The Republic of the Philippines is a country composed of a group of islands located in the southeast region of Asia in the Western Pacific Sea. On the map, it has a latitude of 11.87 degrees North and a longitude of 122.86 degrees East. The Philippine archipelago has full sovereignty over 7,110 islands that are categorized into three major geographical divisions which are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Manila is the capital of the Philippines while the largest city is Quezon City because it is the most populated.
The neighboring countries, which are also its maritime boundaries, are China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Palau, Vietnam, and Taiwan. The location of the Philippines and its proximity to the equator makes it prone to earthquake while the Pacific Sea makes it susceptible to typhoons; nonetheless it is endowed with an abundance of natural resources and blessed with the hospitality of its people. One of the largest countries in the world both in terms of size and its population, the Philippines has an area of more than 300, 000 square kilometers and a population of more than 101 million people. Multiple ethnicities and cultures such as Ilokano, Tagalog, Cebuano, Bicolano among others, are found in this country.
During the late Pleistocene period, land bridges were formed, which connected the Philippines with Formosa. These bridges were crossed by the early inhabitants who were Negritos, Malay, and Indones. They were nomadic but had an extremely rich culture based on the archaeological findings at the Tabon Cave in Palawan as well as those found in the valley of Cagayan among others. Trade was practiced through the barter system as they exchanged goods with the Chinese, Malay and other races. The existing political system back then was the Sultanato government with balangay as the basic unit of the community (Jocano, 1967).
The Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards in the early 1500s as it saw Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese, first set foot on the island of Homonhon in Samar. He befriended Raja Humabon but was killed by Lapu-lapu. Spanish explorers came one after another with Ruy Lopez de Villalobos naming the island, Las Islas Filipinas, and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi who built the first Spanish settlement with his harsh governance. The Spanish regime lasted for 333 years and as a result, Roman Catholicism became the religion of the majority of the people even up to current times. The Philippines experienced galleon trade during these times because of the Spaniards colonization (Zaide, 1983).
The Philippine Revolution in 1898 led by Andres Bonifacio paved the way for the declaration of independence on June 12, 1898. The Philippine government was established with Emilio Aguinaldo as its first president. Then the Americans came and conquered the country by signing the Treaty of Paris with the Spaniards. The Filipinos received their formal education through the efforts of American teachers. Although, a shooting incident of a Filipino by an American soldier led to the Philippine-American War. In 1942, after the Pearl Harbor bombing, the country was occupied by the Japanese invaders. A puppet government was formed and the country suffered under their rule until 1945. The Americans came back and gave the Philippines its independence and was duly recognized. The Philippines adopted a centralized, democratic government, which is still the existing system today. Although under President Marcos, the Filipinos experienced terror under the rule of his dictatorship. The Filipinos united and organized the EDSA revolution, which was nonviolent in nature (Constantino, 2008).
The political system of the Philippines is a democratic republic with a presidential system based on its constitution. It is a centralized government although with the exception of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Moreover, it has developed its foreign relations through membership in the United Nations, World Trade Organization among others. In addition, it has a strong military arm, the Armed Forces of the Philippines which is duly composed of the air force, army, and navy in order to protect the people and to eliminate threats regarding national security (Agoncillo, 1990).
Philippine economy, one of the largest in the world, has a gross domestic product of $300 billion because of its major products for export and their numerous trading partners. The country has transitioned from an industry based on agriculture to services and manufacturing. The economy relies heavily on the remittances of its overseas contract workers, which peaked in 2010. Moreover, there is uneven development because Metro Manila has been the sole beneficiary of its economic growth at the expense of other areas. Although the government has taken measures in order to rectify this by promoting investment in other regions of the country. Nonetheless, tourism and business process outsourcing are noticeably growing opportunities to invest in.
The official languages in the country are Filipino and English with 85 recognized dialects from different ethnicities. Traditions, values and customs inherent in Filpinos are the bahala na attitude or being too carefree or lax, having close family ties, paying respect to the elderly through pagmamano or saying po and opo, the Bayanihan concept of helping other people, harana as a mode of courtship by singing to the girl, going to church every Sunday and praying, a nine-day period of prayer after the death of a loved one, celebrating fiestas and Christmas. Most of these traditions are not practiced anymore due to societal changes and the influence of media (Zaide, 1994).
The Philippine culture is a mixture of Malayan heritage influenced by its Spanish and American colonial mentality. Philippine music has evolved rapidly from tribal folk songs to American pop culture due to the changing times and colonialism. Cosmopolitanism or the belief that you belong to a single community is exhibited through the shared practice of naming in Filipinos since majority of the surnames are Spanish, and the common usage of English as a result of the influence of the Americans. In visual arts, the first Filipinos were excellent in pottery and weaving but the Spaniards influenced the Filipinos to paint as a form of visual art as well as make sculptures to express themselves so it has changed the Filipino culture ever since. Similar to Philippine music, dances have also changed rapidly from tribal dances to contemporary forms of dances from hiphop to street jazz dancing. Cuisine has been exposed to multicultural influences in order to make unique Filipino dishes but a distinct tradition, Kamayan, has been popularized again lately due to the influence of media. Philippine literature from oral folk literature of Philippine mythology to contemporary literature written in Tagalog or English. Media as an integral part of Philippine culture is mostly in Filipino or English and dominated by television networks of ABS-CBN and GMA. In sports, basketball and boxing have become extremely popular because of the televised plays of the Philippine Basketball Association and Manny Pacquiao, a boxing icon, despite the fact that the national sport is Eskrima. Traditional Philippine games are still popular among the children and the youth as well as cockfighting for adults (Constantino, 2008).
