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Philippine customs and etiquette


Filipinos are innately hospitable and sensitive. Education and a strong sense of dignity are highly valued. As a result, confrontation in any form is avoided whenever possible and even the word ‘no’ is used sparingly.

cebu street
 In the philippines they use a lot of nonverbal communication quiet often with the head and arms. A Filipino will move the head upward to indicate ‘yes’. It does not alway mean yes it may mean a general agreement. ‘No’ is indicated when the head is moved in a short downward movement. but , a philipino may indicate ‘no’ with his head but say ‘yes’. This is only meant to soften the ‘no’ and should not be misunderstood as an affirmative response. In so many words they dont want conflict.

A handshake is  standard  greeting between both sexes; however, a man should wait for a woman to extend her hand before initiating the handshake. Filipino handshakes are much limper than the Western variety, and a firm grip can come across as aggressive.


Laughter is generously applied in the Philippines and is often used to relieve moments of tension or social awkwardness. Don’t assume that laughter is at your expense, as it’s often a social grace extended for your benefit.

 Staring is considered confrontational and is best avoided but you the  tourist may encounter an inquisitive stare or two when visiting rural areas and minority villages, just smile.


Standing with hands on the hips is considered a sign of anger. Raising your voice can to. The quantity, two, is indicated with the little finger and ring finger—not with the index and middle fingers. Make sure that you don’t beckon a Filipino by curling your index finger back and forth, as this may be misinterpreted as an insult. Instead, extend your arm with your palm facing downward and wag your fingers toward you.

Dining Etiquette
Filipinos like to  entertains. If a Filipino in a restaurant or club invites you to sit down or offers you food, it is polite to decline the first time. If the offer comes again, have a seat and enjoy the hospitality. But when in a bar be careful of someone spiking your drink with drugs.


Keep in mind that Filipino culture is laid back regarding invitations and punctuality. In all likelihood, a local may accept a dinner invitation without realizing that you were serious. Even if you receive a definite ‘yes’ call again and confirm whether or not they plan to attend. As a general rule, the third invitation is taken quite seriously.


When eating in public, it is polite to keep your hands above the table at all times. So as not to appear greedy, Filipinos leave a small amount of food on their plate when finished. place your spoon and fork on the plate to indicate that you’ve finished.
Wherever you travel in the Philippines, you’re sure to come across a turo turo (literally translated as ‘point-point’). As might be expected, you should approach the counter at these cafeteria style places and simply point to the food you would like to order.

Philippine culture  Philippine scammers  Tips for the Philippines  Philippines customs