You are on page 1of 5

Spanish influence on Filipino culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

Flag of Spain.

Flag of the Philippines. Hispanic influence on Filipino culture (Spanish: Influencia hispnica en la cultura filipina) or in (Tagalog: Impluwensiyang Espanyol sa Kulturang pilipino) are customs and traditions of the Philippines which originated from three centuries of Spanish[1] colonisation. Filipinos today speak a variety of different languages including Cebuano, Tagalog, Ilocano, Ilonggo, English and Chavacano. There are thousands of Spanish loan words in most Filipino languages. A SpanishBased creole language called Chavacano is also spoken in communities in Mindanao (notably Zamboanga where it is the official language, as well as Davao and Cotabato), Luzn (Cavite), and Sabah in Malaysia. The Philippines, having been one of the most distant Spanish colonies, received less migration of people from Spain, compared to the colonies in Latin America. Most of the influence during the colonial period came through Mexico, rather than directly from Spain, as the Philippines was governed as a territory of New Spain. Mexican and Spanish influence is evident in many aspects of Philippine culture including religion, architecture, language, music, fashion, cooking, and traditions.

Before the Spanish colonisation, there were already a mixture of cultures, the native people similar to Melanesians and Australian Aborigines, a majority population of Malays and Polynesians, and small groups of people from other Southeast Asian countries. The Philippines and Guam were the furthest colonies from Spain, and it was decided that they would be governed from Mexico, as it was a lot closer. Because of this the Philippines received significant influence from Mexican culture.

Main article: Spanish language in the Philippines The most common languages spoken in the Philippines today are English and Filipino, which is based on Tagalog. Spanish was an official language of the country until the change of government in 1987, which led to Spanish being dropped as an official language for political reasons. The Americans embarked on a policy of dehispanicisation and urged the Filipino government to chose Tagalog and English as the official languages. There are a minority of people who still speak Spanish in public; these people are mostly of Hispanic origin. However, the government has reintroduced the teaching of Spanish into the state education system. The Spanish spoken in the Philippines today has a great affinity with Mexican Spanish. Filipino Spanish contains many Mexican Spanish loanwords of Nahuatl origin which were first incorporated into Mexican Spanish, and which do not exist in European Spanish. Examples include nanay (nantl), tatay (tatle), bayabas [from guayaba(s), guava], abokado (avocado), papaya, sayote, zapote, and palengke. Various Filipino languages have significantly assimilated aspects of the Spanish language, and contain thousands of loanwords. Numerous words, and some grammatical concepts of the Spanish vocabulary, are used in Chavacano, Cebuano, Tagalog, Bicolano, and Ilocano.

Name of the Philippines

The name of the Philippines comes from the king of Spain Philip II. It was given by the Spanish explorer Ruy Lpez de Villalobos who named the islands of Samar and Leyte "Las Islas Felipinas" (The Philippine Islands), during his expedition in 1543. Throughout the colonial period, the name Felipinas (Philippines) was used, and became the official name of the Philippines. There are many provinces in the Philippines with Spanish names, such as Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva cija, Laguna, Isabela, Quirino, Aurora, La Union, Marinduque, Antique, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and Valle de Compostela. Many cities, and towns are also named in Spanish, such as Medellin, Santander, Nueva Valencia, Naga City (prior to 1919 was known as Nueva Cceres), Las Pias, Prosperidad, Isabela City, Sierra Bullones, Angeles, La Paz, Esperanza, Buenavista, Pilar, La Trinidad, Garcia Hernandez, Trece Martires, Los Baos, Floridablanca and many more. There are numerous other towns and cities named after saints, such as San Fernando, Santa Rosa, Santa Rita, San Jos, San Pablo, and San Marcelino, as well as after Spanish cities, such as Sevilla, Toledo, Cdiz, Zaragoza, Lucena, and Salamanca. Other native Filipino names are spelled using Spanish orthography, such as Cagayn de Oro, Paraaque, and Ceb.
Filipino Spanish surnames See also: Catlogo Alfabtico de Apellidos

On 21 November 1849 the Spanish Governor General of the Philippine Islands, Narciso Clavera, decreed the systematic distribution of surnames and the implementation of the Spanish naming system for Filipinos and Filipinas, thereby producing the Catlogo Alfabtico de Apellidos (Alphabetical Catalogue of Surnames") listing Spanish, Filipino, and Hispanicised Chinese words, names, and numbers. Thus many Spanish-sounding Filipino surnames are not surnames common to the Hispanophone world. However, Spanish nobility and colonial administrator surnames were explicitly prohibited. The colonial authorities implemented this decree because too many (early) Christianized Filipinos assumed religious-instrument and saint names. There soon were too many people surnamed "de los Santos" (of the Saints), "de la Cruz" (of the Cross), "del Rosario" (of the Rosary), "Bautista" (Baptist), et cetera, which made it difficult for the Spanish colonists to control the Filipino people, and most important, to collect taxes. This Spanish naming custom countered the native Filipino naming custom wherein siblings assumed different surnames, as practised before the Spanish Conquest of the Philippine islands. Moreover, because of this implementation of Spanish naming customs (given name -paternal surname -maternal surname) in the Philippines, a Spanish surname does not necessarily denote Spanish ancestry

Main article: Demographics of the Philippines

The majority of Filipinos are descendants from Austronesian peoples. These people are closely related to the Chamorro people in Guam and the Mariana Islands. Although there are lots of other ethnicities in the Philippines, such as the native population related to the Aborigines of Australia and Melanesians. There are also Chinese, Japanese, and Indians.[2][3][4][5][6][7] Official percentage of Filipinos with Spanish ancestry is unknown. The Philippine Statistics Department does not account for the racial background or ancestry of an individual. Different estimates of this mixed descent, either by the parent side, it is calculated that some 3,500,000 to 5,000,000. In other cases it is also estimated with a proximity of 17,000,000 to 36,550,197 people of Hispanic descent. But none of these estimates are supported by genetic studies.[8]


The statue of Our Lady of Peafrancia is being brought to the altar before the celebration. Manila Cathedral. Main article: Religion in the Philippines

The Philippines is one of two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being East Timor. About 90% of the population are Catholics. About 5% are Muslim, and about 5% practised other religion, and those with no religion. Filipinos at home set up altars in Hispanic tradition, adorned with Catholic icons, flowers, statues, and candles. On festival season, most barrios organised religious church service, and processions in honor of their patron saint, and cooked a variety of Filipino food.
Festivities Main article: Public holidays in the Philippines

All major Roman Catholic holy days are observed as official national holidays in the Philippines. Spanish-Mexican culture and Christianity has influenced the customs and traditions of the Philippines. Every year on the 3rd week of January, the Philippines celebrates the festival of the "Santo Nio" (Holy Child Jesus), the largest being held in Cebu City.