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Culture of the Philippines

The culture of the Philippines is one of the most unique and diverse among the nations in Southeast Asia. A starting point for understanding modern Filipino culture is a review of the accomplishments of the citizens given the country's highest recognization for their contributions to the cultural heritage of the country. They have been recognized for their contributions to architecture, dance, film, literature, music,theater, and the visual arts.

Table of contents
1 Religion
2 Heritage
3 Sports
4 Related Articles


In the Philippines, religion plays almost a daily role in the lives of its citizens, regardless of belief or affiliation. More than 90% of the people are Christian; most were converted and Westernized to varying degrees during nearly 400 years of Spanish and American rule. Although colonial influence may be responsible for the introduction of Roman Catholicism to the islands, the records of the Spanish, and the indigenous traditions which still survive, provide evidence that the Negritos, Malay and others had a complex belief system that predates Spanish and 14th century Arab Muslim influences and includes the concept of a supreme creator. Upon this indigenous religious base, a process of cultural adaptation and synthesis began that is still continuing into the 21st century.


Several sites in the country have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites:


The national unofficial sports in the Philippines is basketball. Basketball is so popular among Filipinos that virtually every barangay in the country has at least one basketball court. The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), founded in 1975 is the most watched basketball league. Corporate-sponsored teams compete in three tournaments every year and many Filipino-Americans return to the country to become popular basketball heroes. Many Americans also join the league as a stepping stone to joining the American National Basketball Association (NBA).

Another popular league is the Philippine Basketball League, often joined by players who aim to get experience for eventual drafting into the PBA. The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) also has basketball as one of its sports. Basketball in the UAAP is arguably one of the most watched basketball tournaments in the country due to rabid support from students and alumni of the country's top universities that are members of the UAAP.

Among the other sports where the Filipinos have gained international recognition are billiards (notably nine ball), ten-pin bowling, boxing, and chess. Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante are among the top ten billiard players in the world. Rafael Nepomuceno has been a world champion in bowling, Eugene Torre is Asia first chess grandmaster, and Mansueto Velasco and Manuel Pacquiao have become world champions in boxing.

The Palarong Pambansa, a national sports festival, has its roots in an annual sporting meet of public schools that started in 1948. Private schools and universities eventually joined the national event, which became known as the Palarong Pambansa in 1976. It serves as a national Olympics for students, with victors from competitions at the school, province, and regional level emerging to participate. A recent (2002) event included the following sports: archery, badminton, baseball, boxing, chess, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, track and field, and volleyball. It also included two lesser known sports:

There is a tradition of Filipino Martial Arts developed in response to Spanish limitations on the possession of weapons.

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