Culture and Customs of the Philippines provides the best general overview to the Asian archipelago and to a people with close ties to the United States and a long history of emigration and contributions to this country. The volume emphasizes how the strong indigeus Philippine culture meshes with constant influences from the West. Rodell, a specialist in Philippine history and society, superbly evokes the breadth of the Philippines for students and the general public. The wide variety of Philippine traditions is seen in each topic covered: the land, people, and history; religion and thought; literature and art; architecture; cuisine and fashion; gender, marriage, and family; festivals, media, film, and leisure activities; music and dance; and social customs and lifestyle. Culture and Customs of the Philippines is crucial to multicultural reference collections today needing authoritative information on contemporary Asia that will capture readers' attention. Interest in the Philippines, a former U.S. colony, is especially high. Some highlights of the volume include discussion of the Tagalog, the principal ethnic group; the amalgamation of Christian, folk, and Muslim beliefs; the bahay kubo, the rural house style; and the all-important Philippine family. A chrology, glossary, and numerous photos enhance the text.
PAUL A. RODELL is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Georgia Southern University and a specialist in Philippine and Southeast Asian history. He is also the executive director of the Association of Third World Studies.