What is the difference between the Philippines and the rest of the world? Well, it is all about their heritage for one thing.
It may take time to understand the complexity of the Filipino culture to someone who has never met, seen or interacted with a Filipino or never visited the Philippines. Unlocking your mystery is like heading into the jungle without a good map and you are probably going to get lost.
Here are a few things you should know about the culture of Filipino that distinguishes you from any other nation on the planet.
The genetics of Filipinos.
Chinese, Malay, and Spanish are just a few races in every Filipino’s veins. Moreover, the Americans have had strong influence over 50 years since the Philippines was an American colony. This contrasting mix of cultures shaped the unique attributes of Filipino. Filipinos are fun-loving people with a festival love and an obsession with singing and dancing. Culture in Filipino is very family-oriented, making people feel comfortable. Although they may not possess the level of material wealth that many Western countries do, their tightly knit social and family systems in many ways make them richer.
Besides that, the Philippines is a matriarchal society in which the power of women is strong. The female influence is significant both in the family and in the workplace, with women holding senior roles throughout business and government. Many successful businesses in the Philippines are owned and run by women. Furthermore, the Philippines is Asia’s largest Christian country and they are very serious about their faith. Many Filipinos are attending a weekly service with the church as the cornerstone of any local community. Having all of your family and friends in the same church is very common for people and it is important to be aware of the loyalty that this creates when dealing with Filipino staff.
Filipinos and their families.
Filipinos are in the family and they love to share their food in particular! That’s why “family meals” that are just as likely to be shared by co-workers are popular in most restaurants. Oddly enough, if you eat with Filipinos, you will probably notice that no one on the plate wants to eat the last bite! Filipinos have a very organized way of life and are not as assertive or confident in contrast to Westerners. This is partly due to the family’s widespread influence. Filipino children are likely to be significantly influenced, motivated and guided by their parents, no matter how old they may be.
The “utang na loob” or debt of gratitude is another dominant behavior of the Filipinos. They usually return the favor if you do something good for a Filipino. Remembering this with Filipino staff may be important because if you treat them and reward them in the right way, they are likely to stay with you for a long time. Furthermore, Filipinos don’t often leave home until they are ready to get married and even then it’s usually disastrous to their family. They generally believe it is unheard of that they are heavily indebted to their parents for raising them and putting them in old-age care facilities. As children age, it’s normal to care for their parents.
Filipinos are respectful.
Filipinos are people that are very respectful and they respect all they meet. This includes, strangers as well. In the Philippines, the reason why respect is greatly felt is that Filipinos have traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Filipinos show respect in various ways, such as helping a person cross the street, welcoming someone to dine with them, kissing the hands of the elders, welcoming anyone at any time of the day, and saying “Po” and “Opo” and many more.
Filipinos pay their elders the highest respect than anybody else. They are listening to their parents. They believe in their wisdom because they know their wisdom is always very correct and beneficial to them as well. Their words seemed to be an order to comply.
The Philippines seems to many tourists to be less necessarily “exotic” than other Asian countries. Nearly English is spoken everywhere as people wear Western clothes and Catholicism is the main religion. Combined with your average Filipino’s approachability and sunny disposition, this seems to result in trouble-free assimilation of the Philippines’ ways and values.
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