Thursday, August 04, 2011

Etiquette for Expats, Tourists and Other Visitors to the Philippines

a repost (read: copied) from Jessica Zafra, yes the one and only jessica zafra... i just love the way she writes, but this article is something that everyone should read. i insist.

read on and enjoy :)

Welcome to the Philippines! You’ve probably noticed that Filipinos are friendly, accommodating, and nice all around. For starters we are always smiling. It is not true that we are always smiling, but it is likely we do it more than your people. This is because it is so much more pleasant than frowning or scowling.

And people generally look better when they’re smiling, no? Here in Manila there is so much aggravation to put up with. It’s sweltering even when it’s rainy, the traffic is horrendous, it’s noisy and poverty is widespread. Smiling is the last thing one feels like doing under these circumstances. If you think about it, smiling in these conditions is a form of protest. It is a way of rising above the situation. It is not, as you might think, a vapid reflex.

Your people probably have a lot more to smile about than we do. They should smile more, it would make them look younger.

Right now we’re smiling at you because we are curious as to what you, a foreigner, are doing in our country. Are you a corporate executive, a chef, a diplomat? A retired soldier fetching your fiancĂ©e whom you met online, or a Brazilian model? A Peace Corps volunteer or an NGO worker? A tourist drawn by our famous beaches, or just looking to get laid? Filipino curiosity is insatiable. We have to be in the know. We don’t even have to do anything with the knowledge, we just have to know.  

No doubt you have been told that we pride ourselves on our hospitality. Our hospitality is not a PR thing; it is genuine. We are glad that you’ve come all the way here—we like having guests. You are someone new to talk about.  Entertaining others entertains us. And since you’ve taken the trouble to come all this way, we figured the least we could do is prepare this basic guide to help you get acclimatized.

1. Our beaches are renowned the world over for their powdery white sands, brilliant sunshine, and the spectacular biodiversity in the water. Beaches, as far as we know, are on the seashore. When you are more than ten kilometers from the sea, say, in the shopping and office complexes of Makati and Mandaluyong, don’t feel compelled to dress for the beach.

We assure you that we natives won’t feel ill at ease if you don’t wear your loosest tank top, ratty board shorts and crumbling flip-flips while walking around the mall. Don’t dress down on our behalf; we do like to dress up. We think it is a way of showing respect not just for the occasion and the setting, but for yourself.

2. It is hot and humid in Manila so we sweat a lot. In order to stay cool and refreshed we take baths or showers every day, if not two or three times a day. If those of us who were born and raised here find it hot, it must be positively infernal for those of you from America, Europe, Australia-NZ and the temperate zone!

You must shower every day, if not several times a day. For maximum refreshment we recommend generous applications of soap, shampoo, and antiperspirants. Just dousing yourself in cologne is not enough to cool you down. Take a shower every day, you’ll feel so much better.

We insist.

read the rest here

2 meow:

mark bantigue said...

I think this is a great article. Few dare to create 'guidelines' for tourists. May I request to feature it on P3?

P3,, is a crowd-sourced, progressive, online Philippine news magazine that features blogs with perspectives on modern Filipino culture, progress-minded, social responsibility, environmentalism, and tolerance. All articles are submitted by bloggers and freelance writers. The only prerequisite is that the blogger/writer belong to the industry in which she/he writes; e.g. OFW writes on OFW issues, artists write about artist news, etc.

May I feature your blog post? I will provide all the necessary links and description of your blog.


Mark J. Bantigue
220 Tomas Morato Avenue
Quezon City 1103 Philippines
Tw: @P3dotPh
Fb:    /P3dotPh
+63 918 919 3660
Tw: @markbantigue
Fb:    /markbantigue

pusa said...

Hi Mark, this article is really brilliant.
And as mentioned in the post, this article aint mine and truly belongs to jessica zafra and interaksyon, its best you contact the real owner of the article if you want to post it in your website or just feature it in your blog making sure that the proper source is accredited.


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