Written by: Aiya Rodjel
Did you know there was a time wherein Filipinos celebrated independence day on July 4? Yes, there was a time Filipinos shared the same holiday as the United States. In 1964, the government formally changed Philippine independence day to June 12. Thereafter, July 4 became Philippine-American Friendship Day. And with the current digitization, we turn to the internet and access to the web as our way of commemoration.
Philippine-American Friendship Day serves as a reminder about the close ties between the Philippines and the United States. It cannot be denied that Americans have a great influence on Filipinos to this day, apart from such recognition of independence day. From sports to music, movies to fashion, Filipinos’ love for the culture found in the United States, or the American culture, is still a force to be reckoned with. Here are some examples of how the bond between Filipinos and Americans remains solid throughout the years.
Ball is life
Filipinos are huge basketball fans, thanks to the Americans. According to NBA Philippines, the country drew the largest overall reach across all international markets for the 2021 NBA All Star games. Yes, over 4.18 million Pinoys were glued to the annual basketball event. This goes to show how much of a basketball-loving nation the Philippines is.
In fact, a lot of NBA superstars have visited the country to show some love to Filipinos. From the late Kobe Bryant to Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard to Kevin Durant, some of the biggest names in the game have visited Philippine shores. This goes to show how much these superstars understand the value of their Filipino fans.
Filipinos don’t just watch basketball, they play a lot of basketball, too. Interestingly, it’s common to see a makeshift basketball hoop even in slum areas in the country. Local basketball leagues have a lot of loyal viewers, and their athletes likewise make a ton of money. Filipinos usually rally together in support of the national team, Gilas Pilipinas, when they participate in international tournaments.
That’s why Filipinos who’ve made it in the NBA have become local superstars. Filipino-American baller Jordan Clarkson who plays for the Utah Jazz has snagged local endorsements, and has been supported tremendously by Filipinos. Filipino-American NBA basketball coach Eric Spoelstra is also a big name in Philippine sports. This demonstrates how Filipinos are proud of countrymen who bring pride in the biggest basketball stage of them all.
A lot of Pinoys wear NBA merchandise regularly as well. It’s nothing out of the ordinary to see everyday Filipinos wear a Lebron James t-shirt. While the ongoing pandemic may have prevented local tournaments, the love for the game still remains strong.
All in the music
While K-Ppop may have boomed in the country, American music still holds a special place in Filipinos’ hearts. A lot of local artists claim that their music has been inspired by American artists. Listenership to American music is still very strong as well.
From Taylor Swift to Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar to Jay-Z, American music artists are beloved by Filipino fans. An avid Swiftie even wrote a thesis on the pop artist’s impact on her fans. This proves how much Filipinos adore American artists. Even though artists from other countries are booming in the local scene as well, Pinoys still love listening to crooning by Americans.
American artists still dominate local charts. This is a testament of how Filipinos still love American music. From pop to hip-hop, rock to Broadway, Filipinos love all kinds of American music. It’s still common to hear American artists on the radio or even in local malls.
That’s why Filipinos who’ve become famous in the United States are highly regarded in the country. Broadway star Lea Salonga is a force to be reckoned with in the local theater scene. Filipino-American Bruno Mars is massive among Filipinos, and he’s very proud of his Filipino roots too. Black Eyed Peas rapper Apl.De.Ap is very active in promoting Filipino culture, and championing Filipino artists despite his very hectic schedule.
What’s common among these artists is that aside from possessing incredible talents, they don’t forget where they come from. While their craft is heavily influenced by American culture, they always make it a point to champion the Philippines wherever they go. This shows that while making it in the U.S may be huge on their part, the Filipino in them still shines through.
For the love of Hollywood
K-drama and other Asian content may be increasing in popularity in the country, but the love for American cinema and television shows still prevails. While movie theaters are still closed across the nation, Pinoys still consume a lot of American content on the web.
Content subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Go have made it possible for Filipinos to watch their favorite movies and shows at the comforts of their homes. In fact, research shows that Filipinos are streaming more content amid the pandemic. Since most Pinoys have been studying or working from home, they use a lot of their free time to catch up on their favorite shows or movies online.
A lot of American television shows have captured Filipino audiences as well. Filipinos were avid fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones when it was still airing. TV shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Rick and Morty are very popular in the country as well. This is a testament of how much Filipinos love consuming American content. Even though other countries’ content have become increasingly popular in recent years, the love for American movies and TV shows is still very strong.
A lot of Filipinos aspire to make it in Hollywood. That’s why Filipino actors such as Dave Bautista and Nicole Scherzinger are huge names in the country. Actors with Pinoy blood who star in Hollywood projects get a lot of publicity as well. Filipinos love supporting their own who’ve made it in Hollywood.