Sison & Palma-Angeles (1997) explored business ethics in the Philippine settings and the barriers towards its practice. The abundance of different languages and ethnicities, the limitations posed by geographic fragmentation, beliefs conveyed by the predominant Roman Catholic religion, and nationhood helped in comprehending how business ethics exist in the Philippines. The main areas of ethical concerns were identified as the liberalization and rapid growth of the economy, uneven distribution of wealth, destruction of the environment and corruption.
Edralin (2011) determined the current methods of training and development in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing businesses in the Philippines. The importance of training was emphasized because most people perceived that it helped improve job performance. All companies implemented technical training rather than behavioral through the utilization of lecture as the instructional method as well as the internet and the company intranet. Adequate budget and technical expertise were provided in delivering optimal results. Extensive training and development programs centered on cultural behavior and values that were in line with the company’s values and philosophy were the best practices that led to innovation.
Cenon & Ong (2012) examined the relationship between the manufacturing country and the perceptions of clients regarding the price and quality of a Japanese vehice being sold in Metro Manila. Utilizing Peter and Olson’s (2006) model on consumer decision-making, it was found out that country of manufacture did not have an effect on the preference of the Filipinos regarding the price and quality of motor vehicles. Colonial mentality had no effect in the field manufacturing and marketing.
Roffey (2000) found out that strategic leadership and managerial behavior in the Philippine setting were rooted in its culture and gender based on the perceptions of Filipina managers as well as entrepreneurs. The perceptions of employees and peers regarding strategic leadership and management in the Philippines were examined in association with the effectiveness of management of Filipina business leaders. Most Filipina managers employed direct power roles, which are usually conveyed by their male counterparts, as well as indirect power, influence strategies and formal position to accomplish their goals. Perceptions on gendered values and expectations of women in leadership were identified. However, business leadership and management of women were inconclusive and should be studied with culture as a domain.
Goodpaster (1991) stated that established companies have to play their role and have responsibility over the welfare of their employees, clients, suppliers, providers of capital, local and national government and society which is according to stakeholder analysis and understanding. This is to be applied in the Philippine context of culture that there is an inequitable distribution of wealth and poverty so corporations have certain social responsibilities.
Ruane (2007) conducted a study on small-scale businesses in the Philippines to determine entrepreneurial motivations and their success. Key factors in business success were determined such as entrepreneurial intensity, sacrifice, motivation, business planning, the effect of the business on the entrepreneur’s life, the entrepreneur’s personal beliefs and attitudes, and difficulties and problems that the entrepreneur encountered at different stages of operating the business enterprise.
The Philippines is a worthwhile investment due to its rising economy and abundance of resources. Although, different languages and ethnicities, the limitations posed by geographic fragmentation, beliefs conveyed by the predominant Roman Catholic religion, and nationhood would help in comprehending how business is conducted ethically in the country.
Price and quality of product will determine the success of business and its marketing strategy and not the colonial mentality of the people. In leadership and management, exhibiting direct power roles as well as indirect power, influence strategies and formal position will guide in the accomplishment of goals. Companies have to play their role and have responsibility over the welfare of their employees, clients, suppliers, providers of capital, local and national government and society. In terms of training and development of personnel and management, it should center on cultural behavior and values that are in line with the company’s values and philosophy that will lead to innovation
Key factors in business success are entrepreneurial intensity, sacrifice, motivation, business planning, the effect of the business on the entrepreneur’s life, the entrepreneur’s personal beliefs and attitudes, and difficulties and problems that the entrepreneur encountered at different stages of operating the business enterprise.
Agoncillo, T.A. (1990). History of the Filipino People. Manila:Garotech Publishing.
Edralin, D. M. (2011). Training and development practices of large Philippines companies. Asia Pacific Business Review, 17(2), 225-239.
Sison, A. G. & Palma- Angeles, A.(1997). Business ethics in the Philippines. Journal of Business Ethics, 16(4), 1519-1528.
Cenon, P.S. & Ong, J. S. (2012). Colonial mentality in decline: Country of manufacture and consumer perceptions of motor vehicle quality and price. Journal of Global Business, 1(1),1-12.
Constantino, R. (2008). A History of the Philippines. Manila: Monthly Review Press.
Goodpaster, K. E. (1991). Business ethics and stakeholder analysis. Business Ethics Quarterly, 1 (1), 53-73
Jocano, F. L. (1967). The beginnings of Filipino society and culture. Philippine studies, 15(1), 9-40.
Roffey, B.H. (2000). Strategic leadership and management in the Philippines: Dynamics of gender and culture. Labour and Management in Development Journal, 1(10), 2-31.
Ruane, M.M. (2007). Small-scale business enterprises in the Philippines: Survey and empirical analysis. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 11, 1-25.
Zaide, G.F. (1983). History of the Republic of the Philippines. Manila: National Book Store.
Zaide, S.M. (1994). Philippine Historyand Government. Manila: All-Nations Publishing Co.