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The people of the Philippines are called Filipinos. Their ancestor, who were of Malay stock, came from the Southeastern Asian mainland as well as from what is now Indonesia. From the 10th century, contacts with China resulted in a group of mixed Filipino-Chinese descent who account for a minority of the population. A small percentage of Chinese nationals also live in he country, Spanish-Filipinos and Filipino-American may be distinguish by their fairer complexion, taller stature, and aquiline nose structure. The relatively small numbers of migrants from the Indian subcontinent added to the population's racial mixture. The aboriginal inhabitants of the islands were the Negritos, or Phymies, also called Aaetas or Balugas; they now constitute only a small percentage of the total population.
The Philippines has varied land forms such as plains, mountains, hill, plateaus, and swamps. There are the vast plains of Central Luzon, the soaring landscape of the Mountain Province, the green tropical countryside of the Southern Tagalog provinces, the teeming forests of Mindanao and almost everywhere, islands, surrounded by blue waters and seashores with sparkling white sands.
The Filipino People, possesses a unique culture, customs and traditions a combinations of the eastern and western cultures.
In A Study of Psychopathology, Filipino psychiatrist Lourdes V, Lapus writes: The Filipino culture, for all the increasing signs and protests to the contrary, still has a large hangover from its ego-idea for women of many bygone years. This is the so-called Maria Clara image of a woman who is shy, demure, modest, self-effacing, and loyal to the end. The openly provocative, sexually aggressive female who is frequently associated with the American female image is still comparatively rare in Filipino culture....'
Filipinas generally strive to portray the Maria Clara image and frown on aggressive displays by women. An aggressive woman, which description includes one who is open and mixes freely with men, is considered sexually loose Cultural norms favor the demure, modest female when it comes to personal, social or business relationships with men. Social inferiority is not implied. The Filipina enjoys equality with men in many areas, notably in professional, business and career areas.
To understand the Filipina, one must look at the different roles she takes in society. As she goes through life, the Filipina may take he roles of daughter, sister, dalaga or young woman, wife, mother, mistress, professional, employer, employee, etc. The first few roles will be discussed in more detail as they are more firmly entrenched in tradition and probably influence the more modem roles that a Filipina faces.