Are one of the most hospitable that you will find anywhere. Even if their behaviour is less than considerate, foreign visitors to the country are treated with the utmost respect. Although few will expect you to return the favour, it would be nice if you did. So, if you’re heading to the Philippines for work, pleasure, or both, a little consideration for the local customs can be a very good thing to have.
The Philippines’ Catholicism marks it out from other countries in Asia. Filippinos are friendly and fiercely family-minded and they celebrate religious holidays in serious style. Their Christmas preparations start in earnest at the end of October and go until January 6 (the Feast of the Three Kings). For Easter, some penitents will reenact the crucifixion, carrying heavy wooden crosses and getting nailed to crosses.
Don’t be surprised to see kids and adults waving as you make your way through the welcoming streets of the Philippines – it’s really in the nature of the Filipinos to extend their warmth to any guest of their country. This hospitality or generosity towards visitors is the Filipino’s most endearing trait, making the Philippines one of the most tourist-friendly countries in the world.
Like any other country, the Philippines has its own unique culture and traditions. Knowing and practicing these customs lets you become more familiar with the Filipino mindset and values. With these guidelines, you can make your visit all the more enjoyable and memorable.
General Filipino Etiquette
Do take the time to smile. Filipinos like to say hi, and they appreciate it when visitors reciprocate. Handshakes are the usual way to greet people, but “beso-beso” or cheek bussing is also commonly done, especially among ladies.
Do come in appropriate clothes when the occasion calls. Although the Philippines is a walkable country, not all places would welcome you in your flip-flops and shorts. Churches, government institutions and some restaurants require proper attire. Besides, if you come well dressed, Filipinos will admire you, and it’s always fun to dress up.
Don’t forget to laugh. Laughter is used very frequently in the Philippines: to break tension, to relieve moments of awkwardness, and to put people at ease. On the rare occasion that laughter is at someone’s expense, it is usually done good-naturedly. A good sense of humor is definitely an asset in the Philippines.
Don’t lose your temper. It’s easier to get Filipinos on your side if you approach situations in a calm and composed manner. Filipinos are more willing to help if you don’t embarrass them in public.
Do recognize that Filipinos tend to be indirect. Even if they mean to refuse, they will avoid actually using the word “No” in conversations, and instead will use other ways to get their message across.
Do show respect to anyone regardless of their social class or age, the elderly are given upmost respect. Using the proper words (such as the polite “po” and “opo” when speaking to elders) is a sure way of endearing respect.
If you´re an older person, like me, youngsters will often grab your hand and place it on their heads, mano. They are asking for a blessing. It´s harmless, painless and they enjoy it, so just go with the flow, chill out, and enjoy yourself.
If you want to hail a trike, jeepney or taxi, extend the right hand out straight, with the palm pointing to the floor, and make a waving, sweeping motion with the hand from the wrist toward the floor. You´ll get somebody´s attention really quick.
Be very careful about pointing fingers, especially the use of the middle finger which, when used as an insulting gesture, is a criminal offence. You have been warned!
Pointing the soles of one´s feet at another person is also considered offensive. I guess the motto is, “Think before you point!” whatever it is you´re pointing!
Inside the Filipino Home
Do expect to be invited to the homes of Filipinos. They will invite you to help yourself to everything and anything on their dining table, and they would appreciate it if you partook of the food offered. If you happen to show up during meal time, an extra chair will made available to you. In short, do eat when you’re offered food. Don’t offend your hosts by refusing outright.
Do be sensitive to household customs. If you happen to see shoes or slippers outside your host’s do the same also.
Ill right some words and translations for basic knowledge to help you out while you visit, for simple day to day things, actually ill get my wife to write these as she is a filipina and knows a lot more than me..
Look under the Travel Resources Tab, for Language