Philippine culture is related to MalaysianSpanishMexicanAmerican and other Asian cultures. The people today are mostly of Malay origin, although there are people with Spanish, Mexican, and Chinese blood. Geographically, the Philippines is considered part of Southeast Asia. However, the Philippine culture has many differences with other Asian cultures, and has similarities with the cultures of the Pacific Islands and Latin America, such as in language, food, religion, traditions and ethnicity.

The indigenous culture is related to those of Melanesia and the later Polynesian culture has similarities to Pacific Island cultures. These similarities include the Filipino language and ethnicity; most common with that of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The Spanish colonization heavily influenced the culture. The most significant influence is the religion – Roman Catholicism, plus, Spanish is spoken in some parts of the Philippines, and there are even some descendants of the Spanish colonizers today. As well as the Spanish culture, the Native Mexican culture was introduced as the Philippines was governed from Mexico. In Filipino, there are many borrowed words from Native Mexican languages, and some people also have Native American origins. Today, many people do not acknowledge the Philippine’s relations with Latin America, Spain and the Pacific Islands. Instead, because of the country’s location, it is common to notice the similarities with other Asian countries.

The indigenous population in the Philippines, known as the Negritos, has many similarities with the people of Melanesia and Papua New Guinea. Some of these people wear traditional clothes such as grass skirts, live in isolated villages in the mountains and rainforest and practice traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles. After the Negritos, Groups of Polynesians came to the Philippines, coming from Taiwan (Filipinos are not descendants of the Han-Chinese Taiwanese people who inhabit Taiwan today, but the Taiwanese aborigines, who have a very small population.) and spreading as far asMadagascarHawaiiNew Zealand and Easter Island. Today you can see similarities in language, ethnicity and traditions between the Philippines and Pacific Island cultures, as they have common origins. Later, a small number of people coming from Malaysia and Indonesia also settled the islands.

Spanish colonization in the Philippines lasted from 1565 to 1898. Most of that time the islands were governed from Mexico and later directly from Spain. As a result, there is a significant amount of Spanish and Mexican influence in Philippine customs and traditions. Hispanic influences are visible in traditional Philippine folk music and dancecuisine, festivities, religion, ethnicity and language. In Filipino, there are many Native American words that were introduced by the Mexicans in the Philippines. The most visible example of Spanish are the Spanish names of Filipinos, which were given through a tax law (see: Alphabetical Catalog of Surnames), the thousands of Spanish loanwords in native languages such as Tagalog and Cebuano, the Spanish speaking parts of the Philippines, and the majority Catholic religion.

Later, the Philippines was a territory of the United States from 1898 until 1946. American influences are widely evident in the use of the English language, and in contemporary pop culture, such asmusicfilmfast-food, and basketball.

There are also strong similarities with the Pacific islands, Mexico, and Spain. There are some similarities with Islamic Malaysian and Indonesian cultures, and Chinese and Japanese.