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Common Questions About The Philippines Answered

Updated on March 22, 2011


or Yahoo! Answers Philippines (YAP)

you might be aware that Filipinos have a regular hangout at that popular Q&A Forum and that would be at the Travel Philippines Section.

But of course like everyone else you could see them in most of the other sections.

Although the Travel Section is unique, as normally each travel section seems to attract their share of those who honestly love the specific place as well as those who obviously abhor it and makes for a good exchange of ideas and opinions. [But nothing (yet) like the mud-slinging and the name-calling one would normally see at the R&S and even the Boxing Section, which many Filipinos also frequent, masochists all I tell you]

Still the travel sections are unique and just a cursory look would tell you why.

However, Travel Philippines is noticeable not in the sense that it does contain lots of legitimate questions and answers regarding travel to, from and within the Philippines, including tips, guides and what to dos, but to the fact that it is home to lots and lots of non-travel related questions.

I gather that with the passing of time and the Global Filipino phenomenon, it has since become an online meeting place among Filipinos and anybody connected to the Philippines in one way or another, and it has become as good a place as any to ask any question that is directed to Filipinos or the Philippines.

And during my time of hanging around there, I could probably be regarded as among the old-timer YAPPERs, as the regulars fondly call themselves.

So much so that since three years ago, when I first stumbled upon YAP, I have considered it a second home and a legitimate way to connect with my roots and with my fellow Filipinos back home and all over the world.

So, wherever you are in the world, if you have any question that you would want to direct to Filipinos or if you are connected in any way to the Philippines or if you wish to visit any of the more than 7,100 islands of the Philippines, then I suggest that a quick stopover at YAP would do you good, especially if you are planning to go visit there for the first time.

Here are a few of the most common questions asked about the Philippines and my own answer to them.

Are Filipinos, Asians or Pacific-Islanders?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in YAP and I have probably answered this question a handful of times. I admit that I normally am careful when I do as the answer isn’t as simple as it appears to be.

Here is my answer to one such question, asked about a year ago and was chosen as the Best Answer.

... for me, Filipinos are Asians due to the island's geographic location. They can also claim to be Pacific-Islanders because the indigenous people of the islands share a lot in common with the inhabitants of the other islands in that group. And among them shared words, shared culture, beliefs, practices, etc.

And as people in that part of the world moved about so much by boat anyway, during the early years before & even after the Spaniards first came to the Philippine Islands then it is not illogical to say that peoples from the many different islands have migrated to & from all the islands in that part of the Pacific Ocean.

Although, if you are going to ask me point blank this q, Filipinos are Filipinos. They are neither Asian or Pacific Islanders.;_ylt=Ah250EVk.kayR5Cwc4F8q3uxSAx.;_ylv=3?qid=20081206151047AAg6rIk

Are Filipinos Hispanic?

Also a common query, as it does seem odd that you find us everywhere, we look Asian, most of us have brown skin, we speak in English although some speak in an odd accent, we have peculiar habits and have weird smelling food, we have Hispanic names and most go to church, who are these people?

Yes, who are we?

My answer, we aren’t Hispanic, we are Filipinos! Ask that to the millions of Hispanics who lost a lot of their money betting on their own Mexican, Puerto Rican and other Hispanic boxers who fought Filipino Superstar Manny Pacquiao all these years.

Do Filipinos Speak Spanish?

My quick answer, we used to but I’m afraid not anymore. I took up 12 units of Spanish in college and also took it in High School but that’s about it, because we do not use the language in our everyday life, aside from the casual basic Spanish words and phrases that have become part of the vernacular, Filipinos have forgotten their Spanish. And besides for a whole generation now, learning Spanish in schools aren’t compulsory anymore.

And more questions? Go visit YA Tavel Philippines right now.



Submit a Comment
  • J@ps profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Southern California

    Thanks CMCastro!

    I will definitely check your hub about your dad as well as your other hubs.

  • CMCastro profile image

    Christina M. Castro 

    9 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

    I am Filipina(from Dad) and American(from Mom) with a Spanish surname that makes the common American think that I am related to someone who is Cuban!! I certainly have my story to tell how my cultures are diverse. So Check out my hub "Daddy Has Always Been There" to see about MY Filipino Heritage. I love telling people about it that is why I wrote my Hub. I enjoyed your hub.

  • J@ps profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Southern California

    Good question, although throughout the years, the term Hispanic may have other meanings, today it is mainly used to connote people who has roots from the Spanish speaking countries in South/Central America. So by that definition and going by what you said, your mother would be more Spanish-Filipino than Hispanic.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    My mother who is Filipino has direct lineage to ancesters in Spain. Does that not make her hispanic?

  • J@ps profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Southern California

    Hello Granny, thanks for visiting.

    To answer your question, to a certain degree it is.

    For example, my mom grew up in a town and back in the day, there were only a handful of family names who make up that entire town and everybody having the same last name were all related.

    I believe all these can be traced to the fact that way back at the early years of the Spanish era, Filipino familes were forced to take Spanish surnames and a list were assigned per region and per town.

    And because people did not really travel away from their hometowns, so that say all the Vinluans grew up and had families all in one town and a few may have moved to neighboring towns but they would most probably stayed within the same area or province, especially if their families had large tracts of land, had local businesses, hold public offices or are the town doctors, dentists or even the local hoodlums.

  • Granny's House profile image

    Granny's House 

    9 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

    My husband's dad is from there. the last name is Vinluan and I was told that if someone has the same last name they are related in some way, because last names are like clans. is that true? Great hub. Will follow. Hope you do the same.

  • J@ps profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Southern California

    Thanks unahispana.

    That's precisely the point, many Filipinos have a crisis of identity and all the more reason why other people also have these questions arising from that fact.

    Filipinos are Asian but a foreigner observing, speaking with and spending time with one would be hard pressed to identify them with Asians which typically would be anybody Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese or anybody with the same characteristics.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    many filipinos have identity crisis & that they try to distance themselves w/ asians though they're obviously one & that's why they came up with these ridiculous questions. sorry but filipinos can't be p.i nor hispanic geographically, culturally & racially.


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