Philippine culture is diverse, with over 80 ethnolinguistic groups native to the country. The federal Philippine nation would ideally consist of 22 ethnic states, each free in fostering its own culture and languages. In this way, the Philippines will preserve and sustain its rich cultural diversity.

While home to a multiplicity of ethnic groups, ironically the Philippines does not currently maintain a record of its peoples' ethnicity, putting everyone under the broad umbrella of 'Filipino citizenship'. Nor does the Philippine government support its indigenous languages, imposing Tagalog as medium of instruction in public schools instead of the student's mother tongue. And while the the Constitution prescribes freedom of religion, without discrimination or preference, the government pours support into churches and sometimes mosques in the form of generous donations and partiality in legislative debates. As a result, indigenous cultures are dying, languages are dying, native religions are dying.

A federal Philippines gives autonomy to its ethnic states, enabling the latter to designate their own official languages, thereby protecting the native languages from deep deterioration and consequent extinction.

Being ethnic in nature, the different federal states would also nourish their own cultures — their clothing and fashion, literature, performing arts, architecture — as it is their cultural identity that distinguishes them from the other states.

While freedom of religion would still hold even inside ethnic states, discouraging their own leaders from favoring one religion over the other, the indigenous religions present in these states are protected from the mainstream religion prevalent in others. There is at the same time a favorable environment for the indigenous religion to subsist, as religion is a fundamental part of the people's culture, which becomes the distinguishing identity of the state from the rest of the Philippines, for which the religion would be nourished.

Unity in diversity, this is the cultural assumption by which Philippine federalism works. We are different tribes choosing to be one nation. And the more freedom we get in nurturing our own subcultures, the more united we will be.

For the tree of Philippine ethnolinguistic groups that served as the basis of a 22-state federation, see Philippine Peoples.