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Manila | The Capital City of the Philippines

One of the country’s most densely populated cities is also the capital city of the Philippines—Manila. Despite being the second largest city in the country, the population spike in the capital has made it a very crowded place. Nonetheless, hundreds of tourists still visit the city. So what is it that makes more and more people visit Manila?

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The answer is simple: beauty and a rich history. When you say beauty, it’s not just the beautiful spots that attract tourists to visit Manila but the beauty of its people as well. Women in Manila, for one, exude beauty both inside and on the outside. Manila culture and traditions have molded these young ladies to be one of the happiest and friendliest people in the world.

The history of Manila mirrors that of the history of the entire Philippines. Though no matter how much foreign culture has influenced the Filipino people, Filipino culture and values will always play an important part in the lives of many Filipinos.

The History of Manila

Manila, Philippines—a beautiful place that is full of history. Structures that were built during the Spanish era stood the test of time and still remain standing to this day. These structures serve as reminders to Manila’s rich past.

During the early days of Manila, several natives from surrounding countries came to either try and conquer the rich lands of the Philippines or to trade goods. The Malays and Indos are some of these natives.

In the year 1571, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived in Manila and claimed it as a territory of Spain. Spanish rule in the Philippines lasted for more than 300 years. During this time, Christianism was brought into the Philippines and many Filipinos were converted to Roman Catholicism.

The Catholic church was headed by the friars and they played a big role in the governance of the Spanish ruled Philippines. Although Spain had a stronger army and was more advanced, the Filipinos did not stop rebelling against them until they finally ended Spanish rule with the help of the US on the 12th of June, 1898.

Before Spanish rule ended however, most Filipinos have already adopted much of the Spanish culture. From food, to names, to numbers, to language, to holidays, the Philippines, including Manila, has become somewhat accepting of the Spanish culture.

The Culture and Traditions of Manila

The culture and traditions of Manila come from a long line of historical events. Historic Manila has seen the rise and fall of many civilizations in the country, with the Spanish being the longest running.

As such, Manila culture and traditions are mostly influenced by the Spanish culture.

  • Food
  • People usually say that food is what defines a country, and rightly so. Food teaches us about the characteristics of certain groups of people. For example, when you look at nomads, their diet usually consists of wild game and wild plants. This is because they are unable to make farms because of their nomadic nature.

    When it comes to food in Manila, traditional Spanish foods such as kare-kare, arroz caldo, adobo, caldereta, relyeno, and more are some of the Filipino people’s favorites. Because of the fact that Spanish rule lasted for more than 300 years in the country, it is no surprise why Manila’s cuisine has been greatly influenced by Spain.

  • Architecture
  • Spanish architecture dominated the entire Philippines during the Spanish era. Most houses and buildings used Spanish architecture as what can be seen in the town of Vigan in the Philippines. In Manila, Spanish architecture can be seen in Paoay’s Baroque-styled San Agustin Church and the fortress city of Intramuros.

  • Language
  • The Filipino language has been influenced by Spanish culture as well. The Filipino people still use some adaptations of the Spanish language up to this day. The Spanish way of counting (uno, dos, tres, cuatro, etc.) has been used by people in the Philippines even after the fall of Spain. Names are also derived from Spain, such as Jose, Rodriguez, Santiago, etc.

  • Literature
  • Spanish literature greatly influenced Manila in such a way that even the national hero’s (Jose Rizal) famous books—Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo—were in Spanish.

Despite being influenced by Spain, some Filipino traditions and culture are still very evident in our daily lives. These include pamahiin (beliefs or superstitions), Manila dating culture, and of course, Manila marriage culture.

Pamahiin are passed down from generation to generation. Here are some beliefs that are completely Filipino in origin:

  • Do not sleep when your hair is wet.
  • According to the old people, when your hair is wet and you go to sleep without letting it dry first, you will go blind when you wake up. Even though this has not been proven true, many Filipinos still believe in this and follow it to heart up to this day.

  • Do not sweep the floor at night.
  • It is said that when you sweep the floor of your house at night, you are sweeping out all the good luck that was in your house.

  • When studying for an exam, place your book under your pillow when you sleep.
  • This is supposed to make you remember the next day everything that you have studied for the night before.

  • When you come from a burial, do not directly go home to your house.
  • Old people believe that when you attend a burial, evil spirits may cling on to you and follow you home. Because of this belief, it is recommended that you do not go to your house directly after the ceremony so as not to bring the evil spirit home.

  • Women who are on their period should not eat anything sour like unripe mango.
  • It is believed that if women eat anything sour when they are about to have their period, they will have a hard time letting out their menstruation.

  • When a family member gets married, no other family member should marry within that year.
  • Marrying the same year as another family member got married is said to be sukob. The term means that something bad will happen to one of the newlyweds.

If you want to learn more about Manila culture and traditions, don’t hesitate to join us and sign up for FREE. We have resources that will help you understand Manila women better and help you to be more confident when you do meet one up close and personal.

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