The Parallels of Filipino Culture and The World
The Georgetown community is so diverse that not one culture stands out alone. Filled with students, faculty, and staff from different backgrounds and ethnicities, you do not only get the best of both worlds – but the best of all worlds. However, if you want to explore the rendezvous spot where all these worlds meet, then you’ve come to the right place: The Philippines! I know, it might sound anticlimactic; but trust me because we are everywhere!
Filipinos are spread across 100 countries and have experienced different societies and cultures. Because of this, you’ve probably interacted with a Filipino – even better, you probably already have a Filipino friend! With all the ways of life that have existed within our country, embodied by each citizen, and have spread all over the world, it’s an understatement to say that we’re just a community with many influences; we too can influence other cultures. Now, let me tell you how a few aspects of Philippine culture are similar to so many other cultures of the world.
Wait, We Eat the Same Food?
If you’re from Latin America, you might have heard of the good ol’ adobo. A classic Filipino viand, this dish does not find its origins in our land – it was brought to us by the Spaniards. Now, this dish is not only exclusive to us as it can also be seen on other dining tables in China, the United States, Japan, and South Korea, with just a little variation. Soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, and bay leaves… it doesn’t matter! As long as it tastes good, adobo is food on a plate that unites us all!
Christmas and Winter, What’s the Difference?
Filipinos are known for being very religious – that is, we begin to celebrate Christmas as early as September. This is evident because, from this point, Christmas trees and lanterns begin to show up in households and public places, and Christmas songs are blasted everywhere. This is rooted in our idea that once a month with the suffix -ber hits our calendars, it is officially Christmas time! In parallel, because ber sounds like brr, our Christmas is everybody else’s wintertime. Who would’ve thought that a silly time frame, despite us having different beliefs, can give us something in common?
“You’re a Filipino – You Must Sing So Well!”
Believe it or not, this is one of the most interesting and repetitive phrases I’ve heard being said to myself and other Filipinos. But I can’t blame them! International talent shows and singing competitions all have at least one Filipino in there who belts like there’s no tomorrow. However, we give credit where credit is due. Our Filipino music is influenced by many cultures and traditions as well: Spanish, Austronesian, Indo-Malayan, African, Chinese, and even Arabian. So, you see, not all Filipinos may sing so well, but we truly enjoy our OPM (Original Pilipino Music), and you’d be surprised how many of our modern songs originated from different beats of cultures.
We can spend the whole day discussing more comparisons with other countries in every aspect of our traditions. This just proves how interconnected people are and sometimes, it’s barely noticeable at all – but that won’t be a problem. The important thing is we recognize that we are all a little part of something bigger which helps us appreciate and understand our global influences. Whether it's food, traditional practices, or talents, Filipino culture is everywhere.