Filipino’s are known for humility and hospitality and therefore respects foreigners who embody the same traits when visiting the Philippines. The things I will mention here will help you break the ice and will gain you friends and will help you get your way around town without garnering suspicion typical of a new visitor and new face in town. The numbers don’t mean anything, you can apply these traits in any order depending on the circumstance.
- Smile. I know it sounds silly. And you’re probably expect something like bow your head, remove your shoes etc, but a simple smile signifies humility and filipino’s will radiate from this gesture of good will and will readily open up to help you with anything you need. Specially right off the airport when things don’t go your way.
- Take it to go. Many Filipino’s embodied the tradition of always giving even during times of need. I believe this trait came during wartime where everything is hard to come by and to survive. Filipino’s came together and shared what they had between families. No, we are not in survival anymore but there are those really good addicting foods like lumpia, pancit and adobe that we just want more off after a party that we want to take home. Its ok. Take a plate to go. That means the food was good and most family’s will probably insist that you take some home with you.
- Always say thank you. The simplest of things that we take for granted means a lot to Filipino’s. This humble gesture will encourage whomever you’re dealing to do more for you. Now, you are not going to get the same positive response all the time but this is a good guide to start with specially if you’re a visitor in town.
- Bless. No you’re not going to offer a prayer. Grab an elderly’s hand and put it in your forehead then say. “Bless Po”. Asians hold their elderly with a lot of respect. This gesture will ensure instant positive feed back to whomever you applied this to and to the people seeing you doing it. Just like in the portrayal of the image in the painting above.
- Bring Gifts. Its a tradition that is known to all from time immemorial. Most Filipino’s travel outside of the country to find good opportunities so they can support their family’s. Most times the family left behind is usually holding for dear times where basic needs is mostly important than wants. When the breadwinner comes home. The little “Pasalubongs” or gifts brought back for the family brings a lot of joy and promise to the coming future. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You just have to do the act.
- Buy Groceries. If you’re living on someone’s house for the duration of the visit. Bringing food to the table on your first day gives a very str