The Cultural Geography of the Philippines

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Introduction

Over the last fifty years or so, globalization and technological advancement in the transport and communication has seen the world’s population become highly mobile regarding their places of work and residence. This alongside tourism has become an important segment of the global, economy with many countries investing a lot of time and resources in marketing themselves as an attractive destination to foreign tourists and expatriates. One important factor people consider before relocating to a country either temporarily or permanently is the Cultural Geography of the country. Cultural geography is a branch of geography that is concerned with the patterns and interactions of both material and non-material human culture about natural environment and human organization. Countries with a favorable cultural geography climate host and attract millions of foreigners and generate billions of dollars in revenue annually. This research paper is a review of the cultural geography of the nation of Philippines focusing on its human traits and cultural organization.

Human Traits of the nation of Philippines

The Philippines is a south-east Asian nation entirely made up of more than 7,000 islands of which around 2,000 of them are inhabited. Majority of the over 104,000,000 citizens of the Philippines live on 11 islands which are mainly mountainous and prone to some natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, landslides and volcanic eruptions. The Philippines attained its independence in 1946 from the United States which had been in power since 1898 when the Spanish colonist ceded control to the Americans after the 1898 Spanish-American war (Kelly, 2012) The cultural landscape and characteristics of the people of Philippines is a cocktail of both local and foreign influence from its regional neighbors as well as European and Americans influences over the past few centuries. The Philippines is the 12th most populated country in the world and has for a long time experienced a steady population growth rate although it has slowed over the last ten years. Ethnically, the population of the Philippines is as diverse as its geographical landscape with each island seemingly hosting a different ethnic group. The Tagalogs (often considered as the Filipinos), Ilocanos and Cebuanos are some of the country’s largest ethnic groups. The origin of the ethnic groups can be traced to the Philippines itself as well as Polynesia, Han Chinese, Indian and Malay. The Philippines has two official languages namely Filipino and English. Filipino is the formalized version of Tagalog; which is the language spoken by Philippines largest ethnic groups. Additionally, there are over a dozen other native languages spoken by the numerous ethnic groups across the Philippines of which majority belong to the same language family and closely related to Tagalog (Orbeta Jr, 2003). Religion is a very important aspect of the lives of the majority of the people of Philippines. The Philippines is widely known to be the only Christian nation in the whole of the continent of Asia. Statistics indicate that more than 80 percent of the people of Philippines are affiliated to Roman Catholic.

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