The Culture of Traditional Filipino Cuisine

Filipino food is a unique part of the culture and central to Filipino life. It defines their uniqueness and diversity as a people. Most regions or provinces are known for one or several types of food or for the distinctive taste of their home-cooked food.

Bicolanos for example are known for a variety of food preparations that include lots of chili and other spices. People from Northerm Luzon take pride in pinakbet (mixed vegetables) in their exotic menu. In Central Luzon, delicious confections and kakanin (snack foods and sweets) are hard to resist. The rest of Luzon and Tagalog region are known for their spicy kaldereta and kare-kare (meat and entrails with vegetables and many other spices), paksiw and adobo (fish and meat boiled with vinegar, among other ingredients).

In the Visayas and Mindanao, food preparations with coconut milk are common. Also in many parts of the country and Visayas in particular, occasions like birthdays, weddings, baptisms, family reunions and the like do not seem complete without lechon or roasted pig or roasted chicken.


Statistics have been shown that the more well off people are, chances are higher that wheat-based bread, instead of rice, becomes the staple food. But in the Philipinnes and wherever Filipinos may be found abroad, an ordinary Filipino meal would basically still consist of fish and rice. The essence of this menu has sustained Filipinos for thousands of years. A dish with rice and fish, along with other sets of menu perfected in various parts of the country, is what makes it Filipino.

Capturing the Heart of a Filipina Woman

If you fall in love with a Filipina, you will need to find the way to capture her heart. Filipina girls are known to be very conservative and very religious, they can also be very secretive especially when it comes to relationships and the matters of the heart. This is actually a result of the Philippines being a predominantly Catholic country. Young people are taught at an early age by parents, grandparents and particularly their mothers, to have faith in God, to go to church every Sunday to observe special occasions, religious fiestas and holidays like Christmas, New Year and Easter.

Filipinos in general are non-confrontational people. A girl may find a man attractive but would keep everything to herself and just wait for the moment that the young man would take notice of her.  A Filipina girl would find it attractive if a man would be brave enough and truthful with his feelings and speak up. This trait is something that most young male Westerners would not find difficult.

FIlipina girls love to be wooed, this will show a mans sensitivity to a woman’s needs and building an emotional connection to her and is a very traditional method of winning a girl’s heart. Even with the use of modern day methods, email, Yahoo and Skype, the effort to mail a care package will not go unnoticed and will solidify your existence and potential desire for commitment. Filipina girls will almost always fall for a guy who will talk and act with commitment in mind, if your sincere she will know it and you will sweep her off of her feet.


Filipinas will always look forward to receiving a love letter or care package full of sweet-nothings, chocolate, cloths or anything personal that will establish your desire for long term commitment. Women from other countries find these things very cheesy or mushy but not to Filipinas.

If a man truely wants to win a Filipina’s heart he should show respect and love to her family. Families are very important in Philippine life. Filipina girls in general give a lot of significance to family get-togethers and family relationships. That is why a guy does not only woo the girl but the whole family as well.

A Filipino family does not only mean the mother, the father and some siblings. A Filipino family extends to the grandfather and grandmother, some uncles and aunts, cousins, sometimes even some nephews and nieces and the whole clan. That is why a guy should be prepared to love not just one person but the whole extended family.

In essence the way to any Filipina girl’s heart is to successfully project the sincerity and love that a man should have for a woman. There is actually no secret formula of some sort or a guidebook that one can follow. A guy could find a way to a girl’s heart by being true to himself and showing the girl and the girl’s family and close friends utmost respect and concern.

Filipina girls could be traditional or conservative but in a nutshell Filipinas only look for true love and nothing else.

Traditional Love of a Modern Day Filipina Woman

What is the price of love these days, what price would you pay to find the love of your life? Can you find love in a third world country? What can be traditional in a modern day relationship…

Love should be pure and sincere. Filipinas are known to be devoted and willing to surrender everything during marriage and would selflessly give up everything for family and the people, children and husband she loves. Filipina women are willing to leave a career or promising future to take care of a husband, children or extended family. Traditional Filipina WomanYoung girls are trained at an early age to embrace their future roll of home maker and take care of their husbands and the kids, tend the house and do other household chores with pride. Even in this modern era, the Filipina woman is known for her selfless care of others, attention to detail around the home, establishing respect and discipline in her children and often a natural knack at making things grow.

