The Philippines, Its Culture, Religion and Society

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The Philippines is called the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” and it was founded in the Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia. The Philippines is rich in nature which contains 7,107 islands which are also called the Philippines Archipelago. The land area is approx. 300,000 square kilometers and the capital is Manila. The country was named by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos “Las Islas Filipinas” after King Philip II of Spain during his failed expedition in 1543. The country is known for its natural beauty where tourist come to visit often. Philippines has plenty of attractive destinations, making the country as top travel destination.

Relevant history

The Philippines was conquered by Spain in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan. Even though Magellan is a Portuguese explorer, he still conquered the Philippines in the name of Spain. Magellan named the islands after King Philip II. After that, the name then changed to Las Filipinas. By the 1830’s the Spanish culture had been penetrated into Filipino culture so much, that even the Filipino people began thinking about liberation from Spain. The gov’t of Spain developed Filipino agriculture to the point that it was self-sufficient.

Geographical Setting Writing Guide


The Philippines is called an archipelago because it’s made up of 7,107 islands. The islands are located off Southeast Asia, between the south, China Sea on the west and the Philippines Sea on the east. The major island of the Philippines is called Luzon and it’s the northern most island, the second most populous island is called Visayan Islands located in the middle, and third most populous island is called Mindanao located in the South. The total area of the Philippines is about 300,000 square kilometers, including 298,000 square km of land and 2,000 square km of water. The Philippines stretches about 1,850 km from Yami Island in the north to the Sibutu Island. The Philippines has no land boundaries.


The climate of the Philippines is ether tropical rain forest, tropical savanna, tropical monsoon, or humid subtropical which is characterized by relatively high temp, oppressive humidity and plenty of rainfall. There are two seasons in the country, the wet season and the dry season, based upon the amount of rainfall. There are seven warmest months of the year which are from March to October. The winter monsoon brings cold air from November to February. March is the hottest temperature and January being the coolest.


The landscape of the Philippines varies from island to island. The volcanic masses formed the cores of most of the larger islands. The range culminates in Mt. Pulog (elevation 2,928 m/ 9,692ft) in Mindanao. Many of Volcanoes are always active and the islands have been subject to destructive earthquakes.

Social Institutions


Family is considered the foundation for the social life for Filipinos. The nuclear family is the core, however the bonds are tight knit among the extended family members. Close family relationships go beyond genetic relationships, there are close relationships among distant relatives, close neighbors and friends. The dynamics of the family represents matricidal society. In general, the head of the household is the eldest female, which is most often the grandmother. Income is combined together, and then the matriarch of the family does the family finances


The Primary Education in Philippines is called Paaralang Elementarya which is our version of an Elementary school. The elementary schools cover the first six years of education, which is from 1st grade to 6th grade. The secondary education is called Paaralang Sekundarya which is our version of high school. Secondary school covers grades: 7,8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. The tertiary is higher education beyond high school and the government offers two types of education. The first option is vocational school which is called Bokasyonal na Edukasyon at Pagsasanay. Technical school is learning a trade such as becoming an electrician or a plumber and be completed between a few weeks to 3 years. The second option of Tertiary School which is attending a college or university. Colleges typically offer 1 or more specialized programs while universities must offer at least 8 different undergraduate degree programs in a wide array of subjects and at least 2 graduate programs.

Political system

The government of the Philippines is a republic where the government is equally divided among the three branches: executive, legislative, and juridical. The system of the government is a separation of powers between Congress, executive branch and the juridical branch. There are a few political parties such as political parties and their leaders in 2002 included: Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement), led by Imelda Marcos; Laban Ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Struggle of Filipino Democrats) or LDP, led by Eduardo Angara; Lakas, led by Jose De Venecia; Liberal Party or LP, led by Florencio Abad; Nacionalista Party, led by Jose Oliveros; National People’s Coalition or NPC, led by Eduardo Cojuangco; PDP-Laban, led by Aquilino Pimentel; and the People’s Reform Party or PRP, led by Miriam Defensor-Santiago. The government seems to be stable, because the government hasn’t had a rebellion in over 20 years. One special tax is Value Added Tax (VAT). This is a business tax collected from the seller in the course of trade or business on every sale of properties. The local government’s responsibility is taking care of the functions which affect the people of a certain province such as infrastructure.

