Traditions in the Philippines include a special form of engagement known as pamanhikan, wedding sponsorship, foods served at special occasions and several holidays. Modern culture in the Philippines is influenced by a complex history, and most Filipinos continue a traditional way of life. Colonization by the Spanish and trading with China, the Middle East, Japan, India and other places had an impact on Filipino culture, art, literature, cuisine and traditions.
In the custom known as pamanhikan, a young man's parents seek the permission of a young woman's parents for the couple to marry. The parents of the man often take another person with them whom they believe has the respect of the woman's parents.
Weddings include sponsors, who are individuals who support the couple and assist with wedding expenses. The number and social status of sponsors reflect the couple's standing in the community.
Many Filipino traditions focus on food, especially during ceremonial events. Roasted suckling pig is often served on important dates, and the social status of the host is measured by the amount served. A traditional dessert includes banana leaves filled with rice with coconut milk and syrup. Men often drink gin and beer. In addition, the Filipino calendar includes a number of diverse holidays, such as the Chinese New Year, the People Power Revolution, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.