Information about the Filipino

Filipino is a term that originally referred to the Spanish population who were born and settled in the Philippines. During the nationalization movements of the late 19th century and after the revolt and independence from Spain in 1898, it came to refer to the general population.

The Filipinos or the Filipino people are the native inhabitants and citizens of the Republic of the Philippines located in Southeast Asia. The term Filipino (feminine: Filipina) may also refer to people of Philippine descent.

Colloquially, Filipinos may refer to themselves as Pinoy (feminine: Pinay).


American anthropologist H. Otley Beyer was the first to propose that Malays who came from Malaysia populated the Philippines in a handful of waves of migration. However, according to contemporary research by anthropologists, linguists (Blust, Reid, Ross, Pawley), and archaeologists (Bellwood), the vast majority of Filipinos are descended from Austronesian-speaking migrants, which are said to have arrived in what is now the Philippines from southern China via Taiwan thousands of years ago. There are also various Negrito groups whose ancestors pre-date the Austronesian-speaking migrants, and are believed to have migrated milenia earlier.

The Philippines, prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1521, was not ruled or united as a single nation. Instead, the inhabitants were divided into separate tribes, or nations, usually based on their respective ethnolinguistic groups.

By the mid-to-late 16th century, the archipelago was refered to as Filipinas (Philippines) by the Spaniards in honor of King Philip II of Spain. During the 333 years of Spanish rule, the term Filipino refered to Spaniards who were born in the archipelago. Indigenous Filipinos were usually referred to as "indios." The same misnomer was earlier applied by the Spaniards to the natives of the Americas believing they had reached India, though by this time "indio" had become synonymous with "indigenous", and was used on other native inhabitants outside of the Americas encountered by the Spanish.

Following the revolution, Spanish-American War in 1898, and the Philippine-American War, the native indios were left searching for a national identity. The native revolutionaries then called themselves Filipinos, taking ownership of the term that had earlier been utilised by the Philippine-born Spaniards. General Emilio Aguinaldo was among the first to apply "Filipino" as the national designation for the indigenous inhabitants of the Philippines, as well as all other persons born in the country. This act was intended to help unite the population and establish nationalism in the 1900's against the U.S. presence and occupation of the islands. The term indio, however, was still being used well into the mid part of the 20th century, as evidenced by Roman Catholic baptismal records.

Culture and religion

Filipino culture is primarly based on the cultures of the various native groups, though highly mixed with Spanish and Mexican culture traditions. Hispanic elements have had the great influence in Philippine culture. It is most notable in the Roman Catholicism of the country which was introduced by Spanish missionaries. Some 83% of the population is Roman Catholic.

There are many celebrations which derived from both Catholic and native influences. Some annual celebrations include the Peñafrancia festival in the Bicol region, the Sinulog, Ati-Atihan and the Black Nazareth. Residents of the villages of Guadalupe Viejo and Guadalupe Nuevo in Makati City celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe.

A significant minority of Filipinos concentrated in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago are adherents of Islam, which (5%) of the population practise. .

Filipinos of Spanish descent and Spanish-mestizos

Spanish-mestizos, Filipino of mixed native and Spanish or Mexican ancestry, number less than 1.5% of the total population. There are also several thousand unmixed Spanish, Mexican and other Hispanic expatriate communities living in the country, though these total less than 0.05%. These specific minority groups can be found throughout the country, particularly in the province and cities of Cebu, Zamboanga and Manila.

Most Filipinos living in the northern and central parts of the Philippines are largely descended from mixed ancestries resulting from inter-marriages among the various ethnic groups in the country including the Spanish and the Chinese, who preceded the former in arrival in the country. Physical features and the languages of those living in the north and in the central regions manifest their differences from those Filipinos living in the south and southwestern parts of the country in the island of Mindanao, which are heavily populated by adherents of Islam and by people who possess more similarities with people of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Native Language

According to Ethnologue, there are more than 170 languages spoken in the country. The most-widely spoken of which is Tagalog. It is taught in schools throughout the country under the name Filipino.

Other languages spoken are Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiliyganon, Waray, Tausug and Chabacano


Filipinos in North America

As part of the Spanish empire, Filipinos crewed ships sailing between the far-flung New World possessions of the Spanish Habsburgs and their Bourbon successors, including California, Florida, and Louisiana.

Filipinos have been immigrating to the United States since the early 1900's. In 1903, pensionados arrived in the Philippines to study in colleges and universites. Starting in 1906, Filipinos came to Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Washington to work on sugarcane plantations, farms, lumber, and salmon canneries.

Filipino immigration dramatically increased after Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965.

The US Military also played a significant role in bringing Filipinos to the United States. Filipinos were able to enlist into either the United States Navy at Subic Bay Naval Base and the United States Air Force at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Additionally, many American soldiers married Filipinos and brought them to the United States.

  • Peter Bellwood (July 1991). "The Austronesian Dispersal and the Origin of Languages". Scientific American 265:88-93.
  • Bellwood, Peter; Fox, James; & Tryon, Darrell (1995). The Austronesians: Historical and comparative perspectives. Department of Anthropology, Australian National University. ISBN 0-7315-2132-3.
  • Peter Bellwood (1998). "Taiwan and the Prehistory of the Austronesians-speaking Peoples". Review of Archaeology 18:39–48.
  • Peter Bellwood & Alicia Sanchez-Mazas (June 2005). "Human Migrations in Continental East Asia and Taiwan: Genetic, Linguistic, and Archaeological Evidence". Current Anthropology 46:3:480-485.
  • David Blundell (). "Austronesian Disperal". Newsletter of Chinese Ethnology 35:1-26.
  • Robert Blust (1985). "The Austronesian Homeland: A Linguistic Perspective". Asian Perspectives 20:46-67.
  • Peter Fuller (2002). "Asia Pacific Research." Reading the Full Picture. Canberra, Australia: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. Accessed on July 28, 2005.
  • "Homepage of linguist Dr. Lawrence Reid." Accessed July 28, 2005.
  • Malcolm Ross & Andrew Pawley (1993). "Austronesian historical linguistics and culture history". Annual Review of Anthropology 22:425-459.
  • John Edward Terrell (Dec. 2004). "Introduction: 'Austronesia' and the great Austronesian migration". World Archaeology 36:4:586-591.

The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

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