Now this is a little intriguing, “Five things I love about my culture“. Hmmm.. What is a culture anyway? According to the pioneer English Anthropologist Edward B. Tylor, culture is the full range of learned human behavior patterns. Additionally he said that, culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” It is constantly changing and easily lost because it exists only in our minds. Our written languages, governments, buildings, and other man-made things are merely the products of culture. They are not culture in themselves.
Every country has its own culture (Of course, yeah). Our country, because of the series of occupation in the history and settlers’ influences from our neighbor nations, is a blend of a many diverse traditional Malay heritage mixed with Hispanic influences, American and Asian cultures. 90% of the population in the Philippines are Christian. About 5% are Muslims and the rest are practicing other religion or doesn’t care.
Enough with the statistics and history lessons. Let’s go back to the very query that begins this train of thought. Five things that I love about my culture. Let’s see what I can give 🙂
– I love balot, lechon, tinola, binakol, batchoy, talaba (oysters), bibingka, puto bong bong etc. I love eating. Who doesn’t? We really do enjoy eating. We can use spoon and fork or chopsticks but we sometimes prefer using our hands. It’s a little informal but that’s probably why we enjoy it. (Using only hands while eating Batchoy is a no – no. Thought that I might mislead you there from the way I say it 😛 Hehehe)
* Philippine Traditional Games
– I’m a little proud that I experienced playing these games when I was a kid because today, you seldom see kids playing traditional games like: Patintero, Tumba Preso, Taguan, Luksong Tinik, Sipa, Langit-Lupa, Teks etc. Nowadays, Kids are introduced to social network and computer games as early as 7 years old ( maybe a little more younger ). You usually see them at the computer shops updating their statuses to facebook or playing online games. Actually when I was a kid, I learned a lot from my playmates. I learned how I was produced into this world (Now, kids can actually see the manner over the net), religion ( I have friends who are Baptist and Born-Again, and they’re not the same according to them ), to be competitive yet not being a cutthroat (In other words, sportsmanship. You can’t join them again if you’re a cheater or “pikon”, you know?) and to look out for a friend (now in some companies, It’s called team building)
* Close Family Ties
– When there are any events happening like Birthday, Anniversary or Funeral. We get together as a clan with all the relatives. From my immediate family to the third cousin of my grandmother, or maybe more distant than that, are all invited. In our family, if you fail to recognize your lolas (I’m talking about cousins of your grandmother whom you might last meet when you were in grade school), you will be scolded or ridiculed. So I let myself be ready under these circumstances. From a distance in a gathering, when I spot an unfamiliar old faces together with my parents, I usually avoid the confrontation when that situation arise. Hehehe.. But you know, you can’t really avoid all of them, all the time, so I still get a piece of that. Aside from that, concerns for the extended family is seen in the patronage provided to family members when they seek employment. The “lolas” or “lolos” usually are the one to urge anyone with a higher position in a company to offer a job to the relative/s.
– I’m an Ilonggo and Hiligaynon is our language. It may sound biased, but even I used google translate to listen to other language. Hiligaynon, I think, still has the most romantic intonations when saying ” I love you “. Besides that, we speak curses and insults sometimes not necessarily because we have an evil intention. There are times when we just simply talking and doesn’t intend to give any profanity intentionally.
“Palangga ta ka. Amo na ang kamatuoran. Bal-an ko nga imposible ibalik mo sa akon ang higugma nga gna hatag ko sa imo. Kung gusto mo ko kalimtan na lang, pagabatunon ko ang imo desisyon.”
English: “I love you, that’s the truth. I know it’s impossible for you to love me too. If you ever want to forget me, I’ll respect your decision.”
“Dipuga, Ma. Nalipatan nila mag sarado pertahan. Nakagwa na naman ang mga latsing ilik nga mga ido.”
English: “*** of a ****, Mom. They forgotten to close the door. The dogs have been (don’t know the translation :D) set loose again.”
( when speaking profanity, we, sometimes, can’t get rid of that intonation. Sometimes, the Tagalog people can’t distinguish whether Ilonggos having a heated discussion or just talking.)
* Concept of Shame
Hiya is shame. It’s a motivating factor behind behavior. It is a sense of social propriety. We believe we must live up to the accepted standards/expectations of behavior of the society. If we fail to do so, we feel like we bring shame not only upon ourselves, but also upon our family. One sign of this might be a willingness to spend more than they can afford on a party than be shamed by our economic circumstances.
Well, I guess we’re on the conclusion. That’s the top 5 I love about my culture and there are so much more. I can also give you my top list of cultures we have that I hate but maybe share it to you some other time. I hope I helped you out on understanding our culture and aid you a little if you ever come to visit us. Oh before I end this post. Let me add one more thing. We love foreigners. We’re extra hospitable on people with prominent foreign features. There are times I find it nice but sometimes, kind of, disagreeable. Whatever’s the case, we are shiny happy people.
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