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3 Ways Expats Can Immerse themselves in Filipino Culture

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The Philippines is famous for its beautiful seaside scenery and friendly inhabitants. However, the Philippines also has an extraordinary culture and exotic traditions to share. For those expats lucky enough to be living in the beautiful Philippine Islands, you might want to pause and immerse yourself in the facinating culture as well. Below are our top three picks on how you can indulge in the Filipino culture.

 

1. Enjoy Filipino Food

Even a world famous chef, such as Gordon Ramsay, can’t help but praise a good old traditional Filipino dish. Earlier this year, Ramsay complimented a New Yorker who loves making traditional Filipino dishes on ABC’s “Good Morning America”. The 25-year old Maura Hohman made an Adobo Pan de Sal Burger in a cook-off segment of the show. Ramsay immediately recognized the dish as every Filipino’s favorite.

As Filipino food rapidly gains its international ground in the culinary scene, it might be a great idea not to come late to the party. Every year in June, Filipinos celebrate Independence Day by throwing several food festivals. This is a local tradition even the most luxurious hotels participate in. However, there’s no need to worry if you don’t find yourself visiting the country on that specific month. Filipinos love celebrating their heritage, and one of the best ways they show it is by throwing food festivals.

If you’re yearning to give your taste-buds a different experience, look into food festivals such as the Lechon Festival in Batangas or the Longganisa Festival in Vigan. You won’t just be going for the great food, but for the amazing parades that locals throw as well.

So, the next time you plan a vacation or a visit to the Philippines, make sure to check if there are any food festivals you can go to. Don’t forget to bring a notebook and a pen, you might want to take some recipes down.

 

 

 

2. Attend Local Festivals

The Philippines has a long list of festivals that commemorate important events in the Philippine history. If you think timing would be a problem, fear not! The Philippines usually has a festival each month, lasting between a day to the whole month.

One of the most attended festivals in the Philippines is the Sinulog Festival in Cebu – a beautiful province in the country’s Central Visayas region. The festival commemorates the Sto. Niño (Child Jesus) every third Sunday of January. You’ll find yourself surrounded by art exhibits, bright and colorful costumes, and beautiful dances moving to the beat of drums, trumpets, and native gongs! The locals perform graceful dances which in Cebuano, translates as the the festival’s name – Sinulog.

More and more tourists visit the Philippines to witness its traditional celebrations, as well as the beauty of the culture it depicts. However, the Sinulog Festival isn’t the only festival that represents the Philippines’ amazing culture. Finding and travelling to the Philippines’ to enjoy different festivals with the locals won’t be a problem. One quick search over the internet and you’ll find a long list of festivals that will help you enjoy the culture and traditions of the country.

 

 

 

3. Visit Filipino Cultural Sites

The best way to indulge in the Filipino culture is to visit the city that’s home to many historic sites. Some of the tourist spots were built during the 16th century such as Intramuros, also called the Walled City.

Intramuros is mostly constructed of stone blocks. The site also gives off a reminiscent European vibe that all old colonial settlements do. Although it underwent renovations under the direction of former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos, much of the development occurred outside Intramuros’ walls. Today, locals and tourists alike can still enjoy and bask in its original beauty. Thankfully, the 16th century streets, walls, and churches inside Intramuros remains untouched.

Visiting Manila is one of the best ways you can immerse yourself in the Philippines’ culture. Aside from visiting Intramuros, you can read up on Filipino literature at the Philippine National Library. If you’re more of a visual person, enjoy artworks that showcase the Philippines’ history. There are museums that exhibit old-age art created by Filipino artists who influenced the country’s arts scene, and liberated the Filipino people from the effects of World War II.

 

“It’s More Fun in the Philippines!”

The slogan, It’s more fun in the Philippines, can’t ring more true! The unique food, exotic festivals and the many historical sites of Manila and elsewhere allow visitors and expats to experience a different way of living and celebrating life. Aside from these three top suggestions, you can also visit the beautiful beaches and landscapes for which the Philippines is famous.

 

Author: Expatch Editorial Team

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