What Makes the Philippines, “Philippines”?

Every country has its own unique and remarkable social phenomena which make it one of a kind. The Philippines is not an exemption. With such diverse demographics, it is no wonder that a lot of social phenomena is happening in the country and gives us our distinctive Filipino identity. If it weren’t for these things, the Filipino culture wouldn’t be the same. Here are a few:

FILIPINO TEXT MESSAGING: As all may be aware of, the country has been crowned as the “Texting Capital of the World” for having sent out more than a billion text messages daily. One reason is its affordability, which, among all means of communication, has caught on with the Filipino public. This has even caused the rise of a sub-culture “Generation Txt” where enthusiasts have soon come up with their unique language.

THE PINOY SMILES EVEN DURING DISASTER: The very root that makes the Philippines a happy country: the people. Unlike with the discipline we see in Japanese people during disasters, the Filipinos are the happy-go-lucky kind. This has been proven for a lot of times when the country was hit by enormous and few typhoons. You can see that even if the homes were flooded and properties were destroyed, everyone will just smile away and laugh. Additionally, we often smile and laugh away all our troubles. We are ruled by our optimistic fatalism to survive.

MY WAY” KILLINGS: As intense as it may seem, the Philippines can lay claim to a crime that’s too strange known as the “My Way killings.” There are recorded deaths of few people who were killed because of singing the song. Simply put, violence follows whenever there is a violation of karaoke etiquettes plus the self-indulgent lyrics of the song.

ASWANG“: Looking back, the Spanish successfully used the own folklore of the natives by equating the Aswang against them. Due to lack of knowledge, the endemic disease Parkinsonism from long before was mistaken as the characteristic of being an “Aswang.” Filipinos then equate this as the country’s social evils which treated the “Aswang” as a symbol which harms the people more than a real monster.

While every country has just this kind of things that we may or may not believe, we still need to accept that it is what makes it ‘them,’ and to be without this stuff happening; we cannot say that the Philippines is the kind of country that we have now.

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