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The Filipino is
basically of Malay stock with a sprinkling of Chinese, American,
Spanish, and Arab blood. The Philippines has a population of
76.5 million as of May 2000, and it is hard to distinguish
accurately the lines between stocks. From a long history of
Western colonial rule, interspersed with the visits of merchants
and traders, evolved a people of a unique blend of east and
west, both in appearance and culture.
character is actually a little bit of all the cultures put
together. The bayanihan or spirit of kinship and
camaraderie that Filipinos are famous for is said to be
taken from Malay forefathers. The close family relations are
said to have been inherited from the Chinese. The piousness
comes from the Spaniards who introduced Christianity in the 16th
century. Hospitality is a common denominator in the Filipino
character and this is what distinguishes the Filipino. Filipinos
are probably one of the few, if not the only, English-proficient
Oriental people today. Pilipino is the official national
language, with English considered as the country's unofficial
Filipinos are divided geographically and culturally into
regions, and each regional group is recognizable by distinct
traits and dialects - the sturdy and frugal llocanos of the
north, the industrious Tagalogs of the central plains, the
carefree Visayans from the central islands, and the colorful
tribesmen and religious Moslems of Mindanao. Tribal communities
can be found scattered across the archipelago. The Philippines
has more than 111 dialects spoken, owing to the subdivisions of
these basic regional and cultural groups.
The country is
marked by a true blend of cultures; truly in the Philippines,
East meets West. The background of the people is Indonesian and
Malay. There are Chinese and Spanish elements as well. The
history of American rule and contact with merchants and traders
culminated in a unique blend of East and West, both in the
appearance and culture of the Filipinos, or people of the
trait displayed by every Filipino, makes these people legendary
in Southeast Asia. Seldom can you find such hospitable people
who enjoy the company of their Western visitors. Perhaps due to
their long association with Spain, Filipinos are emotional and
passionate about life in a way that seems more Latin than Asian.
introduced Christianity (the Roman Catholic faith) and succeeded
in converting the overwhelming majority of Filipinos. At least
83% of the total population belongs to the Roman Catholic faith.
occupation was responsible for teaching the Filipino people the
English language. The Philippines is currently the third-largest
English speaking country in the world.
provided by the Philippine Government and can be found on it's website.
1998, the Philippines' population stood at 77,725,860. These numbers are
spread unevenly throughout the Philippines with a large portion of the country
being uninhabited. Roughly 40 percent of the nation was urban during the
late 1980s. In 1990, Manila's entire population (greater) was 7,948,398
with 1,601,234 in Manila proper. As of 1998, the population of Metro Manila was
approximately 10 million.
person of Spanish descent born in the Philippines, is where the term
"Filipino" originated. It was comparable to the
"Creole" of the Spanish and French colonies in America. The
meaning of the term "Filipino" changed after the 18th century to apply
to the Christianized Malays who constitute the bulk of the Philippine
the Philippines since the collapse of land bridges to the Asian mainland and
Borneo, are a pygmy people, the aboriginal Aetas. Migration of people of
Malay and Polynesian descent has come in waves with the present Filipinos,
mainly descendants of Malay invaders, divided according to language and
Visayans are one of the most important groups, numerically, who they live in the
central portion of the archipelago. The other numerically important group,
the Tagalogs, live in central Luzon.
chief non-Malay groups are comprised of people of Spanish and Chinese descent.
of traditional warrior societies, the Moros were converted to Islam by Arab
missionaries in the 15th century. They live mainly in the southern portion
of the archipelago.
small, but economically and politically important minority are a people of mixed
Filipino and Spanish or American ancestry, the Mestizos.
is also a small number (about 1.5%) of Chinese who reside in the Philippines and
they are also quite involved in business.
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