Many husbands of Filipina women will confess that their wifes love is indisputable and pure. They are true to their wedding vows and stick to their husbands even in the most trying times. A Filipina love said to be martyr and full of sacrifices. This is true in so many different ways. There are a lot of women, married women, who would just confine herself inside the house and just do everything to make the home as comfortable as possible. Filipina married women always want to be at home when their husband comes home from work and pick the kids up at school. They also love cooking for the family and making sure all they’re needs are met. All of these things are the responsibilities that they are willing to take even if it means forever. These are admirable traits that are bread into young girls for thousands of years.


Today the pressures on the family, the acceptance of divorce and the more liberal views of family, some women leave the family even the kids and go overseas to work. Kids are just left with a nanny or their grandparents so that both parents can work and look after the family. Half of the population believes that this way of life affects the children. The effects may not be visible right now, but according to some people the effects of parents leaving their kids would slowly manifest when they are in their teens. Many believe that this kind of arrangement would also take it’s toll on the marriage relationship and the perception the children will have of their parents.

Even though this is what is happening, many people believe that love is still alive, with the all the new ways to communicate, it just became more practical than ever before. Leaving the family behind is something that is almost unthinkable for most Filipinas, but this is Filipina love in all its essence. This kind of trait is something that men from other countries really admire about Filipinas, that is why more and more male foreigners prefer Filipinas rather than other women from other countries.

Climate of the Philippines

The Philippines has a tropical maritime climate and is usually hot and humid. There are three seasons: tag-init or tag-araw, the hot dry season or summer from March to May; tag-ulan, the rainy season from June to November; and tag-lamig, the cool dry season from December to February. Philippine ClimateThe southwest monsoon (from May to October) is known as the Habagat, and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon (from November to April), the Amihan. Temperatures usually range from 21°C (70°F) to 32°C (90°F) although it can get cooler or hotter depending on the season. The coolest month is January; the warmest is May.


The average yearly temperature is around 26.6°C (79.88°F). In considering temperature, location in terms of latitude and longitude is not a significant factor. Whether in the extreme north, south, east, or west of the country, temperatures at sea level tend to be in the same range. Altitude usually has more of an impact. The average annual temperature of Baguio at an elevation of 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level is 18.3°C (64.9°F), making it a popular destination during hot summers. Likewise, Tagaytay is a favored retreat.

CatarinaSitting astride the typhoon belt, most of the islands experience annual torrential rains and thunderstorms from July to October, with around nineteen typhoons entering the Philippine area of responsibility in a typical year and eight or nine making landfall. Annual rainfall measures as much as 5,000 millimeters (200 inches) in the mountainous east coast section but less than 1,000 millimeters (39 inches) in some of the sheltered valleys. The wettest known tropical cyclone to impact the archipelago was the July 1911 cyclone, which dropped over 1,168 millimetres (46.0 in) of rainfall within a 24-hour period in Baguio City. Bagyo is the local term for a tropical cyclone in the Philippines.

Eastern Visayas

Eastern Visayas RegionEastern Visayas is one of the two regions of the Philippines having no land border with another region, MIMAROPA being the other, and is designated as Region VIII. It consists of six provincesand one city, namely, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Southern Leyte and the City of Tacloban. These provinces and city occupy the easternmost islands of Visayas: Samar, Leyte and Biliran. The regional center is Tacloban City. Eastern Visayas directly faces the Pacific ocean. There is also an idea of separating Biliran-Leyte and Samar as a region and creating a new region – the Samar Region (Region VIII-A) consisting the provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and South Samar (official name: Timog Samar) and the City of Catbalogan as its regional capital. But today the said idea has not been realized. Eastern Visayas, particularly the island of Samar, because of its geographical location is always hit by typhoons.

Climate

TyphoonThe region belongs to Type-B climate, which is basically wet to very wet with no pronounced dry season. Sometimes during rainy or windy seasons the weather is experiencing least colder, By nightfall the ice fog, mist or haze occurs bringing out the cold in the province.

Land

Eastern Visayas is primarily an agricultural region with rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane and banana as major crops. Its total land area is 21,431.7 km². 52% of its total land area are classified as forestland and 48% as alienable and disposable land.


Natural Resources

The region’s sea and inland waters are rich sources of salt and fresh water fish and other marine products. It is one of the fish exporting regions of the country. There are substantial forest reserves in the interiors of the islands. Its mineral deposits include chromite, uranium(in Samar), gold, silver, manganese, magnesium, bronze, nickel, clay, coal, limestone, pyrite and sand and gravel. It has abundant geothermal energy and water resources to support the needs of medium and heavy industries.

Culture

Languages

Waray-Waray is spoken on the island of Samar, Biliran and the province of Leyte both of these languages are called Visayan by their speakers. A Samar language, distantly related to the languages of the region, called Abaknon is spoken in the island of Capul in Northern Samar.

Dances

Tinikling, the Philippines’ national dance is folkdance that originated from the region. But the most popular cultural dance among Warays is the Curacha, danced during feast celebrations and special gatherings. The Leyte Kalipayan Dance Troupe, a local cultural group, held highly successful performances around the world.

Music

Waray people are music lovers whose folkloric music are mostly ballads in form, famous of which is “Dandansoy” while “Iroy nga Tuna” (Motherland) is a patriotic song.EconomyPrimary sources of revenue are manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and services. Mining, farming, fishing and tourism contribute significantly to the economy Manufacturing firms include mining companies, fertilizer plants, sugar central, rice and corn mills and other food processing plants. Tacloban is the hub of investment, trade and development in the region.Other industries include mining, rice, corn and sugar milling, coconut oil extraction, alcohol distilling, beverage manufacture and forest products. Home industries include hat and basket weaving, metal craft, needlecraft, pottery, ceramics, woodcraft, shell craft and bamboo craft.

Education

Eastern Visayas is home to several state universities, including the prominent University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV Tacloban College). The region is also home to the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP), located in Catarman, Northern Samar, which holds the most number of baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate courses among universities in the region. UEP is considered one of the most notable state universities in the country, offering programs in liberal arts, sciences, medicine, agriculture, education, and law. Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) which is said to be the largest university in the region in terms of student population; it offers programs in engineering, technology, liberal arts, sciences, education, architecture, allied disciplines, entrepreneurship, business and graduate studies. EVSU is the only university in the region that offers undergraduate course in architecture; the university has its satellite campuses in Ormoc City; Tanuan, Leyte; Dulag, Leyte; Burauen, Leyte and Carigara, Leyte (soon in Pinabacdao Municipality).

The Zonal Agricultural University for the Visayas under the National Agriculture Education System concept, Visayas State University (VSU) is also in the region. Formerly known as Leyte State University (LSU) and Visayas State College of Agriculture (ViSCA), the University is home to high-caliber faculty and academic staff obtaining most of their local and international recognitions in research and development, 92 of whom are Ph.D. degree holders, 110 MS degree holders and 72 BS degree holders from reputable colleges and universities here and abroad. Standing on plains and hillsides of the more than 1,099-hectare campus are 193 buildings composed of academic departments, research and trainings centers, staff and student housing facilities and other vital structures. VSU is well known as a center for excellence in research and extension and has been collaborating with partner universities local and abroad to improve its capabilities. As proof of its excellence in instruction, the school have time and time again produced several board topnotchers in national licensure examinations for agriculture, agricultural engineering, geodetic and geomatics engineering, forestry, chemistry and veterinary medicine.

Eastern Visayas Region of Leyte and Samar

The twin islands of Samar and Leyte form the core group of the East Visayas region. Both offer excellent natural harbours for ancient seafarers coming in from the Pacific Ocean. Not much is known of the islands’ pre-Hispanic origins due to lack of archaeological diggings in the area. Its remoteness contributed to its isolation from pre-Spanish trade and commerce with China. But most people agree that the same group Negritos settled in the islands some 30,000 years ago. These people walked over land bridges from the regions of Borneo and Sumatra. Arab traders originating from Borneo and Sabah are believed to have introduced Islam and their developed culture beginning in the 14th century well ahead of the first Europeans. However, their influence did not take root since these traders did not stay long enough to intermarry with the natives. Magellan's Cross in Cebu PhilippinesThe nature of their trade was to exchange artifacts and items for precious metals such as gold and silver and then leave when their business was done.

