Profile Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK
Introduction / History
The Filipinos are people from the Philippines and constitute one of the largest migrant groups in all of Malaysia. They reside both in Peninsular and East Malaysia, predominantly living in the urban areas. Due to the poor economic situation of their country, they entered Malaysia hoping to be able to earn sufficiently to provide basic necessities for their families back home and to have a better life.
Since they came from different parts of the Philippines, they speak different dialects. Even for those who have obtained Malaysian citizenship, they still speak their own dialect whenever they meet someone of the same people group. The most common dialect is Tagalog, the Philippine national language.
What are Their Lives Like?
The Filipinos are involved in various occupations. The majority of them work as contract workers in different parts of Malaysia but some have settled in and married the locals. Those who have obtained Malaysian citizenship are able to work in the private sector and are often involved in trading. Migrant workers are mostly factory workers, domestic helpers, entertainers, teachers or professors in schools and universities, furniture makers, construction workers, and professionals in medical or engineering field. Divorce is common among the migrant workers since they are separated from their families for a long time. Most of them have not been legally divorced in the Philippines. But there are those who have remained faithful to their spouses back home.
Most of the Filipinos are warm and friendly. They are mostly open towards each other, willing to share their problems and worries.
During their free time or day-off, those who have friends often meet in certain places such as churches, rented houses, or in some recreational areas. They love to chat, talk about the latest news or gossip, cook traditional food, and eat together.
What are Their Beliefs?
Many Filipinos are Roman Catholics with a mixture of animistic beliefs. Many of them are considered Roman Catholics at birth and therefore only follow the customs and traditions they learn. Some of these customs include attending the Catholic mass and reciting the rosary (prayer to the Virgin Mary using a beaded-type of necklace). They also believe in holy objects such as holy water (water blessed by the priest), praying to images or pictures of Jesus and Mary. The Catholics worship the Virgin Mary as a divine being who could intercede for their personal needs to Jesus. Moreover, they believe that touching certain images will bring them blessings. Finally, they believe in and venerate people who are now dead and have reached "sainthood."
What are Their Needs?
Pray that local believers will help meet the needs of the unemployed Filipinos. Pray that those who are without work will turn to the Truth for help. Pray that God will raise up teachers for the Filipino children who are not able to go to school to get proper education.
Pray for those Filipinos who have come to be believers grow into leaders that share the good news to their family and friends in Malaysia and in the Philippines.
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