Filipino people

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Ayta boy, former President Corazon Aquino, José Rizal, Filipina Muslim, Freddie Aguilar, Tboli girl
From left to right: Ayta boy from Pampanga, former President Corazon Aquino, National Hero José Rizal, a Muslim from Cotabato, singer-songwriter Freddie Aguilar, Tboli girl.
Total population
c. 100 million
Regions with significant populations
Flag of the Philippines PhilippinesTemplate:Nbsp89,054,000 (2007) |
Significant Overseas populations in:
Flag of the United States United States 2,807,731 [1]
Flag of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 966,542
Flag of Malaysia Malaysia 822,910
Flag of Japan Japan 432,425
Flag of Canada Canada 392,120
Flag of Australia Australia 212,516
Flag of United Arab Emirates UAE 193,144
Flag of Hong Kong Hong Kong 188,404
Flag of Republic of China Taiwan 158,116
Flag of Singapore Singapore 130,263
Template:Country data UK 105,615
Flag of Italy Italy 104,000
Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tagalog, Tausug, Waray-Waray, and over 100 others
Predominantly Roman Catholic
Various smaller Christian denominations
Significant Muslim minority

To view related article written in Filipino, please click [Filipino (Pakahulugan)]

Filipinos are the inhabitants of the Philippines, located in Southeast Asia. The term (feminine: Filipina) may also refer to people of Philippine descent, regardless of citizenship (i.e. Filipino Americans).

Throughout the colonial era, the term "Filipino" originally referred to Spaniards born in the Philippines, also known as insulares, criollos or español filipino. This distinguished them from Spaniards born in Europe who were known as peninsulares. The Indios opposed this connotation for they have claimed that they should be the ones whom 'Filipino' should refer too. By the late 19th century, the term Filipino began to widely refer to the indigenous population of the Philippines. According to historian Ambeth Ocampo, José Rizal was the first to call the native inhabitants Filipinos.

Today, Filipino is also used to signify the nationality and citizenship of one who is from the Philippines. This means that not only native Austronesian Filipinos are included but also other ethnic groups such as the Chinese.

Colloquially, Filipinos may refer to themselves as Pinoy (feminine: Pinay), which is formed by taking the last four letters of Pilipino and adding the diminutive suffix -y. The word was coined by expatriate Filipino Americans during the 1920s and was later adopted by Filipinos in the Philippines.

In various Philippine languages, Filipino is translated to Pilipino. The use of /p/ is used since many lack /f/ as a phoneme.



Main article: History of the Philippines

American anthropologist H. Otley Beyer was the first to propose that Malays who came from Malaysia populated the Philippines in a handful of waves of migration. However, according to contemporary research by anthropologists, linguists (Blust, Reid, Ross, Pawley) and archaeologists (Bellwood) propose the opposite to be true. The vast majority of Filipinos are said to be descended from Austronesian-speaking migrants which arrived in what is now the Philippines from Southern China and Taiwan during the Iron age.

Filipinos are sometimes said to be part of the Malay race. The Malay race was a term coined in 1795 by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach to refer to the brown-skinned inhabitants of the Indian (Malay) archipelago, Oceania, Melanesia, and Australia. It was one of five other categories which Blumenbach created for classifying humans, including what he called the black race and the yellow race. Since then, anthropologists have debunked this concept, citing the complexities of human races being unable to fit into a handful of oversimplified categories. Genetically, there are no distinct units of human population and all human beings are genetically related. [3]

The term Malay is also considered misleading because it gives the impression that the route for the populating of the Philippines was via Malaysia, when actually, the current Malays of the rest of the Malay Archipelago and of mainland Malaysia are the descendants of Austronesian-speaking immigrants who first went to the Philippines before further venturing south into what is now Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, as well as to the other Pacific islands.

There were also pre-existing aboriginal inhabitants of the Philippines--the Negrito groups. Their ancestors arrived thousands of years prior to the Austronesian-speaking migrants arrival. Their descendants, the Aetas, constitute a very small minority of the population.

The Philippines, prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1521, was not ruled or united as a single nation. Instead, the inhabitants were mostly divided into ethnolinguistic tribal states, or barangays, with some acquiring cultural sophistication, including caste systems (Maharlika).

