Do’s and Don’ts in The Philippines
The information below is a mere guideline and only a
suggestion laced with experience:
1. Always have some change with you. For public
transportation, you’ll be amazed at how far your money can
2. Don’t bring too much cash, if you run out, you can always
find an ATM.
3. Always ask for your hotel’s address/business card. In
Manila, and most major cities the cab and trike drivers are
familiar with the major hotels.
4. Bring an extra shirt - it is a tropical country, after all.
5. Drink water, drink water, drink water... only bottled though.
6. Smile, Wave Your Hand or Say “Hello”
Most Filipinos believe in “First impressions last”. A simple
smile is enough to make them like you. Don’t grin or smile
like you’re hitting on the person. That person may think
you’re odd or pervert.
A gentle wave of hand or friendly “Hello” and “Hi” are
considered as greetings in the Philippines. Some locals will
greet you instantly but others will wait for you to do the first
7. Always say “Thank You” or “Salamat po”
Filipinos find it impressive and respectful if someone
particularly a foreigner says “Thank You” or “Salamat po” for
anything even if it is not necessary.
8. Don’t Forget to Say “Sorry” and “Excuse Me”
Always say “Sorry” whether you accidentally hit a person or
utter words that are considered vulgar and incriminating or
act inappropriately that may cause aggravation and in most
cases, even if the fault is not yours. This simple word will
spare your life.
There are Filipinos who stop in the middle of the pavement or
aisle particularly in shopping centers, to talk to their friends,
call someone or even day-dream at the items hanging on the
display windows. Say “Excuse Me” or simply clear your throat
with “Ahem” to get their attention. Some will look at you
shyly while others will giggle at their embarrassing behavior...
and they will get out of your way.
9. Be Thoughtful
A Filipino woman whether a friend or a partner greatly
appreciates if you remember her birthday, anniversary and a
very important promise. Anything from flowers, chocolates,
stuff toys or jewelry or anything will do the trick, as long as you remember these important things – a priceless reward is
If, however, you are meeting a Filipino male friend or an inlaw
the first time, it is suggested that a bottle of wine or
whiskey, a pack of cigar/cigarette or a bottle of perfume from
your country will make any grumpy man happy. It is like a
priceless trophy. And your “pasalubong” or present will be
your pass to gain more trust and friendship among his friends
and the people he knows.
10. Be the Most Patient Person in the World
Most Filipinos like to spend a lot of time on something that
can be done in seconds. Filipino women may take awhile to
answer a simple “yes or no” question. It is not because they
want you to wait longer, but because their brain cells are
weighing the pros and cons of their final answer especially if it
is about their relationships.
This “delaying tactics” behavior exists prevalently in the
country, whether you are transacting business, filing
documents, extending your visa or meeting friends.
Most companies particularly those who have experience with
foreigner clients may show competence and exception to this
rule but those who are new may find it difficult to adjust in
dealing with punctuality.
Do not expect to receive a response in two or three days if
you send an email. It may take at least few weeks for the
correspondence, unless you call the secretary or your contact
after you sent the email.
If you are meeting a business partner outside his office, take
some newspapers, magazines, your favorite book or your
laptop to keep you busy while waiting. Some may show up on
time, others 15-30 minutes late but very few will arrive 15
If you are filing documents with a government agency or
extending your visa, take someone to talk with or something
to read if the procedure will take only several minutes, else
set a next day appointment for pick up, if you’re busy.
Lastly, if you are meeting a friend in a restaurant or in a shop,
try to wander in the neighboring shops, talk to the owner of
the restaurant or other foreign customers in the place so you
won’t get bored or stared at by other people.
For those of you who have read my book, you already know that my wife Rose has a strong affinity for fish. Yellow fin tuna, Blue marlin, Lapu-lapu, Dorado, and many others that are commonly found in these water. Let me clarify Rose's affinity for fish. They are Not for pets, but rather for our delicious meals.
On Wednesday morning, Rose and I were fortunate to be in the fish market.
