Filipino Christians

The Filipino word for ‘religion’ is relihiyon.

The Philippines is a predominantly Christian nation as a result of 300 years of Spanish rule.

There is a Philippine Independent Church, known as Iglesia Filipina Independiente or Aglipayan Church (after its first head Gregorio Aglipay); it is affiliated with the Anglican Communion.

Another independent church was founded in 1914 by Felix Manalo; it is a unitarian religious organization known as Iglesia ni Cristo.

Missionaries of the Jehovah’s Witnesses arrived in the Philippines during the American colonial rule (1898-1945). There are now 150,000 members in the country.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has 600,000 Mormon members in the Philippines.

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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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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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MAYABANG

root word: yabang

mayabang
boastful, proud

Ang yabang mo naman.
My, you’re so boastful.

nagmamayabang
is being boastful

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Holy Week in the Philippines

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”

TABO

The ubiquitous Philippine cultural artifact found in almost every Filipino household’s bathroom.

tabò
water dipper

tabo
dipper used for scooping up water

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Ang Sampung Utos ng Diyos

The Ten (10) Commandments of God are listed twice in the Bible — first in Chapter 20 of the Book of Exodus, and also in Chapter 5 of the Deuteronomy. Most Filipinos being Christian, the Bible is read and taught widely in the Philippines.

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BUNOT

This word has different meanings depending on which syllable is accented.

Bunót (accented on the second syllable) refers to a coconut husk commonly used to polish floors. You place your foot on it and use your leg power to move in such a way as to scrub the floor.

Bunot of the Philippines

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