Travelers to the Philippines: The 5 Fun Truths About Filipinos You Need to Know Before You Go

Going to the Philippines is a sure tropical experience. But aside from the stunning beaches and the breathtaking mountains, the experience with the people is said to be one of a kind too.

To do a quick math, we're around 102 million in population scattered around the 7,107 islands. We're a mix Malay, Polynesian, Spanish origin, and dominantly Roman Catholic and Islam in faith. Despite the differences, there are certain uniquely Filipino traits that make us one. So here are 5 fun facts about the personality of Filipinos that you need to know before you go:

We show that pearly white teeth smile, a lot

via  TUMBLR
While they say that Thailand is the land of smiles, we think that the Philippines is a country of smiling people too. We feel like smileys originated here. Simple things make us smile. We don't bare too much problems because we laugh them off. Life is short to be too stiff and serious anyway. Our positive energy is a sign that our faith is bigger and stronger than anything else.

You might find it awkward but a Filipino, whom you might do not know at all, may suddenly smile at you. Do not think that he's making fun of you or there's something funny. At times, we're just bubbly people glad to see visitors in our country. So please: do not hold back and give one big smile back! :D

We're singers who'll let you drop the mic

Every music savvy knows that Filipino singers have been rising to fame. We have been regulars of international music contests. Locally, top rating television shows are singing contests, which usually run on weeknights. We champion much on music that it's the subculture we have inherited from our musically inclined ancestors.

It's a typical setup to see a karaoke machine here. Singing is part of every Filipino gathering. There has to be singing involved to get the party started from birthday celebrations, Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve parties, weddings, baptisms, up to the smallest office and house gatherings. Singing has made us good singers (it’s not the water that we drink here, FYI). 

We're sorry if you hear us singing our hearts out while you're trying to get some sleep. As they say, “if you can’t beat them, be with them!” Why don’t you try singing and beat our score? We can sing with you! For sure whatever song you choose to sing, we know it by heart even without looking at the lyrics!

We leave that one piece of food

Our elders call it “pedazo de vergüenza.” Whenever we share food with others in a dining table, out of shyness, we usually leave a piece of meat or whatever portion of food in the table. When offered to us, we say no. At times, we simply say we're full already where, in fact, we wanted some more. We spare the last piece as gesture of kindness. Perhaps we just think of others before ourselves. We eat selflessly. Sharing is caring.

So if you happen to eat with Filipinos, expect a morsel to be left in the dining table. If you want it, get it. But if it ends up as leftover, heck whatever. Do not expect that a Filipino will get it.

We breathe English

This is perhaps one of the reasons why many tourists are more stirred to visit the Philippines than other Southeast Asia countries. Communication is the least problem to encounter here. We speak English a lot, and some can even speak it with a twang. In fact, expats who live here don't get obliged with learning the local language because everyone speaks English anyway.

We're good at it props to the huge influence of American culture here. Even if the Spanish colonized the country for such a long time (more than 300 years), the Joes and Uncle Sams conquered us. We see a lot of Hollywood movies, sing English songs, read English books that have improved our English damn well.

So do not hesitate to speak with Filipinos. And remember, do not judge our English skills by our job or social status. Even if the person is a fisherman, a coconut vendor, or a jeepney driver, he could probably speak English way better than you.

We're die-hard helpers

Filipinos are naturally helpful. We were raised by our parents like that. We also got used to helping after all the strong typhoons, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that happened in our land. 

Once you set foot on Philippine land, you might feel some royalty. It isn't because we lower ourselves and we think highly of you. Rather, helping you makes us feel better, regardless of whether you asked or not.

At your hotel, for sure someone will open the door for you, carry your luggage, or hold an umbrella for you. If you get lost in an unfamiliar place, do not worry that nobody will help you. Even if we don't know you, we'll help you. We may not be able to help a lot in money, but we offer other things. If you give a tip or any other form of gratuity, then thank you. We may accept them but most of us do not insist.

Have you ever been to the Philippines? What unique experiences you had with the Filipinos?




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