Legal System

The Philippines’ legal system models the United States, in fact even official court notices and court decisions in the Supreme court are in English. The Constitution of the Philippines is basically a copy of the US Constitution. Just like America the Philippines commander in chief is the President and is elected by popular vote. There is also an executive seat in the Philippines the Malacañang palace in Manila. Congress holds the legislative power in the Philippines.

The Philippines legal system is a mixture of uses Common, civil and Islamic law. The legal system is the result of the immigration of Muslims to the country. Civil law operates in areas such as family relations property criminal and contract law. Common law origin is evident in such areas as constitutional law, procedure, corporations law, taxation, insurance, currency and banking.

In the Philippines an invention is new if it does not form part of a prior art. An invention that can be produced and used in any industry should be industrially applicable. Philippine trademark law known as the Intellectual Property Code, defines a trademark as “any visible sign capable of distinguishing goods”, which includes designs, letters, shape and color of goods.

Social organization

In the Philippines, there are three social classes: the upper class which has a high personal income and inherited wealth, the middle class which are the small businessmen, teachers, merchants, traders, and the lower class has earning low incomes with a little or no savings; some are unemployed. The influence of government officials is prominent in society, sometimes in a simple traffic violation, they say the name of their politician to escape the punishment that they should face. In terms of wealth, they usually use money to do them a favor. In education, most of the time people usually look at the school or university where the person came from. And in physical appearance, people having luminous skin, tall, and attractive are given more chances and advancement.

Religion and aesthetics

Religion and other belief systems

There are four canonical missions in the Philippines. The first is the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in the Philippines, the Exarchate of the Philippines, the Philippine Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, and the Philippine Orthodox Church. The current religions that are the most prominent in the Philippines include: Roman Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Islam, Iglesia ni Cristo (Philippine Church of Christ), Buddhism.

The Philippines is occupied with more than 175 different nations from all over the world who speak all kinds of different languages. Because of this the relationships amongst people is very important. Most of the foreigners who came to the Philippines converted to Christianity, along with 70% of the natives of the Philippines. With most of the country on the same page with religion, they don’t face many people-related problems. Instead of those who came from other nations being turned away or mistreated, they are welcomed, and they even learn from and teach other things about their respective countries.

Roman Catholic Christianity is the most prominent religion in the Philippines. Most of the population was already Roman Catholic and then almost all of the other nations who decided to move there converted to that religion as well. Protestant Christianity is another prominent religion within the population. With these two religions being the most prominent, it doesn’t leave much room for other religions to be the same. Islam, Iglesia ni Cristo, which is the Philippine Church of Christ, Buddhism and the rest of the nation under the category “Other” or “No religion” have a combined total of 15-20% of the rest of the population.

Roman Catholic Christianity is the most prominent religion in the Philippines with about 70% of the population being Roman Catholic. Another religion that is very prominent is Protestant Christianity which comes in next with 17% of the population. Islam is next with 5-10%, followed by Iglesia ni Cristo at 2%, which is the Philippine Church of Christ, which then leads us to Buddhism at 2% as well and the rest of the nation, 6%, are under the category “Other” or “No religion”.

In the Philippines, there is a man named Ferdinand Marcos who gets worshipped as if he is Jesus. The followers of Marcos began worshipping him when the former dictator dies, and Marcos claimed to be God’s disciple. They began to worship him and believe that all the crimes he ever committed were not done by him but by his men. He ruled for 20 years before he was driven out and sent to exile in Hawaii.


Visual arts are extremely important in the Philippines, not just for enjoyment but because they use it every day for their rituals. Their visual arts envelop a wide variety of forms from artwork to pottery, weaving and carving. It is so important to the people of the Philippines because it reflects to its society and non-Filipinos the wide range of cultural influences on the country’s culture and how these influences honed the country’s arts.

