Filipino Culture (A)

National Symbols of the Philippines

Sampaguita
Sampaguita

National Animal: Carabao (Water Buffalo) - The carabao is an Asiatic water buffalo and it is used as a beast of burden.

 

National Anthem: Lupang Hinirang - This is the title of the national anthem of the Philippines and it is an anthem that is played with a "marching tune."

 

National Bird: Philippine Eagle - It is a rare and critically endangered bird and it is found only in a few places in the Philippines. It became a national symbol in 1995, replacing the maya as the national bird.

 

National Dance: Tinikling - Labeled as "bamboo dance" in the English language, this traditional form of Philippine dance is characterized mainly by the skillful walking and hopping of dancers between and over long bamboo poles which are manipulated by two or four men. Traditional music accompanies the dance. Tinikling is often performed during special occasions or cultural events.

Ripe Mangoes
Ripe Mangoes

National Dress for Men: Barong Tagalog - This traditional type of dress for men is made from pina or ramie or similar fabric. In the past, it is often used as formal attire but, nowadays, the short-sleeve version of the barong serves as semi-formal attire.

 

National Dress for Women: Baro't Saya - This is a beautiful formal gown worn by Filipino women during special occasions or official functions. The gown symbolizes all that is good about the femininity of Filipino women.

 

National Fish: Bangus (Milkfish) - The "bangus" is a favorite food of the Filipinos. Filipinos have learned to cook the "bangus" in a variety of ways. It can be fried, stewed, steamed or grilled. "Pritong bangus" (fried milkfish), "sinigang na bangus" (milkfish stew) and "inihaw na bangus" (grilled milkfish) are some main dishes in which the main ingredient is the "bangus."

Narra Tree
Narra Tree

National Flower: Sampaguita - The sampaguita is a small, white flower which is very fragrant. It is this fragrance that makes this flower quite popular. Sampaguita flowers are used in making garlands and these garlands are often hanged around the necks of the guests.

 

National Food: Lechon or Litson (Roasted Pig) - This food is served during special occasions (birthdays, weddings, fiesta). It is cooked by roasting a pig whole in charcoal. The way it is roasted and the sauce of the lechon determine how good the food is.

 

National Fruit: Mango - This tropical fruit has an aromatic smell, a yellow color and a sweet and very delicious taste when ripe. It is not uncommon for Filipinos to eat this fruit as a main dish (ulam). When the mango is not yet ripe, it has a green color. This type of mango is often served as a side dish.

 

National Hero: Jose Rizal - He is considered by many Filipinos as the foremost national hero of the Philippines. He is a Filipino hero who is also honored in other countries like Spain, China and the United States of America.

 

National House: Nipa Hut - This traditional type of house can still be seen in many parts of the country. It is a simple house made from wood that is available in the community and it has a thatched roof.

 

National Tree: Narra - It is a sturdy tree and its wood, which is quite expensive, is often used in home construction and furniture.

 

National Sports or Game: Sipa (Ballgame) - This traditional ballgame is played by opposing players who kick a ball the size of a tennis ball over a net that is located in the middle of the playing field. It is rarely played by Filipinos nowadays.

 

 

Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces
Banaue Rice Terraces

     Before it became a world heritage site, the Banaue rice terraces (as a whole) was already a very famous tourist spot of the Philippines, and Filipinos considered it (and still think of it) as the "eighth wonder of the world." In her book entitled, "The Philippines: A Unique Nation," Sonia and Gregorio Zaide wrote: "In beauty and symmetry of design and in durability and massiveness of construction, these rice terraces can favorably match any engineering masterpiece in the world. Foreign travelers who have seen the Rice Terraces of Banaue marvel how the ancient ancestors of the Ifugaos, untrained in engineering science and using only their crude iron tools and bare hands, could have carved such wondrous irrigated paddies, on the steep and rocky mountain slopes." (1999)

 

 

Three Philippine Flowers

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

Philippine Flower: The Bougainvillea

 

1. Its scientific name is bougainvillea spectabilis.

 

2. It is a thorny, woody shrub found in tropical regions.

 

3. It is a popular ornamental garden plant. It requires little watering, grows fast under the sun, blooms for the most part of the year and tends to be pest-resistant.