By the mid-to-late 16th century, the archipelago was included in the Spanish East Indies and was referred to as Filipinas (Philippines) by the Spaniards in honor of King Philip II of Spain. During the 333 years of Spanish rule, through New Spain (Mexico), the term Filipino referred to the Spaniards who were born in the archipelago. The majority of Filipinos are 50% Spanish and 50% Chinese. Indigenous Filipinos were usually referred to as "indios" as a result of an earlier misnomer made by Spaniards on the indigenous peoples of the Americas when they first reach that continent, believing they had arrived in India. By the time the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines the term "indio" had become synonymous with "indigenous", and so was applied in that context.

Following the revolution, the Spanish-American War in 1898, and the Philippine-American War, the native indios were left searching for a national identity. The native revolutionaries then called themselves Filipinos, taking ownership of the term that had earlier been utilized by the Philippine-born Spaniards. General Emilio Aguinaldo was among the first to apply "Filipino" as the national designation for the indigenous inhabitants of the Philippines, as well as all other persons born in the country. This act was intended to help unite the population and establish nationalism in the 1900s against the U.S. presence and occupation of the islands. The term indio, however, was still being used well into the mid part of the 20th century, as evidenced by Roman Catholic baptismal records.

Indio is a Spanish Colonial Racial term for the natives of the Philippines. They are the lowest form of people in the Philippines. They are treated poorly and unfairly. They are often the workers, slaves, low-class citizens. The Indios during the Spanish Colonial time are in a state of feebleness, their voices are weak and could not possibly do anything against the government, for their power is so weak that one single reaction from the government on their opposition could end their lives. The Indios are the ones who initiate a revolt against the Spanish government. Most of the revolts have failed and it only made the situation worse. The Indios went into an identity battle with the Insulares, for they claimed that they should be the one called Filipinos, not the Insulares. The Insulares during the Spanish Era are the one referred to as the Filipinos, but the Indios opposed this for they have said that they are the ones who grew and have been raised in the land of the Philippines. The Indios are the ones who claimed that they should be called Filipinos, not the Insulares, for the land of the Philippines belong to them. They also strengthened their stand by saying that they are the sole or pure-blooded natives, so they should be the ones who should be called "Filipinos."


While there has not yet been a genetic study of great statistical significance about the ancestry of the various Philippine ethnic groups, there have been some studies, based upon very small samples of the population, which provide clues as to their origins.

For example, a Stanford University study conducted during 2001 revealed that haplogroup L predominates among Filipinos. This particular haplogroup is common among the southern Chinese, particularly among the Hoklo people. Another haplogroup, haplogroup H is also found among Filipinos. The rates of Haplogroup H is highest among the Taiwanese Aborigines. Overall, the genetic frequencies found among Filipinos pinpoints to the Ami tribe of Taiwan as their nearest genetic relative.

A 2002 China Medical University study indicated that certain Filipinos shared a particular gene marker that is also found among Taiwanese aborigines and Indonesians. [4]

Furthermore, a 2003 University of the Philippines study based on 50 participants each from the islands of Luzon and Cebu provided some insight into the various places of origin of early Filipinos; some rare genetic markers were found that are shared by people from parts of Asia. [5]

Cultural spectrum

Main article: Culture of the Philippines and Religion in the Philippines
It has been suggested that Pasalubong be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)

Filipino culture is primarily based on the cultures of the various native groups, and has influence from Spanish and Mexican, as well Chinese and Indian cultures. The customs and traditions of the Roman Catholic faith are Spain's lasting legacy.

Unlike its Muslim majority neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia, the Philippines is an overwhelmingly Christian country. As a result of Spanish colonization and evangelization spanning just over three centuries, most contemporary Filipinos, regardless of native ethnic group, are Christians; over 83% are Roman Catholic with various smaller Christian denominations. However, a significant minority of Filipinos (the majority in Mindanao and most of the Sulu Archipelago) are to this day still adherents of Islam. Filipino Muslims constitute 5% of the population.


Main article: Languages of the Philippines

According to Ethnologue, there are more than 170 languages spoken in the country. Tagalog is taught in schools throughout the country under the name Filipino. Although Filipino and English are used as the national lingua franca, many of the other major regional languages also serve as working languages where English or Filipino is not as entrenched. Ilokano, for example, is widely spoken as a second language in Northern Luzon and Cebuano is considered the lingua franca of Visayas and Mindanao.

