225 – The Philippines; Getting to Know The Local Customs
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The Philippines; Getting to Know the Local Customs

The Philippines is located near the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator. This not only brings an abundance of natural resources and some of the world’s greatest biodiversity but also makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons: natural disasters that rain calamity whenever they strike. Humanitarian aid is regularly needed at this vulnerable location. It’s important to learn the local customs of this country before you arrive.

Local Customs of The Philippines

  • The local population will always be friendly and hospitable. Remember to be kind, polite and smile! Take the time to say “thank you”, and your politeness will be rewarded by the locals. You will receive an even better response speak Tagalog, such as “salamat”, which means “thank you”. Standing on your stripes will cause you to lose respect, so remember to be polite.
  • Footwear is removed when entering a home, though the chances are that an exception for foreigners will be made. Be sure to look around before you enter a home. You can always leave your socks on.
  • Tipping is always accepted and is mandatory in the more high-end environments such as hotels and restaurants.
  • Giving money to beggars or children on the street is illegal. Food proves to be the better alternative.
  • The Philippines is the largest Christian country in Asia ensure that you dress appropriately when visiting religious places.
  • Jeepneys are the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines and are almost always crowded. Try not to be alarmed if a fellow passenger gets too close for your comfort since this level of crowdedness isn’t seen at many other places in the world.

At work, it's important that you address other business people with their title and their first and last name. Equally important to remember when working with people in the Philippines is that they often bring cultural influences into the workplace and that don't always match well with your business culture. For example, don’t try to be too direct regarding a sensitive issue. Business in The Philippines puts great value in their idea of "social harmony".

We’re proud to serve any humanitarian who’s willing to help those in need in The Philippines or anywhere else in the world. We regularly arrange travel for compassionate, faith-based humanitarian organizations who are dedicated to helping those in need. Never hesitate to contact us through our quick address locator should you have any questions.