The Filipino never wants to really upset or let anyone down, but by default they often do.
It is very obvious that the Spanish influence is still very prominent in the Philippines. Lots of the Spanish language can be heard in the streets and there are some beautiful places and buildings that still have the beautiful Spanish history and influences. Probably the biggest legacy the Spanish left after religion was the laid back attitude to timekeeping and things being done to schedule. Philippines time can be difficult to understand.
The Filipino never wants to really upset or let anyone down, but by default they often do. Take the example of asking someone if they want to come for a meal next week or a drink or any social meeting. Avoiding the non verbal communication that confuses everyone and getting a spoken an answer like “maybe or “yes” does not really mean anything.
I have been told by my Filipino friends that I am suppose to read the signs that tell you that person is politely refusing your invitation. It is my fault if I do not understand that yes may mean no. Scratched my head for years over that one. Even if friends or workmates do come they can be hours late and that would be acceptable to them as they have shown up. No matter how many times you would text and get frustrated all you would get is an “on the way” answer. That could mean they will be there soon or hours or even never. A clear answer is never really forthcoming.
Having helped out at a resort for a few months I was astonished to find that even with time clocks staff were late all the time. It was like 20% of the day was wasted on people arriving late for work. This was an accepted practice and even the management adopted the same attitude. It did not matter that customers could not be served with their food requests or that rooms were not ready.
Honestly I would say this is the norm in the Philippines and is one of the reasons that nothing ever seems to change. People do not arrive for interviews on time, people do not phone you back despite a promise and service people never show when they say they will. No matter how you might lose your temper at the rudeness of it, we have to remember that to most (NOT ALL) Filipinos this is OK and very acceptable.