Others major languages include Hiligaynon, Waray, Bikol, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tausug, Maguindanao, Maranao, Zamboangueño Chavacano, Kinaray-a and many others.


Main article: Overseas Filipino

Filipinos form the largest ethnic group in the Northern Marianas Islands, the second largest in both Palau and Guam, and the second largest Asian American group in the United States. They also form significant minorities in Canada, Australia, Japan, Israel, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Spain, France and Germany.

Filipinos in the Americas

The arrival of Filipinos in the Americas began during the Spanish colonial era. At that time, many Filipino men were hired as sailors to man ships bound for the New World. Upon arrival, many sailors mutinied, others settled there after marrying locals.

However, Filipino migration only began in the mid-1800s, beginning with the United States. In 1903, pensionados arrived there as students in colleges and universities. Starting in 1906, Filipinos were hired as laborers for plantations, farms, salmon canneries, and the like. In the post-World War II era, Filipino physicians, nurses and other health care workers began immigrating. The United States Military also played a role due to recruitment. Additionally, many American soldiers married Filipino women.

There is also a significant population of Filipinos in Canada.

Filipinos in Asia-Pacific

Filipinos have been settled in the islands of Oceania, particularly in Micronesia. Also, the vast majority of Filipino exiled patriots were sent to Oceania. As a result, they now form the largest ethnic group in the Northern Marianas Islands, as well as the second largest in both Palau and Guam.

Subsequent immigrations of Filipinos also ensued. To this day, about five in ten Northern Marianas islanders have a direct Filipino ancestor. button_image.png Embedded image

See also


  1. ^ The World Factbook - Philippines. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
  2. ^ Selected Population Profile in the United States - Filipino alone or in any combination. U.S. Censun Bureau. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
  3. ^ Asian Genes link Asian Genes. Retrieved on 2006-08-28.
  4. ^ Chang JG, Ko YC, Lee JC, Chang SJ, Liu TC, Shih MC, Peng CT. Molecular analysis of mutations and polymorphisms of the Lewis secretor type alpha(1,2)-fucosyltransferase gene reveals that Taiwan aborigines are of Austronesian derivation. Journal of Human Genetics, abstract from PubMed (
  5. ^ Miranda JJ, Sugimoto C, Paraguison R, Takasaka T, Zheng HY, Yogo Y. Genetic diversity of JC virus in the modern Filipino population: implications for the peopling of the Philippines. Journal of Human Genetics, abstract from PubMed ( Retrieved on 2007-03-26.

External links

  • Peter Bellwood (July 1991). "The Austronesian Dispersal and the Origin of Languages". Scientific American 265: 88-93.
  • Bellwood, Peter; Fox, James; & Tryon, Darrell (1995). The Austronesians: Historical and comparative perspectives. Department of Anthropology, Australian National University. ISBN 0-7315-2132-3.
  • Peter Bellwood (1998). "Taiwan and the Prehistory of the Austronesians-speaking Peoples". Review of Archaeology 18: 39–48.
  • Peter Bellwood & Alicia Sanchez-Mazas (June 2005). "Human Migrations in Continental East Asia and Taiwan: Genetic, Linguistic, and Archaeological Evidence". Current Anthropology 46:3: 480-485.
  • David Blundell. "Austronesian Disperal". Newsletter of Chinese Ethnology 35: 1-26.
  • Robert Blust (1985). "The Austronesian Homeland: A Linguistic Perspective". Asian Perspectives 20: 46-67.
  • Peter Fuller (2002). Asia Pacific Research. Reading the Full Picture. Canberra, Australia: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. Retrieved on July 28, 2005.
  • Homepage of linguist Dr. Lawrence Reid. Retrieved on July 28, 2005.
  • Malcolm Ross & Andrew Pawley (1993). "Austronesian historical linguistics and culture history". Annual Review of Anthropology 22: 425-459.
  • John Edward Terrell (Dec. 2004). "Introduction: 'Austronesia' and the great Austronesian migration". World Archaeology 36:4: 586-591.

Original Source

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