5 things I've learned about the Philippine people

After having worked for 7 weeks in the Philippines in 2010, I had the chance to spend a lot of time with locals. I collected the most important things I've learned about and from them.

1. The most important connection in their life is the family

I was sitting next to a man when flying to the Philippines. He told me that he was working in Nigeria (!!!) to send the money to his family. He saw them only twice a year.
I heard from many of my Philippine friends that they would be ready to move abroad just to support their family with a better paying job.

The Sunday is called "the family day" which needs to be respected. The family spends the day together either around the table or in a shopping mall. On these days I never called them to hang out together.

2. They always smile at you - no matter if you are a friend or a stranger

Coming from a material world where people are rushing, it was such a great feeling just to walk on the streets, look at the faces and receive a stranger's warm smile. It took me time to accept this natural reaction, but then it felt so good to give back this smile to them.

3. Philippines never say "no"

Philippines are positive and ever-smiling people. I am not sure if that is the reason, but they do not like to say "no". 

It is tricky, I had to have sensors to find out when I got a rejection. Instead of saying "no" directly, they prefer to give other options, like "I think it would be better to..." - then you know, that it's a negative answer.

4. They are always up for fun and crazy posing in front of the camera 

I have never seen anyone going crazy in front of the camera as much as the Philippinos. Even the little school pupils were already posing perfectly, pulling the craziest faces ever.

It took me time to get used to pulling my most disadvantageous faces and even enjoy it.

5. Philippines are shy but very deep people

The Philippine people have a modest and shy personality, which I totally respected. To tell the truth, the seven weeks I spent in the Philippines was too short to make profound friendships. Still we shared lots of things. 

When I went home, I kept in touch with some of my friends, and after a few months I can say that we became friends, and we share deep thoughts. Philippine people are deep thinkers and they helped me to learn new ways of thinking about life.

About Tiny Girl With Big Bag

Hobby writer and autodidact photographer whose passion is to travel and get to know new people and cultures. She has been on 4 continents and 30 countries, and the outcome is this travel blog where she shares travel stories, thoughts, tips and photography always through a subjective eye.

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  1. lol! so true, especially #3! sometimes it's good, but most of the times, it gets us into trouble! :)

    1. Haha, yeah, I heard the same from my Philippine friends, that it can get them into complicated situations :)

  2. Hi,

    I happened to stumble on your blog. I am a Filipino too and I really enjoyed reading the 5 things you learned. I can't help but agree.You nailed it.. lol!

    #3 strikes a chord in my heart because I am one of them.

    But anyway, thanks again for featuring Philippines..


    1. Hey, I am happy you popped by, welcome! :) It is the best feedback when a local tells that I was able to describe their culture credibly. I had a great time in the Philippines :) Thanks for the comment!

  3. I salute you for giving accurate views of the Philippines and the Filipino people. In so short period of time with them, you were able to see what the country and the local people really are. I spent half of my life in the Philippines and I know what you said are very true.

    1. Thank you Freddie! This is the best feedback that I can get :)