I love learning about new cultures as you may have noticed from my past posts. But one culture that is near and dear to my heart is my own Filipino culture. So for this post, I gathered three of my fellow Filipino friends (Ciara Hendrickson, Sali Dagandan and D.J. Alejandre) to help me better explain our Filipino background.
The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands located in Southeast Asia. Each island is so diverse and different from one another that they have their own unique dialects in accordance with the main Filipino language, Tagalog. But regardless of the diversity, there are a lot of aspects of the Filipino culture that we seemed to all agree on.
Ciara: I love the family-oriented nature we have. We’re a very supportive culture that puts emphasis on education and hard work and still cares about showing respect for the elderly. We’re reminded to work hard now for a better future for upcoming generations.
D.J.: I agree with what Ciara said. Plus how caring we are with one another. We put family first, are loving, jolly and welcoming.
Sali: Yes! Also, how hospitable, sincere and fun-loving we can be.
Another one of the things we love about our culture is the food. When you mention food to any Filipino, our ears perk up, and we get very excited. It’s such a big part of our culture that we tend to involve food in everything we do no matter how mundane it might be. It’s a way for people to come together like one big family, and we make sure you never leave hungry. For me personally, a lot of my favorite memories revolved around food. A lot of laughter and stories are shared, and it draws us closer together. Some of our favorite dishes are pancit palabok, which is a noodle dish with a special shrimp sauce, adobo, which is a meat stew usually cooked with chicken, and sinigang, which is a sour soup full of meat and vegetables.
But as with every culture, there can be some downsides. Filipinos are known to arrive to parties at “Filipino-time” meaning at least an hour or two late. We joke around by saying if you invite a Filipino to a party, make sure you tell them to come two hours before the actual start time to help them prepare and actually arrive on time. Another problem stems from expectations from our elders.
Ciara: There is some pressure to become a doctor, lawyer or some high-paying job.
D.J.: Yes, there is definitely an education and work comparison.
Sali: There’s also the expectation that those who move abroad are more successful or “rich” and are obliged to send back money. If you don’t, they’ll think you’re greedy or arrogant.
But this mostly comes from the desire of those who came before us to see us succeed in life and live it out to the fullest.
D.J.: My culture has taught me the value in life. It’s not easy to live in this world, but facing it with a positive spirit will make everything worthwhile and more colorful.
Sali: I have learned a lot from my culture from respecting my elders to valuing family time to strengthening my moral ethics. It’s truly taught me a lot.
Ciara: Yes, it has taught me how to be responsible, keep my priorities straight and honor my parents. Even though a lot of these things put pressure on me, they have helped me get to where I am today, and I am grateful for it.
Filipinos are some of the most hardworking, funny and amazing people I know. Call me biased, but I love everything about this culture both good and bad, and it’s a huge part of who I am. It’s helped mold and shaped me to become the person I am today, and it’s also evident in the lives of my other Filipino friends.