Philippines Traditions & Cultures One Must Know Before Visiting There
- Author: Shivangi Published: 27th Jan, 2021
Visiting the Philippines is like being engulfed by a kaleidoscope of culture. With so many races and a blend of traditions, it is an exciting place to explore. Before planning your trip, know about the country & the people to be better prepared when you reach.
The Philippines has a blend of Spanish and Philippines traditions with influence from Asia and America seen in every aspect. They appreciate fashion, art, music and good food.
Family means a lot to Filipinos. Their family bonds are essential, and elders are given the most respect. They come together as a family to help each other in all kinds of events and difficulties. Kids have many godparents. The family comprises several uncles and aunts and live in different houses or areas depending upon their status.
Approximately 80% of the population is Catholic in the Philippines; hence Christmas and New years are the main festivals. On both days, families come together to celebrate with a big feast. The Philippines is the only country where Christmas is celebrated for four months as the festivities start from 1 September. On New Years, families wear dotted clothes and prepare round fruits on a table which symbolises prosperity.
The Philippines is known as the melting pot of Asia because of the variety and uniqueness of food here. They have a regular eating schedule: morning, mid-morning, lunch, after and dinner. Rice is a big part of their meals and served before everything else. Their food is adopted and tweaked from various parts of the world. When out with a Filipino for a meal, don’t enter the restaurant alone and wait for them to come. Hold your fork in the left hand and use it to place food on the spoon which is in the right hand.
Great Hosts and Entertainers
Filipinos are great hosts and entertainers. They will go out of their way to help you or any tourist in need. They will make sure to tell you about all the experiences you must have. Even in the restaurant, the staff will treat you with great care. They will always meet you with a big smile and a friendly hello. Filipinos also have a natural talent for entertaining people and are great singers, dancers and performers.
Hiya and Pakikisama
These two are difficult to make one understand but, very important terms in Philippines culture. Hiya means a sense of shame and is a factor in almost all social situations. Filipino will not ask a question that he might think makes him sound like a fool. Or would not disagree with something so avoid the feeling of hiya. To be accused of being Walang-hiya (to be shameless) is the ultimate insult. Hiya goes hand in hand with the preservation of amor-propio (the term means “love of self”) Pakikisama, on the other hand, means to get along. Do not offend anyone’s amor-propio even of a waiter who is late to bring your food. Rudely talking to them will make you the obnoxious Walang-hiya foreigner.
It is super super important for anyone to be polite. What might seem a joke to you can be offending for Filipinos. Hence, make sure that you always conduct yourself in the right manner.