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America is a land of immigrants. We have become a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-gender nation (Philippine Post Magazine np). The hyphenation of American citizens (Philippine Post Magazine np) is an indication of diversity; with this diversity comes differences in its culture. Americas cultural history is a record of conditions that that produced all kinds of innovations and the behavior of individuals as they respond to these conditions (Crunden 99). American culture is a mixture of Christianity, capitalism, and democracy. The Revolution and Civil War forced everyone to rethink American culture and fastened Northern religious, economic, and political ideas on a nation (Crunden 10). The United Stated has a sectional culture: north distinct from south and west (Crunden 10). How does this eclectic American culture compare to the cultural conditions that exist in the Philippine Islands?
The United States if America is a democratic federal republic. Individual states hold sovereignty over their territory and have rights that are not reserved by the federal government (Brigham Young University 276). Within each state is a legislature. This governs only the state and enacts laws for its citizens of that state. On a larger scale is the federal government. The federal government serves the purpose of governing the nation as a whole. The federal government is led by the president who is elected by the electoral college of delegates chosen to represent the vote of the people of that state (Brigham Young University 276). Congress, the legislative body, is a bicameral legislature consisting of two separate houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives has four hundred thirty-five delegates who serve two-year terms. The Senate has 100 delegates who serve a six-year term. Two political parties dominate Congress, the Republican party and the Democratic party, although, smaller parties are active throughout the country. Every citizen of the United States has the right to vote. The voting age is eighteen.
The government in the Philippines has similarities and differences to that in the United States of America. Like the United States, the Philippine government is led by the president. The legislature is also bicameral consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Representatives has two hundred delegates and the Senate has twenty-four delegates. Most government offices are located in Quezon City, the former capital. This was named after Manuel Quezon, the first president of the country when it became a U.S. Commonwealth is 1935 (Brigham Young University 224). The Republic of the Philippines has 72 provinces, which are divided into municipalities made of barangay (barrios) (Brigham Young University 224). The voting age in the Philippines is fifteen for local elections and eighteen for national elections. One major problem for the Philippine government is crime. The crime rate is very high; maintaining law and order is one of the governments major problems (Wee 90).
In the United States of America education is not taken lightly; school is very important. Each individual state is responsible for its educational system. Education is free and also required for children ages five through sixteen. At age five children begin elementary school in the grade kindergarten. Elementary school last for six years and then student continue to middle school or junior high school, which is three years long. Next, students go through four years of high school. Students complete their education with grade twelve, usually at age seventeen or eighteen. After completing high school, students have many options. Many enter the labor force, while others seek vocational and technical training. Others enter may enlist in the military or enter a university or junior college to pursuer higher education degrees.
In the Philippines there is great emphasis on education. Like the United States, young children in the Philippines can begin school with kindergarten at age five. Pre-school is also and option. It is offered if children would like to begin early. Children remain in elementary school for six years. And in some rare cases, they remain in elementary school for seven years. Following elementary school is four years of high school. Only approximately seventy percent of students make it to high school. Unlike the United Stated, one year of military training is included in the high school curriculum. In the Philippines most students graduate at the age of sixteen of seventeen, a year earlier than student in the United States. Many students continue their education at college or seek vocational training. The literacy rate in the Philippines is ninety-four percent (Brigham Young University 224).
The United States of America is the only industrialized country in the work without a national (public) health-care system (Brigham Young University 276). Each state is responsible for health care. Individual states are also responsible for the regulations regarding health care in their state. There are some national standards as well. Medical prices are very high in the United States. Therefore, in order to receive medical care without paying extremely high priced, most people have private insurance. The health network in the Unites States is exceptionally extensive and modern. The United States is the world leader in medical research and training (Brigham Young University 276). The infant mortality rate in the United States is eight per one thousand. Also, life expectancy in the United States ranges from seventy-three to eighty years old (Brigham Young University 276).
In the Philippines medical service varies based on geographic location. In the capital, Manila, medical service is generally good. However, in many rural areas medical service is average due to the lack of supplies. A new law was passed in 1995. This law established universal health insurance, paid for mostly on the basis of taxation and other government funds (Brigham Young University 224). Free vaccinations, sponsored by the government, are offered to children. People in the Philippines often get sick for different reasons than they would in the United States of America. Pollution, especially in Manila, is a serious health hazard (Brigham Young University 224). Poor sanitation and poverty are the main reasons for a relatively high infant mortality rate of fifty per on thousand. The life expectancy ranges from sixty-three to sixty-eight years of age. This is about ten years less than that of the United States.
In the Unites States of America people spend their leisure time doing many different activities. Sports are very popular in American culture. Professional sports such as football, baseball, and basketball are the most popular spectator sports. Schools also provide sports opportunities for American youths. Other sports such as cycling, racquetball, handball, and tennis are also popular among Americans. The United States of America is a very large country. This feature allows for lots of travel. Many Americans enjoy visiting new places within the country. Theater is also a large part of American culture. Broadway Theater in New York City is a major draw for the American people. Some other leisure activities include watching television, going to see movies, attending music concerts, and picnicking.
Many recreational activities in the Philippines are like those in the United States of America, however there are some differences. People spend leisure time socializing or going to the movies; the Philippines is a major producer of films (Brigham Young University 224). However, North American films are also available for viewing. Video machines ad rental stores are found everywhere (Brigham Young University 224). The Philippines is made up of many small islands. In all there are more that 7,100; most of these are tiny-less than one square mile in area (Gail 13). Therefore, many families enjoy picnics at the beach. Sports are different in the Philippines than in the United States of America. Sports are generally played on Sunday. Basketball is the sport of choice among Philippine boys, while girls tend to favor volleyball and track. Girls only play sports in school. Many Philippine people enjoy other recreational activities. These include gambling and attending horse races and cock fights. A game called mahjong, a Chinese table game played with tiles is also popular among the Philippine culture (Brigham Young University 224).
How does the eclectic American culture compare with the cultural conditions in the Philippines? Both countries have similarities and differences. Many similarities stem from the fact that the Philippines was once a U.S. Commonwealth. Government similarities especially can be contributed to this. However, there are differences between the two countries as well. Schooling and health have many differences than that of the Unites States of America. Each country has its own unique characteristics in culture. Both the United States and the Philippines have distinctive cultures that contribute to a well-functioning society.
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