Mainstream Filipino culture in Luzon and Visayas is questioned by foreigners and even Filipinos for not being Asian enough." What is overlooked is that the singularity of such a culture lies in that it was born during the Galleon Trade (1565-1820) -- an enterprise that; for the first time in world history; linked the four continents together with Manila as its hub in Asia. Merchants from all the continents congregated in Manila; according to eyewitnesses. Hence; aside from Spanish influences; also present are Chinese; Indian; Japanese and Mexican Indian influences upon Filipino culture ; basically of Austronesian stock; to this day. Various factors faclitated this fusion. It was during the Spanish period that genuine urban centers emerged thanks to two incentives --1) the diffusion of the plow to facilitate the transition from swidden to wet rice cultivation and 2) the Mexican silver that poured into Manila and from thence to the provinces. What directly facilitated the fusion was the Spanish policy of encouraging intermarriages across racial and ethnic lines as long as such unions occurred in Church. The fusion of influences is evident in architecture; clothes; food; family terms and celebrations even today.
Zialcita, F. N. (2020). The Manila Galleon: Cradle of a fusion culture. In F. H. Capistrano-Baker & M. Priyadarshini (Eds.), Transpacific Engagements: Trade, Translation, and Visual Culture of Entangled Empires (1565-1898) (pp. 155–161). Ayala Museum, Getty Resarch Institute, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (Max Planck Institut).