In the Philippines, they have The Cultural Center of the Philippines and it is considered to be the premiere place for performing arts and they always bring in international world-renown artists. They have many different kinds of dances they do there with the most popular being folk music. Folk music is a combination of both words and music that is unique to their culture. They are also prominent in ballet and dance. Ballet Philippines is a ballet company in which they are skillful in both ballet and modern dance.

Folklore is extremely important to the people of the Philippines. These narratives are essential to their social tradition because they constitute part of their social heritage. Philippine folklore is a treasure trove of strange mythical creatures that have been around forever. The five most popular mystical creatures are: Bungisngis, Sarangay, Gawigawen, Sigbin and Bal Bal.

Living Conditions

Diet and nutrition

The typical Philippine diet revolves mainly around the local foods. Such as vegetables, pork, seafood, and rice and noodles. In 2019, Pork was the most meat to be consumed in the Philippine at 15.8 kg per person. Vegetable consumption per capita is 64.7kg. The Philippine chronic malnutrition rate was at 26.2 %, the highest in 10 years with kids aged 0-2 years old. Foods that remain available would be Flan which is desert, boiled oxtails, laksa, and Kari Kari.


A home is one of the most important assets anyone can have in the Philippines. In the Philippines there are four different housing styles which are: Bungalow, Multi- Story house, Townhouse, and the Condo unit. Most Filipinos prefer to rent than buy property due to less commitment. Single Filipinos typically live with their family until they are established. Such family obligations imprint a model for shared responsibility in the broader community.


A traditional garment for men is the barong Tagalog. The Tagalog is an embroidered outer shirt worn untucked. This garment also consists of collars, long sleeves, and mid-thigh horizontal hemline with side splits. Women wear the heavily starched, butterfly stretched Terno and a matching long skirt on formal occasions. Business dress for work in the Philippines is formal. Men wear suits of formal office apparel, and light suits and dresses are acceptable for the women.

Recreation, sports, and other leisure activities

Filipinos like going shopping on their free time not just to shop, but also to dine, watch movies, and ice skate. Diving is a very widespread activity In the Philippines. Since this region is warm and has crystal clear water, this makes diving a popular sport. There are several sports that are popular in Philippines such as basketball, boxing, volleyball, billiards, and more. In 2016, the household final consumption expenditures for recreation/culture amounted to 134.68 billion Philippine pesos.

Social security

Private sector employees, household workers, and self-employed persons up to age 60 earn at least 1,000 pesos a month. Voluntary coverage for Filipino citizens working abroad; insured persons who are no longer eligible for compulsory coverage; and non-working spouses of insured persons. Covered employees are entitled to a package of benefits under the social security and employee’s comp. program in the event of death, disability, sickness, maternity and old age. Self-employed and voluntary members also get the same benefits as covered employees, except those benefits under the EC program.

Health care

Healthcare in the Philippines is varied. The health care plane ranges in quality from excellent to horrible. This dictating factor is hospital maintenance. Hospitals in the major cities are held to a higher standard, while many in rural areas lack infrastructure and investment. Healthcare is provided through both private and public hospitals in the Philippines. Doctor’s at public hospitals in the Philippines are well trained although equipment and facilities may not be up to the standard of private institutions.


Official language(s)

The Philippines is considered a Melting Pot, because of all the different nations that inhabit the islands. Therefore, the Philippines has about 120-187 different languages and dialects. The official languages are Filipino and English. Their main foreign languages include: Tamil, Spanish, Hokkien, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Arabic and Punjabi.

Spoken versus written language(s)

Due to all the different kinds of people who populate the nation, more than 170 languages ​​are spoken there. With very little written, not much is known about this language for the history prior to the arrival of the Spanish during the sixteenth century. The main written languages there are English, Filipino, Latin script and Philippine Braille.


The Philippines has 8 major dialects which are: Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tagalog, and Waray.


Overall the Philippines is still poor however there is some change. Since 2010 the Philippine economy has grown at about 6% a year, and today the population of the Philippines is 103 million.

Sources of Information

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Cite this paper

The Philippines, Its Culture, Religion and Society. (2021, Aug 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-philippines-its-culture-religion-and-society/

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