The Philippines was first settled by Melanesians; today, although few in numbers, they preserve a very traditional way of life and culture. After them, the Austronesians or more specifically, Malayo-Polynesians, arrived on the islands. Today the Austronesian culture is very evident in the ethnicity, language, food, dance and almost every aspect of the culture. These Austronesians engaged in trading with China, India, Palau, Malay, USA, Malaysia, Papua, west Pacific Islander, Indonesian Islands, the Middle East, Borneo, and other places. As a result, those cultures have also left a mark on Filipino culture.
The Spanish colonized the islands and after more than three centuries of colonization Hispanic influence has heavily impacted the culture. The Philippines being governed from both Mexico and Spain, had received a fair bit of Hispanic influence. Mexican and Spanish influence can be seen in dance and religion as well as many other aspects of the culture. After being colonized by Spain, the Philippines became a U.S. territory for almost 50 years. Influence from the United States is seen in the wide use of the English language, and the modern pop culture.