What are some of the significant things about the Culture of the Philippines today?

What Makes the Culture of the Philippines Interesting to us?

First, a little history..

The original Filipinos

When pertaining to the Culture of the Philippines, it has a mix of different contributions made by the countries that invaded over the centuries. The truly traditional, or indigenous people of the Philippines, it’s aborigines, are the ‘Negritos(a term, not considered offensive – although perhaps depending on the context) who more resemble Australoid types like Papuans, Torres Strait Islanders and the Aborigines of the Australian continent

Culture of the Philippines
Image by Ron Miguel / Flickr

There are still many descendants of these indigenous peoples in existence today, though mostly displaced to smaller remote (often mountainous) areas, where once they occupied the whole region.

Philippine culture has now been heavily influenced from it’s colonization by first the Malays, then Spain and the United States.  Though Western and Hispanic culture mostly impacted the Philippines, aspects of it’s culture still holds older Asian practices that can be seen by how they live, what they believe in and the customs of the people.

The Aboriginal aspect aside, by reading this post, you will get to know some of the different characteristics of the existing culture in the Philippines.

(Links to more in-depth articles on the history of the indigenous people of the Philippines at the end of this article)

Image by yeowatzup / Flickr

Culture of the Philippines – Catholicism

Catholicism is very rampant in the Philippines and it is one of the countries in Asia that is dominated by this religion, aside from East Timor. The Philippine population is composed of 90% Christian, 5% Muslim, with the other 5% belonging to other religions, or none.

Culture of the Philippines
Santiago Apostol Parish Church image by Project Kisame / Flickr

Culture of the Philippines – Music

During earlier times, Filipinos listened to indigenous, Asian, and Islamic sounds. The Spanish who settled in the Philippines played some instruments including guitar, ukulele, drums, trumpets, and violins.

Culture of the Philippines
Tinikling image by Pabak Sarkar / Flickr

There were festive occasions where they danced and sang to a certain kind of music to celebrate. The music of the Philippines during today’s modern times have several styles that are composed of hip hop, contemporary rock, and others.  The Tinikling and Carinosa are 2 of the most popular folk dances.

Culture of the Philippines
Tinikling image by Shubert Ciencia / Flickr

Culture of the Philippines – Housing

Culture of the Philippines
Kubo image by Ashley Van Haeften / Flickr

The early Filipinos lived in Nipa Huts or “Kubo” in the Philippine language, but in some remote areas, people still live in Nipa Huts up to this day.

Culture of the Philippines
Nipa Hut image by Burgermac / Flickr

It is easy to spot a Nipa Hut because it is made of bamboo and coconut that makes up the structure. It was the Spaniards who greatly influenced the use of stone to build houses. You will still find great Spanish architecture in Vigan, Ilo-Ilo, Intramuros, and other areas of the Philippines today.

Culture of the Philippines – Food

The Philippines is often known as the melting pot of Asia and eating out together is a very favourite thing to do for Filipino families. A typical Filipino eats up to 6 times a day with rice being the staple food.

Culture of the Philippines
Image by Patricia Feaster / Flickr

Some Filipinos use utensils to eat and there are also people who prefer to eat with their hands. The most popular food that people serve in the Philippines is the adobo that is made by stewing chicken and pork together.

Culture of the Philippines
Adobo image by Krista / Flickr

They also have something called lumpia which is another very popular food in the Philippines which is a vegetable or meat roll.

Culture of the Philippines
Lumpia image by Laine Trees / Flickr

The lechon is very popular especially during feasts because it is a whole roasted pig.

Culture of the Philippines
Lechon image by whologwhy / Flickr

Filipinos also have interesting foods to offer like the balut which is a boiled egg that still has the fertilized duckling inside.

Culture of the Philippines
Balut image by shankar s. / Flickr

The dinuguan is another popular interesting dish in the Philippines which is pig blood made into a soup.

Culture of the Philippines
Dinuguan image by pulaw / Flickr

Culture of the Philippines – Games

The games that Filipinos love to play are called patintero, yo-yo, sungka, bahay kubo, piko, and pusoy.

Culture of the Philippines
Patintero image by Yabang Pinoy / Flickr
Culture of the Philippines
Sungka image by Sebastian Herrmann / Flickr
Culture of the Philippines
Yo-yo image by The U.S. Army / Flickr

The sports that are most popular in the Philippines are sabong (cockfighting), basketball, billiards, boxing and volleyball.

These are what make the culture of the Philippines unique and attracts many visitors to the country.

Culture of the Philippines
Image by jadedjade / Flickr

More info on the modern everyday Cultures of the Philippines

The Culture of the Philippines  – By Ysabel Carbello

Featured Image Kadawayan Festival by Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ and other Flickr images are licensed under CC BY 2.0

For more information on the indigenous peoples of the Philippines try the following links

peoples of the

This concludes our Culture of the Philippines. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.

Thank you

Culture of the Philippines
Image by Stefan Munder / Flickr

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1 Comment
  1. travel Britanica B.
    September 19, 2015 at 6:06 am

    When you mentioned eating with hands, I had to share something. I was not aware of this when my husband and I visited and it is really about how they prepare the food and what they eat. They have TONS of finger foods. Also, avoid some of the weirder dishes if you have a sensitive stomach. I ate something that looked like seaweed and was on the toilet for 8 hours! lol

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