America has had a huge influence on the culture of the Philippines. Here’s a few fun facts as well as a few specific ways in which American culture has influenced Filipino culture.
History of America in the Philippines
In 1898, the United States declared war on Spain, ultimately resulting in what is called the Treaty of Paris, in which the Spanish agreed to give up the islands of the Philippines in exchange for $20,000,000. The Philippines had been ruled by the Spanish for nearly ____ years. During first years, there were some conflicts between the U.S. and The Philippines. But during World War I, they came together and the Filipinos fought alongside the Americans. After WWI ended, the U.S. continued to rule over the Philippines, and gradually their relationship became much more friendly. In 1934, the Tydings/McDuffie Law was passed, making the Philippines commonwealth of the U.S. The United States agreed to give the Philippines 10 years to prepare for their complete independence. But because of WWII and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, that promise was not realized until 1946. On July 4, 1946, the United States declared the Philippines an independant nation. Now, the relation between Americans and Filipinos are very friendly and warm. Filipinos love America and Americans. They often decorate their jeepneys with american flags or “God Bless the USA.” They also enjoy American music and clothing, while still retaining their own Filipino way of life.
Here are some cool things you may be interested to know were adopted into the Filipino culture from America.
When the United States took over the Philippines, the people began to be free to join whatever religion they wanted. (During the Spanish rule, the Catholic church was established as the national religion and was strongly enforced). Because of this new found religious freedom, there began to be many different churches besides Catholicism. Today, it’s remarkable to see just how many different Christian churches there are in the Philippines – this religious diversity has become a big part of the culture.
Americans introduced the idea of free education to the Philippine islands. The United States even sent teachers to help establish schools where the Filipino children could have a free education. A large group of these teachers were called “Thomasites,” named after the boat that they came on, called Thomas.
During this time, English began to be taught in the schools, and this is the language that the teachers would use. Even today, most Filipinos can’t help but mix in English words when they speak. “Taglish” has literally become part of the culture. In fact, English is now the 2nd national language. Lots of English words have made their way into the Tagalog language. Often they are pronounced the same, but the dictionary spelling is Filipino-ized. Here are a few fun examples:
Cake = Keyk
Cookie = Kukis
Biscuit = Biskwit
Interview = Interbyu
Computer = Kompyuter
X-ray = Eksrey
Here are a few types of clothing that America introduced to the Filipino culture:
- Polo shirts
- Tennis shoes
- Short skirts/dresses
- High heels
Here is a list of some of the food that Americans introduced to the Philippines that have been widely adopted into their lifestyle:
- Chewing gum
- Apple pie
- Hot dogs
- Ice cream
- Corn flakes
- And more. . .
Some American restaurants that have become very popular in the Philippines are:
- Dunkin Donuts
Other American influences:
Jeepneys, Swing Dance, Democracy, etc.
(Contributed by Rebecca, Philippines Baguio Mission, 2009-2011)