Filipino People – Culture, Values, and Traits

Filipino Culture

The word Filipino refers to the people and language of the Philippines. The Philippines, a vibrant Southeast Asian archipelago, is a top destination for tourists and investors seeking a blend of rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty. Its 7,641 islands provide a wonderful vacation with beautiful beaches, rich scenery, and friendly communities.

This culturally diverse nation is uniquely tied to Europe and America, a legacy visible in its historic churches, colonial architecture, and widespread use of English. Because of its vast English-speaking workforce, the Philippines is a premier outsourcing destination.

To gain a deeper understanding, we will explore the specifics of Filipino life, focusing on their culture, traits, and values.

Top Filipino Culture and Values

The Philippines’ rich culture and profound values are outstanding symbols of tradition. Despite modernity, Filipinos continue to cherish and embody these core values.

Hospitality

Hospitality is a defining trait of Filipino culture, characterized by its people's generosity and heartfelt welcome. “Bayanihan,” a concept of community spirit and cooperation, is often demonstrated through acts of hospitality, such as hosting guests and lending a helping hand to neighbors. Filipinos’ hospitable nature and readiness to extend a helping hand, regardless of their circumstances, show their sense of unity and compassion within communities.

Compassion

Filipino people are renowned for their deep compassion; known locally as "malasakit," this value inspires empathy and a proactive willingness to support those in need through either simple acts of kindness or extensive support in times of crisis. It reflects a commitment to prioritizing others and practicing selflessness.

Family Oriented

Filipinos are known for their strong family-oriented values, which represent a pillar of strength and support. Celebrations, decisions, and daily activities often revolve around family, emphasizing a collective approach to well-being and success. From extended families living together to supporting each other through thick and thin, family is a source of strength and comfort for Filipino people.

Family Oriented

Filipinos are known for their strong family-oriented values, which represent a pillar of strength and support. Celebrations, decisions, and daily activities often revolve around family, emphasizing a collective approach to well-being and success. From extended families living together to supporting each other through thick and thin, family is a source of strength and comfort for Filipinos.

The value that most Filipinos put into caring for one’s family can also be seen as one of the reasons why nurses and caregivers from the country provide their patients and clients with a high level of care.

Respect for Elders

Respect holds a fundamental place in Filipino culture and language. This is evidenced by frequently using terms such as "po" and "opo" in conversation, particularly when addressing elders or individuals of higher status. Additionally, the traditional greeting "mano po," a gesture that seeks the elder's blessing by touching the back of their hand to one's forehead, reflects this deeply rooted reverence. These practices ensure that the wisdom and experiences of older generations are honored and integrated into family and community life.

Religiousness

Spirituality is deeply embedded in Filipino culture. Although the country is predominantly Roman Catholic, it embraces other Christian denominations, Islam, and indigenous spiritual practices. Towns celebrate fiestas to honor their patron saints, reflecting the community’s devotion. Additionally, numerous national holidays are dedicated to religious observances, highlighting the importance of faith in shaping Filipino values and principles.

Top Filipino Traits and Characteristics

The Philippines’ rich culture and profound values are outstanding symbols of tradition. Despite modernity, Filipinos continue to cherish and embody these core values.

Resilience (Katatagan)

When you encounter news footage of Filipinos in disasters, you can't help but respect their determination to keep smiling despite all they've been through. No matter what challenges or downfalls they experience, they always rise back up, put on a determined face, and work their way to the top of their goals.

Perserverance (Tiyaga)

Perseverance is a praiseworthy character trait of Filipino people. Whether enduring economic hardships or striving for personal goals, Filipinos demonstrate remarkable persistence, refusing to give up on pursuing their dreams. Filipinos always find ways to do things, especially in difficult situations.

Hard Working (Masipag)

Filipinos take pride in being known as hardworking people who can work well with others, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender orientation. These values and traits are deeply rooted in Filipino culture. Despite the importance of holidays in the country, some are willing to sacrifice their day-offs for work.

