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Old 03-18-2012, 09:25 PM
5 posts, read 114,141 times
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Are Filipinos Asians or Pacific Islanders? Is the Philippines part of South-east Asia, Oceania or the Pacific Islands?
Officially, of course, Filipinos are categorized as Asians and the Philippines as part of South-east Asia. But describing Filipinos as Pacific Islanders isn’t necessarily wrong either. In fact, for a long time, Filipinos were known as Pacific Islanders.
The Philippines used to be called the Philippine Islands of the Pacific, and when the Americans first arrived more than a century ago, they described the Philippine Islands as ‘orphans of the Pacific.’
They might well have been referring to the geographical distance of the country from mainland Asia. Composed of more than 7000 islands, the Philippine archipelagic state was a political creation of Western colonizers. It was Spain during the 16th century that united the major islands of the Philippines—if it hadn’t occupied the islands, the Philippine nation state wouldn’t have existed.

What would have happened if the country hadn’t been united? Luzon, the largest island in the north of the Philippines, could have become a territory of China or Taiwan, while Mindanao in the south could have become a province of Malaysia or Indonesia. The formation of a bigger nation state composed of the Philippine Islands, Taiwan and parts of Malaysia and Indonesia could have been another possibility.
Philippine society evolved differently from other Asian nations. For example, the Philippines (aside from Timor Leste) is the only Christian-dominated nation in Asia. The blending of Western and native cultures created a unique society that’s neither Western nor Asian.
Many Filipinos are unsure about their identity and although they believe they’re Asians, many also feel closer to the West, especially the United States. Indeed, they seem to be prouder of their Western upbringing than their Asian identity. This colonial mentality has been identified as one of the negative traits of many Filipinos.
South-east Asia is defined as a purely geographical concept in the Philippines and Filipinos often don’t appreciate nor understand the cultural and religious practices of their neighbours. They’re also unaware of Indochina politics.
The Philippines was used as a launch pad by the United States during the Vietnam War. But while panic swept the rest of the region when Cambodia and Thailand almost went to war over a border dispute, the Philippines didn’t express any sense of alarm over the situation.
To Filipinos, their place in South-east Asia is just an accident of geography. This is unfortunate, because the Philippines’ detachment from mainland South-east Asia could have been maximized to exert political leadership in the region. By not being involved with the numerous squabbles in Indochina, the Philippines could have played the role of objective arbiter in the various regional conflicts and disagreements.
But Filipinos seem to be more interested in political events in the West. Instead of ignoring their neighbours, Filipinos should embrace their connection with South-east Asia.

Old 03-18-2012, 09:49 PM
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,144,182 times
Reputation: 9478
They're Southeast Asians.

Most are of Malay stock, and plenty of similarities with their Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts, in appearance.

They also take on the southeast asian 'laid back' approach - i.e. acceptance of gays, transgenders, and all the rest....DESPITE being deeply religious at the same time - similar to muslim Indonesians, Buddhist Thais, etc.

'Pacific Islanders' is simply an American term used to identify Asians in their ethnicity inquiries. That being said, Filipinos do have similarities to people in Guam, Micronesia, etc. So, it's not totally wrong either. But, 'Southeast Asian' is more correct. Plus any travel book you see on 'Southeast Asia' will ALWAYS have the Philippines in it. That's not the case with 'Pacific Islands' travel books.

Anyways, I personally consider them Southeast Asian. If someone goes to, say, Thailand, you'll quickly hear them say that Filipinos are 'same same'. If you met ten Indonesians and ten Filipinos together, and you didn't recognize their respective languages, you might be struggling to identify which is which. Plus, they are all good-natured, easy to get along with, and just nice people all the way around, typical of Southeast Asia.
Old 03-18-2012, 10:10 PM
Location: Chicago
218 posts, read 590,325 times
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I believe there's already a LONG DISCUSSED topic about this.

