Pacific Islander ǀ Austronesian


Lea Salonga

Photo: Lea Salonga. Filipina singer and actress who provided the vocals for Princess Jasmin in “Aladdin” and Fa Mulan in “Mulan”.

The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. Filipinos come from various ethnolinguistic groups that are native to the island country. Currently, there are more than 175 ethnolinguistic groups, each with its own language, identity, culture and history. The modern Filipino identity, with its Austronesian roots, was developed in conjunction with Spanish, Chinese and American influences. The Philippines was a Spanish colony for 333 years, setting a foundation for contemporary Filipino culture. Under Spanish rule, most of the Filipino populace embraced Roman Catholicism, yet revolted many times against its hierarchy. The majority of present-day Filipinos are a product of the long process of evolution and movement of people. After the mass migrations through land bridges, migrations continued by boat during the maritime era of South East Asia. The ancient races became homogenized into the Malayo-Polynesians which colonized the majority of the Philippine, Malaysian and Indonesian archipelagos. There are about 94 million Filipinos in the Philippines and about 11 million living outside the Philippines.

The name Filipino was derived from the term “las Islas Filipinas” (“the Philippine Islands”), the name given to the archipelago in 1543 by the Spanish explorer and Dominican priest Ruy López de Villalobos, in honor of Philip II of Spain (Spanish: Felipe II). The lack of the letter “F” in the pre-1987 Tagalog alphabet (Abakada) caused the letter “P” to be substituted for “F. Upon official adoption of the modern, 28-letter Filipino alphabet in 1987, the term Filipino was preferred over Pilipino. Locally, some still use “Pilipino” to refer to the people and “Filipino” to refer to the language, but in international use “Filipino” is the usual form for both.

Filipino represents 106 unrelated individuals from the four main islands of the Philippines who were sampled in 2004 by the University of Philippines and the University of Granada, Spain.

Source publication: Allele frequencies of 19 STR loci in a Philippine population generated using AmpFlSTR multiplex and ALF singleplex systems, FSI, 2005, 152, p281-284.

[population 285]