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Philippines Culture/Religion

A true blend of culture where east synergizes with the west, Philippines has acquired a cultural character with a little bit of all the cultures put together. Divided geographically and culturally into regions, each regional group of the Filipinos is recognizable by distinct traits and dialects. The sturdy and frugal llocanos of the north, the industrious Tagalogs of the central plains, the carefree Visayans from the central islands, and the colorful tribesmen and religious Moslems of Mindanao, all speak distinct dialects of their own.

In this way, Philippines has more than 111 dialects spoken, owing to the subdivisions of these basic regional and cultural groups. Housing Indonesian Malay people as well as some Chinese and Spanish elements, the country has been famous for its “Bayanihan” or spirit of kinship and camaraderie and hospitality that the Filipinos are said to acquire from their forefathers. The influence of the Chinese has incorporated in them the concept of close family relations, while the characteristic piousness comes from the Spaniards who introduced Christianity in the 16th century. Regarded amongst the English-proficient Oriental people, they have Pilipino as the official national language, while English is considered the country's unofficial one. As a matter-of-fact, Philippines is currently the third-largest English speaking country in the world.

Speaking about religion, the Filipinos have historically embraced two of the great religions of the world - Islam and Christianity. The churches of Philippines, with their unique towering architecture, are landmarks in almost all important towns, provincial capitals, and major cities.

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