Spanish influence on Filipino culture: Wikis


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Spanish influence on Filipino culture are customs and traditions performed in the Philippines. Spanish colonization produced a mixed culture of primitive Malayo-Polynesian/other Asian[1], and Iberian tradition. The Philippines has also received influence from the United States, and other cultures of Asia such as Indian, Arabic and Chinese cultures. This makes the Philippines a multi-cultural society.

Filipinos speak various languages such as Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, English, Spanish, and other Philippine languages. There are thousands of Spanish loan words in Philippine languages, and a Spanish creole language called Chavacano is spoken by about one million Filipinos in the southern Philippines.

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. Nonetheless, many of the Spanish elements in the culture of the Philippines have become part of the country's traditions.



Negrito, and Austronesian peoples called Malayo-Polynesian are the primitive tribes of the Philippines.[2] The Negritos, and Malayo-Polynesians migrated to the Philippines during the last ice age some 30,000 years ago, when land bridges connected the Philippine Islands to mainland Asia.[3][2]

The Philippines was governed from Mexico City as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, from 1565 to 1821, and became a province of Spain from 1821 to 1898.

In the past few years, the Philippines has begun to re-establish closer ties to its former colonial ruler. The King and Queen of Spain attended the centennial celebration of Philippine Independence from Spain on June 12, 1998, in recognition of a shared history, and tradition.


Spanish spoken in the Philippines today has a great affinity to Mexican Spanish. In fact, the number of Mexican Spanish loan-words that appear in various Indigenous Filipino languages are of Nahuatl origin that were first incorporated into Mexican Spanish, and which do not exist in European Spanish. These words include nanay (nantl), tatay (tatle), bayabas [from guayaba(s), guava], abokado (avocado), papaya, zapote, palengke, and other Nahuatl words.

Spanish was introduced in the 16th century, and by the 19th century remained as the official language of Philippines. However, it was never spoken by the majority of the Philippine population as lingua franca. At its peak in the early 20th century, the language was spoken by approximately 60% of the population (with different degrees of fluency), and by 10 to 15% as a first language. After the Spanish-American War of 1898, settlers from the United States introduced English to the islands. Spanish remained a co-official language, along with Tagalog and English, until 1987 when it lost its status, prompting the Philippine government to declare Tagalog and English as the official languages of the Philippines. Today, Spanish is spoken by a minority in the Hispanic communities.

Various Philippine indigenous languages have significantly assimilated aspects of the Spanish language, and contain thousands of loan words. Numerous words, and some grammatical concepts of Spanish origin are used in Chavacano, Cebuano, Tagalog, and Ilocano.

Examples: lechon-litson amigo/amiga-kaibigan gracias-salamat como esta-kumusta buenas dias-magandang umaga dinara-you're welcome feliz navidad-merry christmas buenas tardes-magandang hapon buenas noches-magandang gabi uno-isa cuatro-apat dies-sampu adios-paalam hasta la vista-hangang sa muli

Names of the Philippines

The name of the Philippines comes from the king of Spain Philip II. It was given by the Spanish explorer Ruy López 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 the rear in the back and in Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, 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 Cáceres), Las Piñas, Prosperidad, Isabela, Sierra Bullones, Angeles, La Paz, Esperanza, Buenavista, Pilar, La Trinidad, Garcia Hernandez, Trece Martires, Los Baños, Floridablanca and many more. There are numerous other towns named after saints, such as San Fernando, Santa Rosa, Santa Rita, San Jose, San Pablo, and San Marcelino, as well as after Spanish cities, such as Sevilla, Toledo, Cadiz, Zaragoza, Ávila, Lucena, and Salamanca.

Many other Indigenous names are spelled using Spanish orthography, such as Cagayán de Oro, Parañaque, and Cebú.


Filipino Spanish surnames

On 21 November 1849 the Spanish Governor General of the Philippine Islands, Narciso Clavería, decreed the systematic distribution of surnames and the implementation of the Spanish naming system for Filipinos and Filipinas, thereby producing the Catálogo Alfabético de Apellidos (“Alphabetical Catalogue of Surnames") comprising of 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 colonial 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 denote Spanish ancestry.


Most Filipinos are an Asian ethnic group called Malayo-Polynesian people. A group of the Austronesian-speaking people.

Throughout Philippine history, different races and nationalities, such as the Chinese, Spaniards, and Americans have intermarried with the Philippine population. Their descendants are known as Filipino mestizos. The official population of all types of mixed-blood individuals in the Philippines remained unknown.


The Philippines is one of two predominantly Roman Catholic nations in Asia, the other being East Timor. About 90% of the Philippine population are Catholics. About 5% are Muslim, and about 5% practiced other religion, and those with no religion.

Filipinos at home set up altars in Hispanic Catholic tradition, adorned with Christian icons, flowers, statues, and candles. On festival season, most barrios organized religious church service, and processions in honor of their patron saint, and cooked a variety of Philippine food.

Fiestas and religious holidays

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 Niño" (Holy Child Jesus), the largest being held in Cebu City.


Arts, literature and music

Hispanic influence is based on Indigenous, and European tradition. Folk dance, music, and literature have remained intact in the 21st century. These were introduced from Spain, and Mexico in the 16th century, and can be regarded as largely Hispanic in constitution, which have remained in the Philippines for centuries.


The food of the Philippines reflects on the adaptation of Spanish cuisine.

They include:


In the business community, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) plays an integral role in the economic, political and social development of the nation. Historically, the chamber can be traced back as early as the 1890s with the inauguration of the Cámara de Comercio de Filipinas. This organization was composed mainly of Spanish companies such as the Compañía General de Tabaco de Filipinas, Fábrica de Cerveza San Miguel, and Elizalde y Cia, among other Spanish, and Philippine companies.

During the first half of the 20th century commerce, and industrial trades with other Hispanic countries declined due to the United States administration of the Philippines. However the resurgence of trade between Spain and Latin American nations had risen toward the closing of the century. 1998 marked the centennial celebration of Philippine independence, and opened a new opportunity for both Hispanic and Filipino businesses to reconnect their historic ties as trade partners.

See also


External links


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