PEOPLE AND RELIGION
The Filipino is basically of Malay stock with a sprinkling of Chinese, American,
Spanish, and Arab blood. The Philippines has a population of 76.5 million as of
May 2000, and it is hard to distinguish accurately the lines between stocks. From
a long history of Western colonial rule interspersed with the visits of merchants
and traders evolved a people of a unique blend of East and West, both in appearance
The Filipino character is actually a little bit of all the cultures put together.
The bayanihan or spirit of kinship and camaraderie that Filipinos are famous for
is said to be taken from Malay forefathers. The close family relations are said
to have been inherited from the Chinese. The piousness comes from the Spaniards
who introduced Christianity in the 16th century. Hospitality is a common denominator
in the Filipino character and this is what distinguishes the Filipino. Filipinos
are probably one of the few, if not the only, English-proficient Oriental people
today. Pilipino is the official national language, with English considered as the
country's unofficial one.