Holy Week in the Philippines

Good Friday 2016 was on March 25.

Good Friday 2017 will be on April 14.

Kwaresma is Lent. It is the season when Filipinos remember Christ’s passion (his suffering and death) and resurrection.  It starts on Ash Wednesday, forty days before Easter Sunday. On this day, you will see Catholic Filipinos returning from church  with ash smudged on their foreheads in the shape of a cross.   If you don’t have the mark, you will be asked if you have attended Mass. Continue reading “Holy Week in the Philippines”


Important Concepts in Filipino Culture

Mahahalagang Konsepto sa Kulturang Pilipino

pamilya
family

pagtitiwala sa Panginoon
trust in God

pagiging magalang
being respectful, especially to older people

pagtitiis
perseverance, forbearance

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Filipino Brooms

There are two words in the dictionary that can serve as translations for the English “broom.”

The simple noun that is widely used is walis.

Up until a few decades ago, the word pamalis (pangwalis) was also common, and if you use it today, it can still be understood, because it is a conjugation of the verb walis and it literally means “something used for sweeping.”

Brooms of the Philippines

There are two types of native brooms used in the Philippines — the walis tingting for outdoors and the walis tambo for smooth floors indoors and perhaps on the patio.

Walis-tingting is a broom made from the thin midribs of palm leaves. The stiff ribs are tied up on one end. It is usually paired with a simply constructed dustpan, as you can see in the picture. The can used for the dustpan is usually a cutout of an aluminum can of cooking oil.

Walis Tingting at Daspan

walis tingting at daspan
broom and “dustpan”

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Tinikling Dance

Tinikling involves two people hitting bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance. It originated in Leyte among the Visayan islands in central Philippines as an imitation of the tikling bird.

Once taught simply as a folk dance from the Philippines, it has recently become popular in the sports curricula of elementary schools as it involves skills similar to jumping rope. It’s now a new, fun form of aerobic exercise that also improves spatial awareness, rhythm, foot and leg speed, agility, and coordination.

Tinikling: Philippine Dance

There are now so many tinikling products available in the United States. Not just tinikling music CDs and dance-steps instruction DVDs, but also tinikling sticks and cords! For the authentic experience, you must find thick bamboo poles!

Listen to this introduction.

Click here to read the transcripts of what she’s saying.

Dating & Courtship in the Philippines

The Tagalog word for ‘courtship’ is panliligaw.

A common statement by Filipino men said to Filipinas:

Gusto kitang ligawan.
I’d like to court you.

This is to ask for permission to woo the woman. If she says no, then she is definitely not interested. If she says anything that is not a no, you have the go-ahead to try your hand at winning her affection. Continue reading “Dating & Courtship in the Philippines”

Native Filipino Beliefs

The Philippines is a predominantly Christian nation on account of 300 years of Spanish rule. It is estimated that 81% of the population is Roman Catholic. In the south on the large island of Mindanao, many are adherents of Islam. Filipino Muslims make up about five percent of the national population.

Animism or folk religion encompassing indigenous spiritual traditions from pre-colonial times still prevail even among baptized members of formal churches. Superstitious beliefs are widespread. Continue reading “Native Filipino Beliefs”

National Costume of the Philippines

Barbie wearing a traditional “Maria Clara” dress

Traditonal Filipina Barbie


Filipino boy wearing barong tagalog and salakot
The official national costume of Filipino men is the barong tagalog.

The  upper garment of the boy in the picture is a barong. It is worn over a Chinese collarless shirt called camisa de Chino. The boy is also wearing the traditional wide-brimmed hat salakot, which is usually made of rattan or reeds.

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KULIT

pagkamapilit, pagpupumilit; pagtitiyaga, pagtataman; pananatili, pamamalagi; sigasig, sigsa

kulit
stubbornness, peskiness

Ang kulit niya!
He/She just keeps nagging me, bothering me.

makulit
importunate

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