The Philippines is a country known for its tropical climate and beaches. Since it is composed of more than 7,000 islands, you would never run out of places to explore and visit. The warmth and hospitality of the Filipinos add to your enjoyable and worthwhile travel experience. But just like every country, it also has the don’ts that tourists should keep in mind. Before you decide to come to Pearl of the Orient Seas, here are the helpful tips that can save you from trouble.
Don’t be too sensitive with the locals’ sense of humour.
Most Filipinos are fun-loving and happy people. You might be surprised with the smiles and laughter that you’d hear as you pass along in them. As possible, don’t get offended on it as it is their way of amusing themselves in a pleasant and natural way. You should note that locals love slapstick and silly kind of humour so expect them to laugh whenever someone speaks differently from them.
Don’t disrespect your elders.
Respecting older people are a common trait to Filipinos. They tend to show their respect to their grandparents and parents by using “po” and “opo” when speaking to them. Although only a few people are using “mano” (a local greeting that pertains to taking the hand of the elder then touching it to your forehead), there are some chances that you might witness it in the rural areas of the country.
Don’t use first names in addressing people who are older than you.
Another way of respecting older people is by using words such as “ate” (older sister), “kuya” (elder brother), “Tito” (uncle), “Tita” (aunt), “lolo” (grandfather), and “lola” (grandmother). These terms are also applicable to strangers that you might bump into. Take an old lady selling street foods as an example. You can call her as “ate”, “Tita” or “lola” depending on your perceived age on her.
Don’t come on time.
Filipinos have coined the term “Filipino time” for their tardiness. Whenever there’s a gathering or meeting, expect them always to come at least 15 minutes late. Although many locals are trying their best to be late for their appointments, there are circumstances, such as traffic jams and transportation reasons, that you should take into consideration.
Don’t be scared of the odd names of some local foods.
You might be surprised that many Filipinos are eating animal parts that you consider as inedible. Part of the culture of the Filipinos is their fondness on eating food. If you’re adventurous enough, you can try their local street foods like “isaw” (grilled chicken intestines) “betamax” (a square-shaped skewed pig’s blood).