Cultural Characteristics of the Philippines

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Cultural Characteristics


The Philippines has a population of about 104 million people. It is located in Southeast Asia in the Western Pacific ocean. It is composed of 7,107 islands with 3 main geographical divisions- Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The different divisions of the Philippines have differences in tradition. The Philippines has a tropical climate and a mountainous terrain; earthquakes and typhoons happen frequently. Both dry and rainy reasons occur, which makes year round agriculture possible, but this can be affected by seasonal monsoons. The Philippines is one of the richest areas of natural resources in the world (Purnell, 2013, p. 228).

Heritage and Residence

While people from the Philippines have ancestry from a number of countries, they are mainly of Malayan ancestry. The majority of Filipinos living in North America were not actually born here, but were born in the Philippines and migrated here. Filipinos are the 2nd largest foreign born population in this country, Mexicans being the first. Most of the Filipino Americans live in California; however, they are spread out all over the United States. A new older Filipino immigrant is sometimes referred to as a “NEFI”. Wilson and Billones (1994) stated that key concepts for the nurse to consider when caring for the NEFI are the importance of family kinship and the elder’s need for personal dignity and self-respect (Wilson & Billones, 1994, p. 34).

Reasons for Migration

In 1965 there was a time of mass immigration. This period of immigration allowed families to be reunited and allowed Filipino professionals to find jobs. There are many reasons for Filipino immigration- to get a better education, have more economic success, and be reunited with fa...

... middle of paper ... This gives the child the identity of both the father and mother’s family. When a female gets married, her last name becomes her middle name and her husband’s last name becomes her last name (Purnell, 2013, p. 233).


Ea, E. E., Griffin, M. Q., L'Eplattenier, N., & Fitzpatrick, J. J. (2008). Job satisfaction and acculturation among filipino registered nurses. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 40(1), 46-51. doi:

Purnell, L. D. (2013). Transcultural health care: A culturally competent approach. (4th ed., pp. 228-236). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company.

Wilson, S., & Billones, H. (1994). The filipino elder: Implications for nursing practice. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 20(8), 31-36. Retrieved from
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