Monday, December 15, 2008

Tidbits on Filipino Culture

Using the word "Po" in a conversation is a unique way of showing respect and saying "Opo" is a polite response that means "yes".

Hospitality runs through our veins. In the Philippines, it's okay to surprise-visit a family or friend. We offer anything to make them feel comfortable. In urban areas, the host usually prepares special delicacy or refreshment to welcome the visitor. We even offer our own room and prefer to sleep in the kitchen or sala if the guest would tend to stay overnight or for an extended period of time.

Gossip is not healthy but Filipinos just love to talk about anything not only through face to face conversation or in the market but also through email, tabloids and text messages. On a positive note, open and frequent communication is the reason we have close family ties and intimate friendships. We just love to share ourselves and care about what's going on with each other's life.

"Mano Po" is a gesture of respect wherein you have to bow slightly to an elderly then take his right hand towards your forehead (this means- God bless you or something to that effect). In modern times, only a few still put this into practice.

We usually call our older siblings, neighbors, friends, relatives or even a stranger as "kuya or manong" (means big brother) or "ate or manang" (means older sister). It would be impolite to address them by their first name.

Funny but true, we can use lips to point on something. This is widely acceptable but ethics has gradually taught new generation.

You're a Filipino if you turn your head to someone who calls your attention with "Psst! Psst!".

To a foreigner, a stranger who looks professional , someone who dressed like an elite member of a society, or a customer who may be younger or older than us, we show respect by calling them Ma'am or Sir.

Scary... if there is Dracula in America, here in the Phils we have witch who can transform into a big cat, bird or anything. hmmm interesting....

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