'Hon, can I buy a yellow fin tuna and a blue marlin? They are very big, very fresh, and they look pretty!' I smile and agree to her simple request. Minutes later, she returns with 10 kilos (22 pounds) of fish that totaled us about US$24. Happy with her catch, she couldn't wait to get them home to gut and freezing them. 'I think you will love these fish when I grill them for you!' I smile and we head home.
Arriving home, we discover our daughter happily playing in a rain barrel with her friend Elizabeth. 'Hi Mommy and Daddy! Because it is so hot, we are playing in the water.' Rose and I agree with April's good idea, because it is so Darn hot! But instead of Rose and I joining them in the water, we go into the kitchen, turn on the air conditioner and she begins to gut the fish - something I'm glad she enjoys... because I don't like touching the dead fish.
As she's gutting the fish, and I'm enjoying a cool coconut juice... 'Fzzt!'
'Oh no, not another brown out!' What's a 'brown out'? It means that the electric company has intentionally turned off the power. What's their reason? All I can say is that after 10 years here, I still don't know.'
'Rose, your grandparents are 'witch doctors' right? Don't you know some kind of voodoo spell to create a cooling rain shower or something similar to get rid of this blazing heat?'
'Yes I do, but I don't think you'll like it.'
'Why do you say that?'
'Because it involves you sleeping with the fish.'
And 'Fzzzt!' I think just her uttering those funny magic words brought back the electricity. 'See what I mean?' she teases.
Later that evening, hoping that after the sun sets that the temperatures will drop... but it doesn't happen. Instead, they do just the opposite. It gets hotter! Ugh... Then I smile realizing how fortunate we are. We have air-conditioning... and I trot off to bed where I quickly fall asleep.
Hours later... 'What in the heck?!?'
Immediately I am awake and wonder why I am laying in wet bed sheets. I look at my cellphone to see what time it is. It's 1:30 in the morning and I'm sweating profusely. Then I begin to realize what is happening.
Reluctantly I tap Rose and waker her. The first thing out of her mouth is, 'OMG! It's hot!'
'It's another brown out.'
'What should we do,' she asks.
'Can you say some of your grandparents' words so that it rains or something. Then it might get cooler,' I joke.
Smiling, Rose sleepily gets out of bed, grabs her halogen flashlight and leaves the room. Moments later she returns bringing me with her flashlight and she hesitantly says, 'I am going to do what you call a 'spell', but I don't think you will like it.'
'I don't care as long as you don't turn me into a frog, and you can make it cooler in here so we can sleep.'
'Are you sure?' she emphasizes.
'Yes, I am sure! Bring on 'the spell'.'
With that she gets serious and begins to chant:
ito ang mga frozen na mga isda para maging kumportable ang tulog mo, katulad ng ginawa ng lola ko sa lolo.
matulog ka kasama ng mga masasarap at paborito kong mga sida.
'Is it going to work? What did you say?'
'Yes, I am positive it is going to work. And you will feel the effects almost immediately.'
'You should be feeling it now!'
Immediately I began to feel cold. 'What they heck did you just do?'
'I cast the spell.
To make my husband colder,
to make him comfortable enough to sleep,
I will do to you as my grandmother did to my grandfather.
You will sleep with the frozen 'peeshes'.
My beautiful, delicious, frozen fishes.
Actually it wasn't a 'spell' she cast on me... Instead it was 2 frozen fish!
... or Welcome to the Philippines where you can experience
our lush landscapes with crystal clear waters on talcum white
beaches that create a feast for everyones senses. Along with
the island beauty, you will enjoy the island hospitality noted
as the world’s most welcoming country.
One can not help but feel an overwhelming senses of
belonging and genuine friendship from the Filipino people.
Why? Since the Filipino people feel very fortunate and blessed
by all the natural beauty, they feel obligated to share their
happiness and friendly hospitality with all who visit. So when
you see a Filipino, make sure you are as friendly as they are
by saying “Hello” with a smile.
