Say Philippines and for sure, you will think of astonishing destinations, rich culture, amazing delicacies, and hospitable people. True? Here’s why we say so.
Philippines is a sovereign archipelago country in South East Asia situated in the Western Pacific Ocean. The country is divided into three geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These group of islands houses picturesque and breath-taking views. We have the perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano in Albay, the crystal-clear waters of Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan, the man-made stairway to heaven of Banaue Rice Terraces, the route to another dimension through Palawan’s Underground River, the powder-white sand of Boracay in Aklan, and the bumpy Mt. Pinatubo trek in Sta. Juliana, Capas. Who would not be amazed by these natural wonders? These are just examples. We have more.
The Philippines also boasts an exceptional culture! Prior to Spanish colonization in 1521, Filipinos already had a rich culture and were trading with nearby super countries like China and Japan. The mixture of different traditions and influences made the Philippine culture dynamic and diverse. We have relics and traditions that serve as witnesses to this legacy: the 500-year-old Magellan’s cross in Cebu, the 400-year-old foundation of faith in Quiapo church, the colorful Masskara Festival in Bacolod, and the world’s longest Christmas celebration lasting four months. I rest my case!
Our greatest treasure perhaps is our people. We Filipinos are well-known for our hospitality. We value new connections and cherish these relationships. We value respect. We have the age-old tradition of pagmamano, a way of honoring our parents and elders through speech and symbolic gestures. We value hard work and industry. We are persevering people. No typhoon can drag us down. No earthquake can tear us apart. We face the calamities of life wearing a smile with optimism as our armor.
Welcome to the Philippines. Welcome to the family.
Alice, Edgil and Mark are 11th grade IHHELPP volunteers/writers from Cristo Rey High School, Capas, Philippines. They enjoy writing and have won school awards for it. They see writing for IHHELPP as an opportunity to serve their fellow Filipinos.