Being an archipelago, the Filipino people are divided into many, many ethnic groups. This is one factor that brings Filipino culture much variety. This is one reason why there are so many Filipino traditions and festivities that the whole country honors. When you go to the Philippines and travel from the northernmost part to the south, you will get to see many Filipino families of different ethnic groups. To be sure that you will be able to relate to each Filipino family, I suggest you get to know the different ethnic groups of the Filipino people.
The Tagalog Filipinos are those that live in the country’s capital, Manila. They are the ones that speak the Tagalog dialect, where the Filipino language is based from. As of now, there are somewhere around 25 million Tagalog Filipino people there. If you come to the Philippines and land in Manila, you can expect Tagalog Filipino people and Filipino families to welcome you there. The Tagalog Filipino people are most commonly of the Roman Catholic religion. However, given the variety of the Filipino culture, there are many Tagalog Filipino people who are not.
As the name of this ethnic group implies, the Ilocano Filipino people are the ones that hail from the Ilocos region, from the northern Philippine coasts. Most of the Ilocano Filipino people are farmers and fishermen, given the topography of their home. There are somewhere around 9 million Ilocano Filipino people as of now. They speak the Ilocano dialect. When a Filipino family you come across with is Ilocano, they are most likely frugal and hard working. These two are the main characteristics of the Ilocano Filipino people. They celebrate quite a lot of Filipino traditions too, much like the rest of the Filipino people. Some of the most famous Filipino people that are Ilocanos are the former Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Fidel Ramos, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – speak about being hardworking, huh.
The Bicolanos are the Filipino people that hail from, you guessed it, the Bicol region. This is found in the south east part of Luzon. Much like the Tagalogs and the Ilocanos, the language of the Bicolanos are Bikol. As of present, there are approximately 6 million Bicolanos. The Bicol region is known for their famous volcano, Mt. Mayon. This certain volcano is renowned because of its perfect cone – no matter how active it is. Another famous part of this Filipino culture is their cuisine. The Bicolanos are known to cook well. They love spicy food as well.
The Kapangpangan Filipino people are the people who hail from the center part of the Luzon Island. The Kapangpangan people speak the Kapangpangan dialect. There are around 3 million of them at present. They are known for being brave and courageous. They are the Filipino people that are credited to be the first Filipino people who defended the country from the Spanish invasion back in the 16th century. They are known to have notorious Filipino traditions as well. The Kapangpangans are the Filipino people who literally re-enact the sufferings of Jesus Christ – yes, literally. They are the Filipino people who ask to be nailed on a cross during the Holy Week so as to repent for their sins.
The Visayans are the Filipino people that live, well, in the Visayas Islands. The thing is that there are many little ethnic groups under this. The main reason is that this certain part of the Filipino culture is composed of many little islands. Each of these islands are home to different ethnic groups. They speak the Visayan language but there are many variations under this. They are the majority of the Filipino people as there are somewhere around 33 million Visayans in the entire Philippine Islands at present. The Visayas region is also known to have the most colorful Filipino traditions such as the Maskara festival (the Masks Festival), the HIgantes Festival (the Giants Festival), and many others.
The Philippines, being composed of 7107 islands is indeed home to many ethnic groups. What’s nice about all this is that the Filipino people are united. They love working together. The Filipino families pray together as they spend most of their time with each other as well. This is the core of the Filipino culture. This is the core of the Filipino traditions. I, therefore, highly recommend that you take a trip around the Philippines. I am sure that you will not just have fun, you will learn a lot as well.