Culture and Customs of the Philippines

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Culture and Customs of the Philippines provides the best general overview to the Asian archipelago and to a people with close ties to the United States and a long history of emigration and contributions to this country. The volume emphasizes how the strong indigenous Philippine culture meshes with constant influences from the West. Rodell, a specialist in Philippine history and society, superbly evokes the breadth of the Philippines for students and the general public. The wide variety of Philippine traditions is seen in each topic covered: the land, people, and history; religion and thought; literature and art; architecture; cuisine and fashion; gender, marriage, and family; festivals, media, film, and leisure activities; music and dance; and social customs and lifestyle.

Culture and Customs of the Philippines is crucial to multicultural reference collections today needing authoritative information on contemporary Asia that will capture readers' attention. Interest in the Philippines, a former U.S. colony, is especially high. Some highlights of the volume include discussion of the Tagalog, the principal ethnic group; the amalgamation of Christian, folk, and Muslim beliefs; the bahay kubo, the rural house style; and the all-important Philippine family. A chronology, glossary, and numerous photos enhance the text.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Librarians will want to purchase, for the high school collection and for the public library collection, countries for which your students or patrons need or request."


Blanche Woolls & David Loertscher (

"Equally useful for teens and adults, this book will be appreciated for the details and insights it provides into Filipino life."



"Rodell has produced a balanced and detailed description of a complex society with a tangled past and multifaceted culture that is of use to general readers, as well as to researchers looking for a scholarly introduction to the country…. Readers coming to this book will find not just a painstaking review of every major element of culture but also current observations of the social scene that take into account a wide variety of factors, from influences of geography and climate to circumstances of history to socioeconomic and political factors….For an analysis that provides both entertainment and depth, this book is to be commended."


The Journal of Asian Studies

It seems a daunting task to describe the land, people, history, art, literature, cuisine, fashion, social customs, and interpersonal relationships of the people of the Philippines in a way that will be easily understood by North Americans. Rodell, a specialist in Philippine history, performs this task adeptly. Part of the Culture and Customs of Asia series, which introduces various countries from a Western perspective, this volume is clearly written and full of fascinating detail. The perspective, however, is distinctly American, and some bias can be seen in such statements as "Most observers agree that the country's familial matrifocal bonds are often a limiting factor, complicating personal lives and public participation" and "girls consciously fashion themselves into stereotypic housewife roles." Nevertheless the writing manages to be both concise and engaging. Although this book will mainly appeal to students writing country reports, unusual bits of information, such as dating rituals, the practice of eating dog, and a strict and unusual Spanish dress code, might make their investigations more interesting than anticipated. The map and chronology at the front of the book are especially useful for quick facts, but unfortunately, all photos are in black and white. Equally useful for teens and adults, this book will be appreciated for the details and insights it provides into Filipino life. Glossary. Index. Photos. Further Reading. Chronology. Maps. Biblio. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult).2002, Greenwood, 280p,
— Rebecca Van Dan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313361173
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Series: Culture and Customs of Asia Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 276
  • Sales rank: 1,235,022
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

PAUL A. RODELL is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Georgia Southern University and a specialist in Philippine and Southeast Asian history. He is also the executive director of the Association of Third World Studies.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Chronology of the History of the Philippines
1 Land, People, and History 1
2 Thought and Religion 29
3 Art and Literature 49
4 Architecture and Housing 77
5 Cuisine and Fashion 99
6 Marriage, Family, and Gender 119
7 Festivals, Theater, Film, Media, and Other Entertainment 139
8 Music and Dance 173
9 Social Customs and Lifestyle 195
Glossary 213
Bibliography 221
Index 233
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