 

4. The flowers are very small and white in color, and they are surrounded by paper-thin, brightly colored bracts which may be red, orange, purple or white in color.

 

5. When in full bloom, bougainvillea plants are very attractive and provide a spectacular display of nature's wonder.

Hibiscus
Hibiscus

 

Philippine Flower: The Gumamela

 

1. Its English name is hibiscus and its scientific name is rosa sinensis.

 

2. It is a plant which belongs to the Malvaceae family and this family of plants has an estimated 250 species of herbs, shrubs and trees.

 

3. It is an erect, smooth shrub with ovate leaves. It is native to tropical regions and it is found throughout the Philippines. It can grow to a height of 4 meters.

 

4. It is a popular garden plant which requires regular watering.

 

5. It produces large, showy flowers and this is the reason why it is quite popular. Hibiscus is cultivated for its flowers which may be red, yellow, white, pink or orange in color.

Sampaguita
Sampaguita

 

Philippine Flower: The Sampaguita

 

1. Its scientific name is Jasminum sambac and it is also known as the Arabian jasmine.

 

2. It is a plant which belongs to the Oleaceae family and this family of plants contains approximately 300 species of tropical and subtropical plants and shrubs which produce fragrant flowers. It is found throughout the Philippines.

 

3. It is a shrub which can grow to a height of 5 feet. It produces small flowers all year round. The flowers are white in color. They are shaped like stars and they produce highly fragrant scent for which the plant is known. It is for this reason, too, why the sampaguita is cultivated. The flowers are strung into garlands or corsages which are used --- often during official functions or important occasions ---- to welcome guests.

 

4. The sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines and it symbolizes purity, simplicity and strength of character.

>>>>> PREVIOUS: Philippine Heroes and Heroines - B

>>>>> NEXT: Filipino Culture - B

>>>>> More Information Below

 

Filipino Culture on Philippine Stamps

1948: Sampaguita Stamp
1948: Sampaguita Stamp

1854: Queen Isabela II - Set of 4 stamps (Denomination and Image: 5c, 10c, 1r and 2r ----- <Queen Isabela II>) (Note: The 10c stamp is believed to have never been issued.)

 

1906, September 8: Jose Rizal - 10 stamps from a set of 14 stamps (Denomination and Image: 2c, 4c, 6c, 8c, 10c, 12c, 16c, 20c, 26c and 30c ----- <Portrait of Jose Rizal>)

 

1932, May 3: Carabao - 1 stamp from a set of 7 stamps showing various places in the Philippines (Denomination and Image: 20c and carabao as beast of burden)

 

1932, May 3: Banaue Rice Terraces - 1 stamp from a set of 7 stamps showing various places in the Philippines (Denomination and Image: 24c and rice terraces)

 

1934, April 14: Basketball - 1 stamp from a set of 3 stamps issued to publicize the 10th Far Eastern Championship Games (Denomination and Image: 16c and two basketball players going for the ball)

 

1936, November 15: President Manuel L. Quezon - Set of 3 stamps commemorating the first anniversary of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (Denomination and Image: 2c, 6c and 12c ----- <portrait of Manuel Quezon between two standing women>)

 

1947, December 22: Bureau of Post, Lawton, Manila - Set of 1 special delivery stamp (Denomination and Image: 20c, and post office worker riding on a bicycle and Manila Central Post Office serving as background)

 

1948, December 8: Sampaguita, National Flower - Set of 1 stamp (Denomination and Image: 3 centavos and sampaguita flowers)

1952: Milkfish Satmp
1952: Milkfish Satmp

1952, October 23: Milkfish - Set of 2 stamps issued to publicize the fourth Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council meeting (Denomination and Image: 5c and 6c ----- <milkfish and map>)

 

1957, October 23: Juan Luna - Set of 1 stamp issued to commemorate the birth centenary of Juan Luna (Denomination and Image: 5c and Juan Luna's "Spolarium")

 

1959, September 8 (1960, March): Old Congress Building, Manila (Now: National Museum Of The Philippines) - Set of 2 stamps commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization or SEATO (Denomination and Image: 6c and 25c ----- <Old Congress Building>)

 

