Are Filipinos Asian?

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.

Wondering if Filipinos are Asian? The short answer is… YES! Absolutely.

Since the Philippines is part of the Asian continent (in Southeast Asia, specifically), Filipinos are considered to be Asian. But more than just sharing a common geographical location, the Filipino’s values are similar to their Asian neighbors as well. As Asians, they hold an Eastern mindset. They are traditionally more conservative, spiritual, and family-oriented than their Western neighbors.

The Asian-American Mixture on Filipinos

But even thought Filipinos are “Eastern,” they have also been heavily influenced by the West.

The Philippine islands were under Spanish control for over 3 centuries while and American rule for half a century. Combine these external factors with the inherent uniqueness of each of the local islands comprising the Philippines — over 7,000 of them! — and you have a cultural halo-halo” – a cultural mix of a little bit of everything.

Perhaps that’s the best word in Tagalog to describe the Asian Filipino: Halo-halo.

^ Halo-halo (Mixed, Mixture)

What Is Halo-Halo?

Halo-halo is a Filipino word that means mixed or mixture. It literally means mix-mix.

Halo-halo also refers to a popular icy treat made of different ingredients: condensed milk, yams, gulaman (a Jell-O like ingredient, also called agar), coconut strips, beans, creamy flan, and jackfruit among others, all mixed on a bed of shaved ice and topped with ice cream.

^ Pronounce gulaman.

Halo-Halo Dessert

It is literally a mix-mix of deliciousness. A sweet medley of ingredients that are great on their own, but delightful when blended together.

And not only is halo-halo a kind of dessert. It is also the perfect metaphor for the Filipino people themselves.

A distinct combination of the East, the West, and local traditions, Filipinos are a mix-mix—a halo-halo of various influences seamlessly combined into one complex yet beautiful identity.


The next time someone asks you if Filipinos are Asian, you’ll know just what to say. They are colorful, unique, and yes, distinctly and definitely Asian. Feel free to teach them a little Tagalog (Filipino) while you’re at it: Halo-Halo 😉

Marie Gutierrez

Filipino (Tagalog) is my native language, but with more than 15 years experience writing professionally in English, I am uniquely qualified to flex my semicolons to help others learn this magnificent language and let you in on cultural insights that you won't get anywhere else.

More to Explore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *