Our ASEAN neighbors are a few days shy from their visit to the Philippines. Some of them will be visiting and experiencing the Philippines for the first time. If we want to have them back here again, we need to show them what the Philippines really has to offer—so why don't we offer them an experience that will remind them of their own back home?
We're not saying these activities and destinations are replacements for anything. However, in our eyes, they're comparisons that serve as reminders, bridging two distinct cultures closer together. Read on!
Many of the tribes that call Mindanao home have similarities with each other. These tribes—composed of the Tausug, Yakan, T'boli, and many others—dress themselves in beautifully-crafted and intricate designs, wearing colors and patterns that designate the tribe they belong to. Perhaps owing to a common Muslim ancestor, the intricacy and care these tribes give their garb would likely remind the dignitaries of their own culture back in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Cambodians and Thais pride themselves in being frugal and ingenious when it comes to food, having made delicious and intricate dishes out of insects and other unconventional food sources. ASEAN dignitaries might easily be reminded of their home once they take a crunchy bite out of Pampanga's famed camaro—fried crickets.
It's not impossible to mistake many of Manila's food parks as homages to Singapore's hawker center. Both offer the same things: quick, inexpensive, and delicious food, all served al fresco amidst the sweltering heat of the day. If the ASEAN dignitaries start looking for their local dishes in any of these parks, we wouldn't be surprised.
This might ring true for most Asians, but both Lao and Filipinos have a penchant for going all-out in their festivals. During New Year celebrations, Lao dancers line the street, garbed in traditional masks and outfits, welcoming a new start the way they do. This is also true for most Filipinos, though our festivals are more plentiful. Regardless, for both our cultures, we always find ways to see the good and celebrate it.
Which Philippine regional culture do you think mirrors that of our ASEAN neighbors? Share it over at www.ChoosePhilippines.com!