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6 Things Men NEED TO KNOW About Filipino Culture

A photo of a Filipino grandparent with her grandchildren in the water at a beach Respect is expressed uniquely in Filipino culture. | Photo by Jove Duero on Unsplash

Dubbed as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas”, the Philippines is a land of the most welcoming and resilient people, and among the cheapest places to travel in Asia.

It comes as no surprise that many people, foreign tourists specifically, are coming in by the millions every year to personally witness the magnificence that is the Philippine islands, as they also meet the equally amazing people.

A 7,000-plus island adventure seems like the right amount of fun, right?

However, if you are planning on experiencing more than just the scenic beach trips and want to understand more about Filipino culture, then you are in for a unique read.

Below are six of the most interesting things that represent Filipino culture which every international traveler should know about. They will give you a look into the prevailing practices, traits, and traditions of the Filipino people.

Scroll down below to learn why it is always more fun in the Philippines.

  1. Pagmamano
  2. Have you ever noticed the gesture where young Filipinos come up to their elders and press their foreheads against the back of their elders’ hands? Referred to as pagmamano, a very unique form of honoring those older than you while at the same time, asking for their blessing.

    This custom is part of their standard Filipino family values.

    When you meet older people — a tita or tito (aunt or uncle), or lola or lolo (grandmother or grandfather) perhaps, or even a priest — during your visit to the country, try saying “Mano po,” as you do this gesture, and they will be glad to greet you with a warm, “God bless you.”

  3. Saying po and opo
  4. Although there are a hundred-plus Filipino languages, any non-local traveler will have no issue with communication anywhere within the country. You can talk to anyone using Filipino (Tagalog) or English. However, you might notice a little difference in how they speak with you or with those older than them.

    Either way, Filipinos are known to take pleasure in helping out tourists and foreigners who may need assistance with anything during their stay in the country.

    You may take notice that Filipinos will insert the words po and opo in most of their sentences, especially when they’re talking to their elders. It’s a unique part in their speech that denotes respect. If you are older than the speaker or a stranger, Filipinos will use these words when addressing you.

    Furthermore, you might get a fun nickname during your stay. Filipinos seem to have a knack for this. That’s how respectful and playful they are — it reflects even in their language.

  5. Karaoke sessions
  6. Filipinos love to sing — and are good ones at that.

    You might not be surprised to know how talented Filipinos are with the number of international stages and awards they have conquered through the years. But we believe that putting this here is a fair warning that you’ll have to be ready to grab that microphone and sing for yourself when you visit the Philippines.

    Filipinos find success in many professions but singing is their most celebrated. They will belt it out as a form of recreation in a chill afternoon, a type of ice breaker in any party, or just about any moment, especially since almost every household in the country has their own karaoke machines.

    Maybe even that Filipino woman you are dating will wish for you to sing a few verses. And don’t fret because they have nothing against those who believe they cannot sing — it’s all in the effort and enjoyment.

  7. Filipino food
  8. “Kumain ka na ba?” (“Have you eaten yet?”)

    Filipinos are very warm and welcoming people, and they will always ask you this question, especially if you are a guest in their homes.

    There is even an understanding amongst Filipino kids that one cannot pass up on eating when asked by elders. Also, if you want to have a taste of their local dishes and delicacies, you have to be ready to eat a lot.

    Enjoying Filipino food means having three heavy meals in a day on top of the merienda or snacks, usually taken in the afternoon.

    The table will always have rice, vegetables, and meat. Maybe in the afternoon, you’ll get to try some street food too.

    One other thing you can expect in this country is a complete gastronomic experience as different places offer different dishes. And all will surely tickle your tastebuds, believe us.

  9. Longest Christmas
  10. Have you ever heard of a four-month long Christmas celebration? Well, in the Philippines, that’s what you will find.

    The Christmas (Pasko) season in this country is basically covered during the “Ber” months, that is starting from September until December, and sometimes even until early January.

    Around this time, you will be drowned by the continuous carols on the street and amazed by the colorful decor every building is covered in. Christmas parties will be held one after the other, highlighted by their very own Kris Kringle called monito-monita.

    It’s probably the same holiday event as you have in your own home country — except it’s better and warmer because of Filipino’s unique traditions and, well, their all-year-round hot weather.

  11. Bayanihan
  12. It’s common for people to help each other out, but this community spirit is something even more special in the Philippines. The locals call this bayanihan, as in being one with the community.

    A practice engraved in Philippine history, it usually involves offering to help fellow community members by, traditionally, moving their houses. This may mean uprooting the entire bamboo and nipa hut and transplanting it to another place.

    Heavy work, but Filipinos do it without asking for anything in return. They find sheer joy in camaraderie and helping out their neighbors.

    Today, bayanihan has transformed beyond rural practice. It can be seen in other volunteer acts in everyday life.

Once again, Filipinos prove that they are the best kind of people.

Throughout the world, the Philippines is a place known for the beauty of its islands and people.

When you dive in deeper, you will witness how there’s so much more to their story and way of life — things that make the country exquisitely unique from the rest.

So what are you waiting for? Visit the Philippines and experience the exciting beauty and practices of Filipino culture and more.

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