Growing up, I didn’t have a very strong understanding of what the Philippines was or what being Filipino really meant. It was only once I became older and began meeting other Filipinos my age that it began to hit me hard.
There’s so much more to the Philippines than most people know
The Philippines is much more than pretty beaches, friendly faces, and yes, its identity is not limited to tasty food. The country is home to a vibrant, innovative, daring, defiant, and entrepreneurial community.
And we want to uncover all of that.
So earlier this month, we posed this simple question to our audience:
“What’s something you wish more people knew about the Philippines?”
We received responses from people from the Philippines, Canada, and across the USA. Here are some of the highlights...
1. Shanice Espiritu, Culture & Arts Advocate
“What I would love for people to know about the Philippines is how beautiful and creative the people here are. Works of art are everywhere, in buildings, in streets, along the walls, in parks, clothes, dances, music... everywhere. This reflects how talented Filipinos are, and it reflects as well the wealth of knowledge we have yet to contribute to the world.”
- Shanice Espiritu, culture & arts advocate (@Shaniceespiritu)
2. Jasmine Noble, Ethical Travel Blogger & Conscious Living Advocate
"My answer is the concept of "bayanihan."
Bayanihan, simply put, means working as a group in unity to achieve communal goals. It originated from the early days when people help their neighbours move in or out of the town, by carrying their actual bamboo houses to their new location. Growing up in the Philippines, we learned this concept early on (mostly in elementary school), and I think this is why hospitality and helpfulness are huge aspects of the Filipino culture!”
- Jasmine Noble, ethical travel blogger and conscious living advocate (@jmnoble)
3. Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, Co-Founder of Rags2Riches
"We are such a young country with a lot of potential to be shaped into a great one. So look beyond the facade and see the possibilities! This country is a great place to start enterprises, creative industries, and movements."
4. Justine Abigail Yu, Founder & Editor of Living Hyphen Magazine
“The spirit of resistance runs wide and deep across the country and throughout our history.
From liberating ourselves from the Spaniards to resisting Japanese occupation, from standing up against American colonialism to defying our own dictators, the Philippines is a country of proud, fierce, and tenacious people!
Even today, in the face of a corrupt and deadly government, there are pockets of powerful and passionate people confronting oppression and catalyzing change in all the corners of our many islands.”
5. Randy Gonzalez, Founder of Pineapple Ind
“The many cultures of the Philippines are beautiful, and they are worth seeking out, preserving and continuing.”
6. Kaylee Carlberg, Miss Earth US Virgin Islands
“...I wish more people knew about the ‘Bayanihan Spirit’ in the Philippines. The value of helping one another without expecting anything in return. Everyone is equal in value and dignity, no matter your social status. We need to be “team players” in order to succeed.
When I was in the Philippines, I saw the ‘Bayanihan Spirit’ at work everyday… I left a piece of my heart in the Philippines and will forever practice the Bayanihan Spirit. The Philippines gave me so much and now it’s my turn to give back."
- Kaylee Carlberg, Miss Earth US Virgin Islands (@kaylee.carlberg)
7. Yana Santiago, founder of Olivia & Diego
“The Philippines is more than just our tourist spots or "retirement" communities. The Philippines is not just Manila, or El Nido, or Boracay. If you take the time to explore the country, you will realize that my hometown, Mindanao has a lot to offer. We have diverse indigenous tribes here - each with a different story, set of beliefs, clothing, and skill sets. They all coexist peacefully on this island, which is pretty amazing.”