What is a Filipino?

The Filipinos, just like any other race, possess both the negative and positive qualities that would, in one way or another, define them as a people. You probably may have heard a lot of bad things about the Philippines and Filipinos, but the good things about them may just be, as well, too many. But what, in fact, is a Filipino?

The term "Filipino" was first used by the Spaniards during the Spanish-era Philippines to refer to a Spanish mestizo and to all of the Spaniards who were occupying the Philippines during that time. Filipinos therefore, in other words, are the descendants of King Philip of Spain (Felipe in Spanish). The Philippine natives then were called "Los Indios de Las Islas Felipenas".

In the passing of time, a typical Filipino is someone who looks Asian, has a Spanish-sounding name, speaks English in an American accent, and a Latin temperament. The Filipinos are a unique race with four cultural heritages: European, American, Asian, and Mexican. Today, Filipinos are one of the most cosmopolitan people of the world. You can find Filipinos almost everywhere else in the world blending with different cultures and beliefs.

Majority of the Filipinos are Roman Catholics and are very religious. They are a happy people in such a way that even in the midst of problems and misery they can still manage to joke, smile, or even laugh at them. They are likened to a bamboo tree that, when the storm came to strike in great force, only bends with the wind but never breaks.

A Filipino is a courageous fighter yet God-fearing, optimistic, and has a good sense of humor. A Filipino is someone who could never live without rice in his diet, tuba (Philippine coconut wine) to fire his blood, a friend to count on in, a loving wife and family to live and keep with for as long as he live, and a God to believe in and worship to. To be a Filipino is to be morally good.

No matter what race you may be and no matter where you came from, to be a Filipino is to be in harmony with other people and to act as a citizen of the world. It is to acknowledge the fact that life is, indeed, God's gift to mankind and it is our duty to make that gift valuable and one that each of us could benefit from for good. To be a Filipino means to have faith in the Almighty God, love one another, and hope for a better tomorrow.


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