Are you wondering what are the common traits and characteristics of Filipino people? In this post, we will do a deep dive into the Filipino character and get to know what sets them apart from our nationalities in Southeast Asia. After all, there must be something truly unique about the locals which is why several companies overseas are looking positively at the Philippines. At the same time, we will also walk you through some of the translations for the Tagalog words related to this topic so that you can add them when expressing your love for the Filipino culture.
If there is one thing that makes foreigners fall in love with the Philippines, then that would definitely be because of its citizens. While there is some truth that some of the people from Asia are considered somewhat cold by nature, you might be surprised to know how much Filipinos love making others feel comfortable around them. For this reason, several have called them hospitable or maasikaso in Tagalog. If you can speak English, you'd be surprised that even street peddlers or tindero (male vendors)and tindera (female vendors) are actually fluent and can understand you!
Aside from learning their official languages, it would be wise to get to know the Filipinos (their values, traits, and behaviors) and if you are up for that then this post is definitely for you.
As we have discussed in the history of the Philippine flag, the country has been colonized for years which there is no surprise why some of the common Filipino traits are somewhat similar to those of other countries-from Spanish, Japanese, to American occupation, the country is no stranger to foreigners. Fortunately, there are still some core values passed down by ancestors remained intact and are existing even to this day. One example of that is the bayanihan or the spirit of communal work and cooperation with the goal of achieving a goal.
The concept of Bayanihan is deeply embedded in the country's history and is usually reflected by the imagery of men carrying a bahay kubo or traditional nipa hut. As you probably know, rural areas in the Philippines used to have bahay kubo as their dwelling. What makes the kubo a good house in the olden days is that it can easily be transferred to a new place anytime but you cannot do it on your own. Instead, what the Filipinos do is to lend a hand and help the family transfer the entire house from one point to another. If you are unsure of how that works, just check out the example photo below.
Once the home transfer is done, Filipino women tend to cook and serve sumptuous dishes in a kamayan style (boodle fight) as a form of thanking the generous people who helped them move. While the traditional kubo is no longer that popular even in the rural areas, the spirit of Bayanihan can still be seen especially at times of natural disasters and calamities. Given the geographical location of the country, the Philippines always have typhoons which are why neighbors do their best to help each other at the time of need.
Now if you think that that is only what the Filipinos can offer, then you better read the next section below where we will discuss the five other good traits that will make you re-think life and crave to visit the Philippines as soon as possible!
One of the most popular qualities of the Filipinos is that they put a premium on how they serve other people. If ever you get invited to visit a friend's house, you will be surprised at the very warm welcome you will receive from the Filipinos parents and family members! Usually they will let you in on their house in an instant and ask the visitor to sit down and get comfortable.
But the best part of it all? At least one family member will prepare a snack complete with drinks so that you can eat while waiting. After all, Filipinos do not ever want you leaving their house with an empty stomach!
If you visit in the evening, you can expect that they will prepare dinner (and even make sure that they have different putahe or dishes that you are accustomed to) and arrange a guest room for you in case you want to stay. If you partake in a specific festival and the Filipino parents or elders know that you are coming, they will go out of their way to get foods specially prepared just for you!
The Filipinos have very close family ties and they do enjoy spending quality time every weekend. Young adults may have work that is far from home but it is common for them to go back home especially for celebrating special occasions and holidays. In fact, traditional families also close their small businesses so long as they get to set aside time to see their family members.
Since they are family-oriented, it is also common to see that the whole family is living in just one place! And when we mean family, we literally mean the extended family to the point that they occupy a whole street!
As we have emphasized in the basic greetings in Tagalog, one important aspect that you should remember is that the Filipinos are very respectful and will always use the word "po" and "opo" at the end of their sentences when speaking with people that are older than them, their family, persons of authority, and even strangers.
It is also expected that the younger people will take the elders' hands and put them to their forehead and say mano po which directly translates to "your hand, please." This gesture is taught at an early age and is still very popular today. So, if you are in homestay accommodation and would like to get social approval, this is a good thing to do. Just make sure to ask if it's okay first before you grab Filipinos' hands!
Colonized and oppressed by several countries before, the Filipinos have become hardworking people to the point that they are juggling multiple jobs just to make more money. Instead of just bickering and blaming everything on the government, Filipino values dictate that one should look for new ways to make sure that ends meet even while they are still young. For this reason, you will find a lot of working students who are getting part-time positions or looking to sell foods and items online with the goal of sustaining their educational needs.
Since the Philippines is a third-world country, there are still a lot of people who do not make enough for daily needs. Instead of purchasing expensive items, they try to look for innovative ways, cheaper substitutes or create their own items.
No matter what challenges that the day has for every Filipino, you will be surprised at how positive their perceptions are and how much enthusiasm they have about life and work. If you are looking for people who will tirelessly help you in a time of need, you can never go wrong with connecting with the Filipino people.
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn everything there is about the culture of the citizens in the Philippines. If you enjoyed this post and would like to learn more, we highly recommend that you check out our previous posts like the common cooking terms, popular breakfast food, and sweet desserts.
If you are also interested in getting to know the Tagalog language better, then you should check out the Ling App. The Ling App is a FREE platform built to level up your understanding of 60+ foreign languages through the help of a gamified algorithm. If you are on the lookout for an app that is exciting and challenging, then download the Ling app today!