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Philippine history and culture
The Republic of Philippines is a country located in South East Asia. The country is a sovereign island state. To its north is Taiwan that lies across Luzon Straight, Vietnam to its west across the South China Sea, the island of Borneo that is located southwest across the Sulu Sea, and Indonesia to the south which is separated from the Philippines by the Celebes sea.
To the east of the country is the nation of Palau which is an island nation and the two countries are separated from each other by the Philippine Sea (World and Its Peoples 1161). The country lying on the pacific ring of fire is prone to earthquakes and typhoons. It is endowed with a great biodiversity and filled with natural resources due to its location. The country’s capital city is Manila (World and Its Peoples 1163).
Cultural heritage of the Filipino people
The Philippine culture is a people filled with a vibrant culture and rich history. The country was originally habited by the Melanesians. These people have a rich cultural preservation though they presently exist in very few numbers. The Malayo-Polynesians inhabited the lands much later. They are also known as Austronesian and were responsible for vast trades with Japan, India, and China. These people practice a culture rich in dance, ethnicity, language, and food. They have exotic meals and festivals of dance and celebration. These cultures have over the years given the Philippines’ a unique identity.
An example of the Philippine festival is the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City. This festival is one of the most famous festivals in the country. This is because the festival showcases folk choreography in a perfect way that depicts the culture and heritage of the Ilonggo people (Rodell 34). The festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving in honor of Sr. Santo Nino. The celebrations are usually done in the last week of January. People travel from all parts of the world to the Philippines to witness the Dinagyang Festival which is characterized by rich color, street play, and loud drum beats across streets in Iloilo City (Rodell 41).
External ties to other nations
During the pre-colonial era, the country had ties with other ancient Asian civilizations especially the middle Indian kingdoms, Srivijaya Empire and the kingdom of Javanese Medang. The island possessed a currency in the pre-colonial era known as lingua franca used in trade. This is evidenced by the Laguna copperplate inscription that was discovered in 1989 close to river Lumbang’s mouth in Barangay that documents the rich pre-colonial Philippine history (Rowthorn 71). The writing system used on the plate is the ancient Kawi script used in Indonesia.
The language variations in Filipino linguistics include a variety of old Malay languages. Ancient forms of civilization through documentation are also depicted in the way the people of the islands documented their information. They used the Baybayin syllabary to write and document their information. This form of writing is relatively simple to write but hard to read as each letter in this system of writing represents a syllable (Rowthorn 47).
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The Tabon Man in the Philippines
The Tabon Man is the remains of bones (skull) of three men in the Tabon caves that are located at the Lipuun point in Quezon. These fossils are believed to be the remains of the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines. The Tabon cave appears to be a stone-age settlement as it was characterized by stone flake tools. This means the region may have used advanced tools now found in societies dating back before the Bronze Age. The skull, Tabon man, is reported by anthropologist to be the skull of a modern man as it closely resembles that of a Homo sapiens (Rowthorn 31).
The Manuggul Jar was also excavated from the same site. It is a secondary jar used in burial in the Neolithic periods. The jar has engravings of two prominent persons on its top handle. This figure act as a representation of the journey after life by the soul. This jar is considered to be a masterpiece and an achievement in art by the pre-colonial Philippine (Rowthorn 102). It is a national treasure in the country. The figures on the jar show that the Philippines people were religious even before the colonial era with a system of religious beliefs of life.
The Philippines’ were colonized by Spain for more than three centuries. This long period of colonial rule by the Spanish had an effect on the Philippine culture. The governance of the islands from both Spain and Mexico ensured the country received certain aspects of the Hispanic culture. This Hispanic manifestation is portrayed in the Philippine culture in aspects of the island’s dance culture and religion affiliation. When the Spanish colonial reign ended, the country was under the US rule for 40 years (Schirmer and Stephen 227). This induced in the Philippines a culture of pop in their music and adoption of the English language.
Jose Rizal a Philippine nationalist was a writer and revolutionary figure in the Philippine history. He was born in 1861 from a wealthy family and was executed in 1896. Rizal had an influential role in the revolution and reform of his country before his untimely death. His publications were against colonization and advocated for social reforms (Schirmer and Stephen 54). He had formed a movement in 1892 known as La Liga Filipina. This movement was meant to advocate social reforms in the country through legal avenues. The movement was however disbanded by the governor (Schirmer and Stephen 56). He was captured and executed by Spanish army.
The Philippines is an emerging market with a fast growing economy. The country is considered as a newly industrialized country with a great transition from a conventional agriculture based economy to one of manufacturing and service delivery. It serves as an excellent subject for economics writing assignments. The country exports consumer electronic products, garments, petroleum, and copper and transport equipment. It trades majorly with the US, china, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea and Netherlands. Its economy is strengthening by the day and the country may soon be the strongest economy in the South Asia region.
Rodell, Paul A. Culture and Customs of the Philippines. Westport, CT [u.a.: Greenwood Press, 2002. Print.
Rowthorn, Chris. Philippines: [7000 Islands, Endless Possibilities]. Melbourne [etc.: Lonely Planet Publications, 2003. Print.
Schirmer, Daniel B, and Stephen R. Shalom. The Philippines Reader: A History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance. Boston: South End Press, 1987. Print.
World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2008. Print.