Philippines Essay, Research Paper
Filipino culture is very influenced by the Spanish conquest which began mid-millenium. Many of the traditions of the Phillipines are actually Spanish traditions. The food is a combination of Asian and Spanish cuisine, and the language is made up of Spanish, English, and a touch of Japanese.
1574 Spanish Colonization
+Annual visits of “Manila Galleon” to Mexico maintains European contact
+Filipinos driven to high mountains
+Intricate stone terracing techniques developed for flatland farming on slopes
Monks educate natives
Roman Catholic conversion
+Limited success in protection from Spanish land-owning aristocracy
Early 1800 s Spain loses Central and South American colonies
Focus shifts to Philippines
Spanish economy development attempts unsuccessful
+Warlike Moros (Muslims) in southern islands gives difficulty
Slow education and spread of European ideology
Small group of educated Filipinos demand independence
+Jose Raul, brilliant leader- executed by Spanish in 1896 during open Filipino anti-Spain revolt
1898 Some Filipino leaders ineffectively proclaim unofficial Republic
+adopted European-style constitution
+Spanish surrender to US. US interest is out of fear that another power ie. Germany will seize the Philippines
1916 US committed to eventual Filipino independence
+Created internal self-governing units
+400,000 acres purchased from Catholic monasteries and given to the people
+Economic focus on American capitalism and enterprise is not helpful to the Filipinos
+Foreign trade develops that is dependently linked to the US market
+Local governments and political bosses resemble their Pan- American contemporaries
Foreign trade during those times was healthy and a good deal less complicated than today. The Malaysians, Indonesians, Arabians, Indians, and Chinese brought all sorts of spices and food plants to the islands. Some of them stayed and raised families here, and handed down cooking methods which the natives used to improve their own methods.
Filipino cuisine is much like the Filipino himself: a mixture of different cultures, Eastern and Western, that forms one unique culture that is like yet unlike those that preceded it. Throughout the centuries foreigners came, as traders or conquerors, and brought with them their tastes and cooking styles, which the Filipinos adapted to their own essentially Malayan cuisine.
The Chinese Influence
From the Chinese we have the whole noodle business: pancit miki, pancit bihon, pancit Canton, pancit sotanghon. But the Filipinos have completely imbued the dishes with their own flair, and now there is a different kind of pancit for almost every region on the Philippines. Other Chinese-inspired dishes, such as lumpia, kikiam, siopao, and siomai, have been absorbed into the Filipino way of life. They are part of Filipino diet, even today.
The Spanish Influence
Three hundred years of preparing dinner for Mother Spain gave us a flair for rich food, the way Europeans prepare it. Stews such as the cocido and puchero, rice-meat dishes and elaborate desserts such as brazos, and tortas imperiales are generally considered fiesta food, and most often found on the dining tables of the upper classes.
The American influence
Sure, they brought us kitchen conveniences like the refrigerator, the pressure cooker, the oven toaster and the microwave. They also gave us burgers, salads, and pies which we baked with native fruits. But though we absorbed so much of their culture in their 50-year colonization, American cooking is only now becoming part of Philippine cuisine. Through their fastfood joints, we indirectly tasted spaghetti and pizza. But somehow we wanted these to taste sweet, not sour as the Italians intended them to be.
On the eve of his execution by the Spanish colonialists in 1896, Jose Rizal, the famous filipino nationalist, called his homeland the “Pearl of the Orient Seas”.
Spanish rule had two lasting effects on Philippine society; the near universal conversion of the population to Roman Catholicism and the creation of a landed elite. Although under the direct order of Philip II that the conversion of the Philippines to Christianity was not to be accomplished by force, the monastic orders of the Augustinians, Dominicans, Franciscans, Recollects and Jesuits set to their missionary duties with purpose. Unable to extirpate the indigenous pagan beliefs by coercion and fear, Philippine Catholicism incorporates a deep substrate of native customs and ritual.
The Philippines is located in the southeastern portion of Asia. Her neighbor on the north is the Republic of China (Taiwan or Formosa), while on the west is Communist Vietnam. Further west is Thailand. Immediately to the south of the Philippines is Indonesia and to the southwest are Malaysia and Singapore.
The Philippines is separated from her nearby Asian neighbors by several bodies of water. They are the Pacific Ocean on the east, the South China Sea on the north and west, and the Celebes Sea and the coastal waters of Borneo on the south.
The Filipinos lived in settlements called barangays before the colonization of the Philippines by the Spaniards. As the unit of government, a barangay consisted from 30 to 100 families. It was headed by a datu and was independent from the other groups. (The Tagalog word barangay came from the Malay word balangay, a boat that transported them to the islands.
Chinese influences on Filipino life were mainly economic. However, at the same time, cultural influences were inevitable. Many words in the Philippine language have Chinese origins. The Chinese also taught the ancient Filipinos the use of gongs, umbrellas, lead, and porcelain, as well as the manufacture of gun powder, and metallurgy and mining methods. Filipinos also adopted customs from the Chinese.
Many words in the Philippine language also appear to have Sanskrit origins. In addition, ancient religious beliefs of the Filipinos show Indian influence. It is said that some elements of the Indian culture reached the Philippines through the Hinduized Malays who settled in the country permanently.
The Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards for about 333 years and by the Americans for 48 years. Later, World War II broke out and the Japanese occupied the Philippines for three years. (See chapter 2: The Spanish Colonization of the Philippines (1565-1898); chapter 4: The Philippine-American War (1899-1902); and chapter 5: The Japanese Occupation of the Philippines, (1942-1945).)