Monday, September 1, 2008

The Philippines

The Philippines is a small Asian country among the nations in the South-East Asia region. Up to last count (we'll never know if some has disappeared or some new ones popped out from under the seas - lol) it has 7,107 islands, the largest is Luzon on the North. Next largest is Mindanao in the South and in the middle of these two big islands are relatively smaller islands comprising the Visayas islands group. The total land area is approximately 300,000 square kilometers populated by almost 90 million, as of this writing. It is the 12th most populous country in the world.

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The country has several ethnic groups and dialects. The official national language is Filipino, also known as Tagalog, and English an official language too. The Filipino race is a blend of several coming from Malay (brown race), Chinese and Spanish. The Spanish has colonized the country for 400 hundred years until the late 1800s which explains more of the mixed race. This also made it for a religion, predominantly Catholic.

The Filipinos generically show utmost respect to elders. This is the reason why most families are closely knit. We use some words to show respect when addressing elders or while speaking with them. Sometimes though, it's either funny or weird when an older one unknowingly addresses another person
with those words of respect
to a younger fellow. The more so for those not well acquainted and age gap is difficult to determine. Well, those are some customs or traditions which at times could be improper, if not embarrassing. With some western influences, that custom or tradition has dwindled down a bit. Another worthwhile mentioning here is, Filipinos have developed addressing Caucasians as "sir" or "ma'am". This could have cropped up from some sort of feeling inferior in race color.

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