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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Mabuhay! Hi everyone, I’m Betsey!
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to FilipinoPod101.com. This is All About, Lesson 8 - Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Filipino Society

Lesson focus

Betsey: In this lesson you’re going to learn more about life in the Philippines.
Becky: There’s a lot to know about Filipino society, so let’s get started!
Betsey: Well, since the title of this lesson is "Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Filipino Society," I picked five topics.
Becky: And those are?
Betsey: Major cities and city life, family life in the Philippines, Filipino work culture, politics, and generational trends.
Becky: Ok, why don't we start with city life? After all, it’s good to start with city life to get a glimpse of what to expect.
Betsey: Good idea! We'll start with three major cities – Quezon City, Manila City, Makati City.
Becky: First up, Quezon City!
Betsey: It’s the largest City in Metro Manila, and it actually used to be the capital of the country, up until they changed it to Manila in 1976.
Becky: Needless to say, it’s still considered a dominant city. And it’s the most populated city in Metro Manila.
Betsey: Yes that’s right. Quezon City, also known simply as QC, is home to all of the major television stations in the country. So it can also be referred to as the center of the entertainment industry.
Becky: It’s also home to one of the largest dome sports stadiums in Asia, Araneta Coliseum. One of the most famous boxing matches in history, the “Thrilla in Manila”, between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, took place in that very arena.
Betsey: That’s right. The city is also home to two of the country’s most prestigious schools, the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University.
Becky: Let’s move on to Manila City now.
Betsey: First off, don’t confuse Metro Manila with Manila City. Metro Manila refers to the metropolitan region that encompasses both the capital Manila city, and Quezon city.
Becky: So, Manila City. We mentioned it before, but it’s the political capital of the country.
Betsey: And it’s also home to Malacañang Palace, the “white house” of the Philippines, where the President lives.
Becky: It’s definitely the place to go, to get a taste of the historical aspect of the country, with national libraries and museums scattered around the city. So how about the next one, Makati City?
Betsey: Well, it’s the capital of finance and business, and nightlife!
Becky: Sounds like a busy place!
Betsey: There are lots of things going on in Makati. You will never get bored. If you enjoy the hustle and bustle and the fast pace of city life, Makati is definitely the place to be.
Becky: It has everything from high-end malls to more modest shopping areas, the best hotels, and interesting restaurants.
Betsey: If you enjoy a night filled with music, there are many dance clubs and also places with live bands.
Becky: You can always find places with live bands while you enjoy dining and drinking with your friends.
Betsey: Precisely. The best bars are also around this area. Makati City is a city that never sleeps.
Becky: Ok, moving on. What about family life?
Betsey: Well, family is definitely the center of Filipino culture. Filipinos are known to be very family oriented people, and we have big families.
Becky: I remember being invited to a party, and I think I met almost all of my friend’s family members. Even the extended family!
Betsey: Yes. That’s definitely what it’s like. There’s always something to celebrate, just as an excuse to get the family all together.
Becky: It’s also common to have parents and children living together, even after they have a family of their own.
Betsey: That’s definitely right. It’s very common to have your parents and grandparents living in the same house.
Becky: I guess that’s a way to keep family traditions going.
Betsey: It’s an important factor. Since the majority of Filipinos are Christian, there’s definitely a conservative perspective with regards to family values.
Becky: It’s great to see young people really looking up to their parents and grandparents.
Betsey: But don't mistake conservative with being uptight! Filipinos love to have parties and gatherings; they love to catch up and spend time with others. They can also be very open-minded.
Becky: They’re definitely open-minded when it comes to foreign cultures!
Betsey: That’s what’s very interesting about Filipino culture. The Philippines` history of cultural relationships with foreign countries makes them open to new things and different opinions.
Becky: Alright, so now let’s talk about the work culture and economy.
Betsey: Well, compared to some other Asian countries, living in the Philippines is inexpensive.
Becky: Who doesn’t enjoy a budget trip?
Betsey: The average wage is around 3,000 USD a year, which really isn't a lot when you compare it to other countries, but it’s actually enough to get around, considering everything else is pretty cheap.
Becky: The economy sustains itself mostly with agriculture, metal production, and in recent years the outsourcing of foreign companies’ customer service call centers.
Betsey: Call centers have been a significant source of employment in the country, because so many Filipinos have business-level English.
Becky: Other than that, overseas Filipino workers also take up about 10 percent of the country’s GDP. Ok, now let’s take a look at Filipino business etiquette.
Betsey: Put simply, Filipino business culture is inter-personal. So, business partners and co-workers are considered as personal relationships as well. And it’s normal to do favors for your co-workers, and you can expect them to do the same for you.
Becky: Interesting. Now let’s look at politics in the Philippines.
Betsey: Sure. Well, it’s a democracy, with the highest position being the president, followed by the vice president.
Becky: Filipino political parties can be divided into two types - the major parties, which function like traditional political parties, and the minor parties that bank on the party-list system to win Congressional Seats.
Betsey: A multi-party system means it’s less likely that one party will gain power on its own, which gives the country a well-rounded perspective, politically. The current president is Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, who’s a member of the Liberal party. He is also the son of the former president, Corazon Aquino.
Becky: Yes, and this last name may also be familiar, because as we mentioned in our quiz in lesson 6, his father was the former senator Ninoy Aquino. Ok. Lastly, let’s talk about generational trends in the country.
Betsey: Well, technology in the Philippines is pretty up to date. That said, only the small middle and upper classes can afford most of these upgrades. But, because Filipinos are very modern and sensitive about new technology trends, new becomes old quite easily. This has led to the emergence of second hand markets.
Becky: There are many places in malls where you can get fairly new gadgets, for far cheaper prices than brand new. And that brings us to the end of this lesson. We hope you had fun!


Becky: Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time!
Betsey: Paalam! Bye bye!
Becky: Bye!