I have been living in Manila, Philippines for more than one year already. I have learnt a lot about Filipinos in that time. There are some things that I think you will be really surprised about. I would like to share with you the most unbelievable facts about Filipinos from my own subjective perspectives. Just keep in mind, it is my own opinion and my own experiences. In case you have experienced something different, feel free to share with us! We learn every day and I would love to know more about Filipinos 🙂
1. Filipinos Speak English
Filipinos are fluent in English. It is their second language, but sometimes I would say it is already their first. Some Filipinos don’t even know some of the words in Tagalog anymore. The younger generation speaks mostly in English or Taglish. Taglish is a combination of English and Tagalog. Even ATMs have an option to choose the Taglish language. There are words that don’t have translation to Tagalog anymore. Moreover, the professional English level is really high. If you are worried about language barriers in the Philippines, no worries, they speak really advanced English.
2. Women In The Philippines Have Respect
Filipinos respect women. You will not see many cases where a woman has been bitten or hurt. Filipinas have a good position in the society. They are strong and dominant. You can also see that Filipinos are really family and friends people. If you are a woman who is planning to visit the Philippines and are worried about security, I would say, no worries, there are more dangerous countries on the world.
3. Filipinos Are Always Late
There are two reasons behind this point. First of all, Spanish influence. Filipinos definitely have a Spanish style culture. Everything will be alright, we have time for everything. I cannot say they are lazy, because they work hard, but they are just slower 🙂 However, there is also a second reason (if we are talking about living in the cities), the traffic is crazy. You can be stuck in traffic for 3 or 4 hours. It is almost impossible to be at work on time.
4. Filipinos Love Social Media And Selfies
Social media is something crazy here. It is how most of the people live. Taking pictures in hotels and sharing on Facebook. Liking each other’s posts, commenting to increase the engagement of the post. Getting work from Facebook or Instagram, or even working on social media. People have so many followers on Facebook and Instagram and it seems to be much easier to get to a famous level than in Europe. People don’t feel weird about taking selfies in the supermarket or on the street. The selfie culture is advanced here. While for boys in Europe, taking selfies is still a thing for girls, here the limitations don’t exist. Guys sometimes take more selfies than girls. No limitations and enjoyment.
5. Filipinos Are Open And Accept Other Peoples Differences
Since I moved to the Philippines, I am much more relaxed. I always used to have an issue with fitting in with one group of people. I like to belong to different environments and cultures. I like to be professional and business oriented. But at the same time, I love the gym and I don’t have an issue with taking pictures at the gym. I love travelling and I don’t have any problem with posting pictures where I’m in a bikini on Facebook. Here, it doesn’t matter. People accept it. It also has another impact. Gay culture is really big here and it is accepted by society. Gays are not hiding here, even more, they feel really comfortable here and in power. I believe all of it is a huge influence from USA. It is, for sure, the place where you can just feel free and comfortable.
6. Filipinos Don’t Save Money
Saving money is definitely not part of the culture in the Philippines and it has a funny impact on the lifestyle. Every second Friday of the month is salary day. That means, don’t leave home! There will be huge traffic jams and all the restaurants will be full. Filipinos have this kind of tradition, that they go to expensive restaurants for a huge dinner where they spend so much money. Moreover, salary here is every two weeks. Some of my Filipinos friends laugh and say that they are getting their salary every 2 weeks because in another case, they wouldn’t be able survive the whole month. In the Philippines the rule is – You have money? Go and spend it! Enjoy and have fun!
7. Filipinos Are Religious
Religion is most important here. People pray together on the plane or on the ferry. People go to the church and have religious jewellery or images on their shirt. Even coffee cups at the airport have quotations from the Bible. Young generations go to mass together. All of it is a part of the culture. Country and religion is one thing, never separate.
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8. Filipinos Hate Sun
How ironic does this sounds? The Philippines are one of the most sunniest countries and Filipinos hate sun. They hide from the sun, walk with an umbrella when it is sunny, wear long sleeved swimsuits and spend most of their time in shopping malls because of the air conditioning. It is a big thing here. When me and my Filipino boyfriend are walking, he always walks in the shade and I walk in the sun. It is so funny, because we, white people would love to have sun the whole year. We always want something that we don’t have 🙂
9. Filipinos Love Basketball
Basketball is a thing here. NBA influences from U.S. People love watching a basketball match or meeting up with friends to play ball. Kids play basketball from a young age. You play in high-school and university. When you eat in the small local cheap market, you will see huge TVs with basketball matches on them.
10. Filipinos Have A Great Personal Trainers
I have been in the fitness industry for years and I have never seen such knowledgeable and experienced personal trainers like I have in the Philippines. The level of their services are amazing, from advanced training programs, through to balanced diet plans and high skills in stretching. The fitness industry is really advanced in the Philippines and I love it so much!
11. Filipinos Love Shopping Malls
There are a couple of reasons behind this point. First of all, not all Filipinos have air-conditioning at the house. Shopping malls give them the possibility to cool down and enjoy a refreshing environment. Shopping malls are also a great place to hide from the sun which Filipinos don’t really like. For most Filipino families, Sunday means a shopping mall day with friends and family members.
12. Filipinos Love Fatty Meat And No Vegetables
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, it is not the place for you. Filipinos usually eat a lot of fatty meat and rice. Even in the restaurants, it is unlikely for you to get vegetables with your meal. It is extremely hard to get some vegetarian options. However, there are vegetarian and vegan places, you just need to know where to find them.
13. Filipinos Have 24hr KFC Delivery
Imagine that your KFC has delivery! Yeah, it is possible, in the Philippines. KFC and so many other famous chains have a delivery service, even 24 hours. But there is one thing that you need to remember. Most of the meals are with rice. No, no fries this time. I hope you like rice!
14. Filipinos Sell Boiled Eggs On The Street Or At The Gym
I remember the first time I saw boiled eggs selling on the street. Well, I thought, selling boiled eggs on the street, it could be a thing in the Philippines. But then I went to one of the fancy gyms and I saw boiled eggs in the bowl at the reception. To be honest, in the beginning I looked at this really sceptically, but then I realised how convenient it is. It is a great snack when I am stuck in the traffic 🙂
Aw you got to the end of facts about Filipinos! I am wondering if any of these points were a surprise for you or if you were already familiar with them. I would love to hear your own experiences. Maybe some interesting observations from different countries? Let me know in the comments!
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If you are interested in this topic, check out my previous blog posts TOP10 things which I miss in Philippines, TOP 10 Things Which I Love In Philippines, TOP 20 Things Of Living In Philippines From Other Expats’ Perspective, TOP 10 Assumptions That European Travellers Should NOT Assume In The Philippines.
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Zaneta loves challenges so deciding about career path she has chosen typical male industry. Woman who codes. Every 1-2 years she lives in different part of the world. Gym dates is something what she specialised in. Healthy lifestyle, extreme sports and motorbikes have stolen her hear years ago.