Culture of Philippines (under work)
The Hispanic influences in Filipino culture are largely derived from the culture of Spain and Mexico as a result of over three centuries of Spanish colonial rule through Mexico City. These Hispanic influences are most evident in Roman Catholic Church religious festivals. Filipinos hold major festivities known as barrio fiestas to commemorate their patron saints. The most visible Hispanic legacy, is the prevalence of Spanish surnames among Filipinos. This peculiarity, unique among the people of Asia, came as a result of a colonial decree for the systematic distribution of family names and implementation of the Spanish naming system on the inhabitants of the Philippines. A Spanish surname in the Philippines does not denote Spanish ancestry. There are many other traces of Spanish culture in the country, such as names of countless streets, towns and provinces, which are also named in Spanish. Spanish architecture also made a major imprint in the Philippines. This can be seen especially in the country's churches, government buildings and universities. Many Hispanic style houses and buildings are being preserved, like the Spanish colonial town in Vigan City, for protection and conservation. Filipino cuisine is also heavily influenced by Mexican and Spanish cuisine.
The Chinese influences in Filipino culture are most evident in Filipino cuisine. The prevalence of noodles, known locally as mami, are a testament of the Chinese cuisine. Other Chinese influences include linguistic borrowings and the occasional Chinese derived surnames.
The use of English language in the Philippines is contemporaneous and is America's visible legacy. The most commonly played sport in the Philippines is basketball. There is also a wide "imitation" of American cultural trends, such as the love of fast-food; many street corners boast fast-food outlets. Aside from the American commercial giants such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and KFC, local fast-food chains have also sprung up, including Goldilocks, Jollibee, Greenwich Pizza, and Chowking. Modern day Filipinos also listen to contemporary American music and watch American movies. However, Original Pilipino Music (also known as OPM) and Philippine movies are also widely appreciated.
Filipinos honor national heroes whose works and deeds contributed to the shaping of the Filipino nation. José Rizal is the most celebrated ilustrado, a Spanish-speaking reformist visionary whose writings contributed greatly in nurturing a sense of national identity and awareness. His novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo originally written in Spanish, are required readings for Filipino students, and provide vignettes of colonial life under the Spanish rule.
As with many cultures, music (which includes traditional music) and leisure activities are an important aspect of the Filipino society. Various sports are also enjoyed, including boxing, basketball, badminton and billiards being popular games in the country.
Traditional Filipino Martial Arts, such as Eskrima, had secretly been banned by the Spanish during the 300 year colonial period, but have been revived through an interest in learning pre-hispanic culture. Hence, Filipino Martial Arts had in the 20th Century been made compulsory to learn for all members of the Filipino Armed Forces and the Police and many clubs exist.