July 4 – One Day and Two Countries To Celebrate

July 4th is an interesting “dual” day for me. I am an American citizen through my father and July 4th is considered “independence day” in the US since that is when the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Of course, there was the matter of actually winning independence.

But July 4th is also “Republic Day” in the Philippines because it was on that date in 1946 that the country became independent from the U.S. Before becoming a U.S. territory in 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American War, the Philippines had been a Spanish colony for over 350 years. Since my mother is Filipina, I am also a “natural born” Filipino.

Since I was raised in the Philippines, I am culturally more Filipino (who use the term “Pinoy”) than American. And there are many cultural differences. Pinoys like to laugh, so let’s explore some aspects of Pinoy culture through some often humorous videos of Filipino-Canadian Mikey Bustos, who often parodies popular songs to make his point.

First is the nature of the Filipino accent. Like him, I can speak without an accent, but when I’m with my Manila high school friends we frequently lapse into a Pinoy accent and use many Tagalog phrases.

Drinking often takes on cultural elements, and that is true of Pinoys.

In the Philippines, going to “palengke” (market) is an important aspect of life.

Pinoys living overseas often send a “balikbayan” box to relatives in the Philippines. It is a big box of “staples” which often are more expensive in the Philippines.

Now you know a bit about Pinoy culture…


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