As the locals say, “It is always nice to have friends”.
Now imagine yourself immersed in this exotic paradise. You
are surrounded with natural beauty and friendly people... the
next you might ask are: “What can I do in The Philippines?
How do I get around? Where will I stay? What is the local
language (Is English spoken here)? What is the local culture
like? What should I bring?”
The answer to your questions, time and money saving tips
and much more... are easily found in the following pages.
Let’s start with “What are a few of the Best Thing about
It’s been written and said by many travel guides and blog
authors alike, but it can’t be stressed enough. The Best Thing
about the Philippines are truly its People! The Filipinos (men)
and Filipinas (women) here are without doubt the country’s
Why is that so?
The people of the Philippines are the friendliest, most
hospitable, optimistic and charming people you will run into
when traveling Southeast Asia. Period. There are even studies
published, which have the Filipinos listed as the happiest
people in Asia and rated highly also in the world. And this
despite the obvious poverty and disparities between rich and
poor in the country.
The people here love life, they know how to enjoy it and they
celebrate it in colorful fiestas at any given opportunity. Even
absolute strangers are accepted and invited to take part in
the countless festivities, festivals and parades. It feels like
there is some celebration at any given day.
The happiness and positive mood here is also very infectious,
especially if you come from a country with more ‘grumpy’ people.
helpful and proud to show you their country. They are
welcoming to visitors and that’s a genuine emotion (unlike
other places for instance Thailand or Malaysia, where the
friendly mask will fall right away, when people turn away from
The People in the Philippines are an interesting blend with
Asian, Chinese, Spanish and American roots. The beauty of
the women here is legendary and the entertainment
capabilities of its singers can be experienced by listening to
80% of the Live Bands all around Asia. If you love Karaoke,
then this will be heaven for you. Filipinos are natural singers
and performers and you will have lots of fun trying to catch
up with them.
People here will approach you and want to know more about
you, they are naturally curious and love to meet and chat
with new people like there is no tomorrow. In no other place
in Asia can you make new friends easier. And if you are
single, you won’t stay alone for long.
Still, nobody is overly intrusive. It’s all up to you, how far you
want to let someone get to know you. A simple ‘No, thanks’
would be enough to have your way or to be left in peace with
Most people here speak excellent or good enough English, so
you can communicate very easily wherever you may travel in
Now to the many other good things about the country: first –
the Cost of Living here is still surprisingly affordable,
especially food/drink prices and housing.
So Are the Philippines Beaches worth visiting? You bet!
Like I said, it’s an amazing country. With friendly people,
cheap accommodation and 7,000 islands to chose from. The
Lonely Planet calls the Philippines the ‘forgotten islands of
South-East Asia’, which is a shame; because the Philippines
have a lot to offer.
Especially, if you like water sports, soft sand, ocean waves
and beach life. Where to go? Where to start?
Most people have heard of Boracay, which is sometimes called
the “Whitest Beach of Asia” – and it’s true! If you thought so
far, the beaches of Bali are nice, or Thailand's beaches are
white – you haven’t seen the real deal. I kid you not! Boracay
has truly a powdery white sand, which is of no comparison to any other beach in Asia. Maybe the Maldives come close – but
then, they are much more expensive, exclusive and you are
basically locked on a tiny island for the time of your stay.
But how do I rate other places and islands over here?
I'm not a fan of Manila...
But the rest of The Philippines rates
From Awesome to Perfect!
Join Us and
read more adventures in my International Best Selling book
'Like Winning the Lottery' only at Amazon.com
Telling Time in the Philippines
We all know how to tell time, right? When
the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3, that
means it's 3 O’clock. Simple, right? But that is not how the
clock works here in the Philippines.
Everything here in the Philippines is much more relaxed and
laid back, and apparently this applies to the clocks as well.
So how is time interpreted here. What does 3 O’clock translate to in the Philippines?
