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Histories, Traditions, and the Diaspora Educate yourself, and each other, about Asian histories, traditions, and the diaspora.

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Old 01-13-2006, 07:44 PM
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A Brief Filipino History

Philippine history has often been described as an amalgam of regional developments and outside influences. Excavations in archeological sites have proven that during prehistoric times, the native Negritos came in contact with Malays and Indonesians who left their ancestral home in Southeast Asia by crossing the seas in their sailboats (balangay), and settled the Philippine archipelago. Inter-racial marriages took place among them and out of these racial mixtures emerged the Filipino people.

The early Filipino Malay ancestors brought with them their culture--food and drinks, community life, government and laws, language and literature, religion, customs and traditions and arts and sciences. They left their cultures to their descendants, as the Filipino Malayan inheritance.

In the course of the centuries, long before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines in the 16th century; the native Filipinos came in contact (by commerce) with Hindus from India, the Chinese and the Arabs whose civilizations were much older and more advanced than those of Spain and other Western countries. As a result of these early contacts with these great Asian people, the Filipino native culture and way of life (Malayan Heritage) were enriched.

The cultural influences of both India and Arabia came indirectly to Philippine shores through Malaysia, while the Chinese cultural influence came direct from China.

In subsequent years, the Filipinos intermarried, not only with the Indians, Chinese and Arabians, but also with the Spaniards, the Americans, the Japanese, the British, the French, the Germans, and other peoples of the world. Today, it may be said that the bloods of the East and the West meet and blend in Filipino veins.

After 333 years of Spanish rule, the Americans conquered the country and like Spain, America imposed her culture upon the people. During four decades of U.S. rule (1898-1935), the people acquired the American heritage which included democracy, popular education, the English language and Protestant Christianity.

Beneath the veneer of Hispanic, Mexican and American heritage, the people, in heart and in spirit, are Asians. they are Asian in race and in geography with an indestructible Asian heritage.

The warmth and natural hospitality of the nation's 66,000,000 Filipinos today, is known throughout the world. The 11 cultural, linguistic and racial groups endow the Filipino people with varying customs and traditions. In spite of their diversity, Filipinos have basically two dominant traits: a love of family and a strong religious faith.


Filipinos came from a mixture of Asian, European, and American peoples--the Negritos, Indonesians, Malays, Chinese, Indians, Arabs and other Asians; The Spaniards, British and other Europeans; the Mexicans and Americans of South and North America.

According to Dr. H. Otley Beyer, noted American anthropologist, the racial ancestry of Filipinos is as follows: Malaysian - 40%; Indonesian - 30%; Chinese - 10%, Indian (Hindu) - 5%, Others (Hispanic, American and European)- 15%
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