1962, March 9: Waling-waling (Orchid) - 2 stamps from a set of 1 se-tenant block of 4 perforated stamps and 1 imperforate block of 4 stamps (Denomination and Image: <Perforate and Imperforate Stamps> - 5c x 2 <Waling-waling>)

 

1963, November 30: Andres Bonifacio - Set of 3 stamps commemorating Bonifacio's birth centenary (Denomination and Image: 5s, 6s and 25s ----- <Katipunan flag and Andres Bonifacio the revolutionary>)

 

1967, April 9 (May 15): Battle of Bataan, 25th Anniversary - Set of 3 stamps (Denomination and Image: 5s, 20s and P2.00 ----- <"Succor" by Fernando Amorsolo>)

1972: Rizal Monument Stamp
1972: Rizal Monument Stamp

1968, November 22: Philippine Musical Instruments - Set of 4 stamps (Denomination and Image: 10s <kudyapi>, 20s <ludag>, 30s <kulintangan> and 50s <subing>)

 

1969, November 4: Cultural Center of the Philippines - Set of 2 stamps (Denomination and Image: 10s and 30s ----- <building and ground of the Cultural Center of the Philippines>)

 

1969, November 30: Melchora Aquino - Set of 3 stamps commemorating the 50th death anniversary of Melchora "Tandang Sora" Aquino (Denomination and Image: 10s,

                                                                        20s   and 30s ----- <Portrait of Melchora Aquino>)

 

1970, November 12 - 1971, May 3: Tourist Spots (Tourist Publicity Series I, II, III and IV) - 4 sets of 4 stamps each showing various tourist spots of the Philippines (Denomination and Image: ( I ) 10s <Hundred Islands, Pangasinan>, 20s <Pasonanca park, Zamboanga city>, 30s <Negros Island> and P2.00 <Miagao Church, Iloilo> / ( II ) 10s <Nayong Pilipino, Metro Manila>, 20s <Estancia, Iloilo>, 30s <Pagsanjan falls, Laguna> and P5.00 <Punta Cruz and Chocolate hills, Bohol> / ( III ) 10s <cultured pearl farm, Davao>, 20s <Davao>, 40s <Zamboanga del Sur> and P1.00 <Ifugao woman and Banaue rice terraces> / ( IV ) 10s <Zamboanga city>, 30s <Cross of Magellan, Cebu city>, 50s <Calamba, Laguna> and 70s <Mount Mayon> / Date of Issue: ( I ) - November 12; ( II ) - February 15; ( III ) - April 19; ( IV ) - May 3)

  

1972, May 31: Rizal Monument, Rizal Park ("Visit ASEAN Lands" Campaign) - Set of 3 stamps (Denomination and Image: 5s, 50s and 60s ----- <Rizal monument at Rizal park, Manila>)

  

1972, June 12: Evolution of the Philippine Flag - Set of 10 stamps (Denomination and Image: 30s x 10 and the historical development of the Philippine flag)

  

1978, July 10: Andres Bonifacio Monument - Set of 1 stamp showing an iconic structure in Metro Manila (Denomination and Image: 30s and Andres Bonifacio monument in "Monumento," Kalookan City)

  

1979, June 11: Dona Aurora (Mussaenda) - 1 stamp from a set of 6 stamps (Denomination and Image: P2.30 and Dona Aurora)

  

1983, February 18: Beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz - Set of 2 stamps (Denomination and Image: 40s and P1.20 ----- <Lorenzo Ruiz>)

 

1985, September 26: Banaue Rice Terraces - 1 stamp from a single-stamp set on the 10th anniversary of the World Tourism Organization (Denomination and Image: P2.40 and Ifugao woman and rice terraces)

 

1991, April 1: Gumamela - Se-tenant block of 4 stamps from a set of 3 stamps, 1 se-tenant block of 4 stamps and 1 se-tenant block of 4 stamps (set of 11 stamps) (Denomination and Image: P5.50 x 4 and gumamela)

 

1995, August 11: Philippine Eagle, The New Philippine National Bird - Set of 1 souvenir sheet (Denomination and Image: P16.00 and Philippine eagle)

 