However, recent diggings point to an established society a century before Magellan arrived. Broken pottery shards showed that the people were trading with merchants not only coming from China during the Ming Dynasty period but also with traders from Siam (Thailand), Cambodia and Vietnam. When Magellan arrived in 1521, excavations in the coastal town of Cabalian showed it was ruled by a local chieftain named Malitik who was a tributary (a lower-ranked chief who pays tribute) to King Siagu. Another example of a well-established society in pre-Spanish times was the Malayan town of Ormoc (old name was Ogmuc) with its own laws and customs. The culture then was centred on the main business of survival in hard times. Carigara was another ancient township that had a thriving agriculture due to the crude irrigation system introduced by migrants nearby Bohol Island.Large fragments of earthenware jars seemed to indicate that jar burial was practiced in Leyte because of the accompanying human skeletal remains.Ferdinand Magellan An aberration during this time was the proliferation of slaves since next to gold, a man’s stature in society and personal wealth was measured by the number of slaves under him. Generally, these settlements were just small barangays of informal groupings that constantly wage wars with the other groups nearby. Each group was in constant preparedness due to incessant raids, ambuscades, slayings, robberies and slave capture. This very fierce independent stance led to constant hostility that prevented settlements from coming together in friendship, mutual assistance and military alliances to repel foreign invaders.


The Spanish expedition led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines in 1521 and constituted the first contact ever with the Europeans. Magellan dropped anchor in the small island of Homonhon in south-eastern Leyte. His arrival was close to the holiest of all holidays which is Lent. So on that Good Friday (some 2 weeks after arrival), he sealed a kasi-kasi (blood compact) with Rajah Kolambu who was the emissary of the King of Limasawa island. 1st Catholic Mass in the PhilippinesThe first ever Catholic mass in the Philippines was celebrated on that succeeding Easter Sunday. The implicit political pact did not last long since successive Spanish expeditions met with hostile native reception. The death of Magellan in the Battle of Mactan was like a warning bell that tolled far and wide throughout the archipelago. Most of the recent history of Leyte was similar to the other Philippine islands which were close associated with the Spanish efforts at evangelisation. 4th Philippine PresidentThere was a brief native revolt against conscription of Bisayan shipbuilders being sent to Cavite shipyards constructing galleons but quickly put down. During the war for liberation, the Commonwealth Government under Pres. Sergio Osmeña was established in Tacloban under Gen. MacArthur’s orders. Present day Leyte is remarkably progressive without the accompanying dirt of urban sprawl. Its large area is still sparsely populated and still has room for growth. It is a matter of marshalling the resources together for progress.

The Beauty of Leyte Philippines

Island of leyte

Leyte is an island province located in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. It is about 180 kms long and 65 kms at its widest point. It is very near Samar Island which is the third largest island in the country (the biggest island is Luzon followed by Mindanao). The local dialect is Waray which is part of the Visayan group of dialects (Cebuano dialect is the most dominant in the region). The word Visayan itself derives from the Ceylonese term of the Sri Vijaya empire (modern day Sri Lanka) of which the Visayas island group was once a part of that empire. Other Visayan (local is Bisaya) dialects besides Cebuano and Waray are Hiligaynon and Ilonggo. The word Leyte is derived from the local word “hiraite” or someone who hails from the place called Ete.

The beautiful and mountainous island of Leyte has its own share of notable distinctions such as the location of the longest bridge in the country. The San Juanico Bridge connects the islands of Leyte and Samar at their narrowest point along the San Juanico Strait. The bridge was built during the time of the conjugal Marcos dictatorship to please the former first lady Imelda Marcos who hails from Tacloban City, the largest and also the capital city of Leyte. Douglas McArthur Landing on LeyteA remote stretch of seashore located at Red Beach in the quaint town of Palo is world-famous in history books as the site where the eccentric American Gen. Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return and liberate the Philippines from occupying Japanese forces in WWII. It was also in nearby Leyte Gulf that the biggest naval battle in history took place. The 4-day “Battle of Leyte Gulf” broke decisively the might of the Japanese Imperial Navy and paved the way for the invasion of Japan.


Every island in the Philippine archipelago is unique in a certain way and Leyte is no exception. Leyte has so many attractions that one could literally spend months without ever getting tired of going to exciting places to see and visit. Its natural beauty is incomparable and is a delight for the nature lovers. However, its proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it more vulnerable to typhoons similar to Samar. The island of Leyte has also suffered natural calamities in recent years due to deforestation. The local populace is very friendly and fun-loving but suffers from a mindset of regionalism. This is perhaps unavoidable but also understandable given the sheer number of dialects in the Philippines and the archipelagic and fragmented geography of the country.