Eating it up
Filipinos are very proud of their local cuisine. However, American food still holds a special place in Pinoys’ hearts. A lot of American restaurants have a presence in the country. There are a lot of branches of fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC. American food influence isn’t limited to just fast food joints. Higher-end establishments such as Denny’s and Friday’s have restaurants in the Philippines as well. Filipinos love eating, and it’s clear that they love American food as well.
Consumption of American food is very big in the Philippines as well. A lot of local restaurants have adapted American staples in their menus. That’s why it’s normal for Filipinos to see burgers and chicken wings in a lot of restaurants across the country. A lot of Filipinos have even elevated American favorites, and add some local flavor to them. While Pinoys have embraced a lot of different cuisines, it’s clear that the love for American food remains solid.
That’s why a lot of Americans who visit the country don’t have a hard time adjusting when it comes to food. There are a lot of options that resemble the food they’re used to. It’s normal to encounter popular American restaurants in malls, even those situated outside of major cities. At the same time, Filipinos who visit the U.S find it easy to eat American food as well. This is because American food is prevalent in the local scene. Pinoys don’t have to adjust so much because they’re used to eating American cuisine anyway.
The American influence in the Philippines even reaches on a deep cultural level. Most Filipinos are fluent or have a very good understanding of English, specifically American English. This has given Filipinos an advantage in employment as it’s easy for them to communicate with foreigners. This is why BPOs are drivers of the economy. Filipinos are highly competent in the English language. Even if an American ends up in the provinces, there’s a huge chance there’s someone there who’s excellent in speaking and understanding English. This is a huge factor why Philippine tourism prior to the pandemic was very strong.
A lot of Filipinos have named their children American names, even icons such as Clark Kent aka Superman or sports heroes such as Michael Jordan. It’s normal to see Filipinos with American names, and people don’t get surprised if they’re named after the same American icon.
Americans introduced the concept of free education to the country. To this day, public schools across the nation have made it possible for a lot of Filipinos to pursue their education. Interestingly, a lot of English words have crossed over to Filipino language as well. A lot of American lingo has permeated everyday conversation in the country as well. This is a testament of how deep the influence of Americans are in the Philippine way of life.
A lot of Filipinos have embraced American fashion as well. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for everyday Filipinos to dress up like American celebrities. American brands such as Converse and Nike are among the most popular fashion brands in the country. They’re so popular a lot of counterfeit versions have popped up across the nation as well. This shows how much Filipinos want to dress like Americans.
July 4 marks a solid friendship
While Filipinos don’t end up barbecuing or bringing out fireworks on July 4, it is clear that the love for all things American remains very strong. A lot of Filipinos even aspire to reach American shores. Filipinos makeup 4.5% of the U.S’s total immigrant population. Filipinos who do go for the American dream remain tight knit to their Filipino roots. It’s nothing out of the ordinary to find out that one’s Filipino cousin living in the U.S lives near other Pinoys as well.
Effects of the ongoing pandemic may have prevented a lot of Filipinos from visiting the U.S, but there are still a lot of ways to embrace American culture. You can still celebrate the essence of the Philippine-American Friendship Day right at the comforts and safety of your home. Through the internet, you can connect with your American friends. You can also watch all of the Hollywood movies and TV shows your heart desire. You can even order your favorite American food so you can at least have a taste of the United States.
The role of the Internet
That’s why it’s an absolute must to invest in unlimited fiber internet. A great provider of this is Streamtech. Through the power of one of the Philippines’ newest internet service provider, you can celebrate the essence of this Philippine-American Friendship Day without having to break the bank. It’ll be all in the realm of the world wide web.
Streamtech Fiber is the internet provider you can trust
At the end of the day, we are now doing most of the things over the internet. And more than having access to the web, the convenience it brings is what the future also holds. Relative thereto, Streamtech offers an array of affordable home internet plans so you can enjoy fast and reliable fiber internet at an economic price, from the comforts of your homes. It also offers fiber cable bundles through Planet Cable. This means you can watch your favorite American shows, and surf to your heart’s content through the internet services of Streamtech. Fiber internet has been such a game changer in the Philippines, and Streamtech has paved the way for Filipinos to enjoy the internet connection they can afford. That’s why Streamtech has been getting increasingly popular in areas such as Batangas and Cavite.
Aside from allowing you to seamlessly surf on the internet, Streamtech also sells products so you can take your productivity to the next level. You can enjoy the power of Streamtech’s unlimited fiber internet no matter how big your house is with Extendifi Wifi Extender. With ZPacks Vlogging Kit, you can embrace your inner vlogger, and share content with your American friends. Through the ZPacks Gaming Kit, you can play computer games with whomever you want, even your relatives in the United States. With DigiClass, the students in your family can study well so they, too, can reach for their American dreams.
Streamtech opens a plethora of possibilities for Filipinos at a friendly price tag. Visit the Streamtech website or its Official Facebook Page today to get to know more about our life-changing services and products. Like the friendship between the Philippines and the U.S, this relationship will surely last a long time.