1996, December 1: Carabao (New Year Greeting Stamps; "1997 Year Of The Ox") - 3 stamps from a set of 2 Stamps, 1 perforate souvenir sheet of 2 stamps and 1 imperforate souvenir sheet of 2 stamps (Denomination and Image: P4.00 stamp <carabao>, P4.00 stamp of perforate souvenir sheet <carabao> and P4.00 stamp of imperforate souvenir sheet <carabao>)

 

1996, December 30: Rizal Martyrdom Centennial- Set of 1 stamp (Denomination and Image: P4.00 and Jose Rizal's execution in Bagumbayan field)

 

1998, June 9: Melchora Aquino - 1 stamp from a set of 3 stamps in se-tenant form commemorating the Philippine Independence Centennial (Denomination and Image: P1.00 and Melchora Aquino)

 

1999, September 3: National Anthem Centennial - Set of 1 stamp (Denomination and Image: P5.00, and national anthem, Julian Felipe and Jose Palma)

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Legend

(Spanish Period) c - cuarto(s) / r - real ///// (US Administration Period to Philippine Republic Period) P - Philippine peso (pesos) / c - centavo (centavos) / s - sentimo (sentimos) / x - multiply by (times)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

National Public Holidays

Pacific War Memorial, Corregidor, Bataan
Pacific War Memorial, Corregidor, Bataan

January 1: Bagong Taon - New Year's Day: This holiday is celebrated with an abundance of food, gift-giving and merry-making to welcome the new year. Usually, family members gather together for the occasion. Sometimes, friends and colleagues are invited. Special foods are prepared and Filipinos feast on these. Children receive gifts from their parents, relatives and friends.

 

March or April for at least 4 Days: Panahon ng Kuwaresma (Quaresma) - Lenten Season: This holiday is a commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The Philippines is a pre-dominantly Christian nation and Filipinos observe Christian religious practices such as going on a retreat, attending mass or worship service or undergoing personal reflection or meditation. Filipinos also use this long holiday as a time to relax at home and be with the family, to attend to personal things often forgotten during regular working or school days or to go on vacation.

 

April 9: Araw ng Bataan - Bataan Day: This holiday serves to honor Filipinos and American soldiers who fought and died defending the Philippines against the Japanese invaders during World War II. The ideal for which Bataan stands for is forever enshrined in the hearts of Filipinos.

 

May 1: Araw ng Manggagawa - Labor Day: This holiday honors the Filipino workers.

All Saints Day and All Souls Day
All Saints Day and All Souls Day

June 12: Araw ng Kalayaan - Independence Day: This holiday is a commemoration of the first declaration of Philippine independence from a foreign colonial ruler. During this day, the nation honors the heroes and heroines of the Philippine republic. Official functions are carried out in such places as the Andres Bonifacio monument in Kalookan City, Jose Rizal monument in Rizal park and Kawit, Cavite.

 

Last Sunday of August: Araw ng mga Bayani - National Heroes Day: This holiday is dedicated to the heroes and heroines of the Philippine republic.

 

November 1: Araw ng mga Patay - All Saints Day: This holiday is a time to remember the loved ones who have passed away by visiting their cemeteries, by praying for their souls or by simply recalling --- with fondness --- the times when they were still alive. The commemoration of All Saints Day goes with the commemoration of All Souls Day which makes for a good break from work. Hundreds of thousands or even millions of people of Metro Manila leave the metropolis to go to their provinces just to visit the cemeteries of their loved ones.

 

November 2: Araw ng mga Kaluluwa - All Souls Day: This holiday serves to honor the loved ones who have passed away.

Andres Bonifacio Monument
Andres Bonifacio Monument

November 30: Araw ni Bonifacio - Bonifacio Day: This holiday is the birthday of Andres Bonifacio --- the founder of the revolutionary society known as the Katipunan. A good number of monuments have been erected to honor Bonifacio and the most famous is the Andres Bonifacio monument in Kalookan.

 

December 24: Disperas ng Pasko - Christmas Eve: This holiday is a commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Filipinos celebrate this day by preparing special foods at home. These foods are served throughout the day whenever friends, relatives or colleagues come to visit them. The climax of this event occurs on the eve of Christmas when a special meal called "noche buena" is prepared. During "noche buena," family members enjoy all the special foods that have been prepared. The all-day celebration is punctuated by gift-giving and merry-making, and it continues until the early hours of Christmas day, which is the reason for the celebration.


