Ethnic groups in the Philippines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map of the ethnic groups of the Philippines by province. Shade per province is determined on which group has the highest number of people; several provinces may be split into several ethnic groups.

The Philippine islands are inhabited by number of different ethnic groups. The majority of the population is composed of ethnolinguistic groups whose languages are Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) in origin. Many of these groups converted to Christianity, and adopted many foreign elements of culture. These ethnic groups include the CebuanoIlocanoPangasinenseKapampanganTagalogBicolano, and Waray.

In Mindanao, there are people who practice Islam. The Spanish called them Moros after the Moors. In some highland areas of Mindanao, there are mountain-dwelling ethnic groups collectively known as lumad. These people do not practice Islam, and maintain their animistic beliefs and traditions.

The Negrito are a pre-Mongoloid people who migrated from mainland Asia and were one of the earliest human beings to settle the Philippines, around 30,000 years ago.[citation needed] (The known first being that of the people of the Callao Man remains) The Negrito population are estimated to number around 30,000. Their tribal groups include the Ati, and the Aeta. Their ways of life remain mostly free from Western and Islamic influences. Scholars study them to try to understand pre-Hispanic culture.

Most Filipinos are part of the Austronesian group, a group of Malayo-Polynesian speaking people often known as Malay race. Other ethnic groups form a minority in the Philippine population. These include those of Spanish, American, Chinese, Europeans, and other ethnic groups from other countries. Mixed-race individuals are known as Filipino mestizo.

Many Filipinos use English in the public sphere, and also speak Filipino and other Philippine languages. Spanish was the official language in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period from the 16th century to the late 19th century. The government continued to use it as one of the official languages until 1987.