Filipinos have strong resemblance or look exactly the same as Thais, Malaysians & Indonesians. It's just that some Filipinos are Mestizos or have mixed Spanish ancestry.
Old 03-18-2012, 11:14 PM
Location: Filipinas
1,761 posts, read 6,964,408 times
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Originally Posted by DrunkSam View Post
I believe there's already a LONG DISCUSSED topic about this.

Filipinos have strong resemblance or look exactly the same as Thais, Malaysians & Indonesians. It's just that some Filipinos are Mestizos or have mixed Spanish ancestry.
Thais are totally different with Filipinos. Only few is Austronesian in Thailand most of them are Austro-Asiatic and Tai-Kadai.

Culture with regards to religion, language and customs is totally different.

Because Philippines is located in Asia from Island Southeast Asia then we are Asians but this is not a race because it's just a geographical definition of people whose country are located in Asia. Philippines culture is different if you compared it to other countries even to our Asian neighbors. Our language belongs to Malayo-Polynesian which is a subgroup of Austronesian language family. We just don't want to put ourselves to a certain group just to fit in.

appearance yes we have closer link to those island southeast asian neighbors like Malaysia and Indonesia because they speak austronesian languages & we also have the same culture as them and those people of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia including the Madagascar that speak Austronesian. We are not Pacific Islander because this is geographical term also like us from Asia.

We have our own Identity, people get confused with our culture. we cannot just erased everything just to fit in to other races.

Filipinos are Filipinos with our own identity

Filipinos are not same as Austro-Asiatic, Tai-Kadai or Sino-Tibetan speaking population of Asia because their culture is different from us.
we have closer link to Austronesian speaking people. But if you will talk about the Philippines as a whole, It's different because we have strong hispanic culture too which the result of 333 yrs of spanish occupation & then american culture of 40 yrs of occupation.

Last edited by pinai; 03-19-2012 at 12:07 AM..
Old 03-19-2012, 05:21 AM
455 posts, read 915,737 times
Reputation: 438
Filipinos are virtually indistinguishable from other south east asians/malay/thai/indonesian stock. They are very distinguished from pacific islander, poleynesians, maori etc.
Old 03-19-2012, 09:14 AM
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,564 posts, read 4,650,797 times
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Cousins of the Latin-Americans.
Old 03-19-2012, 10:45 AM
3,644 posts, read 8,997,592 times
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Originally Posted by Mhundred View Post
Filipinos are virtually indistinguishable from other south east asians/malay/thai/indonesian stock. They are very distinguished from pacific islander, poleynesians, maori etc.
It really depends on the person. Many Filipinos look just like Micronesians. You wont find as many that look like Polynesians, but they exist. It's a country that's situated between Southeast Asia & Micronesia, so of course, there's gonna be a range of people

From this

stock photo - Den-Den and Wilma, Angeles City

to this

stock photo - Young Filipino Kids Selling Crafts to Shoppers

and even some who look like this...

stock photo - Happy Aetas Pampanga Smiling for the Camera

Most Micronesians & Southeast Asians would blend in because there's such a range of looks in the Philippines.

But besides phenotypes, the native culture & language are more closely related to Pacific Islanders (Malays & Indonesians as well) than to Southeast Asians. You can even compare Tagalog with Hawaiian and find many similarities. You wont find any similarities if you compare Tagalog with a Mainland Southeast Asian language (besides a couple Austronesian languages)
Old 03-19-2012, 11:03 AM
1,109 posts, read 2,343,176 times
Reputation: 416
I think if you look back at their ancestory, you may note that there is a bit of Spanish influence due to the history.
Old 03-19-2012, 12:27 PM
Location: In the heights
22,116 posts, read 23,634,230 times
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It would've been interesting if there were substantially more spanish influence.
Old 03-19-2012, 01:36 PM
9,334 posts, read 19,457,052 times
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Who said filipinos were not Asian?

There were already a few long threads on this
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