VACATION TRIP TO PHILIPPINES

Q: We learned that you are from Philippines, isn't it?

A: Yes, I am from Philippines, a well-known country in Asia. I was born there in Caloocan, Rizal on April 23, 1970. My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents are also from Philippines. I grown-up there and finished my studies until I migrated to United States on November 11, 2000.

Q: We observed that Philippines is the only country in Asia that is Christian, why?

A: Well, Philippines is the only country in Asia that is Christian because when Ferdinand Magellan visited our country, he contributed the Christianity on March 16, 1521 in Cebu, a southern part of Philippines. Not all the parts of Philippines are Christians, there are still parts of Philippines that are not Christians like in the southern part especially in Mindanao.

Q: We also observed that Philippines has the same culture of Spain and other Latin American countries, why?

A: Well, Philippines has the same culture of Spain and other Latin American Countries because our country was colonized by Spain for almost 400 years since when Ferdinand Magellan visited our country. Our culture is similar to Spain and Latin American countries when it comes to religion which is Roman Catholicism, festivals or fiestas, politics or government, conservativeness of people especially the women, foods that we eat, the clothes that we wear, attitudes of people, and so on.

Q: How do you distinguish physically that a person is Filipino/Filipina?

A: Well, I can distinguish physically that a person is Filipino/Filipina by the following: the skin complexion is brown, the hair is black, the eyes are dark brown and black, their face is similar to other Asians countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The people in Philippines are approachable, hospitable, industrious, helpful, friendly, family oriented, brave, intelligent, and physically fit. There are some Filipinos/Filipinas that their faces are similar to Spain and other Latin American Countries because of our country was colonized by Spain and some of the Spaniards were married to Filipinos/Filipinas. A Filipino/Filipina that has a race from Spain, Latin American countries, and United States is called "Mestizo".

Q: We also observed that Philippines has many islands, isn't it?

A: Yes, Philippines has many islands about 7100 islands. Our country is also a tropical area like in Hawaii and other Caribbean Islands. There are many foreigners and tourists there always and they like to visit in Philippines because of the islands, seafoods, resorts, and beaches.

Q: How many provinces/states that Philippines have?

A: Well, Philippines consists of 72 provinces plus Manila, its national capital. Philippines is classified into 12 Regions. Each region consists of provinces and cities. Philippines is also classified into three major areas: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Q: How's the weather in Philippines?

A: Philippines has a temperature of 90F to 100F during the summer period. You will sweat a lot there because it is also a humid place. In the winter period, the temperature ranges from 70F to 80F.

Q: What is the unit of measurement in Philippines?

A: Well, the unit of measurement in Philippines is Systems International or Metric System. They are using kilograms for weight, liter for volume, kilometers for distance, kilometers per hour for speed, degrees Celsius for temperature and so on.

Q: We heard that in Philippines, the people there like games, outings, and parties, isn't it?

A: Yes, mostly Filipinos like games, outings, and parties because most of the people in Philippines are happy persons. After their work, most of the people there will go out for shopping, watch the movies in the cinemas, sing thru videoke, drink a beer or other alcoholic drink with their friends or "barkadas", visit their relatives, and neighbors, go out for outings during the weekend or vacation period with the family, friends or "barkadas", or relatives, go out for the party especially in the birthdays, weddings, baptismal, graduations, promotions, fiestas or festivals, and other occasions. Filipinos are also sports minded. Usually, Filipinos like basketball, golf, volleyball, soccer, marathon, tennis, chess, and so on. Most of the sports that Filipinos like are came from United States. Philippines was also colonized by United States from 1898 up to 1946.

Q: We heard that Philippines has many languages, isn't it?

A: Yes, Philippines has many languages because there are many cultural minorities or tribes. Before the colonization of Spain, Philippines has already many languages. The people there are speaking Tagalog, Ilocano, Pampango, Ilonggo, Cebuano, Waray, Chavacano, and so on. Tagalog is the national language in the Philippines. Because of the colonization of Spain and United States, the people in the Philippines are speaking Tagalog, English, and Spanish.

Q: We heard that Philippines has already a woman president, isn't it?

A: Yes, our country has already two woman presidents. First, Mrs. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino of Concepcion, Tarlac from 1986 up to 1992. Second, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Lubao, Pampanga from 2001 up to 2010. The trend in Philippine history that every time that our country will have a revolution or people power, the next president of our country is always a woman.

Q: We learned that Filipinos like cockfight or "sabong" and horseracing or "carera", isn't it?

A: Yes, Filipinos also like cockfight or "sabong" especially in the provinces and horseracing or "carera" in Manila or other cities in Philippines. Cockfight and horseracing were also contributed by Spaniards. These are also considered as gambling because the people there will spend their money in the bet. These are also bad hobby when you are very serious in these games.

Q: We heard that in Philippines, the people there are very devoted to their religion which is Roman Catholicism, isn't it?

A: Yes, Filipinos are very devoted to Roman Catholicism since Spanish period. Filipinos are very active to the church activities especially in the festivals, Holy Week activities, and Christmas activities. Filipinos are church goers and they go to church with their family always every Sundays and participate in the church activities. Filipinos are usually attending the masses, novenas, and, praying the Holy Rosary.

Q: Since you are migrated to United States, do you miss Philippines, your country?

A: Yes, I miss Philippines so much because I stayed there since my birth and I grown up there. United States is also a good place but I like to visit in Philippines because I like everything there like food, traveling, and visiting my friends and relatives. If you are very busy here in United States and spending much of your time in your work, you will get homesick, sad, and bored. I will save some money in order to travel to Philippines for vacation if I have a time. Thanks God that we have TFC (The Filipino Channel) and GMA Network here in United States. TFC is operated and managed by ABS-CBN while GMA Network is operated and managed by GMA Network, Incorporated. Because of having TFC and GMA Network here in United States, our homesickness and sadness here are already healed. I am now watching the TV shows and news of ABS-CBN and GMA Network here in United States. There are many Filipinos here in United States that's why we have TFC and GMA Network.

Q: When did you visit to Philippines and with whom?

A: I went to Philippines many times as follows:

Q: Did you collect Philippine money?

A: Yes, I collect many Philippine money when I went to Makati City to exchange some of my US Dollars into Philippine Pesos. I collect many notes and coins. My father was a former branch manager at Bank of Philippine Islands in Vito Cruz Branch in Malate, Manila but I went to the Head office along Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas. 1000 PHP is the highest note so far and it is hard to find it even in the banks.

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