Filipino Culture and Identity

When I try to imagine what the Philippines looked like before the 1520’s, I always see an unclear image of a group of uncivilized people hunting or fishing or doing rituals. What was the archipelago really like during that time? They say we already had our own culture before the Spaniards and the Americans colonized the country, but they immensely influenced our culture. As a result, Filipinos developed the colonial mentality or the outlook that Filipinos are inferior to other races, which is present until today. This Filipino trait should be changed.

The Filipino culture we know has been influenced by different cultures. One example is the baro’t saya and barong Tagalog that originated during the Spanish era. A different country brands us and what’s worse is we accept it. We have even placed in our minds that a culture different from ours is better. Things made by other countries are better than things made by Filipinos. A lot of Filipinos do not listen to OPM. Even some Filipino singers prefer singing English songs. A lot of Filipinos do not watch local television shows and movies. A lot of Filipinos prefer clothes and food from other countries. We think that people from other races like Americans and Europeans are better looking than Filipinos. We visit landmarks in other countries yet we do not visit our own.

I’m not saying that influences from other countries should be ignored. They actually helped our country flourish. I’m also not saying that we should not appreciate the world outside the Philippines, but it doesn’t hurt to value our own culture more than others. It is actually more respectable if we do so. We should change our mentality towards ourselves and other people. We should be proud of the Filipino culture.

-Angelica Clemente


5 thoughts on “Filipino Culture and Identity

  1. I completely agree with you in the sense that many Filipinos look up to other cultures. I agree with you that we should learn to appreciate other cultures but at it is more important to appreciate our own. Hopefully, more Filipinos will come to realize this!

  2. It’s sad how Filipinos are starting to ignore our own tradition and culture just because of the influence coming from other countries. 😦 I hope someday we realize that one of the best things that we should learn in life is becoming a true Filipino. 🙂

  3. It’s true that “Filipino culture” is actually just a mix of a lot of different influences. I remember going on a tour in intramurous once and even the tour guide pointed out that “traditional” Filipino houses were actually a mix of Spanish and Chinese and so on. I too am curious about what our truly original culture was like.

  4. It is a question to ponder on though. When do you know that a certain act is a deviation from the culture of our country or simply just a foreign influence that has been integrated into the culture of our country?

  5. Pingback: Religion in the Philippines

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