Being Polite in the Philippines

As in most Asian societies, being polite is valued in Filipino culture. In the context of making requests, one shows politeness, deference, and respect for others through the use of some words such as paki (from pakiusap, roughly equivalent to “please”) or makisuyo (usually accompanied by the verbal enclitic naman) in the context of making requests and commands.Paki basically indicates thRead More…

Paki: Making Requests in the Philippines

As in most Asian societies, being polite is valued in Filipino culture. In the context of making requests, one shows politeness, deference, and respect for others through the use of some words such as paki (from pakiusap, roughly equivalent to “please”) or makisuyo (usually accompanied by the verbal enclitic naman) in the context of making requests and commands.Paki basically indicates thRead More…

Philippine Culture: Traditional Holidays are National Holidays

The Tagalog language basically borrowed from Spanish the days of the week and months of the year, as well as the numerical dates. Unlike Spanish, however, the days and months are spelled as proper nouns, with the first letter  capitalized. This was patterned after American convention wherein days and months are capitalized. Interestingly, when writing dates, the Tagalog/Filipino language folloRead More…

Gift Giving in the Philippines

In Filipino culture, one way of showing thoughtfulness to one’s family, friends, or co-workers is by giving them pasalubong especially if he or she comes back after a long absence. A pasalubong is basically a token gift that one gives to express his being able to remember people close to him while he was gone. It could be a simple souvenir of a place that one has beeRead More…

Filipino Culture: Friendly to Strangers

Filipinos are basically a friendly people, even to strangers. They are not xenophobic but are in fact willing to learn new things about other peoples and their cultures. Their skills in learning new languages speaks of their ability to adjust to a new environment or country that may have a different culture from theirs. For how else can one explain the presence of millions of overseas Filipino Read More…

The Filipino Future

Filipinos are generally not known to plan ahead in the future. Whatever comes tomorrow is something that is left to God or fate.  This attitude is best captured in the common Tagalog expression “Bahala na!” (Let it be, or So be it!).  What lies ahead is something beyond the control of human beings, and the best that one can do is to pray and hope for a better life in the future. There are soRead More…

More on Expressing Preferences in the Philippines

In Filipino culture, expressing one’s preference in doing something may be done in different ways. Gusto is the Tagalog word that signifies one’s desire to do something, while ayaw is the word used to indicate what he does not want to do. However, these words are used only if one has either a strong desire or objection to doing something.  There are other ways to express preference in doiRead More…

Expressing Likes and Dislikes in the Philippines

Gusto and ayaw are both used to express and describe what someone likes or not like doing in Tagalog. Both are used together with most “-um-” and “mag-” verbs and some “ma-” verbs in their infinitive forms.  Some examples are: Gusto niyang magluto ng isdaAyaw kong maglaro sa labasGusto ni Tess kumain sa Kamayan Restaurant.  The following table shows how sentences are constructed uRead More…

Expressing One’s Ability in Filipino Culture

In Filipino culture, it is important that one is mapagkumbaba (humble, or modest) about his or her capabilities and talents. Modesty is socially acceptable, whereas it is taboo to be mayabang (a brag). This does not mean that one has to be mahiyain (shy) about one’s ability or talents; only that one should not lift himself up or praise himself, but let praise come from other people. If Read More…

Work Relationships in the Philippines: Who is the boss?

In Filipino culture, people in authority are normally the ones who give instructions. Subordinates, particularly in office settings, are the ones who receive and follow instructions. Deference to people in authority is very much valued in Filipino society, as in most Asian societies. It is important to remember, however, that those who are in authority are expected not to abuse their power. TRead More…