02 Aug Celebrating Fiesta in America: 5 Things We Love About Filipino Culture
This week, on August 10, the SendFriend team will be celebrating Filipino culture at the 21st annual Fiesta in America event at the Meadowlands Expo Center in New Jersey. Come by to visit our booth and say kamusta!
The Fiesta in America is expected to draw more than 5,000 over two days to enjoy food, performance, and tourism packages. All weekend, the Meadowlands will host American tribute bands to Philippine pop performers, comedy acts, networking opportunities, and cultural dances. Those who attend are automatically entered to win a roundtrip airfare raffle to the Philippines!
There’s so much we appreciate about Filipino culture. The work ethic and values of Filipino workers are just a few of the qualities we admire about people from the Philippines at home and abroad. Here are five things we love about Filipino culture and why we’re excited for this weekend’s Fiesta!
“O, kain pa” – Come on, eat more!
We can’t get enough of Filipino cuisine – which is good, because when you eat with friends and family in the Philippines, you’ll never go away hungry! Filipinos love food, and it’s no surprise why. Adobo, lechon, sisig, kare-kare, lumpia: our mouths are watering just thinking about the flavorful, fusion-style dishes you can fill up on every day. Not only are the traditional recipes to die for, but the culture around food is uniquely Filipino. Besides having three square meals a day Filipinos love to stock up on meriendas in-between – plus an extra helping of rice! Enjoying good food and good company is the Filipino way.
Every day feels like Christmas
Filipino culture is built on positivity and happiness, with many festivals throughout the year. Sinulog Festival, Ati-Atihan, Panagbenga, Moriones – the list of Filipino festivals goes on and on. We love that these festivals bring together community, family, religion, and tradition for the ultimate expression of Filipino culture. The joy and spirit of the Philippines come through in these colorful, energetic parades, making every month feel like Christmas. But also, Filipinos start celebrating Christmas as early as August and continue the festive season through the first or second week of January. So, when we say every day feels like Christmas, that’s not such an exaggeration after all!
Empathy, family, and community come first
Helping one another is a value ingrained into the Filipino identity; this value is called Bayanihan. Filipinos exemplify Bayanihan, helping one another without expecting anything in return, in all aspects of daily life. Community spirit and empathy is the thread that binds all Filipinos together; it’s common to come together to accomplish a task, whether it’s moving, cooking, child-care, or just spending quality time with the whole neighborhood. When a member of the community is in need, everyone comes out to support them, no questions asked. Filipinos take pride in their families, which often not only means the immediate family but the third and fourth generations and even closest friends.
Filipinos are multicultural
Filipinos were masters at “fusion” before it became trendy. This country is a melting pot of traditions and cultures that have evolved to become its own unique identity. Chinese, Malay, Spanish, American, and Japanese influences can be traced in the cuisine, language, beliefs, customs, and values in the Philippines. Each island has its own distinct take on what it means to be Filipino: variations on culture, language and traditions make each island their own community. There are approximately 180 languages and dialects in the Philippines, for example. But, despite the history of colonialism and the complicated geography of the Philippines, national identity here has morphed into some totally unique and special.
No matter what, Filipinos are social
Filipinos are a social, fun-loving bunch. Of course, that translates to welcoming travelers with open arms, spending quality time with family, and hanging out with the entire community at the beach. But it also means Filipinos spend a lot of time sharing their lives on social media.
The Philippines is consistently ranked as the country with the highest social media use in the world. In 2019, people in the Philippines spent an average of 10 hours and 2 minutes online each day. “Engaging in social networking sites is the number one activity among internet users as its user-generated content allows for real-time updates from people from all over the country (and beyond!),” writes one report. For Filipinos at home and abroad, the ability to share experiences, stories, and moments is a cornerstone of their culture.
We’re excited to spend time with Filipinos living in New Jersey this weekend. Keep an eye on our social channels to see some of our favorite moments from Fiesta in America. We hope to see you there!