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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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