Jose Rizal's Martyrdom at Rizal Park
Jose Rizal's Martyrdom at Rizal Park

December 25: Pasko - Christmas: This holiday is in honor of Jesus Christ. Christian tradition has it that December 25 is the birthday of Jesus Christ. Since the Philippines is a pre-dominantly Christian country, Filipinos celebrate this day with so much food and gift-giving. For Filipinos, Christmas day is the "main event" of the holiday season, which lasts for three weeks.

 

December 30: Araw ni Rizal - Rizal Day: This holiday is a commemoration of the martyrdom of Jose Rizal in 1896. An iconic structure stands on the site where Rizal was executed. This is the Rizal monument at Rizal park in Manila, which is a popular tourist attraction.

 

December 31: Disperas ng Bagong Taon - New Year's Eve: This holiday is celebrated --- with much hope and fanfare --- to welcome the coming of the new year. In the past, Filipinos welcomed the new year with a bang by using firecrackers to create loud noises. (This is a Chinese tradition which the Filipinos have assimilated.) However, the use of firecrackers by individual Filipino during new year's eve has been discouraged because, in the past, it had caused the destruction of properties, injuries to thousands of revelers and even death to a number of individuals.

 

 

National Celebrations and Commemorations

All Saints Day and All Souls Day
All Saints Day and All Souls Day

March or April for four days at least: Lenten Season: This holiday is a commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. During this season, Filipinos observe Christian religious practices such as going on a retreat, attending mass or worship services or undergoing personal reflection. A great number of Filipinos use this period to go on a holiday vacation. They go to resorts and nice beaches, which are quite easy to find in the Philippines. A greater number of Filipinos take this opportunity "to go back to the provinces" and to return to their hometowns. The vast majority take this time to be with their families and to do the things they cannot do during the entire year.

 

Throughout May: Flores de Mayo: This is a celebration which takes the form of a pageant-parade and it gives honor to the town's beautiful ladies who symbolize all that is good and feminine. These ladies are accompanied by male escorts during the parade.

 

June 12: Independence Day: The nation celebrates the day when it first declared its independence from foreign colonial rule. Various activities that serve to honor the country's heroes and heroines are carried out throughout the Philippine archipelago. The most notable of these activities are the flag-raising ceremonies held in landmark places like the Andres Bonifacio monument in Kalookan, Jose Rizal monument in Rizal park and Kawit, Cavite.

 

August 13-19: Linggo ng Wika - National Language Week: This is a week-long celebration of the Filipino language in schools throughout the country.

 

November 1 and 2: All Saints Day and All Souls Day: The nation remembers their departed loved ones by visiting their cemeteries, by praying for their souls or by simply recalling --- with fondness --- the time when their departed loved ones were still alive. Just before All Saints Day, many Filipinos spend a lot of time cleaning the tombs of their loved ones. From October 31 to November 2, cemeteries virtually turn into camping grounds since the family members of the departed would stay in the cemeteries for the whole day or the whole night.

Christmas
Christmas

November 30: Bonifacio Day: The nation honors Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the revolutionary society called Katipunan that led the uprising against the Spanish colonial rulers.

 

December 24-25: Christmas: This holiday season serves to honor Jesus Christ and it is celebrated with so much food and gift-giving by Filipino families and their relatives, friends and associates.

 

December 30: Rizal Day: The nation honors Jose Rizal, 

                                                                             the national hero of the Philippines

 

December 31 - January 1: New Year Celebration: This holiday period is celebrated with an abundance of food, gift-giving and merry-making to welcome the new year. Family members, relatives, friends and associates gather together.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Photo Credit

Banaue Rice Terraces - Public Domain Photo, Courtesy of “agricmarketing” via Wikipedia

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Links to Philippines Part II Pages

Help

 

Viewing the Site

 

For BEST VIEWING, use  "zoom 100% or 110%"  for computers, and use cellphones in horizontal position.

 Thank You

 

Ms. Riza Moises

Ptr. Rene Moises

Zita Moises

Jimdo.com

 

Melissa Lim

Violet Westphal

Jojo de Jesus

     And My Little Angel, Gabby

Philippine Events

in Pictures

Christmas Season

Summer Philippines