The Philippines is a small tropical country in Southeast Asia with a rich heritage, culture and natural resources. It has been known with names like Pearl of the Orient or the Philippine Islands. Recorded history began upon the arrival of the Magellan expedition, but kingdoms and commerce are already at large even before Europeans landed on its beaches. A young nation, the Philippines is among the few countries in the world that now exists on its own, independent from its colonizers and governed by the natives themselves.
It is a country with one of the richest and most colorful history, thereby inheriting a prosperous heritage and a diverse culture. In the course of its existence, the Spanish, the Chinese, the Americans and the Japanese have left lasting influence to Filipino Culture. Every Pinoy becomes a curious mix, transformed by the traditions and practices left by the passage of time. Add the distance between islands and settlements in the Philippines, each Filipino experiences cultural differences in various levels and degrees. A Pinoy in Luzon eats differently from a Pinoy from the Visayas area. A Filipino from Mindanao dresses distinctively when brought into Metro Manila. Diverse culture made even more diverse because of the islands.
A fact about the Philippines, even the Pinoys living in the major islands of the country has variations in their observance of rituals and traditions, and one can find more than hundred dialects. It is true that even a Filipino can get lost in his own country because of language barriers and of course, the distance between places, more often separated by bodies of water. Technological advancements like air travel, faster ships, television, satellites, and internet bridged the islands but the Filipino culture still remains pretty diverse.
Even the way of thinking and attitudes of Pinoys differ depending on location, urbanization and affluence. Metropolitan cities are filled with Filipinos trying to be Western-like while those in the sub-urban locations or in the provinces tend to be more conservative and traditional in their ways. A theory brought up by some authors about the Philippines is that its people have been living under double standards, with attempts to replicate the practices of the Americans and Europeans, but still maintain traditional beliefs and customs. Perhaps this kind of thing really happens during a transition of a culture, or perhaps, it may be a real problem within.
Nevertheless, the Philippines had produced milestones worthy of the world’s notice. Several Filipino men and women made it to worldwide recognition in entertainment, arts, sports and science. The story of Charice Pempengco, Arnel Pineda, Manny Pacquiao and the likes are well known, and there are many others that came before them. Technology usage in the country paved way to a lot of advancements and best practices putting the nation ahead of the world. Natural resources have attracted tourists from all continents aside from sustaining life and way of living.
There is one natural resource that the Philippines is rich in. It is the Filipino people. Resilient, intelligent and innovative, Filipinos are often top choices when it comes to pooling human resources. A Pinoy is very dependable, hardworking and can speak and understand English. A huge percentage of international companies or organizations rely on the quality Filipino service. Thus a huge percentage of Pinoys are out of the country, away from their families, making a living. They have adapted to opportunities since it is perceived that employment in the Philippines cannot sustain a family to live comfortably.
The points of discussion on this article are still too few to reflect the true beauty of the country. It would need more words, more pages, more hours of writing. Nevertheless, what’s in here gives quite a clear picture of what to expect about the Philippines . Understanding the Filipino life may be too complicated for a foreign person looking at it, but for a Pinoy, not much understanding is needed. The culture in the Philippines may be too diversified, on a single look. But then again, we Filipinos look at things differently. We just live, we do, we smile, we survive. That’s why the Philippines is always such a great place to be in. Filipinos always have a reason to smile.