The Filipino Culture

20 10 2009

Born and partially raised in Manila, Philippines, I was succumbed to the so called “traditional” ways of raising a child. Distinct Filipino ways of giving respect, such as doing the hand gesture to people older than you, the “mano”, saying “po” and “opo”, as well as always giving way and showing courtesy to those who are older than us. These are just some of the things I grew up doing. I remember when I was about eight years old when we immigrated to the Los Angeles, CA, I was pretty shocked about how there was not a lot of the traditional Filipino Culture ways of giving/paying respect was practiced. In the English language, there are no translations for the words “po” and “opo”. In America, we are used to calling even our elders by their first names, unless they’re mom, dad, etc. Up to this day I still feel weird and awkward addressing someone by their first name, considering the fact that they are older than me.
More so, in the Philippines, they have a different way of “dating”. I grew up seeing my older cousins getting courted by their men/suitors. On almost a regular basis, these determined men would show their true intent, purpose, and love towards not only the women, but also to their loved ones. Men would even visit the women’s families and bring something as a sign of offering. At numerous times, I have seen men bring flowers, food, cakes, chocolates and other sorts of materialistic things. To them it was challenging and something that they are very boastful/prideful about.
The Filipino Culture indeed is a very interesting and a culture to be definitely proud of. As an immigrant, it is something that I definitely would like to help preserve, to pass on to my offspring, and other people I am bound to meet.

By Justine Encarnacion



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