Warm Hearts

Filipino people are known for their warm hospitality and genuine kindness towards others. Their open-heartedness extends to both friends and strangers, making everyone feel welcomed and valued in their presence.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Filipinos can adjust and adapt to circumstances and the surrounding environment, both physical and social. Unplanned and anticipated events are always manageable as the flexible Filipino adjusts to whatever happens. They possess a tolerance for ambiguity that enables them to remain unfazed by uncertainty or lack of information.

Great Communicators

As part of their education curriculum, Filipino people are trained to write, speak, and converse fluently in English and Filipino from primary to tertiary levels. They are trained to be great communicators from school to the workplace. The Philippines ranks with high English proficiency based on the EF English proficiency index. English is one of Filipinos' official languages, which is evident in their neutral accent when speaking.

The Deep Root of Filipino Culture, Values, and Traditions

By analyzing the history of the Philippines and the impact of foreign cultures, we can gain a deeper understanding of how Filipino values have been shaped over time.

Filipino Ancestors

It was believed that the early Filipinos came from three ethnic groups. The Negritos, Indonesians, and Malays. These groups have believed the Philippine island thousands of years ago.

Negritos are indigenous people who wandered in the forests, hunting, fishing, and gathering wild herbs and fruits. Indonesians were the first immigrants to arrive in the Philippines by sea, arriving in boats from South Asia. They are said to be more sophisticated than the Negritos. Then the Malays came and also arrived by boat. Malays are more civilized than the Indonesians, living from agriculture, fishing, mining, and trading.

Today, Filipinos are mostly influenced by a blend of Eastern and Western cultures from nations such as America, Spain, and China. This could be traced back to the Philippines’ long history of colonization.

History of the Philippines

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the Philippines was a thriving archipelago engaged in extensive trade with China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Located beside continental Asia and along the Pacific Ocean, its strategic position enabled rich interactions and communication with various cultures.

Spanish colonization began in 1521 with Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival and extended until 1898, lasting 333 years. In 1543, the islands were named “Las Islas Filipinas” in honor of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish authorities heavily emphasized Christianity during this period, leading to widespread conversion and establishing the Catholic Church as a critical institution. Spanish rule introduced new political, economic, and social systems that impacted Filipino society.

The Philippines came under American rule after Spain’s defeat in the Spanish-American War. This period was interrupted by Japanese occupation during World War II but resumed after the war. By 1946, the United States had ceded its sovereignty over the Philippines and gained independence. The first president of the independent republic was elected that year, marking the beginning of a new era in Philippine history.

How Many Languages are in the Philippines?

The Philippines is a linguistically diverse country, with over 180 languages spoken throughout the archipelago. The two official languages, Filipino and English, have distinct but complementary roles in society. Filipino is the official language, based on Tagalog, and serves as the principal medium of communication, media, and education across the country. It serves as a uniting factor in a country with diverse regional languages by incorporating features from various Philippine languages and foreign influences. The second official language is English, established under the American colonial administration. It regulates government, industry, and education, serving as a vital connection to global debate and trade.

In addition to these official languages, the Philippines is home to various regional languages and dialects that add to the country’s cultural diversity. Cebuano (Bisaya) is the most frequently spoken native language, especially in the Central Visayas and sections of Mindanao, and considerably impacts local culture and identity. Ilocano, prominent in Northern Luzon, and Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), spoken in Western Visayas, contribute substantially to linguistic variety. Indigenous languages like Kapampangan in Central Luzon and Waray in Eastern Visayas contribute to the country’s rich history. These languages and dialects are critical in sustaining local traditions and identities within the larger Filipino and English language use framework.

Religion in the Philippines

Religion in the Philippines

Religion is a significant part of the Philippine cultural and social fabric, demonstrating a mix of indigenous beliefs, historical influences, and modern behaviors. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) 2020, most Filipinos identify as Roman Catholic, accounting for around 78.8% of the population. Catholicism was introduced during the Spanish colonial period in the 16th century and remained deeply rooted in Filipino society, influencing traditions, rituals, and societal norms.