Let's go back to my earlier example with the big hand on the 12 and the little hand on the 3, it's 3 o'clock. Right?
Not so fast... Apparently someone has been teaching time telling using a newer method here. It's called Filipino Time. What is Filipino Time? Let me explain. Here in the Philippines, 3 O’clock is anytime between 3:00 and 3:59 (give or
take a few minutes here and there). So when I asked my wife to meet you at 3 o'clock and she arrived at 3:45, in her mind she is on time, Diba? (Diba = Right).
So keep Filipino Time in mind when you are planning an itinerary over here.
What have I done to alleviate this cultural difference? Let's I need to have someone met me at 3 o'clock. I will tell them, “We are not using Filipino Time”.
For example, “I need to have a taxi pick me up at 3 O’clock - Not 3 O’clock Filipino time!”
This really seems to work... Ok, it really seems to work 5 out of 10 times.
At least now when you visit, you will have a better understanding when planning your itinerary. If timing is critical, and being on time is something you must have in your life, then visit Japan or Germany. But if enjoying a life in paradise is
what is important, then throw away the minute hand from
your watch and enjoy Filipino Time. Join Us and Take It Easy.
Don't forget to grab your copy of my International Best Selling book,
'Like Winning The Lottery' on Amazon.com
Nowadays, it is very common to see a non-Filipino man dating a Filipino woman. There are many reasons why men choose Filipino women over others. Filipinos are naturally hospitable, loving, faithful and practical. Sometimes, the foreign men take their relationships to a whole new level by marrying their Filipina partners. Many people might be wondering why do men prefer the Filipinas. Yes, this may be a controversial topic, but I get asked this question often: 'Why do Foreign Men Like Filipino Women?'
To answer this, I asked what some of my non-Filipino friends what they thought, and I put together their 7 most popular reasons for why Foreign Men Like Filipino Women?
Here are some reasons:
1. Among Asian women, ladies of the Philippine are the ones who are best known for their exotic and asian beauty.
They also exude femininity and are also very alluring. They have won the most coveted Miss Universe title several times and other international beauty pageants such as Miss World, Miss Hawaii, and even Miss America.
2. Filipinas have a very sunny disposition.
They are fun to be with, happy and enjoy joking around. Sometimes they will delight you with their stories and happy chatter while other times you will observe that daintiness in unexpected situations which is unique to Filipino women. These women are brought up to act and to be finesse, refined, delicate, and proper... and they know how to laugh and make you happy.
3. Western men like Philippine women as wives because they have good characteristics and personalities all rolled into one petite package.
These qualities include being patient, understanding, composed, generous, caring, and supportive.
4. Filipinas are family-oriented.
Filipinas put their family first above everything else. They will do everything to make their family’s lives more comfortable and they will do whatever they can to help their husbands. They are unselfish with their time because their husbands and their children are their top priorities. It's about being a 'team' - not about 'It's all about Me'.
5. Philippine women are faithful and loyal.
Filipino women value their relationships and they are very loyal to their husbands. They will stick with their man and will always be there for you.
6. Men also choose Filipina girls because of their skills in handling money.
Filipino women have a knack for negotiating low prices while still getting good quality products. From a young age, they have learned the value of money, and why it should not be wasted. The more they can save, means less time is needed to work. This translates to more time being spent together as a family.
7. Philippine women are smart and well educated.
In the Philippines, the Filipinas excel in many fields more than men, even in the fields which were thought to be masculine such as engineering, computer science, architecture, etc. They are diligent and hard-working and it's normal for them to compete side by side with males.
If you are still curious as to what it can be like when you are with a Filipina, then consider reading my humorous, best selling book entitled, 'Like Winning The Lottery'. It's available on Amazon.com
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Enjoy the Hilarious Adventures of my Move to the Philippines
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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS AND PROVIDE COMPENSATION & HELP FUND THIS WEBSITE AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.PLEASE HELP SUPPORT THIS WEBSITE THROUGH OUR ADVERTISERS & AFFILIATES.