
Filipino cuisine is diverse and flavorful, featuring a unique blend of Spanish, Chinese, and indigenous influences. With regional variations throughout the islands, Filipino food is as varied.
One of the most famous dishes is Adobo, a type of stew made with chicken or pork seasoned with soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic.
Another popular Philippine dish, Sinigang, is a sour soup made from tamarind and ingredients such as pork, shrimp, or fish. A staple of Philippine cuisine, Lechon – a whole roasted pig – frequently gets served at special events and celebrations.
In Luzon, rice is a staple starch, while in Mindanao, cassava is more common. Filipinos favor robust flavors centred on sweet, salty, and sour combinations.
Unlike other East or Southeast Asian countries, Filipinos do not typically eat chopsticks. Instead, they use Western cutlery, such as spoons and forks. This is because rice is the primary staple food, and stews and broths are very common in Filipino cuisine.
The traditional method of eating using the hands, called “kamayan,” was previously more commonly observed in rural areas. However, some Filipinos still enjoy this practice of hand-to-mouth eating today.
The Philippines is a predominantly Christian country, with most of the population being Catholic. However, the country is also home to various other spiritual beliefs, including indigenous beliefs and Islam.
One of the indigenous beliefs is the animistic belief in the existence of spirits and supernatural beings. Daily life incorporates these beliefs by offering offerings and praying to the spirits for protection and good luck.
Islam, which was introduced to the Philippines by Arab traders, is also practised in some parts of the country. Muslims in the Philippines observe the five pillars of Islam, including prayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage, and declaration of faith.
Interesting Facts About The Philippines
- The Philippines is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture that sets it apart from the rest of the world. Here are some interesting facts about the Philippines that will leave you in awe:
- The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,641 islands, making it one of the largest island groups in the world.
- The country is known for its diverse and vibrant festivals, with each region celebrating its unique events. One of the most famous festivals is the Ati-Atihan Festival, held in Aklan, a celebration of the Santo Niño and marked by painted faces, traditional dances, and street parades.
- Philippine cuisine is a fusion of Spanish, Chinese, and indigenous ingredients and flavors, making it a true reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage. Some of the most famous dishes include Adobo, Sinigang, and Lechon.
- The Philippines is one of two countries where divorce is not legally recognized, the other being Vatican City.
- The country is home to the largest Eagle in the world, the Philippine Eagle, an endangered species that can only be found in the Philippines.
- The Philippines is the only Christian nation in Asia and is predominantly Catholic, with more than 80% of the population following this religion.
- The country is known for its rich musical heritage, with traditional instruments such as the kulintang, a type of gong, and the kudyapi, a lute, an important part of its cultural heritage.
- The Philippines is the world’s third-largest English-speaking country, after the United States and the United Kingdom, making it a great destination for English-speaking travellers.