Protestant denominations collectively account for approximately 9% of the population, with various churches and evangelical groups contributing to the religious landscape. Islam, which is primarily practiced by communities in Mindanao and other regions of the southern Philippines, accounts for around 6.4% of the population, making it the biggest Muslim-majority country in Southeast Asia. Iglesia ni Cristo, a separate Christian denomination established in the Philippines in the early twentieth century, accounts for around 2.6% of the population and plays an important role in local communities.

FILIPINO FOOD

Filipino food is as unique as its place of origin, representing a beautiful mosaic of cultures and flavors. Filipino food is an entirely unique combination of flavors and one of the best cuisines to try if you want to expand your palate and excite your taste buds.

Sinigang

The 2021 Taste Atlas Awards named Sinigang the Best Soup in the World. A beloved sour soup with a tamarind base can be made with various types of meat, such as pork, beef, shrimp, or fish.

Beef Pares

Today, Filipino braised beef stew, known as "pares," dominates the street food scene as more foodies appreciate its warmth, distinct flavor, and availability. Beef Pares is made out of soft beef cooked in a sweet and flavorful soy sauce broth. It is usually served with garlic-fried rice (sinangag) and a clear broth. "Pares" is derived from the Filipino word for "pair," which refers to the pairing of beef and rice.

Sisig

Originating from Pampanga province, Sisig is a sizzling dish made from chopped pig's face and ears seasoned with calamansi (Filipino lime), onions, and chili peppers. It is usually served on a heated platter and topped with a raw egg that cooks in the residual heat.

Adobo

Arguably the national dish of the Philippines, Adobo showcases the Filipino method of marinating and stewing meat in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and spices. Its versatility and rich taste have made Adobo a Filipino family staple and a favorite among residents and foreigners.

Kare Kare

A rich and creamy stew, Kare Kare features oxtail, tripe, and vegetables stewed in a thick peanut sauce. Traditionally, the choice meat is simmered for hours to desired tenderness, along with a variety of vegetables such as banana heart, long beans, and eggplant to make a stew with ground peanuts for taste, toasted ground rice for thickening, and annatto for color.

Filipino Work Culture

Filipino work culture is characterized by a strong sense of dedication, resilience, and adaptability. Central to this culture is the value of hard work and diligence, instilled from a young age through cultural upbringing and societal expectations. Filipino people are known for their willingness to go the extra mile, often demonstrating a solid commitment to their tasks and responsibilities.

Over the last decade, the Philippines has emerged as one of the most desirable destinations for investors and businesses worldwide. One convincing argument for the country’s allure to investors is the friendliness of the Filipino people, along with a high work ethic among the Filipino workers.

Why Filipinos are the Premier Outsourcing Candidates of the World

The Philippines has long been considered the world’s leading outsourcing location and contact center hub. According to Nexford University, the Philippines’ BPO industry generates $30 billion yearly in sales, representing 10-15% of the global BPO market. There are several compelling reasons why businesses have started relocating their operations to the Philippines.

Filipino people possess a strong proficiency in the English language because of the country’s historical links with the United States and its rich educational system. Filipino workers are well-known for their adaptability and resilience, which bring a collaborative approach and a strong work ethic to their responsibilities, stressing cooperation and commitment to accomplishing company objectives. These characteristics, along with a competitive labor cost advantage, position Filipinos as excellent candidates for outsourcing across a wide range of industries, contributing considerably to the country’s worldwide outsourcing market dominance.

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About The Remote Group

The Remote Group is a leading provider of customized offshore staffing solutions to businesses worldwide. Their services focus on solving talent and skills shortages, scalability, cost savings, and streamlining processes that help increase business productivity while diminishing inefficiencies.

2 thoughts on “Filipino People – Culture, Values, and Traits”

    1. Hi Kath,

      The owner of that article is credited to Kier Anthony Dela Rosa, but the link needs to be directed to our blog article that you referenced.

      Thank you.

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