Customs and Traditions
Various influences by the Spaniards, Chinese and Americans who have infused blood and practices from centuries back have turned the Filipino into the unique individual that he is.
Among the most common traits the Filipino possesses is hospitality. In the Filipino house the visitor is royalty, and no expense or effort is spared in making the guest feel most comfortable and cared for. Anyone who drops by a Filipino household at meal times is invited to join the meal, whether or not the guest is hungry.
Close family tie is another common trait among Filipinos. The core Filipino family includes not only the parents and children, but also grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and other immediate relatives. Filipino children are taught good manners and proper conduct by their eleders, like kissing their parents’ hand as a sign of respect when they get home from school. Even as they mature as adults, this practice is maintained.
The Filipino is also very religious; strict Catholics attend mass every Sunday and other days of obligation. Holy Week during the Lenten season is season for prayer for the religious Filipino.
The country is special to Rome because it is the only predominantly Catholic country in Southeast Asia. The Philippines has been honored by the visit of two popes, by Pope Paul VI in the early 70′s and by Pope John Paul II in the 80′s.
In southern Mindanao the dominant religion is Islam. Other religions in force are Protestants, the Iglesia Ni Kristo and others. Strong inroads ito the Catholic practices are being made, the Charismatic/Born Again and Christian groups, such as the El Shaddai. Prayer rallies